Websites have many interests represented. I.T., Marketing, Sales, and other departments have opinions and needs for the company website, so the last thing that they need in this case is a search expert coming in from the outside and tweaking pages – saying “just trust me.” For this reason, off-site-testing is an ideal way to accumulate data that can be presented to all invested parties.
With a suite of good A/B testing methods and tools, combined with the power of pay-per-click or CPM traffic, it’s possible to create a compelling list of requests with a high return on effort spent.
Offers & Pricing
Cross-Sell & Up-Sell
…can be done without disruption of your internal organization. The nature of these pages means they are low-investment. The development of the ideas may not be as “polished” as the same idea realized on your production website, but sufficient that tests are valid. The key of course is to obtain statistically-significant sample sizes and make good decisions on test sets.
The biggest mistake, according to Dr. Flint McGlaughlin, the Director of MEC Labs, is to end the tests early, and by having the experiments occurring out of the mainstream of pressure, better testing can be done – perhaps for sufficient duration to obtain a good sample size. In fact – sometimes the internal players (I.T., others) forget about the testing completely – and are pleased to have no extra work to do in support of it.Â Sometimes it’s a stealth test, where an outside firm is used to test a concept for one department so that they have “ammunition” to take their case to their boss or opposing faction*. By the time the data about changes is gathered, and winning solutions established, there is excitement about integrating change into the main site.
*Stealth-Ops Testing: Offsite testing can be outsourced when an internal department has a case to prove, but don’t really want to “stir the pot” internally.Â Here, outsourcing the testing itself can be a strong advantage.Â We are willing to use aliases, use cryptography in communications, and set up lookouts during meetings…… Kidding.