All posts by Jennifer Pepper

How Just One Ecommerce Popup Offer Helped Canvas Factory Generate 1.1 Million in Revenue

Canvas Factory's Popup Success

When you hear ‘website popup’ in a marketing context, my bet is—as a discerning marketer—you all but cringe. Surely these boxes that jump up in the middle of a screen are for low-level marketers. They’re scammy, make you lose your train of thought, nobody likes them,…you’d never use ‘em.

But can you really hate popups if they’re found to drive results?

As heated as the debate can get, Richard Lazazzera, an ecommerce entrepreneur and Content Strategist at Shopify has a fair point in this reply to a comment on his blog post:

Image via the Shopify blog.

And drive sales they can.

By experimenting with popup overlays, Auckland-based Canvas Factory (an ecommerce shop providing high-quality canvas prints) has found a ton of success engaging prospects at exactly the right time.

Using just one popup that appears across several of their domains, Canvas Factory discovered the targeting that worked best for them, and—most importantly—brought in 1.1 million USD in revenue(!) via their offer.

In today’s post, we’ll share Canvas Factory’s story, along with some lessons learned, so that—if you’re tempted—you too can convert more site visitors.

Canvas Factory’s approach to ecommerce popups

Similar to many ecommerce brands, Canvas Factory wanted to convert more of the visitors leaving their site empty handed. They’d realized some prospects only needed a moderate incentive to get over any purchase anxiety, so they had started offering a small discount via a coupon.

Eventually they wondered if the coupon would perform even better if delivered via a popup at the right moment.

Experimenting, they created this popup overlay in Unbounce for their site:

One of Canvas Factory’s domains outfitted with their popup.

They duplicated this one design eight times for running across different domains on certain URLs. The copy was the same for each, offering $10 off someone’s first order in exchange for an email, and only appeared as someone was actively trying to leave the site, once per visitor.

The main difference was location. The brand ran four of these overlays across their product pages on their Australian and New Zealand domains, while another four appeared on the Canvas Factory blog across the same domains.

How’d the experiment go?

The Unbounce popup overlay has now been running from November 2016 to present and in comparing the period before using the popups to promote this same coupon code to now:

  • Canvas Factory has seen a 6% to 9% increase in use of the coupon, and
  • Subscription to their mailing list has grown by over 14.3%.

Now the brand’s marketers can do a better job actively nurturing prospects claiming the coupon, and re-marketing to successful first-time customers.

But in terms of the bottom line? Managing Director Tim Daley says it best:
Tim from Canvas Factory

“Unbounce played a key part in Canvas Factory’s conversion rate optimization activity for our subscriber campaign. This has contributed to over $1.1 million dollars in purchases.”

$1.1 million the brand may not have otherwise seen had they not tried the overlay? If that’s not making you reconsider whether or not your personal distaste for popups should stop you from trying one out, I’m not sure what will.

That said…

How’d the brand track success?

Tim tells us the coupon use was measured by integrating Unbounce popup overlays with their mail platform and their payment gateway CS-Cart:

“This [integration] allows us, per country level, to collect new subscribers, partition [them] to relevant country and then track their individual and group purchase application of the coupon acquired through the popup.”

Ultimately the integration lets Canvas Factory see:

  • How many customers are using coupons + how many discounts are being used total
  • Total revenue before and after coupons are applied
  • Average order value before and after coupons are applied
  • What kind of customers the brand’s attracting with coupons

All very useful factors in understanding how long a campaign like this is feasible for, and experimenting with different discounts.

Want to push your lead data collected via landing pages, sticky bars, and popup overlays through to your mail platforms and other tools? See our Integrations Powered by Zapier and all the connections available right in Unbounce.

It’s all about location: A lesson on why popups in the wrong place are a big mistake

Your gut feeling that popups can be scammy? It’s not far off. If used incorrectly at the wrong time or on the wrong URL of your site, they certainly can be. We’ve all seen these types of popups and they’re maddening.

In Canvas Factory’s case, it wasn’t as simple as create the popup, set it and forget it. In running their Unbounce popup overlay in several locations, they’ve learned placement and timing is critical.

In Tim’s case, he discovered that the blog wasn’t the proper placement for this particular offer, it was simply too soon in the buyer journey to be offering someone a discount. With posts on the brand’s blog aimed to help you take better photos of your kids and other photography tips, this level of awareness doesn’t really align with wanting to purchase right away.

Overall, Canvas Factory’s blog popup conversion rate was 0.18% versus the up to 11% conversion rate they’d seen on product pages where the purchase intent was likely higher.

As outlined above, aim to align your offers with buyer intent.

The lesson:

If you choose the right place for your offer (pricing pages and high commitment URLs in Canvas Factory’s case), you’ll see results because you offered a timely and relevant incentive. In the wrong place, however, you simply won’t see the results you want, and worse, you’ll irritate and annoy your visitors.

Get actionable tips on where to place your popups, and which types of messages perform best in our Best Practice Guide.

So you shouldn’t use popups on your blog?

No—Canvas Factory’s unique experience isn’t to say that popups on your blog won’t work, because they definitely can. You just have to choose the right kind of offer and perfect targeting. Because your blog readers may not be product aware yet, you need to align your offer with the level of awareness readers do have about your company (i.e. they might be open to a free in-depth ebook about the exact topic they’re already reading about).

You might also try directing your blog traffic to an even higher-converting area of your site.

Here’s a super relevant clickthrough popup Seer’s Wil Reynolds uses to offer up more relevant content on his site:

By proactively serving up what prospects might want next, Seer becomes more trustworthy and keeps people engaged on their site longer (which is a great sign in Google’s eyes). You can make traffic shaping like this the goal of some of your popups in locations where a higher-commitment ask doesn’t make sense.

Try an Experiment Yourself

Overall, popups can definitely be annoying when used aggressively or poorly (there’s no arguing that) but, as we’ve seen with Canvas Factory, proper targeting and relevant offers can make all the difference to both marketers and site visitors who can be receptive to proper incentives at the right time.

If you’ve got a great campaign or offer running, a well-timed and targeted popup could ensure all the right people see it and that you don’t leave opportunities on the table.

Try an Ecommerce popup from Unbounce today

Link: 

How Just One Ecommerce Popup Offer Helped Canvas Factory Generate 1.1 Million in Revenue

Real Estate Landing Pages (Our Customer Favorites + Why We Think They’re Great)

Whether you’re an independent realtor or work at a real estate agency, you can gain a competitive advantage if you have owned digital properties to drive your paid and social traffic to.

Owned properties — like landing pages — provide you more control in real estate versus relying on popular listing sites where the journey isn’t always clear, you can’t customize your call to action or match your branding.

In short, real estate marketing can really benefit from lead capture landing pages because they allow you to:

  • Establish and grow your mailing list, ensuring you can follow up with and remarket to interested prospects later.
  • Showcase properties especially well, creating urgency and delivering especially compelling offers (like granting early access to listings, for example).
  • Track social and paid campaigns better. With a listing site you don’t have access to metrics and can’t determine ROI as quickly as you can with a landing page.

Ultimately, you can use landing pages to understand exactly who is interested in a property, entice prospects to book appointments (or other offers) and wow new clients with on-brand design.

In this post I’ll break down some of the best ways to start using real estate landing pages with a few examples from Unbounce customers.

1. Showcase your listings (and grow your mailing list)

At minimum, every real estate broker needs a place to share listings online. But ideally, you’ll want to own the experience.

RE/MAX agents Matthew Davidson and Kimbe MacMaster know this first-hand.

These independent agents use Unbounce landing pages to showcase an overview of a property: quick stats, a photo gallery, a video and details on the community. And while a property is available, prospects can book a showing as the call to action:

Featuring trendy parallax scroll, this page converts at 0.38%. Click to view full-length landing page.

Once the listing is sold (nice work Matthew and Kimbe!), the CTA changes to allow interested parties to sign up for early notice for similar listings in the future:

This post-sale CTA swap is a terrific way to build your email list for advertising similar properties in the future.

Having used the Unbounce Loft template, Matthew and Kimbe can simply duplicate this page each time they need a dedicated place to feature a listing. This allows the duo to be listing-specific when they link from a Facebook or search ad, ensuring a seamless ad-to-landing-page experience for potential buyers.

According to the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report, 41.6% of marketers in real estate have at least one page that converts under 1.3%, so Matthew and Kimbe’s conversion rate above is in line with what we see for many real estate marketers.

See how your conversion rates stack up in real estate (and nine other popular industries)

Download the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report to see how your landing page performance compares to your competitors.

By entering your email you’ll receive other resources to help you improve your conversion rates.

2. Entice buyers with exclusive pre-sale info, floor plans, price lists and more

Booking viewings of individual properties is great, but what if the real estate you’re selling is still in development?

Working with large and small-scale real estate developers, Rennie helps their developer clients plan and execute all aspects of their marketing and sales strategy, including online advertising. As part of their online strategy, they create project-specific landing pages and direct all paid traffic to those pages to gather leads.

Here’s an example created for The Pacific by Grosvenor:

This real estate landing page currently converts at 7.92%. Click to view full-length page.

Jennie Sebastian, Rennie’s Digital Marketing & CRM Manager, shared that the marketing team typically has a kick-off meeting five to six weeks before a campaign. Once they determine targeting and put together a media schedule, creative — including development of the landing page — can begin.

The campaigns typically employ search ads, display, Facebook, Instagram and WeChat, but the team is always looking for new ways to reach their target audiences.

As many real estate marketers can likely empathize with, Jennie shared:

One of the biggest challenges in online marketing is coming up with a strong call to action that entices users to provide us with their personal information.

Depending on the phase of the project and assets available, CTAs range from, “Sign up now for early access” and “Download all floorplans now,” to “Book a private appointment now.”

Through numerous A/B tests the Rennie team has found that more specific CTAs convert significantly better than more generic ones, as they clearly articulate to a prospect what they are receiving in exchange for their information.

Which brings us to landing page idea number three…

3. Get prospects to picture themselves in their dream home with a virtual tour

Just as Jennie from Rennie told us above, compelling CTAs are very important in real estate marketing, and offering a virtual tour has proven to be very effective for their team:

We recently offered a virtual tour using special 360 degree photography for one of our projects in Calgary. After updating the CTA to “Take a virtual tour now,” we saw a significant increase in the conversion rate.

Here’s an example page of theirs, which converts at 4.15%:

Click to view the full-length landing page.

Clicking the CTA button triggers a form gating the tour:

Even if you can’t wrangle 360 photography, you can still get prospects to picture themselves in their dream home.

Simple videos, photo galleries, or even the hero image on your landing page can do the trick. But be sure to test.

Example test of hero image variants

Here’s an example from Coronation Properties via digital agency Rocket. They test variations of their pages with different key elements of a property featured in the hero image.

Here’s a variant wherein the bedroom is the hero shot:

And another where the kitchen takes the spotlight:

The takeaway here?

Get creative with videos, 360 tours, or even experimenting with your hero shot, to give clients a glimpse into the property that’s right for them.

4. Offer up relevant listings to abandoning visitors

While landing pages clearly offer a competitive advantage in real estate, you also want to ensure you’ve optimized your website for conversions.

As our customers at Brixio know, you can try out an Unbounce overlay to ensure you’re not missing out on conversion opportunities. Overlays allow you to show relevant offers to specific users at the perfect time, making them less likely to leave your website without converting

Unbounce Convertables

We love their idea for an overlay triggered to appear on exit to those leaving a website, tempting potential real estate buyers with off-market or exclusive listings.

Here’s a preview of what they had in mind:

With Unbounce, you can launch your overlay at any point during someone’s visit on your website: on exit, on arrival, after delay, on scroll and on click. Find out how Unbounce overlays work here.

5. Test a simple value prop to prompt more commitment-heavy offers

For marketers in the business of custom real estate, your offer of a tailor-made home is much more commitment-heavy than simply moving into an existing place.

This poses an interesting challenge: interested prospects likely have many questions, may be exploring many options and need a reason to trust you immediately.

Here’s agency Rocket’s solution: an on-brand, clear landing page (where prospects can “enquire today”):

This page converts at 1.84%. Click to view full-length landing page.

This small offer accompanied by all the fine details serves as a type of micro conversion, ensuring Manor Homes’ prospects have the chance to reach out and get the conversation started about a custom home.

Get creative with your own micro conversion incentives! For example, you may want to consider inviting prospects to download a collection of your custom homes to preview at their leisure.

6. Offer up relevant content marketing (so you can nurture leads later)

Plenty of businesses use content marketing to reach their target audience, and as Edina Realty knows, this applies to the real estate industry too.

As a subsidiary of Home Services of America, Edina Realty’s licensed pros guide customers through home buying and selling. To provide the most value to their clients, they deliver unique and useful content via custom landing pages.

Check out this Unbounce landing page they created to distribute their Ultimate Guide to Selling Your Home – it converts at a whopping 18%:

Click to view full-length landing page.

By combining content strategy with retargeting, Edina Realty is able to reach prospective leads throughout the funnel and deliver quality leads to their agents.

Hannah Kaeter, Digital Marketing Manager at Edina Realty, told us about the importance of educating leads:

One of the key challenges in our market is a low inventory of homes for sale at lower price points. With this challenge comes an opportunity to educate potential sellers — many of them first-time sellers — about the process so they can evaluate and make informed decisions about their own property and situation.

Ready to build your digital property?

Overall, the above examples illustrate the importance of having a dedicated place to send your paid and social traffic, which can make all the difference in whether you can track the ROI of your real estate marketing. This beats relying on common listing sites — especially in the case of condo developments or offers that require sophisticated branding or high commitment, like custom homes.

Replicate the success of these realtors with Unbounce’s real estate templates, and be sure to download our Conversion Benchmark Report for a breakdown of where you stand in this industry.

View this article – 

Real Estate Landing Pages (Our Customer Favorites + Why We Think They’re Great)

How to Improve Your PPC Reporting (And Your Landing Page Strategy, Too)

Once upon a time, “Pay-Per-Click (PPC)” referred to a digital marketing practice where companies were charged each time somebody clicked on their search engine ads.

But with the rise of social, display and programmatic platforms, PPC marketing has expanded to involve more than search engines alone. These days, PPC specialists run paid campaigns across a variety of channels, and while the territory has changed, the reporting tactics haven’t.

Why your PPC reports aren’t awesome

You’re not alone if you find that the following things are holding you back from the advanced PPC reporting of your dreams.

1. The same words are used for different things

Most PPC specialists still end up pulling the same reports about the same quantitative metrics from Google Analytics. The problem is that different platforms (Facebook Audience Insights, Google AdWords Dimensions tab, Google Analytics, Bing Reporting) speak different languages.

Each platform’s PPC attribution models are different, their user data tracking is different, even some of their definitions are different.

Just look at how we measure “clicks.” On Adwords or Bing, a “click” means someone clicked from an ad through to your website. Meanwhile on Facebook, a “click” could mean clicking from an ad through to your Facebook page, your website, or just reacting to the ad itself.

Cbc GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY

With different platforms and tools telling you different things, it’s pretty easy to make inaccurate conclusions about your PPC performance.

2. Your reports rely purely on baseline metrics

Tactics and terminology aside, these quantitative metrics don’t paint the full qualitative picture. Seeing that your click-through rates have increased doesn’t necessarily explain why.

If you saw that the cost of bread went down one day, you wouldn’t blindly assume that production of wheat got cheaper overnight. You would look into the expiry date, the shelf date and examine the product to try to understand the story behind the numbers.

So what do your metrics actually mean, and how can they help you drive more qualified traffic to your site? We’re here to help you generate insights from your PPC reports and show you how PPC performance can impact your landing page strategy.

How to Build PPC Reports that Actually Are Awesome

You want your PPC reports to provide takeaways that you can use to optimize your campaigns. There are a few measures you can take, together or on their own, to better understand your campaign performance.

Determine a baseline and track conversions by channel

Surprise, surprise! A conversion is one more metric that differs by channel. This is partly because each platform has a different attribution model, and partly because users have different intentions and behaviours per platform.

For example, cost-per-clicks (CPCs) tend to be cheaper on Bing because there is less competition and a higher conversion rate due to an older demographic:

bing keywords example

On the other hand, it’s easier to max out impression share and budget on Bing because there is less overall search volume compared to Google:

Google keyword example

Similarly, a user landing on your website through a non-branded keyword is less likely to convert than someone clicking through a branded keyword. It can be even harder to identify intent through social platforms, as users scrolling through feeds may come across your ad and engage out of interest but not be ready to convert.

Establishing platform-specific KPIs is an essential step to ensure you know what success looks like on every channel.

Qualify your visitors and monitor by segment

Given that each individual user’s intention varies by platform, it’s important to target your ads where they will be best received.

Instead of assuming every interaction is equal, use your platform insights to identify key audience groups and segment for target personas.

Monitor how your paid traffic fluctuates overall and by target audiences:

  • How do your audiences convert differently across various platforms?
  • How do you measure success differently between your branded and non-branded search campaigns?
  • How are you targeting different user segments through social campaigns?

A great way to identify whether you’re attracting relevant traffic is by keeping a close eye on your Search Query Report in AdWords and Bing. This report allows you to see exactly what people typed into the search engine when your ad appeared, so that you can adjust your keywords accordingly.

Track absolutely everything

Are you noticing an abnormal bounce rate or reduced number of sessions week over week through a specific source or medium? Setting up event tracking through Google Tag Manager can help you better understand on-site behavior and create custom metrics.

Your primary conversion may be an e-commerce purchase, but that doesn’t mean newsletter sign ups aren’t valuable. Tracking micro-conversions can give you a clearer idea of how people are engaging with your site and where there might be gaps in information.

At our Call to Action conference, Dana DiTomaso advocated for Google Data Studio as a great way to combine all your data into custom reports and dashboards.

If you’re doing cross-channel online advertising (which you no doubt are), it’s important to be able to see all your metrics visualized in one place. It makes it easier to draw analyses and gather insights to then share with colleagues or clients.

PPC Reporting + Landing Pages = Even More Awesome

Of course, it’s not enough to just put your conversions and KPIs into a beautiful report — it’s what you do with your PPC insights that matters.

Let’s say you spent years learning how to make smart investments. You met with stockbrokers, studied the market and opened a brokerage account. Would you expect money to just start rolling in? Of course not — because you actually have to invest to see results.

Similarly, in order to make the most of your PPC insights, you have to act on them.

Begin by applying insights from your PPC metrics into your landing pages. You want to customize your landing pages to meet the needs of your key audiences so you can give users exactly what they’re looking for.

To this end, Dynamic Text Replacement (DTR) can be used to sync up search queries to the landing page.

In this example of a landing page for a music school, the instrument type is swapped out depending on which ad is clicked.

Say a website sells furniture. If one user searches for “modern leather sofas” and another for “comfortable leather couches,” the ad copy for each result should reflect the search language.

The ads could then take users to the same landing page, but DTR would generate different titles or subheading text accordingly to match these original search terms. Everything else on the page may be the same, but both users would feel like they found exactly what they were looking for. This keeps landing pages hyper-relevant (and high-converting), and saves hours of redundant work.

Want to preview how you can use DTR to ensure relevance from ad to landing page? Try it out.

Google cares about the relevance of landing pages to ads, and has recently introduced more in-depth Quality Score metrics within the AdWords interface.

This makes it easier to see exactly what is affecting your Quality Score and which area you should improve on, whether it be ad relevance, landing page experience or expected CTR.

By syncing up your ads and landing pages, you can provide a frictionless experience to users and increase conversions.

Strong landing pages can also improve PPC performance as they increase Quality Score and landing page relevance, which lowers your CPC and increases ad ranking. This way, the users receive information that is highly relevant to what they are searching for.

Now to put a now on it

When all is said and done, landing pages should be A/B tested so you know which on-page factors lead to higher conversion rates. That way, your next PPC campaign can be informed by your landing page results, and your future landing pages can be informed by your PPC campaign performance. If that’s not a beautiful full circle, then we don’t know what is.

Continued:

How to Improve Your PPC Reporting (And Your Landing Page Strategy, Too)

How to Create More Actionable PPC Reports (That’ll Improve Your Landing Page Strategy, Too)

Once upon a time, “Pay-Per-Click (PPC)” referred to a digital marketing practice where companies were charged each time somebody clicked on their search engine ads.

But with the rise of social, display and programmatic platforms, PPC marketing has expanded to involve more than search engines alone. These days, PPC specialists run paid campaigns across a variety of channels, and while the territory has changed, the reporting tactics haven’t.

Why your PPC reports aren’t awesome

You’re not alone if you find that the following things are holding you back from the advanced PPC reporting of your dreams.

1. The same words are used for different things

Most PPC specialists still end up pulling the same reports about the same quantitative metrics from Google Analytics. The problem is that different platforms (Facebook Audience Insights, Google AdWords Dimensions tab, Google Analytics, Bing Reporting) speak different languages.

Each platform’s PPC attribution models are different, their user data tracking is different, even some of their definitions are different.

Just look at how we measure “clicks.” On Adwords or Bing, a “click” means someone clicked from an ad through to your website. Meanwhile on Facebook, a “click” could mean clicking from an ad through to your Facebook page, your website, or just reacting to the ad itself.

Cbc GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY

With different platforms and tools telling you different things, it’s pretty easy to make inaccurate conclusions about your PPC performance.

2. Your reports rely purely on baseline metrics

Tactics and terminology aside, these quantitative metrics don’t paint the full qualitative picture. Seeing that your click-through rates have increased doesn’t necessarily explain why.

If you saw that the cost of bread went down one day, you wouldn’t blindly assume that production of wheat got cheaper overnight. You would look into the expiry date, the shelf date and examine the product to try to understand the story behind the numbers.

So what do your metrics actually mean, and how can they help you drive more qualified traffic to your site? We’re here to help you generate insights from your PPC reports and show you how PPC performance can impact your landing page strategy.

How to Build PPC Reports that Actually Are Awesome

You want your PPC reports to provide takeaways that you can use to optimize your campaigns. There are a few measures you can take, together or on their own, to better understand your campaign performance.

Determine a baseline and track conversions by channel

Surprise, surprise! A conversion is one more metric that differs by channel. This is partly because each platform has a different attribution model, and partly because users have different intentions and behaviours per platform.

For example, cost-per-clicks (CPCs) tend to be cheaper on Bing because there is less competition and a higher conversion rate due to an older demographic:

bing keywords example

On the other hand, it’s easier to max out impression share and budget on Bing because there is less overall search volume compared to Google:

Google keyword example

Similarly, a user landing on your website through a non-branded keyword is less likely to convert than someone clicking through a branded keyword. It can be even harder to identify intent through social platforms, as users scrolling through feeds may come across your ad and engage out of interest but not be ready to convert.

Establishing platform-specific KPIs is an essential step to ensure you know what success looks like on every channel.

Qualify your visitors and monitor by segment

Given that each individual user’s intention varies by platform, it’s important to target your ads where they will be best received.

Instead of assuming every interaction is equal, use your platform insights to identify key audience groups and segment for target personas.

Monitor how your paid traffic fluctuates overall and by target audiences:

  • How do your audiences convert differently across various platforms?
  • How do you measure success differently between your branded and non-branded search campaigns?
  • How are you targeting different user segments through social campaigns?

A great way to identify whether you’re attracting relevant traffic is by keeping a close eye on your Search Query Report in AdWords and Bing. This report allows you to see exactly what people typed into the search engine when your ad appeared, so that you can adjust your keywords accordingly.

Track absolutely everything

Are you noticing an abnormal bounce rate or reduced number of sessions week over week through a specific source or medium? Setting up event tracking through Google Tag Manager can help you better understand on-site behavior and create custom metrics.

Your primary conversion may be an e-commerce purchase, but that doesn’t mean newsletter sign ups aren’t valuable. Tracking micro-conversions can give you a clearer idea of how people are engaging with your site and where there might be gaps in information.

At our Call to Action conference, Dana DiTomaso advocated for Google Data Studio as a great way to combine all your data into custom reports and dashboards.

If you’re doing cross-channel online advertising (which you no doubt are), it’s important to be able to see all your metrics visualized in one place. It makes it easier to draw analyses and gather insights to then share with colleagues or clients.

PPC Reporting + Landing Pages = Even More Awesome

Of course, it’s not enough to just put your conversions and KPIs into a beautiful report — it’s what you do with your PPC insights that matters.

Let’s say you spent years learning how to make smart investments. You met with stockbrokers, studied the market and opened a brokerage account. Would you expect money to just start rolling in? Of course not — because you actually have to invest to see results.

Similarly, in order to make the most of your PPC insights, you have to act on them.

Begin by applying insights from your PPC metrics into your landing pages. You want to customize your landing pages to meet the needs of your key audiences so you can give users exactly what they’re looking for.

To this end, Dynamic Text Replacement (DTR) can be used to sync up search queries to the landing page.

In this example of a landing page for a music school, the instrument type is swapped out depending on which ad is clicked.

Say a website sells furniture. If one user searches for “modern leather sofas” and another for “comfortable leather couches,” the ad copy for each result should reflect the search language.

The ads could then take users to the same landing page, but DTR would generate different titles or subheading text accordingly to match these original search terms. Everything else on the page may be the same, but both users would feel like they found exactly what they were looking for. This keeps landing pages hyper-relevant (and high-converting), and saves hours of redundant work.

Want to preview how you can use DTR to ensure relevance from ad to landing page? Try it out.

Google cares about the relevance of landing pages to ads, and has recently introduced more in-depth Quality Score metrics within the AdWords interface.

This makes it easier to see exactly what is affecting your Quality Score and which area you should improve on, whether it be ad relevance, landing page experience or expected CTR.

By syncing up your ads and landing pages, you can provide a frictionless experience to users and increase conversions.

Strong landing pages can also improve PPC performance as they increase Quality Score and landing page relevance, which lowers your CPC and increases ad ranking. This way, the users receive information that is highly relevant to what they are searching for.

Now to put a now on it

When all is said and done, landing pages should be A/B tested so you know which on-page factors lead to higher conversion rates. That way, your next PPC campaign can be informed by your landing page results, and your future landing pages can be informed by your PPC campaign performance. If that’s not a beautiful full circle, then we don’t know what is.

Source article – 

How to Create More Actionable PPC Reports (That’ll Improve Your Landing Page Strategy, Too)

Google AdWords Launches Greater Visibility Into Quality Score Components (And What This Means For You)

A recent update to Google AdWords is changing the way performance marketers understand their landing pages’ Quality Scores. Image via Shutterstock.

While Quality Score is a critical factor in your ad performance, it’s always been a bit of a mystery wrapped in an enigma. Marketers have never been able to natively view changes to Quality Score components in AdWords directly. That is — even though expected click through rate, ad relevance and landing page experience scores are the elements contributing to your Quality Score, you haven’t been able to see these individual scores at scale (or for given timeframes) within your AdWords account, or export them into Excel.

Which is why, up until now, some especially savvy marketers have had to improvise workarounds, using third-party scripts to take daily snapshots of Quality Score to have some semblance of historical record — and a better-informed idea as to changes in performance.

Fortunately, an AdWords reporting improvement has brought new visibility into Quality Score components that could help you diagnose some real wins with your ads and corresponding landing pages.

What’s different now?

As you may have already noticed, there are now seven new columns added to your menu of Quality Score metrics including three optional status columns:

  • Expected CTR
  • Ad Relevance and
  • Landing Page Experience

And four revealing historical keyword quality:

  • Quality Score (hist.)
  • Landing Page Experience (hist.)
  • Ad Relevance (hist.)
  • Expected Click Through Rate (hist.)
what's new
Image courtesy of Google’s Inside AdWords blog

This is not new data per se (it’s been around in a different, less accessible form), but as of this month you can now see everything in one spot and understand when certain changes to Quality Score have occurred.

So how can you take advantage?

There are two main ways you can use this AdWords improvement to your advantage as a performance marketer:

1. Now you can see whether your landing page changes are positively influencing Quality Score

Now, after you make changes to a landing page — you can use AdWords’ newest reporting improvement to see if you have affected the landing page experience portion of your Quality Score over time.

This gives you a chance to prove certain things are true about the performance of your landing pages, whereas before you may have had to use gut instinct about whether a given change to a landing page was affecting overall Quality Score (or whether it was a change to the ad, for example).

As Blaize Bolton, Team Strategist at Performance Marketing Agency Thrive Digital told me:

As agency marketers, we don’t like to assume things based on the nature of our jobs. We can now pinpoint changes to Quality Score to a certain day, which is actual proof of improvement. To show this to a client is a big deal.

Overall, if your CPC drops, now you can better understand whether it may be because of changes made to a landing page.

2. You can identify which keywords can benefit most from an updated landing page

Prior to this AdWords update, ad relevancy, expected click through rate and landing page relevancy data existed, but you had to mouse over each keyword to get this data to pop up on a keyword-by-keyword basis. Because you couldn’t analyze the data at scale, you couldn’t prioritize your biggest opportunities for improvement.

Hovering over individual keywords
Image courtesy of Brad Geddes and Search Engine Land

However, now that you can export this data historically (for dates later than January 22, 2016), you can do a deep dive into your campaigns and identify where a better, more relevant landing page could really help.

You can now pull every keyword in your AdWords account — broken out by campaign — and identify any underperforming landing pages.

An Excel Quality Score Deep Dive
Now, an Excel deep dive into your AdWords campaigns can help you reveal landing page weaknesses.

Specifically, here’s what Thrive Digital’s Managing Director Ross McGowan recommends:

You can break down which of your landing pages are above average, or those that require tweaking. For example, you might index your campaigns by the status AdWords provides, assigning anything “Above Average” as 3, “Average” as 2 and “Below Average” as 1. You can then find a weighted average for each campaign or ad group and make a call on what to focus on from there.

What should you do when you notice a low landing page experience score?

As Google states, landing page experience score is an indication of how useful the search engine believes your landing page is to those who click on your ad. They recommend to, “make sure your landing page is clear and useful… and that it is related to your keyword and what customers are searching for.”

In short, it’s very important that your landing pages are highly relevant to your ad. Sending traffic to generic pages on your website may not cut it. Moreover, once you are noticing low landing page engagement scores, it’s time to try optimizing these pages with some quick wins.

In the words of Thrive’s Ross McGowan:

Figure out what a user wants, and do everything you can to tailor the on-page experience to them. Whether that be [using] Dynamic Text Replacement, A/B testing elements to get the best user experience, or spending less time on technical issues and more on writing great content.

Finally, for more on AdWords’ latest improvements, AdAlysis founder Brad Geddes has written a great article on Search Engine Land. His company had enough data on hand to attempt a reverse-engineer of the formula for Quality Score to get a sense of how changes to one of the QS components would impact overall score. His recommendation is much the same as Ross’, in that, if a landing page’s score is particularly low, your best bet is to focus on increasing user’s interaction with the page.

Want to optimize your landing pages?

Read more: 

Google AdWords Launches Greater Visibility Into Quality Score Components (And What This Means For You)

How We Use Google Venture’s 5-Day Sprint to Ship Marketing Campaigns Faster

google-ventures-sprint-650

As marketers, we all love releasing new campaigns and collateral regularly (launch days are the best days, amiright?). But despite best efforts, projects can take much longer than planned and unexpected roadblocks can stop you from shipping as often as you’d like. Even worse, you can spend weeks extending deadlines in search of perfection, only to discover a project doesn’t perform.

Delays and underperformance can hurt more than just your KPIs, too. Morale can tank when your team loses a sense of purpose, momentum and focus. So how can you zero-in on marketing initiatives that will really solve audience problems and ship great work faster?

5-day-sprint-image-bookIn March, three partners from Google Ventures released a book titled Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days. The book shares the tried-and-true sprint model Google Ventures has used to help hundreds of businesses find their focus and solve problems quickly.

In this post, I’ll share what my small marketing team-within-a-team at Unbounce learned from modifying the Google sprint for one of our projects, and why you should consider sprinting with your marketing team, too.

You may not go from idea to polished public launch in just five days, but you will create a prototype you can test with real prospects and customers before investing in the time and resources needed to build the real deal.

With a sprint you’ll:

  • Create content that performs to meet specific goals.
  • Execute new ideas faster.
  • Quickly deliver a polished marketing initiative based on a prototype.
  • Avoid scope creep.
  • Avoid polishing a brick of a project in secret by getting your work in front of customers faster (usability testing is one of the reasons the sprint is so helpful!).

Here’s how we did it.

Modifying Jake Knapp’s five-day sprint

There are tons of awesome details for each stage of the Google sprint in Jake Knapp’s book. And while he specifically warns against modifying the method, we needed to release a live initiative to help customers in 11 days, so we Frankensteined a sprint structure that looked very similar to Google Venture’s, but bent the rules a bit to get our project polished and live in a limited timeframe.

The Unbounce marketing department is structured around autonomous “squads,” each responsible for different phases of the customer lifecycle: Awareness, Evaluation, Adoption and Growth.

As the smallest, and therefore most agile squad of just three people, my team — the Adoption Squad — has found that borrowing pieces from the Google sprint helps us execute on content that addresses our KPIs in weeks instead of months. Instead of launching one large initiative per quarter, we can launch and measure the results of three.

The sprint breakdown

The long-term goal of our sprint was to get a specific number of new Unbounce customers to add their custom domain to their accounts.

For context, by default Unbounce hosts landing pages on a test url: unbouncepages.com, but we encourage new customers to add their own custom url featuring their brand name. This unique url helps convey that a landing page comes from a legitimate, trustworthy source. Our research indicated this was a critical action for our most successful customers, so we wanted to increase the likelihood folks add their domain at the start of a trial.

At the end of our sprint, our small team published a piece of content that made it easier to add your domain to Unbounce, outlining clear steps to completion and explaining why this action is so important:

sprint-landing-page
Built in Unbounce, here’s a part of the landing page we created as a result of our sprint. It helped us exceed our goals for evaluators in just a month.

So how’d the sprint work?

We had a testable prototype created in Unbounce at the end of five days (woohoo! Achievement unlocked!), and with modifications we:

  • Gave ourselves two days to build the prototype instead of just one (moving our actual user test to the following week).
  • Allotted two full research days.
  • Used a week after our 5-day sprint to implement the user test feedback on the prototype and build the final asset.

In short, we added days on to the sprint to conduct adequate research, build and polish up the prototype.

After clearing our calendars to focus solely on the sprint, here’s what our day-to-day looked like:

sprint-lifecycle-final-650
Click for larger image.

By making decisions faster, usability testing the design and managing our scope, our resulting project exceeded our team’s goal by 3X in just a month. Using the sprint, we saved time from ideation to execution and the project influenced our targets set on day one.

What’d we learn along the way?

1. Focus on one problem (or campaign!) at a time

The five-day sprint requires clearing your calendar entirely so your team has time to focus on one challenge for a week. In Sprint, Knapp shares examples of how companies have used the model to solve problems ranging from selling more coffee online, to ensuring hotel relay robots delight guests instead of scaring them. But no matter the company, everyone uses the framework to solve one main problem as opposed to a few at a time.

Our team found the sprint forced us to define the problem we wanted to solve on day one. We went from “let’s run an initiative to help customers,” to the more focused, “let’s get more self-serve customers on trial to add their domain by the end of this quarter.” Identifying a clear end-goal early helps shape your thinking and facilitates faster decision making.

Additionally, having dedicated days to complete each task gives you focus. Usually work days involve lots of context switching, so a sprint can be useful for eliminating distraction. If you have a large piece of content your business could benefit from or an experiment you’ve always wanted to try, a sprint is a terrific way to finally get it done.

2. Call on your company’s experts

Knapp notes that in the same way Danny Ocean called together his specialized crew for a casino heist, you’ll want to include very specific people in your sprint – including:

  • The all-important Decider (who makes the final decisions quickly as needed under time constraints) and
  • The Facilitator (the person who runs the team through the sprint’s activities day by day).

You can find these critical roles defined further in Sprint, but on day one you’ll also want to involve experts outside of your designated sprinters.

In the “ask the experts” part of our sprint, we interviewed three people from outside the Unbounce marketing team who had a different perspective on the problem we were trying to solve. These experts voiced considerations their unique viewpoint allowed them to see. The interviews helped align our team and ensure we avoided assumptions. When running your own sprint, be sure to book these experts in advance.

3. Usability testing can vastly improve your project prototype

Prior to our sprint, I’ll admit I didn’t believe user testing would reveal major oversights in our project that we couldn’t uncover ourselves. It seemed like a time-intensive practice that would add to our work and needlessly expand our deadline.

Now I recognize how shortsighted I was because internal and external user tests can be incredibly valuable. Our sprint’s usability testing helped us refine our project’s flow, discover shortcomings and eliminate assumptions.

To conduct our tests, we set aside one day for recording five hour-long tests and spread them out with a half hour break between them to reset. In each session we include a note taker, and someone to lead the participant through the flow and ask questions.

When testing prototypes with members of your team, some people will naturally slip into review mode. They’ll prescribe specific changes they’d like to see rather than simply navigate through as though they were a lead or customer (I’m very guilty of this as a tester). This is why you must prioritize your feedback — and how you collect this feedback is key.

A critical note taking approach

In Sprint, Jake Knapp shares the “how might we” note taking concept, and it’s been a game changer for our team. When a piece of feedback is given, your aim is to note the core issue (not just write down what the user tester told you might be better).

As an example, your tester might say:

I never read copy at the top of the page like this. Maybe take this part out?

And you’d make a note like:

How might we: accommodate people who skip the copy at the top and go straight to the thumbnail images?

This way, you don’t implement the exact solution a tester may present to you on the spot (it might not be the best advice), and you can address the real problem at hand (i.e. some people scan text, so how can your design better support this?).

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Here’s what our prioritization sheet looked like after user testing. Click for larger image.

Ultimately, you don’t need to please everyone or get consensus with your final project. Usability testing will reveal hundreds of interpretations, and our team found we had to prioritize the feedback to make this part of the sprint worthwhile.

To do this we created a feedback prioritization spreadsheet and used this to rank each “how might we” note received. The sheet dictated which changes we made before launch. To hit our deadline, we only implemented the notes that score the highest based on:

  1. The number of times a piece of feedback is repeated by various testers
  2. The note’s potential to make the project’s content more clear
  3. How likely the note would help us meet our measurable end goal

Not sure which feedback should be implemented before launch?

Steal Unbounce’s feedback prioritization spreadsheet to help determine what needs to get done first.
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4. Group brainstorms aren’t all they’re cracked up to be

One of the components of the sprint that really resonated with me was the time dedicated to individual ideation. Instead of sitting in a boardroom and sharing on-the-spot ideas, the Google sprint involves everyone sketching out their independent ideas for a possible solution. In a marketing context, everyone on your team draws what they think the project’s flow would look like start to finish to solve your problem.

Our team did this and in just an hour and a half we had several sketches to choose from. We displayed each on the wall, browsed through them, and voted on the parts from each we liked the most. This way, no one idea “wins.” Instead, the strengths of each idea are considered.

google-spring-brainstorm

In the end, we were able to combine the best parts of a few sketches to create a hybrid approach, and started prototyping that idea the very next day.

At the end of the third day, the team agreed we couldn’t have come up with the idea we prototyped in a traditional group brainstorm. It was better to think through solutions by ourselves, with time to think about the details.

Half the battle’s in the planning

Using a modified sprint was a great way for our squad to ship an ambitious project on a tight schedule. We were able to think through our decisions and remain data driven, while moving quickly as a team without distractions.

We’ve continued to use the model this year and if your team’s interested in improving your processes or output, we recommend grabbing the book and giving it a try!

View article:

How We Use Google Venture’s 5-Day Sprint to Ship Marketing Campaigns Faster

The Silent Landing Page Conversion Killer (And How to Stop It)

When creating a landing page, you’ve likely wondered, “How much copy should I include?” — a question to which copywriters usually reply, “Well, that depends…”

And it really does depend on the complexity of your offer and about a billion other factors.

Crafting concise copy is tough, so it’s only natural that many landing pages contain too many details.

You might be thinking, “Don’t added details help build a persuasive case for your landing page offer?” (Hey, sometimes you have a high-commitment offer on the table and y’gotta include what’cha gotta include.)

Well, yes… and no.

Including too much irrelevant info on your landing pages is dangerous because it dilutes your message, overwhelms visitors and hurts your conversion rate. If your visitors are slammed with excess copy, they can’t quickly determine what you’re offering, identify whether they want your offer or convert with your (buried) CTA.

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Don’t stand by and watch your landing page conversions get murdered by excess copy. Image via Shutterstock.

You can often recognize a page suffering from information overload because it’ll use external links to direct visitors to even more info (oof!). Using links this way directs your visitors away from your page and, once visitors navigate elsewhere, you’ve lost a conversion opportunity.

Because excess copy is such a common problem, in this post we’ll explore:

  • How to tell if your landing page suffers from info overload
  • How to distinguish between need-to-know and nice-to-know information, and
  • How to start including nice-to-know info on your landing pages without the visual clutter that hurts conversion rates

But first…

Why your pages might suffer from information overload

Typically, people err on the side of too much copy on their landing pages for the following reasons:

  • The page is trying to be everything to everybody. Imagine if Adobe made a landing page for Photoshop and used just one page to appeal to designers, publishing houses, design schools and potential employees. This would result in including too many benefits. If you want your page to convert, you need to be clear on your persona and their specific needs.
  • You’re not clear on your target audience’s stage in the buyer journey. Is your copy trying to appeal to customers in the discovery phase (those who are encountering your product or service for the very first time), or leads in the evaluation stage (determining if they want to purchase from you or a competitor)? Your audience’s level of familiarity with you will inform the amount of detail you should include.
  • There’s confusion around how much info visitors need to convert. Sometimes offers are complex or high-commitment (like a conference ticket purchase) and you need to include fine details. Ask yourself (and test) which details are absolutely essential to persuade prospects to convert.
  • You’re disregarding web writing best practices. Large paragraphs of text are overwhelming and people don’t read web pages like they do books. Everybody scans text online, so break up your copy into easily digestible pieces.
  • The page contains more than one offer — meaning it’s not really operating as a true landing page with only one CTA). Stick to one single landing page (and a singular goal) for each offer you pitch.

An example of info overload in real life

To help illustrate how a good page and good intentions can become a victim to excess copy, let’s take a look at a real example. Art & Victus, an online monthly food subscription box, set up an Unbounce lead gen landing page to collect subscribers for their service:

Art&Victuswithoughtlightbox

The page’s CTA prompts visitors for their email address in exchange for an access code to the invite-only food service.

Great, right?

But this page has limited conversion potential because it includes so much unnecessary info. Just look at those two massive paragraphs!

Moreover, the curators of the service are featured on the page using external links to their social profiles. If visitors click these links, they leave the page and the opportunity to convert is gone. We’re lookin’ at a classic case of info overload, folks.

The large paragraphs of text are signs that Art & Victus haven’t clearly defined need-to-know info versus nice-to-know info for the target audience of this landing page. Decluttering the page to display absolutely needed info more prominently would help this brand prompt a desire for their subscription service and hopefully increase this page’s conversion rate.

Pro tip: Info overload is often a result of skipping the copy development phase in a rush to build a page. Always write your copy first, then start your design in the your page builder.

Introducing a helpful hierarchy

High-converting landing pages often follow a logical sequence of info that’s designed to persuade. The hierarchy is based on answers your target audience need to know to evaluate the offer on a base level, and these answers are provided in order of their importance (or relevance to the call to action).

While the Art & Victus’ example landing page is packed with seemingly random details on the monthly food themes, their food charity and even their reward points, these details don’t directly contribute to a visitor’s decision to want to sign up to receive a subscription box. The audience of the page needs to see other info first.

When creating copy for your pages, consider the questions your potential customers will ask and the order they might ask those questions in.

If a piece of info is directly relevant to your CTA – explaining the offer, or how to claim your offer – it’s need-to-know info. If it’s info describing an extra of any kind (like Art & Victus’ food themes, a charity your company takes part in, or your loyalty points), it’s likely nice-to-know info that you’ll want to include after your key points are covered.

It’s helpful to rank each piece of copy’s direct relevance to your CTA (like we’ve done below) as a means of deciding where it should be placed in the visual design of your page.

The more relevant something is to your CTA, the closer it should appear to the top of the linear design of your landing page.

For Art & Victus’ offer, the hierarchy might look something like this:

information hierarchy
* Including price is tricky and at your discretion for your industry/offer. You can choose to include it on your pages if you believe visitors need pricing information to convert.

But what about all those nice-to-know details?

On the example page shown above, Art & Victus had a lot of nice-to-know info they wanted to convey, like their reward points, the custom guide included in the box to help you learn about the food, profiles of the individuals preparing the boxes and more.

Luckily, there’s an easy way to strategically sprinkle in nice-to-know info on your landing pages without the visual clutter associated with information overload…

Lightboxes: A remedy for excess copy

Lightboxes are modal windows that open over a landing page, filling the screen and dimming the content behind. They allow you to prominently display content requested by your page visitor (your visitors click a button to prompt them). You can see an example lightbox for a speaker bio below:

lightbox bio

Lightboxes help you add nice-to-know details onto your landing pages (like speaker bios, featured products, your privacy policy or terms of service), all the while keeping your audience’s focus on your CTA. By designing your page with these in mind, you can include information a visitor would otherwise have to navigate away from your page to find.

Art & Victus could make their landing page offer more clear by using lightboxes to feature their nice-to-know information. After addressing all of their must-have info prominently, they could add lightboxes like:

  • “Reward Points”
  • “Also included in your box”
  • “Who curates our boxes?”

They could also use lightboxes to:

  • Outline the three different types of boxes available in their service (i.e. “Intro box,” “Amateur box” and “Expert Box”)
  • Feature the curators’ profiles for those interested (instead of linking out to external profiles and losing potential subscribers).

Each lightbox would be triggered by visitors who want or need extra info before they convert (some will, some won’t), and would help to break up the massive paragraphs on the page.

Start using lightboxes to unclutter your pages

You too can use lightboxes to combat info overload and tidy up your copy.

Here are some examples of nice-to-have content that fits nicely in lightboxes:

  • Speaker bios: Include details about your keynotes or location in a lightbox so visitors don’t navigate away from a potential ticket purchase.
  • Extras and fine details: Extra product features, limitations, terms and contest rules
  • Privacy policies: Every landing page collecting lead info should link to a privacy policy, but you don’t want to link away from your page. Include your policy in a lightbox so visitors don’t veer off-course.
  • leadgenform
  • Lead gen forms – It’s a fairly popular marketing trend to include your contact form for a call to action in a lightbox. This tactic takes advantage of buyer psychology by empowering your visitor to decide when they’re ready to fill out your form. Check out this post to learn more about why you’d want to include a form in a lightbox.

Examine your own pages for potential lightbox opportunities

Start by reviewing your existing landing pages to see where they might be suffering from info overload.

Remember to check if you’re linking out to external pages — this is a sure sign that you’re confusing need-to-know and nice-to-know information.

Start making the distinction between these two info types for your audience, organizing your page with a better information hierarchy, and you’ll have a more streamlined message and more conversions in no time.

Read the article: 

The Silent Landing Page Conversion Killer (And How to Stop It)

Bring Your AdWords Campaigns Back from the Dead with Keyword Insertion

If you want to be successful with PPC ads, you need to demonstrate that you understand what prospects are looking for and serve up a relevant ad experience to match.

If you fail to communicate a cohesive message or fulfill the promise you make with your ad, you could face some nightmarish consequences. (Even scarier than that time you accidentally sent out a marketing email with the intro “Hey <FIRST_NAME>.”)

spooky-ooc-650
*Screams of terror.* Image by d.loop via Flickr.

We’re talkin’ consequences including:

To avoid an ad spend disaster, you want your PPC ads to be hyper relevant.

Relevance ensures you get the clicks you deserve, people find what they need, Google trusts your page (because you deliver what you say you do), and you earn a high Quality Score. Your ads could also cost less and  earn better placement.

Fortunately – as we learned in a recent Unwebinar with Bloom Search Marketing’s Martin Perron and Andrew Alkhouri – you can convey relevance from ad to landing page by using AdWords Keyword Insertion. Even better? You can use this AdWords feature in combination with Dynamic Text Replacement (DTR) in Unbounce to extend the same relevance through to your landing page.

Brush up on Bloom Search Marketing’s PPC takeaways by watching the webinar recording here, or read on for some distilled wisdom.

First thing’s first…

Keyword Insertion: Serving up relevant ads

Keyword Insertion (the feature formerly known as Dynamic Keyword Insertion) is an advanced AdWords feature that allows you to create an ad that responds to search queries and updates based on Keywords in a specific ad group.

keyword-insertion-img

In other words, you can swap out your ads’ headline or description text based on the keywords prospects actually search for.

This feature is helpful because it takes less time to set up than creating separate ads for each possible query, but also because everyone searches Google differently. While one person might search for “Halloween house,” another might search for “Halloween castle”; still another might look for “ Halloween activities.

If you set up Keyword Insertion correctly, you can appear as an exact match for each of these terms (your headline or description text keywords will swap) and more searchers will see your offer as especially relevant to their needs.

Selecting especially relevant keywords

As Martin pointed out in the webinar, the first step in setting up Keyword Insertion correctly is to decide on the most worthwhile keywords for your business, with the help of Google’s Keyword Planner.

As an example, let’s say you just published a landing page offering 15% off tickets to your annual Halloween attraction, the “ACME Haunted Castle,” and now you need to drive some traffic to your new page.

Ideally, you want some PPC ads to appear when someone searches Google for keywords like “Halloween House,” “Haunted Mansion,” and “ACME Castle,” for example, because people actively searching for these terms are demonstrating high purchase intent (they already know what they’re looking for), and are far more likely to click through from your ad to landing page and convert.

To get started, you’d navigate to the planner from the tools menu in your AdWords account:

all-campaigns-tacktik

Then, type in search terms relevant to your campaign.

keyword-planner

Here Google will indicate the popularity of the suggested keywords. You’ll see the average monthly search numbers, how competitive a keyword is, and even suggested bids.

As Martin warns, not all of the suggested keywords will be a perfect match for what you offer, so be selective and ask yourself if each term is truly connected to your business.

Select the type of keywords that’ll work for Keyword Insertion

When setting up your ad, you can choose from four different types of keywords: exact match, phrase match, broad match, and modified broad match. In the webinar, Martin focused on exact and phrase match (but you can read about all four types here):

  • Exact match, as it sounds, ensures that your ad is only displayed when the user’s query matches your keyword exactly (i.e. “Haunted Castle”)
  • Phrase match applies to search queries with extra words either before or after the keyword. Phrase match would allow your ad to appear when someone searches “Best Haunted Castle,” or “Haunted Castle in Montreal,” for example.

When using Keyword Insertion, it’s best to stick with exact and phrase match as these types of keywords provide precise targeting and can help you attract those with a clearer idea of what they are searching for (i.e. quality leads more likely to convert). These types of keywords also prevent you from having misspelled or misplaced words in your ads.

wall-stickers-nursery-ad
Using broad or modified broad match can make your keywords appear out of intended order in your final ads, leading to some wonky headlines like this.

Once you’ve selected some exact and phrase match keywords to use, you’ll add the keywords to your ad group. At Bloom Search Marketing, Martin noted that he tends to use ad groups containing about 15-20 keywords per group.

As a rule of thumb, if you can swap out one keyword for another in the same ad and still have it make sense, then you’ve got a good group of keywords for a single ad group.

Bonus tip:

Pay close attention to the search terms used in conjunction with keywords related to your business, because they can say a lot about the searcher’s intent.

For example, someone searching for “Halloween costume ideas” is likely to be in the research phase, whereas someone searching for, “Halloween vampire costume” could be ready to buy.

Different sets of keywords with different intent will require their own ad group, ad, landing page and offer to match.

Adding Keyword Insertion to your text ad

Once you’ve selected the keywords you want to target and have added them to an ad group, it’s time to build your ads.

In your ad group, click the big red “+AD” button to get started writing a new text ad.

ad-group-haunted-castle

From there, you can enter your copy.

Add the Keyword Insertion feature by adjusting the headline using the syntax Google recognizes: “KeyWord: Default Text.” (Make sure to replace “Default Text” with something generic that will appear if none of the other keywords do).

keyword-haunted-house

Dynamic Text Replacement: Serve up a relevant landing page

Finally, you’ll add the URL for the landing page your ad will direct to.

This is where the second indispensable PPC tool comes in: an Unbounce feature called Dynamic Text Replacement (DTR).

DTR allows you to swap out the text on your landing page – so that your ads and landing page will present exactly what visitors searched for.

Clicked an ad about a Haunted House? That’s what you’ll find in the landing page headline! This allows you to ensure that your prospect is seeing an exact match to their query, from the ad all the way to the landing page headline.

Maintaining this sort of message match increases conversions because it reassures people they’ve come to the right place.

If you’re using a landing page with DTR, make sure you update with the URL containing the DTR parameter, like this:

url-haunted-house
In this screenshot, “Haunted+Castle” corresponds to the name of the list of keywords in that ad group. “Haunted House” corresponds to the default text that would be swapped out if none of the other keywords in that ad group appear.

From there, you’ll simply set up a dynamic piece of text on your Unbounce landing page (for where you’d like the keyword swap to take effect). Your headline, metadata title, page description and call to action are all great options for this.

Relevance is key

Great marketing is about creating seamless experiences for prospects.

When you match your ad and landing page headline to the keyword that your prospect is searching for, you demonstrate that you understand what they want and are ready to offer it to them.

But you also demonstrate to Google that you’re putting your money where your mouth is — which ultimately increases your Quality Score and CTR, while lowering your CPC.

How’s that for a win-win?

Link:

Bring Your AdWords Campaigns Back from the Dead with Keyword Insertion

Can SSL, Trust Seals and Other Security Indicators Increase Conversions?

Imagine you’re in the waiting room at the “Smiles 4 Dayz” dental office. There’s some standard elevator music playing, and everything seems pretty average.

Except that, as you’re filling out the new patient form, you notice there aren’t any dental school diplomas lining the walls of the office (not one…). Even more curious, the form lists the dentist as simply “Mrs. Liza Hoover,” not “Dr. Hoover, PhD, M.Sc.” Finally, when your name is called, the receptionist asks loudly for your social security number while others look on.

Visitor anxiety

Now, this is an exaggerated example, but these subtle (and not-so-subtle) red flags would likely have you questioning this dentist’s credibility.

Point being? You could be evoking the same type of visitor anxiety on your landing pages unwittingly, and losing out on conversions from visitors who can’t decide whether or not to trust you.

These days, 77% of website visitors worry that their personal data could be intercepted or misused online, so that lead gen form on your landing page could be causing more anxiety (and bounces!) than you realize.

Luckily, there are simple measures you can take to reassure visitors that your pages are secure — thereby increasing the likelihood of conversion.

SSL to the rescue!

SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, is an industry standard security measure that creates an encrypted link between your landing pages and your visitor’s browser. It encrypts data in transmission and ensures that contact info sent through your landing page forms is secure.

Visitors to your landing pages can see whether you’re serving up secure page based on the ‘HTTPS’ and the small green padlock icon that’ll appear in the address bar:

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These two, small visual cues reassure visitors their contact info is safe when submitted through your landing page, and it’s been found that close to half of website visitors check for security indicators like these before they’ll hand over personal information in a form.

Does SSL impact the way visitors perceive your page?

Depending on the importance of perceived security in your industry, you could be leaving conversions on the table if you don’t serve up your pages securely. As GlobalSign, a web-trust certificate provider discovered, 84% of website visitors surveyed said they would abandon a purchase if they knew the data was going to be sent over an insecure connection.

Moreover, because Google prioritizes making the web a safer place for everyone, in 2014 they announced they were using HTTPS as a ranking signal in their search ranking algorithm. Although HTTPS was more of a lightweight signal than high-quality content, Google did say that they might strengthen the signal over time, and ultimately encouraged everyone to swap from HTTP to HTTPS.

As far as your landing pages are concerned, it can’t hurt to take security more seriously, especially in industries like healthcare, finance, security-related tech, and ecommerce (where faulty security can have much higher consequences than in other industries).

After all, your landing page for a finance product might not convert so well if visitors notice you didn’t care to serve it up securely to protect their personal information in transit. A quick swap over to HTTPS is a simple thing you can do today to improve your landing page visitor’s trust.

PRO TIP: SSL is enabled on Unbounce pages on Pro Accounts. Simply update all your current links directing to your landing page to begin with HTTPS, and you’re set!

What about trust seals?

Beyond changing your links to HTTPS, third-party security vendors often offer a security seal, or SSL badge, for you to feature on your ecommerce sites or landing pages with a bit of Javascript. These seals are often cited to correlate with higher conversion rates, but – depending on your use case – your mileage may vary.

Here’s a trust seal from GlobalSign as an example:

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The effectiveness of these trust seals seems dependent on whether they’re recognized (some are more recognizable than others), but also on their prominence and usefulness to your audience at a particular time in the buying cycle.

A seal accompanying a final purchase confirmation page may fare well, but could hypothetically decrease trust and conversions if you include it too prominently across a multi-step ecommerce experience. Displaying the trust seal repeatedly may make visitors curious as to why you need to repeat that you’re secure (rather than simply state it once during initial checkout).

Blue Fountain Media cited a 42% increase in conversions with their A/B test of a VeriSign seal (see their A/B test variations below), and US Cutter have reported conversion lifts of 11% with the use of a Norton trust seal.

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As with all things, however, running your own A/B test is the only way to determine whether security seals are a win for your landing pages.

Placement matters

As everyone will experience different results with a trust seal, it’s difficult to be prescriptive about their use. Chris Goward of WiderFunnel found, for example, that with one of their clients, a McAfee badge decreased conversions by 1.6%. However, as savvy commenters have noted, this could be due to the seal’s placement in the test.

You could choose to include a trust seal on a checkout or shopping cart confirmation page in the case of an ecommerce page, or you could simply swap all of your landing pages to HTTPS, skip the trust seal entirely, and see if you experience a difference in conversions. A simple swap to HTTPS might be enough for your audience to know you’re secure.

Note that if you do swap over to SSL, you’ll want to ensure all elements on your landing pages are secure (including videos, privacy policies, etc.) as the trust seal can’t be verified by a third-party security vendor if there are insecure items on the page.

Put your prospects at ease

When it comes down to it, security is becoming an increasingly important issue for people and marketers have to work to build their trust.

While design, copy and testimonials play a large part in conveying your company’s credibility, there are other factors to consider. Whether you’re creating a click-through ecommerce page, or simply collecting contact information through a lead gen form, you need to do everything you can to reinforce your trustworthiness and convey to customer that you care about their privacy and security.

SSL is just one way you can reassure your potential customers their info is safe with you.


Original article – 

Can SSL, Trust Seals and Other Security Indicators Increase Conversions?

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4 Lead Gen Campaign Ideas (+ the Landing Page Templates to Power Them)

All right, so you launched your most recent marketing campaign, promoted it with an eagerness you didn’t know you had, and juuuust as you’re unwrapping your celebratory Snickers bar at your desk, lead gen Greg appears to ask when you can crank out the next one.

…The next campaign that is. He’s not interested in your Snickers bar.

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Every month, you can scramble to pull together a marketing campaign to fill your pipeline with leads, but I think you’ll agree it’s high time you stop winging it.

It’s much more effective to plan out your efforts well in advance and create goal-driven campaigns that direct prospects smoothly through your marketing funnel from awareness to purchase.

In this post, we’ll outline four strategic campaigns you can run for different stages of the funnel, and the landing pages you’ll need to build for ‘em. We’ll even showcase some Unbounce templates you can use to ship these babies out quickly (as soon as you’ve got the content goods to make it all happen).

To start, you’ll want to run…

1. The Audience-Building Campaign

This campaign’s purpose is simple: before you try to sell to anyone, you need to make it known that you exist and show that you’ve got a lot of value to offer.

What better way to do that than to promote the free but incredibly valuable content you publish on your blog?

To this end, you’ll want to build a dedicated landing page designed to get folks to opt in to your subscriber list and receive regular blog and content updates from you. For example, here’s a newsletter subscription campaign in action from Gumroad, a company that helps artists sell directly to their audience:

gumroad-landing-page
Gumroad A/B tested a variety of landing pages to learn more about what incentivized their audience to convert. The winning page now converts at a whopping 19.05%.

Jessica Jalsevac, who works on growth for Gumroad, reports that this landing page has helped increase signups by 10% over what they were last April, and it continues to generate about 5% of their monthly newsletter signups. As she puts it:

It’s incredibly valuable to have a dedicated “home” for our newsletter that we can mention in interviews, presentations, guest posts and more.

Like Gumroad, you might find that including an extra incentive (in the form of a free report, ebook or case study) helps propel people toward conversion.

By A/B testing three different variations of their newsletter landing page, Gumroad was able to determine which content angle converted more subscribers – which even helped inform the brand’s newsletter content strategy going forward.

Gumroad found that potential customers were less interested in tips and tricks on audience building and were more interested in case studies and hearing from fellow creators, as evidenced by the winning variant’s copy.

You don’t need to start from scratch!

When building your newsletter campaign, try out the Moss template in Unbounce. It’s optimized for lead gen, and with a few quick customizations (add your own benefit copy, swap out some key images) it easily becomes an opt-in page for your newsletter or blog.

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Bonus: like every template offered by Unbounce, it’s mobile responsive.

Note that you’ll want to build landing pages for one subscription channel at a time.

Don’t prompt people to subscribe to your blog and your newsletter on the same landing page. For optimal results, pick one subscription channel and run that campaign with clear, benefit-focused copy.

After expanding your potential audience, it’s time for…

2. The Convey-Your-Street Cred Campaign

Now that people are aware of what you do, it’s time to show them how you do it best.

This next marketing campaign is all about demonstrating what’s unique about your unique value proposition: helping you stand out in your industry and becoming top-of-mind for prospects who are shopping for a solution to their problem.

Offering a larger, more in-depth piece of content such as an ebook is a great way to achieve this. Have a look at how Monetate, a platform for multichannel personalization, offers up their practical ebooks:

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Monetate started with a blank page in Unbounce to kickstart their spiffy lead gen campaign. Because they write super targeted and industry-specific content, their prospects won’t hesitate to exchange their contact info for this valuable info.

In the case of an ebook or whitepaper campaign, credibility is what you’re striving to communicate – folks have to believe your content is worth their while or they’ll bounce.

This credibility can be conveyed in a number of ways on your landing page. You can craft especially persuasive bullet points outlining exactly what folks can expect to learn from your content, but you can also incorporate some influencer marketing here.

When creating your ebook, consider including quotations or chapters from industry experts or influencers. This way you can include a section on your landing page highlighting the experts included in the resource. The credibility certain experts carry can be a huge incentive for your target audience to download your content and can help them clearly see its value.


Launching an ebook? On your landing page, brag about the influencers who contributed.
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Running your own ebook campaign?

To get started, try out Unbounce’s Lido template:

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or head over to the Themeforest marketplace and snap up the MYbook template:

mybook-template-themeforest

And don’t forget to sprinkle in some influencer marketing for the best results. ;)

3. The Edutainment Campaign (AKA the webinar series)

While ebooks and other pieces of premium content help build your credibility, it’s always a good idea to take your educational content to the next level by making it a little bit more immersive.

Why not get your target audience to engage directly with a real person from your company? A webinar series is perfect for helping prospects establish a connection with the people behind your brand.

Webinars are also a very natural way to plug your product.

At the end of your educational presentation, take an extra 15 minutes to talk about how your product or service can help a potential client meet the goals discussed in the content.

Kissmetrics knows exactly how to run a webinar campaign. They’re well known for running tons of high-quality webinars, with the recordings available for download on their site at any time.

Here’s an example of one of their webinar lead gen landing pages:

kissmetrics-webinar-landing-page

When running a high-converting webinar campaign you’ll want to anticipate your prospect’s objections to attending and address them on the landing page.

For example, when Unbounce runs a webinar, we want marketers to be able to take advantage of the content even if they can’t attend live. To that end, we include the following line on our registration landing pages:

Even if you can’t make it to the live session, register anyway and we’ll send you the recording.

This simple line helps counter any objections that people might have to signing up.

The ultimate webinar template

Running a webinar? Try out the how-to webinar template in Unbounce:

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As with all of Unbounce’s templates, you can customize everything here to make this page all your own.

If you run webinars as lead gen campaigns fairly often (and you probably should – in 2014 they were our #1 marketing channel for new customers), choosing a simple template like this is handy.

All you have to do is swap out your speakers, descriptions and dates each month. This means you can focus your attention on creating outstanding webinars (with actionable takeaways) rather than trying to perfect a page design.

4. The “Here, Have a Discount!” Campaign

After building your audience, demonstrating your credibility and giving folks the opportunity to learn from a real person at your company, you can start inching folks toward the end of the funnel – toward that sweet, sweet conversion.

Yep, it’s time to prompt a demo, a free trial or give away a coupon as a special discount (read: incentive!).

As an example, check out this landing page by Spud, a delivery service for organic groceries:

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In this campaign, they offer 50% off a one-time trial of their service. You simply fill out the contact form to claim your delivery at the discounted rate. It’s wicked smaht.


Whether you sell a product or service, people want to try before they buy. Incentivize them!
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The key to this campaign is to offer a discount that fuels another, more-commitment-heavy marketing action further in your funnel.

By offering a trial, discount or consultation, you ignite interest and open up the possibility of following up later to prompt a larger commitment (after prospects have already had a super positive experience).

For running your own discount campaign…

Try out the A La Carte lead gen template in Unbounce!

a-la-carte-landing-page-unbounce

This design places emphasis on providing your email in exchange for something valuable (which, in this case would be your coupon or discount code).

Just swap out the hero shot with something relevant to your offer, and add or remove the page sections as needed. Instead of “Get free recipes,” your CTA should read, “Claim the coupon,” or something super-specific like, “Claim 15% off.”

Whatever you do, don’t forget to test!

A method to the madness

Your goal with setting up strategic campaigns is to lead folks through your funnel. Start by running campaigns with small buy-ins like a newsletter subscription and go with more commitment-heavy offers from there.

Then optimize your campaigns at every stage of the funnel. The more leads you can collect and nurture up top, the more you can impact revenue down the line.

So stop winging it.

Make it your personal mission to run the four campaigns shared here, and make a conscious decision to A/B test the heck out of ‘em. You’ll be sure to start filling your funnel more easily and you’ll have campaigns addressing multiple stages of the buyer journey.

Best of all? You’ll have a pipeline perpetually filled with leads.

View original post here: 

4 Lead Gen Campaign Ideas (+ the Landing Page Templates to Power Them)