Don’t Panic!

The worst thing you can do as a website owner is to constantly make lots of little changes.

The best thing you can do as a website owner is to constantly make lots of little changes.

You need to know what works on your website, and what doesn't. And your visitor statistics will help you find out. But if you keep making changes on an ongoing basis, you'll never know for sure. I've just put up a change on my own site, and I've realised that it will be really hard to tell if it's going to work or not.

Unless you just love multivariate analysis, it's much better to let things run for a few weeks to really find out what fires up your visitors. Statistics are strange things, and you can get really big swings from one week to the next. The standard deviation is bigger than you think.

So before you panic, and jump around the place changing stuff on your site, just take a deep breath and make sure you know what's happening right now. Measure twice, cut once. Make lots of changes, but make each change deliberately, in a way you can measure. Try to space things out, or makes changes that are independent. Lots of little improvements over time add up to big sales, but you don't want to go for a random walk either.

So be zen about your site. You may know something is wrong. You may have seen someone try to use your site and flounder. You may think you need a new colour scheme. You may even think you need an onsite avatar (no, don't go there!). But make sure you can tell the difference between before and after.

(And the change I made? I put links to my solution-focused tutorials on the top left, above the boring standard navigation menu. I'm sure it'll work, but I've mixed it in with other changes and it'll all be too hard to untangle.)

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