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Holistic Conversion Optimization

And the equation that will get you there

Marketers spend a lot of time experimenting with conversion optimization tactics. Sometimes it’s small, flavor-of-the-week hunches incrementally changing on the site.  Sometimes it’s an overhaul in collaboration with a consultant or firm. But the marketers always think in terms of design, organization, and content quality as they seek to improve their sites.

IT folks think about infrastructure performance and delivery.  This is directly related to user experience, as failure of infrastructure to deliver a site quickly will cause a worse experience.  But IT often thinks in its own technical terms, not in terms like conversion rate.

Finally, some developers are coming up with new and inventive ways to make websites render faster and more consistently from the front-end.  Their mission is to navigate the convoluted world of mobile devices, browser capabilities, and site content.  They want to present the site effectively to all users, all the time.

All of these groups are working to make their websites better.  And yet, in the majority of organizations, the overall mission — making more money by improving conversions and other metrics — is not unified.  The groups each have different SLAs and goals that are related, but not the same.

Why is that?

Perhaps it’s because they each have ancillary, or secondary missions that don’t fit squarely together. Buying space for advertising is a lot different than rewriting database code.  So intuitively it doesn’t seem to make sense to have marketing, IT, and development all judged by the same metrics.  But if your business is seeking to make more money, these units can and should be goaled on the same metric: improving conversions and revenue.

That can be accomplished by taking a holistic view of everything that contributes to the operation of your website, and what can be done to improve it.  We came up with an equation that codifies this idea: quick + correct + quality = engagement.  More specifically, that means: quick delivery and rendering of the content (to capture and hold a visitor’s attention); correct placement, sizing, and order of content, to achieve a uniform and error-free experience across all devices; and quality content, including sensible design and organization.

The most successful web businesses have all of these ingredients.  And they recognize that all of them feed into the web experience, and so should be considered together, not as disparate units.

To dissect this equation, we wrote an ebook called “The New Conversion Equation: How to Capture Attention in the Era of Vanishing Attention Spans”.  In it we talk about both tactics and high-level strategies to attack website optimization from a number of angles, including those relevant to marketing, IT, and development.  Give it a read and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear how you attack optimization across departments!

conversion equation ebook

Photo via Flickr

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