Tag Archives: conversion

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So You Want to Do a Conversion Audit? Here’s What You Need to Know

If you’ve launched your website and are steadily getting traffic, you may feel like the hardest part is over. The truth is, the real work has just begun.

Now your focus shifts from a design/development perspective to a relationship-building, client-centered one. You’re now an inspector, looking for all the little “leaks” in your website that are causing customers not to buy.

There are about as many reasons people don’t buy as there are stars in the sky, so rather than focusing on those, we’re going to look at how to remedy as many of them as possible through a series of steps—a task known as a conversion audit.

conversion auditSource: Placeit.net

What’s a Conversion Audit?

Also known as a website review, a conversion audit looks at your site from your customers’ shoes—pinpointing areas where improvements could be made that would strengthen your conversion rate. Typical areas of focus include design and layout, search engine optimization, social media optimization, checkout process, and content.

Remember that customers arrive at your website from various different points, and with a wide range of experiences. A conversion audit professional takes all of these routes into consideration when analyzing your site. With that in mind, here’s what we look for:

Design and Layout (Both Desktop and Responsive)

Even great looking websites’ conversion rates can flounder. What’s attractive on the surface may not be compelling enough to the end user. With that being said, conversion optimization professionals typically look at things that make it easier for the audience to visually scan the page, including:

Of course, it’s not enough to go on common conversion practices alone. We also look at how the site performs on mobile devices. Since mobile traffic currently accounts for over one third of all web traffic (and is inching closer to the 50% mark), not having a responsive, device-optimized design is just flushing potential revenue away.

responsive

With the advent of technologies like HTML5 and CSS3, there’s no longer any need to develop a separate mobile site. One site can conform to all resolutions and devices. Just go easy on the load time for smartphones!

Search and Social Optimization

You might not think search and social optimization would go together in the same sentence. They produce vastly different conversion results, it’s true. But since customers can enter your website from any number of channels, from an optimization perspective, we typically put these two together.

After all, there are dozens of factors that go into making your site perform well in search, why should those not bleed over into social?

optimized

Moz.com’s graphic on the elements of an optimized page. View full image here

Many people take great pains to optimize their search results, but social seems more like an afterthought, because the traffic is viewed as not as valuable. Let’s face it, how many times have you gone on Facebook to buy something? (Um, never!) But just because the intent isn’t there, doesn’t mean we should be dismissive of these visitors.

A good conversion optimization audit looks at how well your social efforts flow into each other and back to your original website. Because social results can also impact your search engine ranking, you want to have a fluid, seamless flow from each channel. That means doing things like:

  • Customizing your Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages to incorporate the same style and tone used on your website.
  • Include branding and graphics from your website on your social properties
  • Promote the same friendly customer service and open discussion on your social channels as you do on your website
  • Give customers on social networks a more engaging reason to interact with you. Surveys, contests and quizzes are all great portals to encourage interaction.

Starbucks has done a phenomenal job of not only responding to customer issues, but also providing a consistent voice, tone and engagement level for all its fans.

starbucks-fb-pinterest

Notice how they invite users to participate by submitting their own photos, as well as voting on a contest for the best artistic cup design through Pinterest. It’s this kind of cross-channel communication that gets people to recommend, discuss and otherwise involve themselves in your offer.

E-Commerce Product Pages and Checkout Process

apple

Apple knows exactly how to design an engaging, beautiful and high performing product page. Click here to see more examples of best practices in e-commerce

A good conversion audit wouldn’t be complete without a closer look at the e-commerce process. This can sound overwhelming, but there are a few key points to consider when auditing your product pages and checkout, including:

  • Always-visible shopping cart, complete with an image of the item added, and the price (along with any discounts)
  • Customization or personalization options (if available)
  • Showing the number of steps to order completion
  • Incorporating free shipping (by far the biggest conversion-producer for e-commerce websites)
  • Use of security and trust seals where appropriate
  • Forms with easy-to-understand errors to let the customer know if they missed or forgot to enter something.

Of course, these are just a few of the many points to consider, but a good conversion audit will take them all into consideration and then make adjustments and test depending on one’s own audience and their expectations.

Content Writing

Browse the Web for any length of time, and you’ll see that for many sites, the content seems more like an afterthought than an integral part of the conversion strategy.

While the tone and voice of the content will differ depending on the audience and brand (you wouldn’t be conversational if you’re selling high-grade technical parts and components), but for most consumer-facing brands, an open dialogue can make a big difference.

chalkfly

ChalkFly, an office and school supply store, uses their content to reinforce that they’re a company you’ll love to do business with.

While every business is different, notable points include reinforcing free shipping, noting the return/exchange policy in plain English, demonstrating your differences in a way the customer can understand, and much more.

Good website content is an art as much as a science, and understanding what compels your users to action is all part of the visitor psychology process.

Wrapping Up Your Audit

It may look overwhelming at first, but a good conversion audit is both thorough and straightforward. By understanding your visitors’ needs and then structuring your site and all of its promotional outlets to meet and exceed those expectations, you’ll be leaps and bounds ahead of your competition and truly have a site that converts to the best of its ability. Good luck!

Read other Crazy Egg articles by Sherice Jacob.

The post So You Want to Do a Conversion Audit? Here’s What You Need to Know appeared first on The Daily Egg.

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So You Want to Do a Conversion Audit? Here’s What You Need to Know

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Dissecting Popup Anatomy: What Works & What Hurts Your Bottom Line

Popups get a bad rap.

To put it bluntly, people hate them.

There’s almost nothing online that’s more annoying than something getting in your way, interrupting your research, FORCING you to take time out just to close a window. Or worse—signing up for an email list you don’t care about just to keep reading.

Sure, things have gotten better from the all-out popup war that led to browser popup blockers, but just because the popup itself has gotten a little more sophisticated doesn’t mean it’s stopped being an unwelcome party guest.

Even in 2013, 70% of people thought irrelevant popups were really annoying, putting them on the same level as lottery scams.

popup anatomy

The popups we grew to hate. All caps yelling, the stench of desperation, and an all-out denial of the fact they’d already lost the reader’s interest.

Why They’re Still Around

But, let’s face it. Popups are still around and they aren’t going away anytime soon.

In fact, the reason they’re still around is because they work—better than almost any other lead generation strategy.

As annoying as the bad ones may be, marketers find popups nearly irreplaceable in increasing blog subscriptions and lead volumes.

In fact, Econsultancy found that an overlay can increase email opt-ins by 400%.

popup - placeitSource: Placeit.net

Bad Popup Anatomy: A List 6 Things NOT to Do

The flip side of this, though, is that a 400% increase in opt-ins doesn’t mean those subscribers are as high quality as the ones that actively seek you out.

Fortunately, you can use popups to dramatically increase your subscribers and leads while keeping quality in check.

When you break down the anatomy of a popup, there are good practices and bad practices, so we’ll explore both. But first, a list of anatomical characteristics to avoid:

1. Don’t use bully language
Your visitors aren’t stupid, so don’t treat them that way. You can’t trick them into giving you their email address by using clever wording and trickery. They can read right through it.

popup anatomy

There’s no need to insult your users like this. They’re intelligent people who can make their own decisions, so respect them for it.

2. Avoid being a conversion sell-out

Sometimes, less is more.

It’s entirely possible that 50 quality conversions can increase your bottom line more than 500 generic ones.

Don’t get caught up in the thrill of a 400% increase until you find out that it’s also significantly impacting your bottom line. When you do your A/B testing and data tracking, use the monetary value of each conversion as your deciding data, not just the number of conversions themselves.

3. Don’t use blanket popups
Blanket popups with generic messages don’t serve anyone, and may be irrelevant to your visitor, turning them off from your website and services forever.

For example, if you have a website that sells health supplements and you’ve got a popup pushing your latest weight loss pill, it might get in front of the eyes of a lot of people, but don’t show it to people who want to boost muscle mass.

Instead of blanket popups, customize them based on purchase and browsing history. At the very least, make them page-specific so you know you won’t be too far off the mark.

4. Don’t hide the X
You might be desperate for people to convert, but hiding the X and making it harder for people to get rid of your popup only makes visitors resent you more.

And, the less they resent you, the higher your chances are for a quality conversion.

5. Don’t get in the user’s way
People get online to do their own thing. They don’t want you to boss them around. If you’re going to use a popup that stops users from doing what they want, you need to have a very easy-to-see escape route.

Better yet, use a popup that doesn’t get in their way at all. It’s less irritating and you won’t get the annoying website reputation.

And the email IDs you do collect will be higher quality ones because it’s more of an elected opt-in than a forced one.

popup anatomy, bottom popup

Econsultancy’s popup is at the bottom of their page. It’s still noticeable, but doesn’t get in the way of scrolling, clicking and reading.

6. Don’t go popup crazy

In short, keep your popups in check and use them in moderation. Don’t use one on every single page, and definitely don’t use multiple popups per visit.

Choose a popup that offers the most value for each landing page, and employ it in a tactful manner. (Not right away, but ideally before they’ve already decided to close the window. Make Web World suggests a 30-second delay.)

The Anatomy of Page-Stopping Popups

Today, the most popular popups are light boxes and overlays. They increase opt-ins, but they do interrupt the user experience by forcing them to look at and interact with the popup.

lightbox, page-stopping popup

As soon as this page loads, a popup stops me from reading and requests me to like their Facebook page, even though I’ve already done so.

There’s a good side and a bad side to both of these, so you can’t really have a 100% win either way: to use them or not.

Since you know you visitors better than anyone else, you’ve got to decide whether or not the leads you get are worth interrupting your user experience and annoying them a little bit. A short stint of A/B testing should do the trick if you’re unsure. But these pros and cons will help you decide where to start:

Pros of Page-Stopping Popups

  • A significant increase in the number of leads and opt-in conversions
  • The ability to catch a reader’s eye with special value offers
  • Can use customized versions of popups to optimize online sales funnels

Cons of Page-Stopping Popups

  • Renders the site useless and forces readers to interact with something against their will
  • Lowering the quality of the visitor experience in exchange for lower quality leads
  • With too many, people become annoyed with your site and may stop visiting

The Anatomy of Hello Bar

Another, more recent popup option that doesn’t impede so much on the user experience is the Hello Bar.

It’s an app that lets you design custom bars that display across the top or bottom of your page—visible to the visitor while he’s scrolling and reading, but doesn’t force him to interact.

Depending on your goals, you can customize formats to drive traffic to a specific URL, collect email addresses, or promote your social media pages.

Even though it doesn’t get directly in the face of the visitor, it’s helped businesses like DIY Themes gain more than 1,000 extra blog subscribers in one month.

hello bar, popup anatomy, more subscribers

When creating your Hello Bar, you get to choose which goal most suits your needs: more traffic, more subscribers, or more social media followers.

Effective Popup Anatomy: 5 Things You SHOULD Do

Though popups get a bad rap for their ability to irritate Web surfers, their reputation shouldn’t stop you from trying them out.

There are ways you can actually make popups valuable rather than irritating, vastly increasing your leads and subscribers while making sure the leads have sales potential.

To make your popups effective:

  1. Be as unobtrusive as possible. To be clear this doesn’t necessarily mean avoiding overlay or page-stopping popups, but it does constant data checking if you do. For example, if you have a valuable well-designed overlay popup that gives you better bottom-line conversions than a message bar across the top of your page, use it. However, if the value of both are equal, opt for the message bar.
  2. Offer real value. Offer users something that will actually help them in return for their email address. Hint: “bi-weekly updates” isn’t nearly as valuable as “7 concrete ways to reduce your ad spend while increasing conversions.”
  3. Have a nice, minimalistic design. Use clear, direct wording with clear, direct images and design layout so your visitors know exactly what you’re offering them and whether or not they want to take part. Clarity wins over confusion every time.
  4. Use respectful language. Don’t try to shame your visitors into agreeing with your offer. It will only make them resent you for insulting their intelligence. Instead, when they feel respected, they’ll have respect for you in return.
  5. Use brand-friendly colors. Bright red and yellow are only acceptable in McDonald’s advertisements. In designing your popups, use your brand colors or colors your brand designer gave you in your color pallet.
popup design, popup anatomy, popup language

Social Triggers offers real value with their well-designed popup, while respecting the visitors who reject their offer.

What’s Worked for Your Business?

What are your thoughts on different kinds of popups? If you’re a marketer who’s employed popups in your on-page marketing, which types gave you the most improvement in your bottom line?

Check out some of Crazy Egg’s other posts on user experience, or read more articles by Chelsea Baldwin.

The post Dissecting Popup Anatomy: What Works & What Hurts Your Bottom Line appeared first on The Daily Egg.

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Dissecting Popup Anatomy: What Works & What Hurts Your Bottom Line

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Pro Tips on Using Social Proof to Increase Conversions

Businesses and marketers are increasingly using social proof to create positive customer engagement around their products and services, which in turn can increase conversions that contribute to the bottom line.

After all, it’s not just about getting users to your website, but it’s about ultimately keeping them there to become a real customer. To do that, businesses need to understand exactly what social proof is and what techniques are best for promoting this highly effective marketing strategy.

social proof_placeitSource: Placeit.net

What is Social Proof?

People are driven by certain behaviors, whether they realize it or not, and one of them is sticking with the group. Plenty of research backs this up, such as the Asch conformity experiments. However, social proof in the marketing community simply refers to using these crowds and their input to create positive connections with a brand or business.

Essentially, your business wants to harness this very human urge to connect with other people, whether it’s friends or even anonymous users on the Web. Whenever people are talking about a business, or using its services, or connecting with it in large numbers through social media, this helps other people know that this company has value that people naturally want to be a part of.

Comments, User Reviews & Social Media

Nothing builds social proof like community. And nothing builds community like comments from real people.

Think about the comments that people leave on your landing pages that could lead to conversions. Comments can provide an absurd amount of social credibility if you take the time to respond and provide assistance to people.

The 86 (and growing) comments on this My Advertising Pays community page only drive up conversions and encourage people to buy the product:

community proof

Notice each comment has a personal response. This turned a normal review page into a full-out community where people are encouraged to participate. This “social proof” has only increased conversions for this page.

One of the most popular and effective methods for gaining social proof is through product reviews. A study by Harvard Business School demonstrated that a one-star increase in a business’s Yelp review led to an increase of sales between 5 and 9 percent. The study demonstrates that users are constantly evaluating what others are saying when it comes to making their purchasing decisions.

Amazon is perhaps one of the most famous business models relying on a customer review strategy to sell, especially when it comes to selling products. However, Amazon demonstrates the success of companies that allow users to provide input given the increased trust it produces in potential customers.

Social media is perhaps one of the most important strategies for generating social proof. But, you have to learn to optimize your social media credentials to drive conversions.

Using Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus are all about connecting users to your site and landing conversions. In fact, something as simple as demonstrating how many “likes” you have from Facebook on your landing page has been shown to increase conversions even when all other elements between competing sites remain the same.

Publishing Stories & Testimonials

Building a network of stories and shared experiences around your site is important as well. Social proof is achieved when enough of these shared experiences generate other user stories based on the human desire to participate.

Examples include how your company’s app helps or entertains them on a daily basis or how your real estate company has led people to connect with the home of their dreams. No matter what company you’re running, it’s all about finding the human angle that speaks to a wide audience. If people can “visualize” your business’s services in their own lives through storytelling, this builds the social proof they need to connect with your website and company’s services.

A great way to successfully build social proof with users is through video testimonials. Allowing people to picture how others are benefitting from your company helps build an immediate and personal connection.

TopTenReviews did this with their Web hosting reviews and uploaded them to their YouTube channel. Using real people and real feedback data, they started producing videos that added more value and authenticity to their Web hosting review pages:

web-hosting-reviewTry placing a testimonial video directly on your landing page or upfront on your webpage, so it’s one of the first impressions a potential customer has when visiting your site.

Use Numbers Effectively

Statistics can also convince visitors that they should believe in your services. Examples include pointing to the number of clients you have, how many people have signed up for your website’s services, or how many people are using your product.

It’s not about just raw numbers either. If your business has worked with other well-known businesses, think about putting their logos on your website to help you leverage the credibility of other brands people know and trust.

If you’re a smaller business, stick to a smaller scale to generate social proof, such as individual reviews or testimonials that bring a more personal touch. As your numbers become more impressive, think about adding some of them to your website.

Basecamp, a company that provides project management tools to other companies, has a great landing page that you can really learn from:

basecamp-lander As soon as you come to their page, you’re introduced to how many people signed up for their service in the previous week, helping any visitor see that many others value this company. Basecamp also points out that over 15,000,000 people have used their services in total, which immediately indicates the “crowd” has accepted their service.

Additionally, the main page lists the companies that Basecamp works with, such as Etsy, Twitter and even NASA, which helps reinforce the quality of Basecamp’s brand. When you work with big companies like that, you immediately want to point it out. Finally, you can see projects finished by other companies using Basecamp, helping potential customers see how Basecamp’s tools can work for them. All of these factors help build social proof’ for anyone eager to try their services.

Conclusion

In closing, as social media networks have grown and the Internet has become ever more reliant on users and their input to sway public opinion, social proof is more important than ever. By following some of these strategies for building social proof, you can ultimately increase your sales and leads.

Did you like this article? Please check out my other Crazy Egg articles on conversion optimization here.

The post Pro Tips on Using Social Proof to Increase Conversions appeared first on The Daily Egg.

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Pro Tips on Using Social Proof to Increase Conversions

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Crazy Minimal Homepage Increased Leads for an SEO Service Company from 1.39% to 13.13%

The split testing campaign I am going to talk about in today’s case study was named the “crazy minimal homepage” campaign. The change was no less crazy; the company decided to wipe off their entire homepage and show just the sign-up form.

The Company

TheHOTH is a white label SEO service company. They provide link building services for agencies and SEO re-sellers. On their website’s original homepage, they have a video & a sign-up form (above the fold), customer logos, testimonials as well as other necessary and good-to-have elements.

Here is how their original homepage looks:

thehoth_original_homepage

The Problem

TheHOTH was getting a decent amount of traffic on their homepage but their conversions were pretty low. They tested their headline and added / removed some page elements among other changes. But nothing brought them significant results.

The Research

They decided to dig some data to understand about the people who were signing up for an account. The analysis showed them that most of their sign-ups were coming from referrals, word-of-mouth and direct search.

The Hypothesis

The test hypothesis was that eliminating everything from the homepage and keeping just the sign-up form on the page would increase conversion of visitors to account sign-ups. They wanted to test this, as a substantial portion of visitors coming to their website were already familiar with the brand.

The Test

The company setup a split test with VWO and the traffic was split between 2 versions of the homepage: the original and the minimal homepage with only the sign-up form. The test ran for 30 days and close to 3000 visitors became a part of the test.

Here is how the variation page looks:

variation_page

The Result

The minimal homepage increased account signups for TheHOTH from 1.39% to 13.13%. Needless to say, this was a home run for them.

comparison_image

Why The Minimal Homepage Worked

  • Broadly traffic coming to a website can be divided into 5 mediums: direct, search, social, referral and paid.
    Majority of visitors coming on TheHOTH website were from the direct and referral category. Hence, they had some background knowledge of the company already. This was also true for the social traffic. A very large portion of their search traffic also came from branded keywords (see data from Alexa below). Hence, visitors of the website had a certain level of trust in the brand already. Probably to learn more about the offering the visitors signed up for an account since no information about the service was present on the landing page.
thehoth.com_search_keywords_overview

Challenges with a Minimal Homepage

1) Quality of Leads

A major challenge with having such a design is that many people will enter in to understand the product or service and may later realize that it is not a good fit for them.

Alternatively, this would give the company a lot of leads to educate and convince about the product / service.

Clayton at TheHOTH (who setup this test) explained that they are also concerned about the quality of leads that would enter the system unaware or less aware of the service. They’re solving this by adding more information after signup, reaching out to customers via phone & email, and implementing an educational auto-responder to deliver value to their signups.

2) Additional Pressure on Sales

More number of less quality leads would put an additional level of pressure on the sales department. They would have a hard time differentiating between the already motivated leads and those who entered just to understand the offering.

3) Low Trust

Since there is nothing except the sign-up form on the variation page, users have no way of finding out more about the company. This could lead to low trust.

It would be interesting to see the results of the test with a third variation that has the sign-up form on the left and a testimonial on the right hand side. (something like below)

Test suggestion for TheHOTH homepage

This was one interesting usage of VWO that came our way. I would really be interested in knowing your thoughts on why the crazy minimal homepage worked. And what do you think about it in general? Looking forward to hear from you in the comments section!

The post Crazy Minimal Homepage Increased Leads for an SEO Service Company from 1.39% to 13.13% appeared first on VWO Blog.

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Crazy Minimal Homepage Increased Leads for an SEO Service Company from 1.39% to 13.13%

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Branding & Conversion: Lessons From A Local Mechanic

At its core, marketing can be divided into two facets: direct-response and branding.

Direct-response is the most efficient of the two and results in the most quantifiable results, and that’s why I’ve spent most of my time discussing it in my previous posts. After witnessing an exceptional display of brand-focused marketing, however, I think it’s time we take a look at the branding side of conversions.

When You Need A Mechanic

I recently ran into some car trouble. After sifting through online reviews for local mechanics, I noticed that one company consistently rose to the top of the list. I checked out their website and then took my car in for service.

By the end of my experience, I had never been so thoroughly impressed with a local business. They did everything right and their customer service went far beyond the competition. At the end of the day, all I could think of was, “Business owners at The Daily Egg will want to know about this.”

So here we go: 4 branding lessons from a local mechanic.

1. Trust Is Everything

Like most consumers today, the first thing I did was search for online reviews. Virtually every location had a number of good reviews, but I noticed one in particular had lengthier positive reviews and, more importantly for me, zero negative reviews.

Unlike many local mechanics, this company actually had a website. And not just any website—this website was tailor made to build trust.

Perrys-website

As you can see, you are immediately greeted with a friendly yet experienced-looking face, the same face that greets you when you arrive at the garage. The design is simple and pleasing to the eye, and 80+ 5-star reviews are displayed prominently in the upper left-hand corner of the page.

As you scroll down on the homepage, the copy talks about a family company that has been handed down through the generations since 1968. At this point, I was intrigued, so I gave them a call.

When I arrived at the garage, the mechanic gave me his initial prognosis and described exactly what he expected from a test drive in confirmation of that prognosis. Our test drive resulted in everything he had predicted, giving me a great deal of confidence in his ability to fix the problem.

He also took the time to talk me through the diagnosis along the way and answered every question without even a hint of condescension.

By the time we were back at the garage, I was supremely confident that I had brought my car to the right place. After the checkup was complete, I received both a phone call and email listing exactly what was wrong with the car and which repairs required immediate attention.

The email even included pictures of the damage.

engine-issues

Each step of the process built trust with me and made me want to use this mechanic for future work.

Key Takeaways For Your Business

  1. Intentionally utilize your Web presence to establish trust. Preemptive trust will get customers in the door.
  2. Establishing expertise in your field will make customers less apprehensive about giving you their money.
  3. Continuously build trust throughout the transaction process. You want your customers to walk out the door with even more trust in your business than when they walked in.

2. Make The Entire Process Convenient

The most impressive part of my experience was the convenience. It’s as if my every need was planned for. I experienced ZERO friction.

For starters, the phone number AND store hours were listed prominently on the home page. I didn’t have to dig at all to contact them. Once I made the call, the representative offered to diagnose my issue free of charge. I could come by immediately, and they would be happy to take the car for a drive and let me know what was wrong.

Once I arrived, the mechanic had already been briefed on my car’s reported issues, so I did not have to repeat myself multiple times before getting help. I decided to get the issue fixed, and they immediately offered me a ride back to my apartment and pickup once the work was done.

A few hours later, I received a phone call informing me of the issue and an email with pictures and a detailed analysis of what was urgent, what could wait, and what preemptive measures were recommended.

At each step of the process, Perry’s Automotive made  it extremely convenient for me to get what I needed, even in ways I neither expected nor needed.

Key Takeaways

  1. Imagine yourself walking though a business transaction with your own company. Where can you make that process easier on your customers? What low-cost extras will add convenience and value to your product or service?
  2. Analyze your competition and offer something they aren’t offering. If you can surprise your customer, you’ve already won.
  3. Don’t be afraid of redundancy. I greatly appreciated hearing the same thing on the phone I was reading in the email. Neither the phone call nor the email cost Perry’s a penny extra, but having both improved my experience with their brand.

3. Superficial Extras Work

In many cases, consumers make their decisions based on price and quality. It can be easy to discount the superficial extras companies add in as gimmicks or cheap marketing ploys.

Sometimes, however, the superficial extras really work. I don’t really know how Perry’s stacks up to the competition on a price-to-price comparison, and honestly, I don’t care. Their prices seemed reasonable enough to me, and the trust they built with me was more than enough to make me choose their services, even in the presence of cheaper options. Read here for tips on creating this level of trust on your landing pages.

The finishing touch was the extras.

The first “extra” was the representative’s phone and office demeanor. He was genuine, engaging, and likable the entire time, and he made me feel that my value to Perry’s as a customer had nothing to do with how much money I spent on their services.

A few days after the work was finished, I received a card in the mail, thanking me for selecting Perry’s and inviting me to call with any future questions concerning car issues.

photo

Feeling positive about their service, I left a review online, and received this via email.

perrys-email

I’m a grown adult. I fully understand that none of these gestures significantly improve the actual value I’m receiving from their service. These are superficial extras, but they work because no one else is doing them.

I’ve never received a card from a mechanic. I’ve never received a thank you email for a review. I rarely experience quality customer service from phone or office representatives. When you put all these things together, I am left with a highly favorable impression of this company’s brand.

Key Takeaways

  1. Identify points in the sales cycle where you can further engage customers through extra outreach.
  2. Don’t limit yourself to improvements in price and quality. Superficial extras, if executed well, can set you apart.
  3. Your phone representatives are the initial face of your brand. Your company’s status in a consumer’s eyes is directly correlated to his or her experience with your customer service reps. Invest in getting this part right.

4. Your Product/Service MUST Be Excellent

From trust to convenience to superficial extras, none of it matters if you can’t competently deliver the goods with your service or product.

I loved the Web presence. I was impressed by the convenience. I appreciated the extras. At the end of the day, however, I wouldn’t have a favorable impression of Perry’s Automotive if they hadn’t done fantastic work on my car.

If your business is easily compared and contrasted with competitors, investing in excellence should be your #1 priority. For business offerings that function more like a commodities, where everyone’s product/service is created somewhat equal, the branding points listed in this article will help you differentiate yourself from the pack.

The baseline of any brand is the actual product/service itself. Once you have that down, use trust, convenience, and meaningful extras to get customers coming back time and time again. It worked on me, and it will work for you.

Bottom Line

Conversion optimization is all about the details of your landing pages — fine-tuning the elements that convey trust, offer a better user experience and moving people to action. These are, bottom line, the same things that drive sales in brick-and-mortar businesses.

If your business is digital. Apply these lessons to your website. If you have a physical business, apply them to both your website and the actual in-store experience. You can optimize your business for conversions, as well as your landing pages.

Read other Crazy Egg articles by Jacob McMillen.

The post Branding & Conversion: Lessons From A Local Mechanic appeared first on The Daily Egg.

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Branding & Conversion: Lessons From A Local Mechanic

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How To Use Scarcity To Increase Conversion Rates

In 1962, Ferrari manufactured a series of sports cars called the Ferrari 250 GTO and sold them for $18,000 each. Only 39 were manufactured in total.

In 2004, a young man put the finishing touches on a website he was working on from his dorm room at Harvard. It was a site where people could connect with each other online, but only Harvard students could access it.

Today, one of those cars is worth over $50 million, making it the most expensive car in the world. And that website is worth more than $150 billion, making it one of the most valuable companies in the world.

When access to something is restricted, by being scarce or exclusive, the perceived value and demand for it increases. We always crave what we can’t have. We want to be the only one to own that rare item, or get admitted to that private club. And we’re willing to pay big.

Facebook wasn’t the first social network but, because they launched as an exclusive club for students of select universities, everyone wanted in. By the time they opened up to the public, they had a massive queue of people waiting.

The Ferrari 250 GTO is 50 years old. As a car, with its outdated technology and safety standards, it has almost no value. But because they are so scarce, they have immense value as a collector’s item.

Scarcity and exclusivity are powerful psychological methods of persuading people to buy. Customers sitting on the fence will be more inclined to purchase when they learn that the product they’re looking at might not be available to them.

While it wasn’t planned, it certainly worked well for Facebook and Ferrari. When implemented correctly, you too can use these methods to boost sales and increase conversions. We’ll look at 6 ways you can do this on your site.

exclusivity - placeitSource: Placeit.net

Limited Quantity

When you shop on Amazon, you might have noticed a large green sign telling you how many units are left in stock. In this example I’m shopping for a t-shirt and, when I click on one I like, I’m told there are only 4 left. I’m already interested in the shirt, but the limited quantity makes me think there’s more to it.

Amazon scarcity message

The effectiveness of this strategy increases with the need for the product. For example, if you want to travel somewhere and you’re looking at tickets online, a message telling you there are only 3 seats left for a certain flight forces you to make a decision quickly. If you don’t book it, someone else will.

Westjet scarcity message

Limited quantity implies that you can only use this strategy for physical products, but that’s not true. Appsumo has a digital product called the Monthly 1k course. It’s basically an online course that can be accessed by any number of people, but Appsumo uses scarcity to nudge people to buy.

Appsumo scarcity message

Here you can see a sign saying there’s only 276 ‘spots’ remaining. You can do the same thing for your digital product or SaaS business and artificially limit the supply.

However, you must be careful when doing this. If you tell people you have only 100 spots then stay true to your word. Stop selling your product after that 100 because, if you don’t, you’ll get called out and people will lose trust in you.

Out Of Stock

Wait, if there’s no stock left of an item, how are people supposed to buy it?

Actually showing that a certain item is not available can help if that item comes with alternative options that are available. Clothing comes in various colors and sizes and, if one size is sold out, it makes the other sizes more desirable.

Threadless does this well. For each shirt, they show you what sizes have sold out and how many are left of the remaining. You can’t purchase the sold out options even if you wanted to.

Threadless scarcity

Going back to the Appsumo example, you’ll notice that the limited ‘spots’ apply only to the Bootstrapper payment plan. Keeping this plan up on the site after all the spots are gone, with a ‘Sold Out’ sign, will serve as a reminder to visitors that they should get the Entrepreneur plan before that too sells out.

Current Demand

Scarcity doesn’t mean your product has to be in limited quantity. High demand for a product can create the same feeling as actual scarcity does, even if there are large quantities of the product.

When Apple announced the launch of the iPhone 5S, it was obvious that there would be huge demand for it. Apple has perfected supply chain management, so selling out wasn’t very likely. That didn’t stop people from camping outside their stores 4 days before the actual launch.

Hotels.com shows you how many people are looking for hotels on their site at the same time you are. First they show you the number of people searching the same day, establishing an overall demand for rooms on their site.

Hotels.com scarcity

Then, when you click through to a hotel, they actually show you how many times that hotel has been booked recently and how many people are looking at it at the exact same time.

Hotels.com scarcity

Hotels.com scarcity

Hotels.com scarcity

On Ruby Lane, you can see how many people have the product you want in their cart already. It urges you to buy the product before they can complete their purchases. The drawback of this approach is, if no one has the product in his or her cart, it looks like the product is unwanted.

Ruby Lane scarcity

Showing that your products are in demand works as social proof, but it also lets shoppers know that if they don’t buy now, someone else will.

Qualification

In the early days of Facebook, to qualify for an account, you had to be a student of Harvard. This almost implied that if you weren’t good enough to get into Harvard, you weren’t good enough to get into Facebook. They piggy-backed on Harvard’s reputation as an exclusive school to build their own exclusivity.

While Facebook was restricted to Harvard, it wasn’t a big deal outside the school. As they expanded to other elite schools, students of those schools became qualified to join the exclusive club. Now they started getting attention everywhere as people realized they too might be able to qualify for the site soon.

While Facebook eventually dropped its exclusivity, Quibb, a network where professionals can share news, doesn’t look like it will. They launched in 2013 and only allow qualified professionals to become a part of the network. You have to go through a manually reviewed application process and only 38% of all applicants get in.

Quibb scarcity and exclusivity

You may think that flaunting their elitism might turn people off, but the Quibb network is so strong that it only makes you want to work harder to get in. They have members from over 17,500 technology startups and companies, justifying their exclusivity.

Like Quibb, if you are pre-qualifying people to use your product or service, make sure you can justify it. No one likes being told they don’t qualify because they are not good enough. Quibb has solid and valid requirements for qualification, and that explains their success.

Memberships

In the movie ‘Up in the air,’ George Clooney is obsessed with collecting air miles. Finally, when he crosses the 10 million-mile mark, he receives a personal metal card with travel perks that most people dream of. It’s an elite status like no other.

In a survey conducted by Deloitte, it was found that businesses with a loyalty program were 88% more profitable than businesses without. Customers who enrolled in these programs spent four times as much as regular customers.

Being able to access restricted perks and deals makes customers more engaged. As part of the inside group, they become more emotionally invested in your company. They spend more on your site so that they can keep their benefits and remain a part of your select membership.

A loyalty program is one way of creating this membership. Customers who spend more on your site receive points or ongoing benefits. The more they buy from you, the more you give them in return.

You can also create a paid membership program on your site, where people pay a subscription fee to receive ongoing benefits. Amazon Prime is an example of this. Instead of giving out loyalty points to people who buy more products from them, Amazon lets any one access perks by paying a yearly fee.

Personal Invite

On April 1, 2004, Google launched a new product called Gmail. At the time, Hotmail and Yahoo Mail were already established, but they had space limitations. Gmail was said to be the next big deal in e-mail, with a whopping 1GB of space!

Everyone was curious about it. The space seemed like a game-changer, but there were also rumors about Gmail making money by reading e-mails and creating ads. It became the talk of the town, but most people couldn’t even access it.

Gmail was being rolled out slowly, on an invitation-only basis. Only someone with a Gmail ID could invite other people to the service, and their invites were limited. Gmail had become an exclusive club, and account holders were the all-powerful gatekeepers.

Everyone wanted an invite and soon people started selling one online for $150 and more. Gmail slowly kept increasing the number of invites till they opened up to the public in 2007, almost three years after they launched. By then, demand was huge, and Yahoo Mail and Hotmail were long forgotten.

Personal invites work because they make the person receiving the invite feel special. Try this on your site by reaching out to your top customers and subscribers and personally inviting them to take part in deals and product launches. Let them know how valuable they are and that they are part of a select few you have chosen.

Be Careful

There’s nothing morally wrong with using scarcity and exclusivity to persuade people to buy from you. You’re simply letting shoppers know that your products are limited and that they should make the purchase sooner rather than later. It only works if they are actually interested in your product in the first place.

However, you need to make sure not to overplay your hand. Creating exclusivity without any valid reasons will turn people away from you. Implying that your products are limited when they aren’t will erode customer trust. The last thing you want is to undermine all that trust you’ve built up over the years. If you’re going to restrict access to your product, let people know why and stick to that.

How are you using scarcity and exclusivity on your site? Has it made an impact on your conversion rates?

 Read other Crazy Egg articles by Sid.

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How To Use Scarcity To Increase Conversion Rates

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5 Conversion Tweaks That Turn Stubborn Prospects Into Hyper Buyers

We all have them in all our businesses.

Those buyers that, despite your best efforts, simply refuse to buy what you’re selling. They sit on your list or become readers of your blog but never take action and spend money.

The bad part is, these “stubborn buyers” make up a large portion of the people visiting your website everyday. In a general sense, in most markets, about 4% – 10% of your visitors fall into this category (based on my own experience).

The good part is, many stubborn buyers are stubborn because they need to sit on their decision for awhile before buying. However when they do, many times they will become your BEST, hyper buyers. That’s why we’re about to discuss several strategies you can begin implementing today to start capturing this huge portion of your audience to increase your front-end and back-end sales.

Let’s get to it.

stubborn - placeitSource: Placeit.net

#1: Encourage Engagement

Engagement is powerful. ConversionXL, for example, claims that visitors who use site search can be as much as 5–6x more likely to convert than those who don’t.

Engagement is something that should happen naturally, and frequently. In certain cases, it helps strengthen the bond between your visitor and your company (for example, if they reply to your personal email).

Here are a few ways you can encourage engagement throughout your entire sales funnel.

  1. Prominently displaying a site search bar on your website/blog
  2. Telling email readers to reply back to emails (and having someone reply to them)
  3. Engaging and replying back to comments
  4. Replying back on social media
  5. Getting on camera either in videos or in places like Google Hangouts

By engaging with your audience, you begin to develop trust. People only want to do business with those they know, like, and trust. While it might not be the deciding factor, it certainly gives you a big advantage over competitors who aren’t engaging with their customers.

#2: Run A Promotion Without Lowering Price

Sales and promotions are a great way to scoop up low-hanging fruit because it forces people to make a yes/no decision. If they are on the fence and see you’re running a 50% discount for a limited number of days, you will convert a high percentage of prospects into buyers.

But here’s the thing.

You don’t need to lower your price to get people to buy.

Yes, discount sales work great. But they also severely reduce your net, bottom-line profit. In many businesses you might give a 50% discount and actually lose money on each sale. For example let’s say you sell a $100 product, which costs you $40 to create and get in the hands of the customer.

That’s a 60% net margin, for a profit of $60 per $100 sale.

If you hold a 50% discount, you’re now only making $10 per sale. That means you need to sell 6x the amount of product to break even on your regular price.

Yikes.

Instead of following your competitors and competing on price, get creative. Here are a few ideas to get your juices flowing…

  1. Bundle your products – I recently did this in a side business of mine. One product sold for $27, the other sold for $147. My promotion let customers get both for $97. Yes, that’s reducing my price… but I also tripled my average sale, since the higher priced product doesn’t sell all that well. (I recently bought it and haven’t yet had time to rewrite the sales letter for it)
  2. Add a bonus – Instead of just selling them XYZ for $XX, consider adding a one-time bonus when they buy during your promotion. One example would be a free coaching session, performed by you, a member of your team, or even a complete 3rd party. And speaking of 3rd parties…
  3. Use someone else’s resources – Don’t want to lower your price and don’t have any bonuses you can give away? Get creative. Use the assets of someone else to give to your audience, and create a win-win-win. Here’s an example. Let’s say you sell software. You can coordinate with a non-competing business and bundle their product into your offer. To make it worth it for them, you’ll give them access to all the buyers, which they can then market to themselves to increase their back-end.

The important part is this: Don’t let yourself be limited by what your competitors are doing. Get creative and try to create irresistible offers WITHOUT decreasing your profit margin, which is what sales typically do.

#3: Increase The Trust Factor

Trust is one of the single biggest factors in increasing conversion rates. If someone does not trust you, they will not buy. End of story. You have to make incredible efforts to be perceived as trustworthy to your marketplace.

The first step to do this?

BE trustworthy.

Here are a few ways to make sure your audience knows you are.

  1. Always do what you say you will. Stay true to your word. Think about your personal friends. Are you, on average, closer to those who make plans and then always break them… or those who always do what they promise?
  2. Always put your customer/client first, even if it hurts your growth in the short term. Trust me, word will spread and your conversions will increase over time.
  3. Show your personality. Don’t hide behind a digital curtain. Be yourself. Show your audience pictures of yourself, your family (if you’re comfortable with it), and tell them about what you do in your daily life. They will love it and bond with you. Plus, you’ll write your emails faster.
  4. Tell them about your weaknesses. This is a copywriting strategy called a “damaging admission.” To do it, display a perceived weakness of yours and then immediately show why that weakness is actually a good thing. For example you can say that sometimes you’re slow to respond to emails to prospects because you give customers/clients priority.
  5. Provide proof. Anytime anybody is going to buy anything, they want reassurance that it will work FOR THEM. Provide proof of results in as many ways as you can think of. This gives you the best chance of having something resonate with that specific visitor.

#4: Create And Display Authority

Michael Jordan promotion Hanes

Michael Jordan promotion Hanes

When all else is equal, your customers will choose the person who conveys the most authority. Think of celebrities. Why do you think they are used as the spokesperson of products, like Michael Jordan with Hanes/Wheaties or William Shatner with Priceline? Because they have built-in authority!

You must be constantly demonstrating your proof and authority. Tell stories… discuss customer/client results… have case studies… these are all ways of increasing your authority.

Don’t have authority, or simply want more of it?

Here’s what you can do.

Juxtapose yourself alongside someone who does have authority.

Here’s an example.

I recently flew out to Lake Tahoe for an in-person consultation day with a client of mine, Garrett Sutton. Garrett is one of the Rich Dad Advisors and has incredible credibility with anybody who has ever read the “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” book series.

So before I left his office during our consultation day, I made sure to get this video…

Here are a few more ideas just in case you’re a little more new and are looking for new ways to generate authority, even if you don’t yet have any.

  1. You can get pictures with the “gurus” in your industry…
  2. You can interview them…
  3. You can have them add content to your products/services…

In other words, make yourself appear as if you are one of the “insiders.”

Will this have an immediate effect on your conversions? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

However if you continually show and remind your audience that you are an authority in your industry, they’ll come to trust you and therefore buy more often.

#5: Use Personal Stories To Re-Position Your Product

Sometimes people have a hard time relating or understanding how your product or service will truly help them. More, they simply can’t find an emotional connection between your product, and their lives.

The way to do this is through stories.

The simple invention that’s saving lives…

Thomas E. Smith is an entrepreneur trying to revolutionize the sport of ice hockey. He developed a unique product called the “Look-Up Line.” It’s a 40-inch orange band painted onto the ice of hockey rings developed to give players a warning that they’re about to smash into the boards.

At first, he had a hard time getting the owners and managers of hockey rinks to understand the value and safety of the orange bands. They saw it as a good idea, but not good enough to spur them to action.

(Sound familiar?)

Then, he began using his own story.

In 2009, Smith himself became paralyzed after slamming hard into the boards. That’s the reason he began looking for a more safe rink.

During sales calls, he began saying things like “It only costs $500. My medical bills were $550,000 in the first six months alone. Spending $500 to potentially save a life? It’s not about an orange line. It’s about saving a life.”

See how his story and the way he positions the line (i.e., it’s not an orange line, it’s a life-saving device) completely changes the thought sequence of the buyer?

That is what creates massive increases in conversion rate.

Here’s What To Do Next

If you’ve read any of my other posts you know that I love giving a lot of actionable content. However sometimes this can be a little overwhelming. Instead of becoming another victim of information paralysis, I want you to pick ONE of these strategies and think about how you’re going to use it in your business to increase your conversion rates throughout your sales funnel.

Then let me know in the comments below!

Read other Crazy Egg posts by Jeremy Reeves.

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Humanization Is the New Optimization: Positionly’s Story

Everyday people visit your site. Some arrive accidentally, some are researching for a product or service similar to yours, some saw your ad and were intrigued enough to click on it. Still others heard about your services from a friend.

There are many different type of visitors. Some wander, flipping between pages. Some focus on features and pricing or testimonials, while others will jump to the signup form right away to settle their account and try your service, test your software or purchase your products.

Your job is to take care of all of them.

No one should get lost or feel confused. They should be encouraged to stay on your site and get familiar with your brand. After all, the success of your online business depends on whether you can convince your visitors to take specific actions.

Of course, there is no magic recipe, formula or remedy that could be applied once and turn passive visitors into active clients. It’s all about testing, learning and improving the user experience. It’s never a one-time shot. It’s an endless process.

What we learned through our own testing is that making your site more “human” can make the difference. Here’s our story.

positionly - placeit

Is humanization the new optimization?

We do a lot of A/B testing here at Positionly. Recently we’ve decided to do a major redesign of our home page. We ran many different tests with many different hypothesis. We learned a lot about conversion rate optimization.

Before I get to the specifics, take a look at the major changes that we’ve implemented.

Positionly-2versions

positionly.com

As you can see, we’ve added more human elements to our landing page. Really, it’s nothing new in web design and conversion optimization. Some say that humanization is the new optimization. We wanted to test if that was also the case this time.

Here is a closer look at the human elements that we’ve added:

Bg-photo

testimonials

Images show people. Testimonials list people’s names, title and business—and their image as well.

In our case it all paid off. The overall engagement increased for more than 12%.

engagement-results

Also, more people visited our Features (improvement for more than 20%) and Plans  (improvement for almost 50%) sections.

features-results

viewed-plans-results

We were satisfied with the results, but we’ve learned much more than just the simple fact that adding human elements to landing page improves conversion rates. Below I gathered the most important and valuable lessons that we’ve learned from our landing page experiments.

Things that we’ve learned

Lesson #1

Does your website really reflect the nature of your business?

Before you nod your head, please go back to the idea that made you start your business in the first place. Now try to answer that question again.

Positionly was brought to life to make it easy for non-technical people—who know nothing or very little about SEO—to optimize websites and grow their businesses. Our software provides professional tools, yet thanks to the plain design and simple interface, it is suitable also for startups, small businesses and freelancers that do SEO on their own.

We knew what our aim was from the very beginning. The thing is, people who visited Positionly weren’t able to tell it immediately. Our website didn’t communicate it.

The new design and the humanization factor could help us emphasize that Positionly is a tool also for non-SEO professionals. We wanted to make sure that people who stumbled upon our site knew immediately what Positionly is all about. Also, we wanted to emphasize the core strengths that differentiate us from our competitors.

That’s what landing pages should do.

Along with a whole new design, we’ve changed the copy.

who-is-it-for

first-seo

Now anyone who lands on our homepage knows at a glance what the tool does and who it is for. No misleading information. No time wasted. No wandering. No wondering. No guessing. Just pure transparency.

Takeaway: Whatever online business you run, make sure you’ve built a proper landing page. Both the copy and the design should clearly communicate the essence of your business and… nothing more. Too much information may blur the picture of what you do and who you are. Visitors should get it at a glance.

Save additional info for other sections. Your home page is about making a good first impression, and by good I mean approachable. Don’t make your visitors feel overwhelmed. Use only the  elements (copy, graphics, video, etc.) that are absolutely necessary. Your message should be communicated in a concise, straightforward and intelligible way.

Lesson #2

Keep them on your site.

As it was mentioned before, there are many different types of visitors. Some of them may be not ready to try your service or purchase your product yet. It doesn’t mean that you should leave them without any guidance.

Your job is to figure it out how to make them stay on your site and engage with your brand. It’s good to have many visitors, but it’s even better to have active users instead.

Thanks to the new design, we improved the number of visitors who searched for more information about Positionly (they dived from the homepage into Features and Pricing sections, as you could see on the screens above), but we didn’t stop there.

We wanted to make sure that even those visitors who are not ready to try our software yet will be able to actually take any action. We’ve added the “Learn more” button as an alternative to the “Get Started Now” call-to-action.

learn-more-button

We made both CTA’s readable, appealing, but different enough to make sure they won’t compete for people’s attention. “Learn more” was meant to keep hesitant visitors on our website but not to distract the others from giving Positionly a try.

It was a bull’s eye! Just take a look at the stats. The improvement was huge – more than 200%!

learn-more-results

Takeaway: Let your visitors choose what action they are ready to take. Offer them additional information and guidance. Don’t focus only on those who are familiar with your brand. There are many different types of conversions. Set different goals for different visitors.

It’s very good if you answer questions and dispel doubts before they even come to your visitors’ minds. If you provide such an experience, they will be more likely to return to your site and finally purchase what you offer them.

Lesson #3

Never stop improving.

When you run a test and get great results, you usually stop because you’re so satisfied with the outcome. That’s what most people do.

OK, I get it. You tested a hypothesis. It turned out to be true. You’re excited that you’ve just found a way to improve the conversion rates and you think it couldn’t get any better. Except, it could.

We were more than happy that our “Learn More” experiment was successful, but we kept on testing and improving. And guess what, we found a way to improve the improvement.

We changed a copy on the CTA button. Now, instead of “Learn More”, our visitors could “Discover More.” We could see that new version noted improvement for more than 45%.

learn-more-comparing

discover-more-results

Takeaway: Improving the conversion rates doesn’t always require major changes, writing a totally new copy or doing complete redesigns. Sometimes a tiny change may have a great impact. A/B tests are about seeking for new solutions, gathering feedback and designing better improvements.

The most important thing about CRO is keeping in mind that it’s a never-ending and creative process.

Bonus tip

Before you run any tests, you should thoroughly consider what hypothesis you want to check. You can try many different hypothesis at the same time or even run multivariate tests. Just make sure that one test doesn’t affect the others, so you’re able to tell exactly what variables caused specific result in each test.

If you’re not familiar with A/B testing, never been optimizing your conversion rates or simply need some inspiration to come up with new hypothesis and design new A/B tests, it’s always a good idea visit those sites:

  • for CRO and A/B testing knowledge
    • CrazyEgg blog – Well, you obviously know this one already! Guys from CrazyEgg do a great job with serving a solid portion of valuable posts about conversion rate optimization. Each post and thesis is backed up with many clear examples.
    • Unbounce blog – This is another great source of knowledge. You can find there many quick tips on how to optimize conversion rates and what mistakes to avoid.
    • Optimizely blog – As Optimizely is one of the best known A/B testing tools, you can be sure that they serve great insights about the latest A/B testing trends.
  • for marketing knowledge
    • Quicksprout and Kissmetrics blog – Neil Patel is one of the best known online marketers. His blogs are full of deep marketing and entrepreneurship insights. Whatever new drift come up in the online marketing, you can be sure you can read about it on Neil’s blogs.
    • Hubspot blog – Hubspot is a well known marketing software. Its blog is anything but boring. You can find there very informative posts written in an accessible and easy way.
  • for design knowledge and inspiration
    • Land-book – It’s an awesome gallery of well designed landing pages. Guys from Land-book search the web to find the best web design trends. If you’re looking for an inspiration, this is a really good address.
    • Sidebar – This one is a compilation of the best articles about design. It’s full of profound articles that anyone who wants to be up-to-date with the latest design trends should read.
    • UXMyths – UX Myths collects the most frequent user experience misconceptions and explains why they don’t hold true.

I hope that our story and those little tips that I just gave you will help you in any way. I know that our experiences may be different from yours, but if there’s something that you can apply to your business to improve your conversion rates, we’ll be more than happy!

If you have any comments to our story, want to give us your feedback and suggestions or simply would like to discuss CRO tactics, write your thoughts in the comment section below.

Also, don’t forget to read other CrazyEgg’s deep insights about conversion rate optimization.

The post Humanization Is the New Optimization: Positionly’s Story appeared first on The Daily Egg.

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Humanization Is the New Optimization: Positionly’s Story

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Conversion Optimization on a Shoestring Budget

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/crazyegg/~5/fiidYZ6eo7U/cep063_budget_tools.mp3

There’s no shortage of conversion optimization tools out there, some of which can vacuum out your wallet faster than you can say “split test.”

For small businesses, it can feel overwhelming to start split testing, analyzing results and developing landing pages on a tight budget.

Fortunately, there are a variety of free and low-cost tools available to help. They may lack some of the bells and whistles of their costlier counterparts, but at their core, they simplify and speed up the optimization process, so you can get back to creating enticing offers that sell.

Let’s take a closer look at a few of the best:

Check Site Errors with SEO Site Checkup

checkup

Before you jump right into testing and measuring, it pays to double-check your site’s search engine optimization. SEO Site Checkup is a free service that runs your site through a variety of common optimization checks, ranging from meta tags to caching and content relative to other data on the page. Unlike most other tools, it also comes with handy explanations so you can understand exactly what GZIP compression is and how it affects your page.

Price: Free

Uncover the Customer’s Journey to Online Purchasing

journey

Google has a fantastic free infographic-style planner called The Customer Journey to Online Purchase. If you think a customer simply lands on your site and clicks the Add to Cart button, you’re in for a surprise. This diagram goes through all the channels and steps that a customer typically goes through—including Awareness, Consideration, Intent and Decision, as well as the many online paths that take them there—ranging from email to referrals.

What’s more, the chart breaks down AOV (Average Order Value) across specific timeframes for a wide range of industries, factoring in the role that each channel plays in leading up to the order. For example, customers coming through social channels typically require more awareness and assistance than those coming from organic search.

Price: Free

Build and Launch A/B Split Testing Landing Pages in Minutes

instapage

True to its name, Instapage is an online service that lets you create and launch landing pages without the need for any programming or design experience. It includes over 70 different templates, each optimized from the ground up to enhance your conversion optimization efforts. With drag and drop simplicity, even non-designers can change colors, adjust positioning of different elements and even create inline forms with no technical know-how.

Depending on the package you choose, there’s a limit to the number of visitors you can have. But on the plus side, you can run an unlimited number of tests across unlimited pages. A WordPress plugin is available as well to tie your landing pages into your existing content management system.  Social and video options can also be integrated with just a few clicks.

Price: A free account is available, but serves only as a demo. A starter account is just $17/month.

Real-Time Split Testing with Growth Giant

giant

Growth Giant, currently in beta, follows the “Multi-Armed Bandit” algorithm wherein the goal is to maximize conversions. That means it continuously analyzes poor or under-performing pages while delivering traffic to better-performing pages to improve conversion rates. A simple premise, but one that could truly change the world of conversion optimization tools for the better.

Because the suite is in beta, there’s no definitive launch window, but you can request beta access from the homepage simply by typing in your email address.

Price: Free, currently in Beta

Paditrack: Google Analytics for the Rest of Us

paditrack

Let’s face it, for some people, Google Analytics is a mountain of insurmountable data too large to be tamed. If you’re not a web analyst by any stretch of the imagination, it can seem like too much information is being thrown at you for you to wade through and make an informed decision.

Enter Paditrack. Paditrack works together with Google Analytics to simplify the data you’ve collected and breaks it down into meaningful insights that you can use to grow your business. Measure the performance of your landing pages, visualize your conversion funnel, even track e-commerce ROI and revenues from one intelligent dashboard.

Perhaps the most interesting feature of Paditrack is its retroactive funnels, which allow you to go back and view your conversion funnel details for as long as you’ve had Google Analytics installed. Now there’s no excuse not to learn how well your site performed during last year’s holiday season!

Price: Conversion funnels are free, other reports are unavailable on the free plan. Pro pricing is $29/month.

Granify: Seamless Visitor Interaction

granify

Contrary to its name, Granify doesn’t turn you into a sweet old lady who loves to knit and bake mouth-watering pies. What it does do, is analyze and attempt to quell buyer objections before they become a problem.

It does this through the use of prompts, which you create. Granify’s system engineers will even suggest prompt ideas based on your traffic. Each prompt is fully customizable with everything from discounts to reminders. But how does this figure into real-world buying? Let’s look at an example.

Let’s say you offer free shipping (a terrific conversion strategy!) but your customers are concerned about the estimated shipping time. And while you may have this information elsewhere in your site, the point is that they didn’t see it or couldn’t find it. So they leave without buying. That’s where Granify comes in.

It puts up your chosen prompt, making sure these specific customers know that you guarantee all shipping times within the U.S.

Boom! Instant purchase. And this is just one of the many prompts you can create. Everything can be personalized to fit your brand and style. Granify even shows you how much extra revenue you made as a result of using them.

Pricing: Varies, A free 30-day trial is available. Cancel anytime.

A Reminder about Using Conversion Tools

As with any tool or service, it can be tempting to feel like this one thing is going to solve all your conversion problems forever. No tool can do that. What each of these tools does is complement your existing skill set, whether you’re in charge of building landing pages, conducting tests, analyzing the data or all of the above.

When you use these tools to help you leverage and wrangle data, you’ll be able to make smarter decisions, gain more influence with buyers and start forging customer relationships that are built on better marketing.

What are some of your favorite conversion optimization tools? Share them with us in the comments below and tell us what you like best about them!

Read more Crazy Egg articles by Sherice Jacob.

The post Conversion Optimization on a Shoestring Budget appeared first on The Daily Egg.

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Conversion Optimization on a Shoestring Budget

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Proving Returns from A/B Testing – 6 Ways to Keep Your Boss Happy

To gain results from testing, you need to believe in it strongly. You cannot look at testing like other channels or tactics and ask,

“Okay…so, what’s the return from testing this month?”

Testing is a culture, a mindset of optimization. You MUST look at the bigger picture here.

Sometimes you might end up running a series of unsuccessful or somewhat successful tests before you hit gold with a winning test. That test will be your jackpot. The one whose revenue boost will more than make up for the lost time and money you invested in testing the past few months.

The problem here is, you may believe in testing until the end of time, but proving it as a viable investment source can be extremely difficult. When you have nothing much to show for a while, or when you’re spending on testing before you’ve started to gain from it — how do you justify this cost to your boss? Keep him happy with the results and let you continue testing?

Below, I’ve compiled a few ways for you to get the maximum return and justify your testing spend:

1. Let Go of ‘Test One Page Element at a Time’ Rule

Break the rules

I’ve been an advocate of this conventional CRO bite — ‘test one page element at a time’ — for far too long to refute it now. But there are times when it seems best to let it go in favor of pragmatism.

Single element changes often take much longer to achieve statistical confidence. Plus, every test you run will not be a winner. So when you are playing too safe and running only small tests, a lot of time may pass when you do not have much to show for it.

When you make multiple changes at a time, you might miss out on customer learning. But that’s okay. Some changes on the page might increase your conversion rate, and others may reduce it. Get over it! Sometimes it’s the overall positive effect that counts. Remember that!

It’s thus necessary that you break free from this conventional bite of testing wisdom and not be scared of making big changes.

If you spot multiple conversion leaks in a page that needs fixing, go ahead and make a new page that addresses them all; and then test it against the original page.

Small changes do have big impact sometimes, but those are a handful of cases. Most times, you will have to make more than one change to see the drastic difference in the way your visitors behave.

Start with best practices…

If you have a really leaky page from a conversion standpoint, don’t shy away from starting with best practices.

Yes, best practices do not work for everyone. And all of them might not work for you as well. But a lot of them should work for you and it’s a great way to add some quick fixes and have some good lifts to show off.

2. Sort Your Test Priority

Once you’ve completed your end of research and analysis, you’re likely to have tons of hypotheses all ready to put into action. Of course, you cannot try all the tests in one go. To show wins to your boss without much delay, prioritize which tests you can run first and without much friction. Gradually, move towards difficult tests once you’ve gained his confidence.

Wider Funnel’s PIE framework comes handy in deciding test priority. Make a table like the one given below, add hypothetical scores out of 10 for each factor (Potential, Importance, and Ease), find a PIE average for each test idea, and then decide:

PIE framework by WiderFunnel

While some big tests might need extensive assistance from your tech team, there might be others that need a rather daunting approval from the management. By following the PIE framework, way you will smoothly move forward with a sorted testing strategy and first focus your efforts on tests that combine high revenue potential and easy implementation.

Once you’re all pumped up with some good results, you can then stretch for other difficult tests.

3. Create Theme-Based Page-Level Tests

Theme-based tests are my personal favorite. They are a perfect example of hitting two birds with the same stone. You can change multiple things at a time and still get an actionable customer insight from the test. The only twist here is that the changes you make should be based on a particular theme.

A rehab facility chain, Tuscany, for example, tested their original landing page that focused on the extravagance and secluded location of their facility against a new version that emphasized on building trust in the mind of the prospects. This gave them a lift of 220%. Plus, they now understand that trust is a more important concern for prospects than a luxurious facility.

4. Using Test Insights to Up Your Overall Marketing Efforts (Including Offline Campaigns)

Jackpot

Experts often insist that you must look for customer insights in your test results. Many people do not understand why it is so important. So they ignore the reasons why their visitors behave in a certain way, why they buy/didn’t buy from their website. Missing out on these crucial insights mean — they use testing on its face value and will never realize the true potential/benefits of testing.

They fail to see that they can apply these customer learning to improve their overall marketing efforts, including offline communication. Continuing the same rehab facility example above, Tuscany applied the customer learning from their test and adopted the trust-focused approach on their other 300 websites. This gave them a 85% boost in paid search revenue across all 300 websites.

From their landing page copies to customer calls, Tuscany’s entire approach of presenting themselves transformed their business after that.

5. Run Site-Wide Template Tests

Because of the wider impact of these tests, their rewards are also manifold. Even a small win on these template pages can give you a huge lift to rave about. Lemonfree.com conducted a site-wide test on their product template pages, which increased their revenue per visit by 19%.

Apart from the usual category/product page templates, header and navigation tests are some other common site-wide tests you can try. Site-wide tests are also a great solution for those with low traffic count as the cumulative traffic of all template pages should give you enough traffic to get conclusive test results quickly.

6. Stick to Evidence-based Hypotheses

Conducting random tests that are backed by no research/insights or data will only waste your time and money in the long run. You must collect quantitative and qualitative data about your customers as well as your website to formulate smart hypotheses that have a higher probability of hitting the jackpot.

This means you’ll need to find high opportunity pages in Google Analytics for your website. Often high traffic pages with a higher bounce rate, checkout flow pages, sign-up pages, et al are good starting points. Tests run on pages where you land your PPC traffic can also have a high-impact on your revenue.

Next is to understand your customers. Don’t assume that you know what they think. You don’t! User-testing, reading live chat transcripts, and conducting exit surveys, first-time buyer surveys are the most powerful (and quite cost-effective ways) to know “why” people behave in a certain way on your website. Why they buy/don’t buy from you. You can then use these insights for your hypotheses and these will now be an educated guess, rather than an absolute shot in the dark.

Few questions you can ask to understand visitor intent or customer hesitations on your website are:

  • Is there anything holding you back from making a purchase right now?
  • Do you have any questions that you can’t find answers to on our site?
  • What brought you to our site today?
  • Were you able to accomplish the task you came to do?

Survey question

One mistake most companies fall victim to is that they treat testing as a one-off tactic. Companies that recognize conversion optimization as a process and ingrains constant testing in their culture are the ones that see real wins from testing.

What’s Your Take?

Are you stuck in an organization where you’re struggling to make testing a mainstay? What challenges do you face? Let’s hit the comments section and discuss.

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The post Proving Returns from A/B Testing – 6 Ways to Keep Your Boss Happy appeared first on Visual Website Optimizer Blog.

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Proving Returns from A/B Testing – 6 Ways to Keep Your Boss Happy