September 7th, 2008 | 2 MIN READ

Book Review: Always Be Testing

Written by author_profile_images Linda Bustos

Linda is an ecommerce industry analyst and consultant specializing in conversion optimization and digital transformation.

Website Optimizer is yet another phenomenal Internet marketing tool the good folks at Google have provided free-of-charge. Internet Retailer reports that 76% of online retailers are not testing their websites. Have you taken the plunge yet? Maybe you still have questions over your head like:

  • How long does testing take?
  • What's multivariate testing?
  • How much can I test at a time?
  • What if I don't get much traffic?

Or you've dismissed the idea because:

  • Testing sounds hard.
  • Testing sounds expensive.
  • We don't have time to test.
  • We spent $60K on web design already!
  • I'm not technical!
  • I'm not a statistician!

Always Be Testing by Bryan Eisenberg, John Quarto-vonTivadar and Lisa T. Davis of Future Now / GrokDotCom addresses each one of these questions and excuses. After reading it, you'll come away with an understanding of testing (even if you're technically or mathematically challenged), types of tests, the testing process, how to use Google Website Optimizer and how to read its reports. Plus, how to determine your test length/quantity, what elements to test and how to prioritize your laundry list of testing ideas. And of course, no book put out by Future Now would be complete without integrating persuasion into the equation - buying modalities and conversion optimization principles. One of my favorite things about the book is in Part II: What You Should Test where you are given exercises to try on your site. For example, Chapter 18 on Searchability encourages you to "pick your top 10 products and come up with as many ways possible to reasonably misspell them. Search for them on Google and on your website." Then it gives you 10 practical ideas for what to test, like "test showing products on your search results page when you return no 'results.' " With over 250 ideas for testing, Always Be Testing will be a book you can constantly refer to for ideas in crafting your ecommerce marketing strategy. Check out Elastic Path's webinar with Bryan Eisenberg on, you guessed it, testing.

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