Techniques for Optimizing Your SMB Website

Kamal Thakarsey
September 24, 2012
AB Landing Page Testing

“Why aren't we testing more on our website, {insert SMB marketer name}?” Sound familiar? No one can question the value of a solid testing plan and the long term benefits it can reap for your company. However, SMB marketers within their organizations face big challenges in how to strategize for website testing and optimization. Some of the bigger issues that arise include low traffic volume to websites, not enough conversions to reach statistical significance within a reasonable timeframe, and tight budgets that put testing tools out of reach. Here are a few ideas to consider as you develop your testing plan with these challenges in mind.

Pick Your Spots

Analyze your web analytics data and understand which pages generate the most traffic and conversions. Based on your web metrics, pick the ideal number of variables you can reasonably test. Your homepage is an obvious place to start, but it’s surprising to hear how often I come across colleagues or industry peers that want to test on secondary pages yet have no idea those pages generate only a handful conversions a month. To get the most impact as part of your testing plan, consider A/B testing over multivariate testing and try for more radical design concepts to test against your control.

Test Strategically Across Web Assets

One thing I’ve learned about website optimization is to leverage all available channels for gathering and applying findings. A website may not get a million visitors a month, but when you start adding website visitors, direct and organic, to display ad and paid search clicks, you can start understanding overall site performance a lot faster than individually testing each program.

I tend to leave website pages for larger impact variables such as layout, forms, and buttons. I’ll test messaging in some display and paid search campaigns to get a sense of what visitors may be responding to and apply my findings to the website. Every test has a reason and every learning, good or bad, should be logged in a testing repository. If you haven’t created one, it’s time to start organizing your findings in an easily accessible and reviewable format.

Industry Analysis

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. And, while we’re all trying to leave our own mark in everything we do, it’s always a best practice to make sure you understand what is happening in your industry and on other well respected websites. I generally like to keep tabs on several thought leading companies to see what the next new online trends will be. Websites such as,, and (my old employer where we tested A LOT!) are just a few of the great companies I reference for ideas on my next big test. Grab ideas but be sure to test elements that best suits your audience and business objectives. What works for someone else, may not work for you.

Final Thoughts

Website testing and optimization remains an important part of the game plan for all online marketers, regardless of company size or the number of daily visitors. For those of you with less than ideal traffic for testing, I hope some of these suggestions can help jump-start your testing strategy and make it a higher priority moving forward. Continuing to optimize your website will result in a positive impact on your bottom line; increasing conversion from your marketing programs and helping to counter budget limitations and rising media costs. One thing I didn’t cover was the paid tools and vendors that can assist you with testing and optimization. If you’ve had success with third-party tools, I would love to hear your experiences in the comments section below.

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