Website Content Testing: What to Test & How to Do It

As a web designer we're always into designs layouts and wireframes and we actually spend very little time thinking about content. We know the content needs to be collected, it needs to be added to the website and other than that why give it much thought?

Focusing on the content of a website is actually very important to web design. This is because the website has a very important job which is to communicate with its visitors and help a business achieve its goals.

This is why it's not only important to invest in the right website content but it's also important to test a website's content to make sure it is as effective as possible.

After all we spend time split testing different designs, layouts and even small elements like button shapes, sizes and colors. so why aren't we also testing our content?

You see, testing website content is a way to test the conversation we have with website visitors. Otherwise, how do we know what they really understand?

What makes them respond?

What makes him take a specific action?

This comes down to website content.

The right content should enhance the user. It's not just about providing information but ensuring that information is helpful, relevant and leads the site visitor to the next appropriate action step.

If you would split test or A / B test your web site design,  you can split test your website content.

What Content to Test

Some of the content elements you can test include:

  • Headlines

  • Subheadings

  • Descriptions

  • Paragraphs of text

  • Call-to-action copy 

  • Menu text

  • and even how the content is formatted

Take a website with search engine traffic as an example. By testing the title of the pages you can see a change in the amount of traffic that comes through to the website. No designer layout changes can make this kind of impact. This is why content testing is so important.

As another example, take an e-commerce website. This website has had its product pages A/B split tested conversions are not where the business for like.

Enter website content testing.

The product description, benefits and features are we written and split tested against the current copy.  The website experiences an increase in sales with the improved copy. Based on this test they are able to split test additional products hello invest him copy and see a favorable return. 

Which Pages to Test

Not all pages need to be tested.  The best pages to test are the one with the most traffic and that are set up to convert the most leads and sales. These pages could be:

  • The homepage

  • Product pages

  • Service pages

  • Contact page

  • Appointment page

But to know for sure, open Google Analytics and go to:

Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages

This will list your most visited pages and these are often the best ones to start with because you receive the most traffic and can see the biggest impact from your test.

Another good place to check in Google Analytics is:

Behavior > Site Content > Exit Pages

This is a list of the pages on your website where visitors decide to leave. These are especially good Pages because you want to keep your site visitors on the website as long as possible and lead them to take the action you want.

5 Website Content Testing Tips

Here's a few things to keep in mind when testing your website content.

  1. Pick one piece of content to test at a time. For example if you rewrite an entire blog post, swap out the headline and change the formatting, it will be difficult to identify specifically what works best.

  2. Decide on what a successful outcome is. It's helpful to know what kind of impact do you want the test to have to know it was a success.

  3. Make sure to test content that has enough traffic or give it extra time. If you are testing content that has very little traffic, you won't have much data to go off of. To truly know content is effective, you need to have plenty of traffic coming in or allow the test to run for enough time to collect sufficient data. Ideally having a thousand website visitors come to the specific page or testing and / or have them test run for 2 months are more is ideal.

  4. When testing content also look for important metrics including the difference in:

  • Time on website

  • Number of pages visited

  • Number of goal completions (form fills, phone calls, new subscribers, purchases, etc.)

  1. Run user testing using tools like Loop11 or even conduct on-site surveys to get feedback from actual users.

When to Test

A website’s content can be tested at any time including before the design of the website has even been created. The more regularly content is added to a website that can make a difference to the website’s goals, the more often content can be tested. 

The Cloze Test for Website content

One way to test the website content is by using a Cloze Test. The Cloze Test removes words throughout a piece of content and then you can see if readers are able to fill in the blanks just by reading the article with various blanks. These are especially great to use when you do not yet have a design for a website but want to test the content. 

Tools for Website Content Testing

Website Content Testing Wrap-Up

Website Content Testing will help you grow your website faster as it will help you receive the most incoming traffic, convert the most site visitors and increase your website's traffic. With some easy planning and a little extra effort, website content testing really pays off.

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