Which pages to test with Google Website Optimizer?
I want to address the issue of selecting the pages to optimize, and this, with the aim of helping you move from a culture of pure and simple redesign, every 3 years or more, to a culture of constant optimization. . Indeed, systematic optimization will allow you to:
- the link between the redesigns
- extend the time between two major overhauls, or even eliminate the need for such overhauls
- get to know your users better
In two three words: increase your ROI!
The most useful tool to help you select the pages to optimize, apart from expert advice or your personal feeling, is the use of Google Analytics or any other performance measurement tool. With the latter, you can see the top landing pages and their bounce rate, and if you have configured them, the conversion funnel of your site and the relative value, in $, of each page.
The top landing pages to test
When you go to see in Google Analytics the top landing pages of your site, you can switch to the "comparison" view and select the display of the page rebound rate. When you've done this, you'll be able to see the pages that have the highest bounce rate (those with a red bar). If we translate this into French, it tells us the pages receiving the most incoming visitors who leave the site directly after their visit to these pages. Thus, it is clear that the users were not satisfied in their expectation by the answer that you offered them. This can come from an adwords ad or a banner that creates too much expectation for the user compared to the ad's landing page,
If you don't have a landing page "in the red", then you just have to look at the pages that have a higher than average bounce rate in order to try to understand what displeases the user.
The pages to test in your conversion funnel
Depending on the type of conversion that your site offers, the funnel can be the number 1 priority of the pages to optimize or not. So, in the context of an e-commerce site, if you sell inexpensive and very common products like flowers or books, the funnel will be your main battleground before entering the optimization levels. intuitive and persuasive of your site, because you will need a funnel with the fewest possible irritants in order to facilitate fast, intuitive, even compulsive buying. You can also take inspiration from site conversion funnels like ProFlowers or 1800flowers, which are among the sites with the highest conversion rates.
On the other hand, if you sell expensive and/or particular products that require more understanding and/or reflection, the user will need much more to be persuaded before the funnel because if he is convinced by your product, he will be ready to put up with a few irritants in the final phase: his buying process.
In the conversion funnel, the selection of pages is relatively simple since it is enough to see the stages which have the highest abandonment rate. Thereafter, you will have to ask yourself the right questions and know how to put yourself in the user's shoes to identify the elements to modify and, possibly, those to create.
The most profitable pages to test
If you have configured the $ index metric, this will allow you to help you select, in the pages that earn you the most (be careful, this is relative and not absolute!), the pages that have a rate higher than average output. Thus, by optimizing these pages, you will increase the conversion rate of your site, but especially with conversions that are worth more.
For that, you need to go to the Top content report and sort those by the $index metric. In order to ignore funnel pages, you will need to exclude these pages using the filter at the bottom of the page. Next, you'll switch to the "comparison" view and compare the most important exit rates. These are the pages that need to be optimized!