Cover Story: Finding 'Definitive Insights'
Samardzija says aligning those taglines with the search terms more than doubled conversions on those pages.
Beyond tone and word choice, SAP shifted the message it was trying to convey through the website, as well. Visitors "don't need to know that we have millions of users," says Burns. Instead in December, for example, the four tabs on SAP's homepage offered session replays from the SAPPHIRE NOW + SAP TechEd user conferences, a blog post about online communities, tips for using SAP products, and a free trial offer—all content that's aimed at what visitors most likely want to know.
Conversion is the website performance metric that most aligns with success for SAP. "We have looked at time on site, we have looked at a basket of engagement metrics, and the way the world's working right now, a lot of what used to be relevant historically has evaporated," says Burns. "All we worry about is that they take the next step and they accomplish their tasks."
The conversion in question could be anything users come to the site to accomplish. "That could be a developer blogging about something in the community. That cold be a prospect simply asking us to have a chat. That could be an investor asking us for the latest copy of the annual report," says Burns. "Whatever that next step is differs by audience, but the goal of the site has got to be to convert them to that next step."
Figuring out the best way to do that—to optimize the homepage so visitors can get to the things they're looking for, to design landing pages so visitors follow through on them, to phrase offers, etc.—is why Test Lab was created.
A for Analytics
Finding the data to quantify that was a challenge using just website analytics. "You're about as likely to make the news by reading the newspaper as you are to make change by reading a Web analytics report," says Burns. Alone, that data is "not actionable insight."