DXP and Optimization - Setting Goals
Optimizing your website doesn't always require the budget of a Fortune 500 company. We're here to help guide small businesses toward enhancing their digital presence with the first in a three-part series: setting goals for web optimization.
If you’ve done anything with digital marketing in the last few years, you’ve heard the term “DXP,” or “Digital Experience Platform.” If you’re not using it yourself, you’ve probably heard it as part of a sales pitch or ad.
Most major content management vendors have started discussing how they’re now part of a Digital Experience Platform. Ask ten of them what DXP means and you’re likely to get ten different answers (and then you’ll need to clean out your inbox for the next year; they really want to sell you a DXP).
Given the focus on software and platforms, you get the sense that digital experience optimization is best left to Fortune 500 companies with large teams and larger budgets. But if anything, the reverse is true; for smaller organizations, your digital presence represents a bigger proportional investment of your time and energy. It should be doing the best job it can for you because — unlike the Fortune 500s — you may not be running national TV or billboard campaigns. Your digital presence holds a larger share of your marketing.
In this article series, we will look at the benefits of DXP from the perspective of small or mid-size organizations with smaller teams and budgets. We’ll look at how to set goals, measure them, and optimize for them using personalization and A/B testing.
Optimization doesn’t always need a DXP — but it might help.
Before we dive in, we want to make it clear. You don’t always need to buy anything to benefit from optimization.
There are a lot of great DXP solutions that do an amazing job of helping you optimize your experience. But in this series, I want to focus on the concepts and processes behind digital optimization and show that you don’t necessarily need to break the bank in order to make your site better.
Am I saying that you shouldn’t buy a DXP? No. If anything, we’re going to see how much work goes into doing basic optimization without the right tools. This will be the web equivalent of using a butter knife as a screwdriver.
But by removing the fancy cloud software from the equation, we’ll focus on the core of digital optimization and see how it all really works.
The starting point.
For our examples, we will assume the role of a marketing manager for a mid-sized regional bank. Right now, we have the following tools at our disposal:
- A CMS-driven website. Let’s assume we have a simple brochure site running Umbraco.
- Google Analytics 4. As a free analytics package, this is extremely common.
- Some way to send mass emails. Just about any service will do. Let’s say we’re running Campaign Monitor.
We can use some free services to help us out, but we’re not going to buy anything else. We’ll assume that all of the digital banking functionality — logins, account management, and so on — are handled by a separate site.
We’re using banking as an example, but you can do this with any kind of organization.
Know where you’re going.
If we are going to optimize our experience, we need to first define what we’re optimizing for. So I’ll start by sitting down with a pen and pad and come up with a quick list of who I’m trying to reach, what they need, and what I want them to do.
For our example, it might look something like this:
- Potential Customers: These are people that don’t bank with us
- Arrive on the site through organic search and paid search
- Want to learn about our products to see if they’re a fit
- We want them to start an application or use our contact form to get in touch
- Existing Customers: These people already have an account
- Primarily looking to access their account
- We want them to use us for additional products, such as loans
- We also want to educate them about our products, as well as help protect them from fraud, lowering calls to customer service and keeping our costs down
We’ll also need to know how we’re measuring our goals here. For the example, it might look something like this:
- Potential customers
- Primary measures
- Clicks to the account application page (started an application)
- Views on our account application thank you page (completed an application)
- Submissions on our contact form from people who have never logged in to online banking
- Secondary measures
- Page views on our product pages
- New unique visitors
- Existing customers
- Primary measures
- Submission to our contact form from people who have logged in to online banking
- Views on our help and education resources
- Secondary measures
- Returning unique visitors
Audiences and outcomes are just the first step.
This might seem trivial — a few bullet points in a couple of lists — but determining audiences, outcomes, and goals is the most crucial feature of any optimization plan. No amount of software or features can help you reach your goals if you don’t first define what your goals actually are.
Over the next few articles, we’ll build upon this foundational layer and help create an understanding of the world of optimization and DXP. After this series, you’ll be better equipped to own, run, and manage a new optimization practice.
With your audiences set, keep your eyes out for the second part in our series.