Monday, November 14, 2011

A Three Ingredient Recipe for Website Optimization: When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Your Lemonade As Delicious As Possible

If your financial advisor looked at you and said, “If you give me $50, I can give you a return of 5 or 15 percent with the same risk-- your choice,” you would probably choose the investment with the highest return. Website optimization is very similar; it’s using the same resources to squeeze the most out of the investment in the site. Be it through tweaking landing pages, registration forms, or calls to action, site optimization can increase conversions like Albert Pujols hits homeruns. This simple recipe makes it possible for even time-strapped marketers to focus on their site to drive conversions, whatever the end goal may be.

A website
Somebody who knows how to install code on pages  (possibly your friendly IT guy)
Google Website Optimizer or any other web analytics or optimizer program

Mix the ingredients in the bowl until smooth, and do the following:
1.     First, think about your goal- is it to get customers to sign up for a newsletter? Complete a purchase? Then consider ways that help or hinder customers from achieving that goal.
2.     Start small. Test differences in color, placement of your corporate logo, and position of text box. Keep a control page, and observe which configuration is most successful in getting customers to complete the goal.
3.     Go bigger. Create different landing pages, and test different elements. Fiddle with sign-up or check out information. Are you asking your customers for too much information, such as a phone number your neighbor’s mom’s boyfriend’s dog’s date of birth? Does it prevent potential customers from completing the conversion?  Experiment with elements that might impact or influence your consumers. Sometimes, those elements are not necessarily intuitive. As this HubSpot webinar points out, the words “register” and “submit” can connote very different things in the subconscious minds of consumers.
4.     Always test, test, test. Never settle. Your company’s website is one of its most important assets. Don’t leave it on the stove without proper attention; after all, a burnt pot is really hard to clean. On the other hand, there’s nothing as tasty as a perfectly baked cake. But it takes the right temperature and a lot of love to make it that way.  

Written by Kate Hellman  | Graduate Student at Northwestern IMC |  @hellk

1 comment:

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