CXL Institute Growth Marketing Minidegree review Part 3

The ResearchXL method as developed by CXL’s Peep Laja.
The ResearchXL method

Always start with the WHY

The ResearchXL model

  • Heuristic Analysis to assess user experience based assessment of your website. We assess each page in different browser among 4 different characteristics
    — Clarity
    — Friction
    — Anxiety
    — Distraction
    We discuss some of the models of heuristic analysis later in the article.
  • Technical Analysis to identify functional problems
  • Digital Analysis to identify problem areas with google analytics or any other digital analytics. We want to understand where is the money leaking out. Dig for insights and correlation and friction areas. Check if all the connections are correct.
  • Qualitative Research to draw insights from surveys and user research. You can use on-site polls on key pages where we are solving a challenge.
  • User Testing to understand from real target group or people representing a target group. You need to understand how they are behaving while performing a specific task on your website.
  • Mouse Tracking is where you understand what people are doing on your site. Peep explains that hover maps are not that useful as compared to scroll maps or even click analysis.

The categorization and prioritization:

  • Test: If there is an obvious opportunity to shift behavior, expose insight or increase conversion.
  • Instrument: This can involve fixing, adding or improving tag or event handling on the analytics configuration.
  • Hypothesize: This is where we’ve found a page, widget or process that’s just not working well but we don’t see a clear single solution.
  • Just Do It: This is a bucket for issues where a fix is easy to identify or the change is a no-brainer.
  • Investigate: If an item is in this bucket, you need to ask questions or do further digging.


After Categorizing and ranking

The optimization process

  1. Conduct Research
  2. Build Hypotheses
  3. Create treatment
  4. Test treatment
  5. Analyze results
  6. Follow-up experiments

How do we measure effectiveness of a testing program?

  1. Testing velocity: How many tests are you conducting
  2. Percentage of tests that provide a win: How many successful tests?
  3. Impact per successful experiment: What is the impact of these tests?

Site Walkthroughs

Heuristic Analysis

The LIFT framework
  • Clarity: Is it perfectly clear and understandable what’s being offered and how it works?
  • Relevancy: Understand context and evaluate page relevancy for visitors: Do pre-click and post-click messages and visuals align?
  • Incentive: Is it clear what people are getting for their money? Is there some sort of believable urgency?
  • Friction: Evaluate all the sources of friction on the key pages.
  • Distraction: Pay attention to distracting elements on every high priority pages.
  • Buying phase: Understand buying phases and see if visitors are rushed into too big of a commitment too soon.

Understanding Surveys

  1. Closed ended questions
  2. Should not be leading
  3. Reaches the heart of the problem
  1. Non-intuitive scales
  2. Mixing questions of behavior and attitude
  3. Questions that don’t communicate
  4. Long surveys
  5. Unnatural learning curve
  1. Reading the room: When the surveyor tells the client what they want to hear. (surveyor end)
  2. Order Bias: When the questions number higher get a better response and hence these questions should always be reshuffled. (surveyor end)
  3. No summaries or technical summaries. (user-end)
  4. No debrief. (user-end)
  5. Selective perception. Force the client be more objective. (surveyor end)
  1. Build relationship with the customer
  2. Send out surveys promptly
  3. Incentivize the user
  1. Talk to sales or customer support people to understand the top 10–20 questions they get asked and what concerns customers have.
  2. Trigger polls to know the instant mindset. These can be set time spent on a page or during exit intent. Experiment with the leading and final question mix.
  3. Live chat transcripts help in painting a picture and providing ideas. Analyse the transcripts from 30 days or 3 months (low-traffic website).
  4. The main benefit of user testing is to identify bottlenecks for users. User testing usually involves people observing recruited testers complete a given set of tasks on the website.
  5. There are 3 ways to run user testing — over the shoulder, monitored remote and unmonitored remote testing.
  6. Mouse tracking tools offer key insights into the user behaviour on your site. These can be through heat maps, click maps, user session recordings or scroll analysis.
  7. The Ring Model, developed by Craig Sullivan, focusses on the depth of engagement and not page views. It helps in discovering where the flow is stuck.
  8. Google Analytics health check needs to be completed before attempting any optimization work. Get experts to look at the GA covering account settings, property and view settings to avoid any polluted data.
  9. Funnels and goal flows are critically important. They both, being different, but give out details of what is happening with the traffic on the website.
  10. More than just looking at the number of page views and traffic we also need to look at country, region, city, age groups, visitor type, demographics and affinity categories.
  11. Internal site search is another way to optimize for conversions. You can test for results with and without site search. Behavior -> Site Search -> Overview report and if it shows nothing, it’s most likely unconfigured.
  12. Content reports help to identify pages that works better than others. We can look at Top Content to understand the highest traffic-low performance, Landing Pages to understand the bonce rate on top landing pages as compared to site average, Navigation summary showing what are people doing on specific page and which links are getting clicked on.
  13. Run “conversions per browser” report, and segment by device category.
  14. Copywriting is by far the most important part and sometimes is rated higher than design in persuading a customer. There are 2 main parts in a copy — clarity with complete information and value of the products. Copy testing is the research that you can do to collect data on your copy.
  15. Copy testing is mostly a qualitative survey where we ask questions mostly on friction and completeness. Try to use a scale so that you can quantify the qualitative data.





Startup Growth | Business Development and Sales | Creative thinker

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