The Optimization Stall: Why You Need to Test

By Sarah Etter

May 3, 2012

It's no surprise companies are constantly on the hunt to optimize their websites and improve conversions.

But what is surprising is how many companies are attempting to optimize their websites without running tests—and how that lack of testing is hurting their efforts.

According to MarketingSherpa's 2011 Landing Page Optimization Benchmark Survey, only 52% of organizations that do not run tests during an optimization project end up developing an optimization treatment. Of those 52%, only 31% go on to deploy that treatment on their live site.

The issue: That 31% might have taken a new treatment live, but they don’t have data to prove whether it’s actually optimized—so it’s just a best guess strategy.

MarketingSherpa points out these stats mean that "while testing may be challenging, those companies that do include testing in their optimization campaigns produce more optimized websites."

Ultimately, companies that test reach their optimization goals because testing:

  • Creates data. Testing leads to statistical evidence about which optimization features perform better, which reduces internal debates about what will work and gives marketers solid evidence to ask for the resources they need to complete the project.
  • Discovers winning ideas. The more you test, the more knowledge you have about what your visitors want—and the more likely you are to find champion features and functionality that boost conversions.
  • Improves the bottom line. Taking the time to test helps companies discover their best ideas and implement them, leading to improvements in key performance indicators and incremental revenue.

You can find out more about running tests—and the data you need to support your efforts—at Monetate's next webinar, Best Practices for Effective Website Testing and Optimization.

Sarah Etter is the former the senior editor at Monetate. Before joining Monetate, she was a writer for various online and print publications, and served as the associate editor of The Internet & Marketing Report newsletter. Sarah also loves fiction writing and ice hockey... yes, ice hockey.

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