MeasureFest 2014: Key Takeaways, Our Favourite Talks, and Split Testing vs Personalisation Presentation Slides

Written by Intern - 27 May 2014

On Thursday 22 May 2014, a clutch of Fresh Egg’s finest headed to London’s Logan Hall for the annual MeasureFest conference. Despite this being only the second year the conference has been held the agenda was rammed with topics covering analytics, measurement, user experience, personalisation, and conversion optimisation.

It was a day packed offering a wealth of information from some interesting speakers with top tips and takeaways. There was also plenty of cake and chocolate, plus our beat the buzzer game that saw contenders compete to win a Kindle Fire.

Fresh Egg account director Cath Foster supervising a beat the buzzer contestant

Fresh Egg account director Cath Foster supervising a beat the buzzer contestant

Congratulations to our winner Hugh Hopkins (@HughHopkins) for beating the buzzer!

Our very own director of search strategy, Duncan Heath, delivered an entertaining and informative talk on split testing vs personalisation, which also involved chocolate and wine being thrown to the audience.

Fresh Egg’s director of search strategy Duncan Heath presenting his MeasureFest talk – Split testing vs personalisation: is there a winner?

Fresh Egg’s director of search strategy Duncan Heath – Split testing vs personalisation: is there a winner?

Duncan’s talk – ‘Split testing vs personalisation: is there a winner?’ – offered some fascinating insight into how split testing allows you to optimise for the ‘average’ user but, without segmentation and personalisation, potential revenue will still be missed.

Personalisation is vital to website optimisation. However, relying on personalisation alone without split testing will result in the neglect of site elements that you can’t or shouldn’t personalise. For example, you may not be able to personalise your ‘about us’ page for every user, but there is a good chance you would still want to optimise it via split testing.

You shouldn’t over personalise your site for just a small section of your audience and it’s important to remember that personalisation has its boundaries. Duncan demonstrated this point excellently by over-personalising the experience for one lucky (or not so lucky) lady named Sophie in the audience.

If you didn’t get chance to see Duncan live, you can check out his presentation slides below. He has also written a piece on the subject for Econsultancy, which you can read here.


Fresh Egg's favourite MeasureFest 2014 presentations

My personal favourite was ‘Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a CTA?’ – Joe Doveton. There were so many good things to take away from this one talk and I love the unusual way in which Joe presents; his presentations are always full of useful hints and tips.

GlobalMaxer’s head of client services Joe Doveton presenting his MeasureFest talk

 GlobalMaxer’s head of client services Joe Doveton – Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a CTA?

Other presentation highlights included:

  • How to completely screw up your A/B testing – Craig Sullivan . He was got his point across clearly (with a lot of swearing!), and offered lots of good takeaway points that could actually be used. (Cath Foster – account director)
  • Most common Universal Analytics issues – Dara Fitzgerald. Dara clearly explained the benefits and pitfalls to watch out for when migrating to Universal Analytics (UA). (Sarah Harvey - client services director)
  • What's the weather like? Measuring the real world in Google Analytics – Simo Ahava. I hadn’t even thought to plugin something like weather patterns into Google Analytics to help analyse trends and user behaviour. This talk gave me a number of other ideas on different data that could be fed in to assist in understanding the user behaviour of the client sites I work on. (Ryan Ogilvie – senior SEO engineer)

Top Twitter accounts to follow

Looking for somebody inspirational to follow on Twitter? Here are some of the clever folk we’re following as a result of the event:

  • @conversionperv Our very own Duncan Heath because his talk was brilliant (has he ever considered doing stand-up?). He has some excellent tips on Twitter about running CRO, and he’s an all-round nice guy. (Sarah Harvey)
  • @OptimiseOrDie – Craig Sullivan because his was the best talk with a lot of useful takeaways – I took most of my notes in that one session. (Cath Foster)
  • @Optimizely – The official account for Optimizely. The tool is fantastic and something I use all the time; go and check it out. (Ryan Ogilvie)

The key takeaways from Measurefest 2014 for Fresh Egg staff

Ryan Ogilvie – senior SEO engineer

  • Look further than just the average conversion rate. For instance, how do returning visitors convert compared to new visitors?
  • Target a small portion of your website to validate tests before you implement changes to other parts of the site
  • Personalisation is great when done correctly – but don’t make it creepy

Cath Foster – account director

  • Consider segmentation of data when working out what to test, not only when producing results
  • Analogy of a shop refit – don’t just focus on the front entrance = don’t just focus on the homepage of your site
  • Don’t open the oven door until it’s cooked = leave the test to run
  • Personalisation can sometime be detrimental, consider the wider picture
  • The information about issues with UA was interesting, particularly the discrepancies that can occur

Sarah Harvey – client services director

  • Run your UA in parallel with classic GA until you are comfortable with the data. There are key differences in how sessions are handled, in particular referrals, which is going to mean that your YoY reporting will be skewed

For me, there are so many things to take away from an event like this – not just about analytics and CRO but about data layers and tag management too. Here are some of my personal favourites:

  • If your house had a lot of leaks and water was pouring everywhere, you’d want a plumber to fix the leaks. You want him to fix the biggest leaks and those that are easiest to fix first. Think of CRO like you would that plumber
  • 76% of users will scroll down a page (ClickTale study) – while this sounds great, what about the 24% who don’t scroll?
  • Bullet points increase readability by 124% over paragraphs
  • Page load forms the first impression of your website – three (seconds) is the magic number
  • For successful CRO, you need people and time

Did you attend Measurefest? What were your favourite takeaways and talks? Let us know by leaving your comments below, or tweeting us @FreshEgg.

If you didn’t get chance to speak to us at the event and would like more information on the products and services Fresh Egg offers, please get in touch.