Archive for the "General Posts" Category
Colors – they say a lot about a website. As a society, we’ve been studying colors and the associations behind them for a long time. There have been sociological and psychological studies performed, history studied, and more. No matter what is behind how we perceive colors, there is no denying certain colors evoke certain emotions. What are the colors of your website saying to your customers?
Stay Calm with Blue
Image via Flickr by stevendepolo
Blue has long been seen as a calm, cool color. In web design it also shows that you are trustworthy. There are a variety of major companies that use cool shades of blue to help portray this in their branding. Take Microsoft for example. Blue works great with any number of products and industries.
If you don’t have enough white space on your website, you are wasting your design. There are significant reasons for ensuring that you have white space. From leading the visitor’s eye to what you want them to see to helping the overall design look good, consider the following reasons you need to unclutter your site.
Emphasize Important Elements
Image via Flickr by Johnny does
What is the most important thing on your landing page? Is it the text, the images, or something a little more specific? No matter what is most important, make sure that it is surrounded by white space. This will help emphasize that this is an important element. If you have an image that is extremely important, don’t make the image larger; instead, increase the white space around it to emphasize the importance. Read the rest of this entry »
Bounce rates are inevitable. Every website has people who come, look around for a second or less (literally), and leave. However, some industries have better bounce rates than others. And not all websites within each industry fare as well as the best, or even average.
Product Information Pages
Image via Flickr by Gustavo da Cunha Pimenta
This includes comparison sites, tech information, and more.
- Minimum Bounce Rate – 3.24%
- Maximum Bounce Rate – 50%
- Average Bounce Rate – 33.03%
Have you ever looked for information on a product? There is a lot of information on these sites, and because of that the bounce rate tends to be significantly lower than other types of websites. Comparison charts and interesting information, as well as tips and tricks, will keep people interested and your bounce rate down. Read the rest of this entry »
If you have a website, you need to make sure that you market it well. However, to do that, you need to know exactly what your customers are looking for. There are a variety of ways to do this, but the two most debated options are A/B testing and multivariate testing. What are the differences? Which is better for your site?
Learning the Basics of the Two
First, you need to understand the differences between A/B testing and multivariate testing. There are several key differences, so establishing those is the first move creating the most effective landing page.
- A/B testing – After creating two versions of a website, you split the traffic coming to your site evenly between the two.
- Multivariate testing – You only have one version of the website. You are testing a variety of elements inside the page, to see what is most popular.
As a designer, one thing I’ve noticed as a web-design trend lately is to feature Apple products in the design, primarily iPhones. While I understand that they are beautiful devices I don’t think they are as beneficial to a design as many may believe.
While I do believe that showing shots of your application or site being used is fantastic because being demonstrable is a great tactic for conversions, it’s that I don’t think an iPhone should be used in all cases.
For example, the site cookwiz.me shows an iPhone on the landing page, yet the application is only currently (at the time of this article) available for Android devices. In fact, based on this past quarters smartphone sales, Android has 72% market share for new mobile devices. Since Android has grown to be the most widely used smartphone OS I would guess that any given target market has a high chance of being primarily Android users.
With that said, here is a small collection of nicely designed sites featuring an iPhone, whether it be the best option or not.
Presidential campaigns are tornadoes of cash. This year’s is the biggest yet. Floods of money have poured into campaign marketing. The money supports a mountain of tactics, and this year we’re seeing a lot of landing page optimization.
Here’s what we found:
Landing page optimization — déjà vu
When you search for each candidate in Google, the campaign website is the first result. Both sites display an email capture form before the homepage, and we’re going to comment on these forms together. Take a look and you’ll see why:
Am I having déjà vu? In terms of landing page optimization, the pages are almost identical! Only a few details are changed.
Here’s what we see:
You have a competitor with a large budget. Or maybe a competitor that does more optimization testing than you. Have you ever been tempted to play ‘Follow the Leader?’ After all, you know the company does tests. Why not let them do the work and steal their landing page designs?
Here’s why: because that is insane.
There are principles of landing page optimization, but they manifest differently on every page. For example, the conversion process must be simple and easy. But what is simple for one audience can be a huge burden to others.
Have you ever been annoyed by a “helpful” video that automatically played when you hit the page? I know I have. But some people do find such videos helpful, and they are proven to increase conversion rates on many sites. But it doesn’t work on every site!
So you must test your pages. Ignore the competition. Your job is to beat them, not follow them like a lost puppy!
Here are three more reasons it is insane to copy competitors’ pages:
Difference #1. Value proposition
Customers choose you over competitors for a reason. There are unique and compelling aspects of your company that appeal to them. Those aspects are your value proposition – the reason your best customers purchase from you.
Your value proposition differentiates you. It says, “We have the best prices,” or “We provide the only full-service solution.” Notice those superlatives: “best” and “only.” They are exclusive. You are the only company that has these things. Read the rest of this entry »
How to Increase Landing Page Optimization Budgets
Landing page optimization testing can fly under your bosses’ radar. Even though tests have a direct impact on revenue, your bosses are focused elsewhere. They don’t realize you increased ROI.
So make them realize.
A handful of good tests can smack ‘em in the face and say “hey, I deserve a bigger budget!” You just have to show them why you deserve it.
Here are five tactics to do it:
#1. Market to your boss – talk benefits
Pretend you have a new audience. You are no longer marketing to customers. You are marketing to your boss. How would you sell your boss on optimization testing?
You need to focus on the benefits he cares about.
Is your boss an executive? – Then describe how testing increases revenue, cuts costs, and lifts ROI. You need to prove that you can turn a pile of money into a bigger pile of money.
Is your boss a director or manager? – Then understand the mid-level metrics he cares about. Is his job to cut cost-per-lead? Or increase repeat sales? Find the most important metrics and focus on them in your proposal.
#2. Avoid technical stuff
Landing page optimization testing is fun and exciting, but only people like us care about it. Hard to believe, I know.
You have to assume your boss does not care. He doesn’t care about eye path. He doesn’t care about form fields. He doesn’t care about conversion rates. He cares about his responsibilities, not yours.
If your boss wants the details, he’ll ask for them. Until then, focus on how optimization testing will make his life easier, and stay away from the details on software and testing.
#3. Know the answers
You, on the other hand, need to be intimately familiar with the details. You need to be prepared to answer questions about:
- The testing process
- Optimization principles
- Resources you need
- Why you need them
- What you will accomplish
Your bosses won’t ask for every detail, but you need to be prepared in case they do. Also, doing your homework can help clarify your goals and uncover the exact benefits of testing. Write the benefits on a big sign. If any naysayers come to your desk, hold the sign in their faces. Closer.
Areas to consider:
Knowledge – do you need more expertise to push your tests to the next level? What will it cost to hire someone like the optimization masters at ConversionVoodoo to do it for you? And what will the return be? (By the way: ConversionVoodoo guarantees results)
Tools – do you need better testing software?
Resources – How much more do you need in your budget? How many additional work hours will you allocate to optimization testing and analysis? Where will this come from?
#4. Find supporters
Chances are that you’re not the only person who cares about optimization testing in your organization. You have a few supporters in the company, and you should recruit them to pitch your proposal.
Look for supporters in other departments. IT is a great place to start. In your proposal, have the IT people describe how analyzing test results will teach them about customers and improve their results. This will help you show additional benefits from another perspective. Put those benefits on the sign.
#5. Make rough projections
As soon as you say what you need, your bosses will dust off the mental abacus. Save them the trouble.
Gather your test results from the last three to six months. Translate them into the metrics your bosses care about. Ask yourself:
- What are other opportunities for increasing these metrics on yourwebsite?
- Looking at past performance, how would similar results affect the bosses’ metrics?
- How will a larger budget help achieve these results?
Give your boss a range for potential results, and be conservative. Overhyping your potential can backfire. Big time.
Warning: Manage expectations
You must not overhype your expected results or timeline. Results from landing page optimization will be strong, but exactly how strong and when they’ll arrive is difficult to predict.
Avoid making guarantees. Instead, talk in hypotheticals. Tell your bosses what a 3%, 5%, and 10% increase in conversions on a certain page will translate into. Make sure you speak in terms of their most important metrics.
Segmentation Works – Orbitz Knows Wuzzup!
The Wall Street Journal has a great article showing how Orbitz is using demographic segmentation to steer Apple Mac users to high priced hotels.
Orbitz is currently testing a feature that shows higher priced hotels in search results to Apple Mac users more than to PC users. The reason they do this, is that they noticed in their analytics that the average Apple user spends between $20 and $30 more than a PC user for hotels.
Orbtiz is putting into practice powerful segmentation based on data they have mined over time.
There are many ways to segment your site visitors:
Whenever we start a new landing page optimization project we like to start out by checking out all the other sites in the same industry/niche market. It helps us to see what else is out there and gets us inspired to see what the competition is doing (and not doing) these days. This week we focused on form pages for auto loan lead generation campaigns.
We’ve received many requests to make more detailed comments and give example ideas for these landing page inspiration posts. Starting with this post, we’ll break down our landing page optimization reviews into multiple posts. In this series we’ll look at 3 auto loan websites, and will post separately over the next few weeks.
You haven’t made a sale yet!
A big problem with most form pages is that people forget to keep selling their product or service to the customer. Many users will get to a form page and say “ah-yeesh, guhhhhh, see-ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya!” and bounce. You can help prevent this by continuing your sales pitch from your landing page. The form page is a great place to use customer testimonials and well-known trust logos such as McAfee, as well as what’ll THEY will get (Benefits).