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 Testing

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The test market is key to ensuring web profitability

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:

  1. Does the site attract the right visitors?
  2. 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 companies.

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.

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in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames