With apologies to Anthony Edwards, Tom Cruise and Paramount Pictures, that’s what it feels like (some) clients say after looking at a set of more challenging Website improvement recommendations.
These clients want their conversion rates to improve, but they don’t want to have to change much. After hearing tales of magical conversion rate lifts from simple tweaks, they look past the hard recommendations and ask that I “do some of that optimization stuff“.
And to be fair, sometimes easy website changes do yield disproportionate conversion rate increases. Sometimes a limiting factor, persuasive gap, or usability flaw can be fixed with something as simple as a new headline, a different color button, a new link, or an added point of action assurance. One or two small changes and – boom! – you get a huge lift.
Unfortunately, analyzing a Web site will just as likely reveal problems and limiting factors that aren’t so easily changed or tested:
All of those improvements represent a lot of work for the client’s web team, but they are some of the more powerful improvements any online retailer could make. Looking past them to tweak easier-to-change elements of the website would be a mistake. There is no web optimization magic FutureNow (or anyone else) can pull that would create an endless supply of easy changes yielding ever larger results. Sometimes the big wins require big changes.
And that’s exactly what Bryan Eisenberg meant when he said that it’s already time to start preparing for the Christmas shopping season. If it will take you several months to implement, test, and tweak the larger more-important changes to your site, that puts you finishing around September – which beats the heck out of tearing your hair out because it’s mid-November and you haven’t gone live with whatever big improvement or change you’re hoping will save Christmas for you.
So c’mon, guys, start implementing that web optimization sh*t now, and you won’t have to explain why your Christmas season went down in flames.