SiteSpect Synopsis: Going Server Side or Going Bust

By Eric J. Hansen

June 13, 2018


Marketers traditionally tend to focus on client side optimization — layout, design, copy, etc. But since the digital customer experience has become so important, it’s also crucial that marketers understand and pay attention to the back end function of their domains.

fiver servers against a white background

How to Optimize Both Ends of the Customer Experience,” Retail Touchpoints


Author Albert Ong recounts his experience at MivaCon, where he sees a consensus of worry about Amazon and how to compete in the ecommerce realm. The answer, he writes, is to provide value in the realm of customer service in a way that Amazon simply cannot by optimizing not only front end but back end as well. “By 2020,” Ong writes, “this [customer experience] will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. If CX is not already part of your growth strategy, it needs to be.” Most brands focus on front end optimization because it’s exciting and immediately visible. But, back end functionality determines how customers navigate your site and whether or not they’ll return to it.

The Takeaway: Customer experience is the most important factor when competing with sites like Amazon, and you can’t provide a good one without attention to your back end functionality.

7 Deadly Sins of Conversion Rate Optimization,” Start Up Grind


Dmytro Spilka lists seven factors even the best CROs sometimes overlook. They are: Neglecting your site, lack of urgency, mandatory account creation, complex checkout process, overlooking landing pages, not building trust, and ignoring mobile. Interestingly, most of these seven sins have more to do with back end function than client side design. Take, for instance, number 1: neglecting your site. The first thing that will drag down your conversion rate is a poor performing site. The same goes for mobile function — is your site optimized for different platforms? Overall, in order to avoid these CRO sins, don’t forget about back end testing and optimization.

The Takeaway: The most common oversights for CROs in marketing are back end functionality problems.

The Key Ingredient of Marketing Campaign Success: Quality Data,” Marketing Profs


Author Phil Garlick makes a convincing case for why not just your data, but how you store, organize, and utilize it make or break your marketing campaign success. In order to  sure your efforts are based on the right data, there are some common mistakes to avoid. He lists them as: Past the sell-by date, using the wrong tool for the wrong job, and having too many users working with data. To rectify these problems, Garlick emphasizes the importance for marketers to really understand where their data comes from, keep track of how long it remains valid, and to control who works with it.

The Takeaway: Not all data is good data. Make sure your data is up to date and accurate if you want successful marketing campaigns.

A Little Point of View


The common thread between all of these pieces is clear: don’t neglect back end A/B testing and optimization for your marketing efforts. As these articles show, better site performance or more accurate data could make all the difference in your conversion rates. While marketers don’t need to also be expert coders or web developers, they do need to work with these departments to make sure all aspects of their sites are running smoothly. Without that, it’s near impossible to achieve a great customer experience.

Access the Forrester Research TEI Study on Server Side Testing      Catch Up on the SiteSpect Synopsis   

To learn more about SiteSpect, visit our website.


Eric J. Hansen

Eric J. Hansen

Eric J. Hansen is the Founder and CTO of SiteSpect. He previously served as founder and CEO of the web development agency World Machine and has over 20 years experience in software development and project management. He is based in Boston.

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