Tag Archives: sometimes

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The Beauty Of Imperfection In Interface Design

Sometimes we tend to think of our designs as if they are pieces of art. But if we think of them this way, it means they won’t be ready to face the uncertain conditions of the “real world.” However, there is also beauty in designing an interface that is ready for changes — and, let’s admit it, interfaces do change, all the time.

The Beauty Of Imperfection In Interface Design

One of the things I like most about designing a mobile app is that, from the initial concepts to the time when you are fine-tuning and polishing all of the interface details, this is a process with many steps.

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The Beauty Of Imperfection In Interface Design

Hibernation Time Is Over! Inspiring Desktop Wallpapers To Fuel Your Creativity (March 2017)

Sometimes all we need is a little inspiration kick to get our creative juices flowing. Maybe your secret is to go for a short walk, have a little chat with a colleague, or scroll through your favorite eye candy resources. Whatever it might be that helps you get new ideas, we, too, have something for you that could work just as good: desktop wallpapers.

Hibernation Time Is Over! Inspiring Desktop Wallpapers To Fuel Your Creativity

To bring you a regular dose of unique and inspiring wallpapers, we embarked on our monthly wallpapers mission eight years ago. Each month, artists and designers from across the globe diligently contribute their works to it. And well, it wasn’t any different this time around. This post features their artwork for March 2017. The wallpapers all come in versions with and without a calendar. Time to freshen up your desktop!

The post Hibernation Time Is Over! Inspiring Desktop Wallpapers To Fuel Your Creativity (March 2017) appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Hibernation Time Is Over! Inspiring Desktop Wallpapers To Fuel Your Creativity (March 2017)

Get a Jump-Start on 2017 with These Free Webinars

If you’re like me, your inbox is a mix of professional emails sprinkled with a dash of webinars and a touch of ebooks.

Sometimes, I’ll open one of these hyper-actionable and insightful emails, but no matter how hard I try, I can’t follow through (despite my good intentions).

The truth is, even if I carve out time during the day, I focus on what needs to be accomplished now, and often that doesn’t include improving my marketing skills for the future.

There, I said it.

Now that I’ve revealed the truth, I have to admit that operating this way will only get me so far.

Which is why this holiday season, I’m taking advantage of some much-needed free time to level up my conversion marketing skills. And you can too! 

We’ve handpicked some of our most actionable webinars, filled with expert advice that will not only help you increase your conversions, but also get you on track to becoming the marketer you want to be in 2017.

So instead of spending the holidays eating yourself into a peppermint bark-induced coma, brush up on the skills that will make the most impact in 2017. (Or do both — we vote for both.)

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Get a Jump-Start on 2017 with These Free Webinars

Infographic: What Are The Best Times & Days to Post to Social Media?

people facebook more at the end of the week

Trying to find the optimal times and days for your social media posts can be a difficult challenge. It requires months of testing. You have to make an effort to post at different times each day for each social media account, while tediously recording your results. There are tools out there that make this process easier, but it still requires a conscious effort to scatter your posting times around the clock. However, you may find a sweet spot that doubles your engagement and traffic. Sometimes it’s a good idea to use heuristics. Instead of starting your social media “science project”…

The post Infographic: What Are The Best Times & Days to Post to Social Media? appeared first on The Daily Egg.

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Infographic: What Are The Best Times & Days to Post to Social Media?

How To Design Error States For Mobile Apps

To err is human. Errors occur when people engage with user interfaces. Sometimes, they happen because users make mistakes. Sometimes, they happen because an app fails. Whatever the cause, these errors and how they are handled, have a huge impact on the user experience. Bad error handling paired with useless error messages can fill users with frustration, and can lead to users abandoning your app.

How To Design Error States For Mobile Apps

In this article, we’ll examine how the design of apps can be optimized to prevent user errors and how to create effective error messages in cases when errors occur independently of user input. We’ll also see how well-crafted error handling can turn a moment of failure into a moment of delight.

The post How To Design Error States For Mobile Apps appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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How To Design Error States For Mobile Apps

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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.

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

The Mixology of Content Marketing [INFOGRAPHIC]

Sometimes the best way to teach a person something is to present it within a familiar framework.

Suppose you don’t understand fractions. Sure, we could try to teach you from a fourth-grader’s textbook or we could teach you with a pizza (or pie if you’re lactose intolerant). All of a sudden fractions aren’t so intimidating, and the information becomes (queue dad joke) digestible.

Seems JBH (a UK-based content marketing agency) noticed this, too, based upon its cocktail-inspired guide to content marketing.

What they’ve so beautifully done, is compared different content marketing formats to cocktails, and then dissected them into their different components — or rather, ingredients.

So a blog post, for example, can be compared to a daiquiri — simply combine 1 part strong examples, 1 part consistency and 1 part specialist industry knowledge, and you’ve got yourself a totally delicious recipe for success.

Are we missing any cocktails? Let us know in the comments?

Mixology of Content Marketing infographic

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The Mixology of Content Marketing [INFOGRAPHIC]

Are You Making Any of These Landing Page Mistakes? [PODCAST]

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Everybody makes mistakes, but only a select few try to fix them. Image via Flickr.

Ever stumble around searching for your glasses, only to discover two minutes later that they’re right there on your nose?

Sometimes we get so close to something that we lose sight of the obvious. And that’s exactly what this episode of the Call to Action podcast is about.

As Casey Ark, owner of Plato Web Design explains, there’s a reason that landing page optimization articles can sound repetitive — it’s ‘cause people make so many of the same mistakes, again and again. And again.

This episode aims to call out those common mistakes to banish them once and for all.

You’ll learn:

  • Why even some of the most successful companies aren’t immune to common landing page slipups.
  • How Casey ensures that his copy is concise and visitor-centric.
  • Why segmenting prospects on your landing page isn’t always worth the trouble.

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Read the transcript

In this episode: Dan Levy, Unbounce’s Content Strategist, interviews Casey Ark, owner of Plato Web Design.

Stephanie Saretsky: If you have a low conversion rate, looking for advice on landing page optimization can seem a little overwhelming. There is a lot of conflicting advice surrounding your design, your CTA button, your copy. So it may just be easier to throw a page up, cross your fingers and hope for the best.

But hold up.

There are still some basics mistakes that every marketer should know not to make. Unbounce’s Content Strategist Dan Levy speaks to Casey Ark, owner of digital agency Plato, about the most common landing page mistakes that his agency finds, and how to go about fixing them.

Dan Levy: You start off your posts with kind of a scary statement, which is that many of the world’s most aesthetically beautiful landing pages fail miserably when it comes to conversion. Now, I know that beautiful and high-converting don’t necessarily go hand in hand. But why do you think this is so out of whack?

Casey Ark: That’s a really good question. I think it’s actually kind of an artifact of the way that we design websites now. Not in a general sense, but just kinda what we think is a good website right now is a really specific thing. It’s a big background image in the background. You’ve got big heading text kind of in the middle. The images on everything are massive. It’s all responsive and mobile-friendly and all that stuff. And that’s great. I’m a designer too, so I love that stuff. It’s wonderful. But that’s really restricting when it comes to actually making a solid converting landing page.

In fact, it’s actually kinda hard sometimes to fit your product into that mold. Because when you think about it, if you’ve got a whole lot of center-aligned text that goes almost all the way across the screen, you’ve got a big background image, there’s no room to actually show your product or say a whole lot about your product. What we think is beautiful is mostly just kind of this abstract design thing, so that’s really, really restrictive.

But there is absolutely a way to have that intersection between really attractive and really effective. But if you’re focusing so much on the aesthetic of the thing, especially if you’re having huge background images and don’t really have the copy to back it up, I think that’s really what ends up hurting you so much. Because you see so many of these. At least I see tons and tons of them daily, where you look at it and you go, “That’s a beautiful page. That’s great. But I don’t see any benefits to me as the consumer. I don’t see any real reasons why I should be buying this product, other than you have a nice picture of a mountain in the background.”

Dan Levy: Right. Yeah. Well, I mean, I guess design and high conversion aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. But often it seems like when people focus so much on the design, they almost get, like, carried away or distracted. It’s like a red flag that they’re forgetting the other thing.

Casey Ark: Exactly. Yeah. And especially for business owners that are paying for these landing pages. If you’re paying a couple grand to get a landing page done, if you’re not using Unbounce or something like that, lots of these people are really proud of it. They’re proud that it should look really, really good. You don’t wanna spend a couple grand on something that is conversion centric and doesn’t necessarily look great. So yeah, I think sometimes there’s a little bit of pride behind it. But yeah, I think you’re exactly right.

Dan Levy: Cool. Well, I’m sure we’ll get back to that. But first, I wanna talk about the first mistake that you tackle in your post, which is not actually showing your product on the landing page itself. You call this the cardinal sin of landing page design. Why is that such a huge mistake?

Casey Ark: Yeah, and you wouldn’t believe how often it happens. If you start looking at landing pages, anybody out there, you should start paying attention to whether or not they have the actual product shown. It’s an incredible amount – I bet it’s six or seven out of ten.

Dan Levy: It sounds so obvious.

Casey Ark: It sounds extremely obviously, right? You’d think you have to absolutely have it on there. You’d never have a car commercial without the car. You’d never have a burger commercial without the burger. It doesn’t make any sense. And the big reason why it matters and why it’s kind of that big mistake, which is what you asked, I can’t want what I can’t see. And that’s what I’m really focusing on when I’m making a solid landing page. And that’s really the difference between poor-converting landing pages and awesome-converting landing pages — when the customer hits that page, you’re not just describing the product in a way that would be favorable. You’re not writing a book here. You’re not trying to just be really descriptive with language. It’s extremely difficult to want something you can’t see.

And what we’re looking for is that little wow moment that happens when somebody hits the page. A couple seconds into the page they realize what the product is. And they go, “Wow! I kinda want that.” And it’s so hard to do that without seeing it. And even in your day-to-day life, it’s usually pretty applicable for most people. If you really think about it, what are things that you want in the world? Do you want an iPhone? Do you want a really expensive car? You can visualize all of those things. You’ve probably seen all of those things.

So if you’re trying to create that kind of want in somebody, you’re dead in the water if you can’t actually show them your real product. And really, it should be front and center.

Dan Levy: Totally. Well, I mean, the second mistake you talk about is something related and that actually having your product on the page can maybe even help out with, which is not explaining what you do on the landing page. Can you explain how a company called Marketing Genesis made this mistake on their page and how to fix it?

Casey Ark: Yeah. Basically, they look like they’re probably some sort of marketing company, and they’re running this kind of paid seminar. And they have the landing page for what looks like it’s probably a paid seminar, but they don’t actually say expressly what it is.

Dan Levy: Right. You’re like, it looks like it’s probably a company that has something to do with something?

Casey Ark: Yeah, exactly – there were a lot of “somethings” in there. Yeah, you’re not quite sure. And there are a couple of times where they ask you to register, and you don’t know what you’re registering for. And they say that it’s in San Diego, but you don’t even know what’s in San Diego, and they don’t say where in San Diego. So you’re just kinda in the blind. And that sort of page happens more than I can tell ya. And just in general, fixing that is kind of – it’s relatively simple in that you just wanna describe what it is that you’re actually doing. But you wouldn’t believe how often it happens.

So typically, what I tell people to do is think a little bit outside of your company. Because it’s easy to kind of get trapped in the mindset of wherever you’re working, if you’re working day in and day out. But typically, I like to say, “Find somebody outside your company. How would you explain to them fully what it is that you do and what it is that you’re selling and how your product works?”

Dan Levy: We talked about this in other podcast episodes — how copywriters, when they’re writing their “about” page copy for example, sometimes they just get too far into the weeds because the obvious stuff to them is just like, yeah, like, of course people need to be using landing pages for their campaigns. And you start talking about advanced optimization tactics when for most people, actually don’t really know what a landing page is and why they need it there.

Casey Ark: Yeah, exactly. Probably eight out of ten people I talk to every day, I still have to describe what a landing page is. So yeah, I completely understand that.

Dan Levy: You and me both, brother.

Casey Ark: Yep.

Dan Levy: So yeah, I mean, this stuff, again, it seems kind of obvious when you point it out. And maybe it seems obvious to listeners. But I think we’ve all seen really successful companies make this mistake. So I mean, why do you think that is?

Casey Ark: That’s a really good question. I think part of it is just getting kinda trapped in the corporate culture and what we just talked about. If you’re the copywriter, you come in with a certain assumption that people might know what landing pages are or people might know what hardscaping is if you’re a landscaping company. But typically, people don’t know. And it’s amazing how little people know about brands, even brands that they are interacting with a daily or bi-daily basis.

And really, when you come in with that assumption, it kills ya immediately because when people (even your trusted brand advocates) are seeing copy like that from you — where it’s sort of vague and you’re kind of mentioning what you do — a lot of time they don’t know what you’re talking about and they’re too embarrassed to ask. So you end up getting stuck.

The fix for that again is thinking outside the company a little bit. But yet it’s hard to kind of understand what you should be showing online when you’re stuck inside that loop of working in a big company for that long.

Dan Levy: Do you have, like, a go-to tactic for developing copy that keeps customers’ mindset in mind, even when you’re really close to the product yourself?

Casey Ark: It’s kinda funny. But yeah, typically, I tell people that you wanna lock yourself in a room for maybe two or three minutes with a piece of paper and a pen. And just write down bullet points that you’d wanna tell a startup investor if you only had that maybe 30-second or 45-second elevator pitch. And that’s the start. So you wanna have points that are probably benefit-driven for him. You wanna say, “If I was a customer, why would I wanna buy this product?”

And then take all those bullet points, and take another two or three minutes and tailor them so that you can tell them exactly to your mother pretty much verbatim. Remove every possible technical word that you can find inside that kinda first set of bullet points, and move them to the second set. And that second set is really probably the base of your landing page.

Dan Levy: So we’ve talked about how you need to explain what you do. But the kind of extreme of this is to want to include, like, every single detail of your offer on your landing page. And that’s what you say is the third mistake people are making on their pages. So you can you talk about that one?

Casey Ark: Yeah. It’s so easy to make that mistake too because when you sit down and you start trying to make a landing page, if you’re a small business owner, you probably think, “I either wanna list some things about my business, or maybe I wanna list absolutely everything just in case somebody’s gonna ask.” And that’s what happens so often. When you get a couple people in kind of a small business team together, and you write down a list of what should be on the landing page, you end up with this massive list sometimes with really tiny nuanced things about the business. Again, if you’re a landscaping company, you might, like, decide to mention your payment plans or something. You get pretty deep into things.

But really you don’t have to get that deep into the product in most instances, certainly not deep enough that you ever need to include real paragraph texts to any serious degree. There are so many landing pages that use long paragraphs of text. And basically, if you’re making a landing page, you can pretty much operate under the assumption that people aren’t gonna read a word of your paragraph text because they don’t have the time. They wanna interact with you for maybe 20 to 30 seconds, maybe a minute. But absolutely nobody goes into their job, Googles something, and says, “Aw, I can’t wait to read five paragraphs of text about whatever it is I’m looking for.”

So basically, you wanna bullet point out everything as much as you can. If you’re scrolling through the site and you wouldn’t naturally read it in the flow of scrolling, it probably won’t get read at all.

Dan Levy: Yeah, you share an interesting tip for keeping your landing page copy down to a minimum which involves writing the copy before even looking at the landing page template. How does that work?

Casey Ark: It ends up working kinda because of what we talked about earlier. When you get stuck too deep into designing the page or worrying about the template or seeing how it looks, you kinda forget to look at the actual USP, the actual unique selling proposition. And so many people actually never really get around to even understanding why their business is that significantly different from other people. So again, that’s a situation where you really wanna sit down, write down a bullet point list of why you’re significantly better than your competitors or why your product really should be bought by customers, and focus on that first.

And typically, it’s a pretty short list. It might only be ten or fifteen things, maybe even less. But as long as you kinda have that general starting point and then craft the design around that, that helps a lot. Because what usually happens with people is they’ll start with a design, they won’t put the product in there always; they’ll just kinda have some general abstract tagline. Again, I keep going back to landscaping. But they might say something like, “Really great landscaping,” which always starts okay. You have an okay headline. But you can really improve it if you start to understand why people would go with you rather than other people. And then you can tailor that text to kind of fit into the design. So the headline ends up always looking significantly better. Your CTAs are almost always better because you’ve focused on just the text without any accoutrements.

Dan Levy: Yeah, I guess it goes back to what we were saying at the beginning, where so often – you know, this happens a lot when you’re in an agency or working with a creative team. And your designer starts with a design and then asks you to make the copy fit. Your content should always inform your design and not vice versa. Start with a template, right? But don’t let that template dictate the copy.

Casey Ark: Exactly. Yeah, that’s exactly right.

Dan Levy: Cool. Well, we’ve all heard the adage that if you try to appeal to everyone, you’ll appeal to no one. But you wrote about a company called Perfumes for a Buck – love that name –

Casey Ark: Yep. It’s great.

Dan Levy: – that ran into a problem with friction when they tried to segment users on their landing page. What happened there?

Casey Ark: Basically, they’ve got this initial landing page that shows – they don’t actually have anything on the landing page except these two buttons that say, “Are you shopping for men’s perfume?” or “Are you shopping for women’s perfume?” You click one of the buttons, and then you get the selection there. That page is killing me because it just kills your conversion immediately. You’re asking people to make a decision when they don’t necessarily need to be making a decision about something.

Because ultimately, we can segment that out immediately. We don’t need to be asking people that question. We should really already know who we’re selling to by then. But that’s a killer thing. You really never, ever, ever wanna make people make a decision, especially when you’re paying for clicks like they were.

Dan Levy: Don’t make them do that work. You should be doing that work yourself.

Casey Ark: Exactly, yeah. Who knows how many people you’re gonna lose on that probably. You might lose 25 or 30 percent of people who just say, “Hey, I don’t feel like making this click.” And that’s just money lost.

Dan Levy: So I mean, if you are marketing to multiple segments like they were, how do you speak to them individually without weighing them down with having to make that choice themselves?

Casey Ark: Basically, it’s relatively easy to take care of something like that, especially if you’re using AdWords or Facebook or something like that where you can kind of manipulate the keywords that you’re using. So basically, what we wanna do is we wanna take care of the segmentation for the customer. We wanna take all the work out of the customer’s hand so the customer’s never having to say, “I am a man. I’m shopping for men’s perfume.”

So what we wanna do is basically, you’d wanna buy keywords. Instead of just buying for perfume, you’d wanna buy keywords for women’s perfume and probably men’s cologne separately. And then if somebody clicks on the men’s cologne ad, they should be going to a dedicated landing page that already has men’s cologne; it already has men’s perfume shown. And then the vice versa for women’s perfume. If they click on that, they should already be hitting a woman’s page.

And that immediately saves you a whole lot of money. And automatically – especially if you’re doing something that’s a paid click there – you really wanna know that anyway, whether you’re dealing with men or women, instantaneously. Because we’ve gotta reroute that traffic, and that’ll automatically improve your rates.

Dan Levy: It sounds so simple, but again, something that so many marketers just aren’t doing.

Casey Ark: Yeah. Exactly.

Dan Levy: We talk a lot on this podcast about the importance of testing stuff like headlines and call to action button copy. But you suggest that focusing too much on this stuff can actually lead to all these mistakes that we were just talking about. How so?

Casey Ark: I don’t wanna tell people not to test anything. You absolutely still should be testing things. Don’t listen to anybody that tells you otherwise. But if you’re focusing too much on that, it can hurt you, especially if you’re not absorbing the full understanding of what it is that you’re selling.

So ultimately, when you’re looking at a landing page, you should be basically looking at it as if you were designing a TV commercial for your product. And if you spend too much time testing it, if you spend too much time worrying about the color of the button and the shape of the button and the font you’re using and all that stuff, and less about the whole picture about why your product’s significantly better, that’s where you can really start getting into some trouble.

And what I mean by that practically is if you’re selling a car, I don’t care so much about the photo that you’re using of the car. I care a lot more about the entire holistic experience of the landing page. Are you telling me why the car is significantly better? Do I have a bunch of benefits listed to me? Do I have a relatively solid call to action? As long as you’ve got the general basics down, that’s probably more important long term than spending a whole lot of time worrying about individual color details or fonts or all that stuff.

Dan Levy: Yeah, it’s almost, like, awesome when people are testing and doing those more advanced stuff. But if that’s taking your eye off really simple things, like having your product on the page and telling people what you do, then maybe there’s a problem there and you need to kind of take a step back and see the forest for the trees or however that expression goes.

Casey Ark: Yeah. Exactly. Yeah. And just to put it in a little bit more quantitative terms, the difference between a really great landing page and a bad landing page, typically, is not one headline away from having a huge difference. It’s typically more than that. It’s typically a little bit more of an understanding of what your customers want. It’s going from a place where you don’t understand what they want to a place where you do understand what they want. That’s kinda the big difference.

Dan Levy: Well, I think that’s a really good note to end on. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat, Casey.

Casey Ark: Of course! Happy to.

Stephanie Saretsky: That was Casey Ark, owner of Plato.

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Are You Making Any of These Landing Page Mistakes? [PODCAST]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Break the rules

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

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

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

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

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

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

Start with best practices…

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

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

2. Sort Your Test Priority

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

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

PIE framework by WiderFunnel

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

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

3. Create Theme-Based Page-Level Tests

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

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

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

Jackpot

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

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

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

5. Run Site-Wide Template Tests

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

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

6. Stick to Evidence-based Hypotheses

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

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

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

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

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

Survey question

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

What’s Your Take?

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

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

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

The Current State of Web Design: Trends 2010

Web design is a fickle industry. Just like every other form of artistic expression, Web design has undergone a continuous and surprisingly fast evolution. Once a playground for enthusiasts, it has now become a mature rich medium with strong aesthetic and functional appeal. In fact, we are experiencing what could be the golden era of Web design — or at least the best period thus far. We have powerful new tools at our disposal (CSS3, HTML5, font-embedding, etc.

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The Current State of Web Design: Trends 2010