Conversion Wednesday – Importance of Analytics in Testing



Welcome to Your Daily Concept, Get Smarter Everyday.

I’m Chris C., and today I’ll be going over the importance of your web analytics while testing on your website.

Since ecommerce websites have a fairly linear funnel, you should be able to see how changes to your site affect your conversion rate. With ecommerce, it’s straight forward: did they buy or not? You know that your confirmation page is your overall order completion page, so make sure that your analytics can track through that funnel to that page.

Accurate analytics also help eliminate outside factors while testing. As I discussed in my last Daily Concept blog, there are so many factors that affect your website, you need to make sure that the testing you are performing is helping your site. It’s not always the changes you make to your site that hurt it. It might be the changes you don’t make. Just because revenue or conversion rate dropped after you made a change, doesn’t mean that was the culprit. It could be a drop in organic traffic or a halt in PPC campaigns. On the flip side of the coin, the test might have given inflated conversion rate numbers due to marketing efforts on the site.

A lot of the time, the focus isn’t solely on conversion rate. Based on what your analytics is telling you, you might want to decrease bounce rates or increase AOV. If you don’t have an analytics package that can tell you what effect the test had on your bounce rates to category and product pages, you might need to invest in a better analytics package. You can also look at your incoming organic traffic and see if it is going to relevant pages. If you are getting a ton of traffic from search engines for a phrase like “blue snowshoes” but your traffic is going to a page with all snowshoes, simply testing an image or button for “blue snowshoes” at the top of the page could increase conversions for those users.

The first reason for having good web analytics is so that you can compare the results from your test while it’s running to how your site actually performs (historically). Comparing your control to the site history numbers helps make sure your test is delivering accurate results.

Let’s say that you are running an A/B test and your test recipe is not performing as well as the control. Your control might simply have an extremely high AOV and variance. The best way to check this would be to look in your analytics and find your site’s average AOV. If the control is way over the normal AOV, then you might simply need to run the test a little bit longer until the numbers start coming back down to what your site normally does.

Your test might be working, but your control could have had a few big orders that inflated the control. You won’t know this unless you have your analytics working properly. Analytics comparisons like these help you make sure the test results are accurate before you make decisions to change your website.

The other big area that comparisons need to take place is with before and after data. After you have run a test, identified a winner, and made the change to your site, you need to check and make sure that the change you made is actually having a positive effect. Just because the test tells you that a certain recipe won, doesn’t mean that it will actually do so after you make the change to the site.

Once you make a change to your site, comparing analytics, before and after the change, will reveal if the change is actually working.

Remember, accurate web analytics is important! It is where you should go before, during, and after your testing. You need it to identify areas to improve, compare live test results to your website’s analytics history, and then compare before and after performance metrics.

Exclusive Concepts offers a full service testing option for our clients called Conversion Booster that will do the work for you in gathering these analytics and determining the best changes for your site to maximize conversion rate. Then test those changes in an AB or Multivariate test. Give us a call at 1-800-504-4324 if you’re interested in learning more.

We would be honored to perform a free conversion audit on your qualified website today.