to-do-listnow

Conversion Optimization Prioritization

  |  December 19, 2013   |  Comments

There's no end to the data you can collect. There's no end to the tests you can run. There's no end to the analysis you can toy with.

Can we increase click-throughs?to-do-listnow
Yes.

Can we increase product comparisons?
Yes.

Can we increase sales?
Yes.

Can we increase customer satisfaction?
Yes.

Which should we do first?
Excellent question.

How do you prioritize optimization?

It hardly seems worthwhile to engage in, say, an A/B split test if you can only realize a half a percent improvement in conversion.

But if you are Walmart with projected online sales this year of $9 billion, that would make your measly 0.5 percent improvement worth $450 million. Not bad for a day's work.

On the other hand, you don't want to waste your time on a mere half a percent when you could shoot for 5 percent or 10 percent or better. So, how do you prioritize optimization?

A. Identify Projects Projected to Yield the Most Improvement

Don't get distracted by the ROI on the knowledge management. Yes, some of these projects may generate insights that have a direct impact on other projects, but just stay focused on changes you can make that lead to immediate revenues.

How much impact do you think you can have on...

  1. Campaign hypothesis: 2 percent increase in ad click-through
  2. Landing page hypothesis: 5 percent increase in page click-through
  3. Navigation improvement hypothesis: 7 percent increase in engagement
  4. Product page hypothesis: 12 percent increase in product configuration/selection
  5. On-site search hypothesis: 12 percent increase in shopping cart use
  6. Path dropout hypothesis: 5 percent improvement in visit duration and page depth
  7. Merchandising hypothesis: 8 percent increase in order value
  8. Shopping cart hypothesis: 16 percent improvement in checkout completion

B. Winnow the Least Likely to Succeed

  1. Projects that are a technical stretch to actually accomplish
  2. Projects that are financially out of reach to actually accomplish
  3. Projects that are politically too complex to actually accomplish

C. Assess the Sales Cycle Impact

Does your client base react like robots to your advertising? If so, you're in luck. Put more money in and more money comes out. Solid ROI.

But for most of us, doubling advertising spend does not directly double sales. So the value of this project must be weighted much lower than doubling the value of the shopping cart. That will definitely translate to double the revenue and deserves to be positively weighted.

D. Better, Faster, Cheaper

Now that you have a working hypothesis for which projects will yield the best return and which are most likely to actually be implemented, the final step is to determine which will be the least expensive and the fastest to achieve. An expensive project that won't bear fruit for many years is not your friend.

Stay Focused, My Friend

The most important thing to remember about digital marketing optimization and analytics is to limit what you try to accomplish. There's no end to the data you can collect. There's no end to the tests you can run. There's no end to the analysis you can toy with.

Stay focused on the big wins and the two or three metrics that are worth moving the needle.

Image on home page via Shutterstock.

Editor's Note: As 2013 draws to a close, we will be featuring the top expert columns of the year. Enjoy this column from Jim Sterne, originally published August 15, 2013.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jim Sterne

Jim Sterne is an international consultant focused on measuring the value of the online marketing for creating and strengthening customer relationships. Sterne has written eight books on using the Internet for marketing, produces the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit and is co-founder and current chairman of the Digital Analytics Association.

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