The test market is key to ensuring web
Most website owners start to spend money on promotion as soon as
their website goes live. However no one knows quite how
visitors will react to different scenarios and web designs.
Even the experts can be wrong. Your starting point should
always be that any site is capable of improvement. The need is to
find out as soon as possible the major improvements required so that
future spending on promotion gives a better return on investment.
The key measures for effective performance are:
- Does the site attract the right visitors?
- Does the site convert those visitors into customers?
Before you spend further on web development and promotion, you
should know how much it will cost you to attract sufficient visitors
to achieve a conversion and how much profit that customer will
generate on average. You then have a basis for forecasting
future profit. If you don't like what the picture shows, you
need to re-look at the strategy and alternatives.
The quickest - and cheapest - test is to use real visitors and
measure their reactions. Pay per Click advertising from Google
AdWords and Yahoo! Search Marketing provide the ideal vehicle.
They will generate visitors more quickly than optimisation for
natural listings and you can try more different key phrases more
quickly. More detail on PPC advertising
is available here.
Of course before you start any testing or promotion you need to
ensure your measurement systems are in place. The more you
understand about what your customers need and how they react the
more effectively you can market to them. Both Google and
Yahoo! provide good measurement of PPC campaigns. But, in addition, you should have a
general web statistics package. Google Analytics is an excellent
free service which should be the automatic choice for small
While setting up your website and determining your marketing
strategies, don't forget to save all the information you are
collecting. Protect yourself from disaster with our
online backup service.