How to Write Convincing Sales Landing Pages Even if You’re Not a Copywriter

My Post (29)Writing killer sales landing page copy is no easy task. So we asked the best of the best to share their top tips.

The best copywriters write with two things in mind: their audience and the action they want their audience to take.

That means great writers adjust their copy for each marketing channel. While many of the writing techniques and strategies are similar, writing a landing page that converts visitors into subscribers is not the same as writing an email, social copy, or a blog post.

To help you write high-performing content for your landing pages, we asked professional copywriters to share their best writing tips.

Check out what they had to say.

Landing page copy should help people solve their frustrations and achieve their aims.

Henneke Duistermaat, Founder of Enchanting Marketing

What I see going wrong most often on landing pages is that we’re so focused on what we want to sell, that we forget to explain WHY people may want to buy it.

So, always start with sneaking into the mind of potential buyers:

  1. What problem do they want to escape? How does that problem make them feel?
  2. What aim do they want to achieve? How will that improve their lives?

A product bridges the gap between where people are right now and where they want to be. For instance, someone might buy a course to improve their LinkedIn skills because they feel they’re wasting too much time achieving nothing (that’s their frustration) and they want to get more interaction and quality business leads (that’s their aim). The landing page should describe what people will learn so they can solve their frustrations and achieve their aims.

When you align your offer with what web visitors want to achieve (and when you do so using their words), it becomes much easier to increase conversions.

Always remember: People don’t buy a product, they buy a better life.

RelatedFind out how to use your audience’s words in your writing.

Clarity will always beat complexity.

Amy Woods, Founder of Content 10x

Jargon and buzzwords sound smart, but do they sound like something an actual human would say – or buy? Would you hire a gardener or a grassland cultivation and management disruptor?

The best businesses sell their products and themselves in simple words.

Going into detail and using industry-specific language is not a sin – it’s just that you need to find the right place to do so. Your landing page needs to be laser-focused on what you do, who you do it for, and very importantly what problem you solve.

This means focusing on the end-state, not the processes and features. A gardener doesn’t sell 2 hours of horticulture, they sell a beautiful garden for you to enjoy and show off to your neighbors.

To make this clear you need to have ONE simple call to action – and make it fun! “Make My Garden Beautiful”, not “Enquire”.

Ask someone who’s never heard of your business before to look at your landing page and see if they can tell you those three essential points after 5 or 10 seconds of reading: what you do, who you do it for, and what problem you solve. – Read more

Navigating the road ahead: How consumers are adjusting to COVID-19

My Post (28)COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the way we live our lives and how we connect with the world around us. Things like social distancing, curbside pickup, and at-home workouts are now commonplace. The necessary measures taken to manage the pandemic have not only disrupted the global economy, but have also altered consumers’ interests, expectations, and purchasing behavior. These shifts are constant and they’re happening rapidly—and we want to help you navigate them. Today, we’ll share five key trends we’re seeing and provide helpful resources for adjusting your media strategy.

What’s changing with consumers?

As of this week, there are over four billion people staying home worldwide. And while we don’t know how or when this crisis will resolve, we do have new insight into how people’s needs and behaviors are changing:

People are using multiple devices to go online at unprecedented levels.

Connecting with the world online is more important than ever right now, with at-home media consumption increasing dramatically and influencing all aspects of life.

  • In the U.S., staying home has led to a 60 percent increase in the amount of content watched. Americans are watching roughly 12 hours of media content a day, according to Nielsen data.
  • Consumers across the globe are spending 20 percent more time in apps and games than they did a year ago and app usage in China grew to five hours/day on average (+30 percent year over year), according to App Annie.


People are turning to Google for important information and content to meet their essential needs.

With businesses adapting to delivery or online models, people are looking for clear, specific information about where, how, and when they can get what they need.

  • According to internal data, searches for “food delivery services” have grown globally by more than 300 percent year over year.
  • Americans are watching videos related to recipes and cooking at a rate 31 percent higher than they did the same time last year.
  • According to internal data, searches for “online pharmacy” have grown globally by more than 100 percent year over year.


People are discovering new connections and nurturing relationships (virtually).

Even as people physically distance themselves, they’re using technology in new ways to connect with each other.

  • 50 percent of U.S. consumers said they have used video to communicate with family and friends. In fact, as of April, Google Meet is hosting 3 billion minutes of video meetings and adding nearly 3 million new users everyday.
  • On YouTube, we’ve seen a rise in “with me” videos, where people film themselves going about ordinary tasks like cleaning and cooking. In the US, views of videos containing “study with me” in the title are 54 percent higher compared to the same period last year.


People are adjusting routines to be at-home-first.

As daily routines and schedules adjust to new realities, so have online and at-home habits.

  • Search interest for “telecommuting” in the U.S. reached an all-time high on Google and YouTube in mid-March, and continues to grow with no sign of slowing down.
  • Workout routines have changed. There’s growing search interest for “stationary bicycle” worldwide since the beginning of the year, especially in Spain and France, and “dumbbell set” in the UK.


People are practicing self-care more. 

People are focused on taking care of their own physical and psychological needs, in addition to those of friends and loved ones. – Read more

Ad Copy Tips For the COVID Era

My Post (27)Striking a balance between promotional and socially conscious messaging can be challenging right now. We know that Google and Facebook are actively monitoring and snubbing out inappropriate ad copy that has malicious intent (and for that, we’re grateful). That said, it’s difficult not to talk about it and empathize with our audiences.

Google is running a series of weekly webinar sessions called Mobile On Air. In their first session, from May 5th, they covered “Design and Performance in Uncertain Times”. I really enjoyed the section on design principles as it has a universal approach for ad messaging. Below are tips and thoughts on how to approach your message:

Color

Color theory and the link to psychology can help soften your ads.

  • Try to avoid red as it is often associated with error or warning messages
    • If red is one of your brand colors, reserve it for your CTA to draw attention
  • Utilize the “calm colors” or earth tones such as blues and greens
  • Use a coherent color pallet. To attract attention use complementary colors (colors directly opposite of each other on the color wheel)

Tone

The tone of your message should be caring and calm while still illustrating your business’ authority on the matter. Messaging that is too emotional can cause audiences to lose confidence in a business’s authority. Always use credible sources and statistics when making statements and own your narrative. In Kamlyn’s article PPC in the Time of COVID she remarks that consumers respond positively to sensitive ad messaging but data suggests that the majority of consumers are not turned off by your ad messaging. – Read more

How to increase online sales in three easy steps through PPC ads

My Post (26)Coronavirus and related quarantine measures led to an increase in online sales, video content consumption, and the time people spent on the internet in general. That’s why PPC ads are more relevant than ever now for your business. Well crafted ads can be a great way to improve your conversion rate and profit.

In this article, you’ll find the most common errors in contextual advertising and get practical recommendations on setting up effective ads.

The most common errors when setting up ads

1. Contactless ads

Advertisements without contact information take up less space in SERP and lose to competitors’ ads due to the fact that they are less noticeable and informative.

2. Lack of quick links and favicon

This error leads to a decrease in traffic, CTR, and means that the ad budgets will rise.

3. Ads are not optimized for the Google Display Network

A search engine ad campaign is different from one shown on the Google Display Network. If you just copy ads, you’ll not get a good result.

The main difference between campaigns on the thematic sites and in search:

  • Images are not displayed in search but on thematic sites, they must be added.
  • Advertising on thematic sites should be more creative than in search. There are many different formats in GDN you can experiment with.

4. Lack of division into the industry and regional campaigns

Without this separation, you can waste the budget. Dividing the campaign, you’ll identify which industries or regions are more effective, which part of the campaign should get more attention and budget.

5. Improper structure of PPC ads campaigns

The campaign structure does not appear from scratch but is created on the basis of internet demand and customer market analysis (customer needs and requirements, product demand, and other such parameters).

For example, you can create the following groups from your PPC campaign: On a company brand, on general keywords, on regions, on types of the product, on promotions, and on competitors.

6. The site doesn’t load when clicked

Often, a campaign is running but a server is not configured to process the labels of advertising systems. Therefore, when you click on an ad, the site may not load.

How to set up an effective PPC ads campaign

Work with contextual advertising involves continuous analysis. Before launch, it’s an analysis of the target audience, the strengths and weaknesses of the product, the activities of competitors, and niche filling. Since the situation on the market is changing dynamically, before running an advertising campaign, you should carry out a direct analysis of contextual ads, their results, as well as competitors.

Before starting a PPC campaign

As I’ve already said, you should make a deep analysis before setting up your advertisements. You should learn:

1. The target audience

These are people whose attention you want to capture and convert them into buyers.

A specialist should understand their pains, determine triggers of influence, find out which style works best to communicate with them.

You can do it with the help of different polls and surveys among your clients, talking to your customer support team, and studying your competitors.

2. The product

How are you selling the product? How is it made? How is it different from competitors? What value does it create for buyers? What are its strengths and weaknesses? You should know answers to all these questions because it’ll be rather difficult to sell a product or service without them.

3. The niche

Each business has its specifics. It can be something more familiar to each of us (for example, retail, like Amazon) or something non-standard from B2B (business to business) sphere (for example, content marketing services). Study sites from given examples to see the difference between niches.

Track Mobile Call Conversions in Google AdWords

My Post (10)80% of the internet users own and use a smartphone to browse the web, and 48% of them go to the search engines as the first step in their research for a product purchase. These numbers are only expected to increase so it’s become imperative that businesses make it easy for mobile users to access important information on their site and convert.

Good marketers know it’s important to track conversions back to the source, and Google makes it easy to track call conversions back into the AdWords platform. All it takes is two basic steps:

  1. Add a snippet of Javascript tracking code to your site
  2. Make your phone number clickable and add an onClick function

The first step is pretty easy. Google will give you the code when you go to set up the conversion and you can paste it into your site. If you’re using WordPress, many themes have a field in the settings that allows you to enter Google Analytics tracking code to your site – you could put the Google call conversion code in this same block, before or after the Google Analytics code.

The second step is necessary even though mobile devices are often able to determine automatically what is a phone number and register that the user wants to call it when they click on it. The problem is, you need to add a bit of code that tells the device to run the Javascript you added to the page when the number is clicked, which is only possible if the number is coded to be clickable.

If your phone number is an image, which is commonly the case when the phone number is in the header, then the code will look something like this: – Read more

Fact-checking six more rumours about how search is changing

My Post (8)Separating fact from fiction in SEO can be really difficult.

In a previous post, I looked at the validity of five popular rumours from across the search industry. In this follow-up, I focus on analysing the real impact of another six similar claims that are regularly doing the rounds.

Rumour 1: Mobile indexing changes everything

Desktop is no longer the single source of truth for Google indexing. Demonstrating this, I saw an example where a company’s desktop search results showed the same ‘jump marks’ (links to subheads within content) as on mobile search. The trouble was, there was nothing associated with these subheads on the desktop version of their site, perplexing the company (and myself). So, in this case, Google was indexing the client’s mobile site – including the links that were present – and showing it on desktop too.

You, therefore, need to act accordingly. Most SEO teams still run tests on desktops; but if Google is crawling your mobile version, you need to run everything – all your tests and all your health checks – on mobile too, preferably on a real smartphone to get the full experience.

There are also significant differences in the numbers of hyperlinks between mobile and desktop. A study from Moz crawled 20,000 homepages and checked if home page links were the same between the two. Thirteen percent were different and – when crawling in more depth – 63% of external links turned out to only exist on desktop. This means you might have created a lot of desktop backlinks that don’t exist or help your rankings on mobile. Again, check and act accordingly.

Rumour 2: Ranking factors are dead

It is easy to draw the wrong conclusions when analysing SEO best practices. Take the average length of articles. At Searchmetrics we looked at the word count for articles that ranked in the top 10 for Google results. The average across a range of different topics and keywords was 1,692 words. Does that make writing nearly 1,700 words best practice?

Dig into the data and the answer is clearly “no”. If you split it by industry it varies greatly – from 700 words for camping up to 2,500 for financial planning.

The same point applies to all ranking factors – there are some industries or searches where a factor has a high correlation with search position and others where it doesn’t. For example, when I search for “buy trainers” online, seeing lots of small images is probably good as it helps me make a choice faster. However, if I search for “buy Air Force One Black size 6” it makes more sense to show a couple of large pictures as my intent is clearer. Google understands this, meaning that different factors will be important depending on the intent of the search.

Rumour 3: BERT changes everything

Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, or BERT to its friends, is Google’s Natural Language Processing algorithm that was rolled out in September 2019.

I’ve heard so many rumours about BERT – the worst ones being that it is related to schema and that URLs get a BERT score, which influences how they rank. Both are simply untrue. If you check on third-party tools, you’ll see little SERP fluctuation in the week BERT was announced. Actually, you will not even find agreement among SEOs on the exact date that BERT was – supposedly – rolled out.

The reason for this is that BERT’s actual focus is on recognising words and looking at their relationships and using that to understand the searcher’s intent more accurately. Take a search for “train from Leeds to Liverpool.” In the past, if you had the phrase “fly from Paris to London and then take a train to Liverpool with no stop in Leeds” on your website, you could have ranked for the search – because you had all the individual words present. Now BERT recognises that there is a relationship between the individual words.

So, the only rankings you would lose because of BERT are those where you didn’t really fulfil the search intent. Yes, BERT is a big change for Google in terms of how it processes queries and language but not a huge update in terms of ranking. – Read more

Ad Spend During Coronavirus: Paid Traffic Trends

My Post (7)With the Covid-19 outbreak, ad spend is on the decline. But how can your business make the most out of the crisis?

Before we mention how the coronavirus pandemic impacts online ad spend, keep in mind the changing consumer behavior. We are seeing an unprecedented increase in people staying indoors.

This means people are spending a significant share of their lives online. And we will most likely see this behavior remain for a considerable amount of time when the pandemic ends.

Some observed ongoing trends: 

  • People are spending more time online.
  • Businesses and their marketing teams get more hesitant when making decisions about ad spend.
  • People are waiting for governments to ease restrictions so they can “go back to normal.”
  • People’s purchasing power is significantly down.

So, how can brands reconcile these trends and make sound decisions on their ad spend?

COVID-19: The Current Ad Spend Landscape

Coronavirus was initially compared to the 2008 financial crisis, but as time went on, we saw more and more associations with the Great Depression of the 1930s. As the crisis has worsened, it looks like we will face the greatest recession in the world’s economy since that time.

Pandemic Impact on Consumers

With worldwide unemployment figures hitting a record high, almost no country is exempt from this trend. The US is seeing an unprecedented number of people filing for unemployment.

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And this, of course, negatively impacts buyers’ confidence and consumer spending, even for those less affected by the coronavirus crisis.

However, according to SEMrush data, the “buy online” keyword skyrocketed in March globally for up to 27K+ searches per month. So, it seems that users are ready to spend online and do some online shopping, while the real shopping experience is still far away.

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Pandemic Impact for Advertisers

By and large, the ad spend has dropped dramatically. And this is true for both large and small brands — from your local brick-and-mortar grocery to multinationals.

Digging deeper into SEMrush data, when we compare February 2020 to March 2020 stats, we see a huge shift in digital ad spend. – Read more

How to Start a Blog That Makes Money Right Now

My Post (2).pngStarting a blog is a great way to generate extra income. Even better, it’s something you can do in a few easy steps. If you’re committed to monetizing your blog, you can begin earning money today.

The key to success is being committed. While it’s true that most blogs fail, there are reasons for their lack of success. As with any endeavor, you’ve got to put in the work. When it comes to blogging, that means going through the right steps to get set up, publishing regularly, and ensuring your content is engaging.

Need some motivation? Just take a look at some of the most successful bloggers today. For example, blogger Pat Flynn earned over $127,000 in one month with his blog Smart Passive Income. Food blogger Lindsay Ostrom uses her Pinch of Yum blog to earn $66,000+ every month.

You can replicate these bloggers’ success by setting up your own blog and adding content people want to read.

Ready to get started? Let’s look at the 7 steps you need to launch your blog and start seeing your income grow.

1. Sign up for Bluehost

Before you can start blogging, you need a website hosting company. There are several web hosting services to choose from, but Bluehost offers a unique combo of affordability and comprehensive services.

Here are some of the features you can expect when you sign up with Bluehost:

  • Free domain name
  • 24/7 customer service, which really comes in handy when you’re stumped by a technical problem
  • Unlimited storage
  • Unlimited domains (starting with Plus plan)
  • Automatic site backups
  • Extremely competitive prices

The last feature is perhaps the most important one. If you want to start out with one website/blog, you can go with the Basic plan, which will cost you just $3.95 per month. – Read More

The 6 Questions Every Business Needs to Ask Themselves During COVID-19

My Post (21).pngFind out how this entrepreneur started to think differently and scale her business.

Vino 301 Wine Concierge’s core business, providing wine tours and tastings in Maryland vineyards, came to a crashing halt during COVID-19.

When a two week shelter in place order quickly turned into more than two months, owner Leslie Frelow knew she needed to figure out something fast or she might no longer have a business.

Frelow took a hard look at why people use their service and dramatically shifted her business model by asking herself 6 essential questions.

How Frelow got unstuck and pivoted her business during social distancing.

The main reason Vino 301 Wine Concierge’s customers book a wine tour is to celebrate a milestone with people they care about and to learn a little bit about wine. It’s a fun way to connect with people, bond over a shared experience, celebrate an occasion, and learn something new.

But COVID-19 ended wine tours. “With COVID-19, you can’t have a whole bunch of people in a vehicle together. COVID just really stopped us at first,” says Frelow.

Frelow took some time to reflect on her business and then completely changed her business model.  Part of that process was taking the time to ask important questions about her business that helped lead her to create new revenue streams and scale her business to new heights.

The 6 questions every business needs to ask themselves during a crisis.

Question 1: What value am I delivering with my product and service?

Frelow focused on what her customers loved about the experience and how she could still deliver the experience in a different way. If her customers could not come to the vineyard due to social distancing, maybe she could bring the vineyard experience to her customers.

She figured out a way to create a virtual wine experience with email marketing and Zoom that allowed the same structure of the wine tasting that her customers loved.

Before the wine tasting, the host of the wine party receives an email with a list of wine selections and tasting supplies. Depending on your location, Vino 301 Wine Concierge can deliver the wine to the customer’s home or provide wine recommendations and wine descriptions so wine could be purchased at a local liquor store.

“We kind of coined it as, ‘it’s a little more than a zoom login and some wine, because we actually do take people through the basics on how to taste wine, how to read a wine label, how to  discern what is being poured … all in a really fun environment,” says Frelow. – Read more

6 Best Practices For Effective Landing Pages

My Post (11).pngIf the current climate has affected your website traffic, positively or negatively, it may be time to focus on conversion rate optimization (CRO). When it comes to user experience, specifically on high-traffic landing pages, I generally focus on 6 best practices. I described these in even more depth in my latest webinar, Improve Your Website (and sales) Immediately with CRO

1. Congruence (Message Match)

This is one of the most important pieces connecting PPC and CRO. The idea here is to create an experience that is as seamless and thoughtless as possible for users. Ads and landing pages should be congruent both visually and lingually to make conversion the logical next step. A congruent experience also helps to add trust and security (a best practice I will touch more on later).

Another aspect of congruence is to make sure the intent of the ad is matched with the landing page. The basic idea here is that the more specific the ad is, the more specific the landing page needs to be, and conversely, the more general the ad is, the more general the page should be.

2. Clarity

Another important aspect to consider when revamping or creating landing pages is clarity. Ensuring that users understand the purpose of your landing page is key. This is often achieved in the headline and sub-headline. Here, you’ll want to avoid using a tagline or generic sentences that force the users to really think about what the site is offering and can create a negative impression of the brand.

*Tip – check out reviews of your product/service. These can be helpful to make sure you are speaking your users’ language and that you create a message that resonates with them.

3. Digestible Content

This is basically the rest of the copy on the page. Here you’ll want to make sure users understand why they should choose your brand over a competitor, and quickly. Keep your copy readable, both in design and comprehension.

  • For design, ensure you are using a large enough font, and if you have text over an image, that there is enough contrast between the copy and image.
  • Utilizing things like bullet points and headlines will help break up the copy and make it more digestible, which can help with comprehension.
  • Limit the use of large paragraphs as users tend to read these less.
  • Another important area of content is microcopy which is often used to ease doubts and fears of the users throughout the conversion process. Microcopy can usually be found close to conversion actions, making it even more crucial. The key thing to remember for microcopy is that it should provide additional clarity and be helpful to users.

4. Clear Imagery

For all imagery, including a hero image, keep it relevant. Going back to clarity, your images should help provide another layer of clarity and understanding. It can be used to explain processes or give an example of the product/service offered. From a design standpoint, imagery can be used to help guide users through the page with things like directional cues. – Read more