Tag Archives: landing page optimization

Master Your Next Feature Launch: How Vimeo Uses Unbounce Landing Pages to Go to Market Faster

You’re a product marketer and it’s five weeks away from a major launch.

The office is buzzing with excitement and tensions are rising by the day. Your marketing team is busy prepping all the essential pieces in your marketing launch toolkit, from email communications to paid advertising to PR initiatives and beyond.

But something’s missing.

Your website needs updating to reflect the launch of your new feature or product… and then you need somewhere to send your paid campaign traffic.

If you’re relying on your developers to build a new page for you, it could take weeks (or longer). Besides, shifting your devs’ focus away from the product launch probably isn’t the best use of their time. Adding work to their plates could mean having to delay going to market (and miss your launch deadlines) — and that could be deadly for business.

The marketing team at Vimeo has experienced this stress first-hand. Garrett Bugbee, Manager of Search and International Marketing, recently described to me how product launches have put a strain on his team in the past:

We had a huge creative backlog, especially during product launches. We relied on our devs to build our pages for us. It was a slow and painful process, from design to the kick-off meetings and then actually waiting for it to be built and QA’d… It was a massive issue.

Fast forward to today, Garrett and his team have removed many of these pre-launch bottlenecks. When it came time to launch their new product, Vimeo 360, they’d mastered the art of going to market with new products on time and on budget.

So what’s Vimeo’s secret recipe to making every product launch a smash hit?

Garrett teases at it in the video below. Have a look, or read on for the blueprint to their success.

Make every product a smash hit: Watch this video to learn how Vimeo removed bottlenecks from their launches so they could go to market faster.

Meet Vimeo and their latest product, Vimeo 360

As one of the internet’s most popular video sharing websites, Vimeo attracts more than 100 million unique visitors per month and is home to over 50 million creators worldwide (and counting).

As their popularity increases so too does the competition.

In order to stay on top, Vimeo has to evolve and innovate. With at least four new video products or features being introduced to the platform each year, a failed launch for Vimeo could mean a loss of thousands (dare we say millions) in company dollars, so there’s infinite pressure to get it right — every time.

You can imagine then, the pressure that Garrett (the hero from our intro) must have felt when he and his team set out to launch Vimeo 360, a new product that allows users to upload 360-degree videos in stunning high quality:

Because some of Vimeo’s competitors were already dabbling in 360-degree video, Garrett knew they had to launch quickly — and with a splash:

It’s a tool that other platforms have already, and it’s something that we wanted to give our creators so they have a new venue for expression and a new way to produce, make and showcase content.

Removing bottlenecks from the campaign launch

Vimeo’s main goal for the 360 launch was to drive engagement, measured by new subscribers and 360 video uploads.

While part of their homepage was to briefly feature Vimeo 360, Garrett and his team wanted to build out a page to better explain the product and all the amazing things it could do, including:

  • An example of a 360 video for prospects who were not yet familiar with the technology (shown above)
  • A showcase of 360 video content created by some of Vimeo’s power users
  • A detailed breakdown of features that make Vimeo 360 stand a cut above the rest (high-quality resolution, intuitive controls, powerful integrations)
  • A promo for their 360 video school, which teaches creators of all stripes to make better videos

That’s a lot of heavy lifting for a website that is also serving a general audience, so Garrett and his team turned to Unbounce to create a click-through landing page for their campaign:

Garrett’s team used Unbounce design features like parallax scroll to appeal to his visually-inclined user base. Click to view full-length landing page.

Beautiful isn’t it?

Garrett explained why empowering his marketing team to build this page themselves was key:

The big benefit here is the flexibility we have to produce a marketing-specific landing page without the help of our engineering team.

Our devs get to focus on building a great product, and we can focus on designing a page built specifically for marketing purposes without pulling our front-end devs away from their work. We can go to market a lot faster by parallel-pathing both the product build and the page build.


Don’t pull devs away from work – your marketing team can build launch landing pages themselves.
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The best part? The campaign landing page that the Vimeo marketing team created drove engagement, which was the campaign goal.

Garrett explains:

[Using scroll mapping,] we saw people scrolling all the way down the page, interacting with the content throughout. It really achieved the goal which was to drive engagement, not just with our paid subscribers but with everybody on the platform.

Better performing paid and social advertising campaigns

A beautiful, engaging landing page is well and good, but at the end of the day, your boss wants hard numbers that show that your campaigns performed.

Since adding dedicated campaign landing pages to their marketing launch toolkit, Vimeo has also seen better results for their paid and social advertising campaigns.

Some paid ads created by Vimeo for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, the Google Display Network and DoubleClick Bid Manager.

Before Unbounce, Garrett humbly admits that they were letting their website get in the way of their campaign success:

Before Unbounce, we simply directed prospects to a page [on our website] with a pricing grid, and that’s pretty extreme to just throw that in someone’s face right away.

But now that Vimeo is sending paid traffic to product launch-specific landing pages like the one above (as opposed to generic pages like their /upload/ page and homepage), their campaigns are kicking serious butt. Check out these impressive results:

  • 730% increase in subscribers from 360-related paid keywords
  • 4529% increase in total video uploads from 360-related paid keywords

Bonus: Dedicated landing pages aren’t only bringing Vimeo better campaign results — Garrett explained that they’re also improving user experience and Google’s relevance score:

Unbounce has allowed us to target specific landing pages for top keywords, which is a huge win. I think that this one of the best use cases for Unbounce.

You can use Dynamic Text Replacement or make specific pages, and you just target your top terms, it’s highly relevant… I have complete control of that experience and that’s the marketer’s dream.

Unbounce’s Dynamic Text Replacement (DTR) feature gives Garrett and his team the capability to swap out text on their landing page — so that their ads and landing pages present exactly what visitors searched for.

Unbounce’s Ryan Engley explains how Dynamic Text Replacement works. See DTR in action here.

That level of message match across the entire buyer journey is key to strong PPC performance.

When prospects click on an ad and see a landing page with a headline that matches exactly what they searched for, they’re reassured that they’ve made a “good click” and are more likely to stick around (and even convert) — and that in turn positively impacts Quality Score in AdWords.

What you can learn from Vimeo’s success

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from Vimeo’s 360 campaign, it’s this:

Yes, product launches are a lot a pressure, but they don’t have to be painfulnot when marketing teams are empowered to move nimbly without bottlenecks.

According to Garrett, it’s all about focusing on your core competencies:

With Unbounce, we can now generate marketing-specific landing pages quickly and easily and translate those across different languages.

It takes the pressure off our devs and engineers, and lets them focus on what’s core — what’s vital to the business — which is building video tools for creators. We handle the marketing side.

By making Unbounce landing pages an essential part of your marketing launch toolkit, not only can you gain the competitive edge by going to market faster, you’ll also:

  • Free up dev resources so they can focus on building and innovating your product
  • Convert more prospects by sending paid traffic to relevant, high-converting pages
  • Create beautifully designed pages that showcase your product in the best light possible
  • Make your boss really happy by saving the company precious time and money

And that folks, is why you should NSAPLCWADLP… Never Start A Product Launch Campaign Without A Dedicated Landing Page. ;)

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Master Your Next Feature Launch: How Vimeo Uses Unbounce Landing Pages to Go to Market Faster

Increase Conversions by Improving the Clarity of Your Value Proposition

jellyfish
Your Unique Value Proposition should be clear, like a jellyfish in calm tropical water. Image via Unsplash.

I’ve noticed a recent trend, where browser interaction influences search behaviour. It goes something like this:

  1. Person searches for “this is a search term”.
  2. SERPs appear.
  3. Person holds down the Ctrl/Command key and clicks every ad (and perhaps one or two organic results). This opens each page in a new browser tab.
  4. Person enters rapid-comparison shopping mode, quickly tabbing through the results, closing anything that doesn’t immediately look like a viable solution. The process often involves a quick analysis of the value prop (reading the headline and subhead, studying the hero shot, etc.).
  5. Tabs are closed in rapid succession with a few lucky souls surviving.

What I’m getting at is that, the whole “attention span of a goldfish” is not really the point anymore. It’s not about the length of our attention span, it’s about how our lack of attention is influencing how we interact with technology.

This is why clarity is the most important part of the conversion equation.

The Conversion-Centered Design principle of Clarity is all about how to make your value prop so clear that you are one of the tabs that remains open.

Conversion-Centered Design (CCD) is a framework for leveraging principles of persuasive design, copywriting, and psychology throughout the campaign process to nudge your visitors toward a conversion.

UVP vs. UCP

There’s an important distinction to draw when thinking about dedicated campaign-specific landing pages versus your website’s homepage. Your homepage’s primary job is to communicate your Unique Value Proposition (UVP), whereas your landing page’s job is to communicate the Unique Campaign Proposition (UCP — hat tip to Bryan Eisenberg for that term).

Your Unique Campaign Proposition is related just to the purpose or offer of your campaign, which might not be the same as the value proposition of your website/homepage. For instance, for a webinar, you want to talk about the topic and guest — not your product or service.

If you’re doing branded search PPC then the landing page may well have an identical UVP and UCP, but for other campaigns (like a sale, special offer, webinar invite, ebook download, new feature launch, etc.) the UCP is much more targeted on that specific goal.

Another important factor to consider is what I call information hierarchy.

Information Hierarchy

Information Hierarchy is concerned with the order with which the copy on your page is presented, both in literal terms (which comes first) and in terms of the visual dominance (what stands out most).

Consider the page below from an unnamed email marketing solution.

Notice how the prominent headline is super generic and doesn’t even reference email marketing? It isn’t until you read the subhead that you understand what the page (and the service) is really about:

headline

To drive this point home, I ran a five-second test on the headline/subhead at Usability Hub to see what happened when people answered the simple question: “What does the product do?”

We make it easy to grow your business
It’s Easier Than You Think to Create Professional Emails that Keep Your Customers Coming Back

Below is a word cloud  showing the responses — common words in the responses appear larger. So if you see a giant word that you don’t like such as “don’t know, no clue, no idea”, or something even more concerning, like “adult diapers” when you’re selling padded evening wear, you’ve likely got a problem.

word-cloud-1

The test resulted in a paltry 6% of respondents answering the question correctly.

6%!

A 6% conversion rate is probably amazing, but as the result of a five-second test it’s pathetic.

How would you feel if only 6% of your visitors could figure out what your business does? That would be like if you showed up to your own birthday party and only three out of the 50 people who showed up even knew who you were. You’d feel like a giant lame-o.

I’d seen this phenomena occur many times (where the subhead held all the clarity), and I hypothesized that a simple headline/subhead flip (below) would improve the Clarity.

It’s Easier Than You Think to Create Professional Emails that Keep Your Customers Coming Back
We make it easy to grow your business

The result?

word-cloud-2

With the subhead and headline reversed, 20% of respondents answered the question correctly — a dramatic increase.

Five-second tests are a great way to uncover Clarity problems, and if you have both a headline and subhead communicating your UCP, consider trying the headline flip for a followup test. (Note, the headline flip works just as well for your homepage, but in this instance I’m talking about landing pages).

Now, I’m not recommending you simply flip it and forget it. What you should do is think about your Information Hierarchy, and make sure you’re telling your story in the right order, and that your subhead is there to add Clarity, not be the sole holder of it.

Clear vs. clever

Another reason pages often lack Clarity is that marketers are often sucked into trying to be cute or clever in their communications. You can see from some recent changes in CISCO’s homepage headline below how distinct this difference can be when it comes to clearly communicating your UVP or UCP.

digital-means-dollars

The headline “Digital means dollars” could stand in for any online business. It doesn’t speak to benefits or describe what the services actually does. It’s trying to be cute and doesn’t add any Clarity.

it-is-fast

The new headline, “IT is fast again,” speaks a little more to what makes CISCO unique. It could stand to be more specific, but it at least explains a little to the benefits.

Similarly, in the next example, the old version (below) is trying to ride the “unicorn” buzzword wave, a vague word that adds zero actual value.

lp1

Conversely, the updated version (below) speaks directly to a startup company (the intended target market segment), with the subhead clarifying what there is on offer:

lp2

If you’re worried that you might be using wishy-washy, jargonistic terms on your pages, we’ve created a Chrome extension to help.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Download and install Unbounce’s Dejargonator Chrome Extension
  2. Run it on any landing page or website — offending phrases will be highlighted in red. (You can test it on this extra sleazy page here.)
  3. Hover over the red text and see what’s wrong:
dejargonator
  1. Finally, update your page to be:
    • Less sleazy and superlative-y
    • More specific (and thereby more persuasive)

Clear landing page copy, full hearts, can’t lose

Clarity is (clearly) incredibly important in creating effective landing pages, but it’s certainly not the only thing that matters.

In addition to a clear message, you need to align every element on your page with your singular campaign goal in order to win those conversions.

This is where the fourth CCD principle of Congruence comes in. Read on to learn more about Congruence or download a PDF of the entire CCD framework to read at your leisure.

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Increase Conversions by Improving the Clarity of Your Value Proposition

Boosting B2B Leads by 9x with PPC and Landing Page Best Practices [Case Study]

b2b-ppc-lp-best-practices-blog
Send your conversion rate soaring with landing page and PPC best practices. Image via Shutterstock.

Do you ever dream about increasing your conversion rate? How about increasing it by 290% and boosting your lead generation by 9x?

Well, that’s exactly what we did for our client, Revecent, a company specializing in sales consulting and recruiting. The results were so dramatic, they asked us to scale up the campaign less than a month after initial launch!

Today, I’m going to show you exactly how we did it, and how you can achieve the same results by following key PPC and landing page best practices.

Ready to start making more money than you ever thought possible from your B2B PPC campaigns? Let’s dig in!

Identifying the issues

Most B2B PPC campaigns have poor conversion rates and ROI. This usually happens because the campaign is not set up using best practices, is not managed using a disciplined process and does not use optimized landing pages. In fact, 52% of B2B PPC ads still point to home pages.

Indeed, when we first looked at our client’s old Google AdWords campaign for recruiting services, we saw each one of these issues at play.

before-campaign

Revecent’s overall conversion rate of 2.83%, while above average for a B2B campaign, was nothing to write home about. And the high cost per conversion didn’t produce many quality leads, thus preventing the client from scaling up the campaign.

While there were many issues, we focused on four key areas for our plan of attack:

  1. Poor account structure
  2. No targeted landing page
  3. Wasted ad spend
  4. Inadequate keyword management

Let’s dig into each with more detail…

1. Poor account structure

One of the biggest issues in the campaign was that they had only three ad groups with 40 to 50 keywords each. This resulted in poor quality scores and poor message match between ads and keywords. Here is an example of one such ad and the variety of different keywords that trigger it:

Sales recruiting keywords

Your ads (and landing pages) can never be relevant for so many different keywords. Ideally, you should strive for a 1:1 ad group to keyword ratio for keywords expected to drive at least 80% of the traffic to your campaign.

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2. No targeted landing pages

Rather than develop specific landing pages for the campaign, the client chose to use one of their service pages as a landing page. As you can see below, it had a number of issues including conflicting calls to action, multiple navigation links and some pretty blasé content and design:

Revecent service page

3. Wasted ad spend

Even considering their modest budget, the campaign was very inefficient — only 10% of the keywords had conversions, and 90% of the conversions came from 30% of their total ad spend.

4. Inadequate keyword management

Revecent’s existing campaign used mostly general and high-level keywords, rather than niche and long-tail keywords.

Keywords with specific job titles, industries and geographic locations were notably absent from the campaign. Because of this, Revecent’s ads were generic and not customized to the user’s search queries, which resulted in poor performance.

Additionally, while Revecent did add a few negative keywords when they first launched their campaign, they did not monitor their search terms on a regular basis to add new negative keywords. Ideally, this should be done on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to improve the quality of traffic.

Implementing the solution

We came up with a three-step plan to optimize the PPC campaign: (1) Use best practices to structure the account, (2) create conversion-optimized landing pages and (3) use a disciplined process to manage the campaign and realize ongoing improvements.

1. Use PPC best practices to set up the campaign

First, we spent time understanding the client’s business in detail — going through their services, industries they serve, ideal customers and competitors.

For context, the client provides sales recruitment services to small and medium sized B2B companies located in major metropolitan areas across the US. The industries they cater to include software, technology, real estate and B2B services. Based on this information, we conducted extensive research to identify some quality keywords for their campaign.

Using the Google Adwords Keyword Planner, we identified the best keyword opportunities including niche keywords around specific industries like software, SaaS and technology, as well as keywords containing metro areas like Chicago, NYC and San Francisco.

We poured through the Search Terms Report from the client’s old campaigns and extracted some excellent keywords as well as a host of negative keywords. We also used the SpyFu tool to look at which keywords competitors were using, and then extracted some of those as well.

Next, we set up an account structure that would give us a solid platform for the campaign. We created a structure where keywords accounting for around 90% of the expected traffic to the campaign were placed in single-keyword ad groups. This resulted in about 80 ad groups.

Our approach would give us the most control over the campaign, ensuring precise message match between keywords and ads, high quality scores and click-through rates, while keeping keyword cost per click at a reasonable level — even for the top three ad slots.

Below are three examples of the ad groups we created.

Ad Group Sales Recruiters Dallas:

Sales recruiters Dallas ad group

Ad Group Software Sales Recruiters:

software sales recruiters ad group

Ad Group Sales Recruiting Agencies:

sales recruiting agencies ad group

We rewrote all the ad copy to properly convey the client’s main benefits with lines such as “Build an All Star B2B Sales Team” and “Targeted & Vetted Candidates Only.” We also added sitelinks, callouts and call ad extensions.

Finally, we added a number of negative keywords in each ad group to make sure that any keyword searched on Google would only match one ad group. For example, in our “Sales Recruiters” ad group, we added “Dallas”, “Software”, “Agencies” and a host of other terms, as negative keywords.

2. Create conversion-optimized landing pages

We created a new landing page in Unbounce starting with the 5-Elements template. We customized the template based on the client’s brand, added original copy and then made tweaks according to best practices for landing page design.

Original optimized landing page

Some of the best practices we employed on the landing page were as follows:

  • Tagline below logo emphasizing focus on Sales Recruiting
  • Phone number integrated with Google call tracking so we could track phone calls being made from this page
  • Real customer testimonial
  • Prominent above-the-fold form
  • Clear call to action and animated arrow to attract attention
  • Customer logos to build trust
  • UTM parameter tracking using hidden form fields to capture the campaign, keyword, device and keyword match type

We also created a headline and subheading that effectively described what the client does and what the main benefits of the service are.

Instead of creating multiple pages with content customized to associated ad groups, we opted to use Dynamic Text Replacement to change the content of a few key areas of the landing page. Using this approach, we were able to change the entire headline based on which ad the user clicked on. We also used Dynamic Text parameters for a portion of the subheading and section headings.

For example, below is the ad copy for “Software Sales Recruiters”. The bolded, italicized portion represents the dynamic portion of the ad.

  • Headline: Hire Top Notch Software Sales Professionals Today
  • Subheading: We recruit the best software sales professionals in your industry. Candidates are assessed based on 21 sales specific skills common among top 20% performers to ensure success.
  • Section heading: Outsource Your Sales Hiring to Expert Software Sales Recruiters

Once we had our account setup the way we wanted and the main landing page ready to go, we launched the campaign.

3. Do ongoing optimization and A/B testing

Even if you use best practices to set up a campaign, things may not always go as planned. Real-world performance can throw a few curve balls.

In our case, while we did find that our campaign was performing a lot better than the old campaign, there were a few things that needed to be adjusted.

Negative keywords

One of the first things we found was that the campaign was getting lot of irrelevant traffic. We identified several search terms for industries the client did not serve; for example, medical and pharmaceutical.

We also found search terms that referenced services the client did not provide, such as IT recruiting. There were a number of informational search queries as well which were not ideally suited to our campaign. So, we went into the Search Terms Report in AdWords and added these as negative keywords. You can see examples of some of these below:

excluded-keywords

New keywords

On the other hand, we found dozens of new keywords that people were searching for that we hadn’t used in the campaign. We added these keywords into new ad groups in the campaign to maximize their effectiveness:

new-keywords

A/B testing

We started out with two ads in the ad groups receiving the most traffic and continued to A/B test until we found a winner. Then, we created a new variant and tested that against this winner and continued this process to improve click-through rates.

We also created a variant of the landing page using the Forward template in Unbounce. With this landing page, we tried a different CTA and a different headline that included a number (as these tend to perform better).

revecent-original-lp

Bid optimization

We employed a manual CPC-based bid strategy throughout, because that gave us the most control over the bidding process. We also monitored and optimized bids regularly to maintain a top three average position with most ads.

Lead quality

Our client wanted to make sure that we minimized leads from job candidates. They also were not interested in getting leads from companies looking for part-time help or commission-only sales reps.

Most leads specified what they were looking for in the description box on the form. We used this in conjunction with the search term used by the lead to identify keywords that were responsible for such leads. Based on this, we would either pause those keywords or modify the ad copy.

The Results (and the payoff)

As you can see in the table below, our new campaign performed exceptionally well compared to the old campaign. We were able to realize immediate performance gains and, because of the low cost per lead, the client asked us to scale up the campaign quickly.

campaign-results

In all, the new campaign was able to:

  • Reduce cost per conversion by 78%from $183.13 in the old campaign down to an outstanding $39.85
  • Improve conversion rate by 290%from 2.83% to 11.04%, which is outstanding for a bottom-of-the-funnel B2B offer
  • Boost conversions from 33 to 308 in the same time frame
  • Improve the lead-to-opportunity conversion rate from 10% to 25%

We achieved our results by following best practices for campaign setup and landing page design and by employing a disciplined process for ongoing optimization after the initial launch.

Although it took a considerable amount of time to set up the original campaign structure, this approach allowed us to get the perfect search term + ad copy + landing page message match. In the end, we were able to create a solid, highly scalable platform for sustained growth.

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Boosting B2B Leads by 9x with PPC and Landing Page Best Practices [Case Study]

Do You Believe in… Conversion Magic?

conversion elixir
Do you believe in… conversion magic? Image via Shutterstock.

Like any potions master would attest, the secret to a great elixir lies in the measured combination of its ingredients.

Over the years, Titan PPC, a full-service pay-per-click advertising agency based in Vancouver, has developed a “magic formula” for designing lead generation landing pages that convert at average of 15% or higher.

The secret ingredient? For company founder, Patrick Schrodt, it doesn’t boil down to just one.

Read on to find out what key ingredients make Patrick’s lead gen landing pages so powerful. Then test them yourself with the new, kick-ass Hyperion template in the Unbounce app.

1. Make your landing pages relevant

Any smart marketer knows that when visitors reach a landing page, they won’t all have the same intentions for being there. Some may have clicked an ad looking for a plumber in West Seattle where others may have clicked one looking for a plumber in Capitol Hill.

But if your client is a plumbing company that serves the entire Seattle metropolitan area, your landing page should show both the visitors from West Seattle and Capitol Hill that you’ve got the service they need in the location they want it.

In other words, you want to use geo-targeting to make your landing pages especially relevant to your prospects. As Patrick explains:

There’s always been geo-based searches and there always will be. For our own campaigns, we’ve gone as targeted as including a map on every landing page. We highlight a visitors location on the map depending on the where their search is coming from — people go crazy for it!

And the conversion rates don’t lie.

Watch this clip to hear how Titan PPC used geo-targeting to increase a client’s on-page conversion rates from 6% to 33%, practically overnight.

Interview with Patrick Schrodt, founder of Titan PPC.

2. Use (awesome) images to break up your body copy

Never judge a book by its cover… right?

Well, fact is, when a prospect reaches your lead gen landing page, the first thing they’ll do is judge your offer or product by the way you’ve presented it to them. And they’ll do it within seconds.

That’s why you want to make sure it looks so good they won’t want to leave.

The key to keeping prospects interested? Great photography. According to Patrick:

Images help prospects get a clear picture of your client’s product or offer, and it shows them you’re a professional.

Titan PPC adds full-page horizontal image galleries throughout their lead gen landing pages.

It helps break up a visitor’s attention as they scroll by giving them something nice to look at.

But you can’t just slap a bunch of images into a gallery and hope that it all comes together.

If you’re going to source images for clients, you have to make sure you grab photos from a series. I’ve seen landing pages where it’s obvious that each image belongs to a different suite and it’s not coherent or nice to look at.

Check out this example of cohesive image galleries on one of Titan PPC’s lead gen landing pages for a lawn mowing client in Philadelphia:

GrasLawn

Screenshot of cohesive image galleries, landing page designed by Titan PPC.

3. Remind visitors why they are on your page

Remember that bit about making sure your landing pages were super relevant to your visitors? Well, that sometimes means reminding them exactly why they are on your landing page.

For Titan PPC, the best way to do that is by adding a smooth scroll call-to-action (CTA) bar right below the horizontal image gallery.

Why? Because it brings a prospect right back to where you want them: the form.

It works because every time a visitor sees something visual and eye catching [like the image galleries], they’re then prompted to fill out the form.

4. Make the form match the offer

Speaking of taking prospects back to where you want them, the design of a form on your landing page should never be an afterthought. That means weighing, measuring and sifting every item from the questions to the CTA so it’s fully optimized to ensure a conversion.

It’s so key that the form matches the offer. Otherwise a prospect will just be turned off.

So if your client is offering a 100% free quote on plumbing services, then the form on your landing page should reiterate, loud and clear, that the offer comes at no price.

Sounds pretty straight-forward, doesn’t it?

But matching a form to an offer also means making sure you have a solid understanding of your target audience. As Patrick explains:

For real-estate clients, the CTA is always to download a free floor plan. But for clients that are service based, like plumbers or roofers, the CTA is always to get a free quote.

It all comes back to personalization: different types of prospects want to see different kinds of offers. According to Patrick, real-estate prospects want the feeling of exclusivity, whereas service-seeking prospects are probably just looking for the cheapest way to fix a runny faucet or leaky roof.

Titan PPC’s last tip for optimizing the form? Make the form catch your prospect’s attention.

We always put a starburst or icon in the corner of the form. It’s usually something like ‘100% free’ so it pulls a visitor in and reminds them why they want to fill it out!”

Here’s an example of what Patrick means:

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 2.28.41 PM
Screenshot of a high-converting landing page form, designed by Titan PPC.

From showing your visitors ultra-relevant content to making sure that content has awesome design and flow, the landing page magic formula is all about giving prospects exactly what they’re looking for and expecting to see when they land on your page.

Care to try some of Patrick’s tricks yourself?

Sign up for a free 30-day trial of Unbounce and try the Hyperion template, a design inspired by Titan PPC’s powerful elixir for high-converting landing pages.

More here: 

Do You Believe in… Conversion Magic?

Do You Believe In…Conversion Magic?

conversion elixir
Do you believe in… conversion magic? Image via Shutterstock.

Like any potions master would attest, the secret to a great elixir lies in the measured combination of its ingredients.

Over the years, Titan PPC, a full-service pay-per-click advertising agency based in Vancouver, has developed a “magic formula” for designing lead generation landing pages that convert at average of 15% or higher.

The secret ingredient? For company founder, Patrick Schrodt, it doesn’t boil down to just one.

Read on to find out what key ingredients make Patrick’s lead gen landing pages so powerful. Then test them yourself with the new, kick-ass Hyperion template in the Unbounce app.

1. Make your landing pages relevant

Any smart marketer knows that when visitors reach a landing page, they won’t all have the same intentions for being there. Some may have clicked an ad looking for a plumber in West Seattle where others may have clicked one looking for a plumber in Capitol Hill.

But if your client is a plumbing company that serves the entire Seattle metropolitan area, your landing page should show both the visitors from West Seattle and Capitol Hill that you’ve got the service they need in the location they want it.

In other words, you want to use geo-targeting to make your landing pages especially relevant to your prospects. As Patrick explains:

There’s always been geo-based searches and there always will be. For our own campaigns, we’ve gone as targeted as including a map on every landing page. We highlight a visitors location on the map depending on the where their search is coming from — people go crazy for it!

And the conversion rates don’t lie.

Watch this clip to hear how Titan PPC used geo-targeting to increase a client’s on-page conversion rates from 6% to 33%, practically overnight.

Interview with Patrick Schrodt, founder of Titan PPC.

2. Use (awesome) images to break up your body copy

Never judge a book by its cover… right?

Well, fact is, when a prospect reaches your lead gen landing page, the first thing they’ll do is judge your offer or product by the way you’ve presented it to them. And they’ll do it within seconds.

That’s why you want to make sure it looks so good they won’t want to leave.

The key to keeping prospects interested? Great photography. According to Patrick:

Images help prospects get a clear picture of your client’s product or offer, and it shows them you’re a professional.

Titan PPC adds full-page horizontal image galleries throughout their lead gen landing pages.

It helps break up a visitor’s attention as they scroll by giving them something nice to look at.

But you can’t just slap a bunch of images into a gallery and hope that it all comes together.

If you’re going to source images for clients, you have to make sure you grab photos from a series. I’ve seen landing pages where it’s obvious that each image belongs to a different suite and it’s not coherent or nice to look at.

Check out this example of cohesive image galleries on one of Titan PPC’s lead gen landing pages for a lawn mowing client in Philadelphia:

GrasLawn

Screenshot of cohesive image galleries, landing page designed by Titan PPC.

3. Remind visitors why they are on your page

Remember that bit about making sure your landing pages were super relevant to your visitors? Well, that sometimes means reminding them exactly why they are on your landing page.

For Titan PPC, the best way to do that is by adding a smooth scroll call-to-action (CTA) bar right below the horizontal image gallery.

Why? Because it brings a prospect right back to where you want them: the form.

It works because every time a visitor sees something visual and eye catching [like the image galleries], they’re then prompted to fill out the form.

4. Make the form match the offer

Speaking of taking prospects back to where you want them, the design of a form on your landing page should never be an afterthought. That means weighing, measuring and sifting every item from the questions to the CTA so it’s fully optimized to ensure a conversion.

It’s so key that the form matches the offer. Otherwise a prospect will just be turned off.

So if your client is offering a 100% free quote on plumbing services, then the form on your landing page should reiterate, loud and clear, that the offer comes at no price.

Sounds pretty straight-forward, doesn’t it?

But matching a form to an offer also means making sure you have a solid understanding of your target audience. As Patrick explains:

For real-estate clients, the CTA is always to download a free floor plan. But for clients that are service based, like plumbers or roofers, the CTA is always to get a free quote.

It all comes back to personalization: different types of prospects want to see different kinds of offers. According to Patrick, real-estate prospects want the feeling of exclusivity, whereas service-seeking prospects are probably just looking for the cheapest way to fix a runny faucet or leaky roof.

Titan PPC’s last tip for optimizing the form? Make the form catch your prospect’s attention.

We always put a starburst or icon in the corner of the form. It’s usually something like ‘100% free’ so it pulls a visitor in and reminds them why they want to fill it out!”

Here’s an example of what Patrick means:

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 2.28.41 PM
Screenshot of a high-converting landing page form, designed by Titan PPC.

From showing your visitors ultra-relevant content to making sure that content has awesome design and flow, the landing page magic formula is all about giving prospects exactly what they’re looking for and expecting to see when they land on your page.

Care to try some of Patrick’s tricks yourself? Build a landing page in Unbounce today with the Hyperion template, design inspired by Titan PPC’s powerful elixir for designing landing pages that convert.

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Do You Believe In…Conversion Magic?

Progressive Profiling: A Cure for Poor Lead Quality and Form Friction

progressive-profiling-featured-img-650
You wouldn’t propose to a complete stranger, would you? So why ask prospects for a commitment without first getting to know them a little?

If your landing pages and web forms don’t bring in usable prospect data, how can you follow up with prospects and nurture them into qualified leads? How can you pass them to sales for further development?

The struggle is real. As much as 40 percent of B2B leads suffer from poor data quality, and bounce rates for lead generation pages average between 30 and 50 percent. The problem here is two-fold:

  • Prospects don’t take the time to complete web forms accurately
  • Prospects don’t complete web forms at all

In many cases, marketers either ask for all of their lead data up front or build a custom form for each content asset based on what buying stage they think will match prospects’ intent.

Neither approach is ideal.

On the one hand, you could scare prospects away by demanding too much information:

long-application
Yikes. Image source.

On the other hand, it’ll take a lot of extra work to a build custom form for each of your content assets.

How can this be avoided?

Progressive profiling is a lead acquisition technique that involves requesting one or two pieces of information at a time, starting with basic firmographics (e.g. company size, job title, industry) and leading into deeper, more targeted questions later in the relationship.

Done correctly, it can help you increase conversion rates and lead accuracy by lowering the psychological barrier to form submission — all while keeping forms simple for a better overall user experience.

Progressive profiling case study

Countless B2B organizations are already using progressive profiling to improve their conversion rates and the quality of their data profiles. The Eaton Corporation, a power management company based in Dublin, Ireland, used progressive profiling to improve engagement with a recent campaign aimed at IT professionals.

With the help of Oracle’s Marketing Cloud, they combined dynamic form fields with a personalized offer and brought in more than 5,000 new prospects… with 48 pieces of information for each. This surpassed their original goal by 276 percent.

So how exactly does progressive profiling work?

Instead of trying to build a complete lead intelligence profile from a single interaction or build a dozen different forms, you use marketing automation and dynamic web forms to request only the information you lack.

Here’s an example of how the process could work:

  1. A prospect visits your website and downloads a whitepaper.
    They submit their name, email address and company name through your web form.
  1. After receiving a few drip emails, the same person clicks a CTA to register for a webinar.

    A dynamic web form for now asks for their industry, company size and a custom question about their software needs. Dynamic web forms present unique fields to each prospect based on the information you already have (or don’t have) in your database.

  1. Not long after the webinar, the lead requests a video demo of your product.
    You now ask them to specify a budget range and implementation time frame.

You’ll need to set up rules for progressive profiling in your marketing automation platform. Most systems from leading vendors (Pardot, Eloqua, Marketo, HubSpot, Act-On) provide some kind of dynamic web form feature, although it’s not always labeled as such.

Here’s an example from Act-On — pay special attention to the “Visitor Form Rules” field:

progessive-profiling-img2

As you can see, Act-On uses “if + then” rules to make sure no lead capture forms appear redundant to the prospect; you only want to ask for the pieces of information you don’t have.

When should you use progressive profiling?

It may seem like a cure-all solution from the outset, but progressive profiling isn’t always the best choice.

Not every prospect or lead will interact with your content frequently enough to move through a multi-stage lead capture process. According to a study by Demand Gen Report, only 38 percent of buyers view more than four pieces of content from the vendor they ultimately choose.

Worst case scenario: a lead only completes one web form, and you only get their name and email address — hardly enough to constitute an MQL (marketing qualified lead). In light of this reality, marketers should consider when and why they should employ progressive profiling:

  • If the goal is to gradually convert casual site visitors into sales-ready leads with a series of escalating offers, it’s probably a safe bet.
  • But what about visitors who are already in the decision stage of their buying process? If they click a bottom-funnel CTA, do you want to squander the opportunity by only capturing basic info, such as that you might capture for a newsletter subscriber?

    Of course not. Even if your initial conversion rate rises, your final conversion rate (after a couple nurture emails, another offer, another form) will be the same, or even lower.

Here’s the short version: you shouldn’t apply progressive profiling to all of your content campaigns just because it seems intuitive.

Instead, take a hybrid approach:

  • Build more extensive web forms for bottom-of-the-funnel assets and offers, and use progressive profiling to make sure you don’t request the same information twice.
  • For your first-time visitors and blog subscribers, the barrier to entry should still be low, but if there’s an opportunity to capture a qualified lead from a single touch point, take it.

The challenge

The challenge of lead acquisition is similar to the challenge of the sale: you must convince people that your offer (product/service/content) is worth some kind of investment (money/time/information).

While progressive profiling doesn’t necessarily improve your value proposition, it does lower the psychological barrier to entry. By minimizing your “asks” and spacing them out over time, you can build incremental trust with prospects and leads, which adds up to higher conversion rates and more new customers.

Just remember to keep one thing in mind: while progressive profiling is a great technique, it won’t carry your inbound lead generation efforts on its own. As with any campaign, there are many moving parts and they all must work in concert. To get the most out of progressive profiling, make sure you invest at least as much energy into optimizing your awesome content and the landing pages that go with them.

Interested in learning more about landing page optimization?

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Progressive Profiling: A Cure for Poor Lead Quality and Form Friction

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Win a Free Trip to CTAConf 2016 [Prize Package Valued at $6,000]

TL;DR: Win a trip to the Unbounce Call to Action Conference in Vancouver this upcoming June 19 – 21 (a prize valued at over $6,000) by creating a landing page that converts.

For the past two years, we’ve hosted an epic contest to send deserving marketers to our Call to Action Conference in Vancouver.

>>This way to win your way to CTAConf

We received some pretty remarkable landing pages entries. Hilarious videos were created. Retargeting happened. Directional cues were used. A ton of personality, memes, dancing, creativity, blood, sweat and tears went into these pages.

In short, we were pretty blown away. So we’re doing it again.

But this time it’s going to be a little bit different.

The challenge

Listen closely.

We’ve created a new landing page template all about CTA Conf 2016 (hosted by Unbounce this upcoming June 19 – 21) and why we think every marketer should attend. It’s 95% complete…

But we think it could use your help.

The challenge is simple:

  1. Check out what makes the Call to Action Conference so special.
  2. Log in to Unbounce (or create a free account) and head to our templates library.
  3. Create a new landing page using our Call to Action Conference Contest template, and add your own finishing touches to persuade people to click that call to action! Make the copy more persuasive, the color palette prettier — whatever you think will result in more conversions.
  4. Publish and share your landing page with all your marketing friends through email, social, remarketing or any other creative idea you come up with.

The honorable judge

Last year we had a mix of Unbouncers and speakers as judges. But this time, there is only one judge: data. #micdrop

Whoever’s page drives the most conversions (form submissions to our Call to Action Conference Agenda page) will win a free trip to Vancouver to attend Call to Action Conference. Tickets, flights, accommodation, fun touristy activities — the whole shebang!

What does the Ultimate CTAConf Package Include?

In other words, why should you put your blood, sweat, tears and conversion chops into this?

Check out our prize packages:

First place

The first place prize package includes:

  • One CTAConf ticket for you and one for a friend
  • One flight to Vancouver (up to $1,000)
  • Three nights at the Delta Vancouver Suites from June 19 – 21
  • Your choice of Sunday Funday activity before the conference
But wait, second and third place are rewarded for their efforts too!

Second place

If you’re next best, you’ll get two free tickets to CTAConf 2016, an invitation to the private speaker dinner on June 19 (think of all the unlimited mingling you’ll get to do with marketing experts!) and your choice of Sunday Funday tourist activity before the conference.

Third place

And if you come in third, you’ll still get to come to the conference for free — Sunday Funday included! And you’ll walk away with an Unbounce swag back.

Up for the challenge? Read the rules, download the template and get crackin’.

The contest ends June 9, 2016 at 5:00pm PST.

Happy converting!

P.S. If you don’t want to make a landing page but still wanna come to the conference, we’ve got a special discount for our blog readers. Get an extra $200 off your ticket at the checkout by using the promocode “UnbounceBlog” until the landing page contest submissions end on June 9, 2016 at 5:00pm PST.

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Win a Free Trip to CTAConf 2016 [Prize Package Valued at $6,000]

A Simple but Effective Framework for Landing Page Information Hierarchy

Some marketers do an excellent job of laying out information on their landing page so that it tells a story in a way the reader needs to hear it. Not only does that yield awesome conversion rates, it creates an experience for the reader that feels effortless.

Other times, information is presented in a way that feels disjointed or out of order.

Have a look at this example, which invites people to “get started” without really explaining what “travel nursing jobs” are. They only clarify their unique value proposition below the fold: “We put health care professionals on assignment to do the work they love — in the places they fall in love with.”

talemed-landing-page

Before you ask prospects to convert, you need to explain what your offer is.

Heck, before you even begin to talk about yourself, you need to show prospects that you understand their anxieties — and you must address their objections as they spring up, telling them exactly what they need to hear when they need to hear it. This includes omitting unnecessary information that doesn’t address an actual question in your prospect’s mind.

If that sounds like a tall order, we’ve got a simple solution:

Information hierarchy: the practice of laying out your information so that it answers all your prospects’ questions in a logical order.

And once you get a hang of it, you’ll be weaving a tale on your landing page that has your prospects nodding “yaassss.”

A simple but effective information hierarchy for your landing pages

Information hierarchy is so important that it’s the first thing I consider when creating any marketing asset, from an ad to a blog post to a website.

But I’ve also designed many-a-landing-page, and for that I have a go-to hierarchy. In Google Docs, I start by:

  • Stating how the offer relieves a specific pain for the reader
  • Explaining what the offer will allow that person to do (the benefit)
  • Explaining why I am uniquely positioned to provide the offer (why I have the best solution)
  • Addressing the most common objections that people often have before they’re willing to accept my offer
  • Telling people how they can get offer (the call to action)
  • Providing social proof from people just like the reader, or from people they know and admire

Only when I have that foundational information in place do I start writing copy and designing the page.

Often, I can dedicate a page section to each one of those topics, keep it in that order and call it a day.

However, depending on the complexity of the offer, the assets I have at my disposal (like a sweet image or explainer video) or the objections I know the audience will hold, I may choose to rearrange the order or use a different format than text.

The above hierarchy is great as a jumping off point, but depending on your unique audience, mileage may vary. So don’t forget to test.

Examples of marketers nailing information hierarchy

Want to know what all of this looks like in practice?

Below are a few examples of information hierarchy done right.

Example 1: Logi Analytics

logi-landing-page-650

Logi Analytics has managed to pare down the amount of information on the page to include only what’s necessary to convince the right audience member to download their ebook.

They’ve structured it all so that it reads like a pitch that starts with the promise of learning new information and ends with instructions on how to get it:

  1. A headline promising a book with brand new, never before seen “emerging design trends”
  2. A hero shot showing a sneak preview of what you’ll get
  3. A description that digs deeper into what the book contains
  4. A bulleted list that describes the benefits (you’ll learn…)
  5. Social proof, promising that other people trust Logi
  6. A form headline that reassures you that you can apply the information easily
  7. A CTA describing how to get the ebook

The only thing I’d recommend is a link to their privacy policy positioned near the email field (ideally opening in a lightbox so the reader doesn’t need to navigate away) to satisfy those who need assurance that their information will be handled responsibly.

Example 2: Ten-X

TEN-X-LP-650
Click for full image. Image source.

Ten-X clearly understands what their potential clients want: offers on the commercial property they’re selling.

Though Ten-X also offers services for brokers, they know that the people who are looking at this page — the people who are selling commercial properties — don’t need to know it. So they’ve hidden broker information and focus instead on catering to only one audience.

Additionally, Ten-x focuses only on the next step for readers, displaying only enough information to sell the reader on why they should get a free consultation.

Their copy reads like a persuasive pitch taking someone from “I need to get offers on my commercial property” to “here’s how I can get started.” Here’s how they take someone through that thought process step by step:

  • A headline that promises clients will get offers. Fast.
  • A benefits section that shows why Ten-X is better than the alternatives (These sections actually display more information on click — I’d recommend making that more obvious.)
  • A succinct explanation of how the process works
  • Social proof, providing confidence that others have found success with Ten-X
  • A form header/subhead reassuring prospects that they can start the process for free, with no risk
  • A disclaimer at the end with the qualifier “By the way, we have minimum deal sizes.” I love the placement of this information. It’s important to qualify the quality of the leads, but they don’t want to waste valuable page real estate with it. They bring it up only after the prospect has made their decision. If you have a low-value property, you might be upset about it… but who cares? You can’t become a client anyway.
Bonus tip:

What’s the common thread between this example and the one above?

Both companies have considered what the reader needs to know in order for them to make the next important decision — and the next decision only. #1page1goal

Consider information hierarchy before you even open your builder

Marketers who carefully consider information hierarchy before they even open their landing page builder are more likely to design a landing page that’s delightful and converts.

To help our customers perfect information hierarchy, we just built out a feature that lets you hide information that only some people may want to see in a lightbox that’s triggered by a button click, saving valuable page real estate.

Test it out by clicking the CTA below.

Read this article: 

A Simple but Effective Framework for Landing Page Information Hierarchy

14 Times In Business You Should A/B Test [INFOGRAPHIC]

People are funny — they often have a tendency to confuse their opinions with legitimate facts (myself included). This is true IRL and this is true in business.

Have you ever heard some iteration of this? “We’ll get way more conversions if we make the button orange — I read somewhere that the button has to be orange.” Or what about this one? “People hate pop-ups. You should never use pop-ups.”

Sometimes our biases get in the way of uncovering the truth, which is why it’s so important to test, test, TEST. Yep, A/B testing is the only way you can truly know whether the hunch — or better yet, your hypothesis — is true.

The infographic below by A/B testing software company VWO highlights a few opportunities for testing. Yes, it’s a tad tongue in cheek, but the underlying message is this: If you have a hunch, build your hypothesis around that hunch and test it. Only then will you truly know whether your hunch is valid or whether you’ve fallen victim to your own biases.

14

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14 Times In Business You Should A/B Test [INFOGRAPHIC]

11 Ways to Accelerate Page Load Time Before Your Prospects Bounce

Science of Speed
This photo is called “Split second before motorcycle crash” — no joke. Image via Skitterphoto.

The creative is stellar.

Headline and value prop impactful. Hero image delightful.

But peeps ain’t converting.

Because the single biggest conversion killer is lurking behind the scenes, completely untouched.

Which is a shame, because speed (or lack thereof) often has a bigger impact on campaign conversions than any of that other stuff.

The impact of speed

Google experienced a 20% traffic drop years ago as a result of a 0.5 second delay — 0.5!

Think that’s bad? If an ecommerce page fails to load in under 3 seconds, it stands to lose nearly half its traffic. As a result, some of the savviest online brands now load in under a second. Less than one second!

The impact of speed only becomes exacerbated on mobile, where limited processing power and spotty connections are the norm. According to Kinsta’s excellent page speed guide74% of people on mobile would abandon if the page doesn’t load in 5 seconds.

Mobile data
Image via Kinsta.

And this is a world where mobile internet usage is fast outpacing desktop. Where a single conversion event isn’t limited to a single page.

The point? If pages aren’t loading, ain’t nobody converting.

Yes, your headline is important. The value prop needs to be clear. A beautiful page is nice to have. Social proof critical to adding credibility.

But if fast loading times aren’t happening, then landing page conversions aren’t either.

Here’s how to fix that.

(Please note that you’ll probably need some technical help to implement some of the following recommendations.)

Page speed TLDR

Accelerate your page load time with these 11 tips and tricks

Grab the 300-word summary of Brad Smith’s actionable post.
By submitting your email you’ll receive more Unbounce conversion marketing content, like ebooks and webinars.

1. Clean up your code

Tidy code doesn’t just make your developer happy, it makes pages load quicker, too.

Reducing the size of site files, especially front-end ones, can have a big impact. Even small issues like excess spaces, indentations, line breaks and superfluous tags can hurt your page load time.

JavaScript is fun. It allows you add little details, like that funny snake or tail that follows a user’s mouse pointer around the screen. Clever! (Sarcasm!) Often, though, JavaScript can be overkill on a landing page. Same with Ajax and other similar extravagances.

Instead, KISS. If you focus on simplicity, there’s (almost) no need for extra stuff.

But if you’re dead-set on keeping your precious scripts (read that in your best Gollum/Sméagol voice), at least load your above-the-fold content first, which is Google’s recommended method.

Gollum
Whoa, someone’s touchy about their scripts. Image via GIPHY.

Find out how your page’s JavaScript is loading with Varvy’s handy JavaScript Usage Tool, and then work on optimizing.

2. Minify HTML & CSS

Jumping on the reducing requests bandwagon, minifying HTML and CSS will help you to package and deliver page data in the most streamlined way possible.

Admittedly, we’re getting out of my comfort zone here. If you’re confident in your technical ability, check out this helpful article. Otherwise open up Google’s PageSpeed Insights, drop in your URL and then send the results to a trusted developer.

3. Utilize GZIP compression

GZIP compression deals with content encoding to again minimize server requests made by your browser. Ouch — that sentence made my brain hurt.

In non-technical terms, GZIP compression reduces your file sizes to enable faster load times. If a more detailed explanation piques your interest, here’s a helpful article.

Use GIDNetwork to see what the current compression on your site looks like now, as well as to get a few ideas of how it could be improved. (Insert helpful developer here.)

4. Minimize redirects

301 redirects are a standard SEO-friendly practice used to tell both search engines and visitors that a page has permanently moved to a new location. It’s a common best practice used when campaigns and sites evolve or change over time, and can help you cut down on broken links or 404 errors.

Computer error
404 errors make everyone angry. Image via Giphy.

Trouble is, too many redirects can also negatively impact speed. So the question is: How many? In typical fashion, Google’s answer is vague — they simply suggest minimizing or trying to eliminate them all together, because they cause extra network trips to verify data (which can be a killer on mobile devices especially).

Screaming Frog can help by quickly identifying all of the redirects currently on your site. In the example below, we found a little over 14% of Runnersworld.com pages contain a redirect. Ouch.

Screaming Frog
How do you get a frog to scream? Toad-al up your redirects.

The key is to dig deeper. What types of redirects are you seeing and why? What are they trying to accomplish? Looking at the example above, there seems to be a lot of temporary 302 redirects from social sharing platforms that can probably be cleaned up to avoid slowing page speed. Here’s a detailed guide from Varvy for more.

5. Relocate scripts

Believe it or not, even script placement can affect load times.

For example, if your tracking scripts are located above the fold or in the <head> of your landing page, your browser will have to download and deal with those scripts before getting to the stuff people actually come to see (like the page content).

It should also go without saying that having duplicate scripts (which is pretty common when multiple people are working on the same page) will slow things down a bit.

And do you really need five analytics packages on that landing page? Probably not. Like most things you’ve read so far, simplify and minimize to reduce the back-and-forth between browsers and servers.

6. Limit WordPress plugins

“Easy.” you say. “Obvious!” you exclaim.

If it’s really so easy, then open up WordPress right now and look at how many plugins your team has installed for simple things like social sharing or tracking. Things that can — and should — be done by a professional so you can completely avoid having to install these plugins in the first place.

The problem is: taking a bunch of third-party tools built by different people and shoehorning them into a Frankenstein-esque page is a recipe for disaster.

If you’d like to diagnose which plugins are worth keeping and which need to be deactivated immediately, you’re not going to like the answer… add another plugin!

P3 (or the Plugin Performance Profiler) will measure your site’s plugin performance and measure their impact on load times. At least you can rest assured knowing that this one will serve some utility while it’s installed.

7. Upgrade hosting

If you have plans to someday make money from your website (so probably everyone reading this blog), paying $3 per month for Godaddy hosting is not going to cut it.

One big reason is that many cheap hosting solutions are shared, meaning you’re sharing server space with many other sites (whose own performance might drag down yours).

That might also mean limited control over what you’re able to affect or change to improve things like site speed. This is especially true for ecommerce sites, which can experience sudden traffic jumps and contain many large media files. Simply put, hosting can make or break your campaign.

If you know what you’re doing, PCMag does a decent job ranking and rating dedicated web hosting services.

Best web hosting

If you’re less sure of what you’re doing or would simply like to not worry about it, a managed hosting option is preferable. This is especially true for WordPress websites — besides speed improvements you’re also getting extra security against external threats plus backups for internal mistakes. The aforementioned Kinsta, WP Engine and Pagely are some of the most popular choices.

8. Resize images

Death, taxes and people not resizing images before uploading them. These are universal truths you can always count on. Also, Mashable publishing terrible articles.

Tweet “Death, taxes & people not resizing images before uploading them. These are universal truths you can always count on.”

Asking browsers to automatically squeeze your original 1200px image down to 600px every time your landing page is loaded, multiplied across all visits for all pages and posts, creates a ton of unnecessary extra work. (Especially on mobile devices with limited processing power and relatively poor connectivity.)

Ideally, resize images before uploading them to the server. If that’s too much work (I ain’t judging, I’m lazy too), at least use WordPress’ built-in tool to resize images for you.

Image resizer

Taking this time-consuming, menial step helps you limit potential errors in mediocre browsers like Internet Explorer, because, well, everything causes errors in Internet Explorer (or whatever they’re calling it these days).

9. Compress images

After resizing your images, the next step should be to compress them to again reduce file size.

This is another often overlooked step, with an infographic from Radware claiming that 45%(!) of the top 100 ecommerce sites don’t compress images.

But optimizing your images can be a low-hanging-fruit approach to quickly speed up loading times, drastically reducing the amount of space — and work — they require.

There are a number of fast, free tools out there, like TinyJPG or Compressor.io, which can significantly reduce file size. The test seen below using Compressor.io resulted in a 73% reduction! Multiply that across all of your landing page images and we’re talking serious results.

Image compressor screenshot

10. Deliver Images with a CDN

See a pattern here yet?

Delivering images with a Content Delivery Network (or CDN) is like calling in reinforcements from servers located closer to your site’s visitors. That means it will try to use the closest ones first, using every trick in the book to cut down on the time and effort required to deliver content from server to a user’s browser.

Popular ones like CloudFlare and MaxCDN can drastically improve performance on highly visual sites.

Image CDN
Image via Cloudflare.

11. External Hosting

Another prudent option is to move large files, like images, audio or video, off of your servers entirely and use an external hosting platform like Imgur for images or Wistia for videos.

While we’ve beat the importance of image size to a metaphorical death already, bigger files like audio and video should almost always be hosted externally.

That’s critical, because rich media adoption is immense. It’s predicted that a whopping 74% of internet traffic in 2017 will be video.

Beyond the performance issues, external hosting providers also offer additional benefits like increased audience reach or features that increase interactions and conversions. Wistia founder Chris Savage lays out a few more reasons why external hosting is a good idea, if you’re interested.

Conclusion

74% of people would leave a site if it doesn’t load within 5 seconds. Which means that even if you’re leveraging all the best practices in the world to get those conversions, people won’t stick around long enough to actually see any of it.

Page speed improvements can range from the basic (upgrading your hosting and removing unnecessary plugins) to the more advanced (minifying files). But anything is certainly better than nothing. Even paying extra attention to how you’re uploading images can go a long way to improving performance.

Yes, implementing all of these changes will be a time-consuming process. No doubt. But it’s also the best way to give your landing pages a fighting chance to convert visitors.

Read this article – 

11 Ways to Accelerate Page Load Time Before Your Prospects Bounce