Landing pages, special offers, key messages and other factors within the website can strongly influence the final outcome. A poor message, an ineffective call to action or weak content could be preventing your site from producing the best results.
There has been a lot of discussion around testing landing pages during the past few years and this technique has a lot of potential, but what do you test and when? What is the impact of adding a promotional tile to the side bar on your site or adding a slide in overlay? How useful is the headline on the persuasive copy page in increasing the visitor's awareness and desire to act?
Using Custom Variables to Track On-Site Promotions
To illustrate how this can be done, I will outline the process tracking a promotional tile which appears across many pages within a website. This is to answer the business question; "do visitors use this tile to get to the product page and purchase or do they navigate a different way?" Our initial assumption is that the tile is driving sales of the product, but as the product can also be found by browsing the site and via the site search engine, is this tile actually boosting sales or does it need work improving?
Next we need to define a counter that tracks the sale. This can be the revenue generated, the number of transactions or goals achieved. This combined with the number of visits to the product page provides the basics to do this analysis.
Analysing the Results
The results show that there is a difference in the number of visitors who clicked on the tile to the final sale of the product. Checking these figures for statistical significance indicates that the difference is not due to random errors but the results seem counter intuitive. Why would visitors clicking on the promotional tile have a lower conversion rate than visitors who didn't? So we succeeded in answering our original business question but in doing so we just raised another question which needs to be answered.
The answer may lie in whether the tile is triggering sales or not. For instance, it may be quite plausible that making a special offer is driving these visitors to check whether they can get a better offer elsewhere. Also the mere presence of the tile itself actually influences sales without visitors feeling the need to click on it.
As such our business question is changed to "what is the impact of displaying a promotional tile on the site to our revenue for those products?"
To answer this and similar questions we need to run controlled experiments to measure the impact on sales of not having a tile at all. I will cover this topic in a future blog post.
For now I hope that I have raised your interest in measuring the performance of your "on-site" advertising and its importance in improving the performance of your website.
For assistance with any of the issues raised in this post please contact Panalysis panalysis.com/contact_us.php
Why Not Use Google Analytics Campaign Tagging?
These campaign tracking tags are designed for external campaigns and should only ever be used for campaigns that refer visitors to your site from another channel. It is very important that they are never used for tracking clicks on advertisements within a website e.g. a tile with a special offer on the home page. The reason for this is that setting the campaign variables for internal campaigns plays havoc with the data that is collected from the external campaigns. Internal tracking should be kept separate as it has its own methods of analysis.