Have you ever set a New Year’s res­o­lu­tion only to fall back into your old habits by Feb­ru­ary?  Have you ever com­mit­ted to a diet or an exer­cise regime, only to stick to it for a cou­ple of weeks and then go back to watch­ing weight loss pro­grams on tele­vi­sion while snack­ing on a bag of chips?  The same mis­steps that can derail our per­sonal goals can also under­mine our cor­po­rate opti­miza­tion objec­tives.  Now it’s mid-July…have you achieved some of the goals you out­lined for your opti­miza­tion pro­grams at the start of the year? If not, it’s never too late to start.

The “deci­sion to opti­mize your site” and the choice of your opti­miza­tion tool show great intent.  The com­pa­nies that build the most suc­cess­ful opti­miza­tion pro­grams are those that start with sen­si­ble goals, build opti­miza­tion into their orga­ni­za­tional lifestyle, and then stick to their res­o­lu­tion to build an effec­tive opti­miza­tion organization.

So how can you “stick to your opti­miza­tion goals” ?  Here are a few tips taken from the realm of adopt­ing a healthy lifestyle that you can apply to your opti­miza­tion program:

  • Start small – com­pli­cated tests that take months to exe­cute can dampen your enthu­si­asm; sim­ple tests that you can exe­cute quickly will reward you with results that cre­ate excite­ment and build enthu­si­asm for the pro­gram; and those “small wins” when added together accu­mu­late into big results at the end of a year of opti­miza­tion.
  • Set rea­son­able goals - if your goal is to run tests more fre­quently, plan 6 tests this quar­ter instead of 3.
  • Write down your opti­miza­tion goals – assign them to your team as a quar­terly MBO; set­ting opti­miza­tion as an offi­cial depart­men­tal goal will ori­ent everyone’s activ­i­ties towards achiev­ing it.
  • Expect set­backs – not every test will go accord­ing to plan or gen­er­ate a “win­ning” result; but every test offers learn­ings that can inform your next round of opti­miza­tion.
  • Get sup­port – enlist your exec­u­tive team to spon­sor the goal and ask for their assis­tance in dis­lodg­ing road­blocks and clear­ing the way towards your accom­plish­ments.
  • Review your progress – review progress reg­u­larly with your team and with your exec­u­tive spon­sor.
  • Cel­e­brate your suc­cesses – cre­ate a fan­fare around your results; lever­age the suc­cesses to encour­age fur­ther invest­ment in the pro­gram.

Like any good habit, it’s impor­tant that opti­miza­tion become a part of your every­day cor­po­rate cul­ture.  Then keep the momen­tum going!  Mea­sure your pro­gram year over year to gauge your con­tin­ued progress and set a goal to achieve the next level. I’d love to hear addi­tional tips and ideas from what has worked at oth­ers’ organizations.