How to test and optimize for what matters: Business value
Optimize for more than just clickthroughBy Lars Birkholm Petersen, Co-Founder, Altola, Inc. and Sitecore Honorary MVP
Hi, and welcome to another Sitecore Session. My name is Lars Petersen, VP of Business Optimization at Sitecore. Today, I’m going to talk about optimizing for business value. If you consider how many are testing today, many are testing for clickthrough rates or specific conversion increases. But is that really effective, and does that really deliver on what is most important for your business?
When we do testing in Sitecore, we test for what really matters for your organization. So we start at the top, with the strategic objective that correlates to the marketing objective that correlates to the digital goals. Now, all those digital goals have been weighted on the Engagement Value Scale, according to the importance of reaching the strategic objective.
Once you have defined the Engagement Value of those different digital goals, you’re ready to test, and then testing is really simple.
What to test
Let’s look at the mechanics behind a test. In this case, you have a visitor coming to your homepage, going to the sample page, downloading a specific sample, and that’s an Engagement Value of 10. Then to the product page: On the product page, the visitor is exposed to a component test with different variants. Now, measuring is starting for those variants that different visitors are exposed to. Everything that happens after the test exposure is attributed to the test. In this case, the visitor continues to the newsletter, signs up for a newsletter: Engagement Value of 25. He or she goes to another product page, continues to register, fill out a form, and gets the Engagement Value of 50.
Now, the trailing value for this specific variant that this specific visitor was exposed to is: 25 plus 50 equals 75. We do that for all the different visitors that have been exposed to the different variants, and now we simply can understand what is most effective, what delivers the highest Engagement Value, the highest results for your organization.
So once you have set up the Engagement Value, then you have a lot of different tactics that you can look into. For instance, you can be testing different layouts of pages. It could be content testing. Content could be if you are changing a headline on existing important content, adding in a new picture, then automatically testing the effect of that change. Component test could be those different important components, testing different variants, and testing for business value. If you are doing personalization and personalizing for a specific audience and their intent and specific needs, then, of course, testing will help you understand how effective the personalization is, [in terms of] business value.
Where to test
Where should you test? Typically, there are three pages that you should consider for testing. The first one are those impact pages where you have a lot of traffic. If you are doing personalization, then, of course, it’s the impact pages that the specific audience is visiting. It’s also the entry pages that get people to your site. Could be specific landing pages, or even the homepage could be very important here. Then, it’s the moment of decision. You have visitors, they’re just about to engage, fill out a form, or if it’s e-commerce, it’s the funnel where they’re almost ready to buy a certain product. Test those pages. They’re very important, and it will drive more conversions.
Measuring your test
Once you have set up a test, then measuring the effect of a test is really easy. In this case, where there’s a component that is being tested for personalization, first-time visitors coming to the website are seeing a specific message for them. In this case, in order to understand the effect of this, we simply have to look at the experience effect that is based on the Engagement Value, and that’s a 12.7% increase for this one, so that means 12.7% more business value for your organization. If you want to look at the details, then you have access to all the other metrics that contribute to the Engagement Value.
So that’s how you can use Engagement Value and how you can take the complexity out of testing and really make testing easy and test for what matters for your organization. I hope you found this useful. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out or watch any of the other Sitecore Sessions. Thank you so much for watching.