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Taking The Guesswork Out Of Website Optimisation


Published on

A practical approach to evaluating website performance, focusing on:

1. How to isolate usability issues and identify conversion rate improvements

2. Website testing methodologies (A/B & MVT) and how to start an in-house testing program

3. Some Conversion Rate Optimisation tips

Published in: Marketing, Technology, Design

Taking The Guesswork Out Of Website Optimisation

  1. 1. Taking  The  Guesswork  Out  Of   Website  Op6misa6on  (CRO)   [A  business  case  for  Digital  Improvement]   January  2014   Nathan  Raward  
  2. 2. Focus  of  this  session…   1.  Outline  a  structured  approach  to:   •  Evalua6ng  website  performance     •  Isola6ng  usability  issues   •  Iden6fying  conversion  rate  improvements   2.  Provide  an  overview  of:   •  Website  tes6ng  methodologies  (A/B  &  MVT)   •  How  to  start  an  in-­‐house  tes6ng  program   3.  Share  some  Conversion  Rate  Op6misa6on  6ps:   •  Key  op6misa6on  themes   •  Specific  elements  for  tes6ng  
  3. 3. Taking  The  Guesswork  Out  Of  Website  Op6misa6on…   1.  SEO  &  adver6sing  will  bring  users   to  your  site  but  will  they  convert…?   2.  Fixing  underlying  usability  issues   will  improve  the  conversion  baseline     4.  An  established  CRO  program  can   help  mi6gate  guesswork  altogether   3.  Running  ini6al  A/B  tests  will  help   to  reveal  conversion  levers   Website  Op6misa6on  relies  on  validated  learning  (data,  insights  &  experience)  to   de-­‐risk  design  decisions  and  provide  a  higher  probability  of  success  
  4. 4. Validated  learning  helps  us  to  avoid  these  familiar  scenarios…   “Hi.P.P.O  Effect”:     Doing  what  the  boss   wants  –  not  what’s  best   for  customers   “Form  over  Func:on”:     When  aesthe6cs  become   more  important  than   conversions     “Paralysis  by  Analysis”:     Relying  on  data  sources   that  are  too  subjec6ve  or   not  representa6ve  of   actual  customers  
  5. 5. Why  Op6mise?:  To  be  compe66ve  >  mediocre  is  not  good  enough…   Industry   •  Online  ad  spend  >$1  billion  for   the  first  6me  in  Q3  2013.  A   25%  increase  vs  2012  (6)   •  Mobile  adver6sing   represented  11%  of  total   •  200%  increase  in  new  online   store  openings  vs  2010  (2)   Technology   •  Smart  phones  &  tablets  now   represent  38%  of  daily  UVs  (7)   •  Shin  from  apps  to  responsive  /   adap6ve  design  and  Paid  apps   on  the  decline  (9)   •  Big  Data,  Cloud  Compu6ng   etc.  (power,  scale  &  flexibility)   (1)  (2)  (3)  (4)  (5)  (6)  Users   •  94%  Australians  have  internet   access  (6)  &  >70%  have  bought   online  (3)   •  $15bn  spent  online  in  2013  (1)   •  Average  Australian  carries  2.6   devices  (8),  while  over  3.3M  are   mobile  only  users  (4)   Website  Owners  /  Company   •  74%  believe  UX  is  key  for   improving  sales  (5)   •  94%  say  personalisa6on  is   cri6cal  (5)  but  only  25%   integrate  their  DB  &  site  (3)   •  70%  of  those  conduc6ng  A/B   tests  saw  CVR%  increase  (5)   hpp://­‐shoppers-­‐spent-­‐15-­‐billion-­‐online-­‐report/story   hpp://­‐data-­‐explains-­‐booming-­‐australian-­‐e-­‐commerce/   hpp://­‐australian-­‐ecommerce-­‐nine-­‐stats-­‐you-­‐might-­‐have-­‐missed   hpp://­‐cut-­‐the-­‐cord-­‐the-­‐rise-­‐of-­‐mobile-­‐only-­‐users/   hpp://­‐100-­‐amazing-­‐stats-­‐from-­‐econsultancy-­‐s-­‐2013-­‐reports   hpp://­‐/media/IAB/Files/OAER%20exe%20summary/PwC%20IAB%20OAER%20Sept %202013%20exe%20summary.ashx   (7)  (8)  (9)  hpp://­‐/media/ 2444182B69B34BDF9A91C01EBE71A8A9.pdf   hpp://­‐wozniak-­‐infographic/   hpp://­‐apps-­‐on-­‐the-­‐decline-­‐90-­‐of-­‐ios-­‐apps-­‐are-­‐free-­‐up-­‐from-­‐80-­‐84-­‐ during-­‐2010-­‐2012-­‐says-­‐flurry  
  6. 6. So  what  does  a  good  website  look  like?   What  Customers  want   What  Companies  want   Website  that  is  easy   and  fun  to  use     Best  product,  price,   delivery,  service   More  traffic     &  customers   More  sales  &   conversions   Relevant,  engaging   &  targeted  content   All  day,  everyday   access  to  support   More  sales  /   customer  (LTV)   Lower  CPA  &    cost-­‐to-­‐serve   Joined-­‐up   experiences   Personalised   experiences   Best  Omni-­‐channel   experiences   Defensible   differen6a6on   Finding  the  right  balance  between  what  customers  and  companies  want  plus     the  mastery  of  several  founda6onal  /  transforma6onal  approaches:   Analy6cs  &     Insight   User-­‐Centred     Design   Sonware     Development   Flexible  &  Scalable   Platorms   Op6misa6on   ‘Test  &  Learn’  
  7. 7. Ok  –  so  what  does  a                          website  look  like?  
  8. 8. Website  Op:misa:on  Process:  How  to  get  to  good…   Clarify  Website  Purpose  &  Proposi6on   Define  Business  Outcomes  &  Baseline   Website  Analysis  (Quan6ta6ve,  Qualita6ve  &  Capabili6es)     Isolate  issues  &  iden6fy  improvements   Rank  &  Priori6se  Website  Changes   Design,  Iterate  &  Validate   Test!  Test!  Test!  (Op6mise)   Learn,  Report,  Repeat  
  9. 9. Clarify  Website  Purpose  &  Proposi:on   Objec:ves:   •  What  is  the  purpose  of  the  site?   •  What  does  it  do?   •  Who  is  it  for?   •  What  customer  need/s  does  it   serve?   •  What  is  the  core  value   proposi6on?   Outcomes:   •  Valida6on  of  whether  the   intent  of  the  website  &   value  proposi6ons  are   communicated  clearly  and   in  an  appropriate  way  for   the  target  audiences  (&  a   list  of  ini6al  improvement   ideas…)  
  10. 10. Define  Business  Outcomes  &  Baseline   •  •  •  •  Define  Success  metrics  (KPI’s)  that  directly  or  indirectly  impact  business  performance   Examples;  bounce  rate,  visits,  transac6ons,  revenue,  AOV,  CVR%  (mul6ple)   Develop  a  scorecard  to  show  performance  vs.  target  &  prior  week,  month  &  year   USE  IT!   ILLUSTRATIVE  
  11. 11. Website  Analysis  (Quan:ta:ve)   •  Visualize  user  flows  across  key  journeys  &  conversion  funnels  (Web  Analy6cs)   •  Iden6fy  problem  areas;  where  users  bounce,  drop-­‐out  or  don’t  convert   1   Bounce:  xx%   Journey   Objec:ve   Grab  apen6on   Browse   Conversion   Objec:ves:   Improve  site   s6ckiness   Step   Home  page   xxx  (?%)   Drop-­‐off:   2   ?%   Review  /  Filter   Category  Pages   Increase  intent   Product  Pages   xxx  (?%)   ?%   Incen6vise   Add  to  basket   xxx  (?%)   ?%   xxx  (?%)   3   Facilitate   Checkout   xxx  (?%)   ?%   Reassure   Buy   Convert  more   browsers  into   buyers   Purchase   xxx  (?%)   ?%   [Simplified  e-­‐commerce  view:  many  journeys  will  not  be  so  linear]   Reduce  cart  /   checkout   abandonment  
  12. 12. Website  Analysis  (Qualita:ve)   UX  Audit:  Template-­‐based  checklists  can  help   Expert  (Heuris:cs)  Review:  iden6fy  usability   to  iden6fy  major  usability  issues   issues  and  opportuni6es  for  improvement   1   2   3   TECHNICAL:   DESIGN:   NAVIGATION:   4   5   6   CONTENT:   E-­‐COMMERCE:   AVOIDANCES:   simple   intui6ve   engaging   suppor6ve   accessible   efficient   Econsultancy   Usage  Scenarios  &  Task  Analysis:  Define   scenarios  &  step-­‐thru  tasks  to  isolate  issues   Benchmarking:  Review  compe6tor  websites   to  iden6fy  gaps  and  generate  ideas  
  13. 13. Website  Analysis  (Capabili:es  Assessment)   To  be  successful  it’s  essen6al  to  have  the  right  mix  of:     People   Processes   Platorms   A  website  is  only  as  good  as   its  developers,  UX  team  etc:     Without  effec:ve  process   there  is  no  progress:     Technology  underpins  great   experiences:     •  Make  sure  you  have  the   right  skills  to  deliver     •  Embed  User-­‐Centred   Design  (UCD)  prac6ces   within  agile  /  waterfall   •  Device  agnos6c  (flexible)   •  Ability  to  scale  &  integrate   •  Performance  (load  speed)   •  Data  processing   •  Do  a  diagnos6c  scan   •  HTML5,  CSS3,  Jscript  etc.   •  UX,  Designers,  strategists   •  Establish  a  ‘Test  &  Learn’   culture  (fail  fast)  
  14. 14. Isolate  Issues  &  Iden:fy  Improvements   Issues:  for  immediate  remedia6on  where  the   solu6on  &  benefit  is  clear  (the  ‘no-­‐brainers’)   Improvements:  where  the  benefit  needs  to   be  validated  (tested!)  before  implementa6on     Usability  (fix)   •  •  •  Making  websites  more  user-­‐friendly  &   intui6ve  to  help  customers  more  easily   complete  key  tasks  and  navigate  the  site   Improvements  are  logical  and  can  be   validated  using  qualita6ve  techniques  in   test  /  pre-­‐produc6on  environments   Conversion  gains  generally  moderate   Op6misa6on  (test)   •  •  •  Understanding  how  content  influences   user  behaviour  in  order  to  maximise  pre-­‐ determined  business  outcomes   Improvements  are  based  on  hypotheses   that  require  valida6on  using  quan6ta6ve   techniques  in  a  live  environment   Conversions  gains  can  be  significant  
  15. 15. Apemp6ng  to  op6mize  conversion  rates  before  fixing   major  usability  issues  is  as  pointless  as…   Fix  your   website   dude!  
  16. 16. No  really  -­‐  apemp6ng  to  op6mize  conversion  rates   before  fixing  major  usability  issues  is  as  pointless  as…   Fix  your   website   dude!  
  17. 17. Rank  &  Priori:se  Website  Changes   HIGH   MEDIUM   LOW   User  Experience  impact   VERY  HIGH   Assessing  the  rela6ve  importance  of  changes  based  on  their  an6cipated  impact  on  user   experience  /  conversions  and  the  effort  required  to  implement  them:   4 n 8 n n 10 n n n Low   Priority   VERY  DIFFICULT   n DIFFICULT   4.  MEDIUM   Implementa1on  complexity   9 Prominent  value  prop   5.  Live  Chat   Social  Login   New  template   Accordion  menus   9.  n n n 6 Add  reviews   7.  7 Reposi6on  CTA   3.  5 Single  page  checkout   2.  2 1.  8.  3 n n Top  10  Changes   6.  n n High   Priority   1 CTA  message   10.  Improved  copy   n EASY       [ILLUSTRATIVE]   n FIX   n TEST  
  18. 18. Design,  Iterate  &  Validate   The  extent  to  which  any  changes  will  impact  a  websites  visual  design  will  determine  what   artefacts,  itera6on  &  level  of  user  valida6on  is  required:   Paper   sketch   Usability   Low   fidelity   High   fidelity   Working   prototype   high   usage   Implement   low   Op6misa6on   high   usage   low   Test!  
  19. 19. Test!  Test!  Test!  |  Think  BIG  Start  Small  (A/B)   A/B  Tes6ng   Mul6variate  Tes6ng  (MVT)   vs   BUY  NOW   A  (50%  traffic)   B  (50%  traffic)   BUY  NOW   2^3  =  8  varia6ons  (12.5%  traffic  each)   •  Can  be  run  on  websites  with  moderate  traffic   •  High  traffic  requirements  (depending  #  vars)   •  Test  2  varia6ons  at  a  6me  (control  vs   challenger)   •  Test  poten6ally  thousands  of  varia6ons   (treatments)   •  Good  for  tes6ng  broad  concepts  /  themes   •  Good  for  tes6ng  granular  elements   •  Planning  &  resources  required  =  LOW   •  Planning  &  resources  required  =  HIGH(ish)   •  Provides  limited  insights  into  why  winning   version  is  beper  (effects  confounded)   •  Allows  individual  contribu6on  of  website   elements  on  CVR%  to  be  measured   ALWAYS  test  vs.  the  control  (original)!  
  20. 20. Test!  Test!  Test!  |  A  Quick  Overview  of  MVT   A  brief  history  of  MVT:   •  1930’s:  Design  of  Experiments  (DoE)  stats   method  developed  by  Sir  Ronald  A  Fisher   Types  of  MVT:   Full  factorial   •  1950’s:  Manufacturing  process  applica6on   developed  by  Genichi  Taguchi   •  Show  all  possible   test  varia6ons   •  1990’s:  First  applied  in  an  online  marke6ng   •  Detect  main  &   context  (website  experiments)   interac6on  effects   Frac6onal  factorial   •  Show  a  subset  of   test  varia6ons   •  Confounding  issue   •  Taguchi  method   Vendor  Profiles:  From  the  big  4  to  00’s  players   Vendor  selec:on  criteria:   Bought  Omniture  in  09  who   bought  Offerma6ca  in  07   Service  level   Full,  self  or  par6al  (local  support?)   Cost   Enterprise,  PAYG   Bought  Memetrics  &   Maxamine  in  2008   Deployment   Client-­‐side,  server-­‐side   Bought  Interwoven  in  09   who  bought  Op6most  in  07   Methodology   Taguchi,  Choice  modeling,  proprietary     Interface  (ease)   HTML,  WYSIWYG   Bought  Widemile  in  2009   hpp://www.conversion-­‐rate-­‐­‐tes6ng-­‐sonware/   Integra6on   Web  Analy6cs,  3rd  party  s/ware,  CRM   Segmenta6on   Browser,  cookie  parameters,  custom  
  21. 21. Test!  Test!  Test!  |  How  To  Run  Tests  In-­‐house   The  Team   Op:misa:on  lead     •  Runs  experiment  w/shops   •  Manages  tes6ng  roadmap   The  Process   Plan   •  Test  page   •  CRO  outcomes   Stats  Lead  /  Analyst   •  Iden6fies  areas  for  tes6ng   •  Analyses  experiment  results   •  Hypotheses   •  Experiment   design   •  Workshop   Web  /  UX  /  UI  Designers   •  Creates  mockups  /  concepts   •  Develops  test  varia6ons   Tech  /  implementa:on  lead   •  Server-­‐side  coding   •  Deploys  experiments   •  [advanced  experiments  only]   Setup   •  Develop   crea6ve   elements   •  Verify   treatments   •  Tracking   Run   •  Run  un6l  sign.   result  achieved   •  Minimum  of  2   weeks  (ex.  A/B)   •  Avoid   seasonality   Analyse   •  Analyse  results   •  Sense-­‐check   findings   •  Present  results   •  Archive  results   Experiment  design  /  dura:on  is  determined  by:   •  Available  sample  (traffic  &  base  CVR%)   •  Sta6s6cal  confidence  (probability  of  detec6ng  an  effect   in  the  sample)  typically  90-­‐95%   •  Rela6ve  effects  (%  difference  between  vars  &  control)   •  Number  of  varia6ons  tested  (depth  &  breadth)   Sample  size  calculator:   hpp://­‐split-­‐test-­‐dura6on/  
  22. 22. CRO  Tips  |  Key  Op:misa:on  Themes       Although  each  company’s  website,  offerings  and  users  are  different,  the  following  themes  /   hypotheses  can  be  applied  to  improve  most  online  experiences  &  conversion  rates:   Optimisation goal Benefits to users Benefit to company Journeys   Help  users  get  from  A  to  B  as  quickly  and  effortlessly   as  possible   More  streamlined   experiences   •  Lower  bounce  rates   •  Lower  abandonment   Templates   Present  content  in  a  way  that  allows  it  to  be  easily   seen,  read  and  understood   Improved  presenta6on  of   content   •  Higher  engagement   •  Longer  sessions   Calls  to   Ac6on   Provide  clear  signposts  that  help  users  to  navigate   through  the  site  and  complete  desired  outcomes   Clearer  indica6ons  of   where  &  what  to  click       •  Lower  abandonment   •  Increased  CVR%   Content   Provide  relevant  and  engaging  content  to  increase   purchase  intent  &  help  virtualise  product  ownership   More  relevant,  engaging  &   targeted  experiences   •  Longer  sessions   •  More  repeat  visits   Features   Provide  features  that  help  users  to  understand  the   available  op6ons  and  make    informed  decisions   Beper  comprehension  of   content   •  Higher  engagement   •  Increased  CVR%   Offers   Incen6vise  users  with  offers  that  make  the  decision   to  complete  the  desired  outcome  more  appealing   Greater  perceived  value   &/or  benefits   •  Increased  revenue   •  X-­‐sell,  up-­‐sell,  AOV  
  23. 23. Templates   Journeys   CRO  Tips  |  Ideas  For  Tes:ng  (ALWAYS  vs.  control)   Streamline  user  flows  (Create  simple  /  linear  /  logical  journeys)   •  Journey  length:  try  removing  any  steps  that  appear  redundant   •  Links:  avoid  new  pages,  tabs,  windows  for  more  info  (use  accordions,  tool6ps  etc.)   •  SEO  Landing  Pages:  must  feed  into  conversions  journeys  (to  minimise  bounces)   •  Naviga:on:  Breadcrumbs  /  Back  &  Next  /  Show  ‘n’  /  Lazy  Loading   Minimise  path  to  purchase  (Single-­‐page  checkout  &  floa6ng  cart)   •  Form  length:  test  a  shorter  form  (above-­‐fold)   •  No.  of  steps:  try  3,4,5  steps  with  all  but  1st  step  collapsed  /  inac6ve   •  No.  of  fields:  try  removing  redundant  fields  e.g.  addi6onal  phone  numbers   •  Guest  checkout:  allow  users  to  skip  account  crea6on   Design  for  the  fold  (768  pixels)   •  Hero  image:  test  a  shorter  banner  to  surface  more  content   •  CTA:  posi6on  main  CTAs  above  the  fold   •  Accordions:  try  bringing  more  sec6ons  above  the  fold   •  Scroll:  intersect  the  fold  with  content  so  users  know  they  have  to  scroll   Do  more  with  less  (Reduce  cluper)   •  Content  volume:  test  fewer  content  sec6ons  (7  +/-­‐  2)  to  reduce  cogni6ve  load   •  Content  density:  try  using  images,  bullets,  accordions  instead  of  heavy  text   •  Visual  hierarchy:  try  using  borders,  shading  &  white  space  to  priori6se  content   •  Product  pages:  vary  posi6on  &  size  of  content  allocated  to  copy,  images  &  videos    
  24. 24. Content   Call  to  Ac:on   CRO  Tips  |  Ideas  For  Tes:ng  (ALWAYS  vs.  control)   Increase  prominence  (&  visibility  rela6ve  to  other  content)   •  Colour:  try  more  prominent  colours  that  break  the  standard  palepe  /  theme   •  Size:  try  larger  bupons  to  capture  more  real  estate  /  apen6on   •  Format:  try  shapes,  shadow,  gradients  etc.  that  dis6nguish  CTA’s     •  Posi:on:  must  be  above-­‐fold,  also  test  len  vs.  right  in  containers   •  Message:  test  tailored  message  for  ac6on  required  vs.  generic.  Also  synonyms   •  Quan:ty:  if  mul6ple  CTA’s  test  giving  primary  CTA  more  prominence   Value  Prop  (sell  the  sizzle!)   •  Keywords:  try  inser6ng  key  benefit  &  USP  statements  on  Home  Page  &  key  steps   •  Tagline:  test  a  concise  statement  near  logo  e.g.  ‘Australia’s  cheapest,  largest  etc.’   •  Wrapper:  try  USP  icons  within  site-­‐wide  header  that  link  to  ‘About  us’  (reassure)   •  Hero  banner:  test  using  hero  (first  rota6on)  to  highlight  USP’s   Copy,  images  &  Video  (quality  not  quan6ty)   •  Copy  length:  test  varying  lengths  of  copy  and  use  bullets  to  break  up  text  blocks   •  Language:  try  different  styles  e.g.  informa6ve,  humorous,  emo6ve  (human)   •  People  images:  test  using  staff,  customers,  people  using  product  (vs.  just  products)   •  Product  images:  try  more  images,  360  rota6on,  zoom  (before  applying  site-­‐wide)   •  Video:  test  different  themes  e.g.  factual  vs.  humour  also  professional  vs.  staff  
  25. 25. Features   Simplify  the  decision  making  process  (increase  user  intent)   •  Reviews,  endorsements,  awards  &  tes:monials:  test  the  rela6ve  impact  of  each   •  Comparison  tools:  try  varying  the  number  &  order  of  apributes,  icons  vs  text  etc.   •  Calculators  /  simula:ons:  test  displaying  typical  /  pre-­‐populated  scenarios   •  Support  tools:  test  the  following  on  vs.  off;  Click-­‐to-­‐chat,  click-­‐to-­‐call,  Phone  No.   •  Intro  /  welcome  videos:  test  instead  of  hero  banners  to  provide  company  overview   •  Security  badges:  test  including  badges  e.g.  McAfee,  Verisign  in  cart  &  checkout   •  Naviga:on:  test  including  icons  /  images  with  text  to  speed  up  cogni6on   •  Sort  order:  test  changing  the  default  sort  order  of  products  e.g.  lowest-­‐highest   Offers   CRO  Tips  |  Ideas  For  Tes:ng  (ALWAYS  vs.  control)   Increase  perceived  user  benefits   •  Savings:  show  ‘%  off’  and  saving  in  $  in  addi6on  to  price,  test  using  different  fonts   •  Urgency:  add  urgency  messaging  ‘Hurry  XXX  ending  soon’  but  don’t  overuse  it   •  Benefits:  Show  product  /  service  benefits  in  a  table  to  encourage  up-­‐sell   •  Compe::on:  show  incremental  value  vs.  compe6tors  in  a  table  or  messaging   Incen6ves  to  assist  conversions   •  Free  trial:  test  free  access  for  a  limited  period  (measure  %  that  migrate  to  paid)   •  Free  download:  similar  to  above  but  test  a  par6al  download  /  limited  features   •  Vouchers:  test  single-­‐use  or  6me-­‐limited  vouchers  to  encourage  repeat  purchases   •  Referrals:  test  referral  discounts  to  encourage  users  to  recruit  new  customers  
  26. 26. Learn  >  Report  >  Repeat   ALWAYS:  Measure  the  impact  of  any  changes  against  the  baseline  /  scorecard  etc.   ALWAYS:  Check  that  the  findings  can  be  explained  logically  (if  not  dig  deeper)   Learn   •  Consolidate  findings   •  Document  what  worked  &   what  didn’t   •  Archive  in  knowledge  base   Report   •  Present  results  to  key   stakeholders;  hypotheses   tested,  outcomes  &  results   •  Provide  overview  of  next  test   Repeat   •  Re-­‐priori6se  roadmap  if   based  on  results  further   tes6ng  is  required     •  Move  onto  next  test!  
  27. 27. Some  Recommended  Reading  /  Resources   [Books]   A  selec6on  of   relevant   books,  blogs   &  websites…   [Blog,  ArAcles,  Reports,   Events  &  Templates]   [Blog  &  Reports]   [Blog,  ArAcles  &   Reports]   [Reports  &  Actual     Test  Results]  
  28. 28. Thank  You!