Is it that time again? Congratulations, you’ve decided to refresh your site. Maybe it’s a complete change in the user flow or maybe it’s largely cosmetic. Either way a site redesign is (of course) a huge opportunity for optimization of your most important conversion metrics. Utilize Test&Target to maximize your confidence and understanding of the performance impact of the new site.
There are multiple uses of T&T with a redesign launch, all of which support very different goals within this process.
Influence and validate the new site design proposals.
Test to collect learnings to set direction for the site redesign look, feel, functionality, and flow. If you have been testing for a while, read through your results for the past 12 months and compile a list of insights to provide direction to your creative agency during the redesign and revision process. For example, if previous testing has shown “Most Popular” messaging increased click–through rate on the Homepage Module, make sure to provide direction that the redesign must include the same prominent messaging. If you are just starting your testing program, test with the new site in mind. If you are thinking of removing a prominent module on your Homepage, test it now and see how this will impact your KPIs. You may find you really shouldn’t remove that element which may sway you to update the look instead.
When your creative agency presents multiple design proposals for a page or module, allow your traffic to make the decision which to invest in and ultimately push. Your site is too important for guesswork. Let your visitors decide! Validate pieces of the redesign before pushing the complete site as a whole. This allows for tweaks and whole improvements before final launch. Testing in pieces identifies low and high performing elements and its individual impact to visitors. Using this process, you can confidently report that updating the static Homepage hero to a rotating carousel had X impact to Homepage engagement. You are essentially using testing to put a stamp of approval on these changes.
AB test the current vs new site.
AB test the complete current vs new site in order to understand the impact to the bottom line and secondary metrics. Test&Target can be used to redirect visitors on their first touch point and then stay within the new site funnel. On each subsequent session, the visitor will continue to see the same experience.
AB testing will help you understand the new site’s impact to what’s most important. Easily track in real time the impact to conversion, revenue, average order value, and cart additions. Closely monitor high-level site engagement such as Homepage click-through rate and App Starts, and Product Page views. Identify frictions in the user flow and broken links by tracking page error views. In this way, you can make small adjustments or major corrections before pushing the new site to 100% of traffic.
You can also gather directional learnings for continued optimization of the new site. Watch performance of secondary metrics such as internal search results or FAQ page views to identify areas of improvement for the new site. Learnings from this redesign test can fuel immediate follow-up tests to optimize lower performing areas.
Throttle traffic slowly from current to new site.
If you don’t wish to test then control the flow of traffic slowly from current to new site to gauge. Launch your site to a small percentage of traffic and monitor your success metrics, drag on servers, and error page visits. Slowly increase traffic as the Business feels more comfortable that the new site is adjusting well to the traffic and supporting the volume as expected. Correct any issues to conversion while impact is still small!
Common examples are:
- Initial launch to 10% of traffic, increase to 25% after 24 hours, then to 50%, 75% and finally 100% over a week long period.
- Initial launch to 10%, increasing traffic steadily by 10% over 9 days to 100%.
After your new site launches have yourself a glass of Shiraz and smile. Site launches are hard work and a stressful time. You’ve probably analyzed and shared the performance data ad nauseam immediately following the launch. If the new site is still live then you’ve done good work! But don’t rest on your laurels for too long. Continue to optimize!
Consider adding major influential elements from the previous site to the new site while you still have that momentum. Take advantage that you have your leadership’s full attention and propose a 6 month plan of optimization for the new site.
Testing is valuable as well as fun. Happy testing!
About the author: Christi Terjesen is an Optimization Manager with Adobe Digital, a full service web optimization team within Adobe Consulting. She helps clients in all verticals increase conversion rate and produce ROI through their testing programs. She is a certifed Adobe Test&Target expert based out of New York City.