AWA digital’s Marketing Coordinator, Nicole Major, explores the latest conversion optimisation tools and industry news with insights provided by Chief Operating Officer, Johann Van Tonder.
Straight to it this month as we’ve LOTS to cover. We’ve got a raft of updates from Ethnio, new Balsamiq cloud notifications, AB Tasty’s new developer portal and a look at a form analytics tool we’ve not mentioned before in this column, Zuko. Lastly, there are further updates from last months love-in with Google Optimize…
Google Optimize - Redesigned interface for quick and easy set up
We’ll pick up where we left off in the January blog, which was largely dedicated to all things Google Optimize.
There’s a new-look interface in Optimize now, which has been created to simplify the set up of both the tool as a whole and new experiences.
We’ve long known that Google was going to blend Optimize and Analytics closer and closer together, but their new interface is the first real step towards that. It’s now super easy to make the connection between the two - and then to select the goals and metrics you want to optimize sour experience for.
These are all useful features, especially for those just getting started in CRO who may not have the technical knowledge usually needed to get the most out of all the tools. But it’s with setting up the experiences that the big changes have been made.
There’s now a visual step-by-step guide at the top of the page to help you create an experience. Plus, all the steps are organised in a linear layout, meaning you can do just about everything from the one page and not jump around multiple tabs.
This is yet another example that Google are walking the walk with Optimize (how many times have we said this the last few months?). There is rapid development happening with this tool and we’re loving it.
Optimize is yet to have the power and functionality of the big boys such as Optimizely or Visual Website Optimizer, but it’s free. And it links quickly and neatly to your analytics account. Unless you run large or quite complex CRO programmes, there really is little need to look anywhere else for your tool of choice.
Johann Van Tonder, Chief Operating Officer for AWA digital
“A/B Testing is consistently voted the most valuable method for increasing online conversion rates. At the same time, it's also seen as one of the more challenging to implement. Google Optimize has put testing within the reach of every organisation, and these changes make it even easier to get started and launch experiments. One word of advice: the difference between a successful and unsuccessful testing programme is the process behind it. Don't take shortcuts in this area. Or get help from specialists - either with strategy or coding your tests, or both.”
Ethnio - A feast of useful new features from one of our favourite tools
We use Ethnio a LOT in our research phase. It’s one of the most powerful weapons in our armoury to get real-time user feedback.
So, it’s always welcome to see new features and improvements come out. Rather than being groundbreaking, all of the enhancements are very useful fixes and combat the (very) few little annoyances that existed around the set up and management of projects.
Most important is the launch of Pool 1.0 - one central database for all your participant interaction. You can upload a CSV or dynamically sort and filter segments based on screener responses, incentive payment history, and much more.
You can now also see all studies, screeners, uploads, and sources for any participant grouped into one handy place. This means when anyone from your team schedules or pays a participants, everything will show up in one place - organised and categorised for faster information access.
You can filter by the number of screeners filled out and interviews completed. While you can already filter extensively in Pool, these two new filters have shown to be good for high level research and so are a welcome addition.
There are some useful admin features launched too, including:
The disabling automatic timezone detection in case your participants are travelling or on a VPN to ensure they don't get confusing times on their invites thereby scuppering your interview.
Change of ownership - each screener has an owner, but you can now easily swap and change owners.
Improved backup communication for both 1:1 and group sessions if you like to keep ‘alternates’ for your qual research sessions.
Johann Van Tonder, Chief Operating Officer for AWA digital
“We've been long-standing fans of Ethnio. The tool facilitates a key component of our methodology, whereby we intercept users on your site for remote moderated usability testing. It's one of the best sources of actionable insights.”
Balsamiq - Cloud collaboration gets notifications
I’ll be honest, we use Balsamiq for nearly all of our wireframing. It’s quick and easy to use and you can fire out wireframes in next to no time.
However, the cloud collaboration has, to date, been a little underwhelming as you could share docs, but not really collaborate on them in any useful way.
That’s now changed. Balsamiq have launched notifications so you and your colleagues will get email notifications for changes and updates in the Balsamiq Cloud spaces that you are a part of. You can also change the frequency of the emails in your user settings so you don’t get bombarded with messages on those bigger projects.
From the screen grab above, you can also see that they have also added the ability to @-mention other people on your projects (in case you need to notify someone directly - or quickly).
The guys stress that this is just the first step in a set of new features, so watch this space for more ways to use this great tool as part of a team.
AB Tasty - Introducing the developer portal
One for the techies among you. Growing testing platform, AB Tasty, has handily put everything a development team will need in one handy, easy-to-navigate portal.
A compilation of lots of different resources, the AB Tasty team are confident that no matter what is in your tech stack, you’ll find the right information to hook it all up quickly and easily.
Less of a ‘feature’ and more of a ‘really useful resource library’, it cleverly ensures that the technical implementation of the platform - and integration with your other tools - is not a barrier to using the AB Tasty software.
Zuko - Enterprise level form analytics
So, this is exciting. A new tool that we’ve never talked about here before.
So what is it? Zuko is an Enterprise-first form analytics platform that measures and reports on how users engage with your online forms. Built from the ground up by the team behind the Form Analytics market leader Formisimo, Zuko has been created to fit the complex needs of Enterprise users.
So your Google Analytics tells you that you have a drop off on the ‘Your Info’ page of the checkout funnel. Great, that’s useful… but why does it drop off? What part of that page is the problem? The answer could well be in one or more of the form fields you’re asking customers to fill out. Tools like Zuko let you analyse them each in turn, giving you the data to make informed decisions on exactly what to change.
But even if your conversion point isn’t an ecommerce sale, but maybe a quote request (B2B lead gen for example, which online is 95% form-driven conversions) then this is perhaps an even more crucial piece of the puzzle. Analyse, line by line, how each part of your form impacts conversions and set up tests off the back of that data.
There is no doubt that Zuko is an excellent tool with far too many features to list out in this post (it’s pretty comprehensive, that’s all you need to know!). One of my favourites, you can test and analyse different error messages on your forms side-by-side and see how they can be adapted to effect conversions. Another is that you can watch user sessions of your forms in a view complemented with powerful data broken down by user segments or journeys if desired.
This would make a great addition to your stack of research and analytics tools. If you’re not an enterprise business then you will still get many of the same features in Formisimo, so choose the best fit for you.
If you want to learn more about conversion rate optimisation, read our Advanced Guide to CRO. This guide shares nearly a decade's worth of experience of increasing online sales and revenue for multichannel businesses to empower you with the skills and knowledge to transform your business.