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Why Your Optimization Efforts Fail? Things You Can Do to Achieve Success

By Desmond Ekeh

In digital marketing, optimizing your website for conversion rating means a deliberate effort to change the behaviour of your prospects or existing customers. The optimization process without a conversion experience is both a waste of time and resources. The goal of business is majorly to generate revenue, make a profit, and build stakeholder confidence. These cannot happen if the business is not making a profit. Businesses cannot make a profit if there are no sales – which happens through conversion optimization.

In this article, we will examine some of the reasons why the marketer’s conversion optimization efforts or activities fail, and suggest some of the things to do to ensure the marketers’ activities move the conversion needle. We will look at specific conversion activities usually embarked upon by marketers that most often fail. One of them is A/B testing.

A/B Testing

A/B testing, also known as split testing, is a process of displaying two variants of same web pages to different segments of website visitors at the same time and comparing which variant receives more conversion. In the online world – be it eCommerce or e-service – the number of visitors to your site equates to the number of opportunities you have to interact with your existing or prospective customers. With this interaction, a marketer can expand the business through building or nurturing relationships, or making actual sales through conversions. It is the marketer’s conversion funnel that determines whether the website gets good traffic and if it converts more visitors. So, one of the most important ways to optimize your website funnel in digital marketing is A/B testing.

Conversion Targets the Brain, Not Website

A/B testing costs money in – planning, time, execution, etc., – but most times if not properly planned and executed it does not create optimization success or push the needle forward. According to Andre Morys of the CXL Institute, to understand why some companies fail in their optimization efforts is to understand the optimization process itself and how to implement your understanding of that process.

It is important for digital marketers to always bear in mind that the A/B test does not take place on your website. It always measures the number of people that change their behaviors – which happens in the customers’ brains. So if we want to capture the test accurately we need to change customers’ behavior. If we want to do that we need to do whatever can lead to a behavior change. To achieve this we need to understand our communication and the audience that will consume the messages we communicate. Previously, we talked about how only 20% of your communication arrives at the audience thereby wasting about 80% of it – since what you say and how you say it – is important to help audience perception of the message. So, if you fix that aspect of your website that deals with messaging – what you say and how you say it, you will have achieved much in your optimization process. Morys made reference to emotional resonance. These are little things when activated achieve a great result. Fixing your messaging and how you present it might look very small but its capacity to generate positive results among your audience is huge – especially with the right audience motivation. So the A/B testing is not actually only in fixing one thing or the other of the website but influencing or persuading your target audience based on their motivation and anticipated emotional resonance.

Consequently, in our A/B testing, we need to use the right sample size, be sure of what we are measuring, and ensure we measure it accurately. We need to measure and understand how good our improvement is – to know whether it worked well or not. We need to understand how agile our measurement is – that is – the number of experiments you conduct per year, how many sprint optimization you can conduct, how much time you need, and to know if you are getting it right. Your experiments are correct if they test positive or negative. Whichever way you will learn something and improve on it. In that case, you need to win. To win means that the whole experimentation should lead to growth. You have to create uplift to gain growth. You evaluate the level of business impact to determine what you did achieve. For instance, if you create a 30% uplift in micro-conversion on the result page of your online store it may be said that the impact is small. But if you achieve a 30% uplift on the overall conversion rate of your lead generation funnel – that might be a big business impact. Always consider the difference between test results and business impact. Then check your cumulative uplift. If you do a lot of experiments with significant results without conversion then it is not good enough without significant uplifts

Disrupt Or Die

Some companies are making efforts in optimizing their website to achieve high conversion and in the process make sales and profit. They spend much money in building data and up-scaling their technology to achieve this. Unfortunately, however, they still stick to their old business models and habits. The customer appreciates improved data and technology, but the customer is a human being who wants to experience the human touch in his interaction with the marketer’s website. For you to change human behavior you have to speak to the brain, particularly the unconscious brain – that is the old brain. Your website should speak to his need, desire, and attractions. So, the marketer needs to disrupt the old business model that does not focus on the customer, otherwise, the website will not experience traffic surge, and hence no leads and conversions, consequently no sales and profit – so business dies. To ensure the business does not die the marketer must design and deploy the website to give the customer a good experience based on his motivations.

Remember the Uber example. That experience is a kind of magnetism to the customer. That experience is the source of business growth scaled up with the support of data and technology. Unfortunately, some companies get it wrong by investing so much on data and technology but do not create great experiences for their target audience. Sell the Uber experience to his brain – not the Uber data or technology. Sell convenience and pleasure to the customer and make your sales.


The marketer must always bear in mind the essence of business – profit and the creation of stakeholder confidence. To maintain growth uplift the marketer must target the brain of the visitor to his website with the intention to communicate to his motivation and to his need. The marketer must target to give the visitor or customer a refreshing and enduring experience that will walk him to a conversion-making decision. Conversion optimization does not happen on the website, it rather happens on the customer’s brain – his unconscious brain.

Desmond Ekeh, is a PR consultant, digital marketing professional, and researcher in media and communication. He is the CEO of Synthesis Communications and Publisher of BrandiQ.

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