Managing Website Optimization
The promise of web content management is to enable the ongoing maintenance and optimization of a website. The worlds of marketing optimization and CMS are quickly colliding backed by vendor consolidation, integrated product suites, and more sophisticated end user adoption.
I recently wrote an article on the risks of optimization called Juicing the Brand. I thought the following excerpt was especially relevant to content administrators who rely on a CMS for ongoing optimization efforts.
Optimization May be Undermining Your Brand
There is nothing wrong with optimizing a website with a focus on the bottom line. The problem is most continuous improvement programs are trying to achieve a series of short term lifts. And these lifts are usually measured by very real and quantifiable metrics such as revenue and leads. As the optimization process unfolds, the actions taken to achieve these lifts usually takes the following forms.
Increasing the visibility (size and location) of key calls to action
Removing all unnecessary content that gets in the way of a sale or lead
Adding more direct calls to action in brand and community oriented content
As each step has incremental success in driving immediate and tangible results, the tactical aspect of optimization can overtake the strategic direction of the site and brand. The employees responsible for the optimization are rewarded for the results. It becomes unpopular and difficult for internal stakeholders to advocate for strategic investments in user experience and brand initiatives. Anything that could potentially undermine the top line results is a risk. The longer this trend continues, the more difficult it is to turn it around.