Creating an AB Testing Roadmap – Don’t (Just) Trust Your Gut
There’s actually a lot to be said for instinct and gut feel. You might come up with some great test ideas on a hunch, perhaps based on what you personally don’t like about your site. The thing to remember though is that everyone has an opinion (remember the HiPPO?) and we mustn’t assume that just because we don’t like something or find something to be a barrier to purchase that the majority of visitors to our site will also think the same way.
It’s likely you’re much more familiar with your website than any of your customers and know all about its shortcomings. As a result you will see your pages and user journeys through a different lense to most other people. It’s for this reason that you need to draw on as many tools as possible when creating a CRO roadmap of test ideas for your AB and MVT testing programme.
Here’s a list of things to get you started:
– Colleagues! Send out a short template for any colleagues who have test ideas to fill in describing their hypothesis for wanting to test something. You can then collate these and prioritise them in your testing roadmap.
– Analytics – don’t ignore your analytics data (but do be careful when comparing analytics data with CRO data). Look for keys like drop off rates, bounce rates, time on page, click tracking on form fields etc. These will help you to identify the problem pages and help guide you with what you should be testing next.
– Heatmaps – if you have heatmaps available then use them! They’re certainly not the be-all and end-all but they will help you to see where your visitors are focussing their attention and what’s catching their eye. Heatmaps can be a great source of ideas for your CRO programme.
– Iterate on Previous Tests – Test iteration is a must. Whether a previous test blew conversion out of the park or had little impact use the learnings as a foundation for future tests. More often than not test iterations take less effort and stand more chance of driving positive results.
– Competitor sites – what are they doing better than you? What are they doing different to you? Use these differences as a basis for creating test plans. What works for them might not work for your customers but until you test it you won’t know.
– Speak to your call centers – Call center staff likely have more direct interaction with your customers than anyone else in your business. They’ve probably heard countless complaints from customers, many of which will follow recurring themes. Create a channel for these ideas to be fed back into your optimisation programme.
– Use your optimisation vendor or agency! If you’re lucky enough to have a managed service with an optimisation consultant then make sure you use them! They will have experience of testing on similar sites in the same vertical you’re in but will also have tested on sites in completely different industries. Use this range of experience to your advantage – ask them to present their top 5 or top 10 ideas that they would recommend testing on your site.
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Author: Phil Williams
Phil is the founder of CRO Converts. He has had the opportuntity of creating successful testing and personalisation strategies for many of the UK and Europe’s leading brands.