11 August 2007

Update: Call-To-Action on Button Color Outcome

Quite a few weeks back, I wrote about the colors of buttons and their ability to appeal to buyer's impulses on an ecommerce site. Since then, I've placed 8 different buttons in two element areas on a deep path page in the cableorganizer site for testing. Using both Omniture and Google Website Optimizer, I was able to produce a positive correlation between our 'View Pricing' button on our Product Detail pages and sales conversion (represented in a proxy with the addition of an item to the shopping cart). The process is as follows:

  1. Using whichever metrics you choose to determine a page which can yield good results quickly, choose the page on which you expect to have the greatest impact by testing. (We actually use a few calculated metrics which help us determine these; they include: primary content composition(the percentage of total entries on which this page is the landing page within the context of the path) bounce rate, and a highly complicated weighting algorithm (developed out of the idea of proxy-measurements) to determine the importance of each page, within their context, with relation to their path, in the sequence of conversion.

  2. When the page is chosen, set up the testing scenario in Google Website Optimizer for the purpose of a multivariate test on chosen elements. Ensure that all the tagging is done and there are no overlapping elements, tables, or div tags between the script/noscript tags.

  3. Create multiple elements for each of these sections. My suggestion is to always include at least one or two 'crummy' variations on the elements. That way, you can verify their relevance rating in the process. It may lengthen the test, but it will also strengthen the output.

  4. Using Omniture, or whichever provider you are using, you can place a 'Custom Link' inside of each of the element tags which you hope to verify. Make sure each "custom Link' is unique so that when each is clicked, they show independently of each other. For our purposes, we laid each out with a color combination as to immediately present us with an idea of what was happening. (Also, make sure you place these in the appropriate report suite or ASI segment as necessary. Internal traffic could influence these if you are not careful. )

  5. Set your tests up completely and hash-out the previews before launching. Look at how they appear in different browser sizes. Know what your users will be seeing.

  6. Lastly, set up your cookies to not expire for an extended period. Make this period equal to whatever you find to be the average amount of time your customers take before making a purchase from the page which you are testing. Remember the Google code for this is made up of seconds. (i.e. 3 days equals 259,200 seconds).

Once you've ensured that all of this will work, you can feel comfortable letting the test loose.

Having received significant data from the test being performed in both Omniture and Google Website Optimizer, I'm sure that the results which I can see now are having the true correlational effect on our conversion. The really funny thing is, now that I see this ocurring with such high relational specificity to this page, and the context of the images within the colors contained within the page; I am met with more perplexing questions. These are of the type which appeals to my nature of understanding peoples consumption of visual cues with respect to the composition of a painting or image. Shapes and colors play off one another. Does this mean that because the color dominating the top button is present in the page and this is the centermost position of that color that I may have to find the individually best color for each button on the page? If so, is there some concentric model which can help explain shades and variations of intensity of colors to create the visibility, appeal and action on these colors? I'd be very interested to hear any explanations on this topic or tests which have been performed with regard to them.

As usual, I love to spend time thinking about and discussing advanced principles in testing, analytics, optimization and, well, anything about this field. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions, please feel free to contact me. I have been very busy for the past five weeks, but I think my posting may become more frequent for at least the next couple months. If I don't get back to you right away, it only indicates I am busy trying to keep my job.


Simply Bananas said...

very interesting

Eric said...

How are you extending the google testing cookie past the 30 minute window? Or is it still possible people can see multiple versions?

Danalytics said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Danalytics said...

Google published an article on the Website Optimizer/Analytics help. You can extend the life of the cookie by extending timeout. The default setting is 1800 seconds. You can manipulate this to your page requirements.

The article is available here


Daniel W. Shields

kcguy said...

Ok, sorry one more question. This will change it for not only optimizer but all analytics correct? So unless you have a site that does quick conversions it could still be an issue.

would love to explore some ideas around this and pick our brains to find a work around :)

Danalytics said...

It is my understanding that it depends on where you establish the 'timeout' parameter. If you place this code in the analytics code, it will extend the life of that cookie to extend the session closure to whatever time you designate. If you place the code within the provided "test" tag it will then extend only the life of that variation and not the overall life of the analytics code. This may require more research, which I will conduct with the help of a contact at Google.


Daniel W. Shields

kcguy said...

Hi Daniel,

thought i would check and see if you heard back from Google