Key Web Site Factors to Test and Track With Web Analytics
Many online marketers use Web analytics tools to track and understand what's happening on their Web sites. Key factors commonly tracked include number of visits, bounce rates, who clicks on what content and where traffic comes from.
The most successful online marketers, however, integrate their Web analytics data with multivariate testing tools, which enable them to test many changes on their Web sites simultaneously without having to increase total sample sizes.
These online marketers typically use a "test-learn-repeat" pattern that helps convert more browsers into buyers. These expert online marketers constantly test to learn what users prefer in terms of content, offers, design and navigation. They also test to learn what users don't click on and why.
By integrating testing and Web analytics, marketers learn what works and what doesn't. They discover new correlations between Web site content and visitor behavior. Marketers also learn that sometimes subtle changes, such as the color, size, placement or call to action of the buy button, can positively or negatively impact sales.
Here are some examples of site factors to test and track:
- Long vs. short;
- style and tone, such as chatty vs. formal;
- positioning, such as which value propositions, features and benefits work best; and
- call-to-action text.
Font, color and size
- Think about your target audience. For example, if your audience is older, test larger fonts.
- location; and
- Sequence of items;
- in-line text links; and
- link style, such as underline or bold.
- Content of image, such as including a man vs. a woman vs. a group;
- size; and
- location on page.
- Location and size of areas or boxes on the page;
- attention focus, such as which layouts help focus vs. create distraction; and
- buttons and links, and where to place them.
- Three-page checkout vs. five-page checkout;
- requiring form fields vs. making them optional; and
- adding bells and whistles vs. turning them off.
Testing with analytics in mind is a process that can start off small, such as changing a few things at a time and then moving on to further Web site modifications in an effort to constantly tweak the user experience. It can also start out large by testing many things at once and looking at interaction effects.
Either way, the smart marketers who use both testing and Web analytics will understand more quickly and easily what's needed to optimize their Web sites.