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Optimization Shorts: Using Google Analytics to Inform Testing

It’s 2015. Data-driven marketing decisions are the not-so-new norm, and for good reason. For marketers responsible for online business, Google Analytics is one of the most powerful data tools available. It provides a wealth of information about your visitors and their behaviors on your site, including conversion rates, time on site, drop-off rates, and location.

A great deal of the information available within Google Analytics can be used to develop your customer experience optimization roadmap. There are two planning steps that benefit especially well from Google Analytics data: (1) prioritization of areas to test and (2) development of test ideas.

Here’s an example of how Google can help you identify higher-priority areas of your site to test.

Let’s say you want to focus on purchase conversion. You see your site-wide conversion rate is 2%, even though 8% of your visitors enter the checkout funnel. Sounds like the checkout funnel is a good place to start testing, right? Not necessarily. While testing the checkout funnel to optimize how visitors convert may be valuable, it's possible it shouldn't be the first test in your queue.

Let’s look further.

Google Analytics may reveal that only 8% of your visitors are reaching the checkout funnel because they aren't getting past your category pages. In this instance, prioritizing the testing of category pages over the checkout funnel may prove more beneficial to your long-term CXO goals. Driving more visitors from category pages to product pages gets them one step closer to the funnel (and also provides more traffic for that checkout funnel campaign you’ll be running next). These prioritization discussions are necessary when developing a CXO program, and Google Analytics is a great tool to shape these conversations.

Once you’ve prioritized the areas of your site that you’ll be testing first, identifying over/under performing visitor segments in Google Analytics can help drive test ideas. Do your visitors from Chicago have a lower average revenue per conversion? If so, you have a great opportunity for an upsell campaign targeted at Chicago visitors. Likewise, consider testing the placement of your product recommendations. Visitors may be more likely to purchase products if recommendations are present within their normal checkout steps.

Synergy between your analytics package, testing platform, and optimization team will help guide you as you venture down the wonderful path to CXO utopia.

If you want to learn more, don't hesitate to reach out! And remember, if you would like an Optimization Short on the topic of your choice, let us know in the comments section.

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