What keeps marketers up at night? It’s not dreaming about how they will spend their budget this year, which most industry surveys indicate is more than previous years. Instead, it’s how to justify their spend 12 months from now to skeptical company executives, and whether any of their marketing campaigns – web, social or mobile – will contribute to the bottom line.
Here’s the waking reality: without optimization, your bottom line is guaranteed to suffer. Testing is the only way you can know with certainty how to convert visitors to action. And to succeed year after year, optimization must become a core part of your business strategy.
This inventory helps clarify goals and determine whether the outcome of your efforts meets your objectives. Taking stock will also help you build the hypotheses that will guide your tests.
To ensure that your tests are as quick and valid as they can be, and to help drive the most conversion and revenue from the tests, leveraging an experienced testing team can make all the difference. Many times when you go it alone, testing can quickly turn from a great idea to a frustrating burden.
It can be difficult to assemble the resources you need for effective tests—test planning, test design, graphic design, development work, QA and more. And working in isolation, even with the best testing tool, you are likely to cut corners and compromise the effectiveness of the test.
With a proven team that operates outside your organization and drives the tests forward, the conversion lifts are higher, and you get a certainty of results you can feel good about sharing with stakeholders.
Once you’ve shown that optimization can improve ROI, start applying those lessons to additional areas and audience segments, or entire marketing campaigns. Optimization is an ongoing journey, not a destination, because greater lift – and improved impact to the bottom line – is always within sight. And that’s true for every digital channel.
Wondering about the kind of results to expect from an optimization strategy? Here are three examples of companies that leveraged optimization in various digital marketing channels to lift conversions and revenue.
Travel is one of the most competitive industries in the world, and travelers are one of the most fickle consumer groups. Alitalia, a large European airline, was concerned about the growing number of players in the market, and how they could better move visitors along the funnel to their booking site. They implemented a testing strategy of several website elements – page background, search button, font size, headline, offer, payment options, etc. – and used a combination of A/B and multivariate tests (MVT).
The result? Alitalia increased bookings by 7.09% in just three months. To put this in perspective, each 0.5% lift in purchases is worth 25 million euros to the company’s bottom line.
Alitalia used these results to help shift their culture to be more metrics-driven. Attributing numbers to online actions gave everyone a better understanding of their business. Often the learnings that come with testing are just as valuable as the conversion and revenue lifts themselves. One test leads to another, and sets a solid baseline for continuous testing and ongoing growth.
Millions of people are now use mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones, to search and purchase while on the go. For hoteliers, many of their customers need to book locally and want to search for options that matter to them right then and there. While many hoteliers and other businesses are simply optimizing smartphones to render content correctly on mobile devices, one hotel booking company saw an opportunity beyond this.
Hotels4U wanted to test different options to learn what mobile content would increase searches for hotels within their site, as well as drive more page views of hotels. A professional optimization team stepped in to help make it happen. From recommending what to test, to designing test variations, to managing the testing plan, this team helped ensure the success of the project and was responsible for helping drive lift.
The winning design drove a 61% increase in search within the mobile site, and a 24% lift in visitors seeing the hotel pages on the Hotels4U mobile site. The optimized design made it easier for customers to find what they were looking for, and helped the company grow bookings through the mobile channel.
Europcar is an international car rental giant with thousands of online customers. Europcar wanted to increase online revenue while streamlining the customer experience, and they understood the value of partnering with an experienced testing team.
Using a testing combination of A/B and MVT, Europcar tested content variations of landing pages and elements of the purchase process. They also segmented specific tests across multiple geographies to learn what works best in each region.
This collaborative testing relationship helped drive the success of their tests. The results came in: a 15% increase in conversions and a 12% lift in add-on sales. The project has transformed their culture, and they’ve planned for ongoing testing to continue to move their business forward.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to online testing and content targeting. Each organization relies on different metrics and drivers for their business. Leveraging optimization services and expertise as well as technology, you can be sure you’re getting the most out of an optimization project, and see results. And if you’re not testing and targeting? Well, you’re certainly leaving money on the table.
About This e-Solution Spotlight…
e-Solutions Spotlights are produced in association with sponsors by Third Door Media, publisher of Search Engine Land. The opinions expressed are not those of the Search Engine Land editorial staff. Interested in being an e-Solution Spotlight sponsor? Contact us by filling out this form.