Imagine you just had the perfect haircut. You were so pleased with it that all you wanted was to show it around. A few months later, your hair grew. The haircut is not that cool anymore, and you realize that it’s not so trendy after all. Would you consider keeping it as is?
The same goes for your website.
No company would like to be associated with an old, less functional website that doesn’t provide an optimal user experience.
But how do you know whether you need to make changes? By measuring your website’s performance. Not once or twice, but as an iterative process of constant improvement. “How do you I go about doing this”, you ask? By following a simple cycle.
Traditional analytics tools like Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics will give you the numbers you need to understand what is going on with the site. Are you selling as expected? Where are your visitors coming from? Are they finding your registration process easy or frustrating? This is the Purpose step, the baseline of the cycle you have to follow to optimize your website and improve results.
In-page analytics like ClickTale® will then enable you to understand the why behind your visitors’ behavior. Why aren’t they converting? Where in the funnel did they drop? Where did they spend the most time on a page before clicking the call to action? This is the Picture step, or the visualization of the challenge using heatmaps, session recordings, funnels and other tools.
Once you have collected and ‘pictured’ the information, you should create a Plan and develop a hypothesis of what you think can be done to improve your results. But how do you know whether your hypothesis is right? You have to test it to evaluate how visitors interact with it – in other words, what are the changes in Performance of your website. This is accomplished with A/B and multivariate testing tools like Optimizely, Monetate, Maximyser and others.
In the next step of the improvement continuum, you have to Pinpoint and understand the causes behind the measured performance, while at the same time developing ideas for future tests. This again is done with in-page analytics like ClickTale, which enables you to compare and visualize pre/post-test data to understand whether the test was successful or not.
Once you have the insights, the final step is to make the changes to the site, or making it Perfect, suitable and optimized for your visitors’ needs.
But wait… As we said before, the cycle never ends. The behavior of your visitors is constantly changing, there are technological advances, new trends, novel devices are introduced into the market virtually every day, and buying habits change. So you cannot keep the old haircut that no longer suits you; you have to change it to make it work for you.
A few words about Shakenkan
Shakenkan is a chain of garages based in and around Tokyo that specializes in helping car-owners to pass the mandatory car inspection every two years. Shakenkan has traditionally distributed thousands of paper flyers, but have found that this technique is not very cost effective. Their strategy has therefore gone more online where the goal of the website is to generate reservations.
Challenge and Strategy
Principle Co. were tasked with increasing the conversion rates of visitors making a reservation at their local Shakenkan garage. There were three main areas of the site where they used ClickTale in order to increase conversion:
- Driving Visitors from the Homepage down the Conversion Funnel – The homepage is the most popular landing page with 34% of visitors landing there. What do visitors look for when they first arrive on the website?
- High Abandonment Rate on the Pricing Page – The price chart page is the most viewed page on the site. Many customers are price sensitive and Shakenkan is conscious that they are not the cheapest available on the market. Visitors are always going to check the pricing page so what more can be done to ensure that visitors don’t abandon the site after checking the pricing?
- Low Form Completion Rate – A disappointing 20.32% of visitors who reach the reservation form actually go ahead and complete it. What can be done to ensure that a higher percentage successfully complete the reservation?
Analysis and Findings
Removing Two Steps of the Funnel by Optimizing the Homepage ClickTale’s Mouse Move Heatmap and Click Heatmap showed that of all the content on the homepage, visitors were most interested in finding information on the location of the garages. They were therefore searching for a link to the garage information page. Since customers have to bring their cars to the garage, it made sense that the location is one of the most important pieces of information for visitors.
To address this need, rather than forcing visitors to click through to another page, they decided to include a map on the homepage. The map also included pins indicating the location of all the branches with all relevant contact information.
Before the change, visitors had to make at least two clicks before finding this vital information.
Adding a Highly Appealing Call-to-Action on the Pricing Page
The Mouse Move Heatmap of the pricing table shows that there is great interest in the prices. Shakenkan were aware that their prices were not the lowest around so in order to prevent a high abandonment on this page, they needed to divert attention elsewhere. One of the more unique aspects of their offering is that customers can use credit card, which many other competitors do not offer. Realizing that a cashless payment was a Unique Selling Point, they added a large button below the pricing table which says “Shakenkan’s service is Cashless” and leads to the page where detailed information is listed. This way attention was diverted from a weakness to one of their strengths.
On analyzing their reservation form with ClickTale Form Analytics, they revealed that a massive 66% left the form without interacting with it at all. They concluded from this that the form was so long that it was an immediate turn-off for potential customers.
Furthermore, according to ClickTale’s Drop Report, the fields which visitors were more reluctant to fill were related to specifying a time to bring the car to the garage. Not everyone knew the answer and many were therefore abandoning the form as a result.
All unnecessary fields were removed, which immediately reduced the number of fields from 18 to 11. In addition, for questions related to specifying the time to bring the car to the garage, they added the message in red letters stating “You don’t have to fill this out if you don’t know”.
The addition of the interactive map on the homepage, cut out two steps of the funnel, and increased the conversion rate by 88.2%.
After emphasizing the cashless payment method on the pricing page, abandonment was significantly reduced and conversion rates from the pricing page increased by 23.45%.
The reservation form completion rates increased by 71.1% by removing seven fields and more clearly stating when a field was optional.
Guest Post: Udi Zisquit
Segmenting your data when analyzing and optimizing your website is crucial for creating a successful and pleasant experience for your visitors. Analysts and website managers know this, and will often use the classic segmentation filters developed over the years in various web-analytics tools (country, languages, device type, etc.) in order to further understand segment groups and optimize their website. But are these really the segment groups you should be focusing on?
When observing behavioral differences and varying conversion rates among visitors from different countries, analysts will easily conclude that visitors from different countries have different customs and rituals and therefore react and behave differently on their website, and will leave it at that. Such notions are based on existing preconceptions and stereotypes regarding people (Germans pay attention to details, Japanese only buy high-quality products, and Americans are patriotic and attracted to red, blue and white, etc.), and canc lead to many missed opportunities as we fail to adequately optimize our website for our desired audience.
We may believe that the behavioral gap between Japanese and American online consumers is too vast to reconcile and cater to at once, but ClickTale’s latest analyses are showing us that, in fact, there is much more in common between a Japanese and an American teenager both of whom, for instance, wear organic jeans, listen to Jazz and are both members of Greenpeace, than among consumers in any specific geographic location.
Websites (and the products or services they offer) are designed for groups of people who share the same values and meanings, and therefore in order to adequately design, optimize and advertise your website, you must segment your traffic by meaning.
Aside from cases in which regulatory restrictions exist or if our website, simply doesn’t cater to certain geographies (language barriers, shipping restrictions, etc.), we should see no substantial differences in conversion rates and behavior among similar visitors – at least not on a geographic or cultural basis.
Let’s demonstrate: As we first segment our conversion funnel by country or language, we will probably see large discrepancies in traffic size and conversion rate. But now let’s add a few additional filters and start specifying who exactly we’re interested in: male visitors, new to our website, who arrived through a specific marketing channel and whose previous page was greenpeace.com. As we add these filters, we will see a drop in traffic size among all countries, but the conversion rates will start levelling.
Website owners need to focus on the meanings and values that their visitors share while breaking any geographic boundaries. The demographic filters need to be reevaluated and redefined. Combining and integrating different advanced traditional and in-page analytics tools allows for such filtering and advanced segmentation, and guarantees a more successful user experience for your real customers.
We would like to introduce you to Jessica Braman, a Customer Experience Consultant here at ClickTale. From daily client interaction and engagement management, all the way to the execution of a client-centric strategic approach, to developing a trusted adviser relationship with enterprise clients by delivering quantifiable value, Jessica has done it all. Check out this video to gain some insight into what Jessica has learned in 2013 and how you can apply it to your website in 2014.
A few words about Médecins du Monde:
For 30 years Médecins du Monde has been involved in treating the most vulnerable populations; Bearing witness to obstacles encountered to health care access; Obtaining sustainable improvements to health policies and medical practices so as to attain equal access to health care for all.
1. The Challenge
As a non-profit, raising money through donations is critical ensuring that Médecins du Monde can continue to fund their important work. Small donations from members of the public is an important channel for the organization to raise funds and the online donation page is a central element for this. By improving the layout, content and form on the donation page, they hoped to see an increase in conversion rates.
2. The Donation Page
Using ClickTale’s Form Analytics Conversion Report, they discovered the global performance of the form and the visitors’ interactions.
The conversion rate was 12% with more than 63% of the visitors leaving the page without interacting with the form whatsoever. Additionally, 24% of visitors left the form after they started to complete their details.
This suggested that the form was too complex and/or too long to complete, even for visitors that had already decided that they want to make a donation online.They also used the Drop Report and Time Report in order to understand which fields were not performing well and why.
Using ClickTale they identified that the entire page needed a revamp including layout, fields and design. The main changes included:
- Adding a background picture (empathy);
- Adding a UVP (Unique Value Proposition) and form title at the top of the page;
- Adding contact information (working as reinsurance elements);
- Revamping the form layout (split into three steps/fields redesign);
- Optimizing the form fields (explain/remove fields)
- Adding a proof of success and “clients’ benefits” near the submit button;
- Optimizing the submit button (color, size, design, and content)
The donation page: Before and After
Using ClickTale, Médecins du Monde increased conversion rates of the online donation page by 52.6% from 12% to 18.4%. In real terms, this increased monthly online donations from €30,000 to €45,780.
VISIPLUS is a ClickTale Certified Partner in France: Visiplus est une agence conseil en référencement et Web marketing. Depuis 2002, nous accompagnons nos clients dans leur stratégie de visibilité sur le Web en leur proposant des solutions de marketing digital orientées conversion ainsi que des formations dans les différentes spécialités du e-Marketing. www.visiplus.com
CLICKTALE is the leading company in Customer Experience Analytics, the next generation of web analytics solutions, monitoring website visitors’ complete online behavior and providing deep insights that help companies improve online customer experiences and increase revenues. Visit www.clicktale.com or contact us at email@example.com
Do you want to improve your users’ experience and want a product that goes beyond the cold numbers that helps you understand what they are doing on your website? What if you had a tool that lets you uncover their behavior, find opportunities to improve sales, and improve registration? Check out this video where Amir Weiss, VP Global eBusines, MetLife, talks about the benefits of the ClickTale Core solution.
Guest Post: Maya Hasson
Uncovering visitors’ usage patterns and adapting their online experience is essential in today’s saturated and competitive eTravel industry. At the same time, a lot of time and effort go into the upkeep of a travel website.
The fruits of your labor are in the website’s conversion numbers. What if there was a way you could analyze how users scroll and click across your website? ClickTale’s Mouse-Tracking Suite lets you see your site through the eyes of your visitors. By tracking their mouse movements and optimizing their experience you can increase conversion rates and maximize your ROI.
After you analyze how people move with the mouse around your website, you understand their behavior, and can make simple changes that will keep them coming back.
Here are several recommendations that will help your website to stand out and you to maximize conversions.
The most important tool in a travel website is the search box. In addition to the search query itself, there should be a lot of content surrounding the search box, such as Most Viewed, Recently Viewed (depending on your history), Recently Searched, and Promotions.
A great deal of money and resources go into this content to try to catch your visitors’ attention. However, by analyzing how people move with the mouse or scroll up/down in thousands of travel webpages, we learned that a great majority of visitors focus their attention on the search query only. They search for the specific destination they had in mind when they came to your page. So focus your energy in the search box. Provide at least three filters (no more) to cater to different user preferences, and don’t go overboard with the number of results on each page (the average visitor scrolls through only 10 results).
Today, web salesmanship is all about personalization. Your visitors need to be swept off their feet and encouraged not to check travel prices elsewhere. Design and tailor your pages according to the specific profile, usage patterns and behavior of your visitors. Segment your audience by age, gender, geography and many other filters. The more you segment and break down your visitors, the better your chances are of narrowing down specific customer profiles. If you want to sell travel packages to the Caribbean, for example, maybe your target visitors should be residents of London where it’s always raining.
Calendars usually have either a drop-down menu or an actual calendar appearing when people click. Visitors tend to interact more with an actual calendar than with drop-down menus. Make sure the functionality of the calendar is such that the search is made easy, without causing frustration or page abandonment.
If they are looking for a flight, for example, after they select the departure date you want to automatically update the arrival date with a day +1 to be the default. This is a great practice that enables them to go through the process as quickly as possible. The same applies to hotel booking. After they select the check-in date, provide them with a range of prices within a period of, for example, ± 3 days. This prevents them from going back and forth to compare offers and makes their navigation more flexible and pleasant.
If you want to reap benefits from analyzing the way users scroll and click across your website, ClickTale has a plan for you. The ClickTale Priceless™ Plan offers everyone the possibility to maximize their website’s potential, obtain insights about how their visitors interact with their web pages, and increase conversion rates – all free of charge. The Priceless Plan offers four types of heatmaps – Mouse Move, Mouse Click, Attention & Scroll Reach – for all your webpages – so you can better understand how hundreds of visitors behave in aggregate.
Want to learn more about how the ClickTale system can help you optimize your website and increase conversion rates? Click here.
Guest Post: Ramel Levin
In today’s conversion-driven digital markets, A/B testing is a fundamental tool that takes the guesswork out of website optimization. It is a great way to quickly try to improve the design and performance of your web pages.
This short article discusses three specific issues that can improve your A/B testing and lead to better website optimization:
- Data-driven versus user experience-driven testing
- Audience segmentation
- Testing procedure
Before You Start
A/B testing is a valuable tool that enables the comparison of two versions of a web page to identify which of them elicits more responses, causes more visitors to subscribe to a service, or leads to more conversions. But how do you choose which pages to test? And on each page, what elements should you test?
You can start with best practices. Most web analysts will recommend testing calls to action, the content placed above or below the fold, and the structure of a registration form because all of these can lead to quick wins and have a strong impact on conversion.
You can also make a hypothesis about which areas of a page may be causing frustration or abandonment. This process can be aided by in-page web analytics, which monitor your visitors’ behavior on the page (including where they are clicking, hovering or abandoning a funnel) and provide insights into which page elements to A/B test.
1. Data-Driven Versus User Experience-Driven Tests
Data-driven A/B testing relies on hard numbers, including on the mathematical analysis of how people use your webpages, click different elements and interact with every section. It is based on statistics, calculations, responses to questionnaires and/or feedback forms that you ask your visitors to complete. Data-driven A/B testing is structured, stable and easy to measure.
User experience (UX)-driven tests, on the other hand, are based on hundreds or thousands of theories involving issues like font type, font size, color, position of the call to action, page design and more. In many ways, user experience is related to creativity and personal opinion, which are very hard to measure.
Data-driven A/B testing should be your goal. Gather as much significant data as possible, structure it to ensure high-quality results, test and analyze it, and draw conclusions. The result of the A/B test of your home page may lead to the conclusion that no changes are required. However, if the test was conducted scientifically using large amounts of data and relying on tools that provide you with insights into your visitors’ behavior, then you will know the results of the test are valid.
2. Segment Your A/B Test Audience
Today, more and more companies personalize their web pages to more accurately deliver their messages and campaigns to different target audiences. To accomplish this, it is important to be able to segment visitors. For example, you can segment the target population of an A/B test by new versus returning visitors. If you sell a service to which your customers are already subscribed, you do not want to offer them something they already have, but rather show them a page with other supplementary products, a training video, the page of your support organization or information about how they can maximize the benefits of your service.
This methodology is also known as targeted A/B testing; you do not test with everybody…only with specific segments of the target population. As author Avinash Kaushik states in Web Analytics 2.0, “Absolutely nothing is more important in analytics than segmentation. Why? Because monoliths don’t come to our websites. I know that seems like such a shock. Yet most of our reporting and analysis happens at an aggregate level…Different types of visitors come to your website. And they all come with different intentions, with different problems or solutions, and with different personas. This unique phenomenon mandates that you have a very effective and persistent segmentation strategy as part of your web-analytics process.”
Other popular segmentation options for A/B testing include:
- Geographical location—This is useful if you’re considering localizing your website or if you wish to further outline the services you provide to specific locations (for example, shipping).
- Source—This method enables you to segment your visitors according to what brought them to your website (e.g. PPC campaigns, social channels, email campaigns or organic web search). It is very useful when you’re trying to measure the success of a campaign or when deciding on your company’s marketing budget.
- Previous behavior—You can target your message or campaign based on whether a visitor has previously shopped on your site, visited but not shopped, or has items in the shopping cart from a previous visit. It also allows you to assess the user experience and make improvements where necessary.
If you want to test other behavioral aspects like how visitors respond to a color or message, you can run a multivariate test or factorial experiment to test different combinations of different sections or elements of a page.
In summary, segmentation provides an infinite number of possibilities for tests that you can run, further perfecting your optimization cycle.
3. Test, Test and Retest
Many businesses make the mistake of A/B testing a web page, analyzing the results, making the changes (if the results of the A/B test show that changes are indeed needed), and then moving on to another page.
This should not be the case, however. After running the A/B test, you may learn that your original hypothesis was incorrect, that the results are inconclusive, or that both versions of a tested page had the same conversion rate. This does not mean you should stop testing; it only means that you should go back to the drawing board, study your visitors’ behavior, make another hypothesis and test again. This is the only way to ensure a continued process of optimization.
Testing is a cyclic and iterative process. You can run many tests on different sections of the same webpage or test a single element (for example, a call to action) across several pages. Moreover, user preferences change over time, the devices they use to interact with your website are constantly advancing, and you want to make sure that they always have an optimum experience and that they keep converting. This can only be achieved through continuous testing.
After collecting the data, segmenting it, conducting the test, analyzing the results and making the changes, you can move on to understanding why one version performed or behaved better than another. This can be achieved with in-page analytics tools like heat maps, visitors’ recordings and form analytics. These provide actual insights into your visitors’ behaviors when they interact with your pages, explaining why they reacted differently to each version.
The visualization of people’s actual behavior online will help you draw conclusions that you can implement across all website pages, so that you can enhance your visitors’ experience, increase conversion and improve your bottom line.
As VP of Marketing, Ramel is responsible for the ClickTale brand, marketing communication, marketing acquisition and retention.
Ramel has over 20 years in the Hi-Tech Development & Marketing industries. Prior to joining ClickTale, he was the Marketing Director at Panaya, where he led the company’s entrance into new markets as well as grow existing markets. Earlier in his career, Ramel was Marketing Director at ARX for over 6 years and was also the founder of WorldMate, where he led a mobile bootstrap from inception to a multi-million dollar revenue company.
Ramel holds an MBA from Hebrew University and a B.A. in Psychology & Computer Science from Bar-Ilan University, both in Israel.
ClickTale Launches Free Priceless Plan to Help Companies Understand How Customers Interact With Their Websites
If you have a website, understanding your users is a primary concern to optimize the usability of your online service.
Can you explain precisely the dynamic behavior of your visitors on any of your website pages? Every user has a story and ClickTale™ tells you that story.
ClickTale is now making its product available to everyone by launching the new free Priceless™ Plan, and to celebrate, we are giving away three amazing prizes! The ClickTale Priceless Plan offers everyone the possibility to maximize their website’s potential, obtain insights about how their visitors interact with their webpages, and increase conversion rates – all for free!
Anyone who signs up for the Priceless plan will benefit, free of charge, from:
- 5,000 recorded pageviews per month
- Visitors’ recorded sessions
- Four types of heatmapson all pages – Mouse Move, Mouse Click, Attention & Scroll Reach
- Full Conversion Funnels
- Form analytics’ key statistics to help optimize online forms
About the ClickTale Competition
All you have to do is first sign up for the ClickTale Priceless Plan, use it, share with us the lessons you learn, the insights you obtain and how you plan to implement any changes, and then send us screenshots of your findings.
1. First prize – all paid-for expense trip to one of ClickTale’s upcoming user summits for one person + a write-up in ClickTale’s social-media pages + 3 hours of free consultation service with one of ClickTale’s Customer Experience Experts + one year free subscription to ClickTale Core’s Premium plan.
2. Second prize – 3-month subscription to ClickTale Core’s Premium plan + 2 hours free consultation with one of ClickTale’s Customer Experience Experts + a write-up in ClickTale’s social-media pages.
3. Third prize – 3-month free subscription to ClickTale Core Premium plan + a write-up in ClickTale’s social-media pages.
Deadline for submission of findings using ClickTale: Friday, December 20, 2013.
Want to learn more about how the ClickTale solution can help you optimize your website and increase conversion rates? Click here.
Guest Post: Michal Harel
As the back-to-school frenzy comes to a close, we saw how many eCommerce sites were gearing up to handle this HOT period of the year. Traditionally, the companies that had most to gain from the back‑to-school season were those engaged in selling apparel, books, school stationery, and other large depots. In recent years, however, virtually every eCommerce site wants to have a piece of the pie, and even cars and home appliance retailers have their own ‘back-to-school’ slogan.
How do retailers get ready for back-to-school sales? Here are some common trends we observe among all eCommerce sites.
- Create more targeted deals that are related to school but which are also good for families; for example, SUV promotions or college loans.
- Adapt the homepage a few weeks in advance of school starting. You can change its color to fall colors or modify the layout to fit a specific promotion. Also change the page’s keywords to optimize SEO.
- Put images of children EVERYWHERE – in school, in the park, in cars – EVERYWHERE.
- Launch email campaigns with special promotions targeting families, moms and dads. Promote products that cater to their needs in the upcoming school year.
- Personalize, personalize and personalize. Look at referral URLs to search for keywords like ‘school’ or ‘learning’ to personalize your landing pages for visitors coming from these referral URLs. Feature relevant promotions.
- Make few changes. Try to stay away from user interface and platform changes. On the one hand, you won’t confuse returning customers who get a ‘familiar face’ when they land on your site or want to make a purchase. On the other, you don’t risk having technical errors on new pages that may cause visitors to drop the session.
Visitors compare deals in most eCommerce sites. We can clearly see sessions that are pause and reloaded, which takes several minutes. Others will copy a product’s name and specifications before leaving the site, which is a clear indication that they are window shopping somewhere else.
When competition is fierce and the web is inundated with competitive deals, try to simplify your users’ experience. Make it easier for them to convert, provide all information they need, don’t hide shipping costs or other important information.
In short, make sure your customers have a pleasant journey through your pages so they return for Thanksgiving.
Michal Harel is a Customer Experience Consultant at ClickTale. As such she provides ongoing consulting services to some of Clicktale’s largest enterprise customers (Fortune 500 companies) to help them optimize digital interactive strategies and tactics, gain unique insights into and across various digital channels and help them use this insight to drive better ROI.
Michal has over 10 years of experience working with enterprise customers. Prior to joining Clicktale, Michal worked as an Account Executive for IBM Canada (based in Toronto) working on large outsourcing deals, managing global delivery projects and groups, mainly in the Financial sector.Prior to that, Michal practiced law for a few years, when she worked for Bank Leumi Le Israel and for the Israeli Securities Authority.
Michal Holds an LL.B and BBA from the Interdisciplinary Center In Herzliya, LL.M from Tel Aviv University and an MBA from Rotman School of Management- University of Toronto.