In my Sep­tem­ber 9 CMO​.com arti­cle, I talked about five strate­gic con­sid­er­a­tions for suc­cess­ful opti­miza­tion. One of those topics—reach—seemed the most straight­for­ward when I pre­pared the piece, yet it still seems to elude even the savvi­est of dig­i­tal marketers.

A lot of newer com­pa­nies start their opti­miza­tion processes by look­ing at home­pages and core land­ing pages, as those points drive greater search traf­fic con­ver­sion. As these sites grow and expand, they’ll typ­i­cally dig a lit­tle deeper and layer in addi­tional test­ing on high-potential and high-performing loca­tions, try­ing to make them con­vert more, engage more, and elim­i­nate any­thing that stands between the con­sumers and check out.

But what about the other chan­nels? What about social apps and plat­forms, email, and other high-engagement points of contact?

In my ear­lier arti­cle, I rein­forced my long-held posi­tion on expand­ing the reach of opti­miza­tion efforts: suc­cess­ful orga­ni­za­tions must expand their opti­miza­tion prac­tices to extend across all dig­i­tal chan­nels, plat­forms, and loca­tions. So what should you be look­ing for in your expanded opti­miza­tion tac­tics? Plenty.

Start Here: Look­ing Beyond the Homepage

Your home­page is the front door to your busi­ness, and half of your traf­fic likely flows through this point. But just like peo­ple don’t jump from store to store when they’re look­ing for a cash­mere V-neck sweater, non-brand loy­al­ists won’t likely start on your home­page and nav­i­gate to your stock of cash­mere V-neck sweaters. Chances are they Google “cash­mere V-neck sweater” and land on a page that fea­tures cash­mere V-neck sweaters. That could be your home­page, but more likely, it’ll be a category-specific page, pro­mo­tional page, or spe­cific prod­uct page.

Because of the pro­lif­er­a­tion of search, prod­uct pages and other sub-tab sec­tions have become site entrés unto them­selves. Think­ing about those pages in that light, ask your­self if you’re opti­miz­ing them the best you can. Are they packed with use­ful con­tent that’s opti­mized for search? Do the calls to action push con­sumers to con­vert right then and there—and then push them through the sales fun­nel? These pages should get the same com­mit­ment and inte­gra­tion as your homepage.

That’s not to say you should take your eye off the home­page. But if you rely heav­ily on search or email mar­ket­ing and you’re look­ing to escort con­sumers to your site based on their queries, expressed inter­ests, and pur­chase his­tory, you want to make sure you’re keep­ing it highly rel­e­vant at what­ever point they enter your site.

Make Face­book Work Harder

Social refer­ral traf­fic con­verts at sig­nif­i­cantly higher rates than vir­tu­ally all other sources—four times higher than organic search, even. But few mar­keters give their fan pages the same opti­miza­tion atten­tion they do the mother ship.

Very sim­ply, Face­book (whose “likes” account for 87 per­cent of all social engage­ment) uti­lizes the same SEO tac­tics as brand web­sites. The title of the page becomes the metati­tle, and the short descrip­tion trans­lates into the metade­scrip­tion. A few back­links will lead to search engine ranks, and as you gain fol­low­ers, you’ll attract more of those valu­able back­links, and the organic opti­miza­tion continues.

What’s more, Face­book allows page own­ers to cre­ate a unique URL—aka “username”—for their page once it hits 25 likes. Because URLs are heav­ily weighted by Google and other search engines, this is a great oppor­tu­nity to up your rank­ings. Choose a URL that reflects a unique, essen­tial piece of your busi­ness so con­sumers can find it more read­ily. It’s just another layer of brand­ing and opti­miza­tion that can make a big dif­fer­ence in traf­fic, engage­ment, and conversion.

And don’t for­get the power of the “social shop­per.” Engage them and they’ll be your ulti­mate brand evan­ge­lists. Eighty-one per­cent of social shop­pers “share,” and of those who click through to a retail­ers’ site from a share, more than half con­vert. So long pur­chase fun­nel, hello viral loop from rec­om­men­da­tion to aware­ness, inter­est, deci­sion, action, and back to post­pur­chase rec­om­men­da­tion, and the cycle con­tin­ues. Encour­age shar­ing, fan the viral flames (a spe­cial offer to the advo­cate and his or her social net­work, per­haps?), tap into the power of social on every prod­uct page, and watch your opti­miza­tion efforts soar.

Email Test­ing and Optimization

Email opti­miza­tion has always proven a bit trick­ier for mar­keters, mostly because of the seem­ingly dis­pro­por­tion­ate time and resource com­mit­ment asso­ci­ated. Whereas opti­miza­tion on web­sites and social pages requires some level of ongo­ing test­ing and refine­ment, for email mar­ket­ing that’s more or less the entire name of the game.

Cur­sory email opti­miza­tion involves the basics: sub­ject line and con­tent test­ing. Like any mar­ket­ing strat­egy, email doesn’t always sub­scribe to con­ven­tional wis­dom in terms of approach—consistency, for­mat­ting, and even offers and pro­mo­tions may have worked in the past, but your audi­ence land­scape may have shifted and a for­mat change may be in order. Try out dif­fer­ent tem­plates, dif­fer­ent points of focus, and dif­fer­ent text ver­sus visual “weights” and see. Audi­ences can eas­ily get fatigued by the seem­ingly same old, same old in their inboxes day after day, week after week.

In that vein, sub­ject lines can make a big dif­fer­ence when it comes to opti­miza­tion. Many brands have found stag­ger­ing results from some­thing as sim­ple as adding the recipient’s name to the sub­ject line call to action. ProFlow­ers takes it a step fur­ther and reminds those on its list to order flow­ers for a spe­cific per­son, call­ing out the name of a past flower recip­i­ent. Ordered flow­ers for your Aunt Rose last June? You can expect a friendly reminder telling you how much Aunt Rose would love that bou­quet again this year.

Want to take per­son­al­iza­tion a step fur­ther? Try inte­grat­ing dynamic con­tent or sec­tions into your email out­reach. Dynamic con­tent lets mar­keters cus­tomize emails based on sub­scribers’ expressed pref­er­ences, pur­chase his­tory, and other onsite behav­iors. Think cus­tomized greet­ings, ref­er­ences to a prod­uct pre­vi­ously ordered, and even a coor­di­na­tion with cur­rent, rel­e­vant inven­tory. What’s more, dynamic con­tent can be changed daily, weekly, monthly, or even sea­son­ally based on cur­rent pur­chase pat­terns, mak­ing your email applic­a­ble and engag­ing not only the first time it’s opened but count­less times after. HP tar­geted 2 per­cent of its email data­base for dynamic email con­tent based on behav­ioral seg­men­ta­tion. The result? A 300 per­cent higher open rate and 600 per­cent higher click through.

Your busi­ness isn’t just a home­page and, like­wise, your con­sumers aren’t just com­ing in through your home­page. Your brand is mul­ti­di­men­sional and offers a host of touch points and loca­tions, each of which should be opti­mized for max­i­mum engage­ment and con­ver­sion. Ensure that when someone’s look­ing for you, they can find you. When they’re look­ing to buy, they can find exactly what they need, when they need it, fast. Tar­get your efforts and take a look at tools like the Adobe Tar­get Value Nav­i­ga­tor to help you under­stand the full scope of your these ele­ments on lift in rev­enue and conversion.

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