Noah’s Transition To Mobile Usability Testing

Noah was concerned. He was the “UX guy” for the corporate office of a regional Quick Service Restaurant (a fast food chain) that was in the process of creating a mobile app to allow patrons to customize their meals, place orders and earn rewards.
Note: This is an experiment in a slightly different format for Smashing Magazine – using a storytelling approach to convey the same lessons learned that a traditional article would have provided.

Original link: 

Noah’s Transition To Mobile Usability Testing

How a Billion Dollar eCommerce Major Achieved More Visits-to-Order Using VWO

About ShopClues

ShopClues is an eCommerce major in India serving 42 million visitors with a global Alexa rank of 431. Backed by the likes of Helion, Nexus and Tiger Global, the five year old ShopClues is already valued at one billion dollars.

We got in touch with Divakar Ravichandran, marketing technologist at ShopClues, to talk about the process they follow, the hurdles they face and the results they’ve achieved.

The Team Behind Optimization

Divakar belongs to the on-site merchandising team and takes care of on-site optimization. While A/B testing and optimization became a core function only four months ago, they were quick to set a goal of optimizing the high traffic and marketing pages. To scale fast they decided to have at least one effective A/B test deployed every week. The rigorous regimen paid off and they were able to achieve a 26% higher visits-to-order from the homepage.

Optimization Becoming a Practice

When asked if he sees optimization becoming a regular practice at the company, Divakar told us that within four months, a set of few minor and two major design improvements have been made live site-wide. It’s a move in the right direction and he is confident that conversion optimization will be adopted deeper and wider into the marketing function.

Process of Optimization

The team is currently focused on optimizing the homepage and the category pages. They act as owners for the homepage while with category pages they collaborate with the respective category managers.

Test 1 – Homepage

Each element of the homepage is carefully tracked for conversion signals and this data then fuels hypotheses and testing. On the homepage, the main navigation bar links were getting a lot of clicks. Particularly, the first link that was ‘Wholesale’. The challenge, they identified, was to send better qualified traffic to the category pages.


Shopclues A/B test control page Screenshot

ShopClues hypothesized that replacing ‘Wholesale’ with other marketing categories (like ‘super saver’ bazaar) and moving it to the left navbar can make the page more visually aligned and help receive better qualified visitors to each of the category pages.


Shopclues A/B test variation page screenshot

Results of Optimization

The new top navbar with the marketing categories now receives 50% more CTR. And as expected, the quality of visits to the categories improved as evidenced by an improvement of 26% in visits-to-order.

Testing Helps Uncover Further Areas for Improvement

Re-positioning ‘wholesale’ also meant the change had to be highlighted to the visitors. For this purpose, the team has displayed a banner that says ‘new’ right next to the ‘wholesale’. This change has since then further improved the CTR on ‘wholesale’ category.

Test 2 – Marketing Category Page

With the category pages, the team obtains data from the analytics team, deploys heat maps where required and sends these reports to their respective managers. The category managers then point out areas that require attention. Based on this feedback the team sets about creating hypotheses, prioritizing tests and executing them.

Here’s an example of how this works in real: By using Visitor Behavior Analysis the team noticed that for one of their promotional categories (Sunday Flea Market), filters like ‘new arrivals’ ‘best selling’ and ‘price sorting’ were getting the bulk of user attention. On-Page Surveys were then used to collect feedback from visitors themselves about these filters. Based on this insight a new test was created where visitors were spared that step in their search. The variation presented visitors with the products that matched the filters upfront in a horizontal display (see below).

Here’s how the original page looked:

Shopclues A/B Test Control Screenshot

And this is how the variation created based on user behavior and feedback looks:

Shopclues A/B Test 2 Screenshot of variation 1

Shopclues A/B Test 2 - Variation Screenshot

The test is still going on but early signs are encouraging with the new page getting 16% higher visit-to-order.

Experience Using VWO

VWO consists of a complete set of tools and features using which I was able to infer how visitors use the site (heat maps, visitor-recordings etc) and even how they feel (surveys). Gleaning insights from these data, I could strategize and easily launch A/B tests, multivariate tests, personalization triggers and more to optimize our funnel. The complete process of “data driven” optimization through this tool is self-explanatory and easy to set-up.

As an enterprise customer, ShopClues could also take the help of our Customer Success Managers. Divakar was kind enough to acknowledge the contribution of the CS team to their optimization efforts:

The response from the team is quick and they are available to discuss tests hypothesis and helps in setting up them effectively. I sync up with my support manager almost every day of the week to plan and optimize things.

The post How a Billion Dollar eCommerce Major Achieved More Visits-to-Order Using VWO appeared first on VWO Blog.

More – 

How a Billion Dollar eCommerce Major Achieved More Visits-to-Order Using VWO

Dear Abby: I Need (Marketing) Relationship Advice [PODCAST]


We all have that friend we go to when we need relationship advice.

But it’s not always about heartache or that roommate who won’t do their dishes. Sometimes it’s your leads who are breaking your heart. You thought you made a great first impression, so why don’t they want a second date?

When your lead gen opportunities are resulting in the marketing equivalent of a one-night stand, let Mike King of digital marketing agency iPullRank be that friend.

In this episode of the Call to Action podcast, Mike tells you how you can create long-lasting relationships with leads – the kind that keeps them coming back for more.

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • The dangers of focusing too closely on conversions and what you should be focusing on instead.
  • How data-driven personas can help you get to know your leads before you ask for their number (or email address).
  • Why unqualifying leads is sometimes better than qualifying them.

Listen to the podcast

Mentioned in the podcast

Read the transcript

Dan: You said in your talk at Call to Action Conference last year that you appreciated having your landing page brutally critiqued on the Unbounce blog. First off, thanks for being a good sport about that. You then went on to justly critique our own Call to Action Conference landing page for being less than optimal. Thanks for that, too. Is it me, or are marketers a bit like rappers? They love dissing their competitors and peers, but they can’t really take the heat when it’s directed at them.

Mike: I don’t know if that’s relegated to marketers or rappers. I think that’s just people not really liking criticism. Me, I enjoy it because those are always opportunities for me to improve, so when you guys had written that post, my team was crying about it. I was like, “Yo, they’re right. Let’s take this as an opportunity to fix that landing page.” But whenever I can return the favor on something like that, I always love to do so.

Dan: Yeah, fair enough.

Mike: I figured it was gonna be a fun little intro. I like to start out by getting people involved or make them laugh a little bit or something like that because a lot of my stuff gets pretty technical, so I like to start pretty lighthearted, and it was just a really good way to get into the spirit of the things that you guys do and give you a taste of your own medicine.

Dan: Yeah, no, that’s totally fair, and I think it’s a good thing for marketers to look inward sometimes. At the same time you said that lead generation isn’t about us. It isn’t necessarily how marketers feel about it. It’s about how our audience reacts to it. Why was that something that you thought was important to put out there?

Mike: Yeah, I thought there was a lot of discussion around how brands are supposed to be or things that brands are supposed to do. It’s more about how do we do things that people are gonna react the way that we want them to? It’s not about how we feel about what it is that’s being created or how things are being positioned. It’s all about doing the things that work for the audiences that we’re going after, so one of the subjects of contention throughout the conference was things like pop-ups.

Dan: Right.

Mike: Well, yeah, I hate pop-ups, but we all know that pop-ups work, so what’s the point in even making an issue about, “Oh, don’t do this because that makes your brand look bad”? No, it doesn’t necessarily make your brand look bad because they work for people. So I think it’s really important to remember that we as marketers are in this marketing echo chamber where people are just saying things. They have opinions, and they let their personal opinions offset what data is telling them. This isn’t me specifically dissing any one person. I’m just saying that we as marketers just need to be aware of our own biases and remember that it’s about our audiences, not about us.

Dan: Yeah, that’s definitely good to keep in mind. You were kind enough to give some relationship advice in your talk as well. You pointed out that we do a lot of one-night stands in lead gen, but not enough long-term relationships. What did you mean by that?

Mike: Yeah, I think one of the things in marketing, especially digital marketing, is we’re very much focused on that last click, that last action of the user. So many of us work on things that are just completely low funnel, and then they forget about creating this relationship with the user. So what I’m saying is think about more of the funnel rather than just focusing on that last part where you’re just trying to get the prospect in bed with you rather than thinking about taking them out on a date.

Dan: Right, so once you fill that funnel, not forgetting about those people and continuing to serve them with relevant content that eventually gets them to convert.

Mike: Yeah, and I think you guys, or Unbounce rather, is a great example of that. You guys aren’t just doing things that are like oh, get people to sign up right away. You have tons of content that’s educating people, that’s showing the value of what you guys do and the industry in general. It creates a better relationship that you guys have with your customers. Looking at CTAConf as an example, I imagine there’s a lot of people that go there that aren’t Unbounce customers, but they respect what you guys do, and because of that you’re nurturing those relationships, and then they become a long-term customer because of those efforts.

Dan: Yeah, you suggest a model of lead gen that involves spending a lot more time getting to know people before they close the deal.

Mike: Yes.

Dan: What are some of the benefits of that approach?

Mike: Yeah, and I think it goes back to the last point in that the more that you understand who you’re talking to and how you can show value to those people, the more they’re gonna stick around and understand that you get them. Again, this is not about us. It’s about the people that are in these audiences, so how do we position the things that we want these people to do in that it becomes more valuable to them aside from just the actual transaction? So understanding your audience is gonna allow you to be really hyper-focused on the things that they want, and then you’ll be able to create those things and ultimately win based on the goals that you’re going after.

Dan: To get into brass tacks a little bit, what do you mean when you say that personas should inform qualification of leads?

Mike: So when it comes to qualification of leads, I mean typically everyone’s like, “Oh, this person spent five minutes on the site, and they looked at this page, and they looked at that page.” Well, that’s very vague. I mean, any person could do those things and then also not convert, so having a better understanding of who this person is or who these people are as they’re going throughout the process of conversion helps you 1) put the right messages in front of them and 2) makes sure that you’re getting people that are actually valuable to you.

So rather than going after millions of people and then just filtering people out, it would be better to filter people out in the beginning so that people at the back end of the process are only dealing with quality. I think a good example of this is the difference between marketing-qualified leads and sales-qualified leads. A lot of times salespeople get upset at the leads that they’re getting from marketing because they feel like they’re not as valuable yet. They’re not as qualified or not as hot of a lead, so if everybody is thinking the same way like the sales team is thinking — that we only want the most qualified people — then you’re not wasting anybody’s time. What you’re doing is only giving people valuable stuff, so I’m saying if you qualify earlier and get more aggressive about that, then you’re only dealing with quality on the back end.

Dan: Right, I think sometimes it might be hard for people to have that perspective, especially if a marketing team is broken up in a way where the people driving awareness and generating those leads, their KPIs are all about more leads whereas the salespeople, they’re worried about qualification, so if you don’t make that connection to kinda take that holistic approach, then I can see how in a siloed structure you might run into some problems there.

Mike: Absolutely.

Dan: You make the connection between creating data-driven personas and something that I think not enough marketers talk or even think about, which is readability. Why is readability something that not just content marketers, but conversion-oriented marketers should care about?

Mike: Yeah, and we’ve made this connection kinda by accident just playing around with data. I’ve always understood what readability is because I’m a developer myself, and understanding content we’ve always played around with those metrics, but then what we did is we ended up comparing it with that page value metric in Google Analytics, and more often than not we’re seeing that things that are more confusing to read are way lower in page value. So ultimately they’re not converting, and that should be kind of an axiom, an obvious thing, but being that we can look at a specific metric, which is readability, and determine that changing that score for content has a direct impact on conversion. I think that that’s incredibly important, and it’s a very easy way to make more money out of your content.

As far as connecting that to data-driven personas, well, one of the outputs from demographic data is people’s reading level, so if you have an audience that has a very low reading level and your content has very low readability, then there’s a clear disconnect there. So one of the things that people don’t like about personas is that typically they’re just the output of some sort of qualitative group setting affinity mapping session, and then a lot of data-driven marketers just don’t believe in them. They don’t believe that there are ways to make personas measurable, and I counter that that’s absolutely false. There’s so much data now that allows us to do that even for free, so why not leverage that data to make this whole process measurable and then use that as a key component of determining how to convert or make people convert more?

Dan: Yeah, I think that’s another really good example of how using data helps inform the whole funnel and helps kinda break down those silos because content marketers may be looking at KPIs like time on page whereas the performance marketers are looking at things like conversion rate, but here you’re making the connection between those two things, and I think that empowers marketing teams to move forward much more collaboratively and confidently.

Mike: Yeah, and then the other component is we think of all these channels in very different ways, and obviously search is the one where we’re getting intent, and users have a very specific thing that they’re looking for, so generally speaking it’s gonna convert more, but the thing is if you’re able to measure these audience sites based on those different channels, you see that the impact isn’t as dramatic between channels when you see the audience as another data point.

So what you might end up seeing is that certain audience types still convert very well from social media or just as well as they do from search, but because the focus is so broad and you’re getting all types of people, you might see that generally speaking search is your best channel. So when you’re able to segment by audience and channel as multiple dimensions, you get to a point where you understand that it’s not just the channel itself, it’s also the type of person coming from that channel.

Dan: Yeah, I mean I think it goes back to what you said before — like we’re not just talking about rappers and marketers and leads. We’re ultimately talking about people here, and that’s important to keep in mind at every step.

Mike: Right, right.

Dan: You mentioned another model in your talk that involves unqualifying leads instead of qualifying them.

Mike: Sure.

Dan: What does that look like?

Mike: Yeah, and that’s kinda something that I noticed just looking around at people’s different conversion pages or their “Contact Us” pages, and I know that Wil Reynolds — who also spoke at CTAConf — their company actually has recently shifted to an unqualifying contact page as well. So the exemplar that I showed in my talk was from an agency – well, not an agency – it’s hard to describe because it’s like a distributed type of thing where this guy named Dan Mall – his company’s called SuperFriendly – he has no employees. He just pulls together a group of people to work on a given project at any time, and on his page there is no contact form. There’s a bunch of text that you have to read to then figure out how to reach out to them, and I think that’s a very interesting model in that it only brings the people that really wanna work with you.

So I think it’s a very interesting model, but at the same time I think it can also be a turnoff. Like, there are those people that would be very interested in working with you, but they may be turned off by your attitude because you’re kinda coming across as, I don’t know, what’s the word for how startup people act where they’re all condescending towards everyone and then just making some mediocre product? Whatever the word is for that, that’s how you come across when you have copy like that or a process like that, so it’s a double-edged sword. Ultimately it’s about: what do you want to be in the marketplace? How do you wanna be perceived? And it goes back to branding and things of that nature, but I think you need to be very careful with that because you may end up scaring off a lot of people that would be good quality leads, prospects, clients, partners for you.

Dan: Right, yeah. Oli Gardner, Unbounce’s co-founder, talks about good and bad friction and how if you want somebody to fill out a form, then typically you wanna reduce friction, but sometimes when you’re really trying to qualify people, adding a little bit more friction — another field or two — could be a good thing, but of course there are good and bad ways of doing that, and I think thinking about your brand is something that is an important consideration.

Mike: Exactly, exactly.

Dan: You make another distinction between low-effort and high-effort lead gen. Can you break that down for us?

Mike: Yeah, sure. So what we’re in the middle of doing, and it’s still ongoing, is a comparison of things that don’t take much work to do. So for example if you just wanna go after some keywords on paid search, you make a landing page, and you’re just capturing leads that way versus doing something that’s very content-driven and has some components to it that we have to custom build from scratch. And there’s a lot of analysis that went with that content that we created. In this case, what I’m comparing is what we did is we pulled a list of sites from Searchmetrics’s list of winners and losers, and we made landing pages that had messages to go for the winners and the losers, and this is specifically a list that they have of people who had the biggest negative and positive changes in visibility in organic search based on how they tracked things in their system.

So we just created a landing page for that, and then we also did this really in-depth study of the Inc. 500 where we took all 500 of the domains and did some analysis, put together predictive models around their propensity to be penalized by Google based on a variety of metrics that are available, and then we did this entire study. We did very in-depth prospecting of people at all those companies and really put together this concerted effort to reach very specific people through our marketing effort. We just wanted to see what yields the best results, so is it the thing that took a day to do or the thing that took a month to do just to see what impact it has on that target audience to get an indication of which of those is gonna be more valuable like is it even worth doing all the analysis that we did?

Dan: That’s such an interesting and important question, low versus high effort, and it’s something that I know that we talk about constantly. Often there’s a perception that more effort is gonna yield more results. You work hard, and it’ll pay off in the results, but often what it comes down to is working smarter instead of harder, and I think actually setting that up as an experiment is a pretty worthwhile thing.

Mike: It’s interesting because we do so much testing within the guess and check, but we don’t test our guess and check, if that makes sense.

Dan: Right.

Mike: Like rather than having two strategies and thinking like, “Okay, well, let’s try this one and then see what the other one does,” there isn’t as much of that. There’s more like, “Okay, well, I’m just gonna do my landing page, and I have my offer and my ad copy and leave it at that and just test within that.” Not whether different, more valuable – or not necessarily valuable – more high-effort approach might be worth testing against the low-effort approach.

Dan: How has this changed the way you guys approach things in your team?

Mike: I think generally speaking we’re always trying to think about how can we strategically do things differently. I think it’s largely because that’s just the way I am — like I like to question a lot of the status quo. I like to see if things can’t be done the other way, and maybe I’m just a stubborn person or what have you, but if people tell me this is the best practice, I’m like, “Well, why don’t we try the opposite of that and see what happens?” I think everything is based on who you are, how you did things, what have you, but more often than not I see that taking the other approach yields something different. It may not necessarily be better results, but whatever it is, I end up learning something from it, and then we apply it to other things.

Dan: Yeah, that’s a good point: that we as marketers talk about experimenting with and testing our campaigns and our marketing, but we rarely take a step back and put our own processes under the same amount of scrutiny.

Mike: Yeah, absolutely, and I think that being that the agencies I’ve worked in the past have been so strategy-focused, it’s been very easy for me to take that high-level look, but also because my background is in development and computer science and stuff, it’s very easy for me to look at the minutia and be like okay, how do we then turn this into something, like how do we execute on it? To that point, that’s something that we’re really trying to get better at is how do we turn this great strategic focus into equally great execution focus as well.

Dan: Okay, so before I let you go, I wanna ask you about pop-ups. You mentioned them a little bit earlier, and as you said, it’s one of these things that everybody says they hate, but the data shows that conversion tools like exit overlays and welcome mats usually work. Do you think it’s time for marketers to stop worrying about this stuff, or do you see these tactics working right now, but is that bubble gonna burst eventually?

Mike: Yeah, I think it’s interesting. In my talk I was kinda making fun of Neil Patel because of – well, I wasn’t kind of. I was definitely making fun of Neil Patel.

Dan: No doubt about that.

Mike: Because of the number of pop-ups he uses. But the reality of it is that a guy like Neil Patel does not care what I think. That guy is very focused on the data, and the data is telling him that he can do that, and it works very well, and despite whoever’s gonna talk shit about him – I don’t know if I can say that, but I guess I just did.

Dan: You did.

Mike: Whoever’s gonna talk about him in a negative way, he’s still gonna focus on the things that make him money, and I think the way that he works is kind of an indication of what really works rather than what any other marketers like, “Oh, well, I feel like that’s not good for your brand,” like whether it’s me, whether it’s whoever, so I think that we just have to continue to have a culture of testing things and see what works for our audiences. Generally speaking it’s to be expected that pop-ups, welcome mats and such are going to yield great results. It’s just what do you wanna do as a brand? What does your audience tell you you should focus on? And then use that as your true north rather than, “Oh, I feel like pop-ups are bad.”

Dan: Yeah, that’s a good point. Neil knows his brand, and he knows his audience, and that might work for them. He might not be speaking to the same audience that you are or that you were speaking to at the Call to Action Conference, but he’s made that decision, and it works.

Mike: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely.

Dan: Yeah, and I think on the other hand just because it works for Neil Patel and on his properties doesn’t necessarily mean it’s gonna work for other marketers.

Mike: Right, and I think, again, generally speaking best practices always need to be questioned. Again, I think they need to be ran through the lens of your audience to determine what’s gonna work for you, but it’s very difficult for me, and it should be for anyone, to really just take these “best practices” at face value. You need to always be testing. I guess that’s my sound bite.

Dan: All right, well, let’s end with that one. It’s a good one. Thanks so much, Mike, for taking the time to chat. This was great.

Mike: Yeah, thanks for having me.

Continued here:  

Dear Abby: I Need (Marketing) Relationship Advice [PODCAST]

When It Comes To High-Performing Landing Pages, It’s Not Long Or Short. It’s This…

If you’ve worked in the conversion optimization industry for longer than say, fifteen minutes, you’ve almost certainly stumbled across someone making the argument for longer sales pages. Or shorter sales pages. It usually sounds something like this… “People have short attention spans. Who’s going to read something this long?” “Long pages are ugly. What’s with […]

The post When It Comes To High-Performing Landing Pages, It’s Not Long Or Short. It’s This… appeared first on The Daily Egg.

See more here:

When It Comes To High-Performing Landing Pages, It’s Not Long Or Short. It’s This…

The Flexbox Reading List: Techniques And Tools

Flexbox gives us a new kind of control over our layouts, making coding challenges that were hard or impossible to solve with CSS alone straightforward and intuitive. It provides us with the means to build grids that are flexible and aware of dynamic content, and thus, give us the freedom to focus on the creation process instead of hacking our way towards a layout.
To give you a head start into Flexbox and provide you with ideas on how to use it to master common coding challenges, we have collected tips, tricks, and tools that help you get the most out of its power already today.

Read this article: 

The Flexbox Reading List: Techniques And Tools

Are You Guilty of These 6 Split Testing Mistakes?

No excuses. If you want to shorten your path to online success, split testing is something you have to do. However, not everyone’s website is ready to be split tested. Before you even think about split testing you need to ensure that a few other things have been taken care of first. In this article […]

The post Are You Guilty of These 6 Split Testing Mistakes? appeared first on The Daily Egg.


Are You Guilty of These 6 Split Testing Mistakes?

Is your biggest a/b testing barrier a technical one?

When you think of ‘conversion optimization’, what’s the first thing that pops into your head?

  • Testing buttons? Other design elements?
  • Using persuasion techniques and psychological triggers?
  • Landing page optimization?
  • Yes! I want more clicks!
  • Yes! I want more money!!

Okay, okay, we could do this for a while. Here’s the point…

When marketers talk about conversion optimization, we tend to talk about all of the factors that go into creating an experiment (and the expected return on investment, of course).

And, this makes sense. We’re all about online elements that you can see, read, engage with and how these elements motivate (or un-motivate) our users to click, follow and purchase.


There’s an often-ignored aspect to conversion optimization that can cut your testing velocity in half, or worse!

I’m talking about what goes on behind the scenes: the development side of an experiment. That phase where an idea, a wireframe, a design brief is transformed into a live experiment. It’s an unknown, and possibly scary, process for many marketers. Who really knows what those developers are up to anyway, right?

This integral part of conversion optimization doesn’t get much attention. But it’s so important. If your development process isn’t smooth, launching an experiment can take forever. You can get caught up in never-ending QA, which delays your experiment, which delays your results, which is frustrating to no end.

So, in this post, we’re revealing some of the most common technical difficulties associated with conversion optimization and how your team can conquer them.

Don’t let the following seven technical barriers kill your optimization program!

1. The Flicker

Probably the most common error in conversion rate optimization is known as the flicker or Flash of Original Content (FOOC).

An example of FOOC. This is not how you want to be a/b Testing.

I’ll offer a brief overview here, but if you really want to dig into FOOC, read “11 ways to stop FOOCing your A/B tests”.


When you’re a/b testing, you’re injecting code, meaning you’re making changes to a page in a browser once that page is loaded. You’re allowing the page to load its original content and then you’re adding script that changes that content into something else. If you haven’t accounted for FOOC, your visitors may be seeing that flicker or flash of original content before they see the proper variation.


There are several ways to combat FOOC. One is to ensure that the snippet for whatever testing tool you’re using is in the head of the document, preferably at the top, just after the metatags. Most people put this snippet in the body, but don’t make this mistake! This placement means that everything else loads before the snippet is detected.

The aforementioned post outlines 10 other ways to conquer conversion optimization-induced FOOC: if you’re struggling with flicker, it’s worth a serious look!

2. Troubled tracking

Without proper goal tracking, your a/b test may be DOA. Skewed tracking can result in a losing variation being declared a winner, or a winning variation being declared a loser. Goal tracking will make or break an experiment: an incorrect setup can lead to wasted developer time and traffic allocation.

There are two types of goals: visit goals and click goals. The former is assigned to a page URL, the latter to an interaction with a page. You want to make sure that you’re tracking the right goal at the right time. For example, if you want to track engagement with a call-to-action that directs visitors to a new page, you want to track how many people are actually clicking, rather than the page URL itself.

click goal vs. visit goal
Are you tracking a click or a URL?


When a visitor clicks something, a message (also known as an API call) is sent to your testing tool saying ‘hey, this got clicked’. However, if there is a page redirect occurring at the same time as the click, the redirect will override the tracking of the click. If you don’t allow enough time for the click goal to register before you send your visitor to a new page, you could lose that click.

What’s more, depending on a visitor’s computer speed or the browser they’re using, their click may be tracked, but this data in its entirety will be skewed. You’ll see clicks coming in, but you may only be capturing a fraction of the actual clicks.


The solution here is pretty simple: you’ve gotta allow time before you redirect the page. Standard practice at WiderFunnel is to count one second after the click goal has been sent before redirecting. This prevents the cancellation of the API call.

3. Confused selection

selector prefix
The ‘wf’ prefix allows us to properly identify selectors.

A selector is used to apply rules to certain elements within the document object model (DOM). The DOM contains the building blocks that tell a browser how to read HTML: it’s a whole bunch of text that forms the structure of a website.


Say you’re running an experiment on multiple pages. You’re trying to change the background color to blue on a certain area of a certain page. But, you find that on another page, where you don’t want the blue background, the blue background is appearing. They’re totally different areas, but they’re probably using the same selector.


It’s always a good idea to add prefixes to your selectors to 1) make them unique and 2) distinguish them from the selectors that belong to the source code. We add a handy ‘wf’ prefix to ours, to keep everything clear.

4. Garbage code quality

Good code is really important in testing in general. Because you’re injecting new code into an existing, fully-formed website, you have to make sure that whatever changes you make are as minimal as possible.


If your code is not on point, you risk slowing your site’s loading speed and creating extra bugs.


To avoid messing with your site’s load speed:

1) Cache your variables. Rather than asking the DOM to access a variable or selector multiple times, you can link these instances. This way, you’re only querying the DOM once vs. multiple times, which can substantially speed up load times.

image sprite
Load your icons in a sprite, like this!

2) Load your resources in sprites. According to our dev team, this is just good standard practice, but I thought I’d cover all the bases. Loading in a sprite means you’re loading multiple images one time into the DOM, as opposed to loading each image individually. If you did the latter, the DOM would have to load each image separately, slowing load time.

To avoid creating extra bugs on your site:

Make sure that the code you’re injecting doesn’t rely too heavily on the source code. If you bind your variation code too tightly to your source code, you could be creating cases that don’t exist in the source code. If you don’t take precautions, you might be sending something to the backend that could come back as an error because the source code hasn’t had to deal with that situation before.

5. Responsive confusion

If your site is responsive (as is most likely the case) and you decide to run a site-wide test (as often happens), you must keep an eye on dynamic elements.


responsive code
Does your code account for every scenario?

When there are dynamic elements on a site — like descriptions on a product page that can range in length — you will run into trouble if you don’t consider formatting. You can’t just build for that product description element on a single page, because there’s a chance that it’s totally different on another page. It might be three words long in one place and paragraphs long in another; you have to make sure that these differences won’t lead to a wonky display.


The best way to tackle this one is through due-diligence; this issue is really an issue because it’s easy to overlook. One of our developers, Thomas Davis, recommends switching pages every so often when you’re coding a variation (if the experiment is site-wide, that is). Build an element to work on multiple pages: start on one product page, continue on another product page. This way, you can ensure that the formatting doesn’t break from page to page.

6. Cross-browser code (aka The Internet Explorer conundrum)

Cross-browser code
Make sure your pages can cross browsers.

As simple as it seems, it’s really easy to overlook cross-browser compliance when you’re building a test. This can be a chore, particularly when you’re working with Internet Explorer.

*For an informative discussion on why Internet Explorer is such a thorn in most developers’ side, check out this Reddit thread.


When you’re busy and under pressure (to say, launch an experiment quickly), it can be easy to forget about testing your code across multiple browsers and devices. A variation can look completely normal in Chrome, but display incorrectly in IE.


You’ve gotta put in the time, as with ensuring your code is responsive, to be diligent about cross-browser testing. We test in all browsers and we test on both Mac and PC, all before our tests go to QA to ensure a seamless experience for our clients’ visitors. It’s important to account for all of the options, otherwise you risk revealing what’s behind the curtain (and that never ends well).

7. What’s the ‘Why’?

Tony Ta

In order to get good at conversion optimization, you need to know why you’re doing it.

Tony Ta, Lead Developer, WiderFunnel

This last one is less of a technical mistake, and more a cautionary suggestion.

Let’s say that your development resources are limited. Your organization relies on one development team for internal maintenance and improvement. They’re very busy and their time is expensive (those specialized skills, and all).

You’ve decided to venture into conversion optimization because, if all of the work your dev team is doing isn’t proven to increase conversions on your site…what’s the point?

But, your devs aren’t in the loop. Maybe they have some familiarity with CRO, but maybe they don’t. They’re not a part of your marketing team, their job is to code, to fix, to problem solve in a particular way. And now they’re coding experiments that they don’t really understand.

Don’t go this route. It’s particularly important to your optimization process that you let your developers in on the ‘why’ behind what you’re doing. It can be tough to take the time to explain, particularly if both departments are slammed (as is often the case).

But, without the ‘why’, mistakes will be made and problems will be missed.

Tabish Khan

A dev needs to know the end goal, the big picture as to why they are doing what they are doing. This allows them to see solutions that others may not see.

Tabish Khan, Front End Developer, WiderFunnel

When I first sat down to write this post, I sent a survey to our development team. I asked a bunch of questions about why conversion optimization is so difficult from a programming perspective.

Not only did I learn about the common technical difficulties outlined above, I also learned a little bit about what makes our team so great at what they do.

One word: focus. Conversion optimization coding isn’t simple. Our development team is good at what they do because it’s all they do.

Thomas Davis

We’ve done this 1,000 times. We know what to do when we face an issue. We understand conversion rate optimization. We know every tool and all of the hidden features. We know how to make a variation work without breaking the existing code.

Thomas Davis, Super Confident Front End Developer, WiderFunnel

If you’re considering CRO as a strategy, consider your development team. Consider their bandwidth, their focus, their time. If you want to implement a rapid and successful testing program, assemble a team that can give your strategy their full attention. Or bring in a partner with a specialized team at the ready.

For more information on how to create and implement a successful conversion rate optimization strategy, download the free guide below.

The post Is your biggest a/b testing barrier a technical one? appeared first on WiderFunnel.

Originally posted here: 

Is your biggest a/b testing barrier a technical one?

Content Modeling With Jekyll

It’s not exactly a new subject, but lately I’ve had reason to revisit the skill of content modeling in my team’s work. Our experience has reached a point where the limitations of how we practice are starting to become clear. Our most common issue is that people tend to tie themselves and their mental models to a chosen platform and its conventions.

Content Modeling With Jekyll

Instead of teaching people how to model content, we end up teaching them how to model content in Drupal, or how to model content in WordPress. But I’d prefer that we approach it from a focus on the best interests of users, regardless of which platform said content will end up in.

The post Content Modeling With Jekyll appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

Continue at source:  

Content Modeling With Jekyll

Is Egocentric Copy Alienating Your Prospects?

woman lifting weights and looking in mirror
“Who writes the best copy? I write the best copy.” Image via

Do you know what the most common advice is for people trying to make new friends?

Stop talking about yourself and ask about the other person.

People love to talk about themselves, so by giving into the other person’s desire to do so, you come across as ultimately likeable.

Well guess what? The same is true of landing page copy.

It’s an all-too-common mistake that business owners and marketers make when crafting their own campaign landing pages. When tasked with making their online business stand out from the pack, they default to shouting their own virtues from the rooftops. They think that if consumers know all about how wonderful they are (or their product is), conversions will hop right into their lap.

But the harsh reality is your audience couldn’t care less.

Landing pages can be tricky. You need to be persuasive enough in a single page to convince the casual visitor to take action and convert. By simply talking yourself up, you’re missing the mark completely for one very important reason:

It’s not about you, it’s about your audience.

Just as you might be inclined to go on and on about how great your business is, your audience is only interested in how you can help them. It’s human nature — we are innately wired to be most concerned about number one.

In other words, to engage your audience and convince them to convert, you need to write copy that appeals to their own self interests. If you can’t do that effectively, your audience will likely seek a solution to their problem elsewhere.

Engage and convert your audience with copy that appeals to their own self interests.
Click To Tweet

Let’s explore a few different types of self-indulgent copy — mistakes you may not even realize you’re making — and how you can do better.

Signs of ego-driven copy

Landing page copy should be written with one goal in mind: To convince visitors to convert. If you go into it with any other motivations, you’re setting yourself up to fail.

When it comes to egocentric landing page copy, there are two distinct varieties: author-centric copy and company-centric copy. Let’s dig into both.

1. Author-centric copy

Author-centric copy can creep up when the copywriter is more interested in showing off their writing talents than writing persuasive copy designed for conversions.

You may be a prolific writer with an Ivy League vocabulary and a style all your own. But once you start writing to impress, rather than to persuade, you have already lost a large chunk of your audience. Some may not understand your word choices, but the bigger problem is that you are missing the point of landing page copy to begin with.

Once you start writing to impress, you’ve already lost a chunk of your audience.
Click To Tweet

Note the example below. HLT is an online learning platform. After careful consideration, I figured out that this landing page is meant for it’s partner program, but it’s still hard to know what that entails or what the benefits are. The author of this copy seems to be more concerned with setting a tone than with enticing a conversion.

landing page screenshot

Take the headline for example: “Embracing the Mobile Mind Shift.”

Do you have any idea what this means? Does it entice you to fill out the form next to it? Not at all.

It might be thought provoking, it doesn’t make for a very enticing headline. It doesn’t make it crystal clear what you’re going to get by filling out the form, which is a missed opportunity.

While there is certainly a time and place to win readers over with your thoughtful prose and witticisms, a tightly honed landing page isn’t it. Copy containing overly flowery or clichéd language may make the writer feel good about his or her abilities, but it does very little to make potential partners feel confident that their pains are understood (or that they’ll be addressed).

2. Company-centric copy

This is a much more common form of landing page narcissism that can destroy your conversions. Consider the headline in the following example from Co-Construct, the self-proclaimed “#1 Highest Rated Remodel and Custom Home Building Software.”

company-centric landing page

Everybody is looking for “#1,” so what’s wrong with this? The problem is with what’s missing:

  1. Why is it rated the best? Who rated it number one?
  2. What’s the unique value proposition? What can this software uniquely offer me that its competitors can’t?
  3. What specific concerns, pain points or fears does it address?
  4. How will this particular software benefit me? How will it make my life easier?

By simply speaking to how great your company, product or service is, you’re missing a huge opportunity to convey what your prospect will get out of the deal.

Never mistake your own enthusiasm for what will motivate your customers.

How to turn it around

So now that we know some of the more common mistakes, how do we turn the mirror away from ourselves and toward our audience?

Turn your brags into benefits

When it comes to persuasive landing page copy, it’s all about consumer benefits. So you must ask yourself: “How will my offering benefit my target customer?”

Start with what you already have. Go through your existing copy, and every time you see a braggy statement about your business, rework it so it concretely addresses a validated pain point with a benefit. For example:

“#1 Highest Rated Remodel and Custom Home Building Software” becomes “Complete Your Home Remodel Faster & Under Budget.”

Addressing the pains your product or service alleviates and offering concrete solutions is incredibly effective in landing page copy. Chances are, your current landing page partially addresses these elements, but it’s up to you to polish each point to make them overtly obvious and benefit-driven.

Lyft is an on-demand car service currently in hard-core recruitment mode for drivers. Their driver-targeting campaign does a great job of using two separate benefits in one succinct headline:

lyft landing page
Lyft’s driver campaign combines two benefits into one super compelling headline.

Final thoughts

One of the most fundamental principles of winning people over is to stop talking about yourself, and ask about them. It is incredibly effective when it comes to making friends, and the same is true when trying to maximize online conversions.

By simply asking, “What worries my customers?” or “How will my product help them?” you will be in the right frame of mind to craft much more persuasive copy.

When you put your own ego on the shelf and start speaking to your ideal customer’s self interests, you can expect to see your conversions take off like crazy. Which is, ironically, a nice little ego boost.


Taken from – 

Is Egocentric Copy Alienating Your Prospects?

Efficient Responsive Design Process

What’s your responsive design process like? Do you feel that it’s efficient? The following article is an excerpt from Ben Callahan’s chapter “Responsive Process,” first published in the eBook version of Smashing Book 5 (table of contents). We’ve collected some useful techniques and practices from real-life responsive projects in the book — and you can get your hard copy or grab the eBook today. You will not be disappointed, you know.

See original article:

Efficient Responsive Design Process