This blog is Part 1 of a six-part series where we will walk through our Foundational Principles of Optimization and Growth, aimed at giving you the confidence you need to implement an optimization program across your organization. Each blog summarizes one of the principles; for a much more in-depth look at each, you can download our white paper where we provide additional examples, stories, and detail to help get you started.

Part 1: Strategic Business Alignment

Strategic business alignment requires knowledge of the following:

  •      How will optimization get you closer to your business objectives?
  •      What will you achieve and over what timeframe?
  •      What will you use to measure success?

To answer these questions, you’ll need to consider the following: business objectives and KPIs.

Business Objectives

Your overall business objectives guide your company’s direction. Keep these top of mind as you build out your tests. If there isn’t a direct tie between your optimization efforts and your business objective, you shouldn’t pursue them. Optimization will be time-, resource-, and energy-intensive, so it’s important to maintain focus on what will have real, measurable impact.

KPI Mapping

Now you need to map KPIs, or key performance indicators, to your business objectives. KPIs are quantifiable measurements used to gauge performance over time. The most important thing to take into account here is that optimization requires that you to track KPIs and their associated conversion events on multiple levels.

Macro vs. Micro Conversions

Think of these as end conversions vs. intermediary conversions.  Macro-conversions are the actual target conversions. They typically represent bottom-of-funnel events such as sales or leads. Micro-conversions are the intermediary steps or actions that lead up to the macro-conversion and provide strong signals of intent.

 

One caution is to make sure you always measure a macro-conversion for every test. While micro-conversions are valuable to track for gaining more insights and supporting our understanding of the user journey, they are not necessarily a predictor of success. Sometimes a lift in micro-conversions results in more macro-conversions, but many times it doesn’t. This is a common mistake that can easily be avoided to ensure you are not misleading yourself.

The Big Picture

So how do these all connect? You can think of it this way: Business objectives are what the executive team is looking to accomplish, KPIs measure the goals that each department head sets in accordance with those objectives, and conversions are the customer actions that the employees within a department work towards.

In conclusion, optimization needs to start with a solid foundation and understanding of where you want to go. This is done by focusing on your high-level business objectives and mapping out the KPIs and conversions that will contribute.

To view all of the principles, check out our “6 Foundational Principles of Optimization and Growth” white paper where we provide a much more in-depth look into the how get start with or improve your current optimization program.

Even after learning the key principles, the path to optimization will still require trial and error. Want to get moving more quickly? We’d love to help! You can also contact the 3Q CRO team to learn how you can start seeing gains right away.

 

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Jeremy Epperson
Jeremy joined 3Q Digital in January of 2016. He has a track record of growing revenue for businesses with his unique approach to conversion rate optimization and UX research. His passion is combining direct-response marketing with data-driven research to drive results for clients. In his spare time, Jeremy climbs mountains, listens to rock n’ roll, collects wine, and roots for the St. Louis Cardinals.