In my book Web Metrics, I advocate the “Try It, Measure It, Tweak It” method of Web site design. While “TIMITI” will never catch on as an acronym, the idea is simple and can have a profound impact on the success of your site.
The premise may be simple, but the implementation is challenging. Still, there's some new technology making the whole thing a lot more intriguing.
Let's say you buy a pay-per-click keyword on a search engine. You direct the people who click to a specific landing page. That page has an astonishingly large number of variables, including these:
- Window size
- Load time
- Background color
- Font styles
- Font sizes
- Over all layout
- Subsection layout
- Tone of copy
- Length of copy
And the list goes on (yes, I'm getting bored, too).
The TIMITI method suggests coming up with a combination of the above that you feel is the best possible. So try it. Put it online and measure the bejeepers out of it.
Measure clickthroughs, pageviews, revenues, and any other reviews you choose to pursue. Then tweak it. Pick one (and only one) variable and change it (and only it).
Then put your new landing page online and try it again... and measure the bejeepers out of it again.
The hard part is keeping your hands, and the hands of your creative agency, the Java programmers in the back room, the receptionist, the CEO and every other Tom, Dick and Harriet off all the other variables. Change only the background color, or just the font and nothing else. That way, over time, you'll find out which variable makes the biggest difference.