Tag Archives: conversion

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It’s Time to Retest Your Page Speed [Google’s latest update]

Back in October, we were the first to claim that 2019 will be the year of page speed. We’ve got our eyes on the market and lemme tell you: Google is sending serious signals that it’s crunch time to deal with your slow pages.

Faster pages are a strategic marketing priority.

And sure enough, Google has made yet another change to uphold that prediction. In early November, they quietly rolled out the most significant update to a core performance tool we’ve seen to date, announcing the latest version of PageSpeed Insights.

So what does this update mean for marketers and their bottom line?

If you’ve used PageSpeed Insights to test page performance, it’s time to retest! Because your old speed scores don’t matter anymore. The good news is that you’ll have new data at your fingertips to help you speed up in ways that actually matter to your prospects and potential conversions.

Let’s take a closer look at this update and explore why it should play a role in your page speed strategy in 2019.

“You can’t improve what you don’t measure.”

PageSpeed Insights is easily Google’s most popular tool for measuring web performance.

When you look at the screenshot below, you can see why. It provides an easy-to-interpret color-coded scoring system that you don’t need an engineering degree to understand—red is bad, green is good. Your page is either fast, average, or slow. The closer to a perfect 100 you can get, the better. The scores also come with recommendations of what you can do to improve. It’s almost too easy to understand.

PageSpeed Insights
PageSpeed Insights v.4 (October 2019)

Earlier versions of PageSpeed Insights had some issues with how they reported performance. Simple results could be misleading, and experts soon discovered that implementing Google’s suggested optimizations didn’t necessarily line up with a better user experience. You might’ve gotten great scores, sure, but your pages weren’t always any faster or your visitors more engaged. Don’t even get me started on your conversion rates.

As Benjamin Estes over at Moz explains, “there are smarter ways to assess and improve site speed. A perfect score doesn’t guarantee a fast site.” Many experts like Estes began turning to more reliable tools—like GTMetrix, Pingdom, or Google’s own Lighthouse—to run more accurate performance audits. And who would blame them?

The latest version of PageSpeed Insights (v.5) fixes these issues by putting the focus where it should be: on user experience. This is a huge leap forward for marketers because it means that the tool is directly relevant to conversion optimization. It can help you get faster in ways that translate into higher engagement and conversion rates.

For the full scoop, check out Google’s release notes here, but there are really two changes you should note:

1. PageSpeed Insights Now Uses Lighthouse

Lighthouse is excellent because it gives you a more accurate picture of how your landing pages perform with lab and field data. The lab data means you get results ASAP, whether you’ve seen traffic yet or not. This gives you a way to test and improve your pages before you point your ads at them.

An important note is that Lighthouse simulates a page load on a mid-tier device (Moto G4) on a mobile network—roughly equivalent to the fastest 25% of 3G and slowest 25% of 4G. So it’s a pretty solid estimate of what you’re likely to see in the wild. Here’s what it looks like:

New lab data from Lighthouse provides a much better picture of what a user experiences.

The Lighthouse engine behind PageSpeed Insights also brings more user-centric performance metrics with it, two of which are very important to your landing pages:

  • First Meaningful Paint (FMP) is the time it takes for the first valuable piece of content to load—usually a hero shot or video above the fold. It’s the “is this useful?” moment when you catch—or lose—a visitor’s attention. Even if the rest of your page loads later, it’s paramount that the first page elements appear as quickly as possible.
  • Time to Interactive (TTI) is the first moment a visitor can interact with your page. It’s the best measure of speed to determine if a visitor will happily engage with your content, or whether they’ll get annoyed and bounce because your landing page keeps choking on clunky JavaScript or poorly prioritized code.

2. PageSpeed Insights Gives You Better Opportunities and Diagnostics

You can bid adieu to the short checklist of optimizations that experts like Ben Estes called out. Google has replaced the (moderately useful) feature with new opportunities and audits that will actually help you improve your visitor experience. These include new suggestions and estimated savings for each.

Your priorities should be much clearer:

PageSpeed Insights Opportunities
Opportunities and Diagnostics in PageSpeed Insights

How your Unbounce Pages Stack Up

Faster pages earn you more traffic and better engagement. As a result, page speed has a major impact on your conversion rates and can even help you win more ad impressions for less. That’s why we’ve made page speed our priority into 2019.

To show how Unbounce stacks up in the real world, we chose to test an actual page created by one of our customers, Webistry, a digital marketing agency. Their “Tiny Homes of Maine” page is a real-world example.

Click here to expand.

It has tons of custom functionality, so it’s fairly representative of what many customers do with the Unbounce builder. (The ability to customize is often why customers choose Unbounce in the first place!) This page includes custom Javascript for smooth scrolling, a sticky header, fading header, some custom CSS, and a bunch of images of various file types.

We tested two versions of “Tiny Homes of Maine” using Google PageSpeed Insights v.5, running a minimum of three tests using the median results. The results below focus on the mobile scores:

Speed Boost

First, we tested the original Tiny Homes of Maine landing page using Unbounce’s Speed Boost, which optimizes landing page delivery to do things like leverage browser caching, prioritize visible content to load first, bundle Javascript, and so on. Speed Boost handles the technical recommendations from PageSpeed Insights that developers usually tackle behind the scenes. You can see the overall results of the test here:

Tiny Homes of Maine with Speed Boost

Speed Boost + Auto Image Optimizer

Next, we retested the Tiny Homes of Maine adding our upcoming Auto Image Optimizer into the mix. This new tool automatically optimizes your images as your page is published. You can fine-tune your settings, but we used the defaults here. Check out the mobile results:

Tiny Homes of Maine with Speed Boost + Auto Image Optimizer

The score jumped from a respectable 88 to an incredible 96 and, more meaningfully, we saw time to interactive improve from 4.4 sec to 2.7 sec. That’s 12.3 seconds faster than the average mobile web page, and 0.3 seconds faster than Google’s ideal 3 second load time.

Here we’ve shared the time to interactive speeds from both tests, for desktop and mobile, measured against the average web page:

Time to Interactive is the best measure for whether a visitor will engage or bounce. Our average mobile speed is based on Google’s mobile benchmarks, while the desktop average comes from a study by SEO Chat.

Overall, when we tested, we saw Speed Boost and Auto Image Optimizer create a dramatic difference in performance without sacrificing visual appeal or complexity. We took a compelling page that converts well and upped the ante by serving it at blazing speeds. Whether on a mobile or desktop, the page loads in a way that significantly improves the visitor’s experience.

Speed Boost is already available to all our customers, and the Auto Image Optimizer is coming very soon. This means your own landing pages can start achieving speeds like the ones above right now. Read more about our page speed initiatives.

But hold up. What about AMP? You might already know about AMP (accelerated mobile) pages, which load almost instantly—like, less than half a second instantly. Not only do they lead to crazy engagement, but they eliminate waiting on even slow network connections. This makes your content accessible to everyone, including the 70% of global users still on 3G connections—or 70% of pedestrians on their phones while they wait at a crosswalk.

While AMP can be complicated to build, Unbounce’s drag-and-drop builder lets you create AMP in the same way you create all your landing pages. If you’d like to try it out for yourself, you can sign up for AMP beta which opens in January 2019.

For the speed test above, we decided to leave AMP out of it since AMP restricts some custom functionality and the page we used would’ve required a few design changes. It wouldn’t be apples to apples. But we’re pretty pumped to show you more of it in the next while.

Page Speed & Your Bottom Line

Seconds are one thing, but dollars are another. Google recognizes the direct impact that fast load times have on your bottom line, which is why they released the Impact Calculator in February 2018. This tool sheds more light on why providing accurate measurements is so important.

Let’s revisit our Tiny Homes landing page above as an example. Imagine this landing page gets 1,000 visitors a month, at a conversion rate of 3.5% (which is just slightly higher than the average Real Estate industry landing page in our Conversion Benchmark Report). If the conversion rate from lead to sale is 5%, and each conversion is worth an average of $54,000 (which is the mid-priced home on their landing page), then their average lead value is $2700.

Tiny Homes of Maine in the Impact Calculator

When we input those numbers into the Impact Calculator and improve their mobile page speed from 4.4 seconds to 2.8 seconds, as shown in the test above, the impact to revenue for this one page could be $52,580.

Heck yes, speed matters.

And if we forecast the near-instant speeds promised by Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), that page could see a potential annual revenue impact of more than $179,202 USD if it were to load in 1 second.

And that’s one landing page!

If you’ve been struggling with how to improve your page loading times, this latest version of PageSpeed Insights now gives you a much more meaningful picture of how you’re doing—and how to get faster.

You may not have considered speed a strategic priority, but when seconds can equate to tens of thousands of dollars, you need to. Try the Impact Calculator yourself or contact our sales team if you’d like to see what kind of revenue impact Unbounce landing pages can get you.

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It’s Time to Retest Your Page Speed [Google’s latest update]

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Converting with Extra Copy: 5 Long-Form Landing Page Examples

We all know how effective a short, concise landing page can be. It’s quick to read and, depending on the offer up for grabs, can convince visitors to purchase or opt-in fast.

But there are benefits to building long-form pages too. For starters, longer pages can provide in-depth info visitors need to make informed decisions, helping you attract more qualified leads from the start. Moreover, your company may have offers better suited to a longer page with more convincing to do.

According to our Conversion Benchmark Report, which analyzed the behavior of more than 74 million lead-gen landing page visitors, pages with 125 words or less typically had a 15% higher conversion rate (I mean, concise converts!) But for pages between 250 and 750 words, we found conversion rates really only varied slightly in this range.

Such remains the question facing every copywriter:

“How long should my landing page be?”

Well, the answer is nuanced and comes down to the offer at hand. There are several cases where long-form landing pages can actually be better than shorter ones. For instance, if you’re:

  • describing technical product details and in-depth benefits,
  • showcasing your company’s achievements to establish credibility, or
  • persuading customers to invest in especially expensive software, services, or high-commitment offers.

Page length is less about preference, and has more to do with the complexity of the offer at hand and the stage of the buying process someone’s in. You need to cover all your bases, anticipate objections, and show that your offer is legit. A heckuva task for a limited amount of copy.

So, to inspire your next not-so-short page, we analyzed five long-form landing page examples below. Here’s our take on why each of these built-in-Unbounce pages work so well.

Example 1: American Executive Centers

A long-form landing page example from American Executive Centers
Click the image above to see the full page.

Why this works: No questions are left unanswered.

This long-form landing page immediately highlights American Executive Centers’ distinct offering in the headline, and above the fold (i.e. they’re offering virtual office services like mail handling, virtual assistants, and meeting rooms). Given the decision potential customers face here, it’s important that the brand’s presented a bulleted, quick-to-read list of what’s up for grabs at the beginning of the page.

By listing all the key features above the fold like this—readers can quickly get a sense of whether AEC will meet their core requirements. This is especially important for busy decision makers who are comparing their options. If AEC’s landing page is just one of many someone has open in their browser, for instance, it makes a strong case against competing pages where core offerings may be harder to spot.

The landing page doesn’t stop there, either. Their contact form appears above the fold in an orange rectangle that bridges between the two sections. This contrast encourages the eye to move down the page.

AEC Orange Rectangle

Below the fold, AEC shares detailed information about where they operate and emphasizes the benefits over the competition. They also list packages and pricing so customers can independently decide whether the service fits their budget.

The lesson here? Extra copy may not be required to convert a consumer on a personal purchase, but when their decision impacts an entire team or workplace, it clearly helps. For a B2B company like American Executive Centers, using a long-form landing page makes sense because it allows this brand to cater to a more intense consideration phase in the buyer’s journey.

Example 2: Mr. Rooter Plumbing

Click the image above to see the full page.

Why this works: Simple, straightforward design—and an incentive for customers.

Mr. Rooter’s landing page (developed to promote their South San Gabriel service region) is not necessarily long in terms of the number of page sections, but it’s got a lot of copy and details. Right off the bat, readers can see what Mr. Rooter offers. Adding a phone number to the header also gives customers who are urgently seeking a plumber an immediate point of contact. Hey—when the water’s gathering around your ankles, you don’t have time to read an entire landing page. Additionally, all of the cities within the South San Gabriel region are listed—so customers don’t have to do further research.

And people like a deal. By offering a $20 discount, the page gives customers an extra incentive to use Mr. Rooter over a competitor. The placement of the offer is on the left-hand side of the page, which is ideal considering that online readers’ tend to scan pages from left to right in a Z- or F-shaped pattern. The offer is also an example of basic but effective skeuomorphism, with a dotted line that immediately calls to mind coupons in printed media.

Mr. Router Coupon

The page goes on to describe the company’s areas of expertise in detail—something condensed landing pages don’t offer—and highlights why customers choose Mr. Rooter by including some benefits of their service (24/7 availability, reliable specialists, local area knowledge) as well as testimonials.

This example proves that in many industries, substance matters more than stunning design—and you don’t need a technical background to build a landing page that does the trick (shameless plug: especially not with our landing page templates).

Example 3: Chronotek

Click the image above to see the full page.

Why this works: Expert insight and in-depth product details.

We’re startin’ to see some patterns here. Just like the above long-form landing page examples, Chronotek showcases its primary features above the fold—along with a direct heading that describes their product in clear, uncomplicated terms. Having both these elements above the fold grabs the target audience’s attention as soon as they land and encourages them to keep reading.

But they don’t stop there. Since Chronotek is B2B software—and likely requires a significant investment of time and money—it’s essential their landing page paints a full picture. By listing six key ways customers benefit (e.g. simplified payroll, live reporting, in-app messaging), Chronotek outlines the value of investing IT dollars in their time-tracking software.

Though their primary messaging is relatively straightforward, farther down the page Chronotek uses short copy with videos and illustrations to connect on a more emotional level. In this case, these elements instill a sense of urgency (“Chronotek sends the alert before it’s too late.”) mingled with the assurance that they have you covered (“Rest assured and know it all!”). The copy in this section is also more ‘you’ oriented. “You” or “your” occur six times—and the copy’s peppered with emotional words, like “stress.”

Chronotek's emotion
An example of the copy paired with videos Chronotek uses throughout the page.

Though many prospects might be convinced by the features and benefits of this product alone, using a long-form landing page lets Chronotek make a more emotional appeal to anyone who has remaining objections or needs to hear certain key phrases before they’ll sign up for a free trial.

Example 4: Throne & Hauser

Click the image above to see the full page.

Why this works: Transparency and convenience builds trust.

Again, not a ton of page sections length wise on this one, but this law firm’s page does contain a fair amount of copy. That said, it also doesn’t waste any of their visitors’ time. The company’s services and location appear immediately—plus a short description of why a client should work with Throne & Hauser. They also feature the credentials visitors expect from a reputable law firm upfront. And, finally, we see two simple methods of contacting the company (via phone or form).

By including personal bios about the firm’s lawyers (photos included), the page creates a connection, which is critical in a largely relationship-driven industry. Testimonials further boost prospects’ trust in the firm by showcasing examples of happy clients.

This long-form landing page also subtly tells a story with a happy ending in its choice of photos:

Throne Hauser CTA image

The hero shot features a sad child divided between parents, while the image underlying the call-to-action at the bottom shows a parent and child happily united. Using their page this way allows Throne & Hauser to tell a story and evoke emotions.

Example 5: Schar School at George Mason University

Click the image above to see the full page.

Why this works: Credit where it’s due.

To impress prospective students, the Schar School at George Mason University has included tons of information on its long-form landing page. Readers quickly learn that the school operates in Washington, D.C. (location’s a major factor when it comes to selecting a university) and that programs combine technical skills and theory. If a student’s interested, they can easily request more information and start their application using the form. There are also opportunities to enroll in sample classes or attend an open house.

The Schar School also features achievements to separate themselves in a competitive category, where options can feel endless. The testimonials come from recent graduates who now occupy high-demand jobs in fields associated with the school’s programs:

Schar Testimonials

The page also includes degree program descriptions. For these (lengthy!) blurbs, short-form pages wouldn’t cut it, but this is the kind of specific info prospective students need to determine if a given option is right for them.

The page leads with the school’s Master’s programs, which makes up the bulk of its enrollment. And although it might make sense to create separate landing pages for each degree program, using a longer format for this landing page helps provide an overview for students who might be considering multiple programs.

And there you have it: five effective long-form landing page examples…

…across five industries no less! These companies all needed a few more words to get their point across, with detailed descriptions, testimonials, and achievements that short pages just don’t have room for. The extra copy helps the brands be empathetic to the often significant personal or financial impacts of the offers at hand.

Ultimately, the nature of your industry and product or service will help dictate landing page length. What’s important to remember is that there’s no hard and fast rule. We’re often taught that shorter is sweeter, but landing pages—like naps, daylight hours, and vacations—can sometimes stand to last a little bit longer.

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Converting with Extra Copy: 5 Long-Form Landing Page Examples

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6 Things You Need to Know About CRO & Social Login

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Entrepreneurs are always trying to figure out how to engage their user more and boost their website’s conversion rate. One way to do that is through social sign-on, also referred to as social login or lazy sign-in. With social login, users can access your website using the social account IDs that they already have instead of setting up new login details for your website. And they don’t have to remember a new set of login credentials. Simply put, social login enhances a website’s user experience while allowing marketers to collect more accurate user data, including gender, age, interests, relationship status and a…

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6 Things You Need to Know About CRO & Social Login

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8 Surefire Strategies to Boost Your Blog Conversions

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In 2018, marketers are competing for an audience share that is both smart and digitally savvy. That means they can’t rely on the same old marketing strategy to carry blog conversions. If you’ve noticed stagnation in your conversion rate, it may be time to revise your strategy to boost conversions and keep your business growing. Be sure you’re incorporating these eight proven techniques to maximize your blog conversions. 1. Know your Target The most obvious element in conversion is a laser-like focus on the users you’re aiming to attract and convert. Are you posting articles like mad, but lacking the…

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8 Surefire Strategies to Boost Your Blog Conversions

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CRO Hero: Claire Peña, Growth Marketing Manager at Splunk

CRO Heroes

Admittedly, Conversion Rate Optimization is not the most sexy term in the marketing world – but if you’ve ever run an A/B test where the variant won by a landslide, or made a website design change that led to a significant increase in product purchases, you know firsthand how exciting and powerful CRO can be in action. Marketers who specialize in conversion rate optimization are often a rare mix of analytical and creative; tactical, and intuitive. They need to get inside a customer’s head, but they also need to dive deep into data. Often, CRO professionals are tasked with: Reducing…

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CRO Hero: Claire Peña, Growth Marketing Manager at Splunk

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19 Call-to-Action Phrases That Will Convert Your Users

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What happens when nobody clicks on your call-to-action phrases and buttons? You don’t get any leads. Nor do you generate any revenue. That’s the opposite of the point, right? Which is why I tell business owners and marketers to take the time to refine their CTAs. A poorly-written CTA negates all the hard work you do for the rest of your marketing campaign. Someone who visits your website might be with you up until that point, then decide to bail on the conversion. So, how do you write call-to-action phrases that convert? What is the Psychology Behind CTA Phrases? From…

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19 Call-to-Action Phrases That Will Convert Your Users

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Increase Clicks with these 12 Call-to-Action Phrases

call-to-action-phrases

What happens when nobody clicks on your call-to-action phrases and buttons? You don’t get any leads. Nor do you generate any revenue. That’s the opposite of the point, right? Which is why I tell business owners and marketers to take the time to refine their CTAs. A poorly-written CTA negates all the hard work you do for the rest of your marketing campaign. Someone who visits your website might be with you up until that point, then decide to bail on the conversion. So, how do you write call-to-action phrases that convert? What is the Psychology Behind CTA Phrases? From…

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Increase Clicks with these 12 Call-to-Action Phrases

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The Top 7 Popup Forms to Skyrocket Your Conversions

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The ultimate end goal for every single visitor to your website is to turn them into a customer or a recurring visitor. The problem is that turning visitors into regulars can be tricky. Really tricky. There is, however, an easier way to convert visitors without wasting your time or theirs—and it comes in an unexpected form. Pop-up form, to be exact. Simply by using well placed popup forms, you can boost your email subscription rate by 317% or more. With this in mind, we’re going to take a look at our top seven pop-up recommendations and discover how they’ll help…

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The Top 7 Popup Forms to Skyrocket Your Conversions

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What Is a Good Conversion Rate? The Answer Might Surprise You

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What is a good conversion rate for your online business? And how do your company’s conversion rates stack up against your competition’s? These are questions I field every day, both from business owners who are struggling and from companies that are killing it. I get it — everyone wants to crush the competition and boost their revenue — but how do you know if you’re making the grade? I’m passionate about metrics because I always want to win. You might feel the same way. To win, though, you have to understand the psychology behind your target customer’s decisions and find…

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What Is a Good Conversion Rate? The Answer Might Surprise You

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Low Conversion Rate? 13 Reasons (And 13 Fantastic Solutions)

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A low conversion rate can harm your business by slowing your leads and sales to a trickly. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to fix the problem. First, though, you need to know why you have a low conversion rate. What’s causing people to bounce from your site or read your content without any other engagement? Data and tools can help you identify the culprit, but it helps to know what red flags to consider. I’m going to take you through 13 potential reasons for your low conversion rate, then answer four common questions involving conversion rate metrics. 13 Reasons…

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Low Conversion Rate? 13 Reasons (And 13 Fantastic Solutions)