An inclusive approach to optimization increases the likelihood of success. Kim King, our Chief Marketing Officer, recently posted about the “why”of building a culture of optimization. But what about the “how?” How can your team or company build an optimization culture? Here are four tips to help you do just that.
SiteSpect recently sponsored the DAA San Francisco Symposium 2014, where Krista Seiden shared her experience leading an analytics and optimization team at Google. During her presentation, she offered these practical tips on how she achieved success:
Tip #1: Educate Your Teammates
If you work on an optimization team, you understand the importance of A/B testing. You focus on generating A/B test ideas, formulating hypotheses, and analyzing results. Some of your colleagues may not understand the reasons for A/B testing or the A/B testing lingo.
How can you change that?
Get everyone involved and teach them enough so they can contribute. Hold information sessions to review the basics of A/B testing. Review topics such as A/B testing terminology, the importance of running A/B tests to statistical significance, and point your colleagues to resources that help them learn more.
Record your session and reuse it often. You can even incorporate optimization information into the new employee training process at your company.
Tip #2: Know Your A/B Test Capacity
Krista stated that ideally, everyone should A/B test everything, and we couldn’t agree more! Your next biggest win may show up in an area that you are not currently A/B testing. Before you expand what you are A/B testing, know your traffic numbers. Your site traffic affects how many A/B tests you can run at any given time.
At Google, Krista’s team wanted to run hundreds of A/B tests at a time for the Google Apps for Work site. Despite this goal, the site didn’t have the traffic volume to support that level of A/B testing. Use estimators to determine how much traffic volume your A/B test needs to reach statistical significance.
Tip #3: Collaborate To Generate A/B Test Ideas
Krista told a great story about how one of the most successful A/B tests she ran at Google came from someone outside of her team. Maybe one of your colleagues has your next great A/B test idea? You won’t know if you don’t ask!
Let your entire organization know that you’re looking for A/B test ideas. Establish a process and a set of guidelines for evaluating the ideas. Ideally, find advocates from diverse departments to help you review and evaluate the ideas. And be sure to let everyone know you have received their ideas and will let them know the outcome of the evaluation. If your colleagues have a stake in optimization, they will become more active participants in your success.
Tip #4: Communicate All Wins; Evangelize The Big Ones
Transparency into the optimization program fosters understanding across your company. In Krista’s case, she puts together an A/B test design so that anyone who is interested can see how A/B tests are run. She was even kind enough to point us to an A/B test design example.
As an experienced A/B tester, you know that not all A/B tests generate huge conversions. But when you do have a great success, share it! After you have done due diligence and double-checked your results, let your organization know about the A/B test results. Krista recommends pulling together a deck and then making it accessible to anyone in the organization.
Krista’s session included a lot of practical information for optimization teams. After the event, one of Krista’s closing remarks stuck with me: shifting your culture doesn’t happen overnight. But you can start with one big win that brings everyone in your company — marketing, sales, and development — along for the ride of optimization success.
What do you think? Tell us what you’d add to Krista’s advice!
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