Our Best of 2012

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In case you missed some of the articles we published this year, I thought you might be interested in a recap of the ones that got the most attention.

Here are the top 12 blog posts of 2012…

1. The Long-Term Impact of a High Landing Page Bounce Rate – It Could Hurt Your AdWords Quality Score

We kicked off the year by making a startling claim: a high landing page bounce rate could hurt your AdWords Quality Score. Google uses every indicator it can and you may be surprised where it can get some of the data about how well your website performs.

Find out how to improve your AdWords landing pages >>

2. Play the Landing Page Optimization Case Study Game

In February, 2012, WiderFunnel launched the free conversion case study game at ConversionSkills.com. To play the game you view a series of real website experiments, including the page variations that were tested. You can guess the winners and even read the full case studies of each.

See the game’s launch >>

3. The Strategic Marketing Optimization Manifesto

Conversion Optimization Manifesto
In March, I put a stake in the ground with our Marketing Optimization Manifesto. We believe testing is necessary to improve your marketing results.

Read the manifesto and join us in being a marketing optimization champion >>

4. What are landing page elements that contribute to increased conversions?

Also in March, I share information from an engaging roundtable discussion I participated in with the topic of “Improving Landing Page Conversion Rates”. The questions submitted in advance by attendees produced a highly interactive session and I share some of the answers to landing page optimization questions here.

5. Can Outbound and Inbound Marketing Co-Exist?

Today, marketers are turning their backs on “Outbound Marketing.” Outbound tactics are now vilified. Many believe that outbound marketing alone is responsible for the 2000+ messages we are bombarded with on a daily basis.

In May, 2012, I asked, “Is Inbound Marketing really saving us from ‘traditional’ outbound? Is it making advertising less intrusive? Are marketers suddenly altruistic information-sharers?”

Find out how Outbound and Inbound Marketing can play nicely together >>

6. Goward on Godin: Response to the unforgiving arithmetic of the funnel

In June, Seth Godin made an observation that most marketers’ reaction to their respective funnels is to run more ads. Sadly, he’s right.

Essentially, he made two recommendations for improving your conversion funnel: removing steps and message segmentation. While they are valid hypotheses to test, there’s a lot more to consider.

Here’s where I added my comments to Seth’s recommendations on dealing with the funnel >>

7. Should I test at the top or bottom of the funnel first?

Website Conversion Funnel
I’ve heard conversion consultants advise that you should start by testing as far down the conversion funnel as you can. There’s no good logic to that advice. In June, I shared how to prioritize tests on all levels of your conversion funnel >>

8. Google Weighs in on Responsive Website Design

We began a series of posts about Responsive Website Design (RWD) in July, which became popular. Many marketers have been trying to solve the mobile puzzle and we wanted to lay out the best options to maximize web-driven revenue. First, we showed how Google favors RWD and even incorporates it partly in their SERP. Then, we showed…

9. How Conversion Optimization Works with Responsive Web Design

Based on our experience running tests on RWD sites.
Conversion Optimization and RWD >>

10. Are Your Conversion Test Results Accurate Enough?

Some people are disappointed when they learn that their split test results are not 100% precise. If you think statistics are infallible you’ll be surprised to learn that it’s not as straight-forward as you thought. Scientific testing, however is still the best method for marketing optimization. I sought to clarify this debate in August, 2012.

Find out more about test accuracy and precision >>

11. I Love Losing Test Results and You Should Too

Chris Goward Conversion Optimization not all tests win
In November, I returned from keynoting Conversion Summit in Germany and shared one of the best kept secrets of conversion optimization: not every test is a winner. But, even the inconclusive and losing tests can give huge business value, if they’re planned and analyzed properly.

Find out how to turn losing tests into winners >>

12. Why Your Conversion Rate Doesn’t Matter (aka Conversion Rates are Relative)

Many marketers are still looking for average conversion rates and tracking their conversion rates over time. Both of these pursuits are meaningless.

On average, Switzerland is flat, but its average elevation is just as irrelevant as your conversion rate.

I’m not afraid to make controversial claims. This post from November explains why your conversion rate doesn’t matter (and the one time it really does!) >>

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  • I'll follow up with you by email, Nathan. Thanks.