Tag Archives: version

Get Better Landing Pages for AdWords with 3 Techniques to Try Today

If you’re a PPC strategist, your client’s campaigns live and die by the strength of the landing pages. If you drop the perfect paid audience on a page with no offer (or an unclear one), you’ll get a 0% conversion rate no matter how your ads perform.

The problem is that as AdWords account managers, we can be pretty limited in our ability to change landing pages. In this role, we typically lack the budget, resources, and expertise needed to affect what’s often the root cause of failing campaigns.

So how do you rescue your AdWords campaigns from bad landing pages without also becoming a landing page designer or a conversion rate optimization expert?

Below are three techniques you can use to reveal some insight, change performance yourself, or influence more relevant, better converting landing pages for AdWords.

1. Cut spend & uncover priority content with the ugly duckling search term method

Many AdWords accounts have rules that look something like this:

If the keyword spends more than $100 and doesn’t result in a sale, remove keyword.

Whether it’s automated or a manual check, the process is the same: “optimize” by getting rid of what doesn’t convert.

But this assumes that the landing page your ad points to is perfectly optimized and relevant to every keyword that might be important to your audience — a pretty tall order. But what if your target audience is searching for your offer with your seemingly “dud” keyword, and you’re driving them to an incorrect or incomplete landing page that doesn’t reflect the keyword or the search intent behind it?

The “Ugly Duckling” is a check you can do when your keyword isn’t hitting the performance metrics you want. It will help you figure out if your keyword is a swan, or a wet rat you need to purge from your aquatic friends.
Ugly duckling adwords landing page trick

As an example, let’s say your client is a fruit vendor, with an AdWords campaign driving coupon downloads. Here’s the ad group for concord grapes:

Concord Grape Ad Group

The Ad Group for Concord Grapes

The keyword phrase ‘organic concord grapes’ has a lot of search volume, but it’s performing horribly at $695 per coupon download!

An AdWord’s “rule” pausing or deleting what doesn’t work would wipe out this keyword in no time. But, before assuming a wet rat, this is where you’d take look at the (hypothetical) landing page:

the corresponding landing page

The hypothetical landing page for the fruit vendor’s Ad campaign.

The landing page never mentions your grapes are organic! No wonder your visitors aren’t converting. This is poor message match from your ad.

In this case, simply adding the high-volume, highly relevant term “organic” to your landing page is much smarter than negative matching the term your audience is using to find your product. There could be several keywords you’re bidding on that could use this swan/wet rat treatment.

Applying swan or wet rat to your AdWords landing pages

Instant wet rat: If your poor performing keyword doesn’t reflect your offer at all (ie: your grapes aren’t organic), then the keyword is a wet rat. Don’t bid on it, and consider negative matching to avoid further traffic.

Further investigation needed: Assuming your grapes are organic (or more broadly, the keyword is indeed relevant to your offer), there are several things you can try, such as:

  • Altering your ad headline: If it’s not already in there, test adding your keyword to your ad’s headline. This should drive a better quality score and cost per click, and you can see whether it affects CTR for the keyword. Because making changes to your landing page could require more rigorous review than changing ad copy, this can be a good first step.
  • Ad group break-out: If your keyword phrase is particularly long or is unrelated to the other keywords in your ad group, break it into a new ad group before including it in your headline.
  • Data-based landing page recommendation: If your keyword performance improves with the ad-specific steps above, you should now have the data you need to get your client or designer/team to feature the keyword prominently on the landing page. In the case of our example, “organic” can be easily added to the headline on the landing page.
    • In other cases, building out a separate, more specific landing page to address individual keywords could be more appropriate.
    • Depending on relevancy and search volume, you can incorporate the theme of the keyword throughout the landing page and offer.
  • Search term deep dive: Go a step further and examine the search terms, not just the keywords, following the same process. Looking at the actual search terms that do drive spend and traffic can reveal potential exclusions, match type tightening, and keywords to add.

Hypothetically, here’s what performance could look like for our keyword once we’ve optimized the ad and resulting landing page to better reflect the product:

hypothetical before and after

This keyword we were about to pause is now driving 1400+ downloads with a cost per download of the coupon. That’s below our target. Swan after all!

2. Learn about your audience with “mini-quiz” ad copy

A strong AdWords landing page isn’t just about following best practices or using slick templates. It should encompass user research, sales data, persuasive messaging, and a compelling offer, but you’ve got a trick up your sleeve: your ad copy.

Think of your ad copy as a quiz where you get to ask your audience what unique selling point is most important to them. With each ad click, you’re collecting votes for the best messaging, which can fuel key messages on your landing page.

To do this right, you have to have distinct messages and value propositions in your copy. For example, it makes no sense to run a test of these ad descriptions:

  • (Version A) Say goodbye to breakouts. #1 solution for clear skin. Try for free today!
  • (Version B) Say Goodbye to Breakouts. #1 Solution for Clear Skin. Try for Free Today!
  • (Version C) #1 solution for clear skin. Say goodbye to breakouts. Try for free today!

One of these ads will get a better click through rate than the others, but you’ve learned nothing.

A good ad copy quiz has distinct choices and results.
You’ll want to challenge assumptions about your audience. Consider this other, better version of the quiz from the text ad example above:

  • (Version A) Say goodbye to breakouts. #1 solution for clear skin. Try for free today!
  • (Version B) Get clear skin in just 3 days. Get your 1st shipment free. Order now!

Whether the winner is “#1 solution” or “Results in 3 days,” we’ve learned something about the priorities of our audience, and the learnings can be applied to improve the landing page’s headline and copy throughout. Rinse & repeat.

Turning your ads into mini-quizzes

See what your audience truly values by letting them vote with their click. Here are some ideas for value propositions to get you started with your ad copy quiz:

Note: I normally don’t suggest including messaging in your ad that isn’t reflected on the landing page (i.e. if your landing page doesn’t mention price, neither should your ad). However, if you don’t control the landing page as the paid media manager, the CTR of an ad copy test can point you in the right direction for what to add to your page, so it’s fair game in this instance.

3. “Tip the scales” with exactly enough information

There’s a widely-spread idea that landing pages for AdWords should be stripped of any features, links, or functionality other than a form. This is just not true, and blindly following this advice could be killing your conversion rates.

Unbounce co-founder Oli Gardner, frequently talks about the importance of landing page Attention Ratio:

Basically, your page should have one purpose, and you should avoid distractions.

This is great advice, especially for people who are tempted to drive AdWords traffic to a home page with no real CTA. But I find it has been misinterpreted and misapplied all over the internet by people who’ve twisted it into an incorrect “formula”, i.e.:

  • He who has the fewest links and options on the landing page wins.

That’s not how it works. People need links, content, choice, and context to make a decision. Not all links are bad; I’ve doubled conversion rates just by diverting PPC traffic from dedicated LPs to the website itself.

The question is, how much information does a visitor need in order to take action?

Ultimately you want to “tip the scales” of the decision-making process for your visitor – getting rid of unnecessary distractions, but keeping those essential ingredients that will help them go from “no” to “yes” or even “absolutely.”

Here are 2 very common mistakes that are killing conversion rates on landing pages across the internet:

Mistake #1: Single-option landing pages

You’ve heard all about the paradox of choice and analysis paralysis. You know that when people have too many options, they’re more likely to choose none at all. But what happens when you have too few?

If you don’t see what you want, you’re also going to say “no.”

As an example (that you probably won’t see in the wild but it’s nice and easy to illustrate), someone’s Googled a pizza delivery service. But the landing page allows someone to order pepperoni and pepperoni only, and our vegetarian searcher leaves to order elsewhere.

At first glance, this might look like our “organic grapes” problem from earlier, but something different is at play.

Many AdWords ads today are driving to single-option landing pages, where the only choice is to take the offer exactly as-is. This can be fine when only one variation exists, or your visitors have a chance to narrow their choices later in the process.

But if your visitors’ search is more broad, don’t take away their options in an effort to simplify the page. You’ll miss out on potential sales, which is kind of the whole point of running a campaign.

Instead, driving to a category page, or one that gives your visitors (gasp) – choice! – will keep them engaged. You may also consider creating several different types of landing pages for each specific option you offer to get specific after someone’s narrowed down their options via a broader landing page.

Mistake #2: The not-enough-info landing page

Another case of “When good landing page principles go bad” is the stripped-down, bare-bones dedicated landing page that has no useful information.

A disturbing and growing trend is for AdWords landing pages to feature no navigation, links, details, or information. There’s not even a way to visit the company domain from the landing page. This is a problem, because as the saying goes: A confused mind says no.

What’s going through your site visitors’ minds when they get to a landing page and can’t find what they need?

A landing page without enough information can be just as bad (or worse) than a landing page with too much.

Whether your traffic is warm or cold, coming from an email campaign or paid ads, arriving at your home page or a dedicated landing page, your visitors need to trust that you can solve their problems before they’ll convert on your offer.

Overall, just because someone’s clicked on an AdWords ad doesn’t mean they have fewer questions or less of a need for product details than if they came in from another channel. Remember to cover all your details of your offer in a logical information hierarchy, and don’t be afraid to give your visitors options to explore important info via lightboxes, or links where appropriate.

Getting control over your landing pages for AdWords

As a PPC manager, you may not directly control the landing page, but you can remind your team to avoid conversion killers like:

  • Key questions from the top keywords that aren’t answered on the landing page
  • No clear reason to take action
  • Landing pages where choice is limited unnecessarily, leaving more questions than answers
  • Landing pages that don’t explain what will happen after a visitor takes action on the offer
  • No way for visitors to have their questions answered

Give your visitors a reason to say yes, remove their reasons to say no, and watch your conversion rates improve.

View this article:  

Get Better Landing Pages for AdWords with 3 Techniques to Try Today


6 Must-Test Elements of Your eCommerce Shop That Can Give Epic Wins

It has never been easier to create an online business. Accordingly, competition has never been more fierce.

To not just survive, but thrive … every element of your online business must be optimized for maximum conversions: sign ups, landing pages, product descriptions, buttons, design, and (of course) your copy.

What you need is real data from real people to create real insights, real action and epic wins.

And, there’s no debate. The best way to get valuable data is through A/B testing – creating different versions of your online material to see which one performs best.

The results of A/B testing are powerful. Social media powerhouse Buffer, for instance, literally doubled their email signups in 30 days by adding “nine times the email capture opportunities” and then testing their new layout against their original page.

Getting More Email Subscribers - Buffer

Image Credit: Buffer

So, to help you and your business succeed online, here are six must-test elements you absolutely should pay attention to, and more importantly, tips on how to actually do that… the right way.

These Elements Can Yield Big Wins If Tested The Right Way

1. Headlines

A headline is the first thing that captures the attention of your reader.

It’s at the top of your page and for blog posts, it’s usually what’s shared on social media. Make the mistake of using a poor headline and your content will sit on your website gathering dust … no matter how good the actual content is.

While following best practices is generally a good strategy, your customers won’t always respond the way that one marketing article said they would.

For example, we’ve been taught that using promotional tactics such as discounts will drive sales. Yet, that wasn’t true for EA Games when selling their new SimCity game. Their test page without a promotional coupon drove 43.4% more purchases than the one offering 20% off for pre-ordering. It turns out their visitors didn’t want an incentive. They just wanted to buy the game.

Here’s another best-practice fail. In copywriting it’s often advised that you don’t talk about what your company does. Instead, talk about the benefits your company will provide for the customer. But here’s a case when this supposed best practice was beaten hands down. When Movexa changed its headline from “Natural Joint Relief”, a classic benefits-focused line, to “Natural Joint Relief Supplement”, a more “what”-focused line, conversions increased by 89.97%!

Now take a look at these two webpage screenshots from an A/B test for email management tool, AwayFind, and guess which one is more likely to convert visitors.

AwayFind AB Testing Headline

Version A (Source: Which Test Won)

AwayFind Headline Test Variation Image

Version B (Source: Which Test Won)

If you guessed Version A because of the larger, stand-out headline and bigger CTA button, you’d be wrong. Due to the shorter — and easier to read — headline along with the bolded key features in the sub-heading, Version B increased sign-ups by 38%.

You can experiment with your headlines in similar ways, like testing whether your audience prefer long headlines or shorter ones, or whether they respond better to a friendly tone– “7 Easy Ways to Get Better Sleep” – or a frightening tone – “The Shocking Truth about What’s Hiding in Your Bed”.

2. Calls-to-Action (CTAs)

The call to action in any web content tells the reader what you want them to do next.

  • Interested in our software? Sign up for a free trial.
  • Like the article you just read? Get more like this delivered to your inbox.

A good call-to-action gives readers a clear route to accomplishing their goals, while simultaneously leading them to where you want them to go.

To ensure you are getting the most out of your CTAs, you should be testing four elements:

(1)  Copy

(2)  Size

(3)  Color

(4)  Placement

These factors can make a big difference in your audience’s response.

Take copy for instance. Friendbuy was able to significantely increase views of their product demo with only a slight tweak in their wording. Their A/B test proved that a button with the words “See demo” got 82% more clicks than a button which said “Test it out.” Small change. Big results.

Why? Because visitors to the Friendbuy homepage, typically marketers, were most likely seeking out more information about the products and clearly understood the term “demo.”

To further confirm this point, VWO was able to boost Zwitserleven’s landing page conversion rate 14.1%, with a 5% total lead increase, by simply changing their CTA from a rather vague “Go Further” to a much more specific “More Information”.

AB Testing CTA - Results from VWO

And what about placement? One excellent tool to test is HelloBar, which puts a high-converting bar at the top of your website, promoting your latest content or even to get email signups directly through the bar.

How Buffer is Using HelloBar For CTA Placement

3. Emails

As GetResponse points out, “People who buy products marked by email spend 138% more than those who do not receive email offers.” In other words, the payoffs are huge.

The main ways to test the success of your email marketing campaigns are to measure the:

  • Open Rate: How many people click on your subject line to see your full email
  • Click-Through Rate: How many click on the links/buttons you’ve provided in your emails

As with your website, there is room for testing the elements that contribute to a reader’s decision to click – in this case, these would be your email subject line, content, form fields, CTAs etc.

Here are some ways to A/B test your emails:

  • Do your customers prefer being addressed by their first names, or do they prefer a more formal last name approach?
  • Do they want to get emails from the company itself, or would they be more likely to click on emails from a human, like “Jake from State Farm”?
  • Should you use simple language to make your content easy to understand, or will your industry-savvy customers respond better to industry jargon that shows you’re “in the know.”
  • Are your customers more likely to buy products directly through your emails, or are they looking for more valuable content and tips first?
  • Would you get more responses if you repeated the same CTA throughout your email or used multiple CTAs in one email?

4. Landing Pages

Your landing page is where decision-making happens.

This is where you present the most appealing information to your viewers in hopes that they’ll sign up for your mailing list, opt in to your latest offer, or even buy your product. As with headlines and web page design, we should never assume that the most aesthetically pleasing page will win.

It’s important to test the various elements on your landing pages to find what works, not just what looks better. Adding a trust badge, for example, could make a huge impact. That’s what eCommerce site Bag Servant found when they switched out their Twitter followers widget with a trust badge. This tiny change resulted in a whopping 72.05% improvement in conversions for the brand. Here’s more on how to increase customers’ trust on your eCommerce website.

For an even more in-depth test, use tools like Heatmaps to analyse what customers look at when visiting your page.

5. Responsiveness

Contrary to popular belief, not every business NEEDS a responsive website.

But you probably do.

If you don’t want to invest in building a responsive site, it’s important to at least run a few tests on your audience and assess the ROI of upgrading or creating a responsive website. If your customers simply aren’t visiting your site via mobile that much, or your content is too complex to render well on a mobile device, it might not be worth it just yet. But since mobile viewership is growing at a tremendous rate (34% of global eCommerce sales happen on mobile devices as opposed 30% in 2014 Q4), you really don’t want to miss out without at least testing a few pages out.

It’s really as simple as that. The best way to test out whether a responsive site makes sense is to simply… test it out… and see how well it performs. That’s what TwentySixDigital did for one of their clients in the travel sector.

With mobile visitors increasing, they picked ONE page that had the highest revenue earning potential, made it responsive, and tracked its performance against the non-responsive version.

Results? The responsive mobile version was 50% better at getting users to buy tickets.

50%!!! That’s worth a one page effort.

Mobile Responsiveness Test Using Visual Website Optimizer

Results of mobile responsive test (Source: TwentySixDigital)

6. Quality of Leads

Of course, nearly all the optimization tips mentioned in this article talk about getting more leads, but you shouldn’t forget the importance of quality in acquiring leads and customers.

The three factors you should be testing are:

  • Frequency – how often these leads are buying or interacting with your business
  • Recency – the last time they interacted with your business
  • Value – the average dollar amount of purchase

Testing these factors against the leads you get with each of your A/B campaigns will help you truly determine the most beneficial strategy for your business.

Even if you’re getting 100% more signups, would it really matter unless they become paying customers?

Why Leave Money On The Table..When You Can Test?

Testing the various elements of your business’ online presence is crucial for optimization and growth. When you start out, test one element at a time, even refer to best practices (keeping your audience in mind) and run your A/B tests properly. Look to attain statistical significance before calling a winner. But don’t be afraid to break out of the box and try something different if the research backs your decision.

Remember, if you never explore your options, you’ll never know how much money you’re leaving on the table.

The post 6 Must-Test Elements of Your eCommerce Shop That Can Give Epic Wins appeared first on VWO Blog.


6 Must-Test Elements of Your eCommerce Shop That Can Give Epic Wins


Adding Customer Reviews Increased Revenue by 7.5%

Disclaimer: The winner of this case study hasn’t been revealed in the post below. Please watch out for an update on the same space on October 16, 2014.

The Company

Czc.cz is a leading computers and electronics online store in the Czech Republic. They have a wide range of products from mobile phones, laptops, gaming devices to electronics and IT specialities.

To encourage first time visitors to buy from their website, they decided to test adding ratings from one of the Czech Republic’s most popular price comparison site, Heureka, on their product pages. Initially wary of sharing their customer details with another site, they decided to test the badge only on 50% of their traffic. The good part about having Heureka widget is that it runs a script which shows real time customer reviews, ratings and statistics to visitors.

Here’s how the original product page looked like:

original product page czc.cz

The Test

Tomas at Czc not only wanted to test the impact of the Heureka badge on the product pages but also find out where to place it for maximum effect. So he created four versions of the product page and tested them against the original.

Here are the four variations he tested:

Version 1: Heureka badge along with ratings just below the add to cart button


Version 2: Only the badge just below the add to cart button


Version 3: Slide-in ratings on the right side


Version 4: Slide-in ratings on the left side


If you hover over the ratings sidebar, it expands to show details of ratings and reviews like this:


More than 90,000 visitors became a part of the test with revenue tracking being the primary goal.

The winner recorded an increase of 7.5% in revenue with 95% statistical significance. We will reveal which variation won on this same space, one week from now, on October 16, 2014.

Tell us which Version you Think Won. And why?

Meanwhile, we would love to hear your thoughts on the test. Which version according to you got the company an additional 7.5% revenue? We will share the best answers in next week’s edit.

Share your thoughts in the comments section below or join the discussion on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or G+

Don’t forget to add the hashtag #VWOCaseStudy with your answers. See ya!:)

The post Adding Customer Reviews Increased Revenue by 7.5% appeared first on VWO Blog.

See the article here:

Adding Customer Reviews Increased Revenue by 7.5%

Moving A Git Repository To A New Server

Suppose your company decides to change its code-hosting provider or you wish to move your own Git repository to a different host. It doesn’t happen often, but it happens. When I had to move a number of Git projects to a new host, it took me quite some time to find an accurate method.
Having made many attempts, and a couple of fails, and carefully reading Git’s documentation, I found a solid and effective way.

Read more:

Moving A Git Repository To A New Server


Lessons Learned From Maintaining A WordPress Plugin

Recently I released a WordPress plugin for Google Analytics that adds a tracking code and dozens of various pieces of meta data to blogs. Since the release of version 4, I’ve updated it 6 times, to the point where it’s now at version 4.0.6. In this article I would like to share with you my experiences in maintaining this and other WordPress plugins and common good practices that I’ve distilled from that work.

Original link: 

Lessons Learned From Maintaining A WordPress Plugin