Branded3 earns Optimizely Strategy Certification

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  • March 9, 2016
Steven Shaw

Steven Shaw

Digital Director

We at Branded3 are pleased to announce that we are now an OptimizeleyOptimizely Strategy Certified organisation.

The certification is one of the new measures that allow Optimizely to officially recognise their partners’ competency to deliver strategic optimisation services including conversion rate optimisation (CRO).

In order to achieve the certification we had to produce documented evidence about Branded3 and our experience that allowed Optimizely to assess and review against two core objectives:

  1. An agency’s ability to develop and execute an optimization program, and the consultative, project management, analytical, and other acumen that ability entails.
  2. An agency’s ability to deliver valuable results and a professional experience to our joint customers.

The team

Our application gave detail around our Optimisation team members. Currently led by myself, the team consists of the following core team members:

  • Steve Shaw – Digital director
  • Dr Alan Ng – Head of data and insights
  • Andy Curry – Head of UX and design
  • Jamie Gargett – UX designer
  • Emma Barnes – Senior insights and analytics analyst
  • Mathew McCorry – Insights and analytics analyst
  • Phil Broadhead – Technical Engineer

As you can see from the titles, the group is made up from different disciplines to provide a well rounded and experienced team. From the overall digital strategy and definition of the business goals, to our data-led approach looking at what customers are currently doing on the website and their behaviour through UX and customer research, to the final execution of the design and technical code, our team is able to deliver on the full spectrum of optimisation.

Our optimisation services

Below is a quick look at some of our optimisation services. They can be used in combination or as individual tasks according to the needs of the business, so we can be very flexible on how they are delivered.

A/B Testing and content experiments

Our A/B testing is the most accessible of our optimization services due to the ability to focus on a specific objective or area of a website and the ease and speed of the implementation of Optimizely.

Ideal for ecommerce sites, lead generation or sites that focus on particular results or user interactions, A/B testing allows specific areas of pages to be optimized.

Through our user journey and data review processes we identify key areas within the customer experience that are aligned to the business objectives of our clients. Using this information, we produce a number of hypotheses on elements or pages to test.

Once our hypotheses have been identified, we define the tests that we want to run in order to understand the outputs. The tests are then put into a suitable roadmap based upon priority and our rating of potential impact on the results.

The tests are then run for suitable duration in order to gain statistical significance showing the impact on the customer website in driving effectiveness and look at the overall goal.

By using A/B testing, sites can go through incremental changes and learnings to provide a continuous growth plan. They are ideal for testing conversion-led goals as small elements can be tested in combination to deliver the best results.

User testing and customer feedback

By providing a way for customers to feedback through surveys and contact forms, we can analyse the data to provide a clear outline of challenges faced by customers on achieving their own and the wider business goals.

By allowing customers to feedback any challenges they have within the digital platform, you create the ability to improve performance and help provide a better customer experience.

Our user testing can include controlled groups or sessions where potential customers or users are recruited in order to test or carry out specific tasks within the site and providing feedback on how effective this was. These sessions can be recorded and monitored to review the feedback as it happens.

As part of these users sessions, we are able to develop interactive prototypes of the proposed changes in order for users to actively use in testing sessions and to gain active feedback.

Our interactive prototypes usually take the form of wireframes or detailed designs that give a very close representation of the proposed final product. This process is much quicker than the typical code-based prototyping approach.

By partnering with a third party agency, we are able to record these entire sessions to give both visual and behavioural insight into how they engaged with the prototype and if they were able to achieve their goal.

Heat mapping and eye-tracking

By utilising on-page heat tracking, we are able to monitor user behaviour. This includes the movement of the mouse along with any clicks or in-page events.

Heat mapping can be very useful in determining elements of the site such as search bars, checkout funnels or other functional elements to see how users engage.

The scale of which the maps show the “heat” allow us to identify if users are drawn to the right elements on page, such as a button or CTA, or if there is an issue with a feature such as drop downs etc.

By continually monitoring the heat maps along with implementing changes we can see how the customer behaviour adapts to the updated features and how this translates to the overall goal.

By partnering with third-party usability technology specialists we are able to combine the customer sessions with Eye-tracking software to monitor how the customers see the pages or interfaces they are using.

UX, User journey and path analysis

Branded3 has a team of User Experience (UX) designers that are able to review and understand the experience from both a technological and creative angle. The UX approach works by understanding not just the design, but the information architecture, the customer personas, the web goals and the user journey. By applying all these areas of information to a website, we can analyse the current customer journey and identify fundamental changes that can support a smoother journey.

Typically, our team will analyse information from data and analytics systems such as Google Analytics to produce customer journey information. This is then mapped to known activities on site.

Being aligned to the business goals and customer objectives, our user journey and path analysis service allows us to identify and map out the expected customer journey with a view to achieving the goal.

We then look at visitor information and data in order to identify if what we believe is the journey is actually undertaken by users, or if there is something that appears to be a barrier to completing our expected route.

By combining some of the other optimisation techniques or tagging up particular events we can also see if the behaviour is through customer intention or due to the way the interface has been developed.

Case studies

Finally, we provided details of our optimisation experience through case studies. You can read more about these on our website.


A solicitors and injury claims specialist company, First4lawyers has the key goal to provide information and services for claimants and therefore allow them to easily get in touch about a claim. Our aim was to increase conversions for new claims via the website. Our improvements focussed on making the enquiry and claims process as simple as possible to the audience.

One of the core elements that was improved as part of this project was the homepage, where implementing increased trust indicators through personal endorsements, clearer CTA elements on page and modernising the site helped to provide an increased flow through the customer journey. You can read more on First4lawyers case study in our portfolio section.

Inchcape Cooper BMW

A CRO project for automotive brand Cooper BMW (part of the Inchcape group) was focussed on lead generation and engagement with their used vehicles journey. We took the approach to review the typical journey with an ecommerce-style mindset. This took the journey from the homepage, the vehicle listing page and the car view pages.

Through our review, we were able to identify a large volume of “noise” around the journey and conflicting messages that would mean the user wasn’t able to complete their goal as easily as possible. By reducing the volume of links in the main header navigation we were able to increase click through to the core journeys, whilst still maintaining the levels of traffic to the removed sections through more appropriately placed CTAs. By improving the customer journey, the project helped increase both the number and quality of leads generated from the site. You can read more about the Cooper BMW case study in our portfolio section.


Illamasqua is a make-up brand that sells its goods via its ecommerce website. Branded3 provided the strategy and plan for a number of optimisation projects including site-wide improvements, layout updates and increased product information that helped to increase both the average basket values along with the conversion rates to significantly grow this brand. You can read more about Illamasqua in our portfolio section.

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