What is Web Spam?

Web Spam: Intentional attempts to manipulate search engine rankings for specific keywords or keyword phrase queries. But isn’t that what SEO is? Trying to get your website content to rank better in search engine results? Well… There’s a fine line between doing everything you can to give your website content the best shot at ranking well in the search engines, vs. trying every sneaky trick possible. The Old Days of Web Spam – Keywords, Keywords, Keywords Everywhere! The first search engines (Lycos, HotBot, AltaVista to name a few) used a fairly basic approach to ranking webpages. For the most part,…

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What is Web Spam?

CSS Grid Gotchas And Stumbling Blocks

In March this year, CSS Grid shipped into production versions of Chrome, Firefox and Safari within weeks of each other. It has been great to see how excited people are about finally being able to use it to solve real problems.

CSS Grid Gotchas And Stumbling Blocks

CSS Grid is such a different way of approaching layout that there are a number of common questions I am asked as people start to use the specification. This article aims to answer some of those, and will be one in a series of articles on Smashing Magazine about layouts.

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CSS Grid Gotchas And Stumbling Blocks

VWO Research – eCommerce Consumer Survey Report 2017

With advancements in technology, the eCommerce sector has seen a major shift in its strategies over the years.

As an eCommerce business, you may be facing many challenges, owing to these shifting paradigms. Whether it is fighting the competition, reducing cart abandonment, or dealing with multiple sellers, the challenges can be multifaceted.

In this report, we aim to provide a solution for all these stages of challenges by using insights straight from the horse’s mouth.

We interviewed about 1,000 online consumers on their online buying habits and their experiences with current eCommerce enterprises. Consumers were primarily from the US and UK within the age group of 18-60.

With this report, you will understand some of the most common challenges, take a look below –

Market Expansion Challenge

As an e-commerce business, you are vying not only with other players in the industry but also with offline retailers and businesses overseas.

On being asked about their buying habits, about 51% of the customers said that they combine their online and offline shopping experiences before making a purchase.

Omnichannel eCommerce Marketing Stats

The competition from international businesses also becomes intense as 56% of the respondents said that they had made a purchase from an international store, and another 31% were willing to experiment.

Low Website Conversions

After consumers choose to land on your website, there can be many hiccups before they complete a purchase.

These were some of the key findings in website optimization, which eCommerce enterprises should focus on.

Understanding Your Customers Better with Personalization

With the myriad of tools and technology available, personalization strategies are becoming a must-have instead of a good-to-have.

About 36% of buyers were more likely to buy if a website showed products, based on their browsing history.

Going Strong with Mobile Optimization

Optimizing for mobile is still super-important as about 47% of the respondents said that they preferred using mobile when shopping online.

The report also provides valuable insights around check process optimization and customer reviews.

Challenges with Logistics

The last part of the report talks about the logistics challenges that a customer may face after completing a purchase. These can include shipping challenges and challenges associated with multiple sellers.

In the Report

Based on the recommendations of seasoned eCommerce professionals, this report focuses on the 3 above-mentioned challenges facing eCommerce managers, as the digital channel grows and diversifies. The report is aimed at client-side eCommerce practitioners who have a hands-on role in managing and growing the eCommerce channel.

eCommerce Survey CTA

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VWO Research – eCommerce Consumer Survey Report 2017

New to the Unbounce Builder: 10 Data-Backed, Industry-Specific Landing Page Templates

When Unbounce published our Conversion Benchmark Report, we wanted to empower marketers like us to take a more data-driven approach to optimizing their landing pages.

The report documents our findings after using machine learning to analyze the behavior of 74,551,421 visitors to 64,284 lead generation landing pages belonging to 10 of our most popular customer industries.

For each industry, the report summarizes average (and good and bad) conversion rates, and how certain variables — such as reading ease, page length and emotion — impact how likely a prospect is to convert.

Our hope was that these findings would help marketers make data-informed decisions when writing copy for their landing pages. But at Unbounce, we also like to eat our own dog food.

So when our design team was recently wireframing new landing page templates for the Unbounce builder, they looked to the report (and to commonalities between the 10 highest converting customer landing pages in each industry) to inform design decisions.

The result?

10 brand spankin’ new landing page templates for 10 of our most popular customer industries: Travel, Real Estate, Business Consulting, Business Services, Credit & Lending, Health, Higher Education, Home Improvement, Legal and Vocational Studies & Job Training.

Grab the report (which includes full benchmarks and copy recommendations for your industry) below, or keep reading for a sneak peek at five of our 10 new templates (check them all out here).

Download the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report (FREE)

Data-driven insights on average conversion rates per industry (+ expert copywriting advice)

By entering your email you expressly consent to receive other resources to help you improve your conversion rates.

Business Services: Harbor Template

The Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report uses an Emotion Lexicon and Machine Learning to determine whether words associated with eight basic emotions (anger, anticipation, disgust, fear, joy, sadness, surprise and trust) affect overall conversion rates.

In the Business Services industry, Unbounce data scientists found that trust is an important emotion to convey. In fact, if more than 8% of your language implies trust, you could see some improvement in your conversion rates.

To complement trustworthy copy, Unbounce designers added a section to the Business Services Harbor Template to flaunt relevant trust seals and certifications, directly under the CTA. It also includes a pretty aesthetically pleasing optional video background:

And here’s one more data-backed copywriting tip for the road:

Be as concise as you can. Overall, Unbounce data scientists found that pages with fewer than 100 words convert 50% better than those with more than 500 words.

This chart from the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report shows how word count is related to conversion rates for the Business Services industry. On the x-axis we have word count — on the y-axis, conversion rate.

Business Consulting: Marconato Consulting Template

You’ll notice the landing page template below that Unbounce designers created is quite short.

That’s because Unbounce data scientists found that every additional 250 words on a Business Consulting industry landing page correlates with 20% lower conversion rates.

This chart from the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report shows how word count is related to conversion rates for the Business Consulting industry. On the x-axis we have word count — on the y-axis, conversion rate.

You’ll notice that the template is a lead generation page offering an incentive such as an ebook. Our designers made this decision because they found that the top 10 highest converting Business Consulting landing pages they analyzed offered content instead of simply inviting visitors to “get in touch.”

One more thing to keep in mind when writing copy for this template?

Using any words that might evoke feelings of disgust in your audience (words like “blame,” “cheat,” “collapse,” “disaster,” and “offend”) could be hurting your conversion rates.

This chart from the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report shows how the percentage of copy that evokes disgust is related to conversion rates for the Business consulting industry. On the x-axis we have the percentage of copy that uses words related to disgust — on the y-axis, conversion rate.

Real Estate: ALLHËR Template

When Unbounce designers analyzed the 10 highest converting customer landing pages in the Real Estate industry, they found (unsurprisingly) that the pages were chock full of imagery: beautiful hero shots of the interior and exterior of properties, maps, full-width photography backgrounds and floor plans.

They took a cue from this when creating the visually striking ALLHËR Template:

And just because we like ya, here’s a bonus tip to keep in mind when you’re writing copy for your Real Estate landing page:

Unbounce data scientists saw a slight negative trend for pages in the Real Estate industry using more fear-inducing terms.

This chart from the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report shows how the percentage of copy that evokes fear is related to conversion rates for the Real Estate industry. On the x-axis we have the percentage of copy that uses words related to fear — on the y-axis, conversion rate.

If more than half a percent of your copy evokes feelings of fear, you could be hurting your conversion rates.

Here are some words commonly associated with fear on Real Estate lead capture landing pages: highest, fire, problem, watch, change, confidence, mortgage, eviction, cash, risk… (See the full list in the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report.)

Travel: Wayfaring Template

For the Travel Industry, Unbounce designers once again created a template that is quite visually striking, with a video background that transports you:

The emphasis on imagery in this template isn’t only a design choice; Unbounce data scientists found that in the Travel industry, landing pages with clear and concise language tend to perform best.

The large images complement the minimal copy boxes, which encourage you to explain what you are offering as simply as possible.

And here’s one final bonus copywriting tip, pulled straight from the Conversion Benchmark Report:

When writing copy for the Travel industry, keep language positive. If even just 1% of page copy subconsciously reminds your visitors of feelings of anger or fear, you could be seeing up to 25% lower conversion rates. No one wants to be angry on their vacation!

This chart from the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report shows how the percentage of copy that evokes anger is related to conversion rates for the Travel industry. On the x-axis we have the percentage of copy that uses words related to anger — on the y-axis, conversion rate.

Here’s a selection of commonly used words associated with anger in Travel, pulled from the Emotion Lexicon: limited, tree, money, hot, desert, endless, challenge, treat, fee, feeling, rail, stone, bear, buffet, lynch, bang, cash, cross, despair, shooting.

Higher Education: McGillis University Template

The Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report indicates that for the Higher Education industry, the highest converting lead generation landing pages are short and sweet.

On average, pages using 125 words or less have 15% higher conversion rates. With this in mind, Unbounce designers created a short but punchy McGillis University Template for the Higher Education industry:

Bonus data-backed tip to help you fill this template with high-converting copy:

Higher Education is one of the few industries where targeting college educated reading levels has similar landing page conversion rates to copy targeting 7th graders.

This chart from the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report shows how reading ease is related to conversion rates for the Higher Education industry. On the x-axis we have the Flesch Reading Ease scale — on the y-axis, conversion rate.

At the end of the day, when you’re writing copy for your Higher University landing page, don’t stress about reading levels too much — if you are communicating complicated concepts to a highly educated audience, it’s okay to use big words.

Let the data guide you

There you have it, five of the 10 data-backed templates that have just been launched in the Unbounce builder. Do you belong to an industry that wasn’t covered in this post? Check out all Unbounce templates here.

Once you’ve chosen the template you’d like to use to get started, read more data-backed copywriting tips for your industry in the Conversion Benchmark Report — and get a feel for what a “good” conversion rate is before you set that baby live!

Download the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report (FREE)

Data-driven insights on average conversion rates per industry (+ expert copywriting advice)

By entering your email you expressly consent to receive other resources to help you improve your conversion rates.

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New to the Unbounce Builder: 10 Data-Backed, Industry-Specific Landing Page Templates

Infographic: This Is Your Brain On Visualization

I’m not going to lie – visual communication is incredibly more effective than just using plain old text. I’ll prove it to you. Which set of instructions is quicker to understand and more effective overall? This: Or this: Obtain a pair of scissors. Hold the bag out in front of you. Locate the perforated seam at the top of the bag. Using your scissors, carefully cut along the perforated line. Discard any excess trimmings. The bag is resealable – so close after using to preserve freshness. Which set of instructions is going to help you get the job of opening…

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Infographic: This Is Your Brain On Visualization

Infographic: Your Brain On Visualization

I’m not going to lie – visual communication is incredibly more effective than just using plain old text. I’ll prove it to you. Which set of instructions is quicker to understand and more effective overall? This: Or this: Obtain a pair of scissors. Hold the bag out in front of you. Locate the perforated seam at the top of the bag. Using your scissors, carefully cut along the perforated line. Discard any excess trimmings. The bag is resealable – so close after using to preserve freshness. Which set of instructions is going to help you get the job of opening…

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Infographic: Your Brain On Visualization

Structuring your Customer Surveys: Asking Questions for Actionable Answers


Customer on-page surveys are a great way to gather feedback for your business. These surveys help you in understanding your customers and address issues that they face.

In a perfect world, surveys would work magically. We would create and deploy an on-page survey and the answers would just start trickling in. But, in the real world, it’s quite the opposite.

Why?

The average customer attention span is getting shorter as you speak. If you don’t ask the right questions with the help of the right platform, you may never get an answer.

That’s why thoughtful survey designs and questions are a must. These help you get better and actionable results, as well as a good ROI.

Here is a list of things that makes on-site surveys the de facto tool to gather actionable feedback:

  • Uncover flaws, which could affect various aspects of your business-like conversions, retention rate, churn rate, and so on, in web flow or user experience.
  • Evaluate your users and segment these for enhanced targeting.
  • Identify and evaluate the needs of your customers. For example, identify if it is time to get serious about a feature your customers are longing for.
  • Understand how your customers find your offerings to be different from those of your competitors’.
  • Evaluate new features or versions by asking for user feedback.

Hence, using app-based or on-page surveys is a great way to let the users know you genuinely care about what they think.

So, without much further ado, let’s begin.

Surveys: How to Begin

You may consider planning a survey to be straightforward. Start with building a list of questions individually or with a team, and brainstorm to pick the right set from the lot. When done, use a survey app and deploy it.

Consider the points below:

  • Why are you doing an on-page survey, and who is your target audience?
  • What channels and mediums are you going to target for this survey?
  • What do you expect to figure out?
  • What should you do to maximize data collection from this survey?
  • What actions are you going to take based on the survey results, which might be either positive or negative?

This process seems intuitive and productive. Yet, if you just turn the tables, you’ll be able to frame better questions.

Instead, start by brainstorming the answers that you want. When you point out the answers that you are looking for, the questions will automatically come to you.

Now, let’s revamp the above points into answers and see how these might help us come up with the questions:

  • You are doing a survey to increase the upsell rate. So your target audience would be your current set of users who are regularly using your product or service.
  • You want to target mobile users and get their feedback. Hence, the channel you pick is mobile and the medium would be push notifications, in-app surveys, and maybe
    email-based surveys.
  • You would be able to figure out the segment of users to whom you can upsell.
  • Incentivize the program by offering a free trial or a free beta period to maximize data collection for your survey.
  • Depending on the feedback you gathered, assign a team of account managers to the users who are open to upgrading. And, let’s say, in an unfortunate turn of events, your survey results in a backlash, it’s time to fix the system.

Now you know what your survey expectations are and the answers you are looking for. It’s time to create questions based on the above information.

Types of Surveys

As you frame questions based on the expected answers, you also need to think about the structure of the feedback.

You can gather answers to your survey questions in a variety of ways. The type of survey you select will affect your campaign results. Here are the most common survey types that you can choose from.

1. Yes/No surveys

This is the simplest form of an in-app or on-page survey that is running on various websites, as we speak. A question is followed by only 2 options, Yes and No.

Yes/No Survey

2. Multiple option-based surveys

Need more details than just Yes or No? Then multiple option-based surveys are exactly what you should try. This survey-type allows a marketer to provide multiple choices as possible answers. You can allow participants to select as many options (checkbox-based survey) as they deem fit or just one (radio button-based survey).

Multiple Option Surveys

 3. Drop-down menu-based surveys

Drop-down menu-based surveys work the same way as multiple option-based surveys. The catch is that at most times, drop-down options are sorted in order.

Drop Down Survey

Example:

What is the traffic of your website per month?

  • 0–10,000 users
  • 10,001–20,000 users
  • 20,001–50,000 users
  • 50,001 or more

Note that the options are in ascending order.

Drop-down surveys also help you run surveys where the responses could be from a vast set of data. For example, while trying to figure out the organizational function of the customer, there can be more than 10 options. Hence, a drop-down option would accommodate these options, without breaking your web design.

4. Textbox-based surveys

At times, you just need direct feedback from your customers or some contact information from the surveyee. In these circumstances, textual surveys come to our aid. These textbox-based surveys can have a small or large box.

Textbox Survey

When Should you Time The Survey?

As you can target a definite set of users, note the following points before deploying your survey:

  1. Does the user qualify for the survey? (Does the user fit your sales funnel, is the customer a valuable lead, and so on?)
  2. When should you ask the question? For instance, you should not ask a user at an early stage of the funnel, “what went wrong with your order?”
User Targeting
Target visitors based on their activity. For example, here the survey will only activate for returning visitors after 30s have elapsed.

Analyze your website dynamics and metrics. Also, watch your customer’s web flow and use the gathered data to pinpoint the right stage when your survey can connect with the reader.

How to Get People to Respond?

Asking the right questions is one part of the problem. The other important part is to get responses from your audience.

To do so, you need to frame questions that are easy to understand and easy to answer as well.

Here are a few ways marketers approach surveys:

  • Ask simple questions, concentrate on questions with well-defined options, a simple Y/N question or a multiple-choice survey. When answered, ask for an explanation.
  • Ask generic questions, which can have multiple answers.

We conducted a study on both types, and you can see how option-based questions performed better than open-ended questions.

VWO Survey Report -2016
The survey that had options resulted in 493 replies.

VWO Survey Report - 2
The question that had options to select from. One can clearly see that we got a massive 493 reply here.

 

Source

We learned that questions with concrete options performed better than questions that are open-ended. People tend to respond to surveys that require less time to complete. The former survey had answers to choose from and hence users were at ease while answering the survey.

We saw that surveys with predefined answers had a better scope of being answered. Moreover, our customers preferred to follow up with an explanation for their answers.

Now comes the part with best practices—what all you should keep in mind when you want to run surveys.

Do’s of Web Surveys

1. Ask questions based on a scale

 A simple way in which you can extract a rich dataset from your survey is by introducing a scale for the answers. Consider changing your Yes/No questions to more figurative questions.

For example, consider this question:

To what extent are you frustrated with the traffic on the 31st interstate?

2. Avoid asking leading questions

Some words and phrases interjected in your survey questions can subtly encourage readers to answer in a certain manner, thus compromising the purpose of the question. For example, “Due to a high cost of web hosting, do you think we should stop refreshing data every 2 hours?” is a question that may bias readers to choose an answer. Instead, you can frame your question on these lines, “Should we stop refreshing data every 2 hours?”

To evaluate if your question is leading readers, run a test with your colleagues or friends and see if they are biasing toward a similar option. If the percentage is high, then you need to reassess that question.

3. Offer incentives for long surveys

If, for some reason, you are unable to keep your survey short, offer an incentive to complete the survey. The incentive does not need to be something huge. For example, you can offer an entry to a giveaway contest for a product when a user participates and completes a long survey.

4. Keep a survey short and simple

If your surveys are brief, there is a greater chance of your visitors or customers completing the survey. Target a completion period of 10–15 seconds for best response rate.

Use of checkbox-based or radio-button-based surveys is recommended over textual surveys. Both these survey types have the highest response rate in our market study.

Also, do not delve into framing questions that are unclear to your readers. Be specific. For example, instead of asking, “Do you commute regularly using a cab?”, you may ask, “How many days in a work-week do you take a cab to work?” Such questions get you short and precise answers.

5. Make sure that every survey question is answered

 You are running a survey to gather actionable insights for your business. Weigh-in on every question, analyze what answers you are looking for, and decide if the question has to go to the survey.

6. Avoid questions with “and” and “or”

If your questions contain these connecting words, it may confuse the people taking the survey.

 For example, “Do you find your MacBook reliable and fast?”

Here, the customer can get confused, as ways to assess reliability and speed depend on individual requirement and vary across different users. Such a question would discourage the user from giving a concrete answer.

Instead, break the question into 2 parts. First, check the reliability and later, check the performance speed of the MacBook.

  • Extremely frustrated
  • Moderately frustrated
  • Slightly frustrated
  • Not affected

As you can note, this question could have an alternative yes/no variation; but this version provides you with a better context on the frustration level of the visitors. Hence, you can make better decisions on how to proceed toward a solution.

7. Place your Surveys at the right position on your website

According to our report, we noticed that a higher number of people completed on-page surveys when they were on the right side of the page, with a higher contrast ratio.

Don’ts of Web Surveys

1. Avoid open-ended questions

Per the above discussion, it is clear that open-ended questions in a survey have a higher chance of getting ignored than being answered. Always delve into option-based surveys, as discussed earlier.

2. Avoid a survey bias

Survey bias is a phenomenon where the person or the team putting the survey together develops questions in a specific manner that leads to the participant answering as desired by the surveyor.

For example, to confirm a fact about your product, you may frame a question in a manner where your customer answers precisely what you want.

Here is a hypothetical situation, which demonstrates the intent of bias toward a specific answer. If you ask your customers, “Due to the increase in accidents on campus, do you think motor-based vehicles should be banned in the college,” the answer is going to be mostly “Yes.”

Why?

Because surveyee attention may shift toward the issue of higher accidents in the campus and they may answer the question keeping safety in their mind.

But when you frame a question like “Do you think motor-based vehicles should be banned from colleges?” students may have a more neutral answer or outlook.

3. Not testing your survey

Don’t ever forget to test your Survey. Here are two ways of testing your survey.

The first test would be testing its compatibility with the on-page survey. Things like device compatibility, responsive nature, and survey triggers should be tested before going live with the survey.

The second test would be doing an internal run of the survey. Try to at least run the survey across 5–10 members of your organization and see if you can get unbiased and honest responses. If something looks wrong, revisit the questions.

Conclusion

On-page or On-site surveys are a crucial part of conversion optimization. Whether you are looking to decipher your low conversion rates or improve your already decent figures, on-page surveys can play a significant role.

Surveys are going to help you in a lot of ways. A survey allows you to understand your visitors and existing customers, and learn about their expectations from your product or service. It’s also a tool that allows you to segment and target your user base. Visitors with advanced knowledge even use surveys to garner their NPS.

This post is written to help you conduct surveys that bring you actionable data. So the next time you begin your survey:

  1. Understand the need for a survey. The answers you are looking for will help you create your questions.
  2. When you have the questions, decide which format of on-page surveys suits the feedback mechanism.
  3. Learn to earn a response from your customers or visitors. Experiment with best practices for surveys to maximize the response rate.
  4. Stay away from open-ended questions. Avoid a survey bias, and always test before you go live.
  5. After you have actionable results, start delivering to your users.

The post Structuring your Customer Surveys: Asking Questions for Actionable Answers appeared first on VWO Blog.

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Structuring your Customer Surveys: Asking Questions for Actionable Answers

How to use pricing psychology to motivate your shoppers: Two test results just in time for Black Friday

Reading Time: 8 minutesBlack Friday, Cyber Monday, holiday sales, and post-Christmas blow-outs: We’re coming up to the biggest buying season of the year….Read blog postabout:How to use pricing psychology to motivate your shoppers: Two test results just in time for Black Friday

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How to use pricing psychology to motivate your shoppers: Two test results just in time for Black Friday

5 Useful Tools for Translating Your Website Content

website translation

The global economy has expanded your potential market in a way that was not possible even ten years ago, leveling the playing field for small and big businesses. However, it does come with some issues. One of them is the language barrier. If your website is in English, you will get your message across to about 27% of the market. Put another way, about 73% of the global market prefers websites with content in their native language. If people don’t understand the content of your website, you cannot hope to make a sale. You need to give your visitors the…

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5 Useful Tools for Translating Your Website Content

How To Translate Your Website Content & 5 Useful Tools To Do The Job

website translation

The global economy has expanded your potential market in a way that was not possible even ten years ago, leveling the playing field for small and big business. However, it does come with some issues. One of them is the language barrier. If your website is in English, you will get your message across to about 27% of the market. Put another way, about 73% of the global market prefers websites with content in their native language. If people don’t understand the contents of your website, you cannot hope to make a sale. You need to give your visitors the…

The post How To Translate Your Website Content & 5 Useful Tools To Do The Job appeared first on The Daily Egg.

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How To Translate Your Website Content & 5 Useful Tools To Do The Job