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Conversion

5 Twitter Tips for Boosting Ecommerce Sales

By | Content Marketing, Conversion, eCommerce, Inbound Marketing, Internet Marketing, Social Media | No Comments

Think about a sales pipeline. At the top of the pipeline you have prospects, somewhere in the middle you have a sales pitch, and at the end of the pipeline you have actual sales.

Where does Twitter fall in the pipeline?

Social networks, like Twitter, are at the top of the pipeline. They are used to generate awareness about your product with the end goal of sending a potential client to your website where the actual sales pitch takes place. The sales pitch doesn’t take place on Twitter.

I’ve included 5 Twitter tricks for increasing ecommerce sales below. These tricks are focused on getting people to leave Twitter, and land on your website where the actual sale can take place.

Optimize Your Twitter Header for Sales

Twitter implemented a design overhaul on April 22, 2014. One key change in its new design is the addition of a Twitter header photo that spans the entire length of the screen at 1500×500 pixels.

Located at the top of every Twitter profile, the new Twitter header serves as a digital billboard allowing ecommerce companies to highlight products or services.

As an ecommerce site, use your Twitter header to drive sales by creating awareness about new products or deals you’re currently offering.

At RedbirdMetrics, we found that using a Twitter header as an advertisement resulted in a ~.07 increase in website traffic.

Here’s an example of how we use our Twitter header as an advertisement:

redbirdtwitterheader

Here’s a couple of tips for crafting your Twitter header:

  • Don’t forget to check out what your Twitter header looks like on a mobile device. When your Twitter header is condensed for a mobile device some of your images or text may not appear to users.
  • The link placed in your Twitter bio should take users to a landing page your Twitter header is promoting. Be sure to include a strong call to action in your Twitter header that encourages visitors to click on the link in your Twitter bio.

Use Twitter to Test Ads

One of the challenges of crafting digital advertisements is figuring out the perfect choice of words that will increase click-through-rate.

Sadly, many companies burn through mountains of cash trying to figure this out before they start to see an ROI.

Here’s a not so well known secret: you can use Twitter to test your ads before you make a significant investment.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Use bit.ly to create a custom link for the ad you’d like to test. Let’s say your landing page is www.landingpage.com. To make this link into a custom link simply add “?src=sometext” to the end of the link. I use the “sometext” portion to describe where the link is coming from. For example, www.landingpage.com?src=advertisementone could be used for the first ad and www.landingpage.com?src=advertisementtwo could be used for the second ad. Both of these links take you to the same page, but by making them customized you are able to track how much traffic is coming from each link. Shorten your customized link, and paste it in your Twitter bio.
  • Change your Twitter header into an advertisement. Focus on one value proposition for the product or service you’re trying to increase sales for.
  • Type a keyword or phrase you’re planning on targeting for ads into Twitter’s search bar in quotes. This will pull up tweets that contain that keyword or phrase specifically. Follow 50 people per day using that keyword or phrase for one week.
  • At the end of the week, check to see how many clicks your custom link received by looking up that link on your Bit.ly account. Record this number in an Excel spreadsheet.
  • Change your Twitter header to focus on an alternative value proposition for the same product or service, and repeat the above steps.
  • Compare the clicks you receive for each custom link to determine which advertisement gets more clicks.

Create an Online Catalog with Hashtags

Trendy restaurants, like Comodo, will crowdsource pictures of their food on Instagram around a specific hashtag. Comodo does this by including the hashtag #ComodoMenu at the bottom of their real-life menu. This helps their customers make decisions when ordering food. It also helps bring in additional clients because each picture shared serves as a word of mouth endorsement for the restaurant.

comodoinstagram

Ecommerce companies can adopt a similar strategy on Twitter. Create a hashtag for your company that helps customers see your products in action. For example, if you sell clothing you could encourage your buyers to post a picture of themselves wearing your clothes on Twitter.

Add your company hashtag at the end of each product description on your website. Enjoy the increase in visibility and sales.

Do a Giveaway

Giveaways are a powerful tool for increasing brand awareness. iFit, a fitness tracker, often utilizes giveaways on Twitter. Check out this recent giveaway they did:

ifitgiveaway

A couple tips for launching a giveaway:

  • Include at least one hashtag to increase the visibility of your giveaway. iFit used the #Giveaway hashtag.
  • Ask your followers to retweet, favorite, and follow to qualify for your giveaway. iFit did a great job of this by giving additional entries for a retweet, and a follow.
  • Use a picture in your giveaway tweet. Tweets using pictures are 94% more likely to be retweeted.

Follow Intelligently

Following people on Twitter is one of the best ways to increase brand awareness. Here are a few tactics that you should look into implementing:

  • Follow your competitor’s Twitter followers. Many of your competitors have likely spent years building a Twitter following. Harvest this low hanging fruit by following their followers. Tweepi, a free social media management tool, is perfect for doing this.
  • Follow people based on what they tweet. You can type anything into Twitter’s search bar in quotes. This will pull up people using that exact phrase or keyword. For example, if you type “I need new shoes” it will pull up people who need new shoes. Consider following people based on what they tweet.
  • Follow influencers. Every niche has it’s influencers. Identify the influencers in your industry and follow them on Twitter.

Do not aggressively follow people on Twitter. If you follow too many people per day then Twitter may suspend your account. Here’s some advice on following:

  • If you have less than 100 followers then you should only follow 10 people per day.
  • If you have more than 100 followers then you can follow up to 100 people per day.
  • When you have less than 1,800 followers you can only follow 2,000 people total. Once you get over 1,800 followers you can follow 110% of your following.

These are just a few tips and tricks for using Twitter to increase ecommerce sales. Remember, Twitter is for the top of your sales pipeline. The goal of Twitter is to drive people to your website where they can make a purchase. Don’t try to close on Twitter.

Can you think of any additional Twitter tips or tricks? Comment below.


joshlight

Josh Light is the co-founder and CEO of RedbirdQ, the most intelligent way to share to Twitter and Facebook. Josh writes about social media tips and tricks on the Redbird blog. Contact Josh on Twitter @JoshuaJLight; he loves people.

Visual Sitemaps Can Impact Your Bottom Line

By | Conversion | No Comments

The difference between good marketing and great marketing is not in the abundance of winning ideas — it’s in the execution. Paying attention to the details is a big deal when there are many companies competing for the same customer.

So how can your business come out on top? One way is to create benchmarks that measure execution. A benchmark is a measurable outcome that can help you compare the effectiveness of your current efforts with past results. Every marketer should be able to quickly communicate the impact of the work they do.

One common marketing task is evaluating a website’s effectiveness and testing changes that might help engage more customers. But don’t rush into it—website changes require planning and careful measurement. Beyond gathering important metrics like the number of visitors and sales conversion, it’s helpful to be able to visualize your existing site.

Let’s examine the site layout of lucidchart.com, our own website. We follow a fairly conventional approach for a SaaS website, including top-level links for pricing, login, and product tour. By using Lucidchart’s visual sitemap creator and asking key questions, we can determine whether this site layout is successful.

Here it is:

Lucidchart1

Does the organization of my site make sense?

With most websites, content creation and development happens over long periods of time. If there isn’t anyone actively managing the property, organic growth of a website can occur in unexpected ways. A disorganized site can confuse new visitors and discourage search engines from frequently indexing new content on your site.

The good news is, Lucidchart’s site hasn’t become too unwieldy. It has a simple structure that is easily navigable, with child pages that are attached to the appropriate parent. Making a visual sitemap lets you quickly view your site structure; no need to slog through XML files whenever you have a question. You can also enhance ease of access by embedding links to individual pages and exporting the chart as an iframe, as we’ve done here.

Am I effectively promoting the most important pages?

Web analytic tools can help you figure out what people do when they reach your website. You’ll want to understand which pages are most effective at driving the desired action. Once you know that, you can make intentional changes that will help more people find that page. A visual sitemap can be a good way to mark and remember the pages that do well.

For example, here at Lucidchart we use the Demo page to invite potential customers to try the tool. On pages throughout the site, we’ve strategically placed buttons that link to the Demo environment, which gives visitors a fast, easy way to try the product. When you treat your website like a funnel that moves visitors from potential to paying, your marketing becomes more sophisticated and effective.

How can I get more traffic from Google?

Every business owner, even one who doesn’t know much about online marketing, understands the importance of ranking well on search engines. There are many factors that let Google know your site is important. Having well-organized site information is a big plus, and as we showed earlier, diagramming out your sitemap can help evaluate that.

As part of figuring out what your site is about, Google also wants to know what you think is most important about your site. One way to determine that is to look at how many times a page on the site is referenced by other pages. Are you making sure Google knows what your most important pages are? With visual sitemaps, you can use lines to map out how many pages link to any other page on your site. Once you’ve created this map of internal linking structure, you can determine whether the site is properly signalling your most important content.

What am I missing?

The real question here isn’t, What mistakes have I made with my site? The question is, Are the mistakes I’m making costly enough to fix? Because there are always improvements to be made, you need to tackle the low-hanging fruit first. One worthwhile task is identifying holes in your content strategy. This is a lot easier with a visual sitemap.

In the case of Lucidchart, we could benefit from a refined tour page experience that allows visitors to explore features related to their field of interest. We could also add a page explaining how to use our program on mobile devices. I created a sitemap of what the Lucidchart website might look like with these proposed changes.

Lucidchart2

In fact, some of these changes are already in the works. By the time this post is published, we’ll be testing most of the proposed changes. To learn how to do the same for your website, check out this guide on how to make a site map. Improving your website takes considerable time, but it’s worth it. When you see how far you’ve come—and how much easier it will be to move forward—you’ll be glad you made the effort.


bradhanks

 

Brad Hanks directs marketing efforts at Lucid Software and loves writing blog posts that his mom will probably never read.

Must-Know Social Media Hacks: A Cheat Sheet for Boosting Conversion Rates

By | Blog, Conversion, Social Media | No Comments

If you’ve stayed up to date with any news for the past few years, then you shouldn’t be surprised that social media is becoming a huge strategy for companies to engage their customer bases and build brand loyalty.

You probably interact with several brands yourself, whether it’s by “liking” their posts on Facebook or by tweeting them to try to coax a response on Twitter.

Keep in mind, though, that engagement is only half the battle. To run a successful marketing program, you need to develop a strong conversion optimization strategy.

the_conversion_funnel_600

Let’s start with a basic definition

Conversion optimization is the process of transforming new website visitors into customers – and the process of transforming first-time buyers into repeat customers.

Social media is critical to this process. People aren’t always ready to buy when they first visit your website – and even after a great first impression, they’re likely to forget about your brand. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest can help you maintain a connection with prospective customers.

Consider the following analogy

The conversion process is like making a new friend at a friend’s party. You both make a great first impression and decide that you need to hang out or spend time together again – but you run out of time.

After that, you keep running into one another at the grocery store and coffee shops. The exchange is always positive, and you’re always happy to see one another. Eventually, you both realize that you need to put something on the calendar sooner rather than later.

Now let’s get back to the business world. Social media platforms can help you replicate and amplify the dynamic of making a new friend or meeting a potential client.

At the end of the day, “conversion” is just a fancy way of saying “connection.” Here are some invaluable tips for developing a conversion-meets-social media strategy that will work for your company:

1. Get serious about Facebook

I mean, really serious. In a 2012 Edison Research/Arbitron study on social networking habits, 79 percent of consumers said they prefer to connect with brands or products on Facebook. So why wouldn’t you meet them where they’re already hanging out?

People follow the brands they love because they want to know what those brands are doing, when the company is having a sale, and what other new products they have on the way.

So the question is: if you’re a company looking to boost your conversions, how can you leverage Facebook? You see, it’s pretty simple. Facebook users are influenced by their friends. From their own newsfeed, they can see what their friends like and every move they make.

More importantly, because Facebook is visually appealing, there are countless ways to engage your fans through giveaways, photo contests, promotions and paid advertisements.

Find ways to engage your users and then encourage them to share what they’re doing by asking questions and telling them how to engage. From a psychological perspective, make sure that the connection to your brand (and products) are strong. Facebook sharing can turn online promotions into powerful drivers of conversion, which means sales.

2. Encourage Your Fans to Share Socially

To dovetail off of point #1, let’s talk about the power of sharing.

With just one click, users and brands can publicize important on-site events. When your customers buy (or are just about to buy) a brand new sweater, think about how they might be feeling – excited, happy, and ready to spread the word about their great find.

Why not include a “share this” on Facebook and Twitter after the checkout process? Or what about incorporating a “Pin it” button on your company’s product pages?

Most likely, your business already has a “thank you for shopping” page with an email confirmation. Build more excitement by adding share features there as well. You can even implement share buttons on your product page – chances are that your customers will enjoy sharing items they care about.

Here is an example from the product page at J Crew Factory – notice how the retailer incorporates sharing into the overall transaction process:

JCrew sharing

J Crew Sharing

Not convinced? Turn to the data for guidance:

In the Adobe 2013 Digital Marketing Optimization Survey,  Adobe found that social shar­ing increases con­ver­sion rates, with 2 in 5 com­pa­nies respond­ing that it is “very effective.”

Because customers are much more likely to try a new product or service based on a shared recommendation, help encourage your customers to do so. Include it in their confirmation screen after they have made a purchase, and include it in the confirmation email you send to them.

The bottom line is that you can leverage social sharing to increase conversions through the strategic placement of sharing icons. So, think about where you place these seemingly minimal icons – make sure they’re visible at key transaction moments.

3. Think Mobile. Think Responsive.

Did you know Nielsen found that 95% of tablet shoppers and 72% of smartphone shoppers who make a purchase with their device do it at home? This means that even if there is a computer around, there is a good chance that your customer will be browsing the Internet, Facebook and emails on a tablet or mobile device.

If this isn’t compelling enough, a recent Google study found that 61% of mobile users who have a bad browsing experience will move on from your site to a competitors site.

You need to pay attention to your mobile strategy immediately. Get started with the following checklist:

  • Optimize your mobile site’s load times. If it doesn’t load quickly, you’ll lose your customer, and they will move on to your competitor’s site.
  • Have large, mobile-friendly buttons that are easy for big fingers. Have you ever tried clicking a tiny button on a mobile site and you miss it? If you hate this, then your customers do too! Make it easy for them. They want to buy your stuff, so help them out!
  • Minimize the amount of scrolling a customer has to do. No one likes to scroll.
  • Make sure it is easy to access your business contact information. A lot of times users are simply going to your site to figure out where you are or how to get in touch. Keep it simple and accessible.
  • “Click to call” access to phone the business.
  • Include links to your company’s social media profiles.

So what do these tips have to do with social media?

The short answer: everything.

Of Facebook’s nearly one billion strong users, approximately 200 million are mobile only.

Social media should be heavily emphasized in your website’s mobile design.

If you’re investing the resources in revamping your product or homepages, make sure that Facebook is a part of your strategy. You can even make social media a requirement for logging into your website:

Hipmunk App Login Screen

4. Use Analytics

Plan, act, measure, repeat. This workflow underscores the golden rule of marketing – that data should guide your every decision.

Rely on tools like Google Analytics, KISSmetrics, and Mixpanel to track conversions and understand how social media influences your overall conversion strategy. Be relentlessly focused on results, but make sure you’re investigating performance thoroughly.

A common mistake that marketers make is to treat social media as a direct sales channel. Do not fall into this trap. Audiences go through a series of steps before they ultimately convert into leads or buyers. Make sure you’re monitoring this full engagement spectrum before making a judgment call about whether something succeeded or failed.

Kiss Metric User Profile

Photo Credit: KISSmetrics

Your analytics package will answer the question “what.” Make sure that you also dive into the “why” behind the outcomes you’re observing.

A good example is the 2013 UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper survey. UPS joined forces with comScore to find out what consumers really want during their online shopping experience by surveying over 3,000 online shoppers. Of the 88 percent who said they have abandoned a shopping cart, 44 percent said they did so because the delivery time took too long.

So, what does this mean? It means that by shortening your shipping time, there is a great likelihood that your customer will actually buy your products. But you wouldn’t have known this without doing some research. Similarly, your own analytics will tell you key details about your customers.

When you segment traffic sources by social media, don’t assume that a long pageview time means that visitors are engaged, for instance. Customers might actually be confused – unable to find the information that they want.

Summary

Conversion optimization and social media marketing go hand in hand. A retweet or a Facebook like is a good way to maintain a connection with your potential customers, but it only goes so far. It’s time to start taking social media seriously, measuring what you’re doing, and improving on what you find.

How Visibility and Clarity Can Increase Traffic and Customer Engagement by 145%

By | Conversion, Strategy, Uncategorized | 2 Comments
This is a guest post written by Kyle Gray of Conversion Cake.
Follow Kyle at Google+

Problem: new services page, a products page taking most of the traffic.

We were very excited to be working with ArmorActive. They had an excellent product and team working for them. ArmorActive sells enclosures for tablets; cases that can convert various kind of tablets into cash registers, interfaces, signs etc.  They were in the process of expanding on their offer by adding additional services and software to give a complete solution. Their services offered everything from procuring tablets, software, mobile device management, and completely customized enclosures. They also offered a pdf catalog as a lead capture tool. Lead capture was a critical function of their website, their sales team had a good track record so once they got a qualified lead on the phone, they worked their magic.

Despite this fantastic supplement to their hard product, most of their traffic was still flowing to their products page. We decided this was a perfect place to start running some tests and see if we could improve some clickthroughs to their services.

When assessing a website for underperforming areas, we prioritize three things. Clarity, Legitimacy, and Visibility.

Clarity:

Many marketers favor fancy copy over a clear simple message. This often only serves to confuse your visitors and stifle their decision making process by making them think. Clear copy keeps visitors engaged in your offer.

Legitimacy:

Trust is essential in all relationships, especially online. Demonstrating your legitimacy builds trust and keeps your visitors moving forward on your site. But since they have a picture of LeBron James rocking a their product for every shoe in his store, we won’t need to worry about legitimacy on this one.

Visibility:

This is a close relative to clarity, and should be obvious. If your visitors can’t see the critical button/product/form on your site, then it does not matter how clear to legitimate it is. You have a matter of seconds to capture and keep your visitors attention so make it easy for them to see what you want them to see.

Their homepage slider had two images directing visitors to the services section, one highlighting individual services and the other highlighting the services bundle. They called this bundle “the business in a box” based on the idea that it was a total solution for your business. We found this to be a little misleading and unclear what it really was. So we changed it to “All-in-One Solutions for your business”

A second treatment to increase clicks on that catalog button was moving the button from the top right of the page, to right below the slider. We ran an eye test using attention wizard and we found that it was not catching enough attention.

We increased its size and changed the call to action from “Catalog” to “Free Catalog Download” for a nice one-two punch of visibility and clarity improvement.

So what happened?

After nearly a month of testing we saw a nice 65% increase in traffic to the services page with a 96% statistical certainty.

We reported a very nice 146% percent increase in clicks on the catalog button with 100% certainty.

We used Visual Website Optimizer to run these tests.

Conclusion

Your website’s have very short attention spans, and are likely to miss your offer if it does not make sense or if they have to look hard to find it. Make sure the language you use to drive visitors to your pages communicates clearly the value of your offer. And make sure they can see it.

Do Your Calls to Action Suck? Try These Tips to Lift Conversions

By | Conversion, Email Marketing, Strategy | No Comments

Finding the very best Call to Action (CTA) for your site can mean a huge lift in your current conversion rate.

Whether you’re trying to get someone to subscribe to your email list, submit a lead gen form or make a purchase, having a strong CTA is vitally important.

The bad news is that you could have an infinite number of brainstorming sessions, hire the very best marketer money can buy and still not come up with the very best CTA.

The good news is that you don’t need to waste time in brainstorming sessions or spend a lot of money on Don Draper. All you need to do is allow your website visitors to show you which CTA they respond to best.

How? Through a/b testing!

If you’re not already familiar with a/b testing learn all about it in this guide from Visual Website Optimizer.

I promised that you wouldn’t have to spend a lot of time brainstorming CTAs, and I will stand true to my word.

Instead of coming up with two different CTAs to test against each other on your own, I have pulled together some examples that you can copy for your a/b tests.

1. Email Subscription CTAs

Whether you blog for business or pleasure, you probably include a little signup box that allows readers to submit their email address to receive updates in their inbox.

What does your CTA button to kickstart this process look like?

Do you go with the standard “subscribe”?

Or maybe a lengthier “subscribe to the blog?”

And what does the header above the form say? Do you just flat out say “subscribe to blog via email” or do you use a benefit-driven headline such as “Subscribe to our conversion blog for optimization tips”?

Using a benefit driven CTA can really boost the number of people who respond.

When BettingExpert a/b tested their signup form they were able to increase conversions by 31.54% through the use of a more benefit-driven CTA.

But before you jump to conclusions and start changing your forms based on BettingExpert’s results, know that there are plenty of other options that can also increase your email subscription rates.

For example, you can use social proof on or near your subscription form to increase conversions like ProBlogger and Convince and Convert do.

Social Proof is a marketing concept rooted in psychology that says people are more likely to do something if they see others doing it.

By showing that over 23,100 other readers are subscribed to their newsletter, ProBlogger entices other to sign up so they are not left out.

As you can see there is no single way to present an email subscription CTA. There’s also no way to know which option will work best for your website visitors without a/b testing.

2. Lead Generation CTAs

When it comes to the CTAs you use on your lead generation forms, you may be thinking that a simple “download” or “submit” button will work to convert visitors.

That may be true, but really the only way to know is to test it.

For example, might the “Download Now” convert more visitors than “Download Guide”?

 

And what about that traditional grey submit button… is it converting the max amount of visitors possible?

My guess is it’s probably not working as well as a more stylized button with a strong CTA,, but I could be wrong. That’s the beauty of a/b testing – it allows you to see in real time what actually works.

If you’re wondering why most companies shy away from the traditional small grey/white button it’s because a lot of research shows that buttons that stand out get clicked more than ones that don’t.

In fact, you may have heard before that BOB (the Big Orange Button) is the very best button you can use.

That’s not necessarily true, although it can be true in a lot of cases because a big orange button usually stands out from the rest of a website.

You can see in the examples above – that are from HubSpot and Marketo – both employ the use of BOB.

BOB seems like it would work really well because it really stands out against the background of the landing pages it’s on. It draws the visitor’s eye and then encourages them to click and convert.

If your website theme is mostly orange then BOB probably wouldn’t be the best idea for you.

If you’re wondering what the best color would be … test it!

3. Ecommerce Checkout CTAs

If you want a lot of your ecommerce website visitors to complete a checkout with you, the entire process has to be optimized — including the CTA that actually gets the visitor to start the checkout process.

There are a few tactics that successful brands employ in their a/b tests to increase conversions.

For example, since research shows that online shoppers like free shipping, one way to lift conversions is by placing information about free shipping near your CTA.

Another common concern for shoppers is that they won’t be able to return or exchange an item when it’s purchased online. You can easily eliminate that fear by reassuring shoppers that you have a hassle free return policy.

Of course every company can say they have a hassle free return process. If you want to provide great customer service and enjoy repeat business, then you need to follow through on this promise.

In addition to free shipping and hassle-free returns, showing positive customer reviews near the CTA can really help you increase conversions.

For example, when Express Watches added a customer review widget to their website they increased sales by 58.29%.

As for the actual CTA: Add to Bag, Add to Cart, Buy Now… the only way to know which option will work best for you is to test it!

RIPT Apparel was able to increase their conversion rate by over 6% when they began a/b testing their shopping cart CTA button.

What would a 6% increase in conversions look like for your bottom line? Pretty nice, I’m guessing.

What About Other Types of CTAs?

Do you need to optimize the CTA on your site for a situation not listed in this post?

No problem!

My advice? Start a/b testing your CTA until you find the version that gets you the biggest lift in conversions. If you would like us to review your landing page and provide some CTA a/b testing ideas just leave a comment with the link below.

 

How to Become a Conversion Rate Expert Overnight

By | Conversion | No Comments

Every company would love more leads and sales. I’m sure your company is no different.

Would you like to learn now to become a conversion rate expert FAST?

There is plenty to learn, but this post will get you up to speed. You might want to grab a cup of coffee before you begin this lesson.

… Let’s roll!

Get Familiar with Google Analytics

The very first thing you must do to become a conversion rate expert is to get familiar with Google Analytics.

You may already have Google Analytics code installed on your site and perhaps you even log in each day to look at your traffic stats.

There are a few areas of Google Analytics that conversion rate experts are particularly interested in though:

  • Goals

  • Campaigns

  • E-Commerce (if you sell products)

Don’t be intimidated if you’re not already familiar with these three areas. We’ll walk you through what to look for in each area to become a conversion rate expert.

Goals

You have goals, or actions you want visitors to take on your website, right? Google Analytics will help you easily track your goals!

Typical conversion goals include:

  • Submitting a contact form

  • Submitting a lead gen form

  • Downloading something

  • Adding an item to the shopping cart

  • Filling out the billing information during checkout

  • Filling out the shipping information during checkout

  • Completing a transaction/checkout

Other goals might include visiting a certain page on your website, such as a features/benefits or competitor comparison page. These goals have less direct value, but they do provide interesting insight into the behavior of your website visitors.

You can easily set up Goals and goal funnels in Google Analytics to track all of the things in the above list.

Wait a minute, what is a goal funnel? It’s all the steps necessary for someone to complete a goal.

I know this is a little confusing, so let’s walk through this step-by-step.

When you’re setting up your goal in Google Analytics you will tell the software to trigger a conversion goal when a visitor reaches your Thank You page (or whatever page you show when someone completes a checkout).

To do this, simply enter the URL of the thank you page in the Goal Destination area during setup:

If you are simply asking someone to submit a one-step form and consider that a conversion, you won’t need to set up a funnel.

However, if you have a multi-page form OR you are selling a product, you will want to establish a goal funnel.

A goal funnel includes all the steps needed to complete the goal such as:

  1. View specific product

  2. Add product to cart

  3. Submit shipping address

  4. Submit billing information

When you’re setting up the goal funnel you simply give each step within the funnel a name such as “Add to Cart” and “Billing Address” and then enter the specific URL where that step gets completed on.

Once you’ve entered all of your funnel information just hit “Create Goal” and you’re done.

You’ll need to repeat this process for each product, form or download that you want to track conversion goals for.

In the case of most e-commerce sites, you will simply need to change step 1 in the funnel to your individual product page URL. The remaining steps (add to cart, shipping information, billing information and thank you page) will probably remain the same as long as the URLs for each step are the same.

Campaigns

After your goals are all set up in Google Analytics, you are ready to start driving traffic to your website. Of course you will want to track this traffic and see which sources convert the best.

In order to do so you should get familiar with the Campaigns section of Google Analytics.

To find this section in Google Analytics just go to Acquisition >> Campaigns.

Using Campaigns is how you will track the result of individual campaigns. That sounds kind of obvious right, but what does it really mean?

Let’s say you are a health spa that shares recipes with your Facebook audience to get them to visit your website (and ultimately convert on your brochure lead gen form). One day you decide to post a recipe for cheesecake:

You could just use your normal website URL to post the recipe. Perhaps it’s something like: healthspa.com/cheesecake-recipe.

However, if you do that you won’t be able to see if any of the traffic from that particular post converted on any of your website goals. You’ll only be able to see how many conversions you got from Facebook traffic in general.

Knowing how each individual recipe performs is important though because if say the cheesecake recipe converts a lot more people than a salmon recipe you will want to create more cheesecake type recipes.

Without using the Campaigns option in Google Analytics you would never know which type of post converted best and thus could not optimize for future conversions.

To track individual posts you simply need to add a Campaign parameter to a URL so that it looks something like this:

When you add “utm_campaign=” to the end of a URL then you can look under Campaigns in Google Analytics for the particular keyword that you assigned the post and see if any traffic from that post converted.

You can easily create these type of trackable URLs using Google’s URL Builder tool.

We recommend that you create a trackable URL for all of your various campaigns including but not limited to:

  • Tweets

  • Facebook posts

  • Google ads

  • Facebook ads

  • StumbleUpon ads

  • Email blasts

Simply give each link an individual campaign name. You can give the same URL multiple campaign names if you want to track different traffic sources.

For example, if you wanted to share and track the results from the cheesecake recipe on Twitter you would simply need to give the URL a unique Campaign identifier such as “utm_campaign=Cheesecake-Twitter.” You could then easily look under Campaigns in Google Analytics for “Cheesecake Twitter” and see if any of that traffic converted on your site. You could also compare it to “Cheesecake-Facebook” and see which traffic source performed better in this particular instance.

E-Commerce

If you run an e-commerce website, Google Analytics provides a few extra bells and whistles for you.

Here you can see how each of your products is selling.

Here’s an example from an online candle shop:

Using this quick snapshot you can see which of your items is pulling away as a best seller and can promote that item more heavily.

Or on the reverse side, if you see that one particular product is struggling you might begin pushing that item more so that you can get rid of it.

Your e-commerce software probably already provides you with this information, but being able to see it in Google Analytics when you are viewing your other website data can be handy.

Understand the Framework for Conversion Rate Optimization

There are some simple “best practices” for conversion rate optimization that every expert knows about.

We’ll focus on three of the most important ones today:

  • Message Match

  • Call to Action

  • Social Proof

Message Match

Message match is highly important when it comes to optimizing your site and landing pages for conversions. It means that you’re sending traffic to a page on your site that matches what they are looking for.

As an example, let’s use the cheesecake recipe from above.

When linking the Facebook audience to the cheesecake recipe, there are three options:

  • Send traffic to the homepage forcing visitors to find the cheesecake recipe on their own

  • Send traffic to a Recipes page forcing them to find the cheesecake recipe on their own

  • Send traffic directly to the cheesecake recipe

Pop quiz: Which option do you think visitors will find the least frustrating?

If you answered with the last option, you’re right. This may seem obvious but so many marketers and business owners think it’s okay to link to their homepage and make visitors search for what they want.

You should NEVER put the burden of finding information on the visitor. Just link them directly to what you’re promoting.

Here’s another example from Overland Storage.

They are running Google ads offering a whitepaper for enterprise businesses.

When you click the ad you are taken to a landing page that has clear message match. The headline of the landing page matches the ad copy, and the page does nothing else but offer the white paper for download.

Your homepage is a great catch-all for generic traffic, but if you know what someone wants based on an ad/post/etc., send them directly to what they want!

Call to Action

The Call to Action (CTA) is crucial for increasing conversions. It’s a very basic component to any landing page or website, but it simply cannot be left out.

The CTA quite literally prompts the visitor to take an action.

We’ll use our own website as an example for the inclusion of a CTA.

On our Request a Call landing page we include a CTA above the form and once again on the submission button.

Including a specific CTA (vs. something general like “submit)  is very persuasive and can easily move the needle on your conversion rate a few points.

Social Proof

Another extremely persuasive element to include on any page where you ask for a conversion is social proof.

Social proof includes things like:

  • Testimonials

  • Press badges

  • Facebook Like boxes

  • Twitter follower counts

Social proof lets visitors know that you are a legitimate company that other people endorse.

If a person is wavering on the fence between converting or not, something like a strong testimonial or social media badge can be extremely powerful and persuasive.

For instance, when Kaya introduced their Facebook count badge near the submission form they saw a 70% lift in conversions!


By adding social proof to your landing pages, how much could you improve your conversion rate?

The READY Framework

To understand more about conversion optimization, we suggest studying up on the  R.E.A.D.Y. Framework designed by conversion expert Scott Brinker.

The R.E.A.D.Y. framework will help you quickly understand the essentials for conversion rate optimization on any website or landing page.

You can learn more about the R.E.A.D.Y framework here.

Invest in A/B Testing Software

My final tip for helping you become a conversion rate expert overnight is to invest in good A/B testing software, like Unbounce or Visual Website Optimizer.

What is A/B testing? It’s what happens when you create two variations of the same landing page and split traffic in real time between the two.

There should be some small difference between the two variations. Maybe one has an orange button and one has a green button, or maybe one has a video testimonial and one has a picture testimonial.

Here’s an example from an e-commerce websitethat rearranged product page elements so that the price would be closer to the CTA button.

The original product page:

The variation tested against the original page:

The landing page variation with the button and price close together led to a 10% increase in conversions!

Conversion rate experts rely on a/b testing software to optimize their sites and landing pages for conversions – and you should too if you want to be a conversion expert.

What Next?

Using the information in this post will help you become a conversion rate expert quickly. However, the world of conversion optimization is one that never sleeps.

What works today may not work in six months. The best thing to do is to keep testing, keep researching and keep reading the Fit Marketing blog, where we’re always sharing the latest news and tips to help you become a marketing expert.

 

Image credits: Shopify.com, VisualWebsiteOptimizer.com

5 Tips for Increasing Conversions (and REVENUE) with Basic Website Design

By | Conversion | 2 Comments

Do you want to increase the number of leads and sales you receive through your website?

Start by looking at your current website design.

Did you know many simple elements such as the size of the text on your website and the simple addition of an arrow or two can positively impact your conversion rates? It’s true!

Sometimes, something as simple as adding the word “Free” to a button can garner you more leads and sales.  In fact, when software company Soocial, added the phrase “it’s free” to their sign up from their conversions increased by 4.2%!

increase conversion rates with the word free

What would a 4.2% increase in leads or sales mean for your bottom line?!

While there are many facets of web design that can positively affect conversion rates, let’s cover the top five that tend to help website owners increase their leads and sales quickly.

 

Add Directional Cues

A directional cue is something like an arrow or other line that draws the eye to an important element on a web page, usually the call-to-action.

For example, the downward pointing arrow in the Art Institute image below is a directional cue that points the viewer’s eye to the form being used for lead generation.

use directional cues to increase conversion rates

Directional cues aren’t always as explicit as arrows though, some smart web designers are able to use color blocking as directional cues.

use color blocking as directional cues

In the above example the pods in the middle are a much brighter color than the rest of the page (and even the pods below it) drawing the reader’s attention to the call-to-action.

The pose of the woman in the picture is also a subtle directional cue. Her eye gaze is pointing towards the call-to-action rather than away from it.

All of these small web design touches do a lot to help increase conversion rates.

 

Thoughtfully Select a Color Palette

When it comes to designing a web site that converts well, it is really important to consider color selection.

As mentioned in the section above, color selection can act as a directional cue, which is really important. However, color selection can help in many other ways.

For example, the color selection for your hyperlinks should easily stand out and using an underline beneath them helps to make them look more clickable.

Additionally, colors tend to be associated with different feelings, so a basic understanding of color psychology is helpful. It’s important to note that different cultures view colors differently.

In the United States we tend to associate:

  • Blue with trust and security
  • Purple as a soothing and calming color
  • Black as powerful and sleek
  • Pink as romantic and feminine
  • Yellow as optimistic and youthful
  • Red as energy and urgency
  • Orange as aggressive

Knowing these facts can help you when designing your website that tells the right story to your target audience.

 

Perfect the Readability of Your Site

Sales and informative copy is key element for increasing conversions. This means your copy must be easily readable. When designing a website that converts carefully consider font size, font color and background color.

The font size should be big enough that it is easily readable by someone with average to slightly poor eyesight. I would never recommend using a font size smaller than 12 point.

The color of the font against the background of the site is also very important.

Shari Thurow a noted usability expert says, “The highest color contrast comes from using the two colors black and white. Some Web designers like to use white against a black background because it seems to be more stylish, but it is actually more difficult to read and can lead to lower conversions.”

Thurow recommends steering clear of other hard to read combinations such as white text on a light grey background.

Your safest best will always be black text on a plain white or off-white background.

 

Use Social Proof to Sell

One of the most important key elements on any website is social proof, which can come in many different forms including:

  • Testimonials
  • Trust badges (like Verified and trustE)
  • Member statistics
  • Testimonials
  • Case studies
  • Press mentions
  • Customer logos

For example, here Zoosk uses multiple forms of social proof to increase conversions on their landing page:

example of social proof on the landing page

And on Nimble’s landing page they highlight a testimonial from Mark Cuban, someone most people will know.

testimonial on the landing page example Note that Nimble also invokes the use of an arrow as social proof!

 

Make the Site Really Useful 

The final, but perhaps most important, tip in this list for increasing conversions using web design is to make sure your site is useful.

Pretty graphics, a big call-to-action, a nice color scheme and social proof are all important, but they are helpers. They are the little things that push someone over the edge.

Knowledge about your product or service and what makes it better than the other available choices is what gets a person interested in converting. This means your website should answer basic questions any potential customer might have. It must be more than a nice looking website, it must be a useful website.

Zach Bulygo of Kissmetrics says adding an FAQ section as well as a comparison chart (of either you against your competitors or your different product levels) can boost the usefulness of your site.

pricing comparison chart example

 

The Bottom Line

While there are many tips available on ways to increase your conversion rate through good web design, the most basic rule is: build a site that is easy to use, informative and has a simple design.

The sites that convert the highest don’t tend to be the fanciest. They are the most useful and visitor friendly.

3 Facebook Ad Campaigns Critiqued for Conversion

By | Conversion, PPC, Social Media | No Comments

Have you been thinking about advertising on Facebook? With over one billion monthly active users there’s no doubt that media spend on Facebook can help you reach a large audience.

When it comes to Facebook advertising there is no minimum budget necessary which means you can start off “trying” Facebook ads without allocating a large portion of your media budget for the quarter or the year.

However, it is important to note that advertising dollars spent on Facebook are still real dollars (as opposed to monopoly money?) and you should aim to generate a return on investment from them.

Getting the Most from Your Facebook Ads

One of the most important ways to make sure your Facebook advertising dollars help you turn ad clicks into conversions (leads or sales) is to make sure you set up dedicated landing pages.

A dedicated landing page is a web page that is created specifically for an ad campaign. It usually sits on a subdomain of your website where it is not accessible by your main website visitors.

A dedicated landing page is NOT a deep link within your website.

Why is a dedicated landing page not a deep link within your website? Well, when you’re running online ads you’re paying for the people who click to visit your website. Those people didn’t do a random google search to get to your site, a very specific message caught their attention and enticed them to click.

When they land on your web page you want to make sure to show them only information that is really relevant to what made them click the ad. You want to make sure they stay focused on that information and don’t get lost clicking around through your whole site before bouncing away leaving you with negative ROI.

Dedicated landing pages tend to convert at a much higher rate than pages within a website because they are so relevant and focused.

Today I want to review some Facebook ads and their landing pages. I’ll point out what I like about each set and where I think improvements can be made. Hopefully these assessments will help you in thinking about your own Facebook ad campaigns (including landing pages!).

Let’s get started!

Facebook Ad Campaigns Critiqued for Conversion

Example #1: Extole Marketing

What I like:

  • The ad headline says “Referral Marketing Guide” and the headline for the landing page says “Get Your Referral Marketing Guide” this message match lets the visitor know right away that she is in the right spot.
  • The ad copy talks about “Word of mouth marketing” and the landing page sub-headline also talks about word of mouth marketing again reinforcing that the visitor has landed on a page that is relevant to her interest.
  • The landing page is very focused on one clear call-to-action and includes an easily scannable bulleted list of its top selling points.

What I Don’t Like:

  • The ad refers to viewing a “best practices guide” but the landing page refers to “the ultimate guide.” If I were interested in a quick guide with a few of the top tips the idea of what sounds like a heavy “ultimate” guide might steer me away from converting.

Example #2: Zulily

What I Like:

  • The ad provides a really compelling offer that immediately grabs my interest (55% off, from $17!).
  • The ad also provides a sense of urgency for clicking now (TODAY! Ends soon, shop now!).
  • The picture of the bright colored dresses really grabs my attention.

What I Don’t Like:

  • The landing page is gated; you have to sign up for a membership before you can even look at the merchandise. If I like the merchandise than I’ll be much more willing to sign up for an account.
  • Behind the sign up/sign in popup, I can see the dresses that are for sale. However, none of them really fall in line with the image used in the ad that compelled me to click. The dresses in the ad were all solid, bright colors and the dresses immediately shown on the landing page are mostly dark and patterned.
  • The ad indicated that the sale would be ending TODAY however the landing page shows that there is still over a day left to the sale. That might make me think I can come back later and still take advantage of it instead of converting right away.
  • The ad very specifically mentioned “55% off” and dresses “starting at $17” however, neither of these two price points are indicated anywhere that I can see on the landing page. It’s possible behind the popup I could see that dresses are 55% off but if I never sign up for a membership I’ll never know. That popup barrier to entry can be a real problem for conversions.

Example #3: Vyvanse 

What I Like:

  • The ad headline and copy are clear and easy to understand.
  • The ad copy includes a call-to-action “Learn more…”
  • The ad copy talks about “your child” and the ad image is of a child which matches nicely.
  • An image of a child is much more compelling than a product shot of pills or a bottle of medicine.
  • The landing page headline includes the keyterm “ADHD” in it to match up with the ad headline nicely.

What I Don’t Like:

  • The child on the landing page is not the same child as shown in the ad. When an image matches between the ad and landing page the visitor has a clear visual indicator that she is in the right spot.
  • There is no quick or clear call-to-action on the landing page.
  • There is a lot of copy and no visual cues as to where you should find the most important information.
  • The copy is very sterile. I would rewrite the copy so that it is more geared towards parents who are concerned about their children. It could have a more emotional/soft element to it.

Of these three Facebook ad and landing page examples I think the first one is really great.  I could pick through it with a fine-toothed comb and come up with a few things to change or a/b test, but overall I would expect that the campaign is converting well based on the mechanics of it. 

The other two examples serve as reminders that even though something looks good doesn’t mean it is good. These campaigns look nice at first glance but there are serious usability and conversion barriers that most likely keep them from converting as well as they should.

Get Started Now! 

So what should you do now? Think about how you might set up your own Facebook ad campaigns. Our Beginner’s Guide to Tracking Facebook ROI is a great post to read if you’re serious about Facebook advertising.

If you have any questions feel free to leave us a comment or contact us today! 

HOW TO: Keep Visitors on Your Website

By | Conversion | No Comments

By Rebecca Brebberman

At Fit Marketing, we have been building several new websites lately for our clients, and it got me thinking, what makes a good website that attracts visitors instead of driving them away? So I did a little research and came across a blog article titled “Why You’re Losing Traffic and How to Make Them Stay” by Michael Fleischner on marketingscoop.com. This article goes through the most common mistakes that drive people away from a website. His principles are mostly geared toward websites that sell products so I am going to tweak them a little bit so they apply a bit more generally.
1. Lack of a Clear Purpose
When we design a website for a client, one of the first questions we ask is “What is the purpose of your website? “ or “What do you want to accomplish with your website?” The website is then designed with that purpose or goal in mind.
If your website doesn’t clearly communicate or direct visitors to the main purpose, then it is not effective and you are going to lose visitors. If you don’t know what you want your site to communicate or accomplish, then you must answer that question before your website can be successful!
2. Making your Website too Complicated
If your website is too complicated or hard to navigate, than people are not going to stick around. Time is precious to people, and if they can’t easily find what they came to your website to find, then they are going to go somewhere else.
A tip that Fleischner suggests is to keep your copy short and to the point. You don’t have to be wordy and fancy—just get to the point and tell people what they came to your site to find out!
3. Having Too Many Distractions
If your website has too many irrelevant information or pages that distract from your website’s main purpose, people are going to get sidetracked or lose interest, which could drive them away from your site.
4. Lack of Credibility
One reason that people might be driven away from your website is if they don’t feel they can trust you. This could be for several reasons. A poorly designed website looks that looks tacky and unprofessional makes it look like you don’t know what you are doing. This is one reason people might not want to trust you. Another reason might be that your contact information is hard to find or unavailable.
If you want to build trust with people, make sure that your website is free of typos and missing images, and that you have an “About” section that tells people who you are and lets them know how to contact you.
If your website is having one or more of these problems, then it might be time to consider a redesign or update!