Daniel Burstein

Website Optimization: 1,915 marketers rank the top optimization goals

We’re putting the finishing touches on the MarketingSherpa 2013 Website Optimization Benchmark Report, and wanted to give you a sneak peak at some of the data …

 

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It’s not surprising that 98% of marketers are using website optimization to increase conversion, but what really encourages me about the above chart is that marketers are using website optimization to learn more about their customers.

 

Learning about your customers

They want to learn about customer behavior and motivations. They want to discover the most appropriate wording and phrasing that resonates with their customers.

Website optimization is a great way to do this – continually make regimented changes and then run A/B split tests to determine what customers truly value in the real-world, real-time lab known as the Internet.

While that is encouraging, as Lisa Arthur, Chief Marketing Officer, Aprimo, points out, more marketers should find this priority very important: “I am surprised … to see that only 64% of the marketers polled considered ‘learning about customer behavior and motivations’ to be very important.”

“In today’s environment, a dynamic, tailored customer experience is paramount to marketing success, and the best way to build such an experience is to identify each customer’s preferences through data analysis,” Lisa said.

“As a key source of big data, your website is an excellent place to harvest information that helps create interactions wherein customers feel that they know a brand and the brand knows them. I think we’ll see the ‘very important’ response to this question increase over time as more marketers realize this.”

 

Finding leaks in the conversion funnel

There is also an interesting disconnect between the top and bottom priorities, in some marketers’ minds.

“It’s interesting that ‘To find leaks in the conversion funnel’ isn’t a higher priority,” said Sanders Monsees, Research Analyst, MECLABS. “While increasing overall conversion sounds great in theory, one of the best ways to actually increase conversion rates is to identify where users are dropping off in the funnel, and focus on that area specifically.”

 

The power of website optimization

I received the responses above from something new we’re trying here at MECLABS – getting your analysis of our marketing industry research to help your peers do their jobs better. If you’d like to be featured in a future blog post, simply subscribe to the free MarketingSherpa Chart of the Week email newsletter, and share your analysis of a future chart.

One of my favorite responses was from Kirk Bates, owner, Market 248. He began by humbly saying, “Hi Daniel, I don’t have advice for your readers (who are WAY smarter than I am).” However, Kirk underestimates himself; he had a great example of the power of website optimization …

For what it’s worth, our most exciting moment in landing page optimization to date came when we were contacted by a company who had just experienced 100,000 visitors on their page without a single form submission.

We could see the problem in a matter of minutes. By changing the photo on the page and by reducing a ridiculously cumbersome form from 15 questions to about four or five, the results were huge and virtually instantaneous. In fact, we gained so much response that within seven days of making those edits, they called to ask us to turn it off for a while because their sales team could not keep up with the leads. And, these were HIGHLY qualified and filtered, red-hot leads.

Now that’s fun!

 

Related Resources:

Collaborate with Customers to Innovate Innovation (via Aprimo)

Why PayPal Refused to Do Business with us (via Market 248)

Marketing Research Chart: What are the most prevalent website optimization priorities?

6 Steps to Optimize Website Conversions: 43% Boost

Website Optimization: Simple A/B test adds ‘thousands and thousands of dollars’ to Cars.com’s bottom line

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  1. September 24th, 2012 at 15:31 | #1

    Great article Daniel.

    Learning more about customer behavior and motivation has proven to be a very valuable asset and time-well-spent for us. With my own SEO company, it’s really not the ranking that sets us apart, it’s the results.

    IMHO, SEO becomes FAR more valuable for clients when you have the knowledge to be able to combine rankings you achieve with carefully optimized landing pages. That’s when the magic really begins to happen.

    I have learned nearly everything I know about optimizing landing pages from the excellent and ever-up-to-date material your group produces. I don’t know how you guys do it, but 10,000 thanks. I encourage anyone who isn’t taking part in your free webinars to do so. Thanks for including me in your post as well.

  2. September 27th, 2012 at 01:22 | #2

    Doing seo now is really difficult and many sites has been affected by google panda specially google penguin. But we need to be careful now on how we optimize our site because google now are very aggressive if you are doing spammy links or using a black hat tactics and you site will be affected or ban in SE.

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