Conversion Rate Optimisation: What We Learned From the Optimizely Roadshow 2014

Written by Intern - 11 Mar 2014

As one of only six Optimizely Certified Partners in the UK, Fresh Egg was invited along to the Optimizely Roadshow 2014. A day-long conference held on 6 March 2014 at London’s Westminster Impact Hub, the Optimizely Roadshow was dedicated to website conversion rate optimisation (CRO) and generating a testing culture within businesses.

Members of the Fresh Egg team who attended the event included:

  • Senior digital marketing analyst, Julian Erbsloeh
  • Director of search strategy, Duncan Heath
  • Digital marketing analyst, Helen Nash
  • Account director, Cath Foster

I haven’t got time to read this – tell me what I need to know

Not got time to read our fabulous blog post? We won’t take it personally. Check out the video below for a quick round-up of the headlines from the Optimizely Roadshow 2014. In it, Duncan asks EMEA marketing manager at Optimizely, Jerry Rietveld, three all-important questions:

1. What is the one key thing people should take away from the Optimizely Roadshow?

2. What is the biggest challenge facing the conversion optimisation industry at the moment?

3. Is a website ever fully optimised?

Want to know more? Read on to find out about the day’s programme and the Fresh Egg team’s key takeaways.

The Optimizely Roadshow programme

The London leg of the roadshow (there are other conferences in Amsterdam, Berlin, Munich and Paris over the coming months) featured the following sessions:

1. Welcome by Matt Althauser, GM Optimizely EMEA

2. Keynote from Daniel Waisberg, analytics advocate at Google

3. Boosting success through experimentation

4. How Regus built a multi-market testing team by Ahmed Musa, online optimisation and program manager at Regus

5. Breakout 1: Roadmap to successful testing in your organisation by Oren Cohen, account executive at Optimizely

6. Breakout 2: Deep dive into Optimizely’s advanced features by Steven Grijzenhout, solutions architect team lead EMEA at Optimizely

5 key takeaways from the Optimizely Roadshow 2014

Here’s a bullet-points summary of all the things we learned from the day’s sessions so it’s easy for you to find the bits that are important to you.

1. “The true value of testing is accumulative learning over time”

  • Following Daniel Waisberg’s keynote speech, Matt Althauser explained that what makes testing so valuable is the learning that is accumulated as a result over time

  • Conversion optimisation doesn’t produce an endless string of ‘wins’

  • In reality, experiments that create a significant uplift can be few and far between, and there will be a lot of experiments that end inconclusively or show negative results

  • But, from each experiment, you gain valuable insight into your audience, market and website – those fails will ultimately help you build better and stronger experiments in the future

Matt Althauser GM Optimizely EMEA speaking at the Roadshow 2014

Matt Althauser speaking at the Optimizely Roadshow 2014

2. Securing quick wins is important

  • Ahmed Musa discussed this in his talk on building a multi-market testing team

  • He explained that in order to engage your stakeholders, there are three personalities to look out for within your testing team: the HiPPO (the highest paid person’s opinion), the pessimist, and the advocate

  • Testing should be used to validate the HiPPO’s opinions and hunches

  • Time should be taken to seek out the pessimist and engage with them

  • The advocate should be supported and involved wherever possible

  • Securing quick wins is key. Focus on tests that require low resources and take minimal time to build, but have a high impact on business

  • Quick wins help to engage pessimists and stakeholders, and to build the foundation for a testing culture

3. Learnings and results should be documented and communicated

  • Again, this one came from Ahmed Musa, who said it’s vital to Always Be Testing and Communicating – ABTC

  • Internal systems and logs should be built to allow stakeholders to submit test ideas

  • This internal documentation should keep track of hypotheses (including their potential, importance, ease, etc.), testing plans and insights gained

  • By allowing the whole company or team to feed into a testing plan, excitement can be encouraged and testing can become a key habitual part of the process

  • Not only must the tests be carried out, but their results must be communicated to everyone – documenting learnings can feed into future site developments

Ahmed Musa speaking at the Optimizely Roadshow 2014Image: Ahmed Musa presenting at the Optimizely Roadshow 2014

4. Understanding data and segmentation is key before you start hypothesising

  • This came from Daniel Waisberg, analytics advocate at Google, who talked through his six principles of testing, which were:

  • Know your audience – Potentially obvious to anyone involved in digital marketing, but always worth re-iterating. We’d take this one step further and say ‘know your audience and its intent’ – something Fresh Egg has been readily investigating as part of our discovery documentation for a while

  • Surface the right feelings – Emotions can help sell certain products. When writing content, think about the frame of mind people are in when they’re going to be looking at it. Daniel used the example of an image of a child sitting on a bed accompanied by detailed information about and images of the various types of bed bugs and a clear ‘we will get rid of them’ call to action being more effective than a lot of information about the product and service

  • Show them what you have to offer – Explain clearly what you offer a user and why they should buy it from you, and make sure a visitor knows what they should do onsite by giving them a clear instruction or call to action. Again, a basic marketing principle that’s always worth re-iterating

  • Your form is not everything – Understand where your visitors are in their journey. Are they researching or ready to purchase? Do they need persuading why they should sign up before filling in a form? Different journeys could generate different outcomes

  • Don’t distract your visitors – CRO 101: understand the requirement of each page and stick to it to avoid confusing the visitor. The example Daniel used showed that adding a ‘people also bought this’ widget on product pages kept users in the research phase for longer and stopped them from converting

  • Simplicity and focus – Again, not necessarily a ground-breaking principle, but an important one: quite often less is more (but of course, this must always be tested)

5. Think beyond marketing when using CRO

  • This element came from both Oren and Steven’s breakout sessions

  • In Steven’s advanced testing session, he discussed using Optimizely to personalise content for specific visitor segments – a very broad application for this type of testing and targeting, but probably one that should be considered sensibly before ploughing ahead

  • Oren talked about several other ‘flavours’ of testing, including:

    • Exploration – for example, testing a redesign to do something completely different

    • Product – for example, testing different algorithms in search boxes

    • Concepts – for example, testing out new product categories to see the impact on existing products

    • Language – testing marketing slogans or tone of voice


Image: The Optimizely Team Pyramid at the Roadshow

About Optimizely and Fresh Egg

Optimizely is the number one A/B and multi-variant testing solution globally, and Fresh Egg is proud to be one of only six Optimizely Certified partners in the UK. We work closely with the CRO platform and work hard to understand and utilise the most advanced features effectively for our client experiments.

If you’d like to find out how the Fresh Egg CRO team can help you make the most of the traffic your website is receiving, contact us today.