Visual Web Optimizer began as a generic website testing tool with things like A/B testing and heat maps built in. These days, the solution has added a ton of optimization features that aim to help you grow your business.
VWO—that’s it’s new name—still offers a whole lot of testing methods, but also in-depth reporting and tools for lead generation and customer segmentation.
As far as conversion rate optimization platforms are concerned, this one got us a bit excited. This platform has great reviews and doesn’t skimp on the options. For example, there are six types of website tests.
Below, we’ll dive deeper into VWO and find out whether or not this platform is worth the investment.
What is Visual Website Optimizer?
Visual Website Optimizer, or VWO, is an all-in-one optimization suite. This means that users gain access to a selection of tools that come together to collect leads and drive conversions.
Based on our initial look at the platform, it’s clear that VWO takes UX testing to the next level, through a ton of testing options like heat maps and multivariate testing.
Six Different Testing Options
With VWO, you’ll be able to easily create tests from the menu. Select create test and you’ll be presented with six different options.
Choose from the following options:
- A/B testing
- Multi-variate testing
- Split testing
- Usability testing
- Heatmaps and click maps
- Geo-behavioral targeting
The robust testing options already make this tool a valuable asset to your marketing lineup.
We like that you can create things like a usability test, which dives into the customer experience and how users move to the site.
Or, multivariate tests which help marketers quickly resolve onsite issues with multiple components. Without a tool like this, you’ll need to conduct multiple A/B tests before finding out which version works best.
Heatmaps and click maps uncover which areas of your site are generating the most interest, and sometimes can reveal more about your website than say, a survey or standard analytics.
In all, users will be impressed with the testing capabilities. Most CROs only come with one or two of these options, so by comparison, there’s a huge promise for insight.
VWO has a well-designed dashboard full of features and an easy navigation experience. While some of the options included in this tool take some getting used to, the dashboard presents a clear view of your site status and won’t intimidate first timers too much.
Visual Website Optimizer’s reporting features are as robust as the testing options. While there’s a lot to take in, reports are easily accessible.
Divides Optimization into Different Phases
The platform makes it clear how to approach optimization from the beginning. This comes in handy if you’re new to the tool and testing in general.
There’s a great guide on the website that walks you through the research phase, hypothesis, prioritization, testing, and learning.
VWO recommends first learning what visitors do, and how they move through the site. From there, you can make predictions and fix issues.
The prioritization phase, for example, is all about uncovering the worst pages and improving them—because it’s a large undertaking, you’ll need to determine which pages are most important, then test changes.
VWO goals give you a place to start tracking specific metrics aimed at improving your conversions. You can choose to track anything from page visits to clicks.
As the tool works to track metrics against your goals, you’ll have the ability to add observations, like if you notice a sudden dip, you can make a quick note. Still, VWO annotates the reports, so you’ll get notes regardless.
You can also see every aspect associated with your conversion rates by adding multidimensional goal reports. Look at reports by conversion totals, conversion rates and visitors associated with a specific goal.
Build funnels, too.
Funnels join forces with goals and by adding them to your website, you’lll be able to track multiple conversion points along the buyer journey. Arranging funnels is as easy as setting a series of goals and arranging them in a particular order.
When you create a funnel report, you’ll get to see where users are dropping off—and can break reports down into visitor segments. The tool comes with a selection of pre-loaded segments and you can create your own custom segments by setting parameters inside the tool.
Heatmaps, click maps, scroll maps. VWO has all of them—and you can customize these maps further than most tools. Add your observations and view maps in real time. You can also elect to filter maps by device or segment, which will give you an idea whether or not you’re optimized or web, mobile, or tablet.
Recordings allow you to watch users interact with your site, from their point of view.
You’ll be able to skip pauses, track clicks and mouse trails, add observations, and adjust the speed.
Recordings offer a bit more than what you’ll get with a heat or scroll map—here, you’re able to see where someone might get stuck or bored with what they’re looking at on the site.
Within Visual Website Optimizer, you’ll be able to send surveys to your audience to hear from them. While heat maps and recordings look at the actions users take, they don’t always provide context.
Adding surveys into the mix means, you’ll now be able to ask for a bit of background information from your users. Learn how you can make your products or your site better. Or, find out more about their demographics and motivations.
As we mentioned above, you can add observations to your surveys, to highlight the answer of a unique respondent or make notes on a specific question.
Filter Your Observations
You can categorize your tests, reports, and survey answers by labeling them or by searching for keywords used in your observations.
You can also save URLs for your landing pages and associated tests, so they’ll be easy to locate down the road.
All observations are kept in a central repository, there to serve as a guideline for future tests and campaigns.
What’s interesting about Visual Web Optimizer, is pricing is broken down into two sections. They have a testing application and an optimization suite sold separately.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what you’ll get with the optimization suite, by plan.
Growth, $299 per month
The Growth package is the entry-level CRO tool. Here, you’ll be able to track funnels and goals, look at visualizations, create surveys, and run a variety of tests.
Additionally, you’ll be able to record observations and personalize your customers’ experiences.
While the price is posted on the site, you’ll still need to contact the sales team to get started.
Pro, $599 a month
The Pro plan comes with everything you’ll get in the Growth package, with some valuable add-ons.
Now, you’ll be able to analyze funnel leaks using heat maps and recordings, compare heat maps by filtering out segments, and tag session recordings. You’ll also be able to log your observations on the recording page and trigger surveys on based on a custom event.
Enterprise, Price Available Upon Request
This plan comes with custom integrations that along with your existing systems. At this level, you’ll be able to send custom data to visitors, request website reviews from real users, geo-target user experience, and add unlimited accounts and users.
Pricing is based on two factors, volume and features. You can run the app on multiple domains, but ultimately, the price rises if you start pulling in a ton of traffic.
With the free trial, you’ll have 30-days to decide whether the platform is right for you. During this time, you’ll be able to test a maximum of 1000 website visitors—which should be enough to give you a feel for whether or not it’s going to work.
In addition to the newer CRO software, VWO still offers their testing platform, which doesn’t come with all of the reporting and segmentation capabilities, but still brings some solid insights to the table.
VWO is a cloud-based platform you can access from your web browser. There’s no need to install anything on your computer to get up and running.
Integrating Visual Website Optimizer with your site is pretty easy. You’ll need to incorporate a few lines of code into your backend, but it should take only a few minutes.
The site doesn’t highlight which platforms they integrate with, but they mention that they can connect with several e-commerce and CRM platforms. You may want to ask about this if you’re already paying for a number of tools.
Who is this For?
Honestly, anyone who needs to test specific variations of their site and better implement effective marketing campaigns is sure to see some powerful results.
That said, even the Growth plan is a bit spendy for someone who works on an individual basis.
If it’s within your budget to spend upwards of $300 a month on a marketing tool, VWO is a great option. It’s just that initial barrier to entry may feel like a bit much.
The support details on the VWO site are pretty fantastic. The optimization features are relatively new, and they’ve done a good job creating content that showcases each feature and how it fits into a larger context of optimizing the UX, as well as your return on investment.
Ebooks on the Visual Optimization site function more as case studies. Here, you’ll see why, for example, G2 Crowd dubbed VWO the “best A/B testing platform.”
Or, you’ll learn why the SaaS solution is Colart’s first choice in optimization platforms. In all, this section is a bit dry, but contains some helpful information here and there.
Webinars are offered for free on the website. Here, you’ll learn to build a winning retargeting campaign, or see how buyer personas shape your strategy.
Additionally, you can enter your email and download past sessions.
The blog comes with a decent selection of content offerings. You’ll get a look at topics like optimization tips and tricks, or how to use A/B testing tools. It’s not as in-depth as we were expecting, but ultimately, the content is well-written and engaging.
Finally, the knowledge base is your source for guides. Here, you’ll learn how to run tests, segment your audience, and troubleshoot issues. VisualWebsite Optimizer really shines here–it’s obvious that the makers of this platform want to be as helpful as possible.
One such example is that guide we mentioned above that broke down each stage in the optimization process. Optimization is complicated and most marketers are used to running basic tests here and there without any rhyme or reason.
In this case, users get the chance to develop a strategy, with a little help from the pros.
What’s the Verdict on Visual Website Optimizer?
In the end, VWO is perfect for anyone who is serious about conversion rate optimization and needs something better than relying on data sourced from Google Analytics.
Visual Website Optimizer comes with a ton of features, loads of integrations, and has a history of positive reviews from past consumers.
Still, no tool is perfect. Results reporting could be a bit better and some people have mentioned that the tool is a challenge to get up and running.
In all though, VWO is a good option for those who want a hyper-focus on optimization, complete with testing, funnel building, and more.
Visual Web Optimizer is really the total package. We’d recommend this option to anyone seeking a solution that stands to unlock the insights that matter.