3 Tools That Make Digital Optimization Easy

Spire Digital
Spire Digital
Apr 12, 2018

At Spire, we believe product launch is only the beginning of a digital journey. Taking a product to the next level requires an understanding of customer behavior, quick reaction to change, and accurate communication of insights.

In the case of digital optimization, assumptions are dangerous. “I think” and “I know” are very different statements.

Have you ever heard the phrase “Well, I feel like [INSERT CUSTOMER] would use [INSERT FEATURE] this way!”

Our goal is to flip the phrase, “The data shows that [INSERT CUSTOMER] will respond to [INSERT FEATURE] and drive profits.”

Google has launched an entire suite of free tools to help you analyze, test, and implement your ideas. There are 3 primary pieces of software you can use to kick off a strong testing platform: Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, and Google Optimize. This complete package of software will track, deploy, and integrate testing plans in a matter of minutes.9p

Let’s a take a look at some key features these awesome services offer.



1. Google Analytics

Google Analytics (also referred to as “Analytics” or “GA”) collects data and insights from websites, native applications, and even offline software. This tool can answer questions such as:

Where are my users coming from?
What do they do once they arrive?
Who are my most valuable users?

Analytics is a strong tool out of the box, but the real power ramps up when it’s customized to your specific needs. Adding features such as form field funnels, call tracking, and event goals will give you a deeper understanding of how visitors are using your product.


2. Google Tag Manager

If you want to go beyond an out of the box Analytics set up, but you’re not a JavaScript expert, don’t fear!

Google Tag Manager (also referred to as “Tag Manager” or “GTM”) is a simple to use but highly customizable JavaScript and tagging tool. With GTM in your toolbox, you can quickly push tracking codes to your site, insert HTML, and upload custom pixel sets.

By using Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics in parallel you unlock the capabilities of an entire data analysis team without ever involving a developer or statistician! The list of possible integrations and capabilities of tag manager is limitless. If you have found yourself blocked by an overloaded or over complicated IT department, Tag Manager may be the perfect solution. GTM can serve almost any purpose and is a must-have tool for a digital product team.


3. Google Optimize

Google Optimize is the last tool in your testing and analysis suite. The capabilities of Optimize include split testing, personalization, and front-end customization. One example might be a simple 50/50 split test, half your users receive a test experience and half receive the original experience.

Another option is personalization testing, where you can serve different experiences based on a number of user behavior patterns pulled from different sources. This is where you can start to get very advanced in your testing. For instance, you may want to target “Blog Readers” with a different experience. To do this you can import behavioral data from Google Analytics and target testing to this subset of visitors.

If you would like personalization and audience building to be a major part of your strategy, Google offers a premium SaaS product called “Google 360.” Although with some start-up effort, Google’s free offering will get you 99% of the way there on your own.

The best part of Google Optimize is it handles the data analysis for you. When you create a test you’ll be required to enter testing and measurement criteria. Then Google will begin to serve the test to users and analyze the results. After your test reaches statistical significance, Google will provide you with a suggested winner.

You can probably start to understand how the possibilities with these tools are endless. Take a look at how Spire used this suite internally on a recent test.


Case Study: Ghost Hover Button vs. Solid Button

Our last test was a comparison between two different button styles. A solid button vs. a ghost button that changes to solid on hover. Whenever you’re running a test you want to make sure you’re thinking about a few starter areas.

  • Observation: My users are… (not clicking past the home page, leaving from product pages, only reading 50% of an article)
  • Hypothesis: If this … then this… (If we provide more blog posts on the homepage we will see more users click down on our website.)
  • Measure: What metrics are being observed? (Higher time on site, more visits, less first page bounces)
  • Analysis: This was changed… and this happened… (Changing our top navigation to white, caused a +14% improvement to sitewide discoverability.)

With this process in mind Spire has run several tests on our internal site, including the ghost button test. Our preliminary ideas were as follows.

Observation: Users are not engaging with our contact button.

Hypothesis: Testing other styles of contact buttons will raise click rate to our contact form.

After running our test for two weeks the results became quite clear through the help of Google Optimize.

Measure: Click rate improved with a range of +13% to +40%

Analysis: The test was conclusive by showing a click improvement with the new ghost button.

With this one test in mind, it is clear digital optimization is a very powerful tool. The approach we use at Spire is to deploy rapid testing. By consistently making small optimizations to your product you will eventually see a large improvement in the top line of your business.

Spire specializes in the full lifecycle of digital products. That means that we launch products and we support them once they have gone live. Spire has a skilled team of internal digital marketing managers who offer their services to clients as consultants. During your work with Spire, we’ll help implement a testing platform that meets your needs, review your current strategy, and train your team to maintain an ongoing product testing program.

If you have interest in starting up a strong digital optimization program contact Spire today!

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