A/B Testing Basics: Confidence Level

confidence level

Confidence Level: The percentage of time that a statistical result would be correct if you took numerous random samples. Confidence is often associated with assuredness, and the statistical meaning is closely related to this common usage of the term. To state a percentage value for confidence in something is essentially stating a level of how “sure” you are that it will happen. In statistical terms, it is the expected percentage of time that your range of values will be correct if you were to repeat the same experiment over and over again. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a…

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A/B Testing Basics: Confidence Level

Infographic: A Breakdown of Color Preferences by Gender

true-colors

Choosing the right colors for a web or app design can be one of the most difficult decisions there is. Funny right? Not the coding, not the copy: the darn colors! Those who are not skilled in graphic design or the arts should probably leave this decision alone :). We always botch it! One factor that comes into play when making these palette decisions is: What gender are you targeting? The infographic below will shed some light on how males and female receive different colors and even how they identify colors by names. These interesting insights may adjust your thinking…

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Infographic: A Breakdown of Color Preferences by Gender

GPU Animation: Doing It Right

Most people now know that modern web browsers use the GPU to render parts of web pages, especially ones with animation. For example, a CSS animation using the transform property looks much smoother than one using the left and top properties. But if you ask, “How do I get smooth animation from the GPU?” in most cases, you’ll hear something like, “Use transform: translateZ(0) or will-change: transform.”

gpu-animation-done-right

These properties have become something like how we used zoom: 1 for Internet Explorer 6 (if you catch my drift) in terms of preparing animation for the GPU — or compositing, as browser vendors like to call it. But sometimes animation that is nice and smooth in a simple demo runs very slowly on a real website, introduces visual artifacts or even crashes the browser. Why does this happen? How do we fix it? Let’s try to understand.

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GPU Animation: Doing It Right

Progressive Web AMPs

If you’ve been following the web development community these last few months, chances are you’ve read about progressive web apps (PWAs). It’s an umbrella term used to describe web experiences advanced that they compete with ever-so-rich and immersive native apps: full offline support, installability, “Retina,” full-bleed imagery, sign-in support for personalization, fast, smooth in-app browsing, push notifications and a great UI.

From Google’s Advanced Mobile Pages (AMP) to progressive web apps

But even though the new Service Worker API allows you to cache away all of your website’s assets for an almost instant subsequent load, like when meeting someone new, the first impression is what counts. If the first load takes more than 3 seconds, the latest DoubleClick study shows that more than 53% of all users will drop off.

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Progressive Web AMPs

PPC Landing Page Magic: Secrets Revealed [GIFOGRAPHIC]

This marketing infographic is part of KlientBoost’s 25-part Marketing Advent Calendar. Sign up here to receive a new gifographic once a day in your inbox.

As a kid who was fascinated with the magic store, it’s kind of surprising that I still don’t know how magicians do certain tricks. But it’s probably because as an adult, I’ve spent most of my time trying to master one magic trick:

Making more money appear — both for my PPC agency and for our clients.

How do we do it?

A large part of the magic comes from the landing pages our CRO team designs and tests. And today I want to reveal all the tricks that go into a high-converting landing page to make you the David Copperfield of PPC landing page testing.

(Keep reading below the gifographic for more explanation.)

ezgif-com-878a1ae317

Geographic specificity: Get more local love

When your PPC campaigns and landing page work together on a geographic level, you unleash serious conversion potential.

To help illustrate, imagine these two scenarios:

  1. A nationwide PPC campaign that goes to a nationwide landing page
  2. A city-specific PPC campaign that goes to a city-specific landing page

Which one do you think will perform better?

I think the second would — and we have 100+ clients that would agree. By becoming more granular with your PPC campaigns, you’re able to make the visitor believe that you’re local (even if you’re not).

Take this example of using geographic-specific area code phone numbers on landing pages versus a generic 800 number:

conversion-rate-for-generic-vs-local-numbers
This table shows conversion rates for landing pages displaying generic 800 phone number versus landing pages with a local number. Image source.

And phone numbers are only a start. Test geographically-specific PPC ad copy, landing page headlines and even visuals.

We use Unbounce’s Dynamic Text Replacement (DTR) to help us easily launch dynamic landing pages and prevent traffic dilution that slows down statistical significance.

Which brings us to our next trick…

Dynamic text replacement: Less work, more fun

Dynamic text replacement allows you to swap out the text on your landing page with keywords from your PPC campaigns.

By making small adjustments to your PPC campaign URLs, you can make one landing page specific to hundreds of keywords you’re bidding on, resulting in a landing page that show exactly what visitors searched for:

dynamic-text-replacement-example-url
With DTR, you can turn one landing page into 100 landing pages.

Here’s an example of an outdoors company using DTR to “magically” create super-relevant landing pages.

If the user searched for “hiking backpack,” this is the landing page they’ll see:

dtr-examlpe-hiking-backpack

And if they searched for “trekking backpack”?

dtr-example-trekking-backpack

Boom.

Notice how nothing changed but the text on those two pages?

Read a full explanation of this “magic trick” here.

Multi-step landing pages

You’ve heard how reducing the amount of form fields will help improve your conversion rates, right?

few-form-fields-quotes

But what if I told you that there’s a way to add more fields (thereby better qualifying prospects) while still improving conversion rates?

That’s some true David Copperfield s*** right there.

giphy
I know that’s not David Copperfield. Just trying to see if you’re awake. GIF source.

Multi-step landing pages can help you achieve just this by asking for a little information upfront, then progressively asking for more and more. Dr. Robert Cialdini, author of Influence: The Power of Persuasasion, explains that this technique works because of a principle he calls Commitment and Consistency:

ciadini-quote-commitment-consistency

On our own landing pages, we start by asking questions that are easy to answer, and then progressively get more personal.

We’ve found that these “micro conversions” make it more likely for the prospect to then later fill out more personal details such as their name and contact information:

multi-step-landing-page-threat
We’ve built all our lead gen efforts around multi-step landing pages. Image source.

Call to action temperature testing

A common mistake a lot of our clients make prior to working with us is that they use the same call to action for all their PPC traffic: search, social, video and display.

This is problematic because different types of PPC traffic have different levels of intent.

For example, people seeing your ads through the Search Network can be people really close to converting (depending on keyword intent), but the Display Network typically has visitors who are a few steps behind. (I wrote about this on the Unbounce blog before.)

klientboost-ppc-thermometer
We have found that display leads are typically colder than leads acquired through the search network.

If a certain PPC channel isn’t converting for you, sometimes switching up the offer — and the call to action — can make all the difference.

We’ve found that the offers on the left work well for cold leads, whereas the offers on the right work better for warm leads:

klientboost-match-ppc-channel-temperature
We made this to use internally at KlientBoost.

As with most PPC tactics, this requires a bit of testing. And don’t forget to have a means of nurturing cold leads down the funnel.

Local visuals: Make ‘em feel at home

Remember how you can improve conversion rates by changing phone numbers and headlines to appear more local to the visitor’s location?

You can also do that with your hero shot and other visuals you’re using on your landing page.

We ran a test for a roofing company who advertised in several states. Because we were able to split up the PPC traffic based on geography, we were able to funnel all visitors to a dedicated landing with visuals that matched the local feel:

local-visuals-a-b-test

The result?

Conversion rates increased by 22%.

It seems so simple, yet it’s a bit of work to set up.

But the payoff is immense.

Hidden fields sales tracking

This very moment, you’re likely bidding on multi intent keywords that may bring you conversions (leads, demos, or trials), but will never turn into sales.

But with hidden fields sales tracking like Google’s ValueTrack parameters, you’re able to create hidden fields on your landing page to capture lead information, along with other nifty data, like:

  • The keyword they typed in
  • The device they were using
  • The landing page URL they converted on
  • The geographic location they were in

With your CRM lead entry that now has all that additional bulleted info, you’re able to go back to your PPC accounts and learn not just what keyword gave you the lead, but what keyword gave you the sale in other words, which of your keywords have the highest closing rate.

With that information, you’ll find that you’re able to afford higher CPAs for certain conversions compared to others, and this will ultimately help you get higher volumes of the right type of conversions.

How’d you do that?

PPC landing page testing can be complex, but these few tricks above are what help us double the performance for our clients.

These tips will help you customize your landing pages, resulting in better marketing experiences that convert better.

So you can pull more rabbits conversions out of your hat PPC campaigns.

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PPC Landing Page Magic: Secrets Revealed [GIFOGRAPHIC]

A/B Testing Basics: Margin of Error

margin-of-error

Margin of Error: An expression for the maximum expected difference between the true population parameter and a sample estimate of that parameter. When you are analyzing a statistical experiment or study and progress from discussing the test sample results to discussing the whole population that the sample represents, there will always be a margin of error attached to any estimated values. The margin of error will be stated with a “plus or minus” (+/-) in front of it, meaning you are just as likely to be above or below your estimated value by the same amount. Despite the word “error”…

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A/B Testing Basics: Margin of Error

10 Questions to Ask Yourself When Your Conversion Rates Are Below Average

10-questions-ab-test-blog
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Check and maintain your conversion rates often, just like you would your car. Image via Shutterstock.

A major faux pas I often see with conversion rates is that businesses only seem to to address them when alarms are triggered.

Conversion rates require ongoing maintenance and should be regular focal points in your optimization and marketing efforts. Like a vehicle engine, they should be checked and maintained regularly.

When conversion rates aren’t what you had expected, it’s not uncommon for marketers and business owners to start making knee-jerk tweaks to on-page elements, hoping to lift conversions through A/B testing. While there may be some benefit to tweaking the size of buttons and adjusting landing page headlines and CTAs, there’s a great deal more to conversion optimization.

You must take a scientific approach that includes qualitative and quantitative data, rather than an à la carte strategy of piecing together what you think might be most effective.

Before making any changes to your landing pages, ask yourself these 10 critical questions:

1. Is there an audience/market fit for the product?

Analyzing the market for your product is something you do in the early stages of product development before launching. It’s part of gathering initial research on your audience and what they want or need. When you experience conversion problems, you may want to revisit this.

Use keyword tools, and platforms like Google Trends to discover the volume of interest in your particular product. If the traffic shows a steady or growing interest, then how well does the product in its current form align with the needs of the people searching for it?

Revisit your audience research and review the needs and problems of your customer. Make sure your product addresses those needs and provides a solution. Then look to how you position the product to ensure customers can see the value.

2. How accurate is your audience-targeting strategy?

There’s nothing quite as frustrating as watching hundreds of people visit your product or landing pages, only to be left with empty carts and no opt-ins.

visitors-no-conversions

It’s not easy to figure out what’s holding them back, but one of the first questions you should ask is whether you’re targeting the right people.

You may very well have a great product for the market, but if you’re presenting it to the wrong audience then you’ll never generate significant interest. This holds true for major, established brands as much as new startups.

Don’t start A/B testing without reading this ebook!

Learn how to build, test and optimize your landing pages with The Ultimate Guide to Landing Page Optimization.
By entering your email you’ll receive weekly Unbounce Blog updates and other resources to help you become a marketing genius.

3. Has trust been established?

Asking people to hand over personal and financial information on the web requires a huge leap of faith. You need to establish trust before asking them to add a product to their carts and complete the checkout process or even to give you their email address.

One study from Taylor Nelson Sofres showed that consumers might terminate as many as 70% of online purchases due to a lack of trust. People may really want what you’re selling, but if they don’t trust you, then they’ll never convert.

There are several ways to establish and grow trust, which include:

establish-trust
Testimonials, notable recognitions and brand affiliations help to build trust among prospective customers. Image via ContentMarketer.io.

4. Do customers understand the benefits and value?

For customers, everything comes down to value, which is the foundation of your unique selling positions (USP.) You can’t just convince someone to buy something through conversion tricks like big buttons and snappy graphics. If they don’t understand the product’s value or how it might benefit them, then they have no reason to buy.

You have to communicate the value of your products accurately and succinctly, breaking down what you’re selling to the most basic level so your customer sees the benefits, rather than just the features.

Here’s a great example that I took from Unbounce:

unbounce-lp-benefits

This landing page put a big the value proposition right up front, mixing in high-impact benefit statements that help seat the value with the audience.

5. What is the purchase experience really like?

It’s important to understand the journey your customer has to follow in order to reach the point where they’re willing to convert. While your landing pages or ecommerce site might look clean, the next step toward a conversion could make the whole thing come crashing down.

Providing top-notch user experiences across all devices is imperative, which includes minimizing the number of clicks necessary to complete the transaction.

Complicated site navigation and checkout processes are among the top causes of cart abandonment. Test your conversion paths internally, and consider trying out a service like UserTesting.com to get unbiased consumer feedback on your UX.

6. Where are the leaks in the funnel?

Figuring out where people exit your site can be a good indicator of why people leave —– at the very least, it can help you narrow down where to start your investigation. Working backwards from the exit point can uncover friction points you didn’t even know existed.

Open your analytics and monitor the visitor flow. Pay close attention to where traffic enters, the number of steps users have to take while navigating from page to page, and trace the point where they typically exit.

Chart your own journey through your website while examining the on-page elements and user experience. Be sure to compare visitor behavior with your funnel visualization to determine when a leak is actually a leak.

7. What are the biggest friction points?

Friction in your sales funnel can be defined as anything that gets in the way of a conversion, either by slowing it down or stopping it completely. Some friction points might include:

  • Slow load times
  • Too many form fields
  • Too many clicks to complete an action
  • Hidden or missing information (like withholding shipping or contact information)
  • Poorly written copy and readability issues
  • Stop words
  • Garish design

(For additional insights into possible friction points in your own funnel, this article from Jeremy Smith, posted on Kissmetrics is a wealth of knowledge.)

You can reduce friction on your own site by taking small steps and testing them to see how they alter your conversion rates. Ask as few questions as possible, avoid overwhelming the customer with too many options, aim for clean and pleasing designs and hire a pro copywriter to make a stronger connection through words.

One of the simplest examples of improvement through the removal of friction comes from Expedia.

expedia-split-test
One seemingly insignificant change can have a dramatic impact on conversion. Image source.

By removing the “company name” field — just a single field on the submission form — Expedia made it easier for people to complete the form. That reduction in friction led to a $12 million increase in profit.

Given the size of Expedia and the volume of traffic they see, you could expect to see a lift like this through A/B testing. Changes don’t always being about such dramatic results, but you’ll never know the potential unless you start testing to remove those friction points in your funnel.

8. How do my customers feel about the process?

When you have concerns about your conversion rates, often the best place to turn for insights are the consumers.

Use feedback tools like a consumer survey to reach out to current customers, as well as those who abandoned their carts midway through the shopping experience. Ask them to provide information on why they made a purchase, why they chose not to, difficulties they experienced while on your site, feedback on design, etc.

This approach not only provides quality insight into what could be the likely cause of poor conversions, but also shows customers (and potential customers) that you’re making an effort to improve your site based on their feedback.

9. What does the data say?

Whenever possible, you want to make changes based on the data you’ve accumulated. Don’t focus solely on the conversion metrics of your website; analyze the data from your social ads and insights, visitor flow, bounce rates, time spent on page and more. Let the data drive your actions; otherwise you’re just firing wildly into the dark and hoping to hit your target.

Whether we’re talking about the ROI for content marketing or boosting ecommerce sales, data always matters. When you make changes, measure the new data and monitor those changes against the original. It’s the only way to know if you’re headed in the right direction.

10. How are my competitors selling this?

While I always warn people not to follow their competitors, you should still be aware of what they’re doing to leverage competitive insights garnered from their market research.

If your conversions are plummeting for specific products or services, look to the competition. How are they positioning their products? What are they doing differently to hook and engage the target audience? Draw comparisons and see how they align with the insights you’ve gleaned from your data to determine which elements you should test and improve upon.

Over to you for the questions

Now it’s time to look at your funnel and start asking the tough questions:

  • Do you need to re-verify product/market fit?
  • How accurate is your audience targeting?
  • Does your audience trust you?
  • Do your customers understand the benefits and value?
  • What’s the purchase experience like for the customer?
  • Where are the leaks in the funnel?
  • Are there major friction points killing conversions?
  • What feedback can customers offer about the process?
  • What does your data say about the conversion process?
  • What are your competitors doing right?

Remember to pay close attention to the numbers and make your changes based on data — not assumptions.

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10 Questions to Ask Yourself When Your Conversion Rates Are Below Average

The Crazy Egg Guide to Conversion Copywriting

the crazy egg guide to conversion copywriting

PPC campaigns, email marketing, social media management, SEO optimization or good old fashioned word of mouth. All viable and potentially profitable methods to grow your brand. But they’re also all very different. A PPC expert couldn’t run a successful email campaign, just as a social media guru might struggle to achieve better SERP rankings. Marketing is a multifaceted beast. Yet, regardless of the different stratagems, approaches or “hacks” required for each marketing process, there’s one element that is present throughout. Good copywriting. Call me biased, but any of the above-mentioned areas of marketing would fall flat without good copywriting. Keyword…

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The Crazy Egg Guide to Conversion Copywriting

Why Traffic Shaping is So Dang Fantastic for Conversion Rates

Do you remember the Windows game Pipe Dream? In it, the player creates a continuous “goo” path using randomly assigned pieces of pipe.

pipe-dream-traffic-shaping

Fail to build a path in time and the goo oozes everywhere… Game over.

For a marketer, the pipe pieces are your web pages. And the goo? Your visitors. Fail to provide your visitors with a logical next step and it’s game over.

A logical next step could mean many things, like a sale or a signup. Or maybe it’s simply to keep your prospects on your website by strategically presenting them with opportunities to learn more about what you have to offer.

Like pipe building, traffic shaping is all about creating incentivized pathways that convince users to go where you want them to go. It’s effective for:

  • getting visitors from low-converting to high-converting pages.
  • showing visitors relevant offers based on what they’re currently browsing.
  • recommending further reading thereby keeping visitors on site.

But first, why is this tactic even necessary?

Take a look at your analytics. You’ll probably find your highest-traffic pages aren’t necessarily your highest-converting pages. In many cases, that’s okay; the purpose of a blog post is different from a pricing page. But that’s not to say you should ignore your organic visitors. Instead, you should provide them with clear paths to the “next step.” And that’s when traffic shaping comes in.

Using overlays as a traffic-shaping tool

So how can marketers engage users on high-converting pathways that produce better results? How can we move users through the pipes and follow our desired path?

One great way of doing this is by using a traffic shaping overlay.

Psst: Unbounce recently launched our own suite of overlays called Convertables. Install one in seconds on any of your web pages, and set it to trigger on exit, on arrival, on scroll or after delay.

Traffic shaping overlays are designed to either move visitors from low-converting pages to high-converting pages or to re-engage them with additional content. They never have a form, and they’re best triggered either on exit or after delay.

Here’s a diagram of how traffic shaping with overlays works:

traffic-shaping
Not unlike Pipe Dream, amirite?

As you can see, traffic shaping overlays offer a unique way to better align your needs with the needs of your visitors: you want to move them farther down your sales funnel and they want the incentive to do so.

Here are a few use cases with real-life examples to get you thinking ‘bout how you can use traffic shaping overlays in your own overlay strategy:

Use case #1: Cross-Sell

Blog visitors are prime candidates for traffic shaping overlays because they’ve already spent time absorbing your content and familiarizing themselves with your brand. They likely recognize your brand — heck, they may even be regular readers — but they may overlook your on-site calls to action.

A cross-sell overlay can help focus a user’s attention on a relevant offer.

Here’s an example…

cta-conf-traffic-shaping-overlay

This overlay (yes, it’s ours) was installed on a high-traffic post about the best digital marketing conferences to attend in 2016.

Figuring that people who read about conferences also go to conferences, we saw an opportunity to cross-sell tickets to our own conference at a greatly reduced price.

Use case #2: Re-engage with more content

Keeping visitors on your blog or resource library has a lot of advantages. The more they stick around, the more opportunities you have to:

  • Show visitors that you understand their pain and are uniquely qualified to help alleviate it
  • Educate visitors about your solution (ideally the solution to their burning marketing pain)

A strategically placed exit overlay on your blog can help keep visitors on site by recommending content similar to what they were reading previously:

content-re-engage-traffic-shaping-overlay

This type of overlay is most effective when targeted at first-time visitors. These are the prospects that need a lil’ warming up before you ask them for their email address.

But back to Pipe Dream…

When you think of traffic shaping like playing Pipe Dream, you realize that building a logical path is just as important for you as it is the user. You don’t want to lose your visitors any more than your visitors want to be stopped in their tracks.

By implementing traffic shaping overlays on your web pages, you can better align your needs with the needs of your visitors. And that, my friends, is how everyone wins.

Find out how you can use overlays for traffic shaping, lead gen, sales and more!

Download Unbounce’s newest ebook, 12 Proven Ways to Convert with Overlays
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Why Traffic Shaping is So Dang Fantastic for Conversion Rates

What is a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) ?

unique selling proposition

A unique characteristic of a product or brand identified by the marketer as the one on which to base a promotional campaign; often used in a product differentiation approach to promotion. A USP is a ‘Unique Selling Proposition,’ or a ‘Unique Selling Point.’ In other words, it’s the reason why someone should buy from you, and not from another vendor in the same space with a similar product. Why use Slack and not Facebook at work? Why buy pizza from Papa John’s and not Pizza Hut? How Does a USP Work? Some businesses are the only one in their field….

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What is a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) ?