October 13, 2010

One thing most marketers do not do very often is test their headlines.  Most do not know how to do it or are too busy trying to create their product that they don’t think about it.

It is no secret that the headline is the most important piece of copy on your website.  And just changing a single word in your headline could raise or lower response.

And I’m not talking about just 1 percent or so. I’m talking about upwards of a 300 percent increase in sales.

Just by changing the headline!

The thing is you’re not going to be able to choose the winning headline from a list of 10 headlines you might have written.  The best marketers in the world cannot predict what headline is going to pull better.

That’s why you need to test at least 2 headlines in a simple split-test, or 3-4 or more in a multivariate test.

So how do you go about this?

Thankfully Google Analytics mades this extremely easy. They have a tool called Google Website Optimizer that allows you to run simple split tests or more complicated multivariate testing.

And the best part: It’s Free!

So what you need to do is write at least 25 headlines and choose 3-4 headlines you want to test.

Why write 25 headlines? Because after 4-5 headlines you’ll start to “warm up” and you’ll start to write better and better headlines. Until you write a couple that are really good.

If you’re going to get a nominal amount of traffic, just split test 2 headlines. But if you’re getting a LOT of traffic, you can do a multivariate test where you’re testing 3 or more headlines.

This is necessary as you need enough conversions to declare a winner, and the more variables you have, the more conversions you need to get statistically significant results.

You can go here to access Google’s Website Optimizer: http://www.google.com/websiteoptimizer. This extra small amount of effort could lead to better conversions and more money in your pocket.

Keep Selling!


Sean McPheat

Internet Marketing Academy

One thought on “Google Analytics Tips: Are You Testing Your Headlines?

  1. Excellent advice. With so many paid tools being promoted online it is easy to forget those that are freely available. A simple case of overlooking the obvious which is a basic human failing that befalls us all from time to time. Just as a matter of interest do you test post titles before publishing? Not sure if Google Analytics would help there but something I often do is write 6-10 possible post titles and put each one into Google search to see what webpages come up on page one.

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