Question 5: What is the most important thing you try to achieve as a conversion specialist and web analyst?

important learnings in web analyticsWorking as a conversion specialist and web analyst has many challenges. You need to have skills in multiple areas to be successful. Everything from technical understanding, to analytical, to be able to present data in an easy manner, to leads projects and changes, to educate people and many more issues.

The main denominators though are 1) increase revenue, 2) save cost and 3) improve customer loyalty/satisfaction. These are the high level numbers I work towards. Almost everything I do points towards these goals. These numbers are universally important although depending on how your company is setup you will work either with one, two or all three of them.

This question is part of a five question series that are the most common issues people ask me.

Question 4: What is they key learning from working on Sweden’s largest lottery?

Keys-To-Web-Analytics-SuccessWell, this is a hard one to answer. There are many learning’s to take away. First of all we are a lottery that is the largest one in Sweden. We have grown from 0 to 1 million customers within six years.

The concept is rather unique. We combine large winnings with charity and TV production. For example we produce one of the biggest television shows in Sweden (Who wants to be a Millionaire). We also give a massive amount to charity and have strong ties with well-known people. All of this makes a very interesting projection of the lottery towards our customers. The brand is as well known as Coca Cola in Sweden. The whole setup affects the way we work and communicate. I can see how this offline projection affects my online numbers. A bad article in a newspaper for example can affect our sales tremendously for a long time. In the same time a good offline campaign can have great effect on our online numbers.

I think one of the more interesting aspects that I have noticed is the tight correlation between the various channels. This demands a different approach than the companies I have worked on previously that were strictly online with weak brands. In sum I would say that companies with strong brands work differently that other companies which as a conversion specialist you need to relate to.

This question is part of a five question series that are the most common issues people ask me.

Question 3: What is the most challenging in your business right now?

Conversion challengesOn top of my mind I think mobile user experience is the most challenging topic at the moment. Not many companies have cracked the mobile experience code. Rebuild our site for a fluid and positive user experience demands a lot from the organisation, both technically and mentally. You need to think mobile first, which we have found is not as easy as we thought.

Further we are on a stage where our technical systems give us a big challenge on everything we want to do. I think most big companies have this challenge. If you have developed a solution a few years ago you probably sit on old systems that need to be updated or replaced.

Another issue are our internal stakeholders. We have to many of them, which affects our work processes negatively. Our decision process is not optimal for working in an online environment.

The last issue is to integrate our personalization thinking into our work process. As I mentioned in an earlier article our personalization software is powerful and full of potential but you cannot harvest that potential if you do not adjust your internal organization and the way it thinks.

This question is part of a five question series that are the most common issues people ask me.

Question 2: What is the most challenging within conversion optimization?

online conversion optimizationI have been doing AB tests for a while now and feel pretty confident how to approach and build a strong testing culture within a company. Although optimization work is something that constantly needs to be reviewed and developed.

There is no other channel quite as complex as the web, in terms of the number of variables. This makes optimization work a never-ending story. I think one of the biggest challenges in my field is to know how long your recommendations live. In other words when do you know that for example your perfect converting landing page is out of date due to the ever-changing variables?

Another big challenge as I see it is the emergence of personalisation software, which put optimization in a new playing field. With personalisation you are moving into micro segmentation. The technology is extremely powerful but opens up for many challenges to companies that want to adopt this approach. The web is moving towards this field and as a conversion optimization specialist I need to evolve towards this path.

This question is part of a five question series that are the most common issues people ask me.

Question 1. What is the most challenging with web analytics today?

Conversion Optimization and Web analytics challengesI think each year has its own challenges. The web is constantly moving so you need to keep your knowledge fresh. For me this yes one of the more challenging aspects is the multi data source world we live in. The increase in data sources makes it much more challenging to interpret the data and make good decisions. The mobile phone traffic exploded last year and has continued in an upward path. Since this source is fairly new few companies have adjusted their technology and most of all their thinking to this channel.

I also think clean data is always a challenge. You constantly need to keep an eye on your data so it is clean. For example we have companies doing quality tests that generates a fair amount of data. You need to make sure you block those IPs and keep an eye on emerging data contamination sources.

This question is part of a five question series that are the most common issues people ask me.

Hitting the conversion optimization wall

When AB testing hits the optimization wall
When AB testing hits the optimization wall

Have you ever hit the conversion wall? You do your first tests and often get double-digit increase in conversion. Everyone is excited and you feel that optimisation work is fairly easy. Then something happens. Your tests do not give you satisfactory results any more. You do test after test and only get incremental increase on your conversion rate. You feel frustrated and you have no clue if you next effort will give you that sweet double-digit increase or not. On top of that your testing take a lot of resources and you start wondering if you could putt hat effort into something else. This is when you have hit the wall. Your next step will determine if you will be a cutting edge online company or not.

Something that the consultants do not tell you

When working with conversion optimisation consultants it is in their interest to keep the account going for as long as they can. That is why few will tell you that you have hit the conversion wall. You should either stop doing further tests or that you need to build a conversion department. Building a conversion department will eventually take them out of work so they keep trying with tests after tests.

The 80/20 rule applies here too

Like in many other cases the 80/20 rule applies on your testing too. 20% of your tests stand for 80% of your conversion rate increase. Low hanging fruits are the usually biggest ones. When you have picked those ones you need to invest in a ladder. This investment is usually fairly substantial and might take long time to yield results.

When do you truly know that you hit the wall?

Well it is hard to say. Some companies have a longer way to go than others. It is usually when you have tried many different things and more or less run out of ideas. Take my work as an example. We are selling one product that is standardised. No colours, no sizes, no features, everyone gets the same thing. When testing our landing page, I built a few versions based on experience how a good landing page should be. Testing the first one yielded double digit conversion increase. The second one also, but then it got much harder. I started to optimize further into the funnel with little success. This is when I knew I hit the conversion wall. From here on I needed to think differently.

What do you do when hitting the wall?

This is when you need to take your game to the next level. You need to get into business development, use business intelligence data, setup conversion optimisation processes, use UX methodology, segment your users and get into personalisation. As you can see this puts your company on a new playing field where it will demand more resources than ad hooch testing and a new way of working and thinking.

Is it worth it?

If you are a small company I would say that you should pick the low hanging fruits and then stop. It does not make a lot of sense in getting a full time conversion employee before you grow bigger. If you are a bigger organisation and have specialized departments like business intelligence, fronted development, marketing department etc then it makes a lot of sense to invest in further conversion optimisation. Conversion optimisation will increase your bottom line revenue and in the same time you get smarter as an organisation. You can read more about building a conversion department on my other post here: http://www.onlineplanet.se/2012/11/how-to-build-a-world-class-online-conversion-department/.

Now, let me ask you a question, does your company have a conversion department? Do you know any company that does?