20 Conversion Optimization Tips for Zooming Past Your Competition

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Conversion optimization (CRO) is one of the most impactful things you can do as a marketer.

I mean, bringing traffic to a website is important (because without traffic you’re designing for an audience of crickets). But without a cursory understanding of conversion optimization—including research, data-driven hypotheses, a/b tests, and analytical capabilities—you risk making decisions for your website traffic using only gut feel.

CRO can give your marketing team ideas for what you can be doing better to convert visitors into leads or customers, and it can help you discover which experiences are truly optimal, using A/B tests.

However, as with many marketing disciplines, conversion optimization is constantly misunderstood. It’s definitely not about testing button colors, and it’s not about proving to your colleagues that you’re right.

I’ve learned a lot about how to do CRO properly over the years, and below I’ve compiled 20 conversion optimization tips to help you do it well, too.

Conversion Optimization Tip 1:
Learn how to run an A/B test properly
Running an A/B test (an online controlled experiment) is one of the core practices of conversion optimization.

Testing two or more variations of a given page to see which performs best can seem easy due to the increased simplification of testing software. However, it’s still a methodology that uses statistical inference to make a decision as to which variant is best delivered to your audience. And there are a lot of fine distinctions that can throw things off.

What is A/B Testing?
There are many nuances we could get into here—Bayesian vs. frequentist statistics, one-tailed vs. two-tailed tests, etc.—but to make things simple, here are a few testing rules that should help you breeze past most common testing mistakes:

  • Always determine a sample size in advance and wait until your experiment is over before looking at “statistical significance.” You can use one of several online sample size calculators to get yours figured out.
  • Run your experiment for a few full business cycles (usually weekly cycles). A normal experiment may run for three or four weeks before you call your result.
  • Choose an overall evaluation criterion (or north star metric) that you’ll use to determine the success of an experiment. We’ll get into this more in Tip 4.
  • Before running the experiment, clearly write your hypothesis (here’s a good article on writing a true hypothesis) and how you plan to follow up on the experiment, whether it wins or loses.
  • Make sure your data tracking is implemented correctly so you’ll be able to pull the right numbers after the experiment ends.
  • Avoid interaction effects if you’re running multiple concurrent experiments.
  • QA your test setup and watch the early numbers for any wonky technical mistakes.

I like to put all of the above fine details in an experiment document with a unique ID so that it can be reviewed later—and so the process can be improved upon with time. – Read more

How to Write a Privacy Policy for Your Small Business

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As a small business owner with a website, you might ask: Do I really need a privacy policy statement for my website?

If you’re starting, managing, or growing any type of business online today, the answer is likely “yes, yes you do.”

Jump on it!

While small business ownership is overwhelming with the constant juggle of multiple tasks at once, it’s easy to forget about or completely overlook creating a privacy policy for your lead generation website. Yet with the deluge of new data privacy regulation and subsequent lawsuits, negligence with privacy policy laws is simply a no-no.

Here are some pointers for how small businesses can comply with standards and laws to create a simple privacy policy. This article will answer what this document actually contains, why you need one, and what should be included in a privacy policy for your small business.

Read on if… you want to learn about privacy policies in plain English, without all the headache-inducing legalese. Remember, we’re not lawyers—we’re just here to give you some guidance.

What is a Privacy Policy for a Website?

A privacy policy is a legal statement that discloses the way a business gathers, uses, discloses, and manages a customer’s data. It also informs users about whether that information is kept confidential, shared with partners, or sold to other businesses.

It fulfills a legal requirement to protect a customers’ privacy, especially in light of recent GDPR legislation, which affects businesses that collect information from any resident residing in the EU. (Here is more info on GDPR.) – Read more

Has Your Website Refresh Been Successful?

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Like maintenance work on your car, a refresh of your organization’s website is one of those tasks that seems to roll around every few years and entail far higher costs than anticipated. However, also like car maintenance, a website refresh is often critically necessary. Your organization’s branding or messaging may have changed, or maybe your site just looks like something that was built on GeoCities in 1995. Whatever the reason, you’ll want to ensure that you’re measuring the results of a website refresh in order to adequately justify the costs.

The most basic, and most powerful, question we can ask is “is our site better?” The problem of course is that that’s an incredibly vague question. What do we mean by “better?” Typically, we’re looking at KPIs like page views, number of sessions, bounce rate, time on page, exit rate, conversion rate, etc. The sort of numbers you can get from any basic web analytics tool like Google Analytics. I typically regard these numbers as “surface-level metrics;” they provide a good starting point but don’t say much about whether visitors are deriving value from your website.

To illustrate, page views and the number of unique sessions help you understand site traffic. However, they don’t say anything about how “good” your site is, just how many eyeballs you’re getting and perhaps how well you’re doing in terms of SEO. Bounce rate, time on page and exit rate go a little deeper. These metrics can point to the quality of content on your site or, more directly, to whether the content on your website adequately meets the expectations of visitors. For example, if visitors to “bike.com” are expecting to find information about motorcycles but discover content focused on bicycles, they are likely to leave disappointed, and in a hurry. Unfortunately, depending on how engagement is defined in Google Analytics, metrics like bounce rate can result in both ​false positives and false negatives​, leading marketers to draw the wrong conclusions.

Ultimately, one of the best KPIs to consider is conversion rate: the percentage of visitors that complete the action we want them to. This could refer to signing up for a demo, downloading a trial, joining a mailing list, etc. To quote ​WordStream​, “a high conversion rate is indicative of successful marketing and web design: it means people want what you’re offering, and they’re easily able to get it!” More than anything else, conversion rate is the KPI that marketers look at when assessing website performance. – Read more

Finding a Balance Between SEO and Amazing Website Design

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When putting together your client’s website, there are two major things you have to consider: consumers and search engines.

You need an SEO-friendly website that’s optimized for search engines so that you show up in Google when consumers are searching for your products. This is the first challenge, especially since even back in 2016, Google told Search Engine Land that they “processed at least 2 trillion searches per year.”

You also need a creative, user-friendly designed website so consumers can easily find what they want to buy. The conflict for site owners, especially sites that have hundreds of products available, becomes finding a balance between being user-friendly and SEO friendly. You have the development team fighting to keep the visual and user aspect of the site very simplistic. On the other hand, you want the site to have enough content on it so Google can rank the site effectively for user search queries.

To further complicate things, businesses often have two separate teams for SEO and web development. Even if both teams are in-house, having them work together to build a beautifully successful ecommerce website becomes challenging.

Conflict often arises with the design of a website and how to make it SEO-friendly, especially when you’re bringing in two different teams and expecting them to understand the complexities of each other’s work.

So how do you find the balance when you have conflicting suggestions coming from the SEO team and the web development team?

In this article, we’ll look at different website elements to consider, and some ways you can find some common ground between these two goals.

You may also like: Canonical URLs: What Are They and Why Are They Important?

Website navigation
Web developers are typically focused on the site’s overall look, feel, and user experience. Designers and developers will care about a page’s visual elements and how consumers interact with those elements. They often like to keep things as simple as possible, especially since consumers using mobile devices have long surpassed consumers using desktop or laptop devices.

On the other hand, SEO marketers will say you need to focus your navigation efforts on optimizing for search engines.

A basic example of this can be found on teacollection.com: – Read more

25 Creative & Engaging Examples of About Us Pages

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Your About Us page is vital.

It’s often the first stop in any user’s journey through a website or blog.

It also shouldn’t be their last, because first impressions count online just as much as they do in the real world.

If your visitors aren’t impressed, you can expect them to leave without reading your awesome content or completing a conversion action (e.g., signing up for your newsletter, making a purchase).

What Makes a Solid ‘About Us’ Page?
Your About Us page should be:

  • Informative. It doesn’t always have to tell the whole story, but it should at least provide people with an idea of who and what you are.
  • Contain social proof, testimonials, and some personal information that viewers can relate to such as education, family, etc.
  • Useful and engaging.
  • Easy to navigate and accessible on any device.

That may all sound complicated, but it really isn’t.

The main purpose of your About Us page is to give visitors a glimpse into the identity of either a person or business.

As users discover your brand, they need to distinguish what sets you apart and makes you… you.

This often requires finding the right balance between compelling content and a design carefully planned to look the part.

Conveying your identity in a fun and approachable – but also reliable and informative – way is challenging.

If you know who you are and your goal for your site, the About Us page should come naturally.

However, if you’re looking for some inspiration, you can always check out these 25 examples of creative and engaging About Us pages.

These excellent examples will help you build a personal and engaging website journey. – Read more

Why PPC and SEO need to work together

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Search spend now accounts for almost a third of advertising spend in the UK, and has grown consistently since 2001.

Balancing the marketing mix is a huge challenge facing any CMO or marketer, and it’s no different in the world of search. It can be difficult for brands to find the right blend of PPC and SEO, ensuring that marketers are getting the most out of both. It’s one of the more nuanced choices marketers have to make.

Too much of one or too little of the other and marketers could be in the position of unnecessarily wasting valuable budget or, on the flip side, marketers could be in the position where they are not delivering the results search could be yielding for their brand.

Forward3D’s application and understanding of data has helped to advise clients on their best strategy for success. By having using an integrated approach to strategy, appropriate recommendations can be made to allow marketers to balance activity. For one major airline client, aggregated performance data enabled us to make the recommendation to turn off PPC for brand keywords meaning they could deploy that significant marketing budget for acquisition purposes elsewhere.

So, with this in mind, how do you approach the seemingly complicated relationship between PPC and SEO to yield the best results?

Setting up for success
Without aligning PPC and SEO teams, it’s difficult to implement an appropriate strategy. Although it may seem obvious, many companies still report on search as two separate channels when an aggregated view can add a much greater value. This visibility into integrated search performance is crucial to understanding what impact individual channels have on the overall performance mix.

For example, if paid search click-through rates (CTR) increase then organic traffic might well be expected to drop. However, if marketers report this at search engine marketing (SEM) level, they’ll find that total brand traffic is likely to be flat, as it’s the proportions (and costs) per channel that are actually shifting. Teams need to have visibility and understand how changes in performance at this granular level can impact the entire business as this information is critical when planning budgets or future activity. – Read more

Infographic: How to create a website that users fall in love with

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It takes only seconds for visitors to decide whether your website is worth their time.

The internet is teeming with digital destinations where potential customers can find the information or products they’re looking for, and there are certain things they won’t tolerate.

Users will not wait for your images or text to load. They will quickly move on to the next site. Make sure it’s visually appealing, too. A bland design with awful fonts will drive people away. Your website must also include useful information for your visitors. Otherwise, they’ll find it somewhere else.

An infographic from Red Website Design shares tips for creating a top-notch website that will evoke users’ affection.

They include these tidbits:

  • Emphasize fast loading times.
  • Ensure ease of navigation.
  • Make your mission clear right off the bat.
  • Provide value for your users.

See the full infographic below for the essential elements your website needs to keep users from searching for greener pastures.

Website_Love_Infographic.png

– Read more

The Untapped Potential of About Us Pages (And How to Write Your Own)

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Along with FAQ and Contact pages, the About Us page is one of the first supporting pages you’ll likely create for your website, regardless of the industry you’re in.

They may go by different labels—“About”, “Story”, “Mission”—but these types of pages generally serve the same key purpose: to be the go-to page for a brand to say, “This is who we are.”

When a visitor wants to learn more about you or your business, it’s the page they’ll look for.

Unfortunately, About Us pages are too often treated as an obligation rather than the valuable opportunity they are to connect with your customers by selling your story, your vision, your mission, and what makes you, YOU.

What an About Us page is really for
The problem with many About Us pages is they’re an afterthought—a link buried in the footer of a website that leads to a few hastily written paragraphs about a company.

What an About Us page should be is a goal-oriented sales page, one that focuses on highlighting the biggest selling points of your story and brand, making a strong impression on curious customers. – Read more

Beyond ‘contact us’: Six website features hotels can use to increase engagement & bookings

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Every hotel website has a ‘contact us’ page, a page where people can find the most basic details.

Such a passive posture, however, is a missed opportunity for hotel teams to facilitate interaction and funnel a user’s focus while they’re actively engaged.

Customer service is supposed to be at the core of hospitality, yet that “extra mile” ethos doesn’t always translate into the digital sphere. The integration of enhanced contact tools on hotel websites has been moderate, and not just among smaller properties with modest budgets.

L2’s recent Digital IQ: US Luxury Hotels report revealed that while nearly every global hospitality brand analyzed has a dedicated “contact page” on their website, only about one in four allow users to request a call from a customer service agent, and even fewer offer a live chat feature.

Adding more sophisticated contact features offers a competitive edge and leads to direct bookings.

Here are six website enhancements for contact that converts. – Read more

How a Few Pages Can Make or Break Your Website

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A prospect unequivocally disagreed with a recommendation I made recently.

I told him a few pages of content could make a significant impact on his site. Even when presented with hard numbers backing up my assertions, he still balked. My ego started gnawing: would a painter tell a mathematician how to do trigonometry?

Unlike art, content marketing and SEO aren’t subjective. The quality of the words you write can be quantified, and they can generate a return for your business.

Most of your content won’t do anything

In order to have this conversation, we really need to deal with this fact.

Most content created lives deep on page 7 of Google, ranking for an obscure keyword completely unrelated to your brand. A lack of scientific (objective math) process is to blame. But more on that later. – Read more