4 Great website testing ideas


Optimizely has a solid list of 71 different website testing ideas – check it out here. (Side note: this content has existed for a long time, but they recently re-shared it with me. Re-sharing solid blog content like this is a great nurturing tactic!)

I have tried a number of these 71 tips with varying levels of success. Below are the top four that have worked for me. What works on one site may not work on another, users’ behaviors change over time, and mobile will have totally different success than desktop (and don’t even get me started on tablet.) So even if you’ve tried some of these before, it’s worth considering retesting at some point.

Here are the four most successful testing tactics that I’ve found, as listed on the Optimzely blog post:

Buy Now? Purchase? Checkout? Add to Cart? Change the call-to-action (CTA) text on your buttons to see which word or phrase converts more visitors.” I’ve had success with this sort of a test every time. You never really know what a visitor is hoping to see, and different CTAs on particular pages may improve conversion too. Matching CTAs with on page content often is helpful.

Test multiple CTAs per page against one CTA per page.” I sometimes joke that every other line of copy should be a CTA button… that’s extreme, but having different CTAs in different places on the page may help a visitor find the ‘thing’ that entices them to move forward in your funnel.

Test different types images on your landing page. People versus product is a good place to start.” Sometimes this fails for me, but recently I’ve had good success. Always worth a test, but sometimes the results are so small there is no statistical significance. Big tests are often better here, so I’d start with huge differences in images before testing if the female customer beats the male, etc.

Test removing navigation to any pages outside the checkout funnel.” I call this a prisoner page, and it works for SEO and other bottom of the funnel pages… but it can also backfire if someone isn’t ready to commit. Sometimes adding high conversion navigation links (vs. what you may have on your regular site nav) can help the prospect find out more info, but also stick to pages that convert, keeping the conversion rates high.

Tweets that got traction


A few of my tweets from Q4 2014 got some traction (what I mean is that Buffer shows that they had a decent click volume).

In no particular order:

Not sure this will be good for productivity: Facebook Wants to Move Into the Office http://buff.ly/1FaYm2e via @WSJD

Squirrel cuts off power to part of Silicon Valley http://buff.ly/1FjNGyg via @usatoday Do rodents hate Apple?

I don’t love this UX icon, but hey, it exists: http://buff.ly/1x1rWpt Brief History of the Hamburger Icon

Really funny take down of staffing at a cutting edge ad agency: http://buff.ly/1ABcoLI #agency

Interesting piece on micro VCs


I’ve obviously been a little busy recently, so haven’t been blogging at all. Hears to a less busy 2015 with more time for blogging!

I recently read a good article on micro-VCs. This market has really expanded, but who knows if it’s actually the return of the old school venture capital fund (size, focus) or if it’s a new thing.

The author makes takes the position that “The concentrated return profile of Venture Capital makes it virtually impossible to envision a scenario where more than 50 firms produce the necessary returns to earn alpha returns, particularly when an inevitable market cycle shift is factored in.” He thinks only 50 of these funds will still exist in 2020. I’m not sure I really agree with this, mainly because successful entrepreneurs like to become VCs and I think it’s likely that people will keep finding ways to start new, tiny funds.

Regardless, the article is a great overview of the market. Worth a read.

Review other people’s bit.ly stats


I recently discovered how to review other people’s bit.ly links, which is really cool if you are stalking someone or if you are trying to understand the social reach of someone.

To see the number of clicks that a bit.ly link has you:

Add a + to the end of the link and go to that URL.

So, say that you want to see how many clicks a Kourtney Kardashian post gets. Take the bit.ly link, like this one, https://bitly.com/1rFgrhH and make it this: https://bitly.com/1rFgrhH+

You’ll see:

check bit.ly stats

Pretty cool!


Twitter isn’t really inspiring me recently


I’ve really dropped off tweeting recently, and have reduced my use of twitter even more. For some reason, I’m just not spending a lot of time reading tweets or looking for interesting content.

I can’t tell if I’ve changed, if Twitter has jumped the shark or if I just need to refresh the list of people I follow. I keep a tight list of people who I closely follow using Tweetdeck, and I wonder if some of the people who I follow most closely have reduced their twitter use? It’s just hard to tell.

Really cool use of data for venture


I thought this CB Insights post was great – using data to see which AngelList syndicates were the most active/powerful.

If you don’t know what AngelList syndicates are, the article explains: “Towards the end of 2013, AngelList announced its syndicates program which allows angel investors to raise committed capital and charge a carry for the performance of each deal that their backers participate in.”

Are people too harsh on Box?


I think people are a little too harsh on Box’s prospects; I tweeted out this link the other day:  “buff.ly/1o70OxS Analyst: Box’s Only Realistic Option Is To Sell”

I realize that the company is burning a lot of cash to get new customers, investing something like $1.3 per each $1 in new revenue – but Box is a SaaS business and that dollar in revenue should come back the next year, and the next, and the next… Even if there is some churn, the NPV is likely to be highly positive.

Furthermore, Box has been aggressively investing in growth. If the company decided to grow more slowly and focus on profitability, I’m willing to be they could quickly start generating cash (or at least get to break even).

I realize the IPO window is closing, unless the markets to a big turn around. If not, we’ll get to see what Box decides to do – keep spending big bucks to grow the top-line, or slow down and get profitable. Either way, I’m not too freaked out about their future. Worst case, won’t someone acquire them?