When designing a new landing page or website, it goes without saying that the designer should always adopt a user-centric approach, where the design and functionality comes first and foremost, and the goal is to make the experience as intuitive and seamless as possible –in order to allow users to perform converting actions on your site.

You should start any testing program by coming to terms with the fact that your first instincts will never be 100% optimal. It is safe to say that it is pretty much  unheard of for anything to launch with the ‘highest’ converting version from the get- go, even if you consider yourself a bonafide UX expert!

Whether a conversion is classified as a video view, content download, form completion, or purchase, once the initial version has been launched, split testing should occur (this would ideally happen right at the beginning by designing and starting with elements (content/images/layout) in mind that you would like to split test upfront). This will allow you to go live with your landing page, with split testing running right from the start.

In doing this, you are effectively making your website investment work harder for you. A budget may need to be set aside for this, in order to ensure data-driven actionable insights can be derived from the testing results on an ongoing basis. This can actually be fun too, as it is easy to see which variations or versions perform better against your key website goals!

Here are some typical questions that can be considered while deciding which elements to test:

  •         Could it be the color that increases or decreases conversions?
  •         Which content yields a lower bounce rate or higher engagement?
  •         Does more content increase or decrease the number of signups?
  •         Do more options/choices have a more favorable conversion rate?

But, there may also be some other, more obvious design factors that play a role in increasing conversions, such as- keeping web forms should be shorter since visitors don’t like scrolling and, ensuring  the macro conversion can be achieved in as little clicks possible. Testing and viewing which version of your page performs better should always be top of mind.

The process of optimization and testing should be structured and continuous. To make sure you are always prepared, identify the key areas that you would like to evaluate, ensure the measurement is set up correctly and then execute the test. Monitor the results and evaluate carefully. Repeat. This process should be ongoing –your new mantra should now be ‘Always Be Testing’.

Of course, you can’t do this all on your own, you’re likely going to be using a testing and optimization platform. One of my personal favorite split testing tools on the market is Google Optimize. Although still relatively new, Google Optimize is a really seamless product and makes it really easy to get started, and, it’s free. If you are a larger and more advanced organization, you might be interested in learning more about optimize 360, which is the premium, enterprise-class testing and personalization tool. We’ll get to that a little later in this post.

Google Optimize (Free Version)

So, what are some of the new features that come with the roll out of Google Optimize?

The free version of Google Optimize, besides being very easy to use, integrates with your existing Google Analytics account. This means that you can set up your first optimize experiment very quickly. You can allocate website tests against existing Google Analytics goals.

There are 3 main experiment types available to you. These are:

A/B tests:

This is one of the most common types of test, where you split test one element of a page, allowing you to assess which variant performs better. With this type of test, you are able to evaluate elements such as the call to action text, the design of the button and images.

Multivariate tests:

Multivariate tests are very similar to that of A/B tests, however with a multivariable test, you test multiple variant combinations on a given page. With multivariate tests, you are able to assess which combination of the elements being tested is most favourable.

Redirect tests:

This is very similar to an A/B test, however the variants being tested are identified on the URL level. You are able to test two entirely different variations against the same goal objective.

Targeting:

I particularly love the targeting options that are built into Google Optimize. With Google Optimize, you’re able to target your specific split tests against the user’s region. Allowing you to serve split testing to users from a specific city.

The behavior targeting feature is great too, ensuring that you are able to split test users that use a particular operating system, browser or have arrived at your web page from a specific referrer.

One of my favorite features is the Visual Editor. With the Visual Editor, you do not need to re-code your site every time you wish to start an experiment. Furthermore, the editor is compatible with all levels of user experience, and you can edit visuals in WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) mode and even edit code in more sophisticated methods by editing CSS, JavaScript and other raw HTML editing.

If you’re not testing and learning from your own data, you cannot expect rapid changes and higher conversion rates, which will lead to higher profits. With such an easy-to-use interface and the ability to launch an experiment so quickly, I highly recommend Google Optimize for your split testing requirements. To read more about Optimize features that are included in the free version, click here.

Google Optimize 360 (Premium, Enterprise-class)

For advanced targeting and more granular audience personalization, try Google Optimize 360, which allows you to leverage more advanced features and lets you deliver tailor-made split tests to specific audiences. This could be for users that have recently converted, high value users, or users that have shown interest in particular categories.

If you are interested in learning more about Optimize 360 for enterprise, click here. If you are interested in any Google Analytics 360 Suite solutions but don’t want to go it alone, contact us, we are a certified Google services and sales partner and can support you with an enterprise implementation and consulting.

Check out our upcoming Google Analytics 360 Suite webinar series:

We also have a series of upcoming webinars which are designed for the enterprise user. The 6-part webinar series features a strategic overview of Google Analytics 360 and deep-dives of the award-winning platform. Join the pros from Google and Cardinal Path as we explain how Analytics 360 helps optimize customer experiences, gauge and enhance true marketing impact, and deliver powerful insights that create a sales advantage.

Sign up to attend the live event on May 2 and for on-demand access to the entire series.

  • Cohesive view of your customer
  • Actionable insights for maximum impact
  • A new layer of personalized engagement