Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: November 2014

We always try our best to challenge your artistic abilities and produce some interesting, beautiful and creative artwork. And as designers we usually turn to different sources of inspiration. As a matter of fact, we’ve discovered the best one—desktop wallpapers that are a little more distinctive than the usual crowd. This creativity mission has been going on for almost seven years now1, and we are very thankful to all designers who have contributed and are still diligently contributing each month.

This post features free desktop wallpapers created by artists across the globe for November 2014. Both versions with a calendar and without a calendar can be downloaded for free. It’s time to freshen up your wallpaper!

Please note that:

  • All images can be clicked on and lead to the preview of the wallpaper,
  • You can feature your work in our magazine2 by taking part in our Desktop Wallpaper Calendars series. We are regularly looking for creative designers and artists to be featured on Smashing Magazine. Are you one of them?

On The Edge Of Forever

“November has always reminded me of famous Guns N’ Roses song, so I’ve decided to look at it’s meaning from a different perspective. The story in my picture takes place somewhere in space, where a young guy beholds a majestic meteor shower and wonders about mysteries of the Universe.” — Designed by Aliona Voitenko3 from Ukraine.

On The Edge of Forever4

Hello World, Happy November!

“I often read messages at Smashingmagazine from the people in the southern hemisphere ‘it’s spring, no autumn!’ so I ‘d liked to design a wallpaper for the northern and southern hemisphere. Here it is, northerners and southerns, hope you like it!” — Designed by Agnes Swart46 from the Netherlands.

Hello world, happy November!47

My First Fall

Designed by Think Tifferent87 from Seattle, WA.

My First Fall88

Rainy Days

Designed by Alexandra Santos120 from Portugal.

Rainy Days121

A Gentleman’s November

Designed by Cedric Bloem163 from Belgium.

A Gentleman's November164

Movember 2k14

“My support for the movember charity event!” — Designed by Niels Meulders206 from Belgium.

Movember 2k14207


“Why say no when you can say yes? This month has a lot of cool days to celebrate and set the mood for an awesome end of the year! Enjoy!” — Designed by Printsome249 from United Kingdom.


Collect Good People

“The most important thing to enjoy your life is to be surrounded by good people. So, do it!” — Designed by Monk Software294 from Italy.

Collect Good People295

November Ingredients

“Whether or not you celebrate Thanksgiving, there’s certain things that always make the harvest season special. As a Floridian, I’m a big fan of any signs that the weather might be cooling down soon, too!” — Designed by Dorothy Timmer307 from Central Florida, USA.

November Ingredients308


“The design of trees has always fascinated me. Each one has it’s own unique entanglement of branches. With or without leaves they are always intriguing. Take some time to enjoy the trees around you – and the one on this wallpaper if you’d like!” — Designed by Rachel Litzinger350 from Chiang Rai, Thailand.


Simple Leaves

Designed by Nicky Somers371 from Belgium.

Simple leaves372

All Lines Point To November

“November often means rain and cold temps, but there’s beauty to be found in that as I found in this moment – the wet lines lead the way.” — Designed by Aisha Souto-Maior386 from Paris based, NY bred.

All lines point to November387

The Rain Through My Window

“I love watching the rain through the window when I stay at home. I like November, cold, rain, walnuts and chestnuts. I think that the Autumn is wonderful!” — Designed by Veronica Valenzuela417 from Spain.

I love the rain through my window!418

November Bird

Designed by Arnold Skawinski438 from Poland.

November bird439

The Family Owl

Designed by Brent Schuddinck477 from Belgium.

The family Owl478


“It’s cold in november, so you have to stay closer. Also: Inktober and American Horror Story” — Designed by Anja Sturm520 from Germany.

November 521

Smells Like Winter

“The last month of autumn, but the beginning of a new adventure” — Designed by Design19565 from Romania.

Smells like winter 566

Join In Next Month!

Please note that we respect and carefully consider the ideas and motivation behind each and every artist’s work. This is why we give all artists the full freedom to explore their creativity and express emotions and experience throughout their works. This is also why the themes of the wallpapers weren’t anyhow influenced by us, but rather designed from scratch by the artists themselves.

A big thank you to all designers for their participation. Join in next month620!

What’s Your Favorite?

What’s your favorite theme or wallpaper for this month? Please let us know in the comment section below.



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The post Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: November 2014 appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: November 2014


A/B Testing Copy on Homepage Increased Leads by 69% [Case Study]

The Company

VenueSphere is an online third-party referral business that helps individuals and companies find a perfect venue for parties, meetings, conferences and other events. They are based out of London and their service is completely free for visitors.

To capture leads, they have a neat and simple form above the fold on their homepage. The headline, just above the form, “Looking for a venue in London?” describes the value proposition aptly. The headline is accompanied by a sub-headline that originally read, “Call us or fill in a form to speak to a dedicated venue coordinator”. This is how it looked on their homepage:

VenueSphere A/B testing control

The Test

Quoting Ben at Venue Sphere, “Our homepage is fairly broad – it doesn’t perform brilliantly in getting conversions because it’s not very focused. So I wanted to get people’s attention, so they read more about what we do.” And so he decided to play around with the sub-headline in an attempt to increase the leads they were getting. He wanted to try something more dynamic and attention-grabbing. The new sub-headline read, “Stop right now! Call us or fill in the form and we’ll do the hard work for you for free” which he set up for test with VWO.

The goal that they were tracking with VWO was the visit to the thank-you page (that appears when people fill the contact form), which is equal to the number of leads from the form.

This is how the new sub-headline looked on the homepage:


The Result

Close to 1200 visitors became a part of this test and the variation emerged as the winner. The new sub-headline recorded a whopping 69% increase in leads.

Ben had also integrated the test with Google Analytics and he also added, “I was also able to see that our phone conversions were better with the variation, as was time on site, pages per visit and bounce rate.”

Here’s a quick comparison image showing the control and variation:

VenueSphere A/B testing comparison image

Why the Variation Won

To understand why the variation was able to get 69% more leads, let’s deconstruct the new sub-headline into three parts:

Part 1: “Stop right now! Call us or fill in the form”

After reading the headline, this part in the sub-headline clearly directs the visitors what do they have to do next. The “Stop right now” phrase with an exclamation at the end though sounds abrupt or forceful but it definitely got visitors’ attention. Quoting Ben, “I was concerned that it might be too forceful, that it might put people off, but that didn’t seem to be the case. I think that there is a strong case for saying that users want to be told what to do in certain situations”

Part 2: “and we’ll do the hard work”

This phrase assures the user that VenueSphere takes complete responsibility of helping them find the perfect venue. It also directly lets the visitors know that finding the most delightful venue could be lot of hard work and VenueSphere would do it all for them.

Part 3: “for free.”

And comes my favorite and the game-changing part! The magical word “free” finally lets the visitors know that they just have to fill the form and the company will help them find the perfect venue. At absolutely no cost.

Another customer of VWO was able to increase their conversion rate by 28% by adding the word “free”. Read the full A/B testing case study here.

I am not sure which part motivated the visitors most. The first where they were directed what-next, or next when the company took complete responsibility for them, or the last — that it was all for free! But I would definitely love to see VenueSphere perform more tests where they test these messages and understand what is it that their visitors care about most — the fact that the service is free or that they don’t have to do absolutely anything to find a venue.

Tell me what do you think! Let’s talk in the comments section below.

Bonus: You should also read this absolutely insightful article from the VWO blog where Anand gives 10 tips to write headlines that convert.

The post A/B Testing Copy on Homepage Increased Leads by 69% [Case Study] appeared first on VWO Blog.

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A/B Testing Copy on Homepage Increased Leads by 69% [Case Study]


How to Use Psychology to Build Social Media Campaigns That Resonate

Your social media campaigns should be about connecting with followers – not peddling your wares. Image by Tom Fishburne.

Social media isn’t only about getting likes, repins and retweets – it’s about building meaningful, long-term relationships with your audience.

A few years ago, Ben McAllister and Kate Canales gave a talk at SXSW in which they suggested that all human relationships can be classified into three broad categories:

  1. Authority relationships: Relationships where one individual has clear power over the other. One gives instructions; the other fulfills them. Think employer-employee.
  2. Exchange relationships: Relationships where there is an equal give and take. These relationships are sustained only as long as both parties continue to offer incentives to remain together. Ever reward a user for a “like” on Facebook? That’s a classic exchange relationship.
  3. Communal relationships: Relationships where there is a deep bond of mutual trust between both parties. The relationship does not depend on bribes or incentives to survive; it is propelled along by deep-rooted goodwill and shared common ground. This is the type of relationship we share with our closest friends.

Unfortunately, whether they know it or not, many marketers perpetuate exchange relationships, where they “bribe” users to carry out specific actions. Studies show that 67% of users who “liked” a brand page on Facebook did so to become eligible for offers.

This model of bribes in return for desired actions is only sustainable up to a certain point. Exchange relationships may be effective for attracting followers, but you may wind up with a pipeline filled with unqualified leads who are only interested in receiving freebies.

The goal of your social media campaigns should be to establish “communal relationships” with your followers – the type that keeps bringing returns over the years without the need for constant “bribes.”

Here are five psychological tactics to help you connect authentically with your social media followers and lay the foundation for an ongoing communal relationship.

1. Put a human touch on brand interactions

Think of brands with distinct personalities – Old Spice (masculine, adventurous, irreverent), Nike (sporty, up for any challenge), UGGs (comfortable, chic, fun) – each brand paints a vivid picture in your mind.

When a brand is truly successful in demonstrating what it stands for, consumers identify with the brand’s personality. And that’s when conversations (and conversions) start happening.

Check out the difference a dash of personality can make:

Progressive Insurance’s bland ho-hum profile page on Facebook has about 315,000 fans. On the other hand, the page for Progressive’s popular mascot Flo, the Progressive Girl has nearly 5.5 million fans!

The Facebook page for “Flo, the Progressive Girl” (top) has over 5 million more “likes” than Progressive Insurance’s standard brand page (bottom).

This goes to show that it’s easier to be friends with a human on social media than with a faceless marketing machine.

Psychology at work

Studies show that the closer a brand comes to reflecting human personality traits, the easier it becomes for users to identify with them. And as Robert Cialdini’s “Six Principles of Persuasion” explains, people are more likely to buy from people they like.

Showing your brand’s personality impacts conversions. People buy from people they like.
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How to apply this to your social media campaigns

Don’t leave that big personality at home. Bring your brand’s personality over to your social media accounts. Let your brand profile, your posts and your voice spell out exactly who your fans are talking to.

Chipotle does this effectively on their Twitter account by signing each tweet from the member of the team who tweeted it out.


To add a dash of personality to your social media campaigns:

  • Use fixed social media assets like your profile picture or your cover image to evoke your brand’s personality. You could include pictures of your social team or a behind-the-scenes look into your marketing “war room.”
  • Let your employees connect with users one-on-one with their real names and identities. Beyond putting a face (or faces) to your brand name, this offers employees a renewed sense of ownership towards their work and keeps them more motivated.

2. Use compelling narrative to inspire followers to take action

Don’t just ask users to “like” your page in exchange for a coupon or a freebie. Give them a real reason to behave in a certain way.

A great way to motivate people to take action is with a compelling narrative. Give users a peek into those small beginnings that have made your brand what it is today, or share the story of a cause you care about.

Psychology at work

People feel trusted and important when you open up to them. According to research by Roy Baumeister and Mark Leary, the need to belong and identify with people similar to us is a strong emotional driver and motivator.

Sharing your brand’s story or that of a worthy cause makes people listen to you more than when you simply peddled your wares to them – and it makes them want to reciprocate by sharing their story with you.

How to apply this to your social media campaigns

Target carried out a hugely successful social media campaign in 2013 that told the story of hunger and people less fortunate than you and me. It allowed users to become part of the narrative by helping to alleviate this hunger.

Partnering with non-profit FEED Projects, Target created a whole collection of charity-driven apparel and accessories. Every purchase went towards providing meals for 35-40 hungry people.

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Some of the apparel from Target’s campaign in partnership with FEED projects. Image source.

Target heavily promoted the campaign on social media, resulting in tons of visibility and engagement – and they raised enough money to donate 10 million meals to the needy.

If you want people to use narrative in your social media campaigns to engage followers:

  • Share a story (about your brand or a cause that you believe in) that will strike an emotional chord
  • Ask your fans to share their own tales to make it an engaging two-way process.

3. Make it fun and encourage participation

Most marketers are so immersed in their brands and maximizing mileage on social media that they forget the most important rule of interaction on social media: It’s got to be fun!

Think about it: In your personal social media accounts, what is the stuff that you see your friends and family sharing the most? Is it updates from the finance team of some company? Or is it hilarious jokes, memes and one-liners? My money is on the latter.

Psychology at work

If you have a social media account, it’s likely that you see a lot of amusing things in your feed. A study by Ipsos about the motivations behind sharing on social media showed that people were second most likely to share “funny” things (43%) on social media, surpassed only by “interesting” things (61%).

So what motivates us to share things that we consider to be fun?

Fun and laughter is proven to help bring people together – as Psychology Today reports, “Laughter bonds us through humor and play.

How to apply this to your social media campaigns

You may argue that your brand is serious and not some frivolous youth-oriented one to make a song and dance about.

But hey, surely your brand isn’t more serious than Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS?

This summer, celebrities from Bill Gates to Oprah Winfrey dunked buckets of ice water on themselves in support for ALS research:

pic5 copy
Watch Bill Gates take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge here.

Whoever said social media doesn’t result in conversions ought to take notes from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Since the launch of the challenge on July 29, 2014, the ALS Association has received over $100 million in donations. An impressive number, especially when compared to the $2.5 million raised during the same period last year.

So loosen up a little and give humor a chance. Do something silly that draws laughs. Even better, challenge your fans to do something fun.

Have you shared something fun on social media recently? Humor leads to reciprocal relationships.
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4. Leverage nostalgia to trigger warm fuzzies

People tend to look back at old memories through rose-tinted glasses.

Brand interactions that evoke nostalgia also evoke happy, fuzzy memories that researchers believe transfer to the brand in question. Remember that communal relationship that we discussed with our customers? Nostalgia is an effective gateway to a personal, familial and communal relationship with your fans.

Psychology at work

Nostalgia is a strong psychological trigger that prompts sharing, engagement and social connectedness.

It can even help with conversions. As Robert M. Brecht, PhD elaborates in his article on nostalgic appeals in advertising:

When consumers experience nostalgia in a consumption context, they have a higher purchase likelihood with regard to the advertised products.

When Pepsi ran their “Pepsi Throwback” campaign, targeting baby boomers with their retro 70s style packaging, raving fans eagerly swept cases off supermarket shelves. Pepsi Throwback ended up with a neat $41 million dollars in sales in under one year.

How’s that for the power of nostalgia?

How to apply this to your social media campaigns

From high-school pictures on Facebook to Buzzfeed lists about how life was awesome in the 80s and 90s, people are complete suckers for nostalgia.

Have a look at how BMW ignites their followers’ nostalgia with a #ThrowbackThursday hashtag on Twitter:

pic6 copy

Every week, they share a photo of a vintage car – an ongoing series that serves to connect with longtime customers and trigger warm fuzzies.

This article from Hootsuite includes a ton of ideas for incorporating nostalgia into your own social media strategy:

  • Post photos of your first office and employees, or show how your product has evolved over time.
  • Write listicles or roundup posts that make your prospects think about “the good ol’ days.”
  • Create quizzes that induce nostalgia and encourage sharing.

Nostalgia prompts followers to share, engage and develop a deeper relationship with your brand.
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5. Shift your mindset from “selling” to “sharing”

Nobody likes to talk to people who can’t stop talking about themselves. The same goes for brands on social media. Your goal may be to sell more of your products, but harping on that one topic alone is sure to make you the most unpopular kid in class.

Psychology at work

People hate being sold to. That’s old news. What they do enjoy is sharing ideas, experiences, information – the very basis of social media.

And though it’s a longer-term play, aligning yourself with the preferences of your followers can eventually lead to sales.

A study by the New York Times Customer Insight Group on “The Psychology of Sharing” showed exactly how “sharing” via social media helped users make purchase decisions. A quote from one respondent in the study confirms:

Sharing information helps me do my job. I remember products and information sources better when I share them – and I’m more likely to use them.

While information about your products and services may seem super interesting to you, your followers want to read about things that are relevant to their interests. Recognizing and responding to this establishes common ground between your brand and your fans – and is a great way to spark engagement, interest and eventually, conversions.

How to apply this to your social media campaigns

Instead of talking about yourself on social media, shift your focus to sharing common interests with your fans.

Are you a healthcare brand? Share inspirational stories of patients that overcame tough illnesses. Are you a fashion retailer? Share the season’s latest style tips with your fashionista followers.

A great example of this comes from fabrics and crafts store Jo-Ann.

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Craft store Jo-Ann’s DIY posts get exponentially more shares than their more “salesly” posts. Image Source.

In the image above, you’ll see that their post on how to make an owl shaped pillow got over 900 shares.

Contrast that against their more “salesy” post about the store now stocking “Duck Tape” fabrics that got a measly 33 shares.

The verdict is loud and clear: the post with useful content that aligned itself with the interests of followers got an exponentially better reaction from fans and was a lot more engaging.

And who knows? When their fans set out to create the “Owl Tooth Fairy Pillow” from the tutorial, they just might turn to Jo-Anns for their materials.

Connect with your followers as people and as friends

If you look at your prospects as statistics – numbers on your analytics dashboard or sales figures on your balance sheet – then you’re not likely to be motivated to connect with them on a human level.

Drop your bean counter glasses and look at users through the lens of what really makes them tick.

Your aim as a social media marketer should be to move from “exchange relationships” with your followers to trusting, friendly and transparent “communal relationships.”

This can be achieved by:

  1. Putting a human touch on brand interactions
  2. Using compelling narrative to inspire followers to take action
  3. Making it fun and encouraging participation
  4. Leveraging nostalgia to trigger warm fuzzies
  5. Shifting your mindset from “selling” to “sharing”

Remember that, at the end of the day, your followers are human – and people put their faith (and their money) behind people they believe in and relate to.

– Pratik Dholakiya


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How to Use Psychology to Build Social Media Campaigns That Resonate

How To Maximize Your Creative Energy

We’ve heard many personal stories this week of how people in our industry have experienced hard times and how they managed to get out of them. We end this week with an article by Ann Holm, a personal development coach and expert in psychology and brain science. Read on to learn how to reduce stress in your everyday life and prevent burnout and other breakdowns in order to stay healthy and unlock your potential.

This article is from: 

How To Maximize Your Creative Energy


How to Create Online Courses that Actually Sell

A few years ago Copyblogger’s Brian Clark said “teaching sells”. Since then it seems that everyone’s trying to sell their expertise via a membership site or online course, or even both. One platform they are using to do this is WordPress.

5 CRO Issues When Selling Online Courses in WordPress

Image: Pixabay

In one way, it makes sense—after all, WordPress is one of the most-used content management systems (CMS) out there, underpinning millions of sites and about half of the most prominent blogs. Since lots of people already run WordPress sites, it makes sense that they would want to do everything from one place.

However, it’s not what the software was originally designed for. That’s why it’s no surprise that people are constantly coming up with new ways to make WordPress sites ideal for course delivery. There are a number of options out there and the platform is being used more and more in educational settings.

Introducing CoursePress


One recent option for this is a plug-in called CoursePress which is designed to turn your WordPress site into an online learning platform or learning management system. It incorporates everything you need to create, sell, grade and report on courses, as well as manage students and teachers. That includes payment systems, video and audio uploads, discussion boards and more.

CoursePress integrates with most WordPress themes and has a built-in theme of its own. The plugin is available in free and paid versions, with a limit of two courses and fewer payment gateway options in the free version.

Of course, if you’re going to create and sell a course online, it’s essential to think about web and conversion optimization right from the start. This will help you attract more course participants and will give you a competitive and financial edge. Let’s use CoursePress to look at how you could lay the groundwork for an optimized course website right from the start.

1. User Experience (UX)

The developers recommend that you think about your course structure in advance. CoursePress allows you to create courses with multiple units. You can have multiple pages and elements within each unit. At this stage, think about user experience (UX), which is a key part of conversion optimization. In particular, consider how users will be able to navigate the course.


MOOCNews suggests that paying attention to this will reduce the time you have to spend on changing course elements later. Meanwhile, online education site Udacity recommends doing user experience research to figure out what people want. Do this either before course setup or after the course is running to see whether you can improve conversions. See our recent article on troubleshooting UX design for tips on this.


2. Content Optimization

When you create a new course in CoursePress, you start by creating an overview. This is one of the first elements potential participants will see when deciding whether to take your course, so it’s worth spending time optimizing this content.

Even before your course goes live, you can use the overview on landing pages and split test two different versions of the copy to see which one appeals most to your target market. Do the same with course titles too so you can maximize conversions and win the clicks. Remember to look after search engine optimization (SEO) at the same time.


CoursePress also allows you to create a course description. That’s not just a longer version of your overview; it’s also the longer-form copy that will help to sell your course.

Again, you can think about the principles of creating high converting landing pages when crafting your description. Killer headlines and subheads, appealing images, addressing pain points by showcasing benefits and features for potential participants are all part of making this work. The goal is to let people know what to expect. Again, you can split test course descriptions to decide which version has the best conversion rate.


Repeat this principle when setting up individual course units—these will be displayed in a list, providing another option for people to either sign up or click away. Use your writing skills to win the click and get people signed up for your course.

3. Images and Video

As we’ve mentioned before, online video is a conversion magnet. Faces, voices, movement and body language get people’s attention and video is also a great way to answer users’ questions. With CoursePress, you can use video in two ways: as part of the course content, which is a no-brainer, and to create video snippets to help sell your course. Check out these tips on selling with video for help with this aspect of conversions.

While you’re at it, pay attention to the images used as part of your course—these can help boost conversions by providing a human element, making people connect with you emotionally and creating a relationship between you and the course participants.

4. Email Marketing

Email is still one of the best ways to connect with your audience. CoursePress lets you send a variety of customizable emails to registered students. Consider using email marketing best practices to build the relationship with them, including:

  • personalization
  • killer subject lines
  • appealing calls to action

The more you connect with students, the more likely it is that they will remain registered on the course and maybe even sign up for future courses.

5. eCommerce

If you want your course to sell, then you need to look after eCommerce optimization. Among other things that means optimizing and looking after usability issues for shopping carts and checkout pages. CoursePress integrates with MarketPress to support a wide range of payment gateways and currencies, and you can offer discounts too! Check out these tips on reducing user anxiety and see how you could integrate these into your online course.

Testing, Testing

Once you have set up and published your course, test regularly to see what’s working well and what you need to change. Visit your landing page and course pages and try to see it from the viewpoint of an outsider—is UX working well? The good news is that since CoursePress is a WordPress plugin, it won’t be difficult to make quick improvements for better conversions.

Have you used CoursePress or another learning management system? What steps did you take to look after conversion optimization?

CoursePress is FREE and the best way to turn WordPress into an amazing online learning platform. Download it here.

Read other Crazy Egg articles by Sharon Hurley Hall.

The post How to Create Online Courses that Actually Sell appeared first on The Daily Egg.

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How to Create Online Courses that Actually Sell


Maximize Your Creative Energy

We’ve heard many personal stories this week of how people in our industry have experienced hard times and how they managed to get out of them. We end this week with an article by Ann Holm, a personal development coach and expert in psychology and brain science. Read on to learn how to reduce stress in your everyday life and prevent burnout and other breakdowns in order to stay healthy and unlock your potential. — Ed.

What does knowledge of the brain and personality have to do with creative work? As a lifelong brain geek, I have taken on the mission to help others tap the secrets of the brain to uncover personal potential. Not surprisingly, everyone can benefit from at least some knowledge in this area.

In fact, I’ve found that people who work in the creative industry in particular seem to be interested in this topic because many of them work alone and have to manage their energy, distractions and time to complete a project, while staying flexible and in the moment to capture the unforeseen creative gems that emerge seemingly out of nowhere.

“Everyone who’s taken a shower has an idea. It’s the person who gets out of the shower, dries off and does something about it who makes a difference.”

– Nolan Bushnell, video-game visionary and Atari founder

Oftentimes we have habits that seem to work, so we are unaware that there might be better, more brain-efficient ways to do things. Other times, we feel exhausted and stretched, so our creativity suffers. In this article, I’ll share some facts and insight on brain functionality, as well as tips on how to get the most out of your creative energy. Some of these suggestions might be very different from what you are doing right now.

Multitasking: A Rapid Way To Deplete Brain Energy

Like many web designers and developers, you might work in a small business or even as a single entity. This means you need to master and implement several skills:

  • your creative work,
  • your networking tasks,
  • your administrative tasks.

While this makes you versatile, it can also lead to multitasking or plate-spinning. What is the most effective way to perform all of your roles, while still maximizing creativity?

In the old days, before computers, smartphones, social media and the like, interrupting someone’s train of thought was verboten — and for good reason. The brain is not meant to multitask. In fact, multitasking is a myth. Multitasking is actually task-switching, and it is among the most rapid ways to deplete brain energy. Every time you perform a task, the most energy-hungry area of your brain, the prefrontal cortex, has to recruit a different collection of brain cells to carry out the task you are trying to accomplish. You use different brain networks to work on projects, to respond to a phone call, and to check email and social media.

John Medina, author of Brain Rules1, tells the story of his son trying to write a paper for school with 11 other applications running, including two instant-messaging screens! Every time he switches his attention, his brain has to engage, disengage and reengage somewhere else. Studies show that a person who is interrupted takes 50% longer to complete a task and makes 50% more errors in the process.

Here are a few tips to avoid the pitfalls of task-switching:

  • Work uninterrupted for a designated period of time.
    Brain research shows that 25 minutes is approximately the amount of time it takes to “get on a roll.” Set a timer if necessary. Do only that one important task during that time.
  • Check email and social media at designated times.
    Email and social media notifications not only create those task-switching scenarios, but can result in a protracted diversion from your intended work.
  • Minimize distraction with internal and external management.

Manage Distractions With Internal And External Management

Distractions can be managed either internally or externally. Internal management requires additional brain energy, sometimes a considerable amount of it. It’s a form of willpower. A classic example is the individual who is trying to lose weight but keeps all kinds of tempting food in the house. The old saying “out of sight, out of mind” is instructive here.

I am a business owner myself. I coach, blog, maintain a website and develop curricula for leadership-development workshops. I use social media, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. By far, my biggest distraction was Facebook on my iPhone. I have a personal page in addition to my business page, and I found it way too easy to check my latest push notifications. So, I deleted the app from my phone. Now I wasn’t one click away from another diversion.

There are many ways to manage distractions externally so that the brain doesn’t get exhausted in the process. In my college days, I taped myself to a chair to finish term papers, thus eliminating the possibility of wandering off to chat with a friend. Nowadays, I ask myself, how can I make a distraction so difficult to execute that I don’t even consider doing it?

A young client used the following strategy to externally manage his biggest distraction:

“The biggest distraction of my life is my phone. I had a large project due, so I decided to try your suggestion. I took the phone out of my pocket, shut it off, put the cover on backward, and placed it on a high shelf. Amazingly, I got everything done, and I got it done fast.”

Distractions are best managed by eliminating them from your immediate environment — or by making them so difficult to execute that you don’t even consider them.

Here are a few tips on externally managing distractions:

  • Turn off your phone or place it in another room.
  • If you have to take calls, disable Internet access on your phone.
    Some phones have a “do not disturb” function that only allows calls from a list of defined numbers (such as emergency numbers) to minimize disruption to your workflow.

Sleep Well To Uncover Your Potential

“Sleep while you’re dead“ was my philosophy for years. I was a dedicated night owl, often denying that I needed much sleep at all. In truth, only 10% of the population do their best work at night, and few people can get by on less than 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night, night after night.

It is possible that the creative industry has a slightly higher percentage of night owls or those who can get by on very little sleep. However, the chances are high that most people need the same amount of sleep in order to function optimally. Many of us keep going at night because we are too tired to put ourselves to bed.

Our brains need time to calm down, so try to stop working several hours before going to bed.
Our brains need time to calm down, so try to stop working several hours before going to bed. (Image credit: kroszk@2)

Recently, I attended a seminar titled “The Ever-Changing Brain.” I was struck by the impact of sleep deprivation on every aspect of our lives. John Preston, Psy.D, wasn’t talking about simply doing time in bed. He was talking about the deeply restorative sleep that affects our ability to regulate our emotions, solve problems and think creatively. Sleep researchers say that, in the absence of slow-wave sleep, our pain threshold decreases and our cognition and focus are reduced. Depression is a long-term consequence of poor sleep quality.

Sleep behavior is largely a result of sleeping habits. Even a few small adjustments can have a profound affect on sleep quality:

  • Exercise regularly throughout the day.
    However, avoid exercising close to bedtime or it will have the opposite effect.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and sleeping pills.
    These substances interfere with restorative sleep, especially when you consume them close to bedtime. Sleeping pills can affect your sleep patterns long term.
  • Trend towards calmer evenings.
    Your brain needs time to calm down. Stop working several hours before going to bed, and fill those hours with calm and relaxing activities.
  • Avoid blue light at least an hour before bed.
    The blue light of computer screens and bright sources of light affect our sleep. Avoid them at least an hour before bed. Additionally, you can manage the light of your computer screen with the f.lux3 app.
  • Sleep in a cool room and ventilate before going to bed.
    Sufficient oxygen supply is important for your brain to recover from a hard day of work.

Eat Well And Exercise To Maximize Your Potential

My great Aunt Marian grew up on a diet of fatty meat, dumplings and potatoes. Vegetables were usually cucumbers doused in bacon grease. She smoked for 80 years and loved her scotch. She broke every health rule and yet lived with a clear mind until she died in her mid-90s.

Aunt Marian was lucky and probably genetically exceptional. Current brain research suggests that most of us probably couldn’t pull this off. Although we’re more aware of the benefits of eating healthy and exercising than we have been in the past, the stresses of the modern world and the increasing pace and pressure of our lives affect us more than we might think. Traveling to conferences and clients adds another layer of stress to our lives. We know now that small yet measurable brain declines already happen in a person’s late-20s.

Don't underestimate healthy nutrition. Your brain will thank you.
Don’t underestimate healthy nutrition. Your brain will thank you. (Image credit: Ted Eytan4)

Anxiety is common in developed countries, and the lifetime risk for severe depression is 20%. A hundred years ago, the risk was 1%. Because many creatives work on projects that they’re passionate about, they often don’t realize how much stress they’re putting themselves through and the negative effects this can have on their bodies. Burn-out often occurs after a phase of idealistic passion for something.

Stress is caused not only by the number of tasks we have to complete, but also by emotional events in our lives. This could be the death of a beloved one, a divorce or break-up, or tensions in our family or social circle. We have to acknowledge that our brain needs additional capacity for us to emotionally deal with these problems.

In short, we have to take care of our brains in order to get many years of creative output:

  • Keep weight within the normal range.
    Excess weight, a poor lifestyle and a lack of sleep set off the inflammatory process.
  • Reduce or eliminate sugar.
    Evidence is emerging that sugar is a significant cause of inflammation. Inflammation is system-wide. Therefore, if you feel unwell after eating something, then your whole body, including your brain, could be affected. Keep this in mind when attending conferences and meetings, where unhealthy food is often easily obtainable. Investing some time and money in eating healthy could result in a better creative output later on.
  • Supply your body with omega-3 fatty acids.
    Many supplements don’t work. However, the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil have been proven to benefit the brain.
  • Exercise regularly.
    Exercise improves blood flow to the brain. Exercise not only will bring about creativity in the moment, but will benefit the brain in the long run.
  • Build and maintain relationships and interests outside of work.
    This is important to avoiding depression and burn-out.
  • Don’t underestimate the effects of emotional events.
    If an emotional event happens in your life, take some extra time out so that you’re brain is able to effectively deal with it. For example, go for a walk outside or a bike ride or meet up with people who can help you through this situation.

A Real-Life Example

Recently, a client confessed to me that she was staying up well past 1:00 and 2:00 am because she was a night owl. When I asked her what she was doing at that hour, she said she was “researching” various topics on the Internet. As we discussed this further, she conceded that she was really just surfing the web and couldn’t fall sleep any sooner. I explained that when we get very tired, we lose some of our willpower to move away from what we are doing and head off for a good night’s rest. She agreed to try an earlier bedtime and to turn off her computer screen at least 30 minutes before that. I further suggested she use the Sleep Cycle5 app to get solid data on her sleeping patterns. Ten days later, I received this email:

“I’ve been using the Sleep Cycle app most nights since we talked and I’m shocked. I knew that I often didn’t get as much sleep as I should, but I hadn’t realized just how bad it was. If the last week and a half is any indication — and I have no reason to think it’s an anomaly — I rarely get eight hours’ sleep on a weeknight. I hadn’t realized just how much time I’m wasting online before I go to sleep on a regular basis. This is a huge thing to work on. Thank you for this wake-up call.”

Several months later, she continues to report better sleep and better results in her work. It’s not that she doesn’t do any more night benders, but she is more aware of her need for sleep and how it affects her work.


No matter what a person’s career is, we are all first and foremost human, and we have evolved with a certain physiology that is not altogether compatible with modern life. Our ancestors walked up to 20 kilometers a day and focused on one thing at a time. We woke with the sun, slept when it was dark and ate the available natural food. Our lives today are vastly different from the conditions that mapped our ancestral brains, and yet modern living has not significantly changed our basic neural framework.

The main take-away is to be open-minded about how you might be compromising your own success and productivity by relying on habits that run counter to how we are wired to live and thrive. Experiment with some of the principles described in this article and see whether a few small changes make a big difference in your overall productivity.

These are only a few suggestions to help maximize your potential. Feel free to share your own tips and strategies below in the comments sections.

Other Resources

(al, ml, il)


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Maximize Your Creative Energy


Website Redesign Horror Stories Revisited

Last year, in the spirit of Halloween, WiderFunnel produced our first “blackpaper”, Website Redesign Horror Stories: The Top 9 Nightmares to Vanquish!

The blackpaper details the top 9 nightmare scenarios of website redesign projects and how you can avoid them.

It was one of the most popular pieces of content we produced in the last 12 months. Based on popular demand, and spooky holiday spirit, we are reposting the free blackpaper for download.

Please let us know your own website redesign horror story.  Add a comment!

Here’s the super scary accompanying infographic.

Website Redesign Nightmares infographic

The post Website Redesign Horror Stories Revisited appeared first on WiderFunnel Marketing Conversion Optimization.

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Website Redesign Horror Stories Revisited


4 Reasons Your Traffic Is Increasing But Not Your Conversions

Traffic and conversions. That’s what we want. And we usually start at the beginning, with traffic.

I agree. Traffic is great. Have you ever logged into Google Analytics on a Monday morning and found something like this waiting for you?

traffic spike

That’s a fantastic feeling.

But unless you’re a 16 year old YouTuber with a fame complex, you’re not actually interesting in traffic. You want conversions. You want to see the above graph on your income report, not your Analytics display.

But hold up. Doesn’t more traffic equal more conversions?

Well technically, yes. I’m assuming your conversion funnel is good enough that a 30,000 increase in visitors will net you at least a few additional sales. But you don’t want a few additional sales. If you’ve managed to significantly increase your traffic, you expect to be getting a proportional return on your investment.

So what do you do when the traffic numbers are steadily increasing but your conversions remain relatively stagnant?

Well, like any other problem, you root out the source and fix it. In this article, I review the issues surrounding traffic and conversions, and I’d bet there’s a fantastic chance your problem is listed among them.

1. You’re Acquiring the Wrong Type of Traffic

Yesterday, I Googled a number of search terms: “cookie recipe,” “Jacob McMillen” (don’t judge), “buy panasonic gh2.” and “my onenote notebook disappeared.”

Out of those searches, which was I most likely to follow up with an actual purchase?

The answer, of course, is “buy panasonic gh2.”

When I type in that phrase, I have purchasing already on my mind. On the other hand, if your sexy new laptop brand, QuickNote Notebook, is somehow ranking for “note notebook,” you’re going to be getting a lot of people like me bouncing off your site—people looking for solutions to problems that have nothing to do with your products. It’s safe to say your conversions will be abysmal.

Acquiring the wrong traffic is the single biggest reason your high traffic website isn’t converting. 

It’s a simple concept, but let’s look at another example to see how easily it can affect your business.

You run a financial software company for small businesses. You’ve been reading all about how content is king and a high-quality blog is the way to increase targeted traffic and generate conversions. You understand that small business owners will need an intro-level education to help them understand how your tools work and why they need them.

So you start a blog, focusing on intro-level financial education and providing high-quality content on the basics. You invest in amazing guides, target relevant keywords, and after a few months, you are generating significant traffic to your blog and website. But your conversions aren’t increasing. Maybe your email subscriptions are skyrocketing, but none of this activity is turning into sales.

You do some testing and analysis and discover that instead of business owners, all your traffic is coming from college students. Your keywords are attracting frantic test-takers to your intro guides rather than small business owners in need of financial software tools.


In order for traffic to turn into conversion, it needs to be the right type of traffic. It’s need to be traffic with problems or needs your business can answer.

If your traffic and product/service aren’t lining up, you have two options:

  1. Acquire different traffic
  2. Change your product/service to match your traffic

Personally, I’m a big fan of the second one, because demand is always harder to generate than supply. But #2 won’t be an option for many businesses, so you might need to invest in #1.

But maybe neither of these apply to you. Maybe you have a steady stream of purchase-primed, solution-needing visitors streaming through your site on the daily. Perhaps you have a different problem…

2. Your Offer Isn’t Compelling

As a copywriter who has worked with a wide range of companies, I’ve found small businesses are least likely to have an offer that is truly compelling.

The problem typically isn’t their product or service. They do extremely well locally, where the actual value in their offering is better understood. The problem is that, to compete online, you need something more compelling than local convenience. You need to identify why your product/service is too good for customers to pass up and then tell them about it in no uncertain terms.

If you’re first to market, you don’t need to explain why your product is better. You are the only one offering that product. But very few profitable businesses remain unchallenged. As a 2nd entry, 3rd entry… 129th entry… you need to know exactly what makes your offer stand out.

A big part of this is understanding the real reasons a customer buys your product.

Crazy Egg isn’t selling heatmap software. They are selling easy-to-use data analysis for non-analysts. There are 100 places business owners can go to for in-depth conversion software. Crazy Egg isn’t trying to be the most comprehensive or even the most accurate conversion software.

The idea is simply to provide easy visual access to business owners who want a better understanding of their customer base without a master’s degree in data analysis. Nine dollars a month to stop shadow-boxing and finally start understanding your customers is a compelling offer.

I’ve worked extensively with law firms in increasing their landing page conversion rates. Many of my clients come to me initially with the idea that they need more information on their pages or more descriptive explanations of the legal processes involved. A personal injury victim recovering from a traumatic run-in with a semi truck doesn’t care about the legal process. He doesn’t care about what constitutes “negligence” in the state of California.

This potential customer cares about one thing. He has medical bills to pay, and he wants to know if my client is able get him the money he needs to recover and go back to living his life.

What are you actually selling? What do your customers actually want? There are a number of factors that go into creating your pitch, but if you can’t answer those two questions, you can’t create a compelling offer.

3. Your Interface Is Too Complex (or it’s Malfunctioning)


Intuitive navigation and adequate site maintenance are a must if you want to convert your traffic. The easier it is to click “Buy,” the more often it will happen.

Every hurdle, on the other hand, drops a few more potential customers out of the conversion funnel.

I was contacted by a prospective client the other week, and when I went to review the website, it took more than 60 seconds to load the home page. 60+ SECONDS!?!?

Forty percent (yes, 40%) of your incoming traffic will abandon ship after just 3 seconds. The stat reports don’t go as high as 60 seconds, but I’d imagine you’re well past a 50% (even 75%) drop rate if your website is still loading one minute in.

Or what about a broken shopping cart? After stand-by flights didn’t work out on my honeymoon, I purchased tickets on Delta only to get an error message at the end. Then I purchased tickets from United, only to also get an error screen. I finally ended up flying American Airlines because they were the only website that could handle a simple purchase through their mobile site.

If you have loads of traffic entering your site, they are probably interested in what you’re offering. If they never seem to buy before they leave, it could be the cash register isn’t working properly… or perhaps customers couldn’t even find the cash register in the first place.

Poor navigation will also gut your conversions. If it’s not immediately obvious to users where they’re supposed to go on your site, they probably won’t stick around to figure it out.

Go ahead and role play as your target consumer. Click on your home page and count how many clicks it takes to finish a transaction. Time yourself. How long did it take? Did you ever have time to twiddle your thumbs between pages? Was everything easy to find?

A broken site is the worst possible reason to lose sales. Never stop making test-runs through your site.

And on the subject of testing…

4. You Aren’t Testing Enough

Let’s say you’re a conversion expert. You know exactly what makes a site convert, and you’ve implemented all the winning features on your site. Or maybe you’ve opted to use a service like GetResponse, and simply use pretested conversion winners for your site’s landing pages.

That’s all well and good, but what if your site is the 1 out of 100 that actually increases conversions with the inclusion of an image slider?

As I talk about extensively in the article linked above, the rules of conversion optimization are a general guideline for what works across a large selection of websites. They mean nothing in terms of your specific site.

The general rule is that more traffic equals more conversions, but if that were always the case, you wouldn’t be reading this article. If you aren’t seeing the same conversion bump with a video that most sites do, maybe your crazy audience actually likes static images sliding incessantly across their screens. Maybe they don’t want images at all. Maybe an 8-bit gif is the Holy Grail your consumers crave.

Who knows? You certainly won’t if you aren’t testing. NEVER STOP TESTING!

If you’ve yet to dive into the world of testing, testing, and more testing, check out my guide to choosing the right testing software for your business.

Click Here for more Crazy Egg articles by Jacob McMillen

The post 4 Reasons Your Traffic Is Increasing But Not Your Conversions appeared first on The Daily Egg.


4 Reasons Your Traffic Is Increasing But Not Your Conversions

Mental Health: Let’s Talk About It

Many of us struggle silently with mental health problems and many more are affected by them, either directly or indirectly. It’s Geek Mental Help Week and we would like to help raise awareness with a couple of articles exploring these issues. – Ed.
Talking about mental health can be awkward and embarrassing, but it really shouldn’t be. Mental health is just an illness, like any other. When we talk about mental health, we do so in hushed terms.


Mental Health: Let’s Talk About It


3 Simple AdWords Bidding Tweaks to Outsmart Your Competition

Keep ahead of competitors with these simple AdWords bidding tweaks. Image by TRF_Mr_Hyde via Flickr.

Do you know how your competitors are bidding more efficiently than you in AdWords to drive more conversions and higher ROI?

Sure, they may have access to sophisticated and expensive PPC management tools, but that’s not enough on its own. Marketers who get great ROI from their PPC campaigns understand how to take advantage of the tools at their disposal – no matter how basic.

So where should you start? There are plenty of posts about the different bidding tactics you should be using, but let’s focus on small changes that bring quick wins.

Here are three strategies that you can implement right away to bid more efficiently, drive more conversions and beat your competition.

1. Set bid adjustments for household income tiers

Bid adjustments allow for an increase or decrease in bid for better control of where ads are shown.

You’ve likely heard of marketers increasing bid adjustments for peak sales hours, or decreasing bid adjustments over the weekend. It’s also quite common to apply device-level bid adjustments.

But a less common strategy is to adjust bids based on household income tiers.

When is using bid adjustments for household income tiers effective?

I’ve talked before about the importance of pre-qualifying clicks for premium priced products, and it so happens that premium priced products are perfect for testing household income targeting.

There are certain products and services that are geared towards people with more money than the average Joe, and some geared towards those with less.

The examples below are hypotheses for when household income tier bid adjustments could make a difference:

  • Luxury cars: Luxury auto dealers may see better performance for households in the upper income tiers.
  • Pay-day loan and cash advance businesses: These types of companies may find lower income tiers to actually drive more conversions. A caveat could be that the lower tiers actually convert more loans but result in more defaults.
  • Luxury homebuilders: The kind of house you can afford is generally related to your income.
  • Mausoleums: It takes a pretty penny to build a mausoleum, so excluding lower income tiers likely makes sense.

Before you make any decisions about bid adjustments, you should first set a hypothesis and start collecting data. Aaron Levy of Cast Iron Digital explains:

If I had to give one piece of advice on the feature, it’s let the data populate before you make assumptions or adjustments. I’ve tested it across a few clients with mixed results, but in the cases where we changed bids off our perceived target audiences, performance backfired.

Simply put, don’t make assumptions without data, hoping to “make it rain!”


The goal is to collect data to see if it supports your hypothesis or not before blindly accepting and implementing any bid adjustments.

With data in hand you’ll be ready to make smarter bid adjustments at scale with little to no effort.

How to set household income tier targets:

Here’s how to get started (here’s a video tutorial if you’d prefer):

1. Select the campaign you want to add income tier targets to and go to Settings > Locations, and click the red “+Location” button as shown below.


2. Now find the “Location Groups” tab and the drop down to select either places of interest or demographic targets. Select “Locations by demographics” as shown below.


3. Now you will see the drop down for household income tiers. Select one and click “Add.” Repeat to add all the income tiers as targets. Now you can start collecting data for each of the household income tiers.


4. Check back in 1-2 weeks and see how your data looks. The data below is from the last 7 days on one of my accounts I recently added income tier targets to. I’m waiting on more data in this account but this gives you an idea of how you can look at performance by tier level. Now we hurry up and wait!

Click for larger image.

Just to re-emphasize, my suggestion here is to collect the data with a small bid multiplier before you jump to any conclusions. Once you have data to validate your assumptions, you can get to work setting bid adjustments.

What you think you know doesn’t matter. Let data tell you where to spend PPC dollars.
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2. Look year over year, not month over month

Many marketers look at last month’s performance to set bids for the upcoming month.

The problem with this approach is that you miss the forest for the trees. If you want to maximize profit with your bidding strategy you need to take a look at year over year data so you don’t miss seasonal trends, holidays, or special events.

E-commerce typically has very well-defined seasonal trends (Black Friday, Christmas) while other industries such as real estate or travel vary with the economy. No matter which industry you belong to, the point is to get out of the details long enough to understand what is coming. If you don’t see upcoming opportunities, you won’t adjust your bids up to take advantage of them.

Have a look at this slide from Bing Ads Evangelist John Gagnon’s presentation at the PPC Hero Conference. The slide shows the price of a single hotel room at Super 8 during the week of a major Nascar event:

Supply and demand do it again. Image source.

Super 8 is considered a budget hotel (a room there isn’t normally $500), but based on the outcome of past Nascar events, the motel knew that many tourists would be flocking to Austin – and they raised prices accordingly.

This isn’t uncommon; when a major event drives up demand, hotels and airlines respond by adjusting pricing to maximize ROI.

The same is true with your bid adjustments: If you use data and event trends to determine when conversion rates or average order values will be significantly higher, then you can adjust your bids accordingly to bid more aggressively in that window.

Start looking forward today

  • Look at your data from last year to determine whether there are any notable conversion spikes that can be linked to a specific event that takes place annually.
  • Pay attention to demand drivers like upcoming events and holidays. You can increase bids, buy more volume, and boost overall profit by being proactive.
  • If you want to start “looking forward” to the upcoming holiday season, here’s an article I published over at Search Engine Journal: 5 Bing PPC Optimization Tips for the Holidays.

Bid smart. Look at last year’s #PPC campaign performance to set bids for the upcoming month.
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3. Schedule automatic bid adjustments on your day off

It’s the weekend, and you deserve some time off. You can expect the competition is doing the same: letting their campaigns run on autopilot, occasionally checking in on them at best.


Most paid search managers check out on Friday and don’t think about their campaigns again until Monday morning. That leaves room for you to gain a competitive edge by scheduling some automatic bid adjustments for the weekend.

Similarly, if you notice that conversions are consistently higher on Mondays, you can schedule some bid adjustments for 6AM Monday morning. This way you don’t miss out on any opportunity Monday morning while you’re digging through emails, sitting in meetings and playing catch up in general.

How to set automatic bid adjustments for the weekend

Before you set any automatic bid adjustments for the weekend, you want to create a hypothesis and then collect data to validate your assumptions.

To do this, I like to check on my “Search Exact Match Impression Share” (or Search Exact Match IS) for each day of the week. According to Google, “Search Exact match IS” is defined as:

The impressions you’ve received divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive on the Search Network for search terms that matched your keywords exactly (or were close variants of your keyword).

On any given day, if your “Search Exact match IS” is low and your CPA is healthy, then you should be buying up more impression volume on that day.

The easiest way to do that is to set an automated bid adjustment to increase your bids on that day. Here’s how I do it:

1. First, apply a “Time” > “Day of  the Week” segment.


2. Compare the results for Saturday and Sunday versus the rest of the week. For simplicity’s sake, I like to start at the campaign level and then drill down to the ad group level next:

Click for larger image.

In this example, we see that our “Search Exact Match IS” is a bit lower on Saturday. The CPA looks good as well, so it’s worth testing whether or not increasing bids for Saturday would help drive more conversions.  

In the example above we decided to test our hypothesis with a 20% bid multiplier on Saturdays. We ran that test for four weeks and found a 30% lift in Saturday conversion volume.

Please note that what I’m suggesting is that you should test this hypothesis.

Increasing bids could cause you to buy more conversions at the same CPA, but it could also just increase your CPA without bringing in more conversions. That’s the correlation vs. causation argument that you have to be careful with.

If you want to squeeze extra ROI from your #PPC campaigns, look at weekday vs weekend performance.
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Making it all work

The ideas aren’t meant to be gospel – they’re meant to encourage critical thinking.

Have a look at your data, analyze it, and figure out where you could driving greater ROI.

Then create a hypothesis and test your assumptions.

Just because this kind of analysis requires extra effort upfront doesn’t mean it’s more time consuming; Once you test a hypothesis that works, you can automate it.

And that’s exactly the kind of PPC optimization that will help you outperform your competition and drive more conversions.

– James Scaggs


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3 Simple AdWords Bidding Tweaks to Outsmart Your Competition