Search Marketers Should Consider Optimizing For Anxiety, Distractions

by , Dec 6, 2013, 1:13 PM
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Conversion optimization (CO) will become one of the most sought after tactics in 2014. Let's face it -- not many marketers do it really well. Not many understand all the nuances of optimization. How many of you optimize for anxiety, for example? It may seem easy to convert Web site visitors into customers, but it's not. It's complicated. Just don't confuse CO with SEO, according to Chris Goward, author of "You Should Test That!"

The majority of online and offline purchases are influenced partly from what consumers see and read on the Web. A friend thought about not purchasing the recently released Z30i Hewlett-Packard monitor with Retina display because he couldn't find any reviews. That would have been a big mistake because of the awesome color and detail.

The goal for marketers generating commerce from a Web site is to increase the average order value for each consumer visiting the site or making a purchase. Often that means relying on reviews and feedback from other consumers.

Goward explains the practice of CO as gaining more revenue or generating actions from the same amount of visitors. He has created a framework that marketers can use to make Web sites perform better, no matter what the site.
The frameworks work for paid search ads or any other ads for that matter, according to Goward. "We also use the process for mobile experiences, apps, video game interfaces, and more," he said. "It’s a very flexible way of improving all marketing and UX media. The examples I share are mainly around Web site optimization."

The book takes us through testing and optimizing for values, relevance, and clarity, as well as anxiety, distraction, and urgency. Goward presents examples on how marketers optimize for consumer distractions based on how those distractions sidetrack the purchase process, and provides insight into how distractions reduce conversion rates and how to test and fix them.

Goward believes, as others do, that marketers must design Web sites for results rather than aesthetics. Brands that have a digital agency design Web sites should ask the agency to present a report on revenue improvements. Rather than tell the agency to design an attractive Web site, ask them to design the site with specific goals such as increasing leads and conversions or increasing the average order value of each consumer visiting the site. And please don't allow technical limitations to get in the way. Find someone else who can do the job if the one doing the job says it can't be done.

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