Reading a recent blog post from Jeffery Eisenberg (Realistic Expectations For Conversion Rate Optimization) made me once again think about how a lot of companies fail to really commit to testing and site optimization once they purchase a tool (Test&Target, SiteSpect, Optimpost, Goolgle Web Site Optimizer, etc.). Right now, I see site optimization where I saw Web analytics about 5 years ago in terms of tools and commitment.
A few years ago, businesses were ready to go out and buy the biggest and best Web analytics solution out there, without having any kind of dedicated resources to leverage the information or to ensure that any kind of best practices were being followed or developed. Now, many companies have dedicated Web analysts that can implement analytics solutions and help their businesses leverage the information contained within. Site optimization is, as I see it, about to explode (more than it already has) because companies appear ready to commit resources to the effort as opposed to just buying a solution and running with it.
Most companies do not dedicate any resources to actually making their existing Web sites better.
Most design and development efforts are concerned with developing new features or content. Instead, companies need to remember that they have a ton of content out there that could probably be performing better than it already is. After all, how often do any of us get something perfect on the first try (or the second for that matter)?
There are several things that a company can do to ensure that they are committed to optimizing their Web site:
- Dedicated some of the time of your design and development teams to optimization.
- Commit to designing at least 2 versions of everything that goes out. Make optimization a part of the design process (within reason of course). This is often a big challenge as designers see testing as just doubling their work.
- Find a way to get everyone invested/interested. A lot of companies make the testing process an internal contest of sorts where everyone watches results in real time.
- Pay your employees for coming up with ideas that improve conversion rates. After all, shouldn’t you be paying your employees to impact the bottom line anyway? Here, it’s measurable!
- Realize that optimization and testing is just as important as your paid search and e-mail marketing efforts. All require an ongoing commitment in resources and effort.