Following our blog post ‘The Four Pillars of Digital Transformation – Strategy & Culture’ this is our second article which delves deeper into PRWD’s Conversion Optimisation Maturity Audit™ and how it can help you on your journey towards digital transformation.
This post will focus on the second pillar of digital transformation, tools and technology, and will discuss why tools and technology are crucial to achieving strategic and intelligent conversion rate optimisation. Our other pillars of optimisation, are people & skills and process & methodology which you can also read about on our blog.
As many of you will know, the digital landscape is in constant flux with new websites, apps, devices, tools and gadgets being released almost daily and it’s sometimes hard to know what tools to use and how to stay ahead of the curve. Implementing the right ones and having the right people to manage them is key to any CRO programme.
Analytics tool configuration
With companies now collecting huge amounts of data the real test will be how the data is utilised to support business growth. Simply collecting more data is not the answer, as more data doesn’t necessarily provide more meaning. Implementing an analytics tool provides a way to make sense of this data and can help to answer some questions we may have of our users. We can answer questions such as what pages are working well? How are the different marketing channels performing? And where are users getting stuck and leaving?
When it comes to CRO, it’s clear that good hypotheses, that are more likely to have an impact on user behaviour, are supported by good data. At a basic level, you can spot pages with high exit and bounce rates, at an advanced level you can set up funnels, have multiple goals, segments, custom reports, and tag pages to track all the actions that a user takes on your site. Adding this complexity to your configuration requires time, understanding and expertise. And once you have this configuration the journey doesn’t end there; the data should be continuously interrogated to answer new questions and help drive further insight into your users. This leads to a never-ending list of test ideas and new hypotheses, driven by informed data rather than subjective opinions – now that’s exciting!
Voice of customer and behavioural insights
Data to support a hypothesis is best when it comes from both quantitative and qualitative sources. Qualitative data often comes from user research, but heatmaps and session recordings can also be rich sources of information to point at issues. For example, heatmaps can highlight buttons that have no affordance, and session recordings can show usability issues where you can see users physically struggling to do the desired action. Additionally, polls and surveys can give insights into user motivations and behaviour. Exit intent polls, in particular, can provide information into why users are leaving on specific pages. Again, doing these shouldn’t be a one-time activity, by doing them continuously you’ll always be learning new things about your users. Here is a list of some of the visitor recording tools we would recommend.
Company access to experiment results and learnings
Conversion Optimisation may seem like a task exclusive to a group of specialists, but there are learnings from tests that any number of teams could find useful. One recent example at PRWD was a test where we increased the size of product images. As a Conversion Rate Optimisation team, we were able to increase basket views on the website by 20.7%, by sharing our results with the marketing team they were able to learn from our results and tested using larger product images in their marketing campaigns.
A truly ‘customer-centric’ company will have the silos broken down, with multi-functional teams who put the user first over internal politics. The optimisation team can help by sharing learnings with the whole business, and get everyone excited about testing and the results obtained (even the negative ones). Additionally, by doing so, the next successful test idea may come from the support or sales teams who have valuable information from customers which can’t be obtained through user research and analytics.
Competence harnessing the test platform
Businesses come in all shapes and sizes and finding the right testing tool can be a challenge. For starters, they all seem to do similar things. They all offer split testing; most integrate into Google Analytics, and some offer personalisation. We know from experience that some tools fit perfectly to the size, scope and strategy of a business. For example, enterprise level businesses should usually have an enterprise level testing tool, such as Optimizely or Qubit. However, for smaller businesses getting the fundamentals right with a simpler testing tool is vital. A common pitfall is also not having dedicated resource for developing the tests. This can lead to a lack of momentum as tests are produced slowly, creating bugs which the users may encounter in the variation, or not having enough resource to test larger changes on the back of learnings from smaller ones.
Choosing the right tools is always difficult. To become transformative CRO teams will have the resources to harness the complex features of analytics and testing tools, they will be constantly re-evaluating data, and discussing the learnings with the wider business. For newer teams, getting the fundamentals right with the analytics and testing tool is the key to creating a solid foundation for a testing culture.
5 top tips for tools and technology
- Create horizontal funnels in Google Analytics for your goals – your funnel analysis will be easier and more accurate as a result.
- Implement a session recording and heatmap tool and review them often to inform new test ideas.
- Create dashboards to share test results with the business. If you can’t persuade management to fork out for a new TV, print out the results and put them up in social spaces, such as the kitchen. Include post-it notes for colleagues to comment and interact with the results.
- Have dedicated development resource for creating tests. Start out with small iterative tests, changing one or two elements on a page, before diving into strategic redesigns.
- Take our CRO maturity audit today and start your journey to digital transformation.