How To Reap The Benefits Of Continuous Optimization

by , Apr 1, 2010, 4:00 PM
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As the ongoing and irrevocable shift to digital marketing continues, a new mindset is required to reap the greatest rewards. Continuous optimization is now a critical aspect of any successful digital marketing effort.

In the past, marketers often would take a linear path to develop a campaign: nail down the audience, the positioning, the offers, then build the Web site, landing pages and media. While every bit of this process is valid, even the best of us can't always hit the bulls-eye the first time. But here's how to improve your odds:

Start with the landing page. Make sure the user or landing page experience is fully optimized. It's astonishing that for every $1 spent on the landing page -- one of the most critical elements in converting the traffic we generate -- nearly $90 is spent on the media. It's amazing how much good money is thrown after bad, buying more and more traffic that is hopelessly doomed to fail at the point of conversion, because the landing page doesn't do its job. It's all too common that customers ask us for help in driving traffic, and our first response is always, "Where is that traffic going?" In many cases, we find landing pages that could significantly increase their yield through optimization.

Testing, testing. With continuous optimization, we use A/B and multivariate testing to try new elements and offers and look at various measureable changes. We run the changes versus the existing control and measure. While some tests lead to similar or even lesser results, we quickly move on from those and eventually find real gains in the changes that are implemented.
For example, one company was driving roughly 125,000 unique visits to its Web site on a monthly basis, but only converting .4% of that traffic into purchasers. After three or four iterations and about 45 days of testing, the company reached a .6 % conversion at relatively minimal expense. That seemingly small increase resulted in substantial gains in revenue on exactly the same traffic.

Make the most of media. Once we're confident that our conversion at the landing-page level is as efficient and effective as possible -- for the moment -- we then take the same thinking to media, no matter if we're using paid search, article-based marketing or digital display media -- or ideally, a combination of all three.

Employ tools with constant optimization built in. Search success lives or dies by continuous optimization. With evolving search engines, changing user behavior and a highly competitive marketplace, SEM campaigns require constant analysis and optimization to achieve the best results. A few providers with alternative PPC solutions are recognizing the benefits of continuous optimization as well, and are developing products and services that integrate it into their offerings.

Regardless of your tactics, it's critical to remember that a fluid campaign requires constant monitoring and attention. Even if you cracked the code in the past, a mindset of continuous optimization is required to improve performance.

0 comments on "How To Reap The Benefits Of Continuous Optimization".

  1. Peter Marino from reelWebDesign.com
    commented on: April 1, 2010 at 4:26 p.m.

    This is so true. I've been guilty of not putting my best effort into the landing page in the past, but when you
    do it right it pays BIG. Great article!

    <A HREF="http://reelwebdesign.com">Web Design and Marketing Firm in NYC</A>

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