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May 19, 2016

Essential Analytics to Turbo-Charge Your CRO #ConvCon

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Krista Seiden is an analytics advocate at Google. She’s spent lots of years as a practitioner of analytics and optimization at Google, the Apollo Group and Adobe. She’s also co-chair of the San Francisco chapter of the Digital Analytics Association.

Here’s her agenda:

  • How Analysis Drives CRO
  • 5 Tips for Accelerating CRO via Analytics
  • Bonus Tip: Rapid Optimization Plan
  • The Future of Testing, Adapting and Personalizing

CRO Analytics session by Krista Seiden

How Analysis Drives Optimization

What is optimization? Conversion rate optimization is the ongoing, data-driven process of continually discovering what works for your consumer.

Testing or analysis? Whether testing or analysis is appropriate depends on the question you’re asking or the hypothesis you have. You can use analytics to justify the test you want to run.

Conversion Rate Optimization process

Conversion rate optimization requires analytics and testing.

Why don’t people convert? There are many factors that can contribute to low conversion rate:

  1. User experience
  2. Site content and personalization
  3. Actionable web analytics
  4. Development resources

Next, she’ll give five tips for accelerating CRO via analytics.

Tip #1: Implement Ways to Track CRO

Email testing: Use campaign tagging to distinguish variations. Use campaign tracking to tag calls to action (CTAs) on buttons and links from email to test different headlines or email copy.

Ad testing: Use the utm_content slot to denote the ad variation. She usually describes the special offer — it’ll add a lot of light to your analysis later on.

Social media testing: Tag each post with unique campaign parameters to ensure you can track back to find out which individual post and channel are driving the highest conversions.

Use the dataLayer to collect test IDs. If you’re using a tag management system, you’ll have a data layer.

Tip #2: Set Up Analytics Goals to Track CRO Success

In analytics, you can set goals and create a funnel for that goal.

CRO funnel

Example of a three-step CRO funnel

In this slide, we see that it’s a three-page sign-up flow. She actually has set goals for each of those steps (micro conversions) leading to the user completing the final goal, signing up (macro conversion).

Tip #3: Your Site Can Tell You What’s Important

Site Search will tell you what topics people are looking for on your site. Take that information and use it to determine your roadmap for different posts you’re going to write.

Heat maps can pinpoint areas to optimize. The Crazyegg confetti report of where and when people click even lets you sort by time to click. How long does it take a visitor to click what you want? Are they clicking on what you want, or are they distracted by something else on the page?

Tip #4: Use Key Google Analytics Reports

The Devices report (in Google Analytics) lets you look at where conversions came from. Do you need to spend more time optimizing the mobile experience?

Browser reports and the Browser Version report tell you if your performance varies based on browser types and versions.

The Site Search report lets you create a custom report and see when people search for something and also convert. Then you can create more content about that topic.

Fallout Funnel is her favorite report. You can zoom in on the flow and see where the drop offs are happening in the funnel.

A few other report ideas:

  • Look for high traffic, high bounce rate landing pages and segment these to find out if performance varies by demographic, browser, device or other factors (such as location).
  • Use custom funnels to identify user drop off through your path to conversion.

Tip #5: Qualitative Surveys as CRO Tie-breakers

Add to quantitative testing and analysis with qualitative feedback. The combination is powerful. You can ask how satisfied they are with multiple choices of satisfaction levels and ask what the main reason they visited today was. You can also ask who they are, and that gives you another lens to analyze the data against.

Bonus Tip: Analytics to the Rescue with a Rapid Optimization Plan

She explains that over two years, they ran a lot of tests before launching a site redesign: 453 unique variations, 159 unique tests, 25 locales and 4 different product lines. The result was 50+ key learnings.

What they tested:

  • CTAs
  • Headlines (see variants in slide below)
  • Images
  • Grids for pricing
  • Demos
CRO testing with headline variations

CRO testing involving 5 headline variations

“If we see a 5 percent increase in sign-ups, then we’ll launch the new site,” she says. They didn’t reach the 5 percent mark; the sign-ups were flat. So she dove into analytics. She saw that they might want to change the button color to the old style. They changed the color of the icons. They also found a video that was a blank part of the page if the user scrolled too quickly. They addressed these three items and tested again, and this time they did see the 5 percent increase they were looking for — test validated.

Read Krista’s article for more details: Rapid Optimization Plan Blog Post

The Future of Analytics, CRO and Testing

It’s easier to have an engaging conversation in the offline world. Online it’s more difficult, but we have analytics to slice and dice our traffic. Even still, we serve people the same web experience even though we know they are different and have preferences.

Google Optimize 360 customizes your site by customer.

Google Optimize 360 for CRO

Personalization is the big bonus of Optimize 360. You can use the audience segments built in GA to target experiences to different customers on the web. If you’re a travel brand, you can segment your customers by different levels of spend. You can target people on the site and give them a different experience.

Next, she explains how Google Optimize 360 makes enterprise-level testing and personalization simple. It’s because they designed it to integrate (“best-in-class”) with the Google Analytics 360 Suite and other Google products:

  • Simple to use from start to finish
  • With powerful testing and personalization capabilities that support sophisticated needs
  • Enabling users to act on all their data seamlessly.

Because this is the scenario we all want to get to:

CRO testing process path


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One response to “Essential Analytics to Turbo-Charge Your CRO #ConvCon”

  1. nandu web writes:

    Nice tips and informative..Thank you for sharing!!



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