The Power of Analytics Driven Testing: Top Tool Tips


This post was writ­ten by Rich Page, Web­site Opti­misa­tion Spe­cial­ist and for­mer Adobe Con­ver­sion Solu­tion Spe­cial­ist.  Rich has been ana­lysing, test­ing and opti­mis­ing web­sites for over 10 years, from the some of the biggest For­tune 500 web­sites to small e‑commerce web­sites.

Are you using Adobe Site­Cat­a­lyst in addi­tion to Test&Target? If so, you can ben­e­fit from a pow­er­ful inte­gra­tion between our analyt­ics and test­ing tools that will help you ana­lyse and cre­ate even bet­ter tests. First let’s take a step back and under­stand why ana­lyt­ics is so impor­tant for web­site test­ing.

Why are web ana­lyt­ics so impor­tant for test­ing?

There are three great main rea­sons to use ana­lyt­ics when test­ing. First, using web ana­lyt­ics data gives you bet­ter vis­i­tor and web­site per­for­mance insights, and these insights help you cre­ate bet­ter test ideas. Sec­ondly, ana­lyt­ics also help you under­stand and pri­or­i­tise what needs test­ing and opti­mising first on your web­site (which means you don’t have to guess and poten­tially waste time test­ing low impact web­site things). And last­ly, web ana­lyt­ics will help you improve your web deci­sion mak­ing when it comes to decid­ing what gets test­ed and launched (and is great for prov­ing HiP­POs wrong!)

To help you get even more from your ana­lyt­ics dri­ven test­ing efforts, here are some ben­e­fits and tips to help you get the most out of the great inte­gra­tion between Test&Target and Site­Cat­a­lyst:

1: Ana­lyse your test results in Site­Cat­a­lyst to gain greater insights

Look­ing to do more in-depth analy­sis of your tests? With the tool inte­gra­tion, you can do this by ana­lys­ing any of your Test&Target tests in Site­Cat­a­lyst in much greater detail, includ­ing the abil­ity to drill down deep­er into any of your Site­Cat­a­lyst met­rics for your tests. This is great for look­ing at things like exact search key­words that con­verted the most, or to under­stand the impact of your tests on life­time vis­i­tor val­ue.

To ana­lyse your tests after you have turned on the inte­gra­tion, sim­ply log in to Site­Cat­a­lyst and you will see a ‘Test&Target’ main menu item. When you click on this it shows you a list of the test cam­paigns you are cur­rently run­ning. You can then add what­ever met­rics you like to this report, and also cor­re­late results with oth­er met­rics. You can also drill down into each test and ana­lyse spe­cific test recipes (vari­a­tions) in more detail in the same way.

Anoth­er ben­e­fit of this is that you can also seg­ment your test results using any of your Site­Cat­a­lyst seg­ments to gain even greater insight (also very use­ful if you have for­got­ten to set up an impor­tant seg­ment in Test&Target to ana­lyse your test).


Please note that there will be slight dif­fer­ences in test-relat­ed met­rics between the two tools, main­ly because each tool has a differ­ent method­ol­ogy for count­ing par­tic­i­pat­ing vis­i­tors.

2: Use your Site­Cat­a­lyst events and vari­ables as suc­cess met­rics in Test&Target

When set­ting up your tests, it’s cru­cial that you use rel­e­vant, high impact met­rics to mea­sure test­ing suc­cess — don’t just sim­ply set up a test and fig­ure out what defines suc­cess lat­er.

If you are using the Site­Cat­a­lyst and Test&Target inte­gra­tion, it’s easy to find and use your most impor­tant suc­cess met­rics — you can use any of your events or con­ver­sion vari­ables in Site­Cat­a­lyst as suc­cess met­rics in Test&Target. This means you don’t have to recre­ate the wheel by hav­ing to set up your exist­ing Site­Cat­a­lyst suc­cess met­rics again in Test&Target.


Don’t for­get you can use mul­ti­ple suc­cess met­rics in Test&Target too, for exam­ple add to cart and order con­fir­ma­tion. How­ever, don’t get too com­pli­cated with ana­lys­ing your tests — ulti­mately you want to use less than 3 impor­tant suc­cess met­rics. Any ­more and you risk com­pli­cat­ing the test results.

3: Use your Site­Cat­a­lyst suite seg­ments to seg­ment and tar­get in Test&Target

The last, and per­haps most impor­tant ben­e­fit of using Site­Cat­a­lyst and Test&Target in union, is the abil­ity to use your Site­Cat­a­lyst seg­ments in Test&Target. This makes it much eas­ier for you to not only ana­lyse your test results to under­stand dif­fer­ences between key vis­i­tor groups, but to also use your high val­ue Suite seg­ments to tar­get more rel­e­vant con­tent to your vis­i­tors and boost con­ver­sions.

For exam­ple, if you have a ‘Cart Aban­don­ers’ seg­ment in Site­Cat­a­lyst, you can use the tool inte­gra­tion to pull in this seg­ment to tar­get in Test&Target, and show them a coupon or offer for free ship­ping.

This is real­ly impor­tant to do, because test­ing and tar­get­ing more rel­e­vant con­tent to your major groups of vis­i­tors is one of the most effec­tive ways of giv­ing your con­ver­sion rates a great boost.

How to get start­ed with the Test&Target and Site­Cat­a­lyst inte­gra­tion and these tips:

If you are using both tools already, reach out to your con­sul­tant or account man­ager and request to acti­vate this pow­er­ful inte­gra­tion between Test&Target and Site­Cat­a­lyst. It’s easy to get this up and run­ning and you will quick­ly be able to use the bene­fits we just reviewed with just a few extra steps.


Posted on 02-21-2013

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