Best Practice: a pinch of salt!

Jun 17, 2012 by
Best Practice: a pinch of salt!

The web is full of people asserting themselves. (Fact!) And web marketing, with its plethora of “gurus”, is no exception, especially when it comes to best practices. But how do you know when best practices are really the best for your business?

pinch of saltThe simple answer is that you can’t. However, what you can do is start with accepted best practices and get testing. For example, it might be recommended to put prices into your AdWords copy. This seems plausible enough; you might only want people to click on your adverts if they know the price is right in advance. This is fine as far as it goes, but the truth is that all niches and all businesses are different. So, by all means, start with the best practice (you have to start somewhere, after all), but don’t take it as gospel. Always test! It’s surprising how often those best practices turn out to be no good for one business when they worked fine for another.

This doesn’t just go for best practice advice, of course. Best practice tends to be the most deceptive, as it’s asserted most strongly, but the real rule is always to be testing. This is especially easy with things such as newsletters and AdWords copy, but can be much harder in other areas. There are tools to help the small business owner though. Google recently announced new free testing facilities built into Analytics, and there are also much more powerful products available, such as Visual Website Optimizer. So there is no valid excuse not to be testing!

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