The Endless Summer of Optimizing – Muses from the Intern

Posted by Nonie Carson, Intern, Conversion Optimization

“Right now, you have a great opportunity to gain a competitive advantage, which you can build upon every day. But it takes action.”
– Ben Hunt, Convert!

Walking into Performics can make your head spin. Excuse me, let me rephrase. Walking into Performics will make your head spin. This performance marketing firm includes more departments than I can mention in one breath, functioning together at incredible speeds. This summer I am working as an intern for the Conversion Optimization (CO) team.

When I first applied to the position, I knew I wanted it- strangely, because I had never heard of Conversion Optimization before. After reading the CO intern description, I saw many connections between what they wanted and my own personal background as a major in Communication, Sociology and Anthropology. Furthermore, I had spent all of my time outside of school pursuing marketing internships that fell flat of my incessant need to learn things. My excitement to start something so new and foreign propelled me to jump in head first.

Fast forward. It’s my first day. Of course, I was nervous being out of my element wondering what was impending over the next 10 weeks. As I sat down at my new desk, I heard a “Plop, plop, plop.” Convert! Search Engine Inc.!  Landing Page Optimization! My eyes went wide as I saw these textbooks; I might have even gone a little pale. Didn’t I just get out of college?  My new plethora of books was topped with an extensive schedule titled “Conversion Bootcamp.” I suddenly questioned my choice of heels.

Nine weeks later: With experience under my belt I can say this: Conversion Optimization is the spoonful of sugar that makes the medicine go down. Yea, I just went there. CO is an art, combined with a science, to create an unparalleled online experience. It is the future of getting site visitors to complete a desired action. 

Sounds pretty simple, eh?

Trust me, it’s not. I have been a CO intern for 45 days now, and I pride myself on absorbing information in a freaky fast way. In college I would study flashcards in the elevator up to my test, and that was it (and I graduated with honors). Following my tradition, in a week I thought I understood the CO team, how they functioned, and how they fit in with Performics.

Yet, 9 weeks in, the more I learn the less I know – but I love it. I may sound really geeky, but at least I found a home. Every Performics’ employee is geeky in one way or another because we thrive in an environment that changes and grows faster than you can say performance never rests.

What makes us so complex? Our CO team consists of highly dedicated strategy consultants, statistical analysts, user experience experts, and digital researchers working at the forefront of a dynamic industry. And when they aren’t playing pranks on their intern (ahem), they are working endlessly to deliver a service to clients that has limitless potential and catapults ROI.  

Let me explain further: The power of an effectively optimized site is astounding, as pointed out by Ben Hunt in his book Convert! Think of it this way, your site gets 10,000 visitors every day, only 2% (or 200) of these visitors are converting – buying a product, requesting more information, watching a video demonstration, the list goes on. After research and market study, the Performics CO team implements a strategy to optimize your website: they remove elements, update headlines, redesign layouts and A/B test the #$@#! of your page. Now, your page is seeing a conversion lift of 50%, converting at 3%. 300 visitors a day are now converting (this is by no means an unrealistic result as I am continually seeing 100% lifts around here). Now, for you retailers, say each one of those customers has an average order value of $50 on your product or service. With your increased conversion rates, you are bringing in an extra $5,000 in revenue a day. Over weeks, months, and a year, this really adds up. I mean REALLY adds up – think more than $1.8 million!

I find it crazy that I just paid a ridiculous amount (which I refuse to disclose) for college, worked two marketing internships, and not ONE person had mentioned the words “conversion optimization” to me. To think, all this time I could have been learning something which really makes a difference, and something every client needs.

It is the last week of my internship, and I wish I could slow down time because I still have so much to learn about this incredible field. My team has been outstanding, and has shown me an inspiring amount of heart and effort in their work. No matter where my future takes me, I will make sure I don’t forget what I have learned here because I’m already a performance marketing convert.

Nonie Carson graduated from Lake Forest College in May of 2012. She is from Littleton, CO and loves everything that has to do with the digital world.

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