Tag Archives: organization

Infographic: How Long Does It Take To Rank In Google?

how long to rank

Ah, the keyword game. One of the greatest achievements for a search engine optimizer is to get their web pages to appear on the first page of Google search results for their desired keywords. As Google ages, more and more of the optimal slots for these prized keywords are taken. And the more a web page ages, the more links from around the web will point to it and the harder it becomes to unseat. For instance, when someone wants to reference or link to a certain topic, it’s a typical habit for someone to do a quick Google search…

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Infographic: How Long Does It Take To Rank In Google?

Let’s Dispel Two Myths About Blog Posting Frequency & Word Count

frequency

Watch this video: Moz’s Whiteboard Friday – The Perfect Blog Post Length and Publishing Frequency is B?!!$#÷x Information has been floating around for a while that suggests you will rank better in search engines and / or get more traffic by: Blogging more frequently Writing longer blog posts (higher word counts) While we’ve noticed that both of these have seemed to be true in the past, at least anecdotally, this appears to no longer be the case. Myth busted? There’s Nothing Wrong With Posting Frequently You’re allowed to post as often as you’d like. There is certainly no rule against…

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Let’s Dispel Two Myths About Blog Posting Frequency & Word Count

How To Work Out What To Charge Clients: The Honest Version

Have you ever read a post that has left you feeling wholly inadequate because you know you can’t live up to the high standards they lay out? Well, that is how I feel when I read posts about how much to charge my clients.
When Smashing Magazine asked me to write an article sharing my thoughts on pricing my services, I agreed without much thought. But now I sit down to write it, and I’m faced with a conundrum.

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How To Work Out What To Charge Clients: The Honest Version

What Makes a Great Press Webpage?

press page

PRs and SEOs love press releases. You get an SEO boost, earning links from journalists in your space across a bunch of different sites. And you get traditional PR benefits. But focusing on your press page could bring much bigger dividends. Think of a press page in the context of broader strategy. If you’re emailing and phoning publications trying to get yourself or your client mentioned, you’re doing ‘outbound PR’ – the PR equivalent of cold calling. Surprise, surprise: journalists don’t really like it, and as Bloomberg’s David Lynch warns, ‘you’re going to strike out most of the time.’ A…

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What Makes a Great Press Webpage?

How to Use Smarter Content to Build Laser-Focused Lists of Qualified Prospects

Laser Focus Content Marketing

Many companies invest a lot of time and money in content marketing. But very few are ever really successful with it. That’s because a lot of companies approach to content marketing as some sort of hands-off sorcery. They write blog post after blog post and then sit around and wait for something to happen (hint: nothing will happen). Instead, you should think of content as a type of currency – a strategic asset that you can use within a framework to drive business results. This requires a plan and a strategy for how you will use content and then which…

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How to Use Smarter Content to Build Laser-Focused Lists of Qualified Prospects

How to Optimize the Post-Purchase Experience for Higher Conversions & More Profit

post-purchase

Give yourself a pat on the back. It’s time to celebrate, right? After all your hard work you’ve finally got the sale or sign up you’ve been searching for. You’ve used your audience data to optimize your landing page design, finesse your language, and ensure everything on the page is as perfectly personalized as possible. So here’s to a job well done. But, and I’m gonna rain on your parade here. Your job is far from over. Sure, you’ve managed to get the sale, but that’s not the end of your job. It’s the end of the purchase journey, and…

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How to Optimize the Post-Purchase Experience for Higher Conversions & More Profit

Key Pillars of a Successful CRO Program | Latest eBook by VWO

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) has gradually become a known concept across enterprises, in recent years. The popularity of CRO can be owed to its ability to have a direct and significant impact on the bottom line.

However, application of CRO in most organizations has been far from optimal, which inadvertently causes them to leave money on the table. This money can be reclaimed by having a structured approach to CRO. Further, suboptimal optimization programs lead organizations to draw wrong conclusions, or statistically unsupported decisions, from their A/B tests and damage what’s not broken. Add to it the time and resources that are spent on CRO, and the real cost of an ill-structured CRO program begins to pinch where it hurts—ROI.

An optimal or structured CRO program requires certain key elements that ensure its success. The elements include tools, skills, processes, goals, and culture.

VWO’s latest eBook “Key Pillars of a Successful Conversion Optimization Program” covers all these elements in detail. This eBook features insights from industry experts and provides actionable takeaways to help you set up a CRO program or improve an existing one.

Key CRO Pillars eBOok Landing Page CTA

The eBook contains the following chapters:

1) Culture of CRO

The culture of CRO can be established in an organization with a two-step process. It starts with getting complete buy-in for a CRO program from the top management. Next, the process involves acceptance of the CRO approach by teams across the organization.

The chapter offers the following takeaways:

  • How to get top management buy-in for a CRO program
  • How to ensure that CRO is accepted by multiple teams in an organization

2) Competent Tools

A big part of the success of an organization’s CRO program depends on the set of tools being used. The tools that are essential for a CRO program can be clubbed into the following:

  • Website Analytics
  • User Behavior Analysis
  • A/B and Multivariate Testing

The chapter lists these tools and explores how they can be used to their full potential.

3) Key Goals

The effectiveness of a CRO program is heavily dependent on the goals you set. Without proper goals, a CRO program can lack direction.

This chapter offers the following points of learning:

  • The importance of different goals in a CRO program—micro and macro conversions
  • The appropriate time to use micro or macro conversions as the goal of a CRO campaign

4) People with the Relevant Skill Set

A CRO program involves a wide range of tools and activities. It demands a team of professionals that can coordinate effectively and make the most out of available resources.

This chapter highlights the following:

  • The skills that are critical for proper functioning of a CRO program
  • Job descriptions of different members of a CRO team

5) Documented Process

Last but not the least, a successful CRO program requires a well-defined process. It helps enterprises in identifying the most critical issues in their conversion funnel and treating those issues on priority.

This chapter offers insights on the following:

  • Setting up a long-term calendar for a CRO program
  • Prioritizing A/B testing hypotheses based on key attributes
  • Building a knowledge repository of learning from the past CRO campaigns

Conclusion

For a CRO program to be successful, it needs to be structured and process-driven. There are different key elements that contribute toward it—people, tools, process, goals, and culture.

When all these elements need to be fully optimized, a CRO program can run at its full potential.

Key CRO Pillars eBOok Landing Page CTA

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Key Pillars of a Successful CRO Program | Latest eBook by VWO

A day in the life of an optimization champion

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How do you make conversion optimization a priority within a global organization?

Especially, when there are so many other things you could spend your marketing dollars on?

And how do you keep multiple marketing teams aligned when it comes to your optimization efforts?

These are some of the challenges facing Jose Uzcategui, Global Analytics and Ecommerce Conversion Lead at ASICS, and Sarah Breen, Global Ecommerce Product Lead at ASICS.

ASICS, a global sporting goods retailer, is a giant company with multiple websites and marketing teams in multiple regions.

For an organization like this, deciding to pursue conversion optimization (CRO) as a marketing strategy is one thing, but actually implementing a successful, cohesive conversion optimization program is an entirely different thing.

Related: Get WiderFunnel’s free Optimization Champion’s Handbook for tips on how to be the Optimization Champion your company needs.

We started working with ASICS several months ago to help them with this rather daunting task.

A few weeks ago, I sat down with Jose and Sarah to discuss what it’s like to be an Optimization Champion within a company like ASICS.

Let’s start at the very beginning with a few introductions.

For almost 8 years, Jose has been involved in different areas of online marketing, but Analytics has always been a core part of his career. About five years ago, he began to move from paid marketing and SEO and started focusing on analysis and conversion optimization.

He was brought in to lead the conversion optimization program at ASICS, but it became obvious that proper conversion optimization wouldn’t be possible without putting the company’s Analytics in order first.

“For my first year at ASICS, I was focused on getting our Analytics where they need to be. Right now, we have a good Analytics foundation and that’s why we’re getting momentum on conversion optimization. We’re building our teams internally and externally and my role, right now, is both execution and strategy on these two fronts,” explains Jose.

Sarah has been with ASICS for a little over a year as the Ecommerce Global Product Lead. She hadn’t really been involved with testing until she started working more closely with WiderFunnel and Optimizely (a testing tool).

She started working with Nick So, WiderFunnel Optimization Strategist, and Aswin Kumar, WiderFunnel Optimization Coordinator, to try to figure out what experiments would make the biggest impact in the shortest amount of time on ASICS’ sites.

“I sometimes work with our designers to decide what a test should look like from the front end and how many variations we want to test, based on Nick and Aswin’s recommendations. I provide WiderFunnel the necessary assets, as well as a timeline and final approvals.

“Once a test is launched, I work with WiderFunnel and with Jose to figure out what the results mean, and whether or not the change is something we want to roll out globally and when we’ll be able to do that (considering how many other things we have in our queue that are required development work),” explains Sarah.

But optimization is just a part of Sarah’s role at ASICS: she works with a number of vendors to try to get third party solutions on their sites globally, and she works with ASICS’ regional teams to determine new product features and functionality.

Despite the fact that they wear many hats, Jose and Sarah are both heavily involved in ASICS’ conversion optimization efforts, and I wanted to know what drew them to CRO.

Q: What do each of you find exciting about conversion optimization?

“Conversion optimization gives immediate results and that’s a great feeling,” says Jose. “Particularly with e-commerce, if you have an idea, you test it, and you know you’re about to see what that idea is worth in monetary value.”

Sarah loves the certainty.

We’re proving our assumptions with data. Testing allows me to say, ‘This is why we took this direction. We’re not just doing what our competitors do, it’s not just doing something that we saw on a site that sells used cars. This is something that’s been proven to work on our site and we’re going to move forward with it.’

Of course, it’s not all high’s when you’re an Optimization Champion at an enterprise company, which led me to my next question…

Q: What are the biggest challenges you face as an Optimization Champion within a company like ASICS?

For Sarah, the biggest challenge is one of prioritization. “We have so many things we want to do: how do we prioritize? I want to do more and more testing. It’s just about picking our battles and deciding what the best investment will be,” she explains.

“When it comes to global teams, aligning the regions on initiatives you may want to test can be challenging,” adds Jose. “If a region doesn’t plan for testing at the beginning of their campaign planning process, for instance, it becomes very difficult to test something more dramatic like a new value proposition or personalization experiences.”

Despite the challenges, Sarah and Jose believe in conversion optimization. Of course, it’s a lot easier to sell the idea of CRO if there’s already a data-driven, testing culture within a company.

Q: Was there a testing culture at ASICS before your partnership with WiderFunnel?

“We had a process in place. We had introduced the LIFT Model®, actually. The LIFT Model is an easy framework to work with, it’s easy to communicate. But there wasn’t enough momentum, or resources, or time put into testing for us to say, ‘We have a testing culture and everybody is on board.’ Before WiderFunnel, there were a few seeds planted, but not a lot of soil or water for them to grow,” says Jose.

LIFT_Model
WiderFunnel’s LIFT Model details the 6 conversion factors.

Q: So, there wasn’t necessarily a solid testing culture at ASICS – how, then, did you go about convincing your team to invest in CRO versus another marketing strategy?

“Education. For everything in enterprise, education is the most important thing you can do. As soon as people understand that they can translate a campaign into a certain amount of money or ROI, then it becomes easy to say ‘Ok, let’s try something else that can tie to the money,’” says Jose, firmly.

“A different strategy is just downplaying the impact of testing. ‘It’s just a test, it’s just temporary for a couple of weeks,’ I might say. Either people understand the value of testing, or I diminish the impact that a test has on the site.”

“Until it’s a huge winner!” I interject.

“Yes! Obviously, if it’s a huge winner, I can say, ‘Oh, look at that! Let’s try another,’” chuckles Jose.

Jose and Sarah focused on education and, with a bit of luck and good timing, they convinced ASICS to invest in conversion optimization.

Q: Has it been a good investment?

“Everybody goes into this kind of investment hoping that there will be a test that will knock it out of the park. You know, a really clear, black and white winner that shows: we invested this amount in this test and in a year it will mean 5x that amount.

“We had a few tests that pointed in that direction, but we didn’t have that black and white winner. For some people, they have that black and white mentality and they might ask if it was worth it.

“I think it was a wise investment. It’s a matter of time before we run that test that proves that everything is worthwhile or the team as a whole realizes that things that we’re learning, even if they’re not at this moment translating into dollars, are worthwhile because we’re learning how our users think, what they do, etc.”

After establishing ASICS’ satisfaction, I wanted to move on to the logistics of managing a conversion optimization program both internally and in conjunction with a partner. First things first: successful relationships are all about communication.

Q: How do you communicate, share ideas, and implement experiments both between your internal teams and WiderFunnel? How do you keep everyone aligned and on the same page?

Sarah explains, “We’ve tried a few different management tools. Right now, JIRA seems to be working well for us. I can add people to an already existing ticket and I don’t have to add a lot of explanation. I can just say, Aswin and Nick came up with this idea, it’s approved, here’s a mock up. Everything is documented in one place and it’s searchable.

“I don’t necessarily think JIRA is the best tool for what we’re doing, but it allows us to have a whole history in a system that our development team is already using. And they know how to use it and check off a ticket and that’s helpful.

Related: Get organized with Liftmap. This free management tool makes it easy for teams to analyze web experiences, then present findings to stakeholders.

“I also send emails with recaps, because digging through those long JIRA discussions is kind of rough.”

Q: How do you share what you’re working on with other teams within ASICS?

“There are two parts to sharing our work: what’s going on and what’s coming,” explains Jose.

“You can see what’s coming in JIRA: tests that are coming and ideas that are being developed.

“Once we have results from a test and a write up, we’ll put a one-pager in a blog style report. When we have a new update, we send an email with the link to the one-pager and I also attach it as a PDF so that anyone who may not have access can still see the results.”

Sarah adds, “They’re very clear, paragraph form explanations with images of everything we’re doing. It’s less technical, more ‘this is what we tried, these are our assumptions, these are our results, this is what we’re going to do.’

This gives the Execs that aren’t on the day-to-day a snapshot showing we’ve made progress, what next steps are, and that we’re doing something good.

Q: How do you engage your co-workers and get them excited about conversion optimization?

Jose says, “I’ve gotten some comments and questions [on our one-page reports]. Obviously, I would like to get more. Once we have more resources, we’ll be able to put different strategies in place to get more engagement from the team. Lately, I’ve been trying to give credit to the region at least that came up with whatever idea we tested.

“I would like to get even more specific as we get more momentum, being able to say things like ‘Pete came up with this idea…and actually it didn’t work out, though we did learn insight X or insight Y.’ or ‘Pete came up with his third winning idea in a row—he gets a prize!’

There’s a level of fun that we can activate. We have some engagement, but I’m hoping for more.

Q: Ok, you’ve concluded a test, analyzed and shared your results — what’s your process for actually implementing changes based on testing?

Jose is quick to respond to this question, giving credit to Sarah: “Sarah’s involvement in our conversion optimization program has been great. Ultimately, Sarah is the one who gets things onto the site. And that’s half of the equation when it comes to testing. It’s so necessary having someone like Sarah invested in this. Without her, the tests might die in development.”

Sarah laughs and thanks Jose. “A lot of my job is managing expectations with our regions,” she explains. “Some regions want to test everything, and they want to do it now, and we have to tell them ‘That’s great, but we can’t give you all of our attention.’ Whereas some regions barely talk to us and have a lot of missed opportunities, so we have to manage the testing and implementation on their site.

“For less engaged regions, we try to communicate “Hey, we have evidence that this change really helped — look at all the sales you got and all of the clicks you got, we’d like you to have this on your page.

“Testing also takes a lot of the back and forth and Q & A out of implementation because we already have something that works. And, unless there’s some weird situation, we can roll a change out globally and say, ‘This is where the idea came from, it came from so-and-so, it’s pushed all the way through and now it’s a global change.’

“We can invite the regions to think of all of the awesome things we can do as a global team whenever we work together and go through this process. And other people can say ‘Hey, we did this! I have some more ideas.’ And the circle continues. It’s really great.”

You’ve both spent a lot of time working with WiderFunnel to build up ASICS’ conversion optimization program, so I’ve got to ask…

Q: What are the biggest challenges and benefits of working with a partner like WiderFunnel?

“The biggest challenge in working with any partner is response time: me responding in time, them responding in time. I’m also the middle man for a lot of things, so maintaining alignment can be tough,” says Sarah.

“But as far as benefits go, it’s hard to choose one. One of the biggest has been WiderFunnel’s ability to take the debate out of a testing decision. You’re able to evaluate testing ideas with a points structure, saying, ‘We think this would be the most valuable for you, for your industry, for what we’ve seen with your competitors, this is the site you should run it on, we think it would be best on mobile or desktop, etc.’

“And we can rely on WiderFunnel’s expertise and say, ‘Let’s do it.’ We just have to figure out if there’s anything that might really ruffle feathers, like making changes to our homepage. We have to be careful with that because it’s prime real estate.

“But if it’s a change to a cart page, I can say, ‘Yes, let’s go ahead and do that, get that in the queue!’ It’s all about getting those recommendations. And once we have a few smaller wins, we can move up to the homepage because we’ve built that trust.

“Another benefit is the thorough results analysis. The summary of assumptions, findings, charts, data, graphs, next steps and opportunities. That’s huge. We can look at the data quickly and identify what’s obvious, by ourselves, but it takes time for us to collate and collect and really break down the results into very clear terms. That’s been hugely helpful,” she adds.

For Jose, the benefit is simple: “Getting tests concluded and getting ideas tested has been the most helpful. Yes or no, next. Yes or no, next. Yes or no, next. That’s created the visibility that I’ve been hoping for — getting visibility across the organization and getting everybody fired up about testing. That’s been the best aspect for me.”

Are you your organization’s Optimization Champion? How do you spread the gospel of testing within your organization? Let us know in the comments!

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A day in the life of an optimization champion

Developers "Own" The Code, So Shouldn’t Designers "Own" The Experience?

We’ve all been there. You spent months gathering business requirements, working out complex user journeys, crafting precision interface elements and testing them on a representative sample of users, only to see a final product that bears little resemblance to the desired experience.
Maybe you should have been more forceful and insisted on an agile approach, despite your belief that the organization wasn’t ready? Perhaps you should have done a better job with your pattern portfolios, ensuring that the developers used your modular code library rather than creating five different variations of a carousel.

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Developers "Own" The Code, So Shouldn’t Designers "Own" The Experience?

Getting Practical With Microcopy

The first question clients and stakeholders seek answers to with any digital product and/or service today — and rightly so — is how to establish an effective user experience. We, as designers, however, know that good design and a good user experience are rarely achieved by fixating on one discipline, but rather by adopting a multidisciplinary approach. At best, it’s about finding a balance between UX, UI and interaction design, usability, accessibility, web performance (front end, back end, networking), service design and content strategy (i.

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Getting Practical With Microcopy