12.11.2009

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At the W.Steinmann School of Optimization we learn how the contemporary internet marketing can be made more efficient using the methods of progressive marketing. The first part delves into what optimization is and why it should be a part of every marketers toolbox.

”The content production for our website was really expensive. We’re not gonna touch that.”

One of the most underexploited opportunities of internet marketing lies in optimization. Too often the content that ends up on the pages, stays there carved in stone and unaltered until the the entire website is demolished to give way to a brand spanking new website after two or three years.

Websites are being redesigned mainly because ”they don’t work”. Even though they were planned to achieve certain goals, they won’t serve the current need. At this point, most marketers don’t stop to wonder ”how should I improve my current website to match the changed situation.” Instead, they go ahead and place an order for a new website.

It goes without saying that the most cost-effective option would be to develop the current website. This is where optimization steps in.

”So what is this optimization then?”

By optimization, I mean a systematic process, where certain element on the website is being changed on the internet page and the effects on the user’s behavior is measured and analyzed. After that the necessary actions are taken to find the best alternative. This process is used for example in search engine advertising and it should be deployed

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in display advertising as well.*

A simple example: the advertiser wants more subscribers to their newsletter. They change the front page’s link from ”newsletter” to ”subscribe a newsletter” and follows the web analytics if the users use the link more than before. If not, the advertiser tries some other wording, until the best combination is found.

A more advanced advertiser uses tools which automate showing the options and choosing for this process. For example the Google’s free Website Optimizer service enables finding the best solution for the combination of multiple pictures and text.

”But wait a minute, our website works well already. There’s no need to change it.”

That’s surely the case. But take a moment to think what it would entail if the website would work even better? If the conversion rates would incread by 10%, if the time spent on your website would be minute longer or – heavens forbid – if you would sell three products instead of two to every customer through your website.

By the way, did I mention that I’m talking about your current website and actions, which actualize on the bottom line already during this fiscal year?

In the second part of the School of Optimization we learn from the bank robbers.

Timo Paloheimo works as a Digital Planner at W.Steinmann

*) Optimization is about the same thing the traditional direct marketers have done for years, it’s called testing. Internet just makes it more faster, even real time.