Split Testing is the perfect solution to most discussions on website changes!
I had a very interesting conversation last night (June 12, 2012) with a client. This conversation falls in line with what we preach to our clients, “Only a test will show!”
Our client is looking for a simple WordPress template that can be recycled and re-purposed for a number of small projects they are working on. The template will be simple, clean, responsive and provide them the ability to modify the background color/image and banner image.
The client did have a concern:
“My existing template has rounded corners, but it uses CSS3, so they do not show up in IE8. I would like to use images so they show up in all browsers.”
I understood where he was coming from. I then explained we can definitely use images if he wished but explained our standpoint. We prefer to use CSS3 and HTML5 where we can to keep our work as current and future proof as possibly.
With this in mind, I explained we try and use these techniques for things like rounded corners, gradients, shadows, etc. These techniques degrade nicely. If their browser does not support rounded corners the website still functions (it is not broken). They just see a square corner and they don’t know any different.
We then got started to discuss if this would have an impact on lead generation. The consensus?
“Let’s test it!”
So once our template is done, we will run a split test to see if the rounded corners vs. no rounded corners have an impact on lead generation and conversions. At the end of the day, everything but data is speculation. Raw data tells the truth.
If you ever have ideas, questions, thoughts, or theories … Test them! It is the only way to truly know. Sometimes you change something from Blue to Red because Bob in Accounting thought it would Look better, therefore it should generate more clicks. There’s no need to tell Bob no or to blindly make the change not knowing the potential impact. You can simply test it! Let the data tell you what works better.
If your not testing, your not improving! Always be testing.