Most A/B test and conversion optimization ideas have their beginnings in web analytics reports. And there are countless types of reports that can provide inspiration for meaningful A/B testing. But still, it is extremely hard to come up with a successful test hypothesis using only quantitative data.
Why? Because it simply doesn’t tell you the whole story.
To cite Avinash Kaushik:
Web analytics will show you where your website is leaking money. But you need qualitative research to find out why it does so.
This is where data from Crazy Egg heatmaps and scroll map reports comes in handy. It makes a perfect match with web analytics and helps you pinpoint the elements of your websites that need to be improved.
At Piwik PRO we take the CRO process very seriously. We often look for leaks in our funnel and underperforming pages using Piwik PRO reports and segments. And when we find one, we quickly move to Crazy Egg to find out “why” our visitors are losing interest.
Only then are we able to generate meaningful test ideas and really understand why some parts of our website aren’t performing so well.
In this article we want to share with you how we were able to merge our web analytics data with Crazy Egg reports to boost the performance of our website. Feel free to learn from our experience… and from our mistakes.
1. Improving performance of our landing pages on mobile devices
This idea came to us during some web analytics research on the performance of our most popular landing pages.
We’ve been challenging each of them against conversion rate (from anonymous visitors to leads being sent to our CRM) and bounce rate. As we never settle for aggregated data, we segmented it applying a number of different dimensions. Eventually, we discovered that both the conversion rate and bounce rate for mobile visitors were underperforming more than the average:
Figure 1: Report revealing an unpleasant truth.
It was clear to us that the mobile visitors segment was dragging our conversions down. But we needed to investigate further to collect some qualitative data.
Using Crazy Egg we were able to create reports that showed us the behaviour of our mobile visitors. The Crazy Egg scroll map report allowed us to observe that the majority of them never arrive at the CTA area. As you can see, it was simply buried too deeply on the page for our users to reach it:
Figure 2: The cold spots of our landing page are shown in red.
It turned out that we needed to test a different approach on our mobile landing pages. After analyzing this data, we came up with a new test hypothesis:
“We can reduce bounce rate and increase the number of leads from mobile traffic if we move our CTA area above the fold line for most mobile screens.”
The most important objective of every landing page can be described in a few simple words from a very insightful blog entry by Brad Shorr:
Make it as easy as possible for the user to say “yes”.
Nonetheless, finding a perfect formula to please your visitors can be challenging. Especially since it requires continually conducting experiments and identifying elements that need to be improved. But – thanks to valuable data from Crazy Egg – finding the pain points of our sites has become less painful itself.
2. Optimizing the shopping cart for an ecommerce website
We begin each CRO analysis by looking into web analytics data. No surprises here.
Recently we performed CRO research for one of our customers. Using Piwik PRO, we discovered that one of the main bottlenecks in the conversion funnel was the shopping cart, with an almost 60% abandonment rate.
Figure 3: More than half of page visitors decided to leave our page.
We knew that something wasn’t right, so – as usual – we took advantage of Crazy Egg’s functionalities and conducted additional research to detect some undesirable patterns in our user’s behavior. By using Crazy Egg segments we found out that new visitors’ activity concentrated around the coupon code field:
Figure 4: As you can see, it wasn’t hard to figure out.
Eventually we discovered that the high cart abandonment rate was mainly caused by the so-called “coupon hunting” our users were doing. Unfortunately, the vast majority of them tried to apply coupon codes that were already expired. And when that didn’t work out, they left the cart disappointed.
Thanks to the findings mentioned above, we managed to come up with another actionable test hypothesis:
“We can reduce our cart abandonment rate and discourage users from coupon hunting by making the coupon field less prominent and moving it away from the CTA area”.
According to an Emarketer study expired coupons are one of the main reasons why potential clients leave your page – nearly 27% of shopping cart abandoners are disappointed coupon code users. But hiding the coupon field is only one of the many ways you can deal with that problem. For more ideas on solving the problem, you should definitely visit this comprehensive guide to shopping cart abandonment.
3. Optimizing a trial sign-up form for a SaaS product with Crazy Egg data
At some point in the past we were struggling with a high funnel abandonment rate for one of our SaaS based products. The primary objective of the funnel was to encourage users to sign up for a 30-day trial. Unfortunately, our web analytics reports were indicating that it was a rather tricky step in our customer’s journey.
Visualization of the funnel reports provided us with the following data:
Figure 5: Meet our underperforming funnel.
Our signup funnel had only a 27% conversion rate, which was – as you may guess – quite low. It meant that 7 out of 10 users abandoned it and never finished the registration process.
We learned that the sign-up form was the weakest link in our funnel, and if we wanted to receive more free trial sign-ups to convert them into paying subscribers, we needed to optimize it.
So in other words, we already knew where we were leaking money, but we still didn’t know why. Once again we needed Crazy Egg data to fill the gaps and provide us with some answers. And for this reason we did some research using a Crazy Egg click heatmap report:
Figure 6: It’s getting hot in here.
After analyzing the results it became clear that, apart from the main CTA, there were a few other competing CTAs drawing the user’s attention and causing distraction. Also, after looking at the click density for each individual form field we could guess which of them were causing the most trouble.
What we did next was to have a quick look at the scroll map reports:
Figure 7: It appeared that our “Sign Up” button turned green.
Perhaps the most obvious issue here was that only about 50% of users visiting the sign-up form page scrolled down far enough to see the “Sign Up” button.
This indicated that many visitors didn’t even try to fill in the form. Why? Maybe because they:
- found the form too complicated or felt like they were being asked for too much, or
- presumed that wasn’t enough value on this page to convince them to sign up.
What’s more, a certain group of users leaked out of this page via additional links and buttons. We could see that some of them even used the company logo and other navigational links to escape the page!
Eventually we came up with the following test idea:
“We can decrease the sign-up form abandonment rate and increase the sign-up form conversion rate if we remove all the distracting elements like additional
CTAs, provide more value in the headline and CTA, and remove all the optional fields from the form.”
This hypothesis turned out to be very successful and boosted our conversion rate by more than 150%.
Figure 8: Looking better, huh?
As we know from one extremely informative blog post by Neil Patel:
Too many calls-to-action on your homepage can kill your conversions. That’s because presenting too many options leads to customer paralysis.
Our landing page used to provide solid evidence of that. But thanks to CrazyEgg heatmaps it no longer does.
There are plenty of ways to use both quantitative and qualitative data to create an actionable A/B testing hypothesis. And since our list surely doesn’t exhaust the topic, we encourage you to explore the capabilities offered by your tools and use their combined forces to come up with your own meaningful ideas.
About the author: Marek Juszczynski is Head of Marketing at Piwik PRO – an analytics suite geared for governments and businesses requiring full privacy compliance and 100% data ownership. Apart from his everyday duties he publishes features on web analytics and conversion optimization on various blogs and industry portals.