Columbus Web Analytics Wednesday Recap: Don’t “Antisappoint” Visitors

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We had a fantastic Web Analytics Wednesday last week in Columbus, sponsored by (Adobe) Omniture, with just under 50 attendees! Darren “DJ” Johnson was the presenter, and he spoke about web site optimization (kicking off with a riff of how “optimization” is an over-used word!). I, unfortunately, forgot my “good” camera, which means my photojournalism duties were poorly, poorly performed (DJ is neither 8′ tall, nor was he ignoring his entire audience):

Columbus Web Analytics Wednesday -- March 2010

One of the anecdotes that stuck with me was when DJ explained a personal experience he had clicking through on a banner ad (“I NEVER click on banner ads!” he exclaimed) and then having the landing page experience totally under-deliver on the promise of the ad. He used the term “antisappointment” (or “anticappointment?”) to describe the experience. It’s a handy word that works better orally than written down, but I’ll be shocked with myself if I don’t start using it!

I’ve been spending more and more time thinking about and working on optimization strategies of late, and DJ’s presentation really brought it all together. This post isn’t going to be a lengthy explanation of optimization and testing…because I’m really not qualified to expound on the subject (yet). But, I will drop down a few takeaways from DJ’s presentation that hit home the most with me:

  • Testing (and targeting) doesn’t typically deliver dramatic step function improvements, so don’t expect it to — it delivers incremental improvements over time that can add up to significant gains
  • (Because of the above) Testing isn’t a project; it’s a process — it’s not enough to plan out a test, run it, and evaluate the results; rather, it’s important to develop the organizational capabilities to always be testing
  • “Testing” without “targeting” is going to deliver limited results — while initial tests may be on “all visitors to the site,” it’s important to start segmenting traffic and testing different content at the segment level as quickly as possible

Good stuff.

In other news, I’ve got a few additional bullet points:

  • Our next Web Analytics Wednesday is tentatively slated to be a happy hour only (unsponsored or with a limited sponsor) on a Tuesday. If you don’t already get e-mail reminders and you’d like to, just drop me a note and I’ll add you to our list (tim at this domain)
  • The Ohio Interactive Awards are fast approaching! This event, started up by Teambuilder Search, huber+co. interactive, and 247Interactive,  is shaping up to be a great event on April 29th at the Arena Grand Movie Theater (Resource Interactive is sponsoring the event happy hour)
  • The TechLife Columbus group continues to grow and thrive, with over 1,500 members now — it’s free, and it’s a great way to find meetups and people who are involved in high tech and digital in central Ohio

It’s been a lot of fun to watch social media get put to use in central Ohio and make it so easy to find interesting people with shared interests. I’ve certainly gotten to know some great people over the past couple of years with a relatively low investment of my time and energy, and I’m a better person for it!

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