The best way to improve your online performance is to continuously optimize. If you fully commit to working this way, you’ll find yourself ahead of competition in no time. Is everything going well already? Amazing! But I just know that you can do better. And I want you to do better.
It’s all in the 1%
You may wonder if it’s worth spending time optimizing something that already works fine. The simple answer to that question is ‘Yes!’ Let me explain by just a simple calculation. Imagine you own a website selling oranges. You have a thousand people every day visiting your website. Of these thousand visitors, a hundred add a box of oranges to their cart. Of these hundred, ten people end up purchasing from your website.
If you’re able to increase the amount of people adding oranges to their cart by just 1%, this will generate one more sale every day. Calculate this for a whole year and you’ll go from 520 to 572 sales, an increase of sales by 10%. See how small adjustments can have great impact. Imagine the results if you optimize multiple factors. These will amplify each other and generate even greater results.
Why should I test? Don’t I know best?
Now that I got you hooked on optimizing, where should we start? Of course you can just implement your best ideas and hope for the best. However, do you really know best? At Google and Bing, only 10% to 20% of experiments generate positive results.* And we’re talking experts here. So you may think that changing that button colour from blue to pink will improve your performance, but you will never know for sure without testing it first.
Creating your own growth formula
How do you know where to optimize? In order to do so, you’ll have to develop your own growth formula. Trust me, this sounds more complicated than it is. The growth of your business depends on key factors. These factors will form the drivers of your formula. Improve one of these and it will impact the overall results.
What components of your business drive your formula? Are you reliant on returning customers? Invest your time there and try to create the best CRM system possible. Is a great customer experience essential? Look into how you can improve it and test different solutions. Does an experiment fail? Just remember not every experiment can be successful. Even companies like Google make wrong assumptions. Focus on what works and you’ll see a significant increase in digital performance.
A/B testing with Optimizely
To get you started, I would like to share one of the tools that I love using, Optimizely. It’s a very intuitive tool, which will help you easily set up your A/B tests. With this tool you are able to test contents of any page. Whether you would like to test different text, imagery, style, you can even leave out whole sections of the original if you like. While you’re working on your variation, you’ll see the page changing before your eyes. It’s a very visual tool, which you will master in no time.
Creating the variation is the fun part, at least I love creating them. Next, you’ll have to set up the metric that you want to improve. Hopefully you already thought about what KPI you want to impact and it will be very easy to set up. Want to increase clicks on a certain button? In the implementation part of the tool you can easily create this conversion, by creating a new one and selecting the desired button in the preview. Again very visual and easy once you’ve done it once or twice.
For the pro
Once you’ve mastered the basics of A/B testing, Optimizely also gives you great personalization options. Try targeting different audiences with variations of the same page, for example tailored to their interest or previous website behaviour. The posibilities are endless.
A/B testing is an essential part of working in a data driven way. Want to know more about using data to your advantage. You’ll find a great article here.