You may feel very strongly that your website should look a certain way. But the fact is, it doesn’t matter what you think. It doesn’t matter what your designer thinks, either. And it doesn’t matter what your webmaster thinks. What matters is what your customers think. And the best way to find out what they think of the design of any aspect of your website is to test it.

Google has an excellent, totally underutilized, free tool called Google Website Optimizer. This software allows you to continually test different combinations of your site’s content – both text and images – to determine how small changes might increase the number of people buying from you.

Whether you use this tool or some other method to test your design elements, DO test them. Testing gives you an objective measurement of how your customers think. Once you know what works – and doesn’t work – with them, you can mix and match to improve the performance of your website and online marketing campaigns.

[Ed. Note: David Cross is Senior Internet Consultant to Agora Inc. in Baltimore . You can meet all your marketing goals – and achieve all your personal, social, financial, and business dreams – with the help of ETR’s Total Success Achievement program.]

Although David hails from Blackpool, England – which is often referred to as the “Las Vegas of England” – he shunned a career in show business and instead followed a meandering career path overflowing with “life’s great experiences,” working or living in over 20 countries along the way. Chef, teacher of Transcendental Meditation, guest presenter on QVC, earthquake relief volunteer, CEO of a web hosting company, marketer at a radio station and all combined with years of direct marketing, PR and sales experience for clients as diverse as health food stores, small charities and right up to multinational public companies. David brought unique talent and experience to his role for six years as Senior Internet Consultant to Agora Publishing Group. Working closely with Agora’s publishers and marketers to test new ideas and marketing campaigns, Agora’s Internet revenues topped $200 million in 2007. David understands and can communicate fluently with creative “right-brain” marketers and analytical “left-brain” IT and software teams, all with equal ease. He has a proven track record for generating results and creative thinking and excels at making trouble to find new ways of making things happen! He lives on a small farm close to Mount Hood in Oregon with his wife Cinda, a veterinarian, and their four children and a menagerie of animals (no more, please!). When not marketing or brainstorming you’ll find David following a dream of self-sufficiency for food, power and water within 10 years, tending the land and caring for the farm and animals. Not surprisingly, David is an engaging and knowledgeable speaker with many amusing anecdotes from his work and travels over the years.