Develop an optimization strategy

1. Choose areas you wish to improve, such as average order value, findability of content, or the number of leads generated. Pick a combination of usability, engagement, and conversion-focused goals.

Focusing exclusively on any one of these three areas can lead to long-term issues with the performance of a website or other channel. For example, focusing exclusively on conversion metrics without considering usability or engagement, encourages dark patterns on a website. Ultimately, this will undermine the user’s relationship with the channel and cause a decline in conversion long-term.

2. Define one or more ways you can actively measure each goal.

For example, if your goal is to increase engagement, you may wish to track dwell-time, comments, or sharing statistics. Examples of usability metrics include: Task success rate. The percentage of users that are capable of completing critical tasks on your site. Time to complete a task. On average, how long does it take a user to complete essential activities on your site? Error rate. How often do users make a mistake when trying to complete a task? Examples of engagement metrics include: Attention minutes. How long a user is paying attention to content such as videos. First Impressions. How users initially react upon seeing the site for the first time. Interactions. How often does the user like, comment on, or share content? Examples of conversion metrics include: Lifetime customer value. How much a customer spends over their entire engagement with the channel. Average order value. How much customers spend on average each time they place an order. Regularity of purchasing. How often users purchase from the website on average.

3. For each metric you have identified, ensure you have a way to measure it and if not, identify tools you could use to achieve this.

For example, you could track the number of quality leads by having a form that qualifies leads when they are submitted on the site. Google Analytics, Microsoft Clarity, and Hubspot are good tools to track metrics.

4. Decide on the frequency you intend to track each metric. That will depend on how easy the metric is to track and how often you are making improvements to channels that may influence the metric.

Generally, if it is a metric that requires manual measurement, like one that involves surveying, it can be done less often. When it is something that is basically analytics data, it can be checked more frequently.

5. Include in your strategy a section that outlines how you intend to monitor performance, identify issues, explore solutions, and deploy improvements.

For example, if you use an outside agency for site improvements, suggest putting in place a retainer to give them the opportunity to carry out this work. Without a process, some managers can send everybody off in the wrong direction. Having a process means you stay focused on ongoing optimization and avoid getting distracted by the latest shiny thing.

6. Agree on who will be responsible for the optimization process and ensure they have adequate time to undertake this work.

If there isn’t somebody in charge of optimization, and if that person isn’t given the power to make it happen, it never gets done. Any strategy should name specific people.

7. Identify roadblocks that may prevent optimization work from being undertaken and propose solutions.

For example, a lack of resources, monitoring tools, or access to key points of optimization potential. Many strategies can be full of wishful thinking and lack concrete ways of addressing problems like lack of resources.

8. Carry out an initial audit of channels to identify some preliminary optimization opportunities, with a schedule for regularly seeking out new opportunities.

9. Establish a policy for prioritizing optimization opportunities based on the effort to implement and the potential for improving desired metrics.

For example, you could use a PXL framework for A/B testing.