Use Google’s Experiments to enhance your website’s engagement and conversion metrics

Last week, we’ve shared a few tips for A/B Testing, but how should we start one?

We apply all the web design best practices but without any visible performance improvement. You’re not sure of what it is, and you need to know how to apply more continuous testing to maximise the engagement and conversion metrics of your website.

In this article, we’re going to explain how to set-up a split test inside Google Analytics in a few minutes.

The goal is always the same: make them get what they want as fast as possible while getting them closer to one of your conversion needs.

Google Analytics comes with a basic experiments feature that allows you to compare different variations of a page and split the traffic accordingly between them. Keep in mind though that you’ll need quite a bit of volume to get statistically significant results (rule of thumb is to have min. 100 conversions but this can vary quite a bit) and be able to decide if the changes actually worked or not.

If your traffic numbers are still low, the most common way to generate cheap traffic fast is through Facebook ads. In our next article, we’ll share with you a deep dive on how to set up and run them the most effective way.

But How Can You Run an A/B Test in Google Analytics?

Setting it up takes only a few minutes. Once you decided what you need to test, you can get started.

A.) Get Started

Under the BEHAVIOR tab, you can find the Experiments tab. If this is your first experiment, , you’ll probably see it like this:

Setting up A/B Test in Google Analytics
Click on Create Experiment on the top left.

B.) What should you experiment?

Name your experiment with whatever your objective is. Here is where you can set a detectable outcome to check results and see what’s the best variation possible.

AB Test - Create New Experiment
Here you might:

  • Select a Site Usage data (like bounce rate, shown here)
  • Select an existing goal (like purchases, opt-ins etc)
  • Create a new objective or goal

This depends on what you’re testing in the first place. You’ll be surprised by all the metrics related to your website. You can see the bounce rate, for example, on Behavior > All Pages. On our test we’ll use Bounce Rate as Objective.

Google Analytics behaviour reports

By default, all those advanced options are off and Google will always “adjust traffic dynamically based on variation performance”.

Let’s keep going?

C.) Configure your experiment

Now you add the URLs for all the pages you need to test the variations. Just copy and paste the links, like this:

The New Google Analytics Content Experiments

You can give names so you can remember them easily. I’ve named them like the above.

D.) Script code

Editing the page’s code can look scary at first but it actually quite easy. The first thing you see under this section is a helpful toggle button to email the code snippet to your developer.

Setting up your experiment code
AB Tests step by step in Google Analytic, adding script code to your page

If you’re doing it yourself, make sure to double check the pages you’re testing to make sure that your default Google Analytics tracking code is installed in all of them.

Next thing, you highlight and copy the code provided. You’re going to look for the opening head tag in the ORIGINAL variation (which will be located on the top of your HTML document).

Search for <head> to make it easier for you.

Once that’s done, click NEXT STEP in Google Analytics and they’ll verify if everything is ready to go. If it’s not, they’ll let you know.

Inspect element in Google Chrome
Experiment code validation

And… voilà!

Don’t forget that you can only make an important decision once your experiment reached minimum 95% statistical significance. You can measure it using this very helpful tool.

What we can learn from this is that websites are never 100% finished! We always need to experiment with new ideas and analyse data to keep increasing our conversion goals.

A/B Testing is when we run simultaneous experiments between two or more pages to see which one (or more) converts to better results. Although it’s called A/B, it can be performed with multiple pages.

All you need to do is create different variants of the page you want to run the experiment on (e.g. reduce number of form fields, change layout of elements, change CTAs, etc.) and split incoming traffic evenly between the different variations. Once you have collected sufficient data (i.e. statistical significance), you can decide which variant performs best and should be kept.

a/b testing

Since growth hacking is all about running experiments to optimise the entire customer journey, running A/B tests play a crucial role in identifying what works best for your company and what doesn’t work.

In A/B testing, you have two sets of web pages, banners, email subject lines, etc. and test them against each other. Typically, the one that’s being used currently is version A (called control) and version B is the new one to be tested. You divide the traffic between those two variations and compare their performance based on the success metric you decided to use for the experiment.

For example:

if you want to compare whether the number of form fields on your signup page makes a difference, the metric to look at is your conversion rate:

metrics

What elements to experiment with?

What you choose to test depends on what your data tells you (both qualitative and quantitative). E.g. the problem could be that your visitors don’t understand:

  • Your value proposition
  • What you want them to do (unclear CTA)
  • ….and much more

The elements that are most commonly tested are:

  • Headlines and/or value propositions
  • Images on pages and landing pages
  • Call to action: words, size, colors, where it’s placed, etc
  • Layout and style of the webpage
  • Forms length
  • Layout of product page elements

A Few Examples of A/B Testing

Headline

In the below example, the winning version (second image) changed the two-line headline into a one-line headline plus a sub-head. This increased the sign up rate by 38%.

Use of images

Using a picture of a person instead of an icon doubled the conversion rate. Scientific research says that we are usually attracted to images with people, subconsciously, especially of babies and smiling females.

Call to action

Small changes in your CTA can make quite a significant difference. In the below example, the CTR increased by 90% just by replacing “your” with “my”.

Layout

Online shops usually deal with a lot of people quitting their checkout due to many forms and pages. An A/B Test might detect that and it can prove to you that a single page checkout can work better than a multi-page check-out process.

Full lenght

Ask as little as you can and be direct on your forms. If you ask like a paragraph, the reader will feel compelled to fill all the blank spaces – giving you exactly what you need.

Layout of product page elements

Adding trust elements such as a customer review widget can significantly increase your conversion rate, in the below example by 36.73%.

Learn to use your tools

There are many different tools and resources that might help you while you’re A/B Testing. Here are a few of our preferred ones:

  • Google Website Optimizer: It’s free and it’s from the most-known search website ever known, but it still misses a few features. Good to start!
  • A/Bingo: Requires programming and integration in code for Ruby on Rails developers.
  • Unbounce and Performable: Landing-page creators with integrated A/B testing.
  • Which Test Won?: A game where you guess what variation won in an A/B Test
  • Tips for A/B Testing: Get some tips, tricks and ideas for your next A/B Test
  • A/B Ideafox: a good search engine for A/B test and many case studies.
  • ABTests.com: a place to share and check some A/B test results out there

What do Game of Thrones and the vast majority of landing pages have in common?

Without seeing a “Previously on Game of Thrones” recap (complete with beheadings, baby-stealing white-bearded giant folk, fashionable incest, and the word Stark), you’d have absolutely no clue what’s going on.

Similarly, if someone lands on a page and the scannable headlines, imagery and subheads don’t communicate effectively – in a succinct and clear manner – you’ll be left wondering why you clicked on the link that brought you there, and again,

That’s a problem.

We should NOT be designing experiences that confuse potential customers. And yet, virtually everyone does.

What’s the solution?

Clarity.

To be clear… Pause for effect. #ChucklesToSelf

There’s an invisible un-clarity counter that sits in everyone’s brain, ticking quietly upward whenever we see a word or phrase that makes us reflect on its meaning.

Every time you disrespect your visitors with a page highlight (something that stands out visually to the scanning eye), that’s confusing or unclear, you increase the count.

And every increase in that count reduces the likelihood that the visitor will convert.

Today, I’m basing my commentary of these landing pages around the Conversion Centered Design principle of Clarity, or lack thereof.

Let the judgement begin! …

Read the full article here: 29 Landing Page Reviews That Show Why Clarity is the Key to Conversion | Unbounce.

Website performance optimization, the focal point of technologically superior website designs is the primary factor dictating success for modern online businesses. After all, unimpressive website performance kills business bottom line when the torture of waiting for slow Web pages to load frustrates visitors into seeking alternatives – impatience is a digital virtue!

And speed sells!

We created the following six chapter in-depth speed optimization guide to show you how important it is to have a fast loading, snappy website! Countless research papers and benchmarks prove that optimizing your sites’ speed is one of the most affordable and highest ROI providing investments!

In the following guide we’ll try to explain the technical details while at the same time provide you with easy to follow instructions that you can start implementing right away! We hope you’ll find it valuable (and perhaps share-worthy! 🙂 ).

Lightning-fast page load speed amplifies visitor engagement, retention, and boosts sales. Instantaneous website response leads to maximum conversion rates, and every 1 second delay in page load decreases customer satisfaction by 16 percent, page views by 11 percent and conversion rates by 7 percent according to a recent Aberdeen Group research…

Read the full post here: A Beginner’s Guide to Website Speed Optimization by Kinsta.

growth hacking,conversion optimisation planHere at Dynamic Yield, we provide real-time personalization and conversion optimization tools for enterprises and medium-size businesses. Our clients range from major enterprises and industry leaders with an international presence to medium-size businesses from a various spectrum of sectors and verticals (such as retail, travel, insurance, gaming, media, etc.). We are very proud of our client relationships and are passionate in ensuring effective outcomes. Our customer success team, which consists of experienced web analytics professionals and conversion optimization experts, strive to nurture relationships with our customers and understand their business models, challenges and marketing optimization requirements.

Through our managed services, we oversee the conversion optimization process, making sure our tool delivers great results. While at times it all may look like rocket science magic, the truth is that crafting a successful conversion optimization methodology is a tough and complex process. The only type of “magic” involved would be following a well-defined systematic process using strategic and methodical steps…

Read the full article here: Crafting a Successful Conversion Rate Optimization Plan.

Smart marketers create landing pages that tell engaging, seamless stories.

Every element of design, copy and social proof plays its part in the narrative and guides the visitor toward your conversion goal.

But not all landing pages have happy endings.

If there are elements on your landing page that don’t serve a distinct purpose, or otherwise give your prospects a reason to stop and think, then you’ve failed to create a delightful landing page experience.

In our latest episode of Page Fights, regular judges Oli Gardner and Peep Laja and guest judge Ian Lurie, CEO of Portent, identified a series of landing page mistakes that disrupted that narrative.

Here are seven lesser-known but all-too-common landing page optimization mistakes that give prospects cause to pause, adding friction to their experience and hindering your conversion rates.

Find the full article here:  7 Landing Page Mistakes That Are Stopping Your Prospects Dead in Their Tracks | Unbounce.

Email is extremely important to online businesses. It is the most effective and scalable way to communicate with your audience.

For example, AppSumo is a seven figure business only from email. And my friend Ramit’s blog, I Will Teach You to Be Rich, is seven figures as well, mostly because of sales through email.

Over the past year, I’ve learned  there are three types of bloggers when it comes to email:

 

Blogger 1: Doesn’t believe email is effective and won’t listen to any advice about emails.

Blogger 2: Thinks email is effective and wants more subscribers, but doesn’t know how to set it up.

Blogger 3: Knows email is effective and is growing his/her email list and business.

If you are Blogger 2, you’re in luck. I’m going to show you exactly how to double your email list on your WordPress website.

The tips and strategies listed below are exactly what I have used to grow AppSumo to 750,000+ subscribers and, more recently, my blog OkDork.com to 50,000 subscribers in eight months.

If you start using these tips today, it will continue to pay dividends.

Here are the steps you can take in just three minutes…

Find the full article here: 3 Minutes to Get 120% More Emails on Your WordPress Site – WPMU DEV.