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2019 Is the Year of Page Speed. Are You Ready?

2019 is the Year of Page Speed

Page speed matters.

We’ve been hearing it for years, though any one of us would be forgiven for letting it slide.

There are other priorities, after all. Marketers have been busy ensuring content is GDPR compliant. We’ve installed SSL certificates, made sure that our pages are mobile-responsive, and conducted conversion optimization experiments.

Some of us have had kids to raise. (And others, dogs.)

But Google has been sending some serious signals lately that suggest sluggish loading is a problem you can no longer sleep on.

In fact, if we look at Google’s actions, it’s undeniable that 2019 will be the year of page speed, the year of the lightning bolt. It’s the year when the difference between fast and slow content becomes the difference between showing up in the search results (whether paid or organic) or disappearing completely.

If you’ve been putting off improvements to your landing page performance until now, chances are that slow content is already killing your conversions. But in 2019, slow content will kill your conversions… to death.

Not convinced? Let’s explore the evidence together.

Google has been saying speed matters since forever

One of the reasons marketers aren’t taking Google’s latest messaging about page speed as seriously as they should is that the company has been asking us to speed up for at least a decade.

Way back in June of 2009, Google launched its “Let’s make the web faster” initiative, which sought to realize co-founder Larry Page’s vision of “browsing the web as fast as turning the pages of a magazine.”

Let's make the web faster
“Let’s make the web faster” video posted on June 22, 2009 (via YouTube)

As part of this initiative, Google made a number of commitments, but they stressed that better speed wasn’t something they could achieve alone. On the same day, a post called “Speed Matters” on the Google AI blog contained a similar message:

Because the cost of slower performance increases over time and persists, we encourage site designers to think twice about adding a feature that hurts performance if the benefit of the feature is unproven.

These weren’t just empty words. The publication of the “Let’s make the web faster” and “Speed Matters” posts signaled a burst of activity from Google. This included:

  • making speed a ranking factor for desktop searches (2010)
  • releasing PageSpeed tools for Firefox (2009) and Chrome (2011)
  • adding the capacity to preload the first search result to Chrome (2011)

But that was nearly ten years ago, and Google followed it with… almost nothing.

Digital marketers and web devs thought they were safe to focus on other things.

Then, in February of 2017, Google returned to the subject of speed in a big way, publishing an industry benchmark report that’s been widely shared ever since.

You may have seen some of the results:

Mobile Page Speed Benchmark
Google’s benchmark revealed that as load times get longer, the probability of bounce increases significantly (via Think with Google).

The first version of the benchmark found that the average mobile landing page was taking 22 seconds to load. This average came down to 15.3 seconds in 2018, but it’s still a significant concern.

(If you’d like a visceral reminder of why a 15-second average wait is still a major problem, hold your breath for that long.)

While the core message that “speed matters” was the same in 2009, in the report Google was now warning that “consumers are more demanding than ever before. And marketers who are able to deliver fast, frictionless experiences will reap the benefits.”

The benchmark report sounded an alarm. And the 2018 update dialed up the volume: “Today it’s critical that marketers design fast web experiences across all industry sectors.”

Google and Page Speed: A Timeline

Much like “Let’s make the web faster,” the 2017 benchmark preceded a flurry of activity from Google, this time laser-focused on mobile page speeds. Here are a few of the more significant moments that should concern you:

May 2017:
Google introduces AMP landing pages to AdWords

This update to AdWords (now Google Ads) makes it possible for advertisers to point their mobile search ads to Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), an ultra-light standard for web pages that is designed to load in less than a second on a mobile device. It’s the strongest indicator yet that Google wants you to get behind AMP in a big way.


June 2017 to February 2018:
Google makes its tools more insistent

In this period, performance tools like PageSpeed Insights and “Test My Site” began making more forceful claims about speed improvements. In February, Google even announced two new tools. The Mobile Speed Scorecard lets you measure your domain’s load time against up to ten of your competitors. And the Impact Calculator produces an estimate of the revenue impact you’d see by speeding up your site. (They’re done with being subtle.)


July 2018:
Google’s “Speed Update” drops

While speed has been a ranking factor in desktop search results since 2010, the “Speed Update” applies stronger standards to mobile searches. Alongside mobile-first indexing, this places renewed pressure on site creators to ensure their mobile landing page experiences are speedy and engaging.


July 2018:
Mobile Speed Score is added to Google Ads

Though Mobile Speed Score doesn’t (yet) have a direct impact on your cost-per-click (CPC), loading times already factor into your Quality Score because they determine landing page experience. By isolating mobile load times, Google Ads now makes it “easier to diagnose and improve your mobile site speed.” Hint, hint.

Google is making mobile page speed mandatory…

It’s not a drip, it’s a monsoon. Looking at the full timeline of announcements, launches, and product updates reveals that Google has been more active than in 2009—and that this initiative is ongoing. Take a look:

Google Page Speed Timeline
Want a better view of this timeline? Click above to open a larger version.

Since 2009, one of the ongoing arguments that Google has been making—through releasing tools and metrics like PageSpeed Insights, Lighthouse, “Test My Site,” the Speed Scorecard, Impact Calculator, and Mobile Speed Score—is that speed matters.

Since 2017, though, that argument has gotten much louder. And while no single action or announcement on this timeline should send you into a tizzy just yet, it’s worth remembering that Google’s gentle reminders tend to become more or less mandatory.

The search engine’s previous drips about mobile responsiveness or, say, web security both manifested in concrete changes to their browser and search engine that forced marketers to prioritize.

In 2016, for instance, you could have safely put SSL certification on your “nice-to-have” list because all Google promised was a small boost to encrypted sites in the search rankings. Nice, to have, but not critical. In 2018, Google Chrome began actively flagging non-HTTPS sites as “Not Secure.”

That’s how Google encourages change: first a carrot, then the stick.

…but what are marketers doing about it?

Unbounce wanted to know what, if anything, digital marketers are doing to meet Google’s new performance standards. So in the “Inside Unbounce” tent at this year’s Call to Action conference, we conducted an informal survey of attendees.

Participants could choose any landing page they wanted. (A majority of these participants weren’t Unbounce customers, but we were happy to measure pages created with our own builder as well.)

Together, we’d run the selected page through Google’s “Test My Site” tool and record the results.

An Inside Unbounce Attendee
An attendee uses “Test My Site” at CTAConf 2018. Unbounce wanted to know, how fast are you?

Our numbers beat the benchmark by a significant margin. That’s not shocking considering CTAConf is a digital marketing conference. The average load time was 10.27 seconds, five seconds faster than Google’s 2018 benchmark.

But it wasn’t all good news, and just how bad it got surprised us:

Only 1.6% of the 188 attendee landing pages we tested at CTAConf loaded in three seconds. Not a single one we tested loaded faster than that.

Ooof. That hurts, especially since Google says 53% of visitors bounce after three seconds.

This means even savvy marketers are not getting the opportunity to convert because a majority of prospects bounce before the content ever loads. Imagine stressing over the color of a button or the length of your headline copy only to discover most people who click on your ad will never even see the resulting landing page.

It’s no wonder, then, that Google is putting increased pressure on marketers to meet their standards in 2019. They can’t afford to be serving up a heaping spoonful of frustration with each search results. And neither can you.

Major players are already sprinting ahead

Even if Google weren’t forcing our hands, it’s hard to imagine a business that wouldn’t benefit from allocating resources to ensuring their website loads like lightning. Major web brands like Etsy and eBay have long been transparent about the importance of speed to their business, and many more companies are waking up to it.

TELUS, one of Canada’s largest telecommunication companies, committed to improving user experience across their web properties in a series of recent blog posts. According to the blog, this initiative to improve performance and speed is “aligned with what Google was really saying: Improving the customer experience is paramount.”

We reached out to Josh Arndt, Senior Technology Architect and Performance Program Lead at TELUS Digital, who explained why this move made a lot of sense:

Customers expect to be able to do what they want in a way that fits their life. While users come to our website for the content, speed – or lack of – may be the first point of friction in their digital journey. Our goal is to remove friction and make their experience effortless and rewarding. As such, performance and other web quality characteristics will always be on our roadmap.

TELUS recognizes that speed—or a lack of it—serves as the unofficial gatekeeper to their content. In this context, page speed is a natural priority, even if it’s one many of us have been collectively ignoring.

Our manifesto, or what page speed means to Unbounce

As the market leader in landing pages, Unbounce recognizes that being capable of extremely fast speeds represents a significant advantage for our clients. Turbo-charged landing pages result in more traffic and higher engagement, boosting conversions and helping PPC campaigns win increased ad impressions for less.

We’ve been happy to make it our priority into 2019. At the same time, though, we also want to remove some of the obstacles to building faster landing pages.

Technical challenges

Over the past few months, our developers have been optimizing Unbounce pages for the recommendations made by Google’s PageSpeed Insights. This bundle of technical improvements (we call it Speed Boost) automatically takes care of many of the technical details that can be a hurdle to improving performance, especially if development hours are tight or (let’s be realistic here) non-existent.

Speed versus beauty

Another sticking point when it comes to speeding up is that few marketers feel comfortable sacrificing visuals for faster load times. Image file sizes have increased to match the larger display resolutions and higher pixel density of modern mobile devices, one reason the average page size has doubled in the past three years.

With the addition of support for ultra-light SVG images and the recent integration of the free Unsplash image galleries right within the Unbounce builder, we’re helping marketers keep things looking slick without weighing down the landing page.

And we’re working toward creating even more optimization opportunities in the near future, including the Auto Image Optimizer, which automatically compresses the images on your landing pages. (You can decide how much or little compression you want.)

The result will be Cheetah speeds—no, scratch that, cheetah-with-a-rocket-strapped-to-its-back speeds—but without the need to sacrifice either visual allure or creative control.

We’ve taken the pressure off. Check out our plans and pricing for desktop and mobile landing pages that are always optimized with speed in mind. It guarantees a better user experience and less ad spend wasted on ads that don’t convert.

Unbounce + AMP Landing Pages

When it comes to improving page speeds on mobile devices, accelerated mobile pages (AMP) set the gold standard by offering load times that are typically much quicker on a 3G connection—and under a second on 4G.

AMP implementation also has a democratizing effect, which Facebook advertising expert Mari Smith points out:

If you wait too long to ensure speedy landing pages, your competitors will zoom right past you…It’s a total race right now. Specifically, with the pending issues around net neutrality, page speed could become far more important than it already is.

Considering that 70% of the world uses a 3G or slower connection—and that the repeal of net neutrality means more internet users in the US might find themselves in the slow lane—designing for older devices and slower connection speeds means connecting to more potential customers. AMP is a big plus in this regard, and that’s one reason publishers were among the first to adopt it.

But AMP can also be hard. As Unbounce’s Larissa Hildebrandt put it in a recent post, “the reason the AMP framework creates a fast page is because it is so restrictive.”

Implementing AMP typically involves learning the nuances of AMP’s specialized markup, including a restrictive version of HTML and a truncated JavaScript library. Pages are delivered the Google AMP Cache, a proxy-based CDN which helps them load even faster. And, all-in-all, to be validated requires closely following the strict design principles laid out by the AMP Project.

If all this sounds like a killer headache in the making, you’re right.

While Unbounce has been greatly interested in supporting AMP, we wanted to make sure it’s fast and easy for our customers to implement. So when Unbounce launches support for AMP landing pages in early 2019, you’ll be able to use our drag-and-drop builder to create AMP landing pages in no time.

We also didn’t want you to sacrifice creative control, so Unbounce allows the inclusion of AMP-compatible custom CSS, JavaScript, and HTML. As long as it passes validation, you can include it. Go nuts. We love how our community innovates on our platform.

Build an AMP page in Unbounce in our beta
Interested in seeing for yourself how AMP landing pages can accelerate your conversion rate? Join the waitlist for access to the private beta here. Explore how the builder makes creating AMP-ready pages quick and easy.

Speed up or disappear

No marketer can afford to ignore page speed in 2019. Mobile speeds can have a dramatic effect on paid advertising spend and your conversion rates, and Google’s actions so far show that the search engine is cracking down on the slow-to-load across all devices.

What does the future hold? I don’t pretend to have a crystal ball, but here are a few educated guesses:

  1. If mobile loading times don’t get much faster, then we can expect more pressure from Google. This could take the form of further changes to indexing or Google Ads, another round of benchmarks, or the addition of new features and tools.
  2. There’s a growing sense of urgency among marketers, and the major players are already moving to improve their loading times. Even if you’re in the small business space, these things tend to have a trickle-down effect. If you don’t work to improve your performance, chances are your competitors will.
  3. As development on AMP continues, the standard will gain new flexibility while maintaining optimal speeds. It’s already overcome early limitations, and it’s likely we’ll see adoption rates accelerate across all industries.

Since 2009, we’ve seen some remarkable developments in mobile technology, including widespread adoption of touchscreens, the rollout of 4G cellular capabilities, and voice-based search. But the web itself hasn’t always evolved to match—instead, it’s gotten slower and heavier. (Haven’t we all?)

In 2019, though, that will begin to change, for all of the reasons discussed above. The web will speed up and slim down, and those who don’t match the new paradigm will be left behind.

Thankfully, if 2019 is The Year of Page Speed, then you’ve still got opportunities to start speeding up in advance. Let us know your plans in the comments below.

Continue at source – 

2019 Is the Year of Page Speed. Are You Ready?

How to Turn a Long Landing Page Into a Microsite – In 6 Easy Steps

Landing pages can get really long, which is totally fine, especially if you use a sticky anchor navigation to scroll people up and down to different page sections. It’s a great conversion experience and should be embraced.

However, there are times when having a small multi-page site, known as a microsite (or mini-site) can offer significant advantages.

This is not a conversation about your website (which is purely for organic traffic), I’m still talking about creating dedicated marketing-campaign-specific experiences. That’s what landing pages were designed for, and a microsite is very similar. It’s like a landing page in that it’s a standalone, controlled experience, but with a different architecture.

The sketch below shows the difference between a landing page and a microsite.

The landing page is a single page with six sections. The microsite has a homepage and 5 or 6 child pages, each with a persistent global navigation to conect the pages.

They are both “landing experiences”, just architected differently. I’ve noticed that many higher education landing experiences are four-page microsites. The pharmaceutical industry tends to create microsites for every new product campaign – especially those driven by TV ads.

What are the benefits of a microsite over a long landing page?

To reiterate, for most marketing campaign use cases, a single landing page – long or short – is your absolute best option. But there are some scenarios where you can really benefit from a microsite.

Some of the benefits of a microsite include:

  1. It allows more pages to be indexed by Google
  2. You can craft a controlled experience on each page (vs. a section where people can move up and down to other sections)
  3. You can add a lot more content to a certain page, without making your landing page a giant.
  4. You can get more advanced with your analytics research as there are many different click-pathways within a microsite that aren’t possible to track or design for on a single page.
  5. The technique I’m going to show you takes an Unbounce landing page, turns it into a 5-page microsite.

How to Create a Microsite from a Long Landing Page

The connective tissue of a microsite is the navigation. It links the pages together and defines the available options for a visitor. I’ll be using an Unbounce Sticky Bar as the shared global navigation to connect five Unbounce landing pages that we’ll create from the single long landing page. It’s really easy.

First, Choose a Landing Page to Work With

I’ve created a dummy landing page to work with. You can see from the zoomed-out thumbnail on the right-hand side how long it is: 10 page-sections long to be specific. (Click the image to view the whole page in a scrolling lightbox.)

The five-step process is then as follows:

I’ll explain it in more detail with screenshots and a quick video.

  1. Create the microsite pages, by duplicate your landing page 5 times
  2. Delete the page sections you don’t want on each microsite page
  3. Create a Sticky Bar and add five navigation buttons
  4. Set the URL targeting of the Sticky Bar to appear on the microsite pages
  5. Add the Unbounce global script to your site
  6. Click “Publish” << hardly a step.

Step 1: Create Your Microsite Pages

Choose “Duplicate Page” from the cog menu on your original landing page to create a new page (5 times). Then name each page and set the URL of each accordingly. In the screenshot below you can see I have the original landing page, and five microsite pages Home|About|Features|FAQ|Sign Up.

Step 2: Delete Page Sections on Each Microsite Page

Open each page in the Unbounce builder and click the background of any page section you don’t want and hit delete. It’s really quick. Do this for each page until they only have the content you want to be left in them. Watch the 30 sec video below to see how.

Pro Tip: Copy/Paste Between Pages

There is another way to do it. Instead of deleting sections, you can start with blank pages for the microsite, and copy/paste the sections you want from the landing page into the blank pages. This is one of the least-known and most powerful features of Unbounce.

The best way is to have a few browser tabs open at once (like one for each page), then just copy and paste between browser tabs. It’s epic! Watch…

Step 3: Create the Navigation With a Sticky Bar

Create a new Sticky Bar in Unbounce (it’s the same builder for landing pages and popups). Add buttons or links for each of your microsite pages, and set the “Target” of the link to be “Parent Frame” as shown in the lower-right of this screenshot.

Step 4: Set URL Targeting

This is where the connective tissue of the shared Sticky Bar comes together. On the Sticky Bar dashboard, you can enter any URLs on your domain that you want the bar to appear on. You can enter them one-by-one if you like, or to make it much faster, just use the same naming convention (unique to this microsite/campaign) on each of the microsite page URLS.

I used these URLs for my pages:

unbounce.com/pam-micro-home/
unbounce.com/pam-micro-about/
unbounce.com/pam-micro-features/
unbounce.com/pam-micro-faq/
unbounce.com/pam-micro-signup/

For the URL Targeting, I simply set one rule, that URLs need to contain “pmm-micro”.
For the Trigger, I selected “When a visitor arrives on the page.”
for the frequency, I selected “Show on every visit.” because the nav needs to be there always.

Step 5: Add the Unbounce Script

We have a one-line Javascript that needs to be added to your website to make the Sticky Bars work. If you use Google Tag Manager on your site, then it’s super easy, just give the code snippet to your dev to paste into GTM.

Note: As this microsite solution was 100% within Unbounce (Landing Pages and Sticky Bar), you don’t actually have to add the script to your website, you can just add it to the each of the landing pages individually. But it’s best to get it set up on your website, which will show it on your Unbounce landing pages on that domain, by default.

Ste 6: Hide the Sticky Bar Close Button

As this is a navigation bar, and not a promo, we need to make sure it’s always there and can’t be hidden. It’s not a native feature in the app right now, so you need to add this CSS to each of the microsite pages.

 .ub-emb-iframe-wrapper .ub-emb-close 
  visibility: hidden;
 

Click Publish on #AllTheThings!

And that’s that!


You can see the final microsite here.
(Desktop only right now I’m afraid. I’ll set up mobile responsive soon but it’s 2am and this blogging schedule is killing me :D).


I’ve also written a little script that uses cookies to change the visual state of each navigation button to show which pages you’ve visited. I’ll be sharing that in the future for another concept to illustrate how you can craft a progress bar style navigation flow to direct people where you want them to go next!

A Few Wee Caveats

  • This use of a Sticky Bar isn’t a native feature of Unbounce at this point, it’s just a cool thing you can do. As such, it’s not technically supported, although our community loves this type of thing.
  • As it’s using a shared Sticky Bar for the nav, you’ll see it re-appear on each new page load. Not perfect, but it’s not a big deal and the tradeoff is worth it if the other benefits mentioned earlier work for you.

Aall in all, this type of MacGyvering is great for generating new ways of thinking about your marketing experiences, and how you can guide people to a conversion.

I’ve found that thinking about a microsite from a conversion standpoint is a fantastic mental exercise.

Have fun making a microsite, and never stop experimenting – and MacGyvering!
Cheers
Oli

p.s. Don’t forget to subscribe to the weekly updates for the rest of Product Awareness Month.

From – 

How to Turn a Long Landing Page Into a Microsite – In 6 Easy Steps

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25 Things You Can Do With Unbounce that Your UX/Web Team Will Love

It’s Day 3 of Product Marketing Month. Today’s post is about discovering new use-cases for your products that can be useful for different functional users in your customer’s company. — Unbounce co-founder Oli Gardner

If you read the opening post of Product Marketing Month, you would have read about the concept of Productizing Our Technology (POT).

Productizing Our Technology
By taking our core tech, combining the available features, with new jQuery scripts, CSS, and some 3rd-party integrations, it’s possible to create a plethora of new “mini-products” that if embraced by the community, could inform future product direction.

When we created an initial list of product ideas, expanding upon what the base product can already do, I realized that — as we’ve moved from a single product to multiple — we’d not changed our perception of who the functional buyer persona is.

If you look at the table below, notice how product #1 is a standalone landing page used primarily for paid ad campaigns, but products #2 and #3 are designed to be used primarily on your website.

PRODUCT
#1 Landing Pages #2 Popups #3 Sticky Bars
Primary Use Case Use standalone landing pages to convert more of paid (AdWords) traffic. Use on website pages to convert more organic traffic. Use on website pages to convert more organic traffic.
Primary Persona Campaign Strategist Website Owner Website Owner
Secondary Persona Designer Campaign Strategist Campaign Strategist
Tertiary Persona Copywriter Web Designer / Developer Web Designer / Developer

Note: that for the personas listed, these are intentionally general, as it’s still part of our discovery. My goal is simply to show that they are most likely different.

We didn’t immediately realize that the teams using these products may not even be in the same department (marketing vs. web team vs. software development), for example. Or if they are in the same department (marketing), they might not work together on a daily basis.

This is a huge problem because it assumes that someone who runs paid campaigns is also going to be optimizing the organic traffic to a website, and is no doubt one of the reasons for low adoption of product #2 and #3.

A WTF Moment – How Could We Be So Blind?

When we talked to our customers and community members, we uncovered a startling fact: most people thought that the new products could only be used on Unbounce landing pages.

WUUUUTTTT! Not true.

Yes, you can, if you want. But the primary use case for the new products is for your website. We really didn’t see this misconception coming, which shows how important it is to always talk to your customers.

Who uses your products?

If you have more than one product, or if the users of your single product have different job roles, are you targeting and communicating with them in different ways? Or have you assumed that everyone will understand the same messaging?

Web developers are not very likely to be downloading an ebook about marketing, and thus will not be on our mailing list to hear about new products that could, in fact, make their job easier and more productive.

So, today, I’m going to share some of the functional use cases of popups and sticky bars that would be used by the UX and web teams that work on and manage your website. This is a very different market than we normally speak to, but super important as some of our research has indicated after the initial launch.

As I explore these use cases, try to follow along with your own products, to see if there are ways that you can create new mini products from the technology you possess.

Productizing Unbounce Technology
(Click image for full-size view)

Across the top (in yellow) are the core products, their features (such as targeting, triggers, display frequency), and the different hacks, data sources, and integrations, that can be combined to produce the new products listed in green in the first column.

To recap, each mini product is labelled as either NOW/MVP/NEW depending on how easy it is to create with our current tech:

NOW: These products are possible now with our existing feature set.
MVP: These products are possible by adding some simple scripts/CSS to extend the core.
NEW: These products would require a much deeper level of product or website development to make them possible. These are the examples that came from “blue sky” ideation, and are a useful upper anchor for what could be done.

The core technology is denoted as LP (Landing Pages), POP (Popups), SB (Sticky Bars).

In the table below you’ll find 25 of the ideas we came up with — that I selected from of a total of 121.

# Product Name Product Description Where Used Core Tech Core Features Extras
NOW: Can be built with existing features
1 Microsites By using the URL targeting feature, a single Sticky Bar with links to multiple Landing Pages can effectively create a microsite. Landing Pages LP + SB Targeting: URL
Trigger: Entry
N/A
2 EU Cookie Law Bar You’ve probably seen them all over the place. “All websites owned in the EU or targeted towards EU citizens, are now expected to comply with the law.” The EU has always been very strict and this requirement is why these bars have been popping up everywhere. Good news is, they’re wasy to make with geo-targeting. Website SB Targeting: Geo
Trigger: Entry
N/A
3 Two-Step Opt-In Form Instead of showing a lead gen form, you use a button or link that shows the form in a popup when clicked. This can help remove the perceived friction that a form conveys, and applies a level of commitment when the button is clicked that makes people more likely to continue and fill out the form. Website, Landing Pages POP Trigger: Click N/A
4 Cart Abandonment Use an exit Popup on your ecommerce product/cart/checkout pages to provide an offer to encourage a purchase. Website POP Trigger: Exit N/A
5 Multi-location GEO Redirect If you have websites for multiple countries, you can present the entry Popup that uses geolocation to ask if the visitor would like to visit the site in their own country. Website POP Targeting: Geo
Trigger: Entry
N/A
6 Poll/Survey Add a form to a Popup of Sticky Bar to present poll or survey questions. Website POP or SB Trigger: Entry, Exit, Scroll Down, Scroll Up, Delay N/A
7 NPS Survey Present a Net Promoter Score in a Sticky Bar to ask your visitors and customers to rate how likely they are to recommend your product or brand to others. Website, Landing Pages SB Targeting: None, Cookie
Trigger: Exit, Scroll, Delay
N/A
8 Outage Notification Present an entry Popup or Sticky Bar when there is site maintenance happening. SB or POP Website Targeting: URL, Cookie N/A
9 Tooltips Present a popup when someone clicks to show more info/instructions. Website, Landing Pages POP Trigger: Click N/A
10 Referrer Contextual Welcome Present a contextually relevant message to people arriving from another site. Website, Landing Pages POP or SB Targeting: URL, Cookie, Geo
Trigger: Entry
N/A
11 Co-marketing Contextual Welcome Present a contextually relevant message to people arriving from a campaign run by you and a comarketing partner. This could show the relationship (both logos) and the joint offer. Website, Landing Pages POP or SB Targeting: Referrer, URL, Cookie
Trigger: Entry, Scroll Up, Scroll Down,
Exit, Delay
N/A
12 Mobile GPS: Closest Store Present a Sticky Bar when someone on a mobile site would benefit from knowing where the closest store is to them (potentially with an incentive to visit the store). Website, Landing Pages SB Trigger: Entry, Scroll Up, Scroll Down,
Exit, Delay
N/A
13 Holiday Hours Announcement Show details of changes in store hours. Could be used on exit to provide some urgency “We’re closing in 1 hour”. Website, Landing Pages SB or POP Trigger: Entry, Exit N/A
MVP: Can be built with existing features
14 Sticky Navigation By removing the standard close button [x] from a Sticky Bar and adding smooth scroll anchor links, you can create a sticky navbar which can help increase page engagement. Website, Landing Pages SB Trigger: Entry CSS: Hide close button
Javascript: Smooth scroll
15 Mobile App-Style Navigation By placing a Sticky Bar at the bottom of the page (on mobile), using icons/text, you can create a mobile experience that looks and feels like an app. Check out plated.com on your phone as an example. Adding smoothscroll Javascript lets you use the nav to scroll up and down the page. Mobile Website, Mobile Landing Pages SB Trigger: Entry CSS: Hide close button + mobile only
Javascript: Smooth scroll
16 Mobile Hamburger Menu A hamburger menu is the three lined icon that opens up a navigation menu. They typically slide in and out from the left side or top.Check out a demo in the Unbounce Community. Mobile Website SB Trigger: Click jQuery: Slide in/out
17 Progress Bar Similar to a microsite, a progress bar could be targeted to appear on several pages. Using cookie targeting and CSS the progress bar could be updated to show which pages (steps) have been completed and which steps are remaining. Website, Microsite, Landing Pages SB Targeting: URL, Cookie jQuery: Set/Read cookies
CSS: Prev/next step visual state
18 “Maybe Later” Maybe Later is a new concept for ecommerce entrance popups that I will explore in depth on day 9 of Product Marketing Month. A large number of ecommerce sites have discounts/offers that show on arrival. This can often be a major disruption to the experience, even if the offer is of interest. The way ML works is that the popup would present 3 options: Yes/No/ML. If “Maybe Later” is clicked, the Popup closes and a persistent Sticky Bar appears at the bottom of the page to act as a subtle reminder of the offer – ready for when the visitor wants it. Website POP + SB Targeting: Cookie jQuery: Set/Read cookies, Log “Maybe Later” click
19 Video Interaction Offers Having a CTA embedded in a video is great, but it’s very limited in its ability communicate more than a few words.This product idea enables you to launch a popup when the video is complete, or when it’s paused, or when you’ve watched a series of videos. It’s seriously badass. Click here to visit a demo of this concept (created by Unbouncer, Noah Matsell). Website, Landing Pages POP Targeting: Cookie jQuery
20 End-of-video Talk to Sales Present a popup to someone who completes a video such as a demo. Website, Landing Pages POP or SB Trigger: Custom script jQuery
21 Sticky Video Widget You may have seen this on news blogs, where a video at the top becomes a smaller video stuck to the side or bottom of the window as you scroll. It’s a great way to ensure higher engagement with the video. Noah made a demo of a sticky video widget in the Unbounce community. Blog SB Trigger: Scroll CSS
22 Guided Tour Show a popup that begins a guided tour of the page/product. If you close it, the tour is over. If you click a next button it closes and a new popup is opened, positioned close to the feature it’s describing. Website, In-app POP Trigger: Click jQuery
NEW: Can be built with existing features
23 Ship it Faster By setting a cookie based on the shipping method on an ecommerce site, an exit Popup or Sticky Bar could be used to suggest a different shipping method (more expensive) to get it delivered faster. A smart upsell feature. Ecommerce Website POP or SB Targeting: Cookie
Trigger: Exit
Feature: Dynamic Text Replacement
jQuery
24 Out of Stock By setting a cookie based on stock availability on an ecommerce site, an exit Popup or Sticky Bar could present an email address field to ask if the visitor would like to be notified when the item is back in stock. Ecommerce Website POP or SB Targeting: Cookie
Trigger: Exit
jQuery
CSS
25 Sold Out: You Might Like By setting a cookie based on stock availability on an ecommerce site, a Popup or Sticky Bar could be shown that presents a set of recommended products related to an out of stock item. Ecommerce Website POP or SB Targeting: Cookie
Trigger: Exit
Feature: Dynamic Text Replacement
jQuery
CSS

As you can see, there are a ton of new use cases for the products, which are useful to a completely different set of functional users. Unless we do something to specifically target these new functional users, adoption won’t be our only problem, acquisition will be too.

How can you target different functional users?

Approach 1: Product Pages for Organic & Paid Traffic

One way to start validating these use cases is to create new product pages for them to see if you can attract some organic traffic. In our case, this would allow those searching for this type of product to arrive on our website where we may be able to demo the product as part of the experience.

Approach 2: Cross-Function Advocate Email Marketing

Another approach is to explicitly connect the different team members, through suggestive email copy. For instance, we could email our customers and educate them that our product can help others on their team – getting the conversation started. This has the benefit of communicating through an established brand advocate.

Prioritizing Product Development

One of our goals with POT is to gather insights into which new product ideas are in demand. There will without question be an increase in technical support questions based on the implementation requirements of these ideas, but I consider that a good problem to have. If there’s enough call for full productization, that’s a great way to increase adoption and the stickiness of our products.

How many new products could YOU build?

I’d love to hear in the comments how you can imagine doing this with your own software/products/services. Please jump into the comments and let me know. If you’re worried about your competitors stealing your ideas (I definitely thought about that when I decided on this approach – but I’m erring on the side of our core Transparency value), you could simply mention how many you think you could come up with, which is also very cool.

Now, everybody POT!
Cheers
Oli Gardner

p.s. Tell your web/UX teammates about this blog post :D

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25 Things You Can Do With Unbounce that Your UX/Web Team Will Love

The Crazy Egg Guide to Landing Page Optimization

When it comes to increasing conversion rates, few strategies are more effective than the implementation of landing pages. Yet, these crucial linchpins to the optimization process are often rushed or overlooked completely in the grand scheme of marketing. Here at Crazy Egg, we believe it’s past time to give these hard-working pages a little more attention, which is why we’ve created this complete guide to landing page optimization. Even if you consider yourself a landing page pro, you’ll want to read this guide to make sure your pages are on track and converting as well as they should be. Why…

The post The Crazy Egg Guide to Landing Page Optimization appeared first on The Daily Egg.

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The Crazy Egg Guide to Landing Page Optimization

What Are the SEO Benefits of XML & HTML Sitemaps?

seo sitemaps

A sitemap is (usually) an XML document, containing a list of pages on your website that you have chosen to tell Google and other search engines to index. Google often uses the sitemap file as a guide to the pages available on your website — even though it may decide not to index every page you list on your sitemap. The sitemap also carries information about each page, including when it was created and last modified, and its importance relative to other pages on your site. This speeds up the process of indexing pages. A sitemap is one of those…

The post What Are the SEO Benefits of XML & HTML Sitemaps? appeared first on The Daily Egg.

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What Are the SEO Benefits of XML & HTML Sitemaps?

How to Optimize Pay-Per-Click Landing Pages

If you’re running a pay-per-click (PPC) traffic campaign, there’s a big chance that you’re sending that traffic to a landing page. Though when using PPC traffic, you can’t just throw up a landing page and expect everything to work out for the best. Rather, you need to ensure that you’re optimizing your landing page for conversions. If you don’t do this, your landing page will never reach its highest potential. In this post, we’re going to cover how you can optimize a PPC landing page. We’ll take a look at the different elements that you need to focus on and…

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How to Optimize Pay-Per-Click Landing Pages

ProcessWire CMS – A Beginner’s Guide

Systems for managing content are more often than not rather opinionated. For example, most of them expect a certain rigid content structure for inputting data and then have a specific engraved way of accessing and outputting that data, whether or not it makes sense. Additionally, they rarely offer effective tools to break out of the predefined trails if a case requires it.
ProcessWire is a content management system (CMS) distributed under the Mozilla Public License version 2.

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ProcessWire CMS – A Beginner’s Guide

Turn Your AMP Up To 11: Everything You Need To Know About Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages


In May of 2015, Facebook unveiled its new in-app publishing platform, Instant Articles. A month later, Apple declared that the old Newsstand experience (essentially a fancy folder full of news apps) would be replaced in iOS 9 with a brand-new news aggregation and discovery platform called Apple News.

Turn Your AMP Up To 11: Everything You Need To Know About Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages

Four months later, it was Google’s turn to announce its own, somewhat belated but no less ambitious, plan to revolutionize mobile news consumption with an open-source web-based solution called Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP. In just a few months, we’ve seen the relative tranquility of mobile digital publishing erupt into yet another full-scale platform war as Facebook, Apple and now Google compete for both the loyalty of publishers and the attention of readers.

The post Turn Your AMP Up To 11: Everything You Need To Know About Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Turn Your AMP Up To 11: Everything You Need To Know About Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages

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[VIDEO] The Landing Page Sessions: Marketing Campaigns Deconstructed

There are so many things to keep track of when designing a landing page. Is the goal clear? Is the page mobile responsive? Have you optimized the copywriting, testimonials, UX and design? How’s your attention ratio?

With all that responsibility comes a lot on uncertainty. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a sounding board? How about the guy who’s seen more landing pages than anyone else on the planet?

With our new series The Landing Pages Sessions, we made that happen for 12 lucky marketers; we deconstructed their marketing campaigns so you can learn from their mistakes.

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The Landing Page Sessions are 15-20 minute videos analyzing real-world marketing campaigns from start to finish. In each episode, Unbounce co-founder Oli Gardner dissects a campaign landing page along with the ad or email that drove traffic to it.

He gives his feedback on what he thinks could improve conversions, offers A/B testing inspiration, then actually implements those changes in the Unbounce builder so you can get the full picture of the optimized page.

And because we like you so much, we’re dropping the first three episodes today. (After this week, we’ll be releasing an episode every Friday.)

Episode 1: Five Hot Seconds

Powder White, a booking service for ski holidays, wants to collect leads by sending email traffic to a landing page. Unfortunately, this goal is lost in a mix of competing CTAs, unclear copy and disappearing form fields. Oli tries to right the ship with a five-second test in UsabilityHub and some quick copy edits in Unbounce.

Episode 2: A Moment of Clarity

NRG Edge is a social network for oil and gas professionals…or is it? Oli isn’t sure at first. “Tabloidy” headlines, bloated copy and generic business speak get in the way of clearly communicating the value. Can an “Unbounce style” makeover bring a needed dose of clarity?

Episode 3: Message Match… Where Art Thou?

Photosocial is driving Facebook traffic to a landing page for its 12-month mentorship program. In this episode, Oli discusses message match vs. design match, how “conversion context” varies between inbound channels, and how to make your testimonials believable. Oh yeah, and how soon is too soon to say “welcome”?

Happy learning!

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[VIDEO] The Landing Page Sessions: Marketing Campaigns Deconstructed

Here’s What a Winning Click-Through Landing Page Looks Like

winning-click-through-landing-page
These pages got all the stock image hand models clickin’. Image source.

Last month we held a contest on the blog, challenging marketers to create a click-through landing page to promote our latest ebook, Attention-Driven Design: 23 Visual Principles for Designing More Persuasive Landing Pages.

It was an experiment to determine which design principles and “best practices” make for a seductive click-through landing page. But instead of getting a panel of judges to wax poetic about which landing pages they thought were great, we thought we’d publish the pages and let visitors decide: which ones would actually get people to click through and then convert?

Before we talk about the winning pages and what made them so darn titillating, a quick review session. Let’s take a look at how click-through landing pages differ from their lead gen landing page cousins — both in form and function.

WTF is a click-through landing page?

Click-through landing pages do exactly what it says on the tin. Unlike lead gen landing pages, they don’t have a form on the page asking people to opt in. Instead, they have a goal of convincing visitors to click through to another page (where the actual conversion happens).

They’re frequently used in ecommerce funnels to describe a product in detail and “warm up” visitors for their purchasing decision. They combat the cognitive dissonance that is created when someone clicks on an ad for a specific product and they wind up on a seemingly irrelevant generic product page.

In Attention-Driven Design ebook author Oli Gardner’s words:

Click-through pages are a great way to create an interstitial experience that confirms the intent of your ad in a simple way, maintaining the attention of your visitor, and then guides them through the purchasing decision before taking them further down the funnel.

Simple enough, yeah? But if you’re gonna use a click-through landing page to “warm up” visitors and reassure them that they’ve made a “good click,” you also wanna be sure you’ve optimized the heck out of it.

Without further ado, let’s look at our winning click-through landing pages — the ones that lead to the most ebook downloads  — and see which Attention-Driven Design principles they employed to get people to convert.

4th place winner: Conversion Lab

Conversion Lab’s landing page does an excellent job of teasing visitors with sneak previews of the ebook above the fold:

conversion-lab-click-through-landing-page

A little lower on the page, for prospects who need a little more information to be persuaded, they include a SlideShare preview of the core concepts from the book.

attention-driven-design-slideshare

Even with all the additional information, the page is really easy on the eyes. Here’s how Oli Gardner put it when we asked him about the page:

The information hierarchy is strong with a nice linear top-to-bottom reading experience and nicely balanced font sizes for easy reading. Overall, a very clean design – which I’ve come to expect from Conversion Lab.

Indeed. Congrats on placing 4th, Conversion Lab!

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3rd place winner: Tim Ruof

What really stands out about Tim’s page is his generous use of directional cues to guide your eye down the page.

tim-ruof-click-through-landing-page

One minor quibble: Oli pointed out that the model is looking downwards — under the CTA — so there’s no benefit to the angle of her gaze.

Still, this is somewhat counterbalanced by the arrow pointing to the call to action button, along with the other arrows on the page. Oli elaborated:

I like how the continuation arrows are used to guide you through the reading experience. It may not seem like a big deal, but this really helps both the visual and information hierarchy.

Tim also got crafty with his social proof, pulling actual quotes from Twitter as testimonials:

click-through-landing-page-twitter-testimonials

Oli suggested a couple of improvements to test:

I’d remove the links to the tweets though and perhaps cut and paste the actual tweet so it looks exactly like Twitter.

We’ll forgive Tim for upsetting the attention ratio of the page with those external links, because he blew us away by creating Twitter cards to drive traffic to his page:

twitter-card-tim-ruof

Talk about going the extra mile. Awesome job, Tim.

clapping-clap-wonderful

2nd place winner: Winsome Writing

Winsome Writing’s landing page is shorter than most of the other entries we received, but that doesn’t mean it’s not sweet. Like our previous entry, they use screenshots and a SlideShare preview to tease visitors with the juicy content:

winsome-writing-click-through-landing-page

Interestingly, they haven’t really included any social proof, and chose not to lead with a strong hero shot of the ebook itself. Oli suggested that this might be a good thing to test:

This designer chose to keep the model hero shot. It’s interesting as to what impact it would have. As it’s an ebook download page, it could be posited that the model may confuse matters and she does look kinda sad.

Oli also congratulated Winsome Writing for including a bold CTA button which contrasts nicely with the rest of the page.

Overall, a solid effort that secured Winsome Writing second place in the contest. Pat yourselves on the back!

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1st place winner: Sherif Makhlouf

Drum roll please…

This landing page scored creator Sherif Makhlouf an all-expenses-paid trip to Vancouver for Call to Action Conference 2016!

sherif-makhlouf-click-through-landing-page

As Oli pointed out, it’s pretty clear that Sherif read the book — he employed several Attention-Driven Design principles. There’s Direction: the way the model’s gaze directs your attention to the CTA, and the Contrast of the big pink button. Finally, the third page section uses Continuation effectively, helping to draw your eye down the page.

But Oli also praised Sherif for employing other classic landing page best practices. For starters, look at how decked out the social proof section of the page is:

click-through-landing-page-social-proof

And then there’s the counter by the CTA button, which displays how many copies have been downloaded:

false-scarcity-click-through-landing-page

But Oli especially appreciated the way Sherif employed a healthy dose of scarcity and urgency:

The use of “only 27 free copies left” is a nice touch, not mentioning price but insinuating that it will become a paid ebook soon.

It’s worth mentioning that this is in fact false scarcity — the ebook will remain free forever, we swear! But that this page is the winning page speaks volumes about the psychological power of these tactics.

Before you run off and employ false scarcity on your own page, step back and remember that, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Because if prospects suspect that you’re trying to trick them, you could lose them forever…

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Create a winning landing page of your own

Thanks to everyone who submitted landing pages to our Attention-Driven Design contest — you guys never cease to amaze us.

And special congrats to Sherif, you sneaky-but-super-smart marketer! We can’t wait to meet you at Call to Action Conference 2016.
Want to create a landing page that replicates the success of Sherif’s? Check out Oli’s latest ebook by entering your email below…

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Here’s What a Winning Click-Through Landing Page Looks Like