A/B Testing your website – Simple Page Tester

One of the WordPress plugins that I recommend is called Simple Page Tester. Simple Page Tester is a plugin for doing simple split testing between variations of pages.

What is a split testing, also known as A/B testing, you ask?

A/B, or split testing, is where you create two similar versions of one of your pages, such as your home landing page.  WordPress will then randomly serve either of the two pages to your users and then your analytics on both pages will tell you which of the two pages received the best traffic: the best engagement time on page, lowest bounce rate, most conversions. etc.

Then based on the results from both pages, the more effective page of the two is then resubjected to another A/B test, where the design and effectiveness of the page are further refined with another subsequent A/B test with a new variation.  This cycle repeats Ad infinitum.

The incremental improvement of the site is always based on user feedback expressed in the form of actions taken by the users.  With variations between the two pages, for example, one can determine if a signup form should be placed in a different spot in the design based on which of the A/B test pages perform better between the two test designs.

A good introduction to the concept of A/B testing can be found in this article, A Beginner’s Guide To A/B Testing: An Introduction, by Neil Patel.  A/B testing extends beyond web page design into email marketing and direct marketing.  For example, companies have long practiced the activity of test marketing products and advertisements in test markets to gauge their effectiveness before rolling out the marketing campaign nationwide using focus groups.

The reason why A/B testing is a critical part of SEO marketing is that this refinement of your marketing message is the dollar cost savings that digital marketing provides.  Without this crucial step, the websites, email campaigns, and direct advertising efforts are just wild stabs in the dark with every attempt.  True SEO efforts must include this refinement.  Almost by definition, without it, it's not SEO; it's just guessing.  Don't go that route.  Use A/B Testing.

Simple Page Tester, as of May 3rd, 2019, is a freemium product with two premium one-time purchase levels: single site ($59) & unlimited sites ($149).  Both have 1-year of phone support.

“Not Google Analytics” for your site analytics

"Google Analytics is a good tool: it’s free, easy to implement, and has served me well over the years. However, partly because I’m not in love with Big Brother Google looking over the shoulder of all my website visitors, and partly because I like experiments in minimalism, I decided to replace Google Analytics on benhoyt.com with a simple analytics setup based on log file parsing."

https://benhoyt.com/writings/replacing-google-analytics/

So, some customers have expressed hesitancy at providing so much data to Google.

Google Analytics is free, and it provides a detailed analysis of your web site's traffic.  However, it also funnels all of that traffic into Google's data servers to be used for further marketing and sales for Google, in an indirect way.

Remember, if service from a business is free, then you, the user, are the product for some other advertiser.

GoAccess is a simple site parsing tool that lies outside of Googles reach.  It uses the same tech like Google, but it was developed as an open source project.  Open source is the development of software by crowdsourcing volunteers from across the internet.  So, in this crucial aspect, it's free, but not run by a business, so you are not the product for marketers.

yelp! – The Reviews that bite

https://youtu.be/bKka8ZoCDaw

Yelp! gets some negative press.  I have a handful of customers that rail against Yelp!'s business plan of driving down non-active users at the expense of individual reviews.  The problem is that Yelp! hides the reviews of users who are not active, which is prejudice against businesses that are outside of Yelp! target market, namely restaurants.

The issue with Yelp! is that the reviewers are the products and advertisements that Yelp! sells to the advertising businesses for a fee.  If your business has many, hundreds of 5-star reviews from 1-time users, in other words, non-habitual Yelp! users, Yelp will collectively 'hide' all of those reviews and their counts in favor of their habitual reviewers.  My gadget repair shop has hundreds of positive 5-star reviews, but Yelp! only shows less than 70 5-star reviews.  Also, it promotes the 1 or two 1-star reviews, as a means to pressure the shop to advertise for better placement.

Computer Services

If you are experiencing a computer crisis you are in the right place: we can handle any and all of the computer problems you may encounter. Here are some examples of the typical computer troubles our customers may face:

Malware - there are many different names you may hear or see but this one seems to be the most general and all-encompassing and it includes Viruses, Ad-ware, Spyware, Hijackers, Re-directors, Trojans, Worms and many more. It simply describes any of the malicious software that may find its way to your computer and infect it. The results vary widely from merely a nuisance - like slowness or occasional pop-up window to extreme like a blue screen or even a loss of data. The good news is they all can be removed and your computer’s normal operation restored.

Windows Errors – any kind of a Windows message reporting that there is something wrong with your computer. Generaly they take place after your computer has already started. They can be hardware or software related, infrequent or persistent, unimportant to very serious. You may be able to simply cancel them or they may halt your computer dead in its tracks. You can live with some of them for a long time when others will drive you nuts in just a few minutes. You determine when you need to see us. But please no matter what you do make sure you have a backup of your important data files.

System Errors – well, that’s what we call them to differentiate from the Windows errors described above. These are hard errors that prohibit your computer from starting and some of them may actually still be counted as Windows errors – it’s just that they show up when you are booting (starting) your computer and stop it from well, starting. They make your computer plain and simple unusable. You do need to see us with these ones. They fall into two categories – either something malfunctioned in your hardware or Windows got damaged to the point when it can no longer start. Typically it’s too late to backup your data but fortunately most of the time your data can be retrieved. If it’s just a damaged Windows – no big deal, it can be fixed and your data restored. If it is hardware related then the malfunctioning component needs to be replaced – be it hard drive, memory, video adapter, power supply or even a processor. Most of the time it’s well worth repairing. The one exception is the main circuit board (or motherboard) in a newer laptop which usually is very expensive. We will explain your options show you the prices and give you our opinion – you will decide.

Hardware malfunction or failure – Besides the above errors you may experience a hardware malfunction which won’t allow you to see any error messages – your computer simply won’t start or will try to start but nothing will show on the monitor. Your computer may exhibit different behavior depending on what is ailing it – it may not do anything at all – which may indicate a problem with your power supply, it may beep once or more indicating problem with your main board, it may turn on the power light and start the cooling fans but nothing more will happen. There are many different ways the computer may behave but the end result is the same nothing on your screen and that means you have some sort of hardware problem.