Marginal Gains by 1 Percent

I recently read an interesting article about marginal gains. The article talked about how a manager of a British cycling team took a slightly different approach to training which allowed them to go on and be the first British team to ever win a Tour de France.

His approach was simple – to improve just 1 percent of everything the team did. It started with the obvious things like the team’s weekly training routine, the food they ate and little tweaks to the bike, such as reducing the weight of the tires by 1 percent, or slightly improving the ergonomics of the bike seats, etc.

What he did next starts getting into what most of us would consider a bit OCD or even verging on crazy – stuff like researching what pillows assisted with better sleep patterns, what massage ointments helped relieve muscle tension more effectively – even ways the team could improve the way they wash their hands to avoid infections.

I know, this all sounds pretty crazy, right? But what’s even more crazy was that by adjusting all these small things, even just by 1 percent, it helped them do something that no Brit had ever done before – winning one of the biggest cycling competitions in the world.

Now, you’re probably wondering why I’m posting a story about a cycling team to a web hosting blog?

The thing is, this 1 percent approach can be applied to anything from a website, social media campaign – even to the daily running of your business.

Let’s start with your website. It’s been well published by Google that page load speed is an important factor in search rankings. Google’s always trying to deliver a good user experience, so if your site takes too long to load, people are likely to click the back button. So, shaving 1 percent off the time your site takes to load could make a difference to where you rank in the search results.

Then there’s your website content and keywords – reading over your site as if you were your own customer and seeing if it covers all the important information in a way your clients would likely understand, and mentions the types of things your clients are likely to search. This could also be another 1 percent change that brings more clients to your site. Now, don’t go stuffing 1 percent of your content with keywords, though. It should be more about how well the information reads, because if I found a website stuffed with more keywords than a mushroom in a vegan restaurant, I probably would click back pretty quickly.

Then there are possible website add-ons that we could help with. You may not know, but we have a WordPress security and management add-on for just $10 extra per month. By upgrading to such a service, it could shave off 1 percent of your time each month having to keep your site up-to-date, or prevent a nasty hack which takes even more of your time and money to clean and fix.

In terms of growing your business, email marketing and social media marketing are really great tools to help connect and stay in touch with your audience. Can you imagine the number of additional ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ you may get if you spent time growing your followers or subscribers by just 1 percent each week?

These are just a few ideas of how these little marginal gains could make a big difference to your business. If you’d like to discuss any of the things in this article or other ways you think we could help you and your business improve things by 1 percent – get in touch. We’d love to hear from you!