Google Optimize Is Now Free: Everyone Should Now Have A ‘CRO Culture’

  ●   June 9, 2017 | Blog, CRO
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June 9, 2017 | Blog, CRO

In digital marketing, the ability to be able to gather extensive amounts of data can be a powerful tool to leverage in order to achieve better KPIs for your products, services and specific campaigns.

What is a ‘CRO Culture’?

Any company with an online presence will have had ideas on how they can improve their website. The trouble is getting those ideas implemented, and once they are, how do you know if they’ve actually had a positive impact.

If you’re lucky you’ll make a change and there will be a discernible uplift. But there will always be other factors such as seasonality, or changes in marketing spend that can make identifying any uplift tricky.

If you’re looking at small changes like adapting a call to action however, it can be very difficult to identify whether your change has made things better or worse as we’re looking a small percentage differences.

This is where it is so beneficial to have a ‘CRO Culture’. The method is to continuously test multiple variations of the same element simultaneously, and identify every possible benefit to conversions, UX signals or the customer journey – however big or small these may be. This opens up the potential for testing a vast number of small and large variations of pages and elements across your site, ensuring that you get the most out of your current audience.

Frequent incremental changes which are encouraged within a ‘CRO Culture’ are likely to lead to staggering results over time.

What are the common hurdles of setting up a ‘CRO Culture’?

There are four main areas that most digital marketers would agree can prevent them setting up a successful CRO strategy. These include:

  • A lack of development resource for implementing changes to webpages.
  • The technical know-how to make changes.
  • The cost involved to use development resource to implement changes to webpages.
  • Finding the time to measure, analyse, hypothesize, test and evaluate your CRO efforts.

What is Google Optimize, and what are the benefits it can offer to my CRO activity?

The challenges faced when attempting to get development resource are commonly acknowledged in marketing teams around the world. Google Optimize allows you to save a lot of time as there is little requirement for development resource. It is advisable to ensure you have Google Tag Manager installed on your website first, if you don’t already, we strongly recommend that you do so right away. You can easily add Google Optimize by creating a new tag in Google Tag Manager, as shown below:

Google Optimize provides you with the option to use a WYSIWYG editor, meaning you can benefit from drag and drop functionality, overwrite or change a colour with just a click of a button.

There is no requirement to have an understanding of coding languages, and most importantly – it’s free!

If you’re lucky enough to have deep pockets, then you can take a look at the premium version called ‘Optimise 360’ Of course, there are some limitations with the standard version, but nothing to prohibit you from the cultivating of a healthy ‘CRO Culture’. Below is a table which outlines the feature differences between free and paid versions:

Google Optimize is quick to get implemented, and it’s so easy to create variations. With the free version of Google Optimize, you can run 3 simultaneous tests. We suggest that you begin by giving one member of your team half a day per week to begin setting up CRO tests. It will pay dividends in the long run.

Google Optimize allows you to test your CRO experiments whilst viewing the results in real time. The results can be viewed alongside traffic reports as a custom drill down report. You must first integrate Google Analytics (GA) with Optimize to have access to these features.

A key benefit of this integration is that it enables marketers to connect the results of their experiments to business KPIs that are already being tracked using Google Analytics.

The key to creating a ‘CRO Culture’ is around strategy

Thomas Voyle, Head of Data & Insights at Semetrical, states that developing internal ‘CRO Culture’ requires planning, resource and a coherent strategy. Thomas has outlined five aspects of a strategy that will enable your ‘CRO Culture’ to thrive:

  • Measure – Make sure that you are recording all of the key interaction points on the website – create funnels to understand visitor flow. Google analytics has a suite of reports that can help you with this. Creating goals is also vital to determining the success of your test.
  • Analyse – You must understand what is working, and what is not. Ask yourself, are people doing what I expect them to do? We would suggest that you compare bounce rates of priority landing pages to understand which pages are performing better than others. You can then extract the elements which are contributing to the strong performance, and add them to other pages.
  • Hypothesis – Following your analysis you should hypothesis. An example would be – based on my analysis I propose that changing X will create a benefit to Y. It is a good idea to discuss these ideas with others in your team to get other inputs and general consensus.
  • Test – Implement your variations via Google Optimize, and define the goals you are trying to achieve.
  • Validation – Once the tests have run their course, validate the results against your hypothesis – did you get the results you were expecting? If so, its time to make that change permanent.

Thomas commented on this strategy, explaining that “this five step process is a strategy that should be repeated as part of your ‘CRO Culture’. It must become a habit. It must become baked into all digital marketing activity. Keep repeating and the rewards will present themselves.”

“There are some big players in the CRO technology world who are probably slightly concerned right now with a rival product on that market that offers a decent suite of tools at zero cost.”

Semetrical have worked with numerous clients to develop their own ‘CRO Culture’ and achieve excellent results, visit our conversion rate optimisation service page for more information.

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