Online to success: How web optimisation increases turnover
Digitalisation is taking hold everywhere, the needs of customers are shifting visibly. Sales, perception and communication structures have changed considerably with the technological penetration of our lives. So has the world of the web. The motto is often brutal: keep up – or shut down.
“A website must first and foremost do one thing: perform.”
The democratisation of web technologies is on the rise. Nowadays, tools are available that enable all of us to create a respectable website in no time. However, the job is not done with that alone. In the meantime, data analysis and the continuous development of products are the cornerstones of any success: Google, Facebook, Amazon and the like have long understood this. So it is essential to identify potential, test improvement ideas, measure results and, finally, implement improvements.
We test the effectiveness of several approaches using A/B testing. Here, two product options are played with a similar number of traffic and the actions of the users are evaluated. This quickly shows which changes achieve better results – and which are better left alone. The concept is familiar to us all: Let’s just think of grandma’s apple pie, whose recipe has been refined over the years.
In order to ensure the measurability of tests, quantifiable goals must also be defined. As a rule, we are interested in so-called conversions – that is, conversions of page views into bookings, purchases, registrations. Analysis tools such as Google Analytics provide us with insights into the relationship between visitor numbers and conversions. Once this basis has been created, it is important to proceed according to a simple principle. Internally, we call it ATOC for short; other companies have developed their own approaches. But they all operate according to similar principles. First we ask ourselves where there is a need for optimisation – the analysis. In a second step, we develop different options and compare their performance using A/B testing – the test phase. Next, we implement the most demonstrably effective options – we talk about optimisation. Finally, we use the aforementioned analysis tools to check whether the insights gained in the test phase also hold up in the longer term – the control.
“First optimise the conversion. Then generate the traffic.”
As soon as a website has a solid conversion rate, it moves on to the second phase, the generation of traffic, i.e. page impressions. The Swiss principle applies: quality before quantity.
We distinguish between organic traffic on the one hand (which includes, for example, direct access, clicks from newsletters, organic search queries, etc.), and paid traffic on the other. The latter includes all visits that were achieved through the use of advertising media, such as display advertising, social media campaigns and search engine advertising. Organic traffic is sustainable but time-consuming to build. Paid traffic is target group-specific and quick to build, but expensive.
Successful companies usually have a good balance of both sources, whereby the “perfect mix” also depends on the product and target group. It is important to approach the optimum step by step by means of the processes explained. And while we are working on the traffic, the conversion rate must not be neglected: In order to achieve an effective increase in sales, it should remain stable even as the number of pages increases.
Users want dynamic experiences in 2023. This is also true on the web. Websites must be further developed, optimised and adapted to the changing needs of users. Constant. Those who miss out will sooner or later lose customers: they will become more digital anyway. Promised.