The Dark Side of A/B Testing: How to Test Your Site with a Bazooka

Testing a website is the most popular passing time for digital analytics experts. However, testing the right thing is harder than ever.

Website optimisation relies heavily on A/B or multivariate testing with digital analytics tools. However, if it comes down to testing, most of the experts test only minor comparisons on a site. But testing should go forward only if you test highly tangible differences; this is where you can learn something and open new frontiers. So instead of burning through your site with a bunch of matchsticks, use a bazooka instead and start some real flames.

Test What Matters and Test Less

Real productivity comes when you leave your comfort zone

You have read this many times we guess; your life starts after you leave your comfort zone. Well, that is the same with marketing. Technology made us busier and helped to boost our productivity, but it also killed a lot in the details. Meetings, chat, endless notifications, these are the time killers, and we haven’t even mentioned social media. Being busy is nothing, being productive is something. If you get lost quickly in the little details, non-productive testing comes up in the digital analytics space, and you find yourself in the situation where you test two ad copies with minor changes between and drawing conclusions where there is none, only pure randomness.

Test less and test what matters

Now that you have stayed away from little details, you can focus on the real issues. Test what matters only, and test way-way less. By stopped paying attention to things that do not matter in the details, you can focus on testing the important stuff.

Testing, its name is an experiment. And most of the scientific experiments are dead ends for 99% of their time, producing non-accurate results. In 1%, the science team has a eureka moment, usually when they slip away from the original focus of the experiment. This is the same with digital analytics testing when you test small changes on a site; you usually end of testing random outcomes. But when you test with tremendous tangible differences, you might will learn something on your business and customers.

Be Patient with your RPG

Science is a game of patience and marketers are not scientists. There was a study with an investment firm; they concluded that their most successful investors are either dead or non-active. The reason for this is because live and active traders are impatient and burn their positions with their little actions. It’s the same with testing. So, when you set up a testing experiment, you have your goals, you made a tangible difference to the chamber and started the testing.

Don’t even look at the test until you have reached your goal. Don’t change the variables. Don’t change the tested markers. Don’t even open the testing chamber. Be patient. Draw conclusions only when the testing has finished, and you have all your figures.

Remember: testing needs a perfectly clean environment

Most experts fail in their tests because the environment they are testing in is imperfect. The site that they are testing has huge usability issues. The testing material isn’t ready yet. There is nothing to be tested. The traffic is not there so the figures are so small that drawing conclusions would be simply just guessing in the cloud.

Be ready first and sort your stuff out. Only test when you need to develop even further. Further means, you already have a pretty solid ground: a good site, with a high number of visits and only minor usability issues.

All in all, these are the simple steps you need to follow when you do testing:

  • Test with an RPG: test only tangible vast differences
  • Test only when you have scientist mindset: be patient and be ready to fail
  • Test only in clean environment: your lab/site should be stable and established

Learn more about A/B Testing and Multivariate Testing. Visit the Insights Academy Today!

Book an on-demand Q&A with us where we answer all questions you may have about this topic.

Get your FREE copy of our 2017 digital trends ebook and SUBSCRIBE to our newsletter!

Is Digital Analytics as a Standalone Expertise Dead?

Digital analytics was a standalone expertise in recent years. Some companies built groups around it with analytics experts; others hired analytics professionals to act as a support for their marketing team. Now it has been changed, and it’s a natural evolution for the industry.

Digital analytics is no longer a single expertise you can build on as an employee and companies are no longer in need of a single digital analytics expert. This is the nature of the evolution for analytics, and it is highly beneficial for everyone. The new setup has high demands for everyone: digital analytics is a must to know, and everyone who has any single authority in marketing has to know some analytics knowledge.

Everyone is an analytics expert

Back to basics

As a marketing expert, you should be aware of the key performance indicators anyway. These are metrics that justifies your marketing choices and demonstrate your success undeniably because they are hard figures. As a marketer living in the digital world, the core metrics have enhanced with various new ones from the digital analytics world. Meaning now, everyone who makes relevant marketing or business choices should know something about digital analytics.

This is the state when digital analytics has grown up finally. It has happened with social media; you can’t sell services now only by updating social channels. You should be expert in content, marketing and digital. Analytics is no longer a special place too.

Working with massive data sets and connecting separate sources: still an expertise

Of course, you won’t be an expert in big data but let’s face it: most companies don’t need massive big data knowledge, they just know how their funnels work regarding metrics. When a business has more sources of data and the number of files they are getting is beyond traditional digital analytics tools: they still need a good specialised expert in digital analytics. But most companies don’t need this knowledge..

 

Learn the basics or teach your staff

The basics of digital analytics can be taught via online academies or internal training. It is accessible and cost-effective to find out more. Now that this is not a unique place to visit, you can make an impact on learning the basics of digital analytics. This is what you can do:

  1. Follow current digital analytics experts and listen what they say, learn their knowledge
  2. Hire an external training professional to teach you the basics of analytics
  3. Attend online courses or visit online digital analytics academies, the resource for knowledge is vast and mostly free or cost little only
  4. Hire someone who has demonstrated digital analytics knowledge and let the new one teach the others via internal training
  5. Start to cooperate with an external digital analytics expert

There are also added benefits once you mastered the basics of digital analytics:

  1. You will become more responsible regarding your business choices as you now know how to measure against them
  2. You will become more confident working with figures and experts in data
  3. You will get great eureka moments and insights from your audiences as you deep-dive in figures

Remember, if something is accessible for everyone, then it is not a special expertise anymore. The basics of digital analytics are easy to learn and follow, and if you think you can outsmart the best analytics experts, you can still upgrade your knowledge.

Book an on-demand Q&A session where we answer all further questions you may have about this write-up.

Get your FREE copy of our 2017 digital trends ebook and SUBSCRIBE to our newsletter!

Top 3 Digital Analytics Trends To Watch Out For In 2017

top-3-digital-analytics-trends-to-watch-out-for-in-2017

Marketing automation, audience segmentation and personalisation are the biggest trends to watch out for in the digital marketing sphere in the coming 2017.

In 2015, digital marketing tools evolved to a stage where literally everyone who has some basic knowledge in digital marketing can kick-start a campaign with the latest and most advanced digital tools. Building a website or a landing page is now as easy as creating a social media profile. Implementing analytics systems doesn’t require a developer and every marketer, aware that there is so much noise on the internet, knows that every company should personalise their messages to reach out to the right person in their audience.

Automate to save time for more important tasks! 

In the early 2010s, digital marketing tools, like social media management services, email and newsletter providers and digital sales software went over the tipping point and went beyond the early adopters – the best professional marketers. Just last year, these tools have evolved to a simplified and sophisticated user interface; everyone can sign up and start to use them.

Tools like Hootsuite, IFTT and other management and automation services are available for the masses now. Services which were available for only the biggest companies and agencies are now not only affordable but also just as sophisticated making them accessible to use for any organisation. Companies like Pardot, HubSpot, Marketo, and Infusionsoft, are on fire not just for large organisations but for SME’s and freelance marketers as well.

This is a result of good user experience planning and the increasing demand for these services. Marketing Automation is a great timesaver and can lead to significantly better results when planned and implemented correctly across an organisation.

Segment your audiences to increase your sales impact! 

Segment your audiences to increase your sales impact! The same pattern happened with digital analytics in the early 2010s. All-rounder analytics services were made available, and free products like Google Analytics brought plenty of value for marketers. Paid tools like ChartBeat and Omniture with solid insights were also affordable. With the boom on big data in the past few years, the data gathered from digital channels began to become useful.

To remain competitive, leading organisations have learnt how to capture, analyse, and leverage this data in their business decision making every day. Segmentation is a core skill to learn and apply to digital marketing. Segmenting your target audience and your actual buyers will help you increase sales.

The usual segmentation techniques on demography and top level site usage are not enough anymore: segmenting on the individual customer journey is a must for every website which has a reasonable amount of traffic and buyers. The new trend of attribution marketing has grown out from high-level segmentation techniques and will begin to influence trends: now you can assign values to each segment in the customer journey to maximise your sales funnels’ success on an individual basis.

Personalise your targeting to make an impact! 

Sophisticated and accessible digital analytics have grown personalisation in digital marketing. Personalisation began with adding the first name of the customer to the email introduction, or subject line. Personalisation now includes specific personalised email and website content, and prediction of what a person’s interest. A personalised email has six times more traction and revenue rate than template emails.

Targeted call-to-actions are also much more successful regarding conversion than traditional CTAs. Analytics has its part in this game but not with the top-level insights as we see in segmentation but with high valued real time data which allows marketers to personalise on-demand every aspect of the customer journey.

With the growing trends of automation, segmentation and personalisation, digital marketing consultancy has also changed. The traditional production-based client-agency relationship is becoming less relevant, and the classic consultant is the winner of the game. This helps the internal marketers who keep an eye on the real-time customer journey of the company and consults on the best use of the services and evaluates all marketing plans with the expert’s outsider view.

The Walter Analytics team is always on its toes and on the lookout for relevant trends to determine how our clients can leverage them to grow their businesses.

Get your FREE copy of our 2017 digital trends ebook and SUBSCRIBE to our newsletter!

 

The Marketing Analytics Year-End Roundup 2016

It’s finally that time of the year!

No, I’m not talking about long holidays and presents. I’m talking about that time of the year to take a look back and appreciate. I’m talking about that time of the year when we take a look back and appreciate the days gone past and be thankful that they came to be instrumental in our progress.

the-marketing-analytics-year-end-roundup

In the case of Walter Analytics, we can definitely say that we’ve come a long way from where we started back in January of this year. We’ve undergone many changes and advanced our skills and knowledge; and while it’s true that there still a long way to go for the team, we’re very happy and hopeful that this change will continue in the following year.

In the spirit of taking a backtrack and looking back at our progress, we’ve chosen 10 of our most well-received content and hope that you find it not only entertaining but education as well.

Decoding SnapChat’s Popularity

Influencer marketing is highly relevant in today’s marketing standards. Influencers are the first ones who grab a product and do a review and make it viral. They control a considerable size of community and influence an even wider audience as well. Measuring their activity is possible but defining metrics for their influence is another story. In this article, we’ll delve deeper into the specifics. [READ MORE]

(5 min. read)

Influence by the Numbers: Understanding Influencer Marketing 

Influencer marketing is highly relevant in today’s marketing standards. Influencers are the first ones who grab a product and do a review and make it viral. They control a considerable size of community and influence an even wider audience as well. Measuring their activity is possible but defining metrics for their influence is another story. In this article, we’ll delve deeper into the specifics. [READ MORE]

(10 min. read)

Predictive Analytics: Why It Matters

In the recent years, big data has become a significant focus point for businesses. Gathering massive amounts of data is now routine for most of us. It’s not a question of whether or not it is important to collect information on your customers. The key points that should come to mind are the type of data to collect and analyse, and from there, the process to predict consumer behaviour based on patterns and trends derived from the data. Predictive analytics is on the rise, and now everyone can benefit from it. [READ MORE]

(5 min. read)

Virtual Reality: Reshaping Digital Analytics 

Although Virtual Reality is not exactly a platform for the masses, it is the most innovative approach to delivering content as of today. The platform, still in its early stages and loads of new creative ideas has already challenged the digital analytics. Virtual reality has the potential to redefine how we think about measuring the bread and butter of digital analytics: attention and action. This article helps you to understand the behind-the-scenes on this new trend. [READ MORE]

(10 min. read)

Custom Analytics Report: 10 Tips for Presenting the Right Data

We have seen so many bad examples and sat through hour-long presentations on KPIs and measurement charts with a great set of data pieces and an endless number of slides. So we decided to show you the best way to present and report your data. This process is applicable to all kind of businesses and business cases with any analytics background and data coming from any measurement system. This simple process will help you get the best out from data. [READ MORE]

(5 min. read)

How to Run an A/B Test with Google Analytics 

There are various A/B Testing tools available if you search around, most of which are paid software. But since not everyone is ready to shell out money just to test them out, we’ll highlight one of the known free tools around which is Google Analytics Content Experiments. [READ MORE]

(5 min. read)

Emerging Trends in Mobile Advertising 

Consumers prefer mobile over desktop when it comes to shopping or content consumption. Mobile referral traffic is taking over desktop usage. It is not a question of how important mobile is. The question is how to capitalise on mobile usage. Here are the most important trends in mobile advertising. [READ MORE]

(5 min. read)

Digital Analytics Can Help You Raise Profits – Part 2 

Walter Analytics has worked with EmployEase for over two years enhancing Analytics and driving the digital growth of the business. This partnership has been a key driver of revenue growth for EmployEase and outlines our framework for working on Analytics with a client. [READ MORE]

(5 min. read)

Personalised Content

Personalised content and design is about providing the best web experience to different target audiences. At the most basic implementation, personalisation is setting up marketing campaigns for different groups of users, with ads for different audiences linking to different audiences linking to landing pages optimised for that audience. At the more complex integration, it is the use of browser cookie information or other technology implementations to dynamically display optimised content and design for a site as a site loads, to audiences depending on previous behaviour or demographic information. [READ MORE]

(5 min. read)

Data in Marketing – Are you making the right choice?

We have seen the widespread adoption of A/B testing in large companies, with medium sized companies starting to make the move to incremental data-driven changes through A/B testing as well. For web insights, new features in Google Analytics include Universal Analytics and Enhanced Ecommerce, and more recently Demographic and Interest Segmenting, has meant greatly increased insights into the behavioural difference between different website users. So many changes in a market can be hard to grapple, and many businesses just don’t adapt at all. To ensure you remain competitive you must make a measured move to keep your marketing budget accountable, and new analytics insights now allow you to do just that. [READ MORE]

(5 min. read)

Thank you for being part of our 2016 and we hope that you continue to enjoy our content in the following year.

On behalf of the Walter Analytics team, happy holidays and may you have a good new year!

Get your FREE copy of our 2017 digital trends ebook and SUBSCRIBE to our newsletter!

 

Analyse Like A Pro: 6 Tips to Improve Your Google Analytics Knowledge Part 2

Google Analytics is often the most available digital analytics tool as it is free and easy-to-setup. Basics are important but how can you improve your Google Analytics knowledge?

analyse-like-a-pro-6-tips-to-improve-your-google-analytics-knowledge-2

If you are from the marketing world, you probably used or at least heard of Google Analytics as it is the most-used analytics platform nowadays. It is widely accessible, and the user experience allows even novice users to start to work on the understanding of their digital properties’ performance. In this article, we get hands on and share another three tips on how to improve your Google Analytics usage. Read our previous three tips here.

Think Mobile

Mobile is the biggest thing, hands down. In some cases, visitors coming from mobile are overtaking visitors coming from a desktop. Therefore, you want to know as much as it is possible on your mobile visitors. Google Analytics offers you mobile app analytics as well but now just focus on classic websites with probably mobile-friendly responsive design.

The classic mobile segmentation report at Audience section – Mobile part that you can get is already full of great information, get familiar with it. With some recent update, you can also check not just the exact mobile devices visitors use to view your site, but also you can look up the pictures of these devices. Not everyone is an expert on mobile, so it is a great help for you to know what that device does, what type of mobile browser works on it as well as the size of the screen. It helps you to optimise your site’s design for mobile further.

With custom reports – which we have discussed in our previous post (LINK) – you can add mobile as a primary source of visits as well. It is magical to see how your most successful content changes regarding desktop and mobile visits so don’t be shy to experiment with it.

Track the Right Way

By default, Google Analytics uses the default naming techniques on everything. So “Email” is email and so on as a referral for example. But you might have specific campaigns that you want track individually. You want to know how users responded to your email campaign for example. There are some certain things you need to be aware in this:

  • Name your campaigns properly and consistently

You don’t want to have an “Email campaign” and an “E-mail campaign” named campaign view in your dashboard. Use consistent naming and follow a campaign naming sheet with your team if you have multiple campaigns you want to track.

  • Use UTM / Custom URL

You want to know more about how one campaign performs, use a custom URL to track a particular link in your campaign. You will see the custom URL popping up in your Campaigns view in Google Analytics. That view will represent only that campaign and provides you enormous information on how that campaign affected your site’s performance.

  • Event tracking consistency

We have talked about how Google Tag Manager can help you to understand how users behave on your site, where they click and how they interact with your site in our last post (LINK!). Keep in mind; you need to name those ‘Events’ properly. You don’t want to have an “Email Signup Button” tracking if you have multiple signup options on your site, name them properly and be consistent.

Go Visual!

Google Analytics provides you excellent charts and tables of course. They are simple, straight forward and easy to generate. But what if you want to visualise something that is only a table in Google Analytics? Or maybe what if you want to make those charts prettier? You have two options.

  • Use third-party visual tools

There are many tools that you can use with Google Analytics to visualise your data. Google Data Studio is one of them, and it is free to use and works well with Analytics. There are other tools as well, like Segment but if you prefer Google-related products, Google Data Studio is highly recommended.

  • Export your data

All data in Google Analytics can be exported to simple spreadsheets. But remember, these are raw data sets. But if you are building your own reports from scratch or you need to add your raw data into a much bigger stream, exporting your tables directly from Analytics is a great option.

Bonus!

Add Supermetrics to your Google Docs, it’s free (for now). It fetches data from Google-related (and much more) platforms directly to your Google Docs. Now it also has automatized syncs, so you don’t need to export anything, this tool does it for you in a very delicate way.

Get your FREE copy of our 2017 digital trends ebook and SUBSCRIBE to our newsletter!