Why do people buy Bayer Aspirin when you can buy the CVS generic or the Kirkland generic at about 1/3 of the cost? It’s the identical product – identical dosage, identical ingredients. What gives?
It seems that once we trust a product, we just don’t look further. Maybe it’s habit. Maybe it’s laziness. Maybe it’s because we trust brand advertising. Whatever the reason, once satisfied we tend be reluctant to try alternative products.
A little over a year ago we started working with a client who was using Visual Website Optimizer. Up until then all of our testing had been on the Google platform – first Website Optimizer, and more recently Experiments. I’d read about alternative testing platforms,and even checked out their websites, but just never got around to trying them out.
This client wanted to continue to use VWO, and we were forced to learn a new system. We scrambled around, ran a few tests and learned the platform. And surprise, surprise… we’ve never looked back.
Here’s why we switched to Visual Website Optimizer
1. Easy traffic segmentation
2. Multiple goals
3. Heat maps and click data
Why traffic segmentation is important.
We get a fair number of clients that are not using landing pages for their AdWords campaigns. They’re sending their ad traffic to their home page or to one of their services page. We’re big believers in dedicated landing pages but I didn’t know if we could test just the Adwords traffic coming to the site.
A few emails with the Wingify support staff and we were all set up. The system allows you to target a specific referral source like Facebook or a specific advertising campaign. We’ve also segmented the traffic to test only certain states and cities
Although you can segment traffic using Google Analytics Experiments, you need to create a separate profile and filter segment your traffic. Not impossible to do, but I found the VWO solution to be easier. And with the Wingify support staff help, you have someone to back you up if you get stuck or have a problem.
Why we use multiple goals on a test.
Many of our client’s landing pages let visitors navigate to their websites. In these cases we’ve found it interesting to track behavior once they move off the landing page. Our primary goal for the test is always a call to action on the landing page – usually completing a sign-up form.
But I’m always curious about the behavior of prospects that don’t complete the sign-up form. If they don’t bounce off the landing page and click through to another page, what are they doing? Did they click on a secondary goal/call to action on the landing page? Did they convert on a different page? Did they visit a “further information” page we directed them to?
With visual website optimizer we can set up a primary goal and several secondary goals and monitor the results of each. Good test insights come from a lot of different sources and being able to set multiple goals can yield insights that might not be obvious otherwise.
How heat maps and click through data keep me out of trouble
I’m totally addicted to heat maps and click data. Seeing how prospects react to a page, where they click, and how far down the page then go, are questions that heat maps and click data can answer.
I’ve been ready to get rid of links at the bottom of the page, only to discover that prospects were clicking on them. I’ve learned that sometimes “more information” links kill the conversion – sometimes too much information bogs people down and overwhelms them.
Why go with a testing platform that isn’t free?
The obvious objection with VWO is the cost. Clients say “Why should I use VWO when I can test on Google for free?” Not a problem. Some tests should be performed on Google’s platform. Free is always good, if it meets your needs.
However if you need an easy way to segment traffic or want to have multiple goals or see heat maps of your test results – you may find that Visual Website Optimizer is worth the expense. Another problem you might experience on VWO is the time lag.
Customer support is good but it’s overseas, so response times can lag.
Once a client decides to start testing, they want the test to be up and running immediately. With complicated tests, or when the platform doesn’t mix well with a site, it can take some time to get a test up and running.
Wingify, the parent company of Visual Website Optimizer is located in India as is their support staff. The people at Wingify are unfailingly helpful and responsive, but there is a time differential. It’s not the same as communicating with someone in your local area where problems can be resolved in a matter of hours.
At least initially, and with complicated tests, you’ll need to budget time for communication back and forth which can take 24 -48 hours to complete. I’m always in a hurry and want things done yesterday (not an ideal client – that’s for sure) and found myself getting frustrated when I first started dealing with them. Now when I know that that a set-up could be complex, I prepare the client for some delays and take a deep breath.
Here again are the three reasons I love Visual Website Optimizer
You’ll find Visual Website Optimizer easy to set up and work with, but in my mind that’s not where it really shines. Being able to easily segment traffic is invaluable and allows for more nuanced testing. Multiple goals give me more insights into customer behavior. Heat maps and click data provide another layer of behavioral information that will help you generate ideas for your next tests.
Over to you…. What’s been your experience trying a new platform or products when you’re completely comfortable with your current one? Do you find it easy to switch? Tell us what you think.