I’ve been at WooThemes for a little over 2 years. In that time, we’ve changed and improved a lot of what we do, and how we do it.
We no longer use Subversion, we create plugins and other offerings in addition to themes, and we’ve moved into a bigger office. Those are just a few of the day-to-day areas which have changed. The important changes have been in our philosophy and our approach to how we run Woo.
The biggest change (at least for me) at WooThemes is that we now measure everything we do. We’re big fans of the Lean Business Model and, as far as we can, we apply the Build > Measure > Learn philosophy to everything we do.
One of the best places you’ll see that philosophy in action is right here, on our website. We measure absolutely everything we can, and use that data in our decisions about design, functionality, improving conversions and the general performance of the website.
The implementation of this philosophy wouldn’t be possible without some of the great tools we’re using.
If you’ve not got this setup on your website, you’re doing the internet wrong. A great resource about everything you need to know to get started can be found here
Its incredibly easy to get setup on Google Analytics. You’ll get a lot of reporting done for you, for free.
We use Google Analytics for our visitor reports, content analysis, geolocation reporting, sales reports and, most importantly, our campaign reporting.
To effectively measure your campaigns, it’s super important that you tag all URLs used in a campaign. Be sure to bookmark Google’s URL builder for when you need it.
The real power in Google Analytics is the feature for creating custom reports. You can read a bit more about those here Here are a few reports I find invaluable:
- Content Efficiency Analysis Report
- Product Performance by Campaign
- Country Revenue Report
- Blog Post Performance Report
- Time & Ecommerce
KissMetrics has been the most important tool in our arsenal. We use KissMetrics to improve our activation, engagement and revenue metrics.
With KissMetrics, we’re able to measure what our users are doing on our website. This is the important differentiator between KissMetrics and Google Analytics. In fact, it’s against Google’s terms of service to identify a user by name at all.
We use KissMetrics to record every event we consider important and pass contextual data along with that event when necessary. Of course we’re using our own plugin for this!
Once you’re recording your events correctly (our plugin does a lot for you) there are a myriad different kinds of reports you can generate. The most interesting reports I’ve used are the cohort reports. What’s that? They’re best explained here.
There’s certainly been a lot said lately, by people more experienced and smarter than I, about why you shouldn’t A/B test.
We’ve only been running A/B testing for a couple of months, and, so far, we’ve seen some massive improvements.
Since we’ve started using an A/B testing platform, we’ve had two massive wins.
First off, we redesigned our homepage. Why? Well, our previous homepage never had any valuable call-to-actions. While it was extremely well designed and slick, it wasn’t converting visitors into customers by downloading our free products, signing up, or making a purchase. Since the redesign, we’ve seen a 28% improvement in our sign ups, we have more visitors viewing our product-related pages and visiting the Club Subscription page.
While its great to be able to measure how well our designs, sales and marketing are doing on our website, none of that would be possible without keeping the website up. To help us out, we have New Relic integrated on our servers. This allows us to view reports on how our servers, databases and specific pages are doing.
This allows us to quickly find where bottle necks are, and its been a great help to us to get our code to scale.
I hope the tools listed above can help you in making informed decisions, like it has for us. Are there any other tools we should be using? Share your thoughts in the comments.