Josh Shardlow Team : Web Production Tags : Web Development Common Sense Analytics

Where do I start with testing?

Josh Shardlow Team : Web Production Tags : Web Development Common Sense Analytics

Congratulations! Your new website has just gone live. The launch party is a blast. Your hand is aching from high fives but your attention is elsewhere. That voice in your head . . that nagging question . . .

What am I going to test first?

Stop the leaks

You should have set up analytics on your site as part of the site development and as part of that you should have set up funnels that test your revenue or conversion stream. Don’t muck around with how many people are reading your blog or downloading your white paper. Go straight to where the money is.

In the case of a sales focussed site, look first at the traffic flows through your main sales funnel (e.g. Homepage > Product page > Cart> Checkout). Which step is showing the biggest percentage drop-off? Maybe you’re getting reasonable traffic through to the cart page and then losing 80% of users at the checkout page. If this is the case, investigate the pages in question, postulate what’s causing that drop-off, A/B test different solutions and then implement measures to minimise that leakage.  

Follow your users

Testing should be quick and constantly evolving. To run many tests fast, you’ll need to have statistically significant tests in place which in turn require larger user numbers. You don’t want a test running on a page that gets 1-2 visitors a day as it will take months before any meaningful trend becomes apparent. In the meantime you could have run a dozen tests on a higher trafficked area of your site such as your homepage or primary product landing pages. You get more bang for your testing buck in these area of your site so don’t sweat the small stuff for now. Use your site traffic to your advantage.

The testing possibilities presented by google analytics are almost infinite. It can be hard sometimes not to get dragged down the many rabbit holes that you’ll come across as your proficiency with the tool increases. Try to keep it simple to begin with, get the basics right and from there you can start to dive deeper into the minutia of your digital strategy.