Comprehensive Guide to Website Usability Testing (With Tools and Software to Help)

My Post (6)Marketers know that website usability testing is one of the most effective ways to optimize your site. Whether you’re troubleshooting low conversion rates and engagement or proactively trying to prevent them, testing your site for usability is the best way to diagnose problems (or potential problems) and find the right solution.

We’ve noticed that a lot of the guides out there treat usability testing like a one-step thing. They tell you how to make changes to your website and test them.

But based on our experience working with hundreds of thousands of companies over the past 14 years, we believe conducting a website usability study right requires 3 steps:

  1. Getting a background on how people currently use your site
  2. Identifying usability problems and hypothesizing about the cause(s)
  3. Making changes, testing, and iterating on solutions.

Without the first two steps, those changes are no more than a shot in the dark. You end up with a bunch of data that doesn’t point to any clear-cut problems or solutions. In short, you end up without any actionable takeaways from the testing.

Below, we share the full three-step process for web usability testing that we recommend to our customers. Then we talk about some of the software and tools that can help you accomplish that process and pull actionable insights out of the testing process.

Why You Should Test Your Website for Usability

Before we go any further, we want to make sure we’re on the same page about what website usability testing is and why it matters. Simply put, website usability testing is a process of looking into how visitors use your website and then identifying areas of friction or difficulty for them.

While optimizing your website for conversions is a noble goal in itself, there are a few other key reasons why marketers should do website usability testing:

  • Testing for usability helps you better understand what website visitors are doing, including whether their behavior diverges from what you expect or ideally want them to do on your site.
  • Running website usability tests can also help to explain many of the anomalies you might see in your Google Analytics data — adding a layer of why to what users are doing.
  • Usability testing gives you a mechanism for website design decisions and overall user experience in a data-driven way. Instead of guessing your way through the development process, you can design for what you know will encourage users to convert.
  • Lastly, when you test your website’s usability regularly, it enables you to continuously boost conversions and better accomplish website goals.

Website Usability Testing Methods and the Process We Recommend

Now that we have that squared away, let’s get into that three-step process we mentioned before.

Step 1: Run Baseline Heatmaps and Recordings

Before you do any usability testing or make changes to your website, it’s absolutely vital that you take a step back to understand the current state of things.

It’s easy to see low conversions in Google Analytics and immediately assume your call-to-action (CTA) copy isn’t compelling enough. But there are a lot of different reasons for low conversion rates — and changing up the copy won’t solve many of them. For example, your CTA may be placed farther down the page than most people scroll. Or you may have a pop-up that blocks users from the CTA on certain devices or screen sizes.

That’s why gathering as much information as possible about how real users are currently behaving on your website is the first step. It gives you a baseline idea of how people are moving through your website and some insight into why they’re behaving as they are.

Crazy Egg Heatmap Testing

Heatmap reports show you where users are clicking and the frequency of clicks across a page.

To do that, you can run heatmap reports and session recordings on the primary pages you want to test.

  • If you aren’t sure about the path users take through your website, it’s best to go big here — gathering as much data as you can on your most important pages.
  • If you’ve spent time mapping out your conversion funnel and know where the breakdown is happening, you can focus your heatmaps and recordings on the problem pages specifically.

Step 2: Identify Points of Friction and Hypothesize Causes

Once you have a baseline understanding of user click behavior on your website, you can start to identify usability issues: areas where users are running up against friction that blocks them from taking the next step you want them to take.

At this step, you can bring in data from Google Analytics and any other website analytics tools you use. This data can help you narrow your focus on the web pages showing problematic conversion or engagement numbers.

Diagnosing Friction on Your Website

From there, you can diagnose “friction” depending on the type of page you’re looking at.

On your homepage, for example, it’s normal to see visitors taking different paths. You might see some users click on your CTA and convert right away; others will travel deeper into your site to learn more about the company and your products. Some might jump to your blog in search of case studies on how your product works for other companies. – Read more

7 Website Conversion Optimization Best Practices

My Post (2)For the past year at BiggerPockets, we have been testing ways to drive up our free membership sign up conversion rate.  BiggerPockets is an online resource for real estate investors, with education and tools designed to help people seeking financial freedom through real estate investing.

I run the conversion-rate optimization program at BiggerPockets, which has been focusing on driving free membership signups for the past 9 months. In that time, we’ve been able to increase our free signup conversion rate by 81%.

If you take all of the successful tests we’ve run and group them into themes, seven core categories emerged. Below, I’m sharing these seven types of acquisition tests we’ve run at BiggerPockets, with real experiment examples and data, so you can start leveraging these with your own experimentation team.

1. Social Proof

The power of community cannot be overstated for every website. Most simply put: When people see that other people like them are doing something, they begin to perceive that action as more valuable (it must be if everyone else is doing it!). You can put this concept into action on your website by finding ways to communicate to your users what their peers are doing on your website.

At BiggerPockets, we’ve had success with this concept in a number of places. Most notably, we used it on our homepage to to drive an increase in our sign up conversion rate:

Hypothesis: If users see that other members of the Biggerpockets community are signing up, they will see more value in signing up. This will result in more users filling out the signup form.

What we tested: Added text to our sign up form that said “X,XXX” people have joined BiggerPockets this week

Results: +6% increase in sign up conversion 

conversion optimization social proof

As a final note I will add: We have found that this concept works well on our free sign-up flows but is less likely to work on conversion for higher dollar items (E.g. our $390 BiggerPockets Pro membership). It’s important to consider your different audience cohorts in experimentation and how motivations may be different.

2. Call to Action: Lower User’s Commitment

When a user lands on your website, asking them to make a $400 purchase within 5 minutes is like proposing to somebody on the first date. Asking them to take one tiny step towards using your website is much more palatable. I recommend analyzing all of your registration calls-to-action (CTAs) to ensure you are not overstating the commitment a user is making by clicking on that button.

For example: On the BiggerPockets bookstore, we have a page which lists every book we sell (essentially a product-listing page for those familiar with retail). For a long while, our CTAs on this page said “Buy Now.” However, by clicking on the button the user was not actually making a purchase. Instead, they were linked to a page which gave the user more details about the book they were considering purchasing. We tested changing this CTA from “Buy Now” to simply “Book Details” to reflect the true commitment the user was making by clicking the link.

conversion optimization call to action

Hypothesis: If we change the bookstore CTA from “Buy Now” to “Book Details”, users feel like they are making less of a commitment when they click the CTA and be more likely to explore what the book is about.

What we tested: Changed bookstore CTAs from “Buy Now” to “Book Details” – Read more

5 Ways SEO & Web Design Go Together

My Post - 2020-02-13T165102.133.pngWhen you’re trying to improve your website’s performance, it’s important to remember that you have to focus on numerous factors simultaneously.

In both life and digital marketing, we tend to give all of our attention to one or two important elements while neglecting something else that can turn out to be equally as important.

If you want to do better in the SERPs, it takes more than just SEO.

Your website also needs to be designed well, or you risk squandering all of that organic equity you have been building.

SEO and web design work together more seamlessly than many people might realize.

Their components mingle and flow together so well that, when executed correctly, your website visitors should not actually notice anything about what you have created; they should simply start navigating through your site.

So, what are those elements where SEO and web design collaborate? Check out these five ways they are used together.

1. Mobile-Friendliness

Anyone who’s even slightly familiar with SEO or web design should already know the importance of making your website mobile-friendly.

In fact, if this isn’t something you’ve taken the time to do yet, you’re already a few years behind.

Google made mobile-friendliness a ranking factor in 2015. That’s half a decade ago.

The search giant then introduced mobile-first indexing in 2017. It’s clear to see how importantly Google views mobile-friendliness, but many websites still haven’t caught on.

The number of people searching on desktops has been declining for a few years now, while the number of people searching on mobile devices has been steadily increasing.

More than half of all web traffic is coming from mobile devices, which means that more than half of your audience is also likely to be on their mobile phones.

Without a mobile-friendly website design, you could be accidentally alienating half of your users. That is massive.

A website with a high bounce rate due to not loading properly on a phone or tablet is going to send bad signals to Google, and your rankings could plummet.

2. Easy-to-Read Design

If you’ve been working on improving your SEO, content is likely something that you have spent a lot of time on.

Some people might not realize what a huge impact the design of a website can have on your content, or at least the presentation of it.

Poor web design can make it impossible for users to read what they came to your website to do.

Pages with blocks of content in strange places, with too many hyperlinks that don’t serve a clear purpose, essentially erases any audience that you managed to bring onto your site.

And if no one can get the information they want, what’s the point?

At some point, you’ve probably been on a website that had text that was impossible to read because of the page design.

Maybe it was a light-colored text on a pure white background or a dark color on black. Those kinds of designs recall the often terrible websites of the mid- to late 1990s.

But the issue is not always color. The text may also be too big or small, or written in a hard-to-read font.

Like websites that aren’t mobile-friendly, sites that are difficult to read on any device or desktop are going to turn people away quickly.

Web designers understand how to create websites that make it easy for users to take in your content so you get the most for your money.

White space, line length, and any extra elements such as images can all affect how people pay attention to your site. Also, remember to consider people with disabilities by going for an inclusive web design format. – Read more

The 11 Landing Page Best Practices to Swear By

My Post - 2020-02-13T131148.944.pngIf you’re in marketing, you’re no stranger to landing pages. We’ve all clicked through an interesting ad looking for more information and abandoned the landing page because it was too confusing or didn’t hold enough information. And if we’re paying attention, we usually take note of what not to do with our own landing pages.

But what about what we need to do to keep those visitors? Whether you’re using a plug-and-play solution like Marketo or Hubspot or Unbounce to make your landing pages or you’re having an in-house dev team build them out, you can swear by these 11 landing page best practices for better pages and, of course, more conversions.

1. Align your landing page with the goal of your ad campaigns

Now, I think landing pages are harder to create than ads, so I think this tip should be the other way around. But others disagree. Either way, when you’re setting up a landing page, keep your eye on the prize. What ad campaigns will drive traffic to this page? What’s the goal?

Based on that, make sure the language on the page echoes the language in your ads or vice-versa. If your ad says, “Get free internet! Learn how here,” then your landing page should explain exactly how to get free internet. Badda-bing-badda-boom, you have a new customer.

2. Simplify your forms
Though forms can be an important part of landing page design, I’m not going to dive in too deep since we have another (far more helpful) post on that here. But rule of thumb: Never ask for more information than you need. Try to keep it under seven fields of input. Appreciate white space. When in doubt, always keep it simple.

3. Test your copy and CTA
Speaking of keeping it simple, let’s talk landing page copy. Anytime you’re writing copy for a designed page, keep the layout in mind. You don’t want your audience to be staring down a wall of text that they need to comb through to get to the point. When you can, use bullet points, headers, and subheads to drive your point home concisely.

But as always, test your copy. And test your CTA. And then test some more copy. And then test CTAs again. You’re never going to know what resonates with your audience until the numbers tell you the truth.

You’re going to have to trust me that this landing page has been tested against other copy and different forms and different CTAs. Turns out, competing in AdWords (without just raising bids) is pretty compelling.

4. Keep the design straightforward and easy to navigate
Have you ever landed on a page and just … gotten lost? It’s happened to me. I’ll be looking to buy concert tickets and all of a sudden, I just can’t find the “Buy Now” button because there are too many dropdowns and display ads and distractions.

Don’t lose conversions because of this. Your landing page design should reflect your brand colors and look like something you’d want to include on your website. Along with keeping your forms simple, you want to make the whole page navigable.

5. Leverage case studies and social proof
This tip is easy. Any time you can leverage the nice things your customers have said about you, do it. If you don’t have a large cache of compliments, you can lean on logos instead. Just make sure you have permission!

There are a few different platforms that will integrate with your landing pages to keep reviews fresh, like Yelp, Google My Business, and Trustpilot. You can even use simple embed codes. Keep these reviews at the bottom of the page so you don’t distract from the action you want your audience to take. These should be also related to the headline describing the action, or else your audience will get pretty confused.

Munchery popped in some reviews from Trustpilot on their landing page and magically made the section simple and appealing, without distracting from the action above.

Read more

6 Types of User Behavior to Track on Your Website & the Tools to Do It

My Post - 2020-01-20T170351.928.pngWe work hard in our roles whether in SEO, paid search, or other aspects of digital and broader marketing trying to get people to our websites.

Websites are focal points for our messaging and getting our audiences to take key actions that we can monetize.

While large brands and marketing firms often have roles and teams that are responsible for the performance of websites, once a visitor enters them through to the final goal or conversion, that’s not the reality for most of us.

Most of us have to rely on our own tools and abilities to monitor user behavior on our sites with the goal of finding ways to improve moving users through the funnel to ultimately get to our conversion goals.

Or, worse yet, we’re leaving that up to chance as we’re already overloaded working on driving organic and paid traffic to our sites to keep the top of the funnel full.

Regardless of where we find ourselves, there are distinct categories of user behavior and we can dig into and specific tools to make our lives easier working to evaluate and improve each of them.

1. User Experience

User experience (UX) is probably the broadest category of user behavior and it could be argued that all user behavior is impacted by it.

It can be difficult to track and measure and often requires collaboration between designers, developers, and marketers if you or your team don’t have a specific role for it.

Behavior to Track

  • In-page clicks & mouse movement
  • Scroll depth
  • User navigation patterns
  • Live visitors
  • Recordings
  • Site speed

How to Get the Data

There are great tools on the market that give us the depth and quality of information that Google Analytics lacks.

We can watch individual visitors live as they navigate through our sites or recordings of their sessions with tools like Lucky Orange, Crazy Egg, and Hotjar.

We also have the ability to review aggregated data and visualizations of how deep visitors scroll, where their mouse pointer goes on the screen, how much time they spend on pages, and much more.

There’s a lot to be gained in these third-party tools beyond what GA can provide and it is important to look at both together to get a complete picture of user experience.

What to Do with the Data

With in-page user experience data you can make decisions that will:

  • Help retain visitors on pages.
  • Ensure they see the content you want them to.
  • Learn how to improve navigation flow to nudge them along to the next page or call to action.

Understanding how users actually use the site versus how you planned or wanted them to is a critical aspect to know and interpret from the data you can collect in user experience tools.

2. Content Performance

Content is fuel for marketing.

It is the foundation and reason why someone comes to our sites.

It’s also what they engage with, whether they spend hours and dozens of visits to our site or if they are coming to a single landing page and converting.

Behavior to Track

  • Popularity
  • Sharing
  • Engagement
  • Bounces & Exits

How to Get the Data

Google Analytics is a great direct source of content performance data.

With it we can filter and track which pages are most popular, which search terms (if we have configured GA to see site search data) are being searched, frequency and repeat visits, and what content has the most bounces and exits.

By default, most of these metrics are tracked in GA and we simply have to drill down and filter our way to seeing each layer and meaningful data point.

What to Do with the Data

When we have data showing us what content is getting the most engagement within the site, how people are getting to the content, and what they are doing when they consume it and move to a next step, we can further shape and refine our content strategies.

This includes blog content and impacts the editorial calendar. It also can spell out changes for evergreen content about products or services.

Coupling the content data with the UX data noted previously, we can paint a picture of how we should format our content into sections, pages, sub-pages, and make it as consumable as possible.

3. Conversion Rate Optimization

Conversions are defined by us. They are what we want our site visitors to do.

Whether it is an ecommerce transaction, a lead form submission, or certain subsets of engagement goals, we are typically measuring performance toward a goal.

Optimizing the number of conversions per the number of visits is key to make sure the site is performing at as well as it could and should.

Additionally, the path leading immediately up to a conversion is important.

When we have prospects ready to inquire or buy, we need to get out of their way and make it easy to do. The steps directly leading to conversions have to be measured.

Behavior to Track

  • Funnel
  • Checkout process
  • Variable testing
  • Form testing

How to Get the Data

There are several great tools to help with CRO.

These range from Google Analytics to UX tools (e.g., Lucky Orange) to variable testing tools (e.g., Optimizely).

With these tools we can gain insight into how people go through our defined conversion funnels like checkout or form submission processes.

We can also perform variable testing and see how different forms, content, and pages perform.

There’s power in gaining insights into what form field causes users to bail from a conversion process or what page is tripping them up in checking out. – Read more

Not Using Landing Pages in Your Ecommerce Email Marketing? Here’s Why You Should

My Post - 2020-01-20T124507.628.pngWe’ve all had it happen. You meticulously craft an ecommerce email campaign that’s gonna help you sell a ton of products. You build a beautiful HTML template, write engaging copy, and A/B test your subject line. You implement an obvious and compelling call to action.

And after all that work, the landing page that your email directs folks to has a high bounce rate—or worse, a low conversion rate.

What gives?

It could be that your emails are writing checks your click-through destination can’t cash. If you send out a 15% off promotion for dog treats and link your audience to someplace with no mention of the discount, visitors are gonna be confused—and they’ll lose interest in a hurry.

Bottom line: Failing to match the messaging in your email with the copy and visuals on your landing page will hurt your conversion rate.

Maybe you already know it’s a problem, but you feel like you don’t have the resources to pair all of your offers with campaign-specific pages. Fortunately, there’s an easy fix. Here’s why you need to match your emails to your landing pages in your next ecommerce campaign, and how you can do it really, really well.


The Real Reasons Your Email Subscribers Aren’t Buying

Let’s be honest. Sometimes in marketing, you can get away with doing less—and that’s a problem.

Email marketing offers some of the best ROI in the business. When you’ve already got someone’s email address, you can expect them to open 14% of the emails you send, with click-through rates just under 7% overall. Estimates suggest that there’s $44 of revenue generated for every dollar spent on email marketing.

With stats like these, you can just half-butt your ecomm email promotions and still do pretty good, right?

Not exactly. If your emails are paired with landing pages that have high bounce rates or low conversion rates, you’re not just leaving money on the table—you’re also bombarding your potential customers with marketing that just doesn’t resonate.

Here are some of the common reasons email promos underperform:

1. Your storefront product page isn’t enough

Data indicates the average bounce rate is 9%, even with load times of less than two seconds. If you’ve seen higher bounce rates on the destination page of your email promos, it might be that you’re not linking to a relevant enough page in the first place.

Your online store’s product pages are specific no-no’s for this purpose. They’re often short, lack details mentioned in your email, and don’t create a consistent experience from click to click.

2. You’ve got too many escape routes

Another problem with your online store’s product pages is that it’s too easy for customers to get distracted and leave. Think about all of the escape routes: website menus, product navigation, highlighted deals that have nothing to do with your email.

Your ecommerce landing page needs to be built as a distraction-free, conversion-optimized funnel. Always encourage your customers to go forward, not sideways.

3. You’re a victim of the paradox of choice

Even if you cut down on the escape routes, too many options can lead to fewer conversions. As Barry Schwartz explains in his book, The Paradox of Choice: “What we don’t realize is that the very option of being allowed to change our minds seems to increase the chances that we will change our minds.”

The same is true for your visitors. Landing pages with just one call to action have been shown to have 2% higher conversion rates than those with five or more.

4. Your landing page is trying to do too much

When your landing pages are more specific, you can get away with using fewer words. You may also find that it’s better for your conversion rates: landing pages with less copy tend to outperform pages with too much copy at a rate of 14% to 11%. – Read more

Measure twice, cut once

My Post (99).pngWeb Performance Testing Tools and Tips

Many organizations struggle with site load times and have yet to adopt the right measurement tools or processes to improve it. As the product manager for Optimizely Web, naturally, I’m passionate about web page performance because it’s a major influence on the user experience and your business goals. To help our customers deliver snappy experiences for their end-users, we recently launched Performance Edge. It enables performant experimentation at scale, by reducing the impact on site speed. If you are ready to supercharge experiments on your most performance-sensitive pages with Optimizely, or you are starting to think about setting site speed goals for the year, following the best practices below will help your team improve performance scientifically.

Prioritize Performance.  Latency negatively impacts the user experience.  Your site’s KPIs are a function of the user experience.  It’s as simple as that.

Measure the right numbers. Many teams struggle to measure performance accurately. They lack focus when it comes to the metrics that matter. These metrics indicate how your performance is shaping the user experience. For example, Time to First Contentful Paint (FP/FCP) will let you measure the time it takes for a user to see something material on the page. It detects when the first major visible element, such as a hero image, renders. FCP is a pretty standard metric, and many tools like webpagetest support this out of the box.

Better yet, measure Time to First Meaningful Paint (FMP). FMP captures how long it takes a meaningful element to load. It’s up to you to decide which element makes the paint meaningful for your users. At Optimizely, I work on A/B testing products that modify web elements as the browser loads them. The element tested in variations of a given experiment, is the one that we consider meaningful. Time to Interactive (TTI) is when a visitor can click or tap and is important overall page performance health. Still, given that it is the outcome of even more resources loading in the browser than other metrics mentioned, it is less useful for identifying specific actions you can take to improve.

Use the right tools.  Synthetic testing tools (with network throttling to mimic mobile) help give you an initial read, but there is no substitute for real-world traffic. Using real traffic is called Real User Monitoring (RUM). It is important to make sure your RUM collects info like the visitor’s browser/device and location so you can slice your data later (more on that below). Synthetic tools work too, sometimes letting you mimic mobile traffic, but they usually suffer from a limited sample size issue.

Use the right analysis technique. Performance data is involved. There can be lots of variance and outliers. Visitors’ devices and locations are literally all over the map. Performance timings tend to be unstable over time. Most sites are built on or with dozens of 3rd party technologies like CDNs, frontend frameworks, A/B testing tools, databases, and APIs, to name a few. Your data is unlikely to reflect a perfect bell-curve. That is, it’s probably not normally distributed and will have a long tail due to outliers.

The best way to analyze website performance in the face of noise is to segment your visitors’ requests, measure it over time to account for seasonality, examine a large sample size, and use percentiles. Using averages instead will cloud your understanding because a small number of hanging requests (due to things like a CDN cache miss or spotty connection) will move the average…towards the outliers.

Segment your visitors.  Imagine a file loading in a browser – the main HTML document, a JavaScript bundle, or even an image. In this scenario, you measure the time to download (this is often a contributing factor to the metrics above). What influences how long that file takes to load? A lot of things, but the most important ones are connection speed and file size. We’ll talk about file size later on and focus on connection speeds here. Connection speed depends on the network (Wifi, 4G, 3G, etc.), as well as the bandwidth of the device and the location of the visitor. These two combined partially explain why mobile browsing is slower than your MacBook Pro at home. If you happen to work on a site with global visitor traffic, you’re likely to have visitors in parts of the world with slower connectivity like India, Africa, and Southeast Asia. What’s more, given how cheap data plans are nowadays, it is more likely for an internet user to be on a mobile device. Finally, mobile devices usually have lower CPU power, so executing JavaScript takes longer as well.

Use less code and split it up.  Aside from connection speed, the strongest factor in a file’s load time is its size. Big files take longer than small files. Slow networks and limited bandwidth exacerbate this. Some files are JavaScript code that needs to be executed by the browser as well. In this capacity, more code takes longer to run. When it comes to A/B testing, we recommend reducing the amount of code with Performance Edge and Custom Snippets. It also helps to split your code up into smaller chunks so that only what’s necessary loads initially, then load everything else when you need it.

Run proper tests.  When you want to improve your site’s performance, a) not everything is a silver-bullet, and b) you should measure and communicate the impact of the changes you’re making. Testing helps quantify any tradeoffs you’re making and enables you to communicate the impact of your work. – Read more

7 Thank You Page Examples That Can Boost Visitor Experience in 2020

My Post - 2019-11-27T110622.266.pngTypically, a thank you page loads after a conversion has happened on your website, making it a step beyond your conversion funnel.

But, have you ever given a thought that even this very page can get you repeat conversions?

For most marketers, a thank you page is nothing more than a means to express their gratitude to their users for making a purchase on their website or subscribe to their newsletters. But, a thank you page has the prowess to encourage prospects to take many other desired actions on your site than just accepting your acknowledgement. They can give your business countless conversion opportunities and even increase revenues manifold.

If there’s one page that can serve as a goldmine for your website – it’s not your product pages or the check out page, rather… it’s the ‘thank you’ page.

In this blog, we’ll walk you through some smart thank you page examples to extend your conversion funnel beyond the Thank You page and scale up your conversion rate.

Smart Ways to Use your Thank You Page

Ask for Referrals

Getting new business onboard is often an ongoing challenge for most online businesses. But there’s one smart channel which, when utilized properly, can turn into a great source of revenue: referrals. As per a survey conducted by Ogilvy, nearly 74% of people identify word-of-mouth as one of the primary key influencers in their purchasing decision. Hence, it’s no surprise that most businesses invest a lot in asking customers to refer them to their friends and family.

For example, Hubspot uses its thank you page to get more referrals from its customers.

thank you page for hubspot.com lead generation

The company believes that when a customer is content with their services and is ready to sign up on their platform, they’ll be more than happy to refer them to their peers.  – Read more

Why Your Thank You Page Is Costing You Money (& How to Fix It)

My Post - 2019-11-21T130525.166.pngThe experts tell you that a targeted user on Facebook clicks on your ad, downloads your lead magnet from the landing page, gets warmed up by your email sequence, and finally attends your core offer of a sales call and then you easily close the deal.

You figure the experts know what they are talking about – so you set up your funnel, launch your campaign and lean back in your chair figuring it is probably time to get fitted for a bathing suit so you can dive into your pool of money like Scrooge McDuck.

After a couple of days, you take a look at your ad metrics.

Great click-through rate, great CPA for ebook downloads – but no sales call bookings at all.

Users click your ad, download the lead magnet, and then just disappear into the abyss like Brendan Fraser’s acting career.

Your emails go unread and unopened.

This is frustrating. At best.

In an attempt to salvage the campaign, you decide to abandon the ebook funnel all together and just put the core offer of the sales call on the landing page.

Now users won’t even click the ad.

Your relevance score plummets, you pay more per click, and the email list you do have is full of prospects who either are uninterested in speaking with you or forgot your company altogether.

Your wasted money and time.

That pool of money you were thinking of diving into is just an empty hole.

The Problem: You Present the Core Offer at the Wrong Time

Your problem is that you present the core offer of a sales call at the wrong time in this funnel.

There are two basic scenarios in which this occurs:

You present your core offer as the lead magnet and users see it as a threat rather than an opportunity.

This crushes your click-through rate. A user scrolling on Facebook is unlikely to be so amped about hopping on a sales call that they will stop scrolling and book it.

This is especially true if they don’t know/like/trust your company yet (as a note, presenting a sales call as your lead magnet can work on Google Ads because it is a different medium).

You try to follow up via emails with your core offer but the user has forgotten about your business and you have lost all conversion momentum.

Your business might be the most important thing to you, but to the users, you are just another thing they clicked on. People have busy lives and sometimes as marketers, we forget that.

The Solution: Present Your Core Offer on the Thank You Page

If you’ve been thanking users and sending them on their way after they’ve downloaded your lead magnet, your “Thank You” page is costing you money. The only people who should be thanking you are Facebook’s shareholders.

Here is the simple solution: after a user downloads your lead magnet, present them with your core offer on the thank you page.

Users have already segmented themselves and expressed interest by downloading your lead magnet so you know it is an interested and invested audience.

Additionally, the thank you page is one of the few times you know that you have the users complete attention.

Why You Should Put Your Core Offer on the Thank You Page: Climbing the Yes Ladder

Putting the core offer on the thank you page leverages a know persuasion technique is called the “yes ladder.”

In a yes ladder, a person is asked to comply with a series of requests, starting small which gets larger upon each request.

With each request the user complies with, they are more likely to comply with the next compliance request.

As this applies to the funnel, the first compliance request of providing their email in exchange for the lead magnet is small, and because they have already complied with this request it’s much more likely for them to comply with the next, larger request (the sales call or core offer). – Read more

Simple Ways to Delight Your First-Time Visitors: 6 Dos & 4 Don’ts

My Post - 2019-11-14T152314.891.pngWant to delight your first-time visitors?

Above all, get to the point right away.

So with that in mind, this post has two parts:

  • Things you should ALWAYS do.
  • Things you should NEVER do.

6 Things You Should Always Do

1. Make the Landing Page Purpose Crystal Clear Obvious (& Relevant) to the Visitor

If you take only one thing from this post, it would be to ask this two-part question when you’re developing the creative and messaging for your landing page:

  • How did the visitor get here?
  • Why did they click on whatever link led them to the page?

There can be multiple answers to each question.

For example, as far as “how” is concerned, the same landing page may be used for a paid search, email, and an ad on Facebook.

In terms of  “why”, it might be to check the price, learn more, check availability, see evidence that the product/solution meets the specific visitor’s need, etc.

Remember that some part of the creative/copy in the referral source (ad, email, link, meta description, etc.) made a promise.

The anticipation of seeing that promise fulfilled led to a click. That click led the visitor to the landing page in order to see that promise met.

Did you meet it?

To get this part right:

  • Review the referral source (again, the ad, the email, the link, the meta description, etc.) and note the promises made.
  • Now review the landing page and make sure that it delivers on all of those promises made prior to the click. If not, the referral source is promising too much or the landing page is under-delivering. Either way, this is where you fix it.

Important note: Succeeding in making the landing page crystal clear to the visitor may sometimes result in a quick exit. Most likely, you’re not a fit for that visitor so at the very least you didn’t waste their time which they’ll (at least subconsciously) appreciate.

2. Load Quickly 

This one should be obvious. Slow loading pages will destroy the experience for the visitor and you will likely not recover.

There are plenty of other options available and the visitor knows it.

Load quickly and the visitor will be delighted at the near-instant access.

3. Display Properly

File this one also under the category of “obvious”.

Visitors will be happy when you reduce friction – and delighted when you take it away.

A page the doesn’t display properly on whatever device the visitor happens to be using means a high level of friction that will likely kill any chance of a conversion.

Don’t worry if it doesn’t show properly on an iPhone 4 (released in 2010 so it’s well past time for that user to upgrade), but as a general practice, I always test backward compatibility for whatever operating systems were widely used during the past three years.

4. Provide Reassurance to the First-Time Visitor

Remember that time you clicked on a link, went to a page, and just had a gut feeling you’re in the wrong place?

Either you didn’t immediately see what you thought you were there for or the site looked sketchy. Chances are you were less than delighted and didn’t stick around long.

On the flip side, there was probably another time you clicked on a link to a page you’ve never been to before and you immediately knew you were in the right place. This page:

  • Had exactly what you were looking for.
  • Did NOT look to be the least bit sketchy.

To reassure that first-time visitor, here are a few things that will always help:

  • Crystal clear relevance to the visitor intent (see point #1).
  • Speak directly to whatever the visitor hopes to achieve by looking at your product.
  • Key trust elements present on the page (testimonials, reviews, security, privacy links, history, etc.).
  • Minimal interference pop-ups.

Read more