All posts by Smriti Chopra

Why VWO Emerged As Colart’s First Choice For An Optimization Platform

We spoke with Patxi Gadanon, who works as a Senior Web Manager for one of the leading fine arts brands in the UK, called Colart. In his role, Gadanon ensures that all websites within his purview provide excellent user experience and display up-to-date content. Colart has been a VWO customer since early 2017, after Gadanon evaluated several A/B testing tools including Optimizely. He explained how he arrived at the conclusion that VWO is the right web testing and conversion optimization solution for the Colart brand.

Evaluation Parameters

When Gadanon started working at Colart in January 2017, he quickly realized that its website would engage visitors more if optimized with the help of web testing and conversion rate optimization (CRO) practices. As he started looking for the ideal web testing solution for Colart, Gadanon evaluated his options on the following parameters:

  • Quality of customer support
    Does the tool have a dedicated support team? What is their availability like? Do they respond in time? Can they answer technical questions regarding test implementation?

To implement a scalable testing process, Gadanon needed to set up and run tests with minimal IT help.

  • Ease of use
    Is the tool easy to use? How much effort and resources would it take to train the team on it?

A tool that is easy to use would help his team resolve subjective debates with visitor data.

  • Tool features
    Does the solution meet all requirements? Does it integrate with other tools and analytics platforms easily?

“The primary objective of the website,” Gadanon said, “is to build credibility in the Colart brand. Although we sell our products through the website, we do not identify as an ecommerce company. We measure success in terms of visitor engagement.” Therefore, in-depth visitor behavior analysis was a critical requirement.

  • Pricing
    How flexible are the pricing options? Is the tool within the budget? Will the Digital Director approve the quotation?

The team used several tools for different requirements and managed to get some quick wins, but it soon became obvious that they should look for a solution that would help them bring everything under their testing program at one place. It was important to select an all-features-in-one tool that allowed testing on multiple domains from a single platform.

Based on these factors, Gadanon shortlisted two options—VWO and Optimizely—and proposed these to Louise, his manager and the Digital Director at Colart. Even though Gadanon had used Optimizely for his previous employer and was comfortable using it, he drew up a quick price and feature comparison and got demos for both tools before making a decision.

What Didn’t Work with Optimizely

When asked why he did not choose Optimizely for Colart, Gadanon cited its poor technical support during the presales period. The team at Optimizely did not share the code with him and preferred to speak with developers instead. This was a problem because development for the Colart website is not done in-house. Gadanon also sensed a reluctance to provide a solution even after the problem had been identified. “I had to keep following up for help. It felt like I was begging to get more support, even after I had mentioned that we were in a rush to decide on an A/B testing solution. By the time the Optimizely demo was scheduled, we had already made up our minds to go with VWO instead,” Gadanon said.

He was also aware that Optimizely slowed down websites, and that didn’t help either. Gadanon’s team had received poor feedback about the flicker that visitors noticed on websites running tests by using Optimizely. It is now a widely acknowledged issue across digital media.

More importantly, Optimizely charges users separately for each domain it runs tests on. The digital team at Colart manages several sub-brands and approximately 20 web domains that they concurrently wanted to run tests on from a single account. The inflexible per-domain pricing model was, therefore, a deal-breaker for Gadanon and his team.

Why VWO Emerged as the Tool of Choice for Colart

VWO emerged as the preferred solution for Colart for a variety of reasons.

  1. VWO Support (Presales and Post-Purchase)

Gadanon was impressed with both the presales and post-sales support that he received from VWO. “I can trust the VWO Support team to respond quickly and give me a clear, straightforward response, even when it’s something I would not like to hear,” he explains.

VWO provides 24×7 hands-on support across phone, email, and chat. VWO also has in-app guided onboarding and an up-to-date knowledge base containing all the information users would ever need. Even better, enterprise customers get dedicated customer success managers to help them set up their accounts and get testing immediately.

  1. Flexible Pricing

VWO also has a flexible pricing model that worked for Colart and its sub-brands. If a team like Gadanon’s wants to run tests on multiple domains from a single account, it can simply pay by the average number of unique monthly visitors on its website, no matter how many domains it runs tests on within that visitor quota—and this is precisely what they chose to do.

More information about VWO pricing plans is available here.

  1. Better Product

No impact on the page load time

VWO uses asynchronous code to serve campaign data, compared to synchronous code used by Optimizely.

Asynchronous means that the code contacts VWO servers in the background, downloads, and processes the test package while the rest of the page continues to load and render in the browser as usual.

Optimizely’s synchronous code makes the browser wait until Optimizely can deliver the test package, long enough for visitors to notice.

And in the improbable case of VWO servers being unavailable, the original page gets loaded, ensuring that visitors’ experiences remain unaffected. This is why Gadanon’s team has never received complaints about a flickering issue with VWO.

Friendly UI
Gadanon also found the VWO user interface to be intuitive and easy to browse. While commenting that the dashboard is organized well, he described it as a “wizard” that holds a lot of information and options and allows for a steeper learning curve for nontechnical people like him.

VWO Heatmaps
While Gadanon admits that his team hasn’t used the platform to its full potential, he notes that the Colart brand has benefited from VWO in multiple ways.

Optimizely lets its customers manage and run A/B tests and personalize their website for visitors. On the other hand, VWO provides a data-driven testing solution that connects every step in the visitor journey to impact conversion rates. Customers can bring their entire conversion optimization program on a single, connected platform—track business goals, analyze visitor behavior, build data-driven hypotheses, run tests, and personalize content.
Using the Analyze capability of VWO, Gadanon and his team have been able to analyze visitors’ behaviors on the Colart website. “We use heatmaps and scrollmaps to ensure that the design elements of every new page are working for our website visitors,” he stated.

On-page Surveys

The digital team at Colart has also used VWO Surveys to settle internal, subjective debates. When they noticed that in some instances, pages hit per session and time on site were high, they wanted to find out if people were lost or if the content was not engaging enough. Some team members attributed it to poor site navigation and user experience. To verify this hypothesis, Gadanon setup on-page surveys which revealed that 90% of visitors who took the survey were satisfied with the site and approximately 50% were happy with the site experience, leaving no room for further debate.

Minimal IT Dependency

Gadanon notes that with VWO, his team has been able to set up and run tests with little IT help. The team usually tests changes to website content to see what visitors prefer and then plans to increase the testing frequency in the future.

It helps that the team does not need to integrate VWO with many third-party tools apart from its analytics platform. Therefore, it requires less support from a developer than it would have needed if it had chosen Optimizely.

Conclusion

Considering the experience of Gadanon and his team with both Optimizely and VWO, it becomes clear that VWO is the ideal A/B testing and conversion optimization platform for Colart and its many sub-brands. As a connected conversion optimization platform, VWO has helped the team deliver an improved user experience to its digital audience. It comes as no surprise then that Gadanon describes VWO as the “Swiss knife of web testing—an A/B testing tool as well as a research and monitoring tool for websites.”

Looking for a detailed feature comparison between VWO and Optimizely? Find it here.

The post Why VWO Emerged As Colart’s First Choice For An Optimization Platform appeared first on Blog.

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Why VWO Emerged As Colart’s First Choice For An Optimization Platform

VWO Was Colart’s First Choice As An Optimization Platform

We spoke with Patxi Gadanon, who works as a Senior Web Manager for one of the leading fine arts brands in the world, called Colart. In his role, Gadanon ensures that all websites within his purview provide excellent user experience and display up-to-date content. Colart has been a VWO customer since early 2017, after Gadanon evaluated several A/B testing tools including Optimizely. He explained how he arrived at the conclusion that VWO is the right web testing and conversion optimization solution for the Colart brand.

Evaluation Parameters

When Gadanon started working at Colart in January 2017, he quickly realized that its website would engage visitors more if optimized with the help of web testing and conversion rate optimization (CRO) practices. As he started looking for the ideal web testing solution for Colart, Gadanon evaluated his options on the following parameters:

Quality of customer support
Does the tool have a dedicated support team? What is their availability like? Do they respond in time? Can they answer technical questions regarding test implementation?
To implement a scalable testing process, Gadanon needed to set up and run tests with minimal IT help.

Ease of use
Is the tool easy to use? How much effort and resources would it take to train the team on it?
A tool that is easy to use would help his team resolve subjective debates with visitor data.

Tool features
Does the solution meet all requirements? Does it integrate with other tools and analytics platforms easily?
“The primary objective of the website,” Gadanon said, “is to build credibility in the Colart brand. Although we sell our products through the website, we do not identify as an ecommerce company. We measure success in terms of visitor engagement.” Therefore, in-depth visitor behavior analysis was a critical requirement.

Pricing
How flexible are the pricing options? Is the tool within the budget? Will the Digital Director approve the quotation?

The team used several tools for different requirements and managed to get some quick wins, but it soon became obvious that they should look for a solution that would help them bring everything under their testing program at one place. It was important to select an all-features-in-one tool that allowed testing on multiple domains from a single platform.

Based on these factors, Gadanon shortlisted two options—VWO and Optimizely—and proposed these to Louise, his manager and the Digital Director at Colart. Even though Gadanon had used Optimizely for his previous employer and was comfortable using it, he drew up a quick price and feature comparison and got demos for both tools before making a decision.

What Didn’t Work with Optimizely

When asked why he did not choose Optimizely for Colart, Gadanon cited its poor technical support during the presales period. The team at Optimizely did not share the code with him and preferred to speak with developers instead. This was a problem because development for the Colart website is not done in-house. Gadanon also sensed a reluctance to provide a solution even after the problem had been identified.

“I had to keep following up for help. It felt like I was begging to get more support, even after I had mentioned that we were in a rush to decide on an A/B testing solution. By the time the Optimizely demo was scheduled, we had already made up our minds to go with VWO instead,”

-Gadanon

Adding to the undesirable technical support, Patxi was also aware that Optimizely slowed down websites due to its use of synchronous code to serve campaign data. Gadanon’s team had received poor feedback about the flicker that visitors noticed on websites running tests by using Optimizely. It is now a widely acknowledged issue across digital media.

More importantly, Optimizely charges users separately for each domain it runs tests on. The digital team at Colart manages several sub-brands and approximately 20 web domains that they concurrently wanted to run tests on from a single account. The inflexible per-domain pricing model was, therefore, a deal-breaker for Gadanon and his team.

Why VWO Emerged as the Tool of Choice for Colart

VWO emerged as the preferred solution for Colart for a variety of reasons. Here’s a glimpse at the factors which influenced Patxi’s decision:

VWO Support (Presales and Post-Purchase)

Gadanon was impressed with both the presales and post-sales support that he received from VWO.

“I can trust the VWO Support team to respond quickly and give me a clear, straightforward response, even when it’s something I would not like to hear,” 

-Gadanon

VWO provides 24×7 hands-on support across phone, email, and chat. VWO also has in-app guided onboarding and an up-to-date knowledge base containing all the information users would ever need. Even better, enterprise customers get dedicated customer success managers to help them set up their accounts and get testing immediately.

Flexible Pricing

VWO also has a flexible pricing model that worked for Colart and its sub-brands. If a team like Gadanon’s wants to run tests on multiple domains from a single account, it can simply pay by the average number of unique monthly visitors on its website, no matter how many domains it runs tests on within that visitor quota—and this is precisely what they chose to do.

More information about VWO pricing plans is available here.

Better Product

No impact on the page load time
VWO uses asynchronous code to serve campaign data, compared to synchronous code used by Optimizely. Asynchronous means that the code contacts VWO servers in the background, downloads, and processes the test package while the rest of the page continues to load and render in the browser as usual.

Optimizely’s synchronous code makes the browser wait until Optimizely can deliver the test package, long enough for visitors to notice. And in the improbable case of VWO servers being unavailable, the original page gets loaded, ensuring that visitors’ experiences remain unaffected. This is why Gadanon’s team has never received complaints about a flickering issue with VWO.

Friendly UI
Gadanon also found the VWO user interface to be intuitive and easy to browse. While commenting that the dashboard is organized well, he described it as a “wizard” that holds a lot of information and options and allows for a steeper learning curve for nontechnical people like him.

VWO Heatmaps
While Gadanon admits that his team hasn’t used the platform to its full potential, he notes that the Colart brand has benefited from VWO in multiple ways.

Optimizely lets its customers manage and run A/B tests and personalize their website for visitors. On the other hand, VWO provides a data-driven testing solution that connects every step in the visitor journey to impact conversion rates. Customers can bring their entire conversion optimization program on a single, connected platform—track business goals, analyze visitor behavior, build data-driven hypotheses, run tests, and personalize content.
Using the Analyze capability of VWO, Gadanon and his team have been able to analyze visitors’ behaviors on the Colart website. “We use heatmaps and scrollmaps to ensure that the design elements of every new page are working for our website visitors,” he stated.

On-page Surveys
The digital team at Colart has also used VWO Surveys to settle internal, subjective debates. When they noticed that in some instances, pages hit per session and time on site were high, they wanted to find out if people were lost or if the content was not engaging enough. Some team members attributed it to poor site navigation and user experience. To verify this hypothesis, Gadanon setup on-page surveys which revealed that 90% of visitors who took the survey were satisfied with the site and approximately 50% were happy with the site experience, leaving no room for further debate.

Minimal IT Dependency
Gadanon notes that with VWO, his team has been able to set up and run tests with little IT help. The team usually tests changes to website content to see what visitors prefer and then plans to increase the testing frequency in the future.

It helps that the team does not need to integrate VWO with many third-party tools apart from its analytics platform. Therefore, it requires less support from a developer than it would have needed if it had chosen Optimizely.

Conclusion

Considering the experience of Gadanon and his team with both Optimizely and VWO, it becomes clear that VWO is the ideal A/B testing and conversion optimization platform for Colart and its many sub-brands. As a connected conversion optimization platform, VWO has helped the team deliver an improved user experience to its digital audience. It comes as no surprise then that Gadanon describes VWO as the “Swiss knife of web testing—an A/B testing tool as well as a research and monitoring tool for websites.”

Looking for a detailed feature comparison between VWO and Optimizely? Find it here.

The post VWO Was Colart’s First Choice As An Optimization Platform appeared first on Blog.

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VWO Was Colart’s First Choice As An Optimization Platform

How Kula Partners Followed A Structured Conversion Optimization Process Using VWO

The need for a structured, process-driven approach to conversion optimization (CRO) cannot be stressed enough. A structured CRO program is essential to deliver consistent and repeatable improvement in conversion rate and user experience (UX). Only a few organizations and agencies have adopted this approach to optimizing conversions; even fewer have been able to master it.

Kula Partners is one such agency that has actively practiced and advocated a structured CRO program. This story aims to highlight the optimization process followed by Kula Partners and how VWO helped it achieve success at each step of the process.

Based out of Nova Scotia, Canada, Kula Partners is a certified partner with VWO, offering services such as conversion optimization, inbound marketing, and web development. While optimizing conversions for its clients, Jeff White, Principal at Kula Partners, discovered that following a rigorous optimization process is what leads to success.

Synopsis of Kula’s Way of Optimizing for Success

The optimization process at Kula begins with identifying optimization opportunities on a client’s website or landing pages. It is done by closely analyzing website data and user behavior, using a variety of tools. Next, it hypothesizes ways to capitalize on each optimization opportunity. Hypotheses are then prioritized based on a few factors such as potential of improvement and effort in implementation. The hypotheses undergo A/B tests for validation, per its priority list. The results of A/B tests are thoroughly examined, and the learning is documented in a common knowledge repository. This repository is used to generate more hypotheses to optimize the website further. The cycle continues.

As Jeff puts it, “Optimizing a client’s site for conversion always starts for us with listening. We begin by implementing VWO heatmaps, clickmaps, and visitor recordings to see how people are using a site. Combined with analytics from tools such as Google Analytics and HubSpot, we’ll look for the pages that have the biggest opportunities for conversion optimization based on total number of visits and current conversion rates. Once we have a good understanding of how people are using those pages, we’ll implement a series of tests to see how best to improve the conversion rate. Sometimes this takes the form of simple changes to the body copy, button position and format. In other cases, it may mean making much larger bets and designing a wholly different, alternative landing page.

After we’ve an opportunity to implement revisions on a client site, we’ll continue to monitor the results to see how site visitors interact and refine the interface to improve the user experience even further.”

Since 2014, Kula has been trusting VWO for its optimization strategy. It has been using new features as they come up to achieve better conversions for its client websites.

Step-by-Step Process-Oriented Approach to Conversion Optimization

Let’s talk about how Kula puts its well-defined process into practice.

cro-process1

Step1: Identifying Optimization Opportunities

The first step in optimizing a website for more conversions is to establish baselines. This means setting up key metrics or goals that clearly indicate visitor actions and conducting quantitative analysis around these goals. Visitor actions leading to completion of a final goal (such as Checkout in case of eCommerce) are tracked as funnels. The website conversion funnel is extremely effective in spotting leaks—pages from which most users drop off.

Kula uses robust tools such as Google Analytics and HubSpot to track key metrics and discover potential leaks. These tools also point to high-value pages on a website—the pages that attract the highest traffic and the pages that contribute to many conversions.

Jeff says, “We identify opportunities for testing through a number of ways. We establish website funnels in tools such as HubSpot, Google Analytics and MixPanel. We then monitor conversion rates across the funnel to see areas that may be ripe for improvement. “

Step 2: Analyzing Visitor Behavior

After identifying potential leaks, the next step is to analyze how visitors are interacting with these pages on the website. This calls for a qualitative analysis of how visitors behave on the website. Such analysis provides significant insights about why visitors are behaving in a certain way. For example, if a lot of visitors are abandoning sessions on a eCommerce home page, a heatmap or visitor recording can be used to find out what category of products they were looking for and what specific problems they faced while searching for the product. Knowing what deters users from completing a conversion step is an opportunity for optimization.

At Kula, the team takes help of VWO capabilities such as Heatmaps, Scrollmaps, Visitor Recordings, and Form Analysis to understand the usage habits of visitors. It also uses VWO On-page Surveys to directly ask visitors for feedback.

Jeff shares, “As stated above, we always start our tests by observing the present usage habits of site visitors through heatmaps, clickmaps, and visitor recordings. If it makes sense, we may also gather subjective data through exit surveys. Once we have found where users stumble, we formulate specific tests to try to improve conversion.

Here’s how Kula analyzed visitor behaviors for their clients, using VWO’s advanced capabilities:

Using Heatmaps to Improve Traffic Flow

Kula Partners was working on optimizing the Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA) website by highlighting information for airport visitors at the forefront: arrivals and departures, parking information, and directions. Although the new website saw major traffic increase (more than 300%), the team continued to scout for more optimization opportunities.

A heatmap report of the HIAA home page revealed interesting insights—68% of all clicks on the home page were on the Departures tab and only 6% clicked back to the Arrivals tab.

screen-shot-2016-06-01-at-8-54-27-am-1024x650

Kula realized that this made perfect sense. Most of the traffic on the website home page would be coming to check when their flight is scheduled to depart. Far less people would look at the arrivals; they would do that only before receiving someone at the airport.

Based on this insight, Kula decided to make Departures as the default view on the home page. As a result, it saw a 20% drop in the number of visitors that clicked the other tab, which was Arrivals in this case.

Using Website Surveys Directly Provides Insights from Actual Visitors

This time, Kula was optimizing the website of Tirecraft—a company providing superior tires, wheels, accessories, and automotive services. The objective in this case was to increase the number of quotes users submit on the website.

To do that, it first tried to understand what prevented visitors from submitting a quote. It went ahead with a website survey and asked the website visitors, “What stopped you from submitting a quote request today?”

Visitors could choose their answers from the following options:

  • I prefer to purchase this product in person.
  • There was no pricing information available.
  • I need more information.
  • I can’t buy the product I want online.
  • Other.

The result of the survey highlighted the major pain points that users faced.

tirecraft-exit-surveys

An overwhelming number of visitors responded with the second option “There was no pricing information available.”

Using Visitor Recordings to Optimize User Experience

Jeff shared an example of how Kula is using visitor recordings to help its clients.

We recently completed a large UX analysis project with a series of visitor recordings for a luxury extended stay apartment company with a national presence in Canada. Through this process, we’ve been able to develop a series of over 100 recommendations for improvement of the user experience. Our plan is to begin a series of extensive innovative A/B tests, starting with their product pages and moving to other areas of the site from there.”

Step 3: Planning and Prioritizing Testing Hypotheses

The insights and observations collected from quantitative and qualitative analyses act as fuel for the optimization engine. Our next key task is to manage this library of insights and build hypotheses for testing based on data insights.

A typical hypothesis statement looks like: Based on the observation that visitors are abandoning cart because they can’t find security seals on the checkout page, I expect that adding security seals on the checkout page will address the trust issues for visitors not completing the purchase.

There is a hypothesis aimed at addressing each optimization opportunity. Just as a thorough website analysis brings up multiple optimization opportunities, the hypotheses are also numerous. At most instances, it is not possible to validate all these hypotheses through A/B tests simultaneously. At that point, the hypotheses are prioritized on factors, including the potential to deliver positive results and ease of implementation. Prioritizing these hypotheses helps us pinpoint which tests to run first and which ones to park for future.

Kula also follows a similar prioritization model. Jeff adds, “Although we don’t specifically follow any single prioritization framework, our process most closely aligns with the PIE framework. As an agency with considerable dev chops, we’re lucky in that we can implement nearly any level of test no matter how complex. The question at that point is whether or not there’s enough potential lift in conversion to make the adjustment worthwhile.

The prioritization is usually implemented with the help of project management tools.

We record and detail our hypotheses for client tests using our project management tool, JIRA. We also maintain detailed notes about how to conduct tests and implement them in VWO, using Confluence, so that all Kula team members can quickly reference the correct processes.” explains Jeff.

Step 4: Validating Hypotheses with Testing

After the hypotheses are created and prioritized, it is time to test them. Testing a hypothesis helps you validate your thought process, and a winner assures the percentage of gain you’ll achieve by executing the change on the website. Based on the complexity of the change to be implemented, you should choose the type of test to run. For instance, it makes more sense to experiment with multivariate tests on websites with heavy traffic than on pages with low traffic.

Jeff talks about his experience with testing while he was working with rest of the team on creating a new version of the website to match the new positioning.

“We rolled out a version of the new layout for our HubSpot landing pages four months before we began designing the full site. The result was pretty solid—on our most popular asset landing page, we saw a conversion lift of nearly 10%. This gave us the confidence to deploy the design more widely.

Here is a screenshot of the test variations with the old version on the left and the new one on the right:”

kula_innovative_ab_testing-1024x987

Step 5: Analyzing Test Results and Documenting the Learning

The last leg of the optimization journey focuses on analyzing how the test results tie to visitor behavior and on saving learning from this analysis for future optimization.

Jeff explains, “When running tests, we review the results from VWO but also look at how GA and HubSpot are reporting on the changes in conversion or traffic behavior. We definitely document our results from previous tests in order to inform our future tests. These are also used in our presentations to clients on why/how we should implement CRO for their businesses.

Key Takeaways

  1. A process-driven strategy for optimizing conversions is the key to long-term success.
  2. To run the optimization engine for long-term growth, businesses need to adopt a structured approach that generates insights and learning that to act as fuel for this engine.
  3. The optimization process begins with first putting the baselines in place and finding areas of potential leaks. Next comes an in-depth view of how the visitors are behaving, that is, qualitative research. This is followed by recording and prioritizing hypotheses, which are validated through structured A/B testing.

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How Kula Partners Followed A Structured Conversion Optimization Process Using VWO

Your VWO campaigns will not be affected by the Dyn.com or any other DNS outage

Yesterday, a massive distributed denial of services (DDoS) attack on DynDNS server shook the internet with popular websites like Twitter, Spotify, Reddit, AirBnB, Shopify and thousands more being inaccessible for most part of the day. The enormous scale of this outage impacted millions of users across the globe with billions of dollars being lost in revenue and business.

The incident didn’t impact VWO since we don’t use Dyn as our DNS service provider. However, no web services provider is 100% secure from such attacks. A few months ago, a similar incident happened to our DNS service provider. The issue took some time to get resolved but VWO’s asynchronous SmartCode made sure that our customers need not worry about such threats at all!

The VWO SmartCode works in parallel with your website code and doesn’t get in the way of your website loading even if the SmartCode is unable to load for some reason. This means that while the VWO app service was down because of the attack on our DNS service provider, your website and landing pages continued to work as usual. The only impact our customers saw was their A/B test campaigns not loading properly.

Here’s a quick snapshot of how the VWO SmartCode works relative to your website:

how VWO SmartCode loads

VWO’s asynchronous SmartCode does not add to your page load time. With Synchronous code, the browser has to wait for the test package to download and then process it before loading the rest of the page. If for any reason the tracking code can’t contact its servers then the browser will wait, usually 30 to 60 seconds, until the request times out. If your tracking code is in the <head> tags, then your entire page won’t load and your visitor will be stuck with a blank page. Asynchronous code does not have this critical problem. If for any reason, the asynchronous VWO SmartCode can’t contact our servers your page will still download and render properly.

At VWO, we define our success in terms of always serving in the best interest of all our customers. And this becomes crucial in critical times like this when web service providers are facing serious repercussions for absolutely no fault of their own.

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Your VWO campaigns will not be affected by the Dyn.com or any other DNS outage

Mastering eCommerce Conversions with VWO and Demandware

Shopping Cart and Conversion Optimization platforms together have been making lives simpler for eCommerce business owners. With its latest release, VWO adds Demandware to its kitty of third-party app integrations to allow easy configuration of VWO SmartCode on Demandware stores. In addition, eCommerce stores using Demandware can also track their store revenue and configure custom URLs to run tests.

Using the plug-in, Demandware users can now directly add their preferred type of VWO SmartCode (Asynchronous or Synchronous) to all pages on their shopping website and get cracking with their A/B testing campaign. The plug-in also allows eCommerce websites to track revenue conversions in their preferred format, using different combinations of tax and shipping charges along with the actual value of each order.

A key outcome of this integration is that businesses running Demandware can enable custom URL tracking. This tracking allows running test campaigns on SEO-friendly URLs that don’t have a common pattern. In a typical eCommerce store, URLs are often morphed to match frequent search queries. However, the changing nature of these URLs makes it difficult for marketing platforms to recognize their page types. VWO’s custom URL tracking allows users to easily classify URLs into different categories such as Product Page, Category Page, or Checkout Page, and then run test campaigns on a specific group of pages together.

How Does it Work?

Installing the VWO code on your Demandware store is a one-minute process. Simply download the VWO plug-in and import it into your Demandware studio. Now, follow these simple steps to configure the VWO cartridge for your store with your preferred settings.

In simple words, there is no need to individually add the VWO code to all pages on your Demandware store. The VWO plug-in does all that for you in no time! Also, don’t forget to configure your revenue tracking with VWO and enable custom URLS for running targeted campaigns.

VWO Free-trial CTA

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Mastering eCommerce Conversions with VWO and Demandware

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Placing Testimonials on Lead Generation Page Increases Conversions by 50%

Company Background

Hotel Institute Montreux is an international institute of hospitality and hotel management in Switzerland. They offer various undergraduate and postgraduate courses in hospitality and business management.

The Test

The primary lead generation avenue on HIM website is the ‘Receive your free brochure’ page. Originally, the page had a form where a prospective candidate had to fill in the details and request for a free brochure. Here’s how the original form on the lead generation page looked like:

control

HIM assigned the responsibility of improving conversions on their lead generation page to their digital agency The Reference. After evaluating various elements on the website, The Reference found that though HIM had a lot of good testimonials on their testimonials page, there were none on the lead generation page. Spotting an opportunity there, they decided to run a split test on the lead generation page. The hypothesis behind this was to test if testimonials have an impact at the visitors’ Zero Moment of Truth – the online decision-making moment.

This is how the challenger version looked like:

challanger

The Result

Placing the testimonial right above the lead generation form led to 50% increase in conversions on the form. This further translated to a 54% decrease in cost per lead for HIM’s Google Adwords campaigns.

comparison image

Why it worked?

Testimonials work as strong social proof for visitors. They add credibility to your landing page and are known to impact conversions in a positive way. However, this case brings to focus another aspect of using social proofs i.e. placement. Social proof can act as a strong influence at your visitors’ Zero Moment of Truth. Therefore, placing them closer to the action point (the lead generation form in this case) tends to magnify their impact on conversions. Michael Aagaard from Content Verve tried this experiment on his e-book download page. He moved testimonials higher up on the page and saw 64.53% increase in downloads.

You can also test the placement of various other elements on your key landing pages to see how they impact conversions. Czc.cz, a VWO customer, tested 4 different versions of a customer review widget on their products page and saw a 7.5% increase in revenue!

Share your thoughts!

Have you experimented with the placement of elements on your landing page? We would love to hear about your experience in the comments section.

The post Placing Testimonials on Lead Generation Page Increases Conversions by 50% appeared first on VWO Blog.

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Placing Testimonials on Lead Generation Page Increases Conversions by 50%

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Make your VWO Graphs more Meaningful with Annotations

Ever found yourself puzzled with a sudden spike or drop in test results? Did it finally take you hours of brainstorming and discussions to figure out what caused the change? Now you can avoid all that hassle by simply adding notes to your graphs.

VWO allows you to annotate your graph reports with relevant notes to make your analysis more meaningful. Think of these as sticky notes on your graph reports. You can use these annotations to add comments, mark important events and even add relevant links to your graphs.

annotations walkthrough

Let’s say you are the optimization expert with a large software product company. To get more users for your product, you are running a campaign on your ‘sign-up’ page with a goal to improve conversions. Meanwhile, your marketing team decides to launch a well-targeted newsletter campaign that directs visitors to the sign-up page. The awesome campaign results in a sudden spike in conversions on your sign-up page, right on the date when the newsletter was sent.

A few months down the line, when you analyze the results of your campaign, it would be hard for you to identify what caused the sudden spike in conversions. This is where annotations come to your rescue. Annotations allow you to add context to your results by including notes for other activities/events happening during the test duration. The moment you see the comment with newsletter campaign in your graph, you know what to attribute the spike to.

The annotations are visible to all users in your account so that everyone can have similar context for interpreting results. It also comes with the added advantage of viewing who added the annotation so that any further discussions can flow seamlessly.

Check out this article in our knowledge base to get a step by step view of how to use annotations for your account.

And There’s More…
1. Now you can make changes to the iframe tag on your website. The iframe editor allows you to edit iframe URL, change style and placement, and so on. Simply load the webpage containing the iframe content into the campaign builder and you are ready to go!

iframe

2. The select parent option expands to allow you to select the largest parent from any element on the page. If you are making changes to an element on your page, use this option to go up to the largest parent of the element.

select parent

Let us know about your experience with this month’s updates in the comments section. And we would love to hear if you have anything to share with us about VWO!

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Make your VWO Graphs more Meaningful with Annotations

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Measuring an Inbound Campaign through the Conversion Funnel

If you thought measuring the success of your inbound campaign is a tedious job, well don’t worry, you are not alone. According to a study conducted by Hubspot, 25% of marketing professionals admitted to ‘proving ROI’ as the biggest challenge they face.

Inbound marketing challenges

For measuring success, it is important to understand that the effectiveness of an inbound campaign is the collective result of various activities. Let’s have a look at how we can evaluate the success of an inbound campaign across various stages of the conversion funnel.

Inbound Funnel

Measuring the Inbound Campaign at Top of the Funnel (ToFU)

The primary objective of your activities at ToFU is to attract a greater share of the target market. Hence, all metrics at this stage must focus on what percentage of the audience are you reaching out to. Here’s a list of what you should measure:

  • Growth in Traffic
    You know your inbound campaign is doing well if the number of visitors to your website increases during the campaign period. A simple way to keep track of this is through Google Analytics. Follow this path in Google Analytics to see the growth in your visitor traffic: Reporting -> Audience -> OverviewWebsite traffic

    Another important factor you should keep in mind while analyzing website traffic is the percentage of new vs returning visitors. Repeat visitors indicate visitor loyalty to your website. A low rate of repeat visitors means that your inbound campaign does not offer long term benefit to users.

    Visitor comparison

    In order to keep activities in line with the objectives, you must focus on maintaining a higher percentage of new visitors at ToFU. You can focus on generating greater visitor loyalty during later stages of the funnel.

  • Sources of Traffic
    Besides growth in traffic, you must also keep in mind where your visitors are coming from. Analyzing traffic sources tells if your SEO efforts are bringing fruit. A good chunk of organic traffic is indicative of well performing keywords. On the other hand, referral traffic helps you gauge the effectiveness of your link-building efforts. You should keep an eye on the ‘referring urls’ to develop a greater understanding of the sources of traffic. Follow this path in Google Analytics to have a look at the referral traffic on your website: Reporting -> Audience -> Overview -> Referral TrafficReferral traffic
  • Social Reach
    The most popular metric to track for social performance is the wide reach of your social channels. These can be easily assessed by tracking the number of ‘likes’ on your Facebook page, number of ‘followers’ on Twitter or LinkedIn. However, these numbers in absolute terms do not make much sense for measuring success. So instead of simply looking at the number of ‘likes’ on your Facebook page, try and analyse how these ‘likes’ have grown over a period of time. Have your likes seen a sudden upward trend during a certain campaign? A comparison of growth trends will help you understand performance in a better way. Follow this path on your Facebook page to view the ‘likes’ trend for your page: See Insights -> Likes -> Net Likes

    Social reach

    You can go through this article for tips on how you can drive your social leads through the sales funnel.

  • Blog Views and Social Shares
    Analyzing individual blog posts helps you differentiate between a good post and a bad one. By continuously monitoring the views and shares of individual posts over a period of time, you will be able to identify patterns so as decide what kind of posts work best for you. Keep in mind that a highly viewed post might not result in good engagement (comments) and shares. Have a look at how our post on ‘Snackable Content’ gathered popularity on various social channels.

    Blog shares

  • Email Click Through Rate
    CTR is the most important metric of analysing e-mail marketing campaigns. A high CTR indicates that your message is clear and relevant for the target audience. However, the ideal CTR varies from one type of message to another. For example, newsletter e-mails sent to an opt-in list would have a higher CTR than a promotional message sent to the same set of customers. Hence you should define the target CTR for each form of e-mail and try achieving that for each campaign.

    Email metrics

Measuring the Inbound Campaign at Middle of the Funnel (MoFU)

Once you have attracted a large chunk of your target audience towards your offering, the next important step is to keep the audience hooked to your offer until they make the final decision to buy. Here’s what you should do to analyse whether your inbound campaign is going to help generate qualified leads or not:

  • Social Engagement
    Analyse your social media properties to see if your audience is engaging with you or not. Facebook provides its users with a ‘Talking About This’ score which measures the level of engagement on your page.

    Facebook page engagement

    In addition, you can also measure the engagement on individual messages on your Facebook page using Facebook insights. Follow this path to view the post wise engagement on your Facebook page: See Insights -> Posts -> All Published Posts

    Social engagement on Facebook

  • Lead Generation and Conversion
    Conversion rates need to be tracked for various channels of your inbound campaign. At a broad level, you must link all your campaigns to a pre-defined goal (based on your conversion objective) and see which inbound campaign is performing the best according to your goals. Follow this path in Google Analytics to see the goal conversion rate for your campaigns: Reporting -> Acquisition -> Campaigns -> Conversions (All Goals)

    Goal conversion

    If you are using your blog as an inbound channel, the call-to-action (CTA) on your blog becomes an important metric to measure success. The CTA helps drive viewers of your blog to take the required action.

    Blog CTA

  • Visitor to lead ratio
    Attracting visitors from a channel is of no use unless these visitors are taking the required action on your landing page. The visitor to lead ratio is defined as the percentage of visitor who converted to a lead. You can calculate this percentage for all you inbound channels and thus analyse which one is giving the best results.Visitor to lead Conversion = Leads Generated / Total Visitors
  • Bounce Rate and Time on Page
    You can measure the level of engagement on your blog by tracking the average time spent on the blog and the bounce rate. A high bounce rate indicates that your are not attracting the right kind of audience to your blog.

    Bounce rate

All said and done, we would all agree that measuring the performance of your inbound campaign is probably as important as executing it in the first place. The key to success lies in finding out the best way to do it. ‘Coz if you don’t measure it, you will never be able to say that it works! Have you defined measurement criterion for your inbound campaign? Do share your insights with us.

Image Credits
Impulse Creative

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Measuring an Inbound Campaign through the Conversion Funnel