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WEBSITE

OPTIMIZATION
BENCHMARKS BY REVENUE ATTAINMENT
TABLE OF CONTENTS

3 Executive Summary 10 Content Campaign Resources

4 Achieving Revenue Goals 11 Content Marketing Software Usage

5 Website Optimization Objectives 12 Channel Effectiveness for Content

6 Obstacles to Content Marketing Success 13 Content & The Sales Cycle

7 Premium Content Usage 14 About Marketo

8 Content Type Effectiveness 15 About Demand Metric & Ascend2

9 Content Type Execution 16 Appendix – Survey Background


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
A website is an essential channel for attracting, engaging and converting customers.

Website Optimization is the continuous improvement of this channel to successfully achieve your marketing objectives.

But what will website marketing optimization success look like in the year ahead and how will marketers achieve it?

To find out, Demand Metric in partnership with Ascend2 fielded the Website Optimization Benchmark Survey and completed
interviews with 336 marketing and sales decision-makers and practitioners from around the world. We thank these busy
professionals for sharing their valuable insights with you.

The charts in this edition of our study, titled Website Optimization Benchmarks by Revenue Attainment, compare the strategies
and practices of companies that have succeeded in achieving or exceeding their revenue goals with those that have not.

This research has been produced for your use. Put it to work in your own marketing strategy planning and presentation
materials. Clip the charts and write about them in your blog or post them on social media. Please share this research credited as
published.

- Jerry Rackley, Chief Analyst – Demand Metric

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ACHIEVING REVENUE GOALS
Figure 1: Revenue Goal Achievement

Revenue Goal Achievement

7%

Exceeding revenue This report compares the website optimization


goals strategies and practices of companies that are
42%
achieving or exceeding (58%) their revenue attainment
Achieving revenue
goals
goals with those that are not (42%).

51% Not achieving


The survey response data charted in this report represent
revenue goals these segments.

Website Optimization Benchmark Survey, Demand Metric and Ascend2, May 2014, n=398

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WEBSITE OPTIMIZATION OBJECTIVES
Figure 2: Most Important Website Optimization Objectives for the Upcoming Year
Both categories ranked increasing lead generation and
Most Important Website Optimization Objectives traffic volume as the top objectives for website
optimization in the upcoming year.
Achieved or Exceeded Revenue Goals Did Not Achieve Revenue Goals

55%
For most, these top two will come as no surprise since the
Increase lead generation
64% general goal of website optimization is to generate more
Increase traffic/visitors
44% visitors, and in turn prospects for sales.
58%
42%
Increase visitor engagement
48% The most significant disparities in responses, based on
32% revenue attainment, appear with the objectives ranked of
Increase sales transactions
37% least importance to both segments.
Increase brand awareness
30%
34%
Companies that have achieved or exceeded their
Improve mobile optimization
19%
18% revenue goals are three times as likely as their non-
Improve website personalization
18% achieving counterparts to target improvements in
6% website personalization and customer service as
Improve customer service
12% objectives.
4%
0% 20% 40% 60% 80% From the data presented in Figure 2 we can surmise that
organizations achieving or exceeding revenue goals are
continuing to fuel the standard goals of website optimization
Website Optimization Benchmark Survey, Demand Metric and Ascend2, May 2014, n=398 while seeking other avenues, such as personalized web
pages, to find value for their customers.

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WEBSITE OPTIMIZATION SUCCESS
Figure 3: Success Rate for Website Optimization Objectives
Figure 3 represents how survey respondents rate the
Website Optimization Success Rate success of their website optimization program.
Achieved or Exceeded Revenue Goals Did Not Achieve Revenue Goals
The majority of both categories ranked their optimization
80% success as “Somewhat successful,” highlighting that most
80% organizations seem to view the need for improvement in
70%
this specific practice area for their companies.
60%
59% While most of the respondents lie in the middle of this
50% graph, this survey question did yield a couple of interesting
40%
insights. When looking at this graph, the most
noticeable observation is that 37% of those companies
30% 37% not achieving revenue goals identified their website
optimization strategies as “Not successful.”
20%

10% 7% However, after further analysis, we see an even more


13% 3%
notable statistic.
0%
Very successful Somewhat successful Not successful
Even though websites are an essential channel for
attracting, engaging and converting customers, only
13% of those attaining revenue goals rate their website
Website Optimization Benchmark Survey, Demand Metric and Ascend2, May 2014, n=398 a success.

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OBSTACLES TO OPTIMIZATION SUCCESS
Figure 4: Most Challenging Obstacles to Website Optimization Success
The data from Figure 4 suggests that both segments
Obstacles to Website Optimization Success struggle with acquiring the appropriate budget for website
optimization.
Achieved or Exceeded Revenue Goals Did Not Achieve Revenue Goals

40% It seems that a company’s revenue goal attainment


Limited website budget
53% does not change the most challenging obstacle to
Lack of quality content
30% website optimization success – limited website budget.
29%
29%
Lack of testing and analytics
32% For companies achieving revenue goals, all of the other
Limited marketing integration
27% response options were ranked comparably, showing little
28% differentiation in other potential obstacles for those
Lack of in-house expertise
24% organizations.
31%
Convoluted conversion paths
24%
15% However, for those who are not achieving revenue
Lack of visitor personalization
24% goals, the second most challenging obstacle to
16% success, the lack of an effective strategy, was rated
16%
Lack of an effective strategy
41%
significantly higher than its counterparts.
0% 20% 40% 60%
Perhaps, for those under-achieving on revenue goals,
organizing and planning an effective website optimization
program would help them gain more executive support and,
Website Optimization Benchmark Survey, Demand Metric and Ascend2, May 2014, n=398 in turn, acquire more financial backing for this strategic
initiative.

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WEB PAGE & PROCESS OPTIMIZATION
Figure 5: Most Important Pages or Processes Optimized Over the Past Year
Figure 5 presents the responses to the following survey
Web Page or Process Optimization question:
Achieved or Exceeded Revenue Goals Did Not Achieve Revenue Goals
What were the most important pages or processes
Website homepage
57% optimized during the last year?
60%
Product or solutions pages
46% For both segments, website homepages and product or
41%
28%
solution pages are getting the most attention.
Lead registration forms
25%
Content download landing pages
27% While both of these response options are critical to a
22% website’s overall success, it seems that the pages
Company pages (About, Support, etc)
21% used to achieve the top website objective, lead
29%
18% generation, are not as high priority as the top two
Cart and payment process
9% selections.
Paid search listing landing pages
17%
18% Lead registration forms, paid search listing landing pages
10%
Promotional or trial offer pages
10%
and promotional/trial offer pages all rank significantly lower
than the top two response options in this survey question.
0% 20% 40% 60%
In order to improve efforts for lead generation,
companies should consider strategizing to balance the
Website Optimization Benchmark Survey, Demand Metric and Ascend2, May 2014, n=398 need for traffic to main web pages for improving brand
association as well as traffic to pages that will increase
lead generation for sales purposes.
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OPTIMIZED PAGE ELEMENT EFFECTIVENESS
Figure 6: Optimized Page Element Impact on Website Performance
Developing the content and messaging to place on a web
Optimized Page Element Impact page can be challenging. It is important to emphasize
components that will lead to higher conversion rates and,
Achieved or Exceeded Revenue Goals Did Not Achieve Revenue Goals
ultimately, increased revenues.
Calls to action
62%
64% This study attempted to identify which elements of a web
Headlines
48% page, when optimized, have the most impact on website
53%
43%
performance. Figure 6 shows how survey respondents
Page layout
41% answered this question.
Images
38%
41% For both segments, there is little variation in the importance
Body copy
24% of each response option. Both groups were in agreement
27%
15%
as to which page elements impacted website
Bullet copy
13% performance the most.
Sub-headlines
10%
13% Most notably, calls to action were placed at the top of this
9%
Form fields
8%
list followed by headlines.
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70%
Motivating a prospect or customer to act is always a
challenge. Subsequently, according to the respondents
in this survey, optimizing the call-to-action on a page
Website Optimization Benchmark Survey, Demand Metric and Ascend2, May 2014, n=398 will have the most impact on website performance.

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WEBSITE PAGE PERSONALIZATION
Figure 7: Website Page Personalization for Unique Visitors
Website page personalization for unique visitors is a
Website Page Personalization for Unique Visitors relatively new concept, however, it seems to be gaining
traction as a strategic initiative.
Achieved or Exceeded Revenue Goals Did Not Achieve Revenue Goals

100% This survey found that website personalization


practices have been adopted by 32% of companies that
90% are achieving their revenue goals and 10% of
80%
companies who are not. While this is still a relatively small
portion of organizations, the momentum to enhance this
60% 68% initiative seems to be growing.

40%
As discussed previously in this study, companies achieving
or exceeding revenue goals were three times more likely to
place “Improving website personalization” as a strategic
20% 26% initiative for optimization.
6% 8%
2%
0% Figure 7 reinforces the aforementioned conclusion.
Personalization is Personalization is Personalization is
used extensively used moderately not used
This data shows that companies achieving or
exceeding revenue goals are three times more likely to
be using personalization tactics either moderately or
Website Optimization Benchmark Survey, Demand Metric and Ascend2, May 2014, n=398 extensively in comparison to their non-achieving
counterparts.

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WEBSITE PERSONALIZATION PERFORMANCE
Figure 8: Website Personalization Performance
Figure 8 presents the responses to the following survey
Website Personalization Performance question:
Achieved or Exceeded Revenue Goals Did Not Achieve Revenue Goals
Which statement best describes how personalization is
60% performed on your company website?

50% 56% This question was targeted at those companies who are
already using personalization tactics to improve
40% optimization efforts.
42%
30%
37%
33% Of those companies that have adopted website
20% personalization, more than a third have transitioned
from manual page creation to the use of marketing
10% automation to dynamically generate personalized
pages based on IP, behavioral and other data.
0%
Marketing technology automatically Multiple versions of web pages are
generates and presents personalized manually created for various customer Interestingly, however, this data identifies that both
pages based on IP, behavioral and segments and presented based on segments are still more likely to use manual page creation
other data. visitor selection.
than rely on automatic page generation from their
marketing automation systems. Companies achieving or
exceeding revenue goals are about 50% more likely
Website Optimization Benchmark Survey, Demand Metric and Ascend2, May 2014, n=398 and companies not achieving revenue goals are about
30% more likely to rely on manual versus automatic
processes.
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WEBSITE PAGE TESTING FOR OPTIMIZATION
Figure 9: Frequency of Website Page Testing for Optimization
Knowing which pages are working for your organization and
Website Page Testing for Optimization which are not can be key to the success of an optimization
program. Figure 9 highlights the frequency of web page
Achieved or Exceeded Revenue Goals Did Not Achieve Revenue Goals
testing performed for optimization purposes.
80%
Performing scientific tests on website pages rather
70% than relying on trial and error practices is about 75%
60% 68% more likely to be done by those who are achieving their
revenue goals than those who are not.
50%
49% Still, there are significant amount of companies in both
40%
41% segments not performing any testing at all. 68% of
30% respondents from companies not achieving revenue goals
30% choose the “Testing is not performed” response option, and
20%
41% of respondents working in companies achieving or
10% 3% exceeding revenue goals choose the same option.
9%
0%
Testing performed Testing performed Testing is not performed While under-achieving companies not performing
extensively moderately
testing is nearly 65% greater than their achieving
counterparts, there is something to be said for such a
high percentage of achieving companies to fall into the
Website Optimization Benchmark Survey, Demand Metric and Ascend2, May 2014, n=398 non-testing category.

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RESOURCE USAGE FOR OPTIMIZATION
Figure 10: Resources Used for Website Optimization

Resource Usage for Website Optimization


Achieved or Exceeded Revenue Goals Did Not Achieve Revenue Goals

70% Website optimization is more of a science than an art.


There are plenty of consultants and agencies focusing
60% 64% specifically on the science of website and web page
optimization.
50%

40% 46% As a result, more than half (57%) of companies that are
43% achieving revenue goals outsource all or part of their
30% 35% website optimization program, gaining access to the
specialized skills required to improve website
20%
performance.
10%
11% 2% It can be inferred that due to the lack of an effective
0% strategy and limited budget, companies not achieving
Outsourced to an agency Combination of In-house resources only
or consultancy outsourced and in-house revenue goals may have a harder time securing the money
resources needed to fund outsourced resources.

Website Optimization Benchmark Survey, Demand Metric and Ascend2, May 2014, n=398

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ABOUT DEMAND METRIC & ASCEND2
About Demand Metric
Demand Metric is a global marketing research & advisory firm serving a membership community of over 38,000 marketing
professionals, CEOs, and business owners with advisory services, custom research & benchmarking reports, vendor studies,
consulting methodologies, training, and a library of 500+ practical tools and templates.

Using Demand Metric resources, members complete projects faster and with greater confidence, boosting respect for the
marketing team and making it easier to justify needed resources. Our 1,000+ corporate clients range from start-ups to consulting
firms to members of the Global 1000.

To learn more about Demand Metric, please visit: www.demandmetric.com.

About Ascend2
Ascend2 is a market research firm with over 50,000 research subscribers and survey panelists comprised of sales & marketing
professionals. Each month they field new research studies and generate reports that typically include 12 to 18 pages of charts and
analytical commentary.

Demand Metric partners with Ascend2 to leverage their panel of research survey panelists and develop additional benchmark
reports for community members.

Learn more about Ascend2 at www.Ascend2.com.

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APPENDIX – SURVEY BACKGROUND
Surveys are conducted online from a panel of more than 50,000 Ascend2 research subscribers, representing US and
international marketing and sales decision-makers and practitioners in a range of contact roles, company types, sizes and
geographic regions.

The questionnaire used incorporates standardized research practices across all studies while maintaining a proven 3-minute
survey format. Survey findings are examined in a quantitative context by experienced analysts and reported objectively.

The Demand Metric and Ascend2 2014 Website Optimization Benchmark Report was administered online in March 2014.
During this period, 398 responses were collected that were qualified and complete enough for inclusion in the analysis.

Summarized below is the basic categorization data collected about respondents to enable filtering and analysis of the data:

Primary Role of Respondent: Employee Size:

 Owner or Officer (40%)  More than 1000 (14%)


 Marketing or Sales Management (39%)  101 to 1000 (18%)
 Marketing or Sales Staff (10%)  10 to 100 (22%)
 Other (11%)  Fewer than 10 (46%)

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Benchmark Report

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