Post Summary: Despite spending high amounts of money and energy acquiring traffic, marketers are not following through by devoting significant funds to optimization strategies that can increase their returns. In fact, 81% of the more than 1,700 digital marketers surveyed reported spending 15% or less of their marketing budgets on optimization activities. And beyond this lack of investment, many are also not exploiting critical opportunities: 53% are not optimizing the relevance of their on-site search results, and 52% say that testing consumer engagement is not a priority at their organization.
Survey responses from more than 1,700 digital marketers worldwide, spanning business-to-consumer and business-to-business commerce companies across retail, finance, media, and technology and consumer goods industries, reveal that:
Conversion Optimization needs to be given higher priority.
- Over 80% of respondents allocate 15% or less of their marketing budget to optimization efforts – up only 1% from our 2009 survey.
Testing consumer engagement throughout the funnel is critical to optimization.
- But more than 50% of the respondents cited testing was still not a company priority.
The search box is often the most-used area of a website.
- Yet fewer than 50% of respondents are optimizing on-site search results.
Marketers are not taking advantage of simple cross-sell or up-sell opportunities.
- 38% of digital marketers surveyed do not provide any content or product recommendations.
In the burgeoning areas of video, mobile and social, marketers seem to be on the right path:
- 61% of respondents are focusing on video in 2012 for helping drive conversion.
- 70% of respondents are focusing on social sharing as a top effective social strategy.
- The top three mobile strategies marketers plan to focus on this year are mobile optimized sites, mobile apps, and advertising promotions, including bar codes and QR codes.
In evaluating this year’s responses, the following Top 5 conversion opportunities emerged:
- Prioritize optimization across your organization as a strategic process – demonstrate small conversion wins to gain support and buy-in for more ongoing optimization efforts.
- Use a data-driven approach to optimization – leverage your analytics to better inform site search results, what content to test and to recommend and what areas to focus on personalizing.
- Optimize conversion with video – offer more video content, whether it’s created in-house or created by your users. Both formats offer visitors with a way to engage deeper with your brand and become more educated before deciding to click, purchase or subscribe.
- Optimize social engagement — enable content sharing functionality within your conversion funnel and test the placement and messaging of the calls-to-action.
- Optimize for all mobile channels – make sure that your tablet experience is laid out for that particular audience and the way they prefer to shop or consume content. Your approach for smartphone users will also be distinct.