Learn Your Audience, Improve Your Results
Question: Can you increase orders without increasing traffic? Throughout the awareness, consideration, buy and search phase, testing your content allows you to do more with the same amount of traffic.
Testing isn't a new concept. Businesses have been using direct mail and the good old postal service for years to test the difference between two different consumer offers/experiences.
Google launched its website optimizing tools several years ago, and recently embedded directly into Google Analytics. Since then, tools like Visual Website Optimizer and Optimizely have hit the market. Website testing has joined the other classic forms of marketing testing, so let's get started.
Getting Started with Testing
Testing begins with identifying the areas of your site that don't perform. One of the first ways people do this is to look at the top entrance pages for your site and find the pages that don't perform.
Bounce rate is a good metric to identify poorly performing pages, but it's important to assess pages for business value, too. Creating a custom report and pulling in both metrics that denote negative experiences (e.g., bounce rate) and positive experiences (e.g., conversion rate) helps to illustrate a larger picture. Adding in supporting metrics such as source and medium gives you even more insights into why people are bouncing or converting.
Conversion Case Studies
Justin shared a case study about a financial client looking to get more customers to engage with their product. They used a number of different classic video games to drive the creative of their landing page. Ultimately, it was the Angry Birds screen that produced the most amount of conversions.
Amari is travel brand featured in Justin's presentation. They started with a generic landing page for their services. The analytics data showed that a large percentage of their site's visitors would only visit once. That data drove a more engaging landing page for the test, which produced a 44% conversion lift.
Running a Test
Once you know what you want to test, you need to determine your testing strategy. A/B/n testing helps to test out wide ranging ideas, while a multi-variate test allows you to test individual page elements with the precision of a scalpel.
There are a number of conversion testing tools out there, but some things will remain the same. Select the goal of your test (e.g., a specific conversion, engagement, etc.) and determine the percentage of your website visitors will see your test.
Now you're ready to launch the test.
Justin insists that your testing software uses a "magic blender" to combine and serve all of your variations throughout the duration of your test, but by that I'm sure he probably meant "math."
It's pretty easy to get started, and it's going to become more and more important as marketing efforts in the industry increase. Perhaps you'll run your first test soon?
Mobile Marketing Conversion Optimization
Next up is my good friend Angie Schomuller to discuss mobile CRO. Ultimately conversion is about whether people are taking the actions you're hoping they'll take.
Mobile requires us to think differently about conversion. 40% of your consumers turn to a competitor's site after a bad mobile experience. CRO isn't just an opportunity. It's a necessity.
A Not-So-Mobile Plan
It's not just about mobile anymore. Screen sizes, touch screens, and the ability to place phone calls are all the underlying device questions we should be asking ourselves instead of focusing on whether someone is on an iPhone or an Android. You need a CRO plan for devices in general, not just mobile.
"Content is only king in the right kingdom of context." Mobile websites and responsive design are great and all, but their growth outpaces their adoption. You have to perform additional analysis to prepare.
Mobile device detection and mobile analytics (e.g., Bango, Percent Mobile, and Amethon) are additional tools to consider as you plan your device testing efforts. Use jQuery instead of Flash because it works like a charm with mobile sites whereas Flash does not.
Minimal use of colors on a mobile device is critical. Clean up the color palette on your mobile sites because the smaller screen can create clutter. Reserve one color for your call-to-action and use it only for your calls-to-action. Make tasks simple to perform and above-the-fold, or at least add text to inform the user to scroll.
Mobile devices typically render things that look like phone numbers as phone numbers. Use this to your advantage on mobile sites because mobile users are task-oriented.
Finally geo-location presents limitless opportunities to customize and tailor your experience on a mobile device.
The SESNY Landing Page Optimization session highlighted amazing ideas for any conversion rate optimizers. Check out Justin's and Angie's slides as a great primer for getting started.