Stories are great and the lessons learnt from them can be extremely valuable, but now you must implement them in the real life. And this is how you do it.
As a general rule, changes must be made only after understanding the current situation. In order to do so, you must acquire relevant information.
There are two simple steps that you need to take in order to achieve this.
First of all, you must start measuring everything. This means setting your Analytics correctly.
Although it may seem as a complicated tool, the interface is somewhat user friendly and you can come to terms with it in a rather short amount of time.
There are a few steps that you need to take in order to make sure it works accordingly to your needs.
When your site is 100% tracked you must move on to setting up your goals. This is of high relevance as no insights will be helpful enough without a correct setup of your goals.
The process is rather simple and the section “Set up and edit Goals” in Analytics will answer your entire “how to questions”.
Websites tend to be visited by a wide variety of people. You must however track only data that is truly relevant. Also tracking the visits of your employees and the ones of your service providers for example, can negatively influence the results that Analytics provide.
In order to make sure this doesn’t happen you must create some filters that exclude the IP range used by your company and its service providers for example. Analytics’ “Exclude internal traffic” can provide you with the setup information.
Removing the data from irrelevant sources will drastically increase the accuracy, leading to a better chance of optimizing for an improved customer experience.
Analytics can help you decipher some content consumption patterns as well as the navigation process between your website pages.
This information is accessible thru the Content section. The problem is that websites sometimes use unique URLs to refer to the same page. Removing the unique URLs that are not unique in content can again help you increase the accuracy of your reports.
You can do so by entering the query parameters you would like to exclude in the “Exclude URL Query Parameters” in your analytics profile settings.
When all of the above is dealt with, you must eliminate any duplicate pages.
Analytics is case sensitive when it comes down to URL so, basically, test.com/thankyou and test.com/THANKYOU will be recognized as different thus generating duplicated data. The filter can be generated in the Filters section of Analytics.
Sometime there are multiple domains that need to be tracked. Doing so properly, will help you increase the accurateness of your data.
For example it will help you better understand your traffic sources. Analytics’ “Tracking Multiple Domains – Web Tracking” can help you correctly setting up this function.
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This means possible relevant information is lost form the beginning. In order to correctly setup this kind of tracking for your website, you should check the “Event Tracking” section in Analytics.
The Site Search feature can provide you highly relevant information that can change your entire view of your customer’s interaction with the website.
All you have to do is study the search terms that were used when using the internal website search function. This way you will find out exactly what your visitor was looking for on your website.
A proper setup of this function like seen on Analytics’ “Set Up and Configure Site Search” can help you expose high converting content in the spotlight.
If any PPC traffic is available, link your Adwords campaigns with your Analytics.
This way you will gain additional information that will help you better understand the sales funnel and what you should do in order to better implement the optimization process.
A good user feedback will literally open your eyes. Don’t even try with the multi-choice answer sheet for extracting information from your users.
You will find value when your users will submit their opinion written in their own words based on their own experience.
Remember that the greater the number of users to submit feedback will be the more information about the sales funnel you will gain.
For some, the integration of a live chat could also bring several benefits to the optimization process as well as building the much needed trust.
Tracking the exact approach of your users when visiting your website could also generate a great deal of relevant information.
There are more and more tools that can help you track the way a visitor interacts with the website.
Heat-map tools and scroll-map tools will show the exact elements of your website that are completely useless for example.
After having all the information together you have to combine it in such a way to pinpoint the exact elements that negatively influence the outcome of the conversion rate.
You must segment your reports. Never try to understand the whole picture as one.
If you take each and every element by one, chances are you will solve the issues not just faster but far more efficient too.
When creating the issues list, make sure to keep track of valuable information such as: top exists, individual bounce rates, why the users actually left or didn’t complete the designated action.
Comprise the information in such way that the answer is also the key for the solution.
After identifying the elements and issues that decrease your conversion rate, generate a hypothesis about the mechanism and how it influences the outcome. This will help you better decide what and how to optimize.
Don’t even think of changing everything at once, as the result will only mislead you.
Take it step by step and one by one. Verify your findings with the help of the A/B testing.
Run an A/B test for each individual issue and only after validating it move on to the next one.
After this, analyze your conclusions, learn from your own mistakes, see if any other elements are under the same spell and after this expand.
Despite the fact that the process needs time and its core is never-ending, the results you will generate will definitely make it worthwhile.