Website optimization should be an ongoing process and should be the subject of attention for every webmaster, regardless of the size, authority or age of the site itself. From a business development perspective, optimization is a “must do” activity within the online marketing arena. Feedback and interaction are essential ingredients for any business and without it, it is difficult to change with the times and to grow. For an online initiative, interaction and feedback can be difficult to achieve without making a concerted effort to gather it. As such, even if your site is in the very early stages of development or growth, optimization should be embraced.
Truth number one: you have more to gain that you have to lose. It’s no good assuming that you can just tread water until such time as you might have “more information” to work with, on the assumption that relatively low levels of traffic do not provide you with enough material. With even a relatively small amount of information, you can attribute leads to certain sources or conversions to certain actions and while you might not have the luxury of multiple methods of testing to see whether your assertions may be backed up, you can nevertheless focus on your positive areas as you are feeding new growth and not waste money during your delicate formative times.
Truth number two: you cannot do business unless you optimize, one way or another. Any marketing action of any kind is a process of optimization. Just doing business by placing an ad in a particular format, in a particular place and waiting for results, you have a set strategy. If your traffic levels are really low at this point you still need to record the results of your individual initiatives and develop your ongoing strategy accordingly.
Truth number three: you have plenty of tools to help you at every traffic level. We have advocated before that Google’s Webmaster tools are quality products that every site operator should familiarize him or herself with. The analytics program has a wealth of information, allowing you to drill down to analyze your traffic sources or set up conversion goals. Their optimizer duration calculator allows you to input different scenarios and see how long you could expect to wait before you achieve realistic results, based on your data.
Truth number four: you can always analyze something. If you do not have a significant number of conversions yet for a particular campaign, be aware that you do not have to have an A to Z breadcrumb trail to enable you to make some assumptions about your overall business. You can, for example, take a look at the way that people interact with your site, the pages that they jump to, your entry pages, whether they are getting to a particular page during a checkout process and then bailing out. Just because you do not have a cash conversion does not mean that you cannot make any changes to your site infrastructure or its logistics to better prepare for those converting days ahead.
What Optimization Truths have you discovered?