Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Comprehensive Guide to Running A Split Test

 Optimization is a dedicated, repeatable process.

I wanted to take this easy-to-overcomplicate process and break it down to its very foundation.
That’s where this checklist came together.
It outlines everything you are going to need to run a successful optimization campaign — from the necessary technology to the final test analysis.
Let’s get right into it.

Step 1: Necessary Tech

In order to run split tests, you’re going to need some tools.

1. Google Analytics

….or your preferred analytics suite.
This is standard. Without any analytics suite you have no data and without data you can’t do a darn thing (that’s well informed). Simply put: your analytics data will tell you where you are succeeding and where you are failing.
Use your analytics to identify pages that need work.
This is Google Analytics’ dashboard. Learn the ropes, this will be one of the, if not the most, important tools in your optimization toolkit.
(If you’re a Digital Marketer Lab member, check out the Mastering Google AnalyticsExecution Plan to start learning everything you need to get started.)
If you don’t have Google Analytics on your site yet, stop reading this right now and go get it on there.

2. Testing Tech

In order to run a split test you are going to need a technology to edit variations, split these variations, and track conversions.
Most of these technologies are about the same, especially at their lower tiered price point. We use VWO, but feel free to use whichever you prefer.
Pro tip – make sure to integrate your tool with Google Analytics to report in GA for better data

3. Qualitative Tools

Qualitative data is incredibly important and severely underused. There are some great tools out there to choose from – start with one and expand out when you run into user knowledge gaps.
Hotjar – Amazing suite of tools that we use at Digital Marketer. They have heatmaps, session recordings, user surveys, funnel analysis, and form field analysis. (Digital Marketer Lab members: Don’t miss out on our DM Deal for HotJar Pro Membership!)
CrazyEgg – Focuses primarily on heatmaps tracking clicks, mouse movement and scrolling. In our opinion, this is a better pure heatmap tool (compared to HotJar), but doesn’t have as many features. If you are just looking for accurate heatmaps use Crazy Egg.
UsabilityHub – This is a great site that has five different styles of user tests:
  • Preference Test
  • 5 Second Test
  • Click Test
  • Question Test
  • Navflow Test
Personally I prefer the 5-second test...