It’s no secret that customer experience optimization is a powerful tool for some of the world’s largest brands. Do a quick search and you’ll find case studies, infographics, and an endless supply of blog posts detailing the importance of testing to optimize the customer experience.
Let’s fast forward a bit. I hope by now you’ve decided that optimization testing is a tool your organization cannot afford to neglect. The first step is behind you. Now all you’ve got to do is prove to upper management that testing is a valuable part of your toolkit. Easier said than done! Those case studies, charts, and blog articles will help, but they probably won’t have management jumping out of their seat, singing praises about your new initiative. They’re a number-driven group.
The good news is testing alone generates metrics that will prove value. All you need is a few good ideas and you’re on your way. I have put together a list of four beginning test ideas that will help you get started. (Disclaimer: You should always consider your organization's KPIs when deciding which tests are best for your site!)
1. Conversion Funnel: It doesn’t matter if your site’s conversion is a product purchase, a hotel booking, or a credit card application; chances are you have a funnel that leads to this action. We’d venture to guess that conversion at the end of the funnel is one of your site’s primary KPIs. Building a very simple campaign toward the end of your conversion funnel may prove very beneficial to your bottom line by reducing distractions to visitors. Being one of the last steps on the way to conversion, any incremental increase in conversion of the desired action will be amplified.
2. Information Capture: Over the last decade marketers have spent a lot of time stressing the lifetime value of customers, and with good reason. The ability to communicate with current and prospective customers to keep your organization in their periphery goes a long way to keeping them happy (a great product/service doesn’t hurt either). Testing which type of email-signup strategy makes your visitors most comfortable sharing their information with you can increase your long-term customer base substantially. It may also make you some friends on the email marketing team.
3. Homepage: The homepage is very often the first impression a visitor gets of your website. Much like a first date, first impressions are crucial. Think of your homepage like a first date with your visitor. The hero space on your homepage is some of the most valuable real estate around. This space is usually reserved for some of the site’s highest-priority items. Testing the layout, creative content, or copy of the hero space (and subsequent homepage content) will not only help you understand your visitors’ browsing habits, but also help you put the information they want in front of them faster and more efficiently.
4. Navigation: Think of your site’s navigation as the GPS of your site. I couldn’t tell you the last time I held a paper map (kids these days, am I right?). If your site’s navigation is akin to a paper map, you probably already know it. You’ll likely have high drop-off rates, low site-wide conversion, and maybe even a few strongly worded feedback emails. A large number of our clients find value in testing their global navigation. Helping visitors get where they’re going with the fewest hurdles is a major piece of the CXO puzzle. The order of your navigation, its styling, hover or no hover; even the smallest changes may have them Prefontaine-ing to the conversion funnel.
Sitting with your CXO team and deciding which KPIs are the most important can help you first decide how you define “value.” Once that’s understood, the aforementioned test ideas will help increase that value so you can sit down at the table with key stakeholders and make the strongest possible argument for a growing CXO program.