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Why You Need to Prioritize Action to see ROI in Conversion Optimization

Damian Rams
by Damian Rams

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The Decibel Insight Soapbox is a place where anybody from across the worlds of web analytics, ecommerce and user experience can go to rant or rave about whatever they feel passionate about in the industry.

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The speaker clambering up to the Soapbox this week is Damian Rams. Damian is Conversion Specialist at the European Bartender School.

Connect with Damian on Twitter & LinkedIn.

Damian is taking to the Soapbox to discuss ROI in conversion optimization. Being too detailed in your conversion research, Damian argues, can be very expensive: the velocity at which you implement changes is key.

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Have you heard about the case study by agency Cardinal Path, where they tested 1024 variations of the YouTube homepage in one multivariate test?

It’s a great example of getting the most out of conversion optimization, but surely not one most marketers should follow. Most of us just cannot afford to be so detailed in our optimization efforts.

Data analysis without action doesn’t bring value

I am familiar with the fear of missing out on important details, which drives you to spend yet more hours setting up custom reports and advanced segments in your analytics. This “there has to be more” feeling when jotting down the ideas on what to test on your landing page. Sadly, most of the time spent on these activities will probably be a waste of time.

The ugly truth is that analysis without action doesn’t bring any real value for your business. Tweaking the website, turning off an underperforming campaign, changing the creatives, crafting a headline that resonates more with the audience: these are the activities that ultimately improve your bottom line.

Be aware of your limitations

Say you have the resources to run three A/B tests in the next quarter. Go through the most important analytics reports, find the three biggest leaks, investigate them more by running heatmaps, watching back session replays, talking to your customers via surveys, and discussing issues with your customer service and sales departments. Make sure the problems you’ve found have a significant impact on your business, and then act on solving them.

Don’t set a goal of finding 20 A/B testing ideas just because you want to impress your boss or client. If you can’t really execute on your ideas, going through data just to find them is a pure waste of time.

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Coming to the main point, all the time you waste on non-executable findings equals money lost for your business. Keep that in mind when starting your day with setting up this cool custom report that came to your head when having a morning coffee. Do you really need it in order to grow revenue?

The deeper you go, the further you are from growing profit

I’ve read many great articles in the the Decibel Insight Soapbox, like Pete Boyle’s about vanity metricsand Dustin Drees’ about the hype around conversion rate. I couldn’t agree more with the main point they both make, which is to focus on revenue as the key metric. However, I would like to push it one step further.

It’s not the conversion rate that matters. It’s not even the revenue. What matters is your company’s profit.

Optimizing a website / ad content / e-mails always costs, even if you do the whole process in-house. You need to craft copy, design, code the front-end, and sometimes do some back-end changes. The bigger your company is, the larger the overheads you should expect for discussions with other team members as well.

Know how much you are able to execute on - and adjust the number of hypotheses you come up with accordingly. Prioritize fixes with the biggest uplift, and remember that there is always a point where going deeper is not profitable anymore. Always be aware of where that point is for your business.

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Do you agree with Damian that you should be focused rather than scatter-gun in your conversion research? Let us know in the comments below – or join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #DecibelSoapbox.

Alternatively, if you'd like to explore conversion optimization further, then be sure to check out Decibel Insight's comprehensive free guide. It's packed full of industry insight, techniques, and expert advice. Hit the image below to download it now!

Turn your website into a conversion machine

Conversion Optimization Soapbox

Damian Rams
Written by Damian Rams

Conversion Specialist at the European Bartender School.