What skills are necessary for optimization?

December 15th, 2009

Topics: Methodology

design

Use analytics? Update your website?  Then you have everything you need.

While optimization is a distinct process, it shares the same skill set as these common online marketing practices.

Similar to analytics, optimization requires implementation, data analysis and measurable marketing goals.  And as with updating a website, you need creative and design expertise, web development and copywriting.

The example optimization workflow below illustrates what and when the above skills and resources are needed in the process:

  1. Planning: At the beginning, all you need are basic marketing skills: select a page, spell out the questions you have about the page and determine the KPI’s for success.
  2. Design: Use copywriting and creative/design skills to create test ideas to answer your questions and drive performance based on the selected KPI’s.
  3. Build out: Use web development resources to translate your ideas into code.  You may be able to do this step yourself, depending on the content of the test and your own technical abilities.
  4. Reporting: After the test is live, you need to analyze the data.  You’re looking for answers to your questions  (Do testimonials  increase sales?) and new insights (We don’t have to use flash to grab attention.)

While some education is necessary, optimization utilizes skills familiar to online marketers.  Optimization isn’t more difficult than other online marketing, it’s just different.

I recommend starting testing ASAP, even if it is with a small portion of a web page and/or will have a small impact.  Going through the process will help make it a natural part of your marketing cycles.   After adjusting by doing a test or two, running a large scale optimization campaign quickly becomes not only feasible, but some of your most important work.

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/confused_andy/ / CC BY-SA 2.0

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