If you’re not already familiar with the benefits of website optimization, including personalization and testing, to your online business, now is the time to make this a top business priority for 2018. According to Google, users abandon over $280 billion in their digital shopping carts every year. But key optimization strategies like rigorous, strategic testing can go a long way to keeping these customers on the path to conversion and reducing the rate of cart or site abandonment. One recent study conducted by Marketing Insider Group claims a whopping 78% of US Internet users say when a site provides them with relevant content, they are more likely to complete a purchase. So by extracting useful insights from your consumer’s behavior and data through testing, you can create this “relevant” content and compelling, persuasive experiences for your visitors that drive conversions and increase your revenue.
These are some of the most common questions we encounter when businesses consider testing: “What should we test first?” “When should we launch?” “What part of the site should we focus on?” “What do we even need to be testing?” “How do we get started?”
With so many advances and new technologies in the testing space, it’s easier than ever to create and test multiple variations of your site that can uncover what the optimal experience is for your customer. All of these questions can be answerd by creating a “testing roadmap,” or a plan for what you’re going to test and when, which also ensures a more streamlined and headache-free process down the road. If done correctly, a testing roadmap can prioritize tests based on business goals and can communicate your long-term strategy to other key stakeholders.
Here are the 3 most important things to consider when creating a testing roadmap so that you can ramp up your website optimization and personalization efforts for 2018 and see increased conversions and revenue:
1.) Create a realistic timeline
When building out your testing roadmap, it can be tempting to get ahead of yourself and take on too much. We recommend your roadmap look ahead no longer than 3 months. If you plan too far ahead, you run the risk of launching a test whose priority has changed or even expired altogether based on business needs, marketing initiatives or even the results of previous experiments. By keeping your roadmaps reasonable in length, you can be more strategic in your optimization efforts and can make sure to factor in data and learnings from previous tests into future experiment ideas. Here’s an example of a 3-month testing roadmap we put together for one of our clients that includes the primary business goal, the elements tested, and the timeline for testing:
2.) Stay flexible
Things happen and you're bound to run into delays when testing and optimizing. A developer may not be available, a new business initiative may begin to take precedence, or perhaps what was once a good idea is no longer the case after seeing the results from your completed tests. It’s imperative to stay flexible and embrace the inherent unpredictability you’ll come across while experimenting. Have a backlog of ideas that you could easily plug in when your plans have changed. These ideas should require minimal effort to execute but still be capable of making an impact on your company’s bottom line. And remember to always incorporate new learnings as you go.
3.) Know your limits
If the idea of building your testing roadmap and optimizing your site based on the testing outcomes seems daunting or beyond the capacity of your IT department, consider partnering with a digital marketing agency that specializes in optimization and testing. A good agency will consider your wider business goals in conjunction with short-term, quick-wins for your site and create a realistic testing roadmap that speaks direclty to your company’s goals.
If you're interested in learning more about testing, website optimization, UX design or personalization, we’d love to hear from you! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.