• http://www.verticalacuity.com Gregg Freishtat

    Outstanding commentary. Getting more one hit wonders from SEO is not nearly as valuable as focusing in on real LTV. More engaged consumers, better content, and better brand equity are the keys to growth. I agree that the best growth strategy is to delight your visitors and have them do the heavy lifting by sharing and evangelizing how you great you site is.

  • http://lauriewallin.com Laurie Wallin

    Love what you shared. One of the things I’ve found is that increasing numbers actually waters down effectiveness. I like ProBloggers concept of having a smaller, super-loyal following. It makes it easier to care, like you said.

  • Randy Zwitch

    Great article Evan, thanks! This especially called out to me:

    “…the reason our websites are difficult to change is because we have acted like they are difficult to change. Believe me, if we were forcing the organization to make meaningful changes and optimizations to our websites every day or week (in an organized way), the developers would find ways to make that work a heck of a lot easier, until publishing changes is a cakewalk.”

    One of the reasons I think the ‘increase traffic’ to get more conversions is so prevalent is that it’s blameless; it doesn’t matter who did what before, what decisions were made, how hard the website is to change, or anything else…

    So companies end up keeping the same un-optimized path, because few want to accept (or even test to find out) that they were ‘wrong’ in the first place. “We spent $X dollars, of COURSE we got in right the first time!” If you avoid testing, you avoid egos being crushed, or asking for more money to test alternates to problems you already ‘solved’ the first time.

    Me, as a budding analyst in the field (but not to testing, came from direct mail acquisitions), I’m very much for the kaizen approach to things…it doesn’t matter where you are now, try to improve until the cost of incremental improvement is just too high. It’s a blameless method, but it does require checking your ego at the door and just wanting to always be better…

  • http://www.raleighmortgagegals.com Kathy

    I keep repeating this mistake: Everybody is my potential customer.

    I must learn again to focus what I do. Thanks.

  • http://www.epiphanysolutions.co.uk SteveBaker

    Hi Evan,

    From a PPC perspective, ROI is a completely pointless metric for optimisation purposes.

    Except for the relatively rare occasions where higher positions yield higher conversion rates or conversion values, ROI is always going to be higher, the further down the search results you appear. After all, if a click is worth the same in every position, but the lower you appear, the cheaper the clicks are, so the better the ROI is. Attempt to optimise your ROI, and you’ll just end up with almost no clicks (but if you ever get a sale, it’ll be profitable!).

    Using ROI to determine your budget is sensible – indeed, if you are utilising a number of different advertising media, it’s probably the only way to maximise the return on your marketing budget.

    Regarding the idea of ‘chasing clicks’, with PPC, any click that doesn’t convert is just a waste of money.

    These are just two examples of misleading metrics – whilst it’s important to watch click through rate and conversion rate, you should never look to optimise to these either.

    Perhaps the problem is that some advertisers confuse performance indicators and their objective (typically, to make as much money as possible). Whilst it’s important to understand clicks, click through rate, conversion rate, ROI, etc, none of these can be a meaningful objective, with very few exceptions…

    Steve Baker
    Chief Analyst
    Epiphany Solutions