Category: Conversion Rate Optimization

Conversion Rate Optimization

10 Alternative RSS Readers if You Still Miss Google…

The mid-aughts to early 2010s were the heyday for RSS feeds like Google Reader. It felt like everyone was using them.

Then, in 2013, Google Reader was switched off, and their popularity has dwindled.

Dwindled, but not vanished entirely. Google Trends data shows a massive dropoff since RSS hit its peak back around 2005. But interest has been pretty stable since about 2015:

Google Reader popularity of RSS

What does this tell us?

While RSS feeds aren’t the must-use resource they once were, there’s still a dedicated base of users who aren’t prepared to say goodbye.

If you’re one of them, you might still be searching for the perfect alternative to your beloved Google Reader. Here are a few options, as well as some practical tips on using them to improve your content marketing strategy.

What Was Google Reader?

Google Reader was an RSS reader. RSS, which stands for “really simple syndication,” is an XML-based format used to distribute and share online content. It allows users to subscribe to news feeds from their favorite website and receive updates every time they post new content.

Google launched Google Reader in 2005 and quickly built up a loyal following because it was simple, efficient, and free. But as online habits changed, usage declined, prompting the search giant to permanently retire Google Reader back in July 2013.

10 Alternative RSS Readers to Google Reader

While Google no longer saw the value in RSS readers, lots of people still find them useful. Presumably, if you’re reading this article, you’re one of them, so here are ten Google Reader alternatives to try out.

Feedly 

  • Priced from: Free
  • Best for: Cutting through the noise

RSS readers can become victims of their own effectiveness. Say you want to curate all the latest news on a topic like blockchain, or a keyword like Microsoft. Pretty soon, you’ll have more relevant content than you could ever read.

Feedly is all about providing a decluttered RSS experience. Its free tier allows you to follow up to 100 sources, from news sites to YouTube channels. But the real value comes from its AI assistant, Leo.

Google Reader alternatives Feedly

Leo allows users to define what content is most relevant to them. You can prioritize by keywords, trends, topics, similar articles, and even critical software vulnerabilities. Then teach Leo what’s useful to you by upvoting or downvoting its recommendations.

Inoreader

  • Priced from: Free
  • Best for: Saving the content you love long-term

Inoreader has one feature that sets it apart from all the other Google Reader alternatives: the ability to build long-term archives of content.

inoreader google reader alternative

Most RSS readers only store content for a short period. But with Inoreader, limited-time archives aren’t a thing. The content you’ve already read is stored permanently, so you can access it at any time.

To stop things from getting unmanageable, Inoreader allows you to categorize your feeds into folders and add tags to individual articles.

Bloglovin’

  • Priced from: Free
  • Best for: Lifestyle content curation

Unlike most Google Reader alternatives, Bloglovin’ focuses on a single niche: lifestyle content. That means everything from fashion and beauty, to travel and interior design. Its colorful, image-heavy interface feels more like a social media site than an RSS reader.

Google Reader alternatives Bloglovin

Similar to Pinterest, Bloglovin’ lets you curate content around the lifestyle topics and themes most helpful to you. So if you’re planning a wedding or a big DIY project, you can start a new collection and expand it with relevant content.

Flowreader

  • Priced from: Free
  • Best for: Combining RSS and social feeds

Flowreader is an easy-to-use tool that acts as a one-stop-shop for content from all your favorite websites, plus your most-loved accounts on Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, and Pinterest. It saves you a lot of time navigating between multiple sites to access the content you most want to see.

Because it posts content in chronological order, Flowreader effectively lets you bypass Twitter’s recommendations algorithm, which means you can read tweets in the order they were posted.

Feedreader

  • Priced from: Free
  • Best for: Doing the basics

There’s nothing too complex about Feedreader; it just works. Basic and ad-free, this web-based RSS reader lets you subscribe to your favorite feeds and star items to view later. Your subscriptions can be categorized for easier navigation, while a bunch of keyboard shortcuts makes it simple to expand articles, mark items as starred, or refresh the results.

NewsBlur 

  • Priced from: Free
  • Best for: Filtering what you don’t like

It may not have the slickest interface, but NewsBlur is deceptively sophisticated. For one thing, it allows you to access the full text from each source right there in the RSS reader, which keeps your browser clean and uncluttered, while the free product tier lets you subscribe to up to 64 feeds.

Google Reader alternatives NewsBlur

NewsBlur’s most interesting feature is its filtering. Select a piece of content, then tell the app what you like or dislike about it, including:

  • Key phrases in the headline or body copy
  • The author
  • The publication
  • The categories that are relevant to that piece of content

Spend some time selecting your preferences and NewsBlur becomes a super helpful tool for accessing only the types of content you find most valuable.

Feedspot 

  • Priced from: Free
  • Best for: Advanced filtering

While it does all the things you’d expect a Google Reader alternative to do, Feedspot goes a step further with its advanced filtering functionality. This allows you to:

  • Make searches within all the feeds you follow, including blogs, news sites, RSS feeds, YouTube channels and social sites
  • Filter results from one or more specific feeds
  • Search phrases within the title only
  • Browse by exact phrase matches

All of which makes it easier to track down the content you most want to see, right now, from the sites and platforms that are most relevant to you.

The Old Reader 

  • Priced from: Free
  • Best for: Finding recommendations from people you trust
Google Reader alternatives The Old Reader

The Old Reader works best when used in groups. Connect with your Facebook or Google account to follow people in your network who also use The Old Reader, then you’ll be able to see the content they recommend. That way, you’ll never miss a piece of content they find useful or interesting.

Feeder 

  • Priced from: Free
  • Best for: RSS on the go

Feeder offers Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Yandex extensions, making it easy to view your RSS feeds on desktop. But perhaps its most useful feature is the dedicated Android and iOS apps, which allow you to see all the headlines from your favorite sites, plus a simple view of the full content, on mobile. Great for when you absolutely need to keep up with the news but aren’t at your computer.

Netvibes

  • Priced from: Free
  • Best for: Social media monitoring

While Netvibes works great as a traditional RSS reader, its real strength lies in its ability to automate interactions between multiple platforms, apps, and devices. Think of it as like the Zapier of RSS readers.

So how does that work in practice?

Well, Netvibes currently integrates with 43 apps, including Gmail, Google Drive, LinkedIn, and Twitter. It also does a ton of stuff, from monitoring stocks to tracking your health. From a marketing perspective, the biggest “win” is as a social media monitoring tool.

Rather than presenting you with a feed of new social posts from people you follow, Netvibes allows you to dig deeper. For example, you can create a feed for @mentions of your brand on Twitter, or one dedicated to a certain hashtag.

That makes it easy for you to keep updated on what people are saying about you or follow topics relevant to your business.

How to Use RSS Readers to Benefit Your Content Marketing

Google Reader alternatives aren’t purely for finding content. They can be a vital part of your content marketing efforts, too.

Create Your Own RSS Feed

You’ve got a blog or resource hub, and you’re producing fantastic content. But you’re struggling to bring people back to your site.

Setting up your own RSS feed can be a big help. That way, subscribers will see all your latest content every time they access their favored RSS reader. It’s a great way to amplify your content, and best of all it’s completely passive. Once you’ve implemented your RSS feed, it’ll do all the hard work.

Be sure to compel readers to subscribe to your feed by incorporating clear calls-to-action (CTAs) throughout your content. Consider adding an RSS button to your content hub landing page, too:

Keep on Top of Industry News & Thought Leadership

Does your audience come to you for your take on the latest news impacting your industry? Then an RSS reader can ensure you’ll always be one of the first to know about any new developments and key announcements.

Let’s say you’re in the marketing niche. You want to keep up to date with what’s going on, so you can react to it fast by creating your own content. Consider adding the following types of accounts to your favorite Google Reader alternative:

  • The Twitter accounts of thought leaders like Rand Fishkin, Jeff Bullas, and Mari Smith (and me!)
  • Marketing blogs and social feeds from big industry players like Google and Facebook
  • Industry news sites like NeilPatel.com, Search Engine Journal, and Digiday
  • Your biggest competitors’ blogs (it pays to be aware of the content they’re creating, too)

Segment all of those feeds into categories so they’re easy to browse. Then get into the habit of spending five minutes at the start of every day, or on your lunch or coffee break, reading through all the latest news.

Curate Your Own Newsletter

Why do people subscribe to newsletters? Well, according to one study, about three-quarters of people subscribe to learn more about topics they find interesting, or to keep abreast of content from their favorite websites.

Google Reader how to use RSS feeds in content marketing

With that in mind, you can quickly and easily create your own newsletter featuring all the biggest developments in your industry, simply by curating all the top content pulled in by your RSS reader.

Include a couple of CTAs to sign up in prominent spots on your website, and you’ve got yourself a low-effort way to build up a mailing list and generate a bunch of leads.

Inspire Your Content Creation

Sure, I create a lot of content, but even I get writer’s block sometimes! If you’re struggling to come up with new topics for your blog, or podcast, or YouTube channel, your RSS reader can help.

Check out what other people in your niche are discussing. Look out for trends, breaking news, or subjects you feel passionately about and have an opinion on. And presto, there’s all the content inspiration you need.

Conclusion

RSS feeds may have gone out of fashion in the last few years, but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth your time. While everyone else gets their news from the cluttered, algorithm-influenced world of social media, you can use a Google Reader alternative to cut through all the noise and find the most relevant content.

That means you’ll never miss an important piece of news ever again. Use my tips to drive your content marketing plans, or even help you with lead generation. What’s not to like?

What’s your favorite Google Reader alternative and why?

The post 10 Alternative RSS Readers if You Still Miss Google Reader appeared first on Neil Patel.

Conversion Rate Optimization

How to Use the Psychology of Color to Increase…

Color wields enormous sway over our attitudes and emotions.

When our eyes take in color, they communicate with a region of the brain known as the hypothalamus, which sends a cascade of signals to the pituitary gland, on to the endocrine system, and then to the thyroid glands. The thyroid glands signal the release of hormones, which cause fluctuation in mood, emotion, and resulting behavior.

What is even more interesting is that a case study showed that adjusting color, among other elements, can increase conversion by as much as 24%.

The study of all this is called color psychology, and the bottom line is: use the right colors, and you win.

What is Color Psychology?

Color psychology is the science of how color affects human behavior. Color psychology actually is a branch of the broader field of behavioral psychology. Suffice it to say that it’s a pretty complicated field.

Some skeptics are even dismissive of the whole field of color psychology due to the difficulty of testing theories.

My own research on the topic, as this article conveys, lacks scientific evidence to back up every claim. But that alone is no reason to dismiss the profound and unarguable effect that color has on people.

There are key facts of color theory that are indisputable. In a classic study on color in a peer-reviewed journal article, Satyendra Singh determined that it takes a mere 90 seconds for a customer to form an opinion about a product. And, 62-90 percent of that interaction is determined by the color of the product alone.

Color psychology is a must-study field for leaders, office managers, architects, gardeners, chefs, product designers, packaging designers, store owners, and even expectant parents painting the nursery for the new arrival! Color is critical. Our success depends upon how we use color.

However, the psychology of color is often a subject of disagreement in marketing and website design because color preference varies widely between individuals. For example, many people prefer red to blue, while even conjoined twins might prefer different t-shirt colors.

Where Should You Use Color Psychology?

Colors impact everyone. It doesn’t matter whether you’re developing software, designing a book, developing a web design cover, or simply branding your business: colors define mood and influence responses.

Since color is ubiquitous, we need to understand where you should use these color tips. This article discusses the use of color in website design. Specifically, we’re talking about the color scheme of a website, which includes the tint of hero graphics, headline type, borders, backgrounds, buttons, and popups.

In the example below, NinjaJump uses a green-yellow-red color scheme in its logo, phone number, video C2A, menu bar, graphics, category menu, subheadings, and sidebar.

The tips that we discuss below can be applied in similar ways across a wide range of areas, including:

  • Websites
  • Logos
  • Branding
  • Landing pages
  • Menu bars
  • Email marketing
  • Social media posts and cover photos
  • Product design
  • Videos

As you can see, color psychology can be used just about anywhere. So, how do you get it, right?

Using the Right Color Psychology the Right Way

Color is a tricky thing. You have to use it in the right way, at the right time, with the right audience, and for the right purpose.

For example, if you are selling bouncy jump houses — those things kids play in — you don’t want to use a black website. Props, NinjaJump.com.

ninja jump Color Psychology example

For the jump house site, you want lots of bright and vibrant colors, probably some reds, greens, and maybe a splash of yellow for good measure.

If, on the other hand, you’re selling a product to women, you don’t want to use brown or orange. Maybe that’s why L’Oreal uses black and white, with purple overlay, in their e-commerce homepage.

2 loreal Color Psychology example

I’ll explain all the tricks below. To succeed at using the right color psychology, you need to follow these core principles:

  • The right way
  • The right time
  • The right audience
  • The right purpose

Here are some tips the pros use to leverage color psychology to improve conversion.

Proven Color Psychology Tips to Drive Conversions

CRO is an integral part of building a successful website. The goal is to get the best ROI possible and to thrive, no matter how strong your competition might be.

Since less than 5% of the population suffers from color blindness, color theory is an option that should be explored — and tested.

Here are a few color psychology tips to keep in mind.

1. Women Prefer Blue, Purple, and Green

3 color targeting demographic scolor psychology

The sociological differences between color preferences is a whole branch of study unto itself.

In a survey on color and gender, 35% of women said blue was their favorite color, followed by purple (23%) and green (14%). 33% of women confessed that orange was their least favorite color, followed by brown (33%) and gray (17%).

Other studies have corroborated these findings, revealing a female aversion to earthy tones and a preference for primary colors with tints.

Look at how this is played out. Visit nearly any e-commerce site whose target audience is female, and you’ll find these female color preferences affirmed.

Milani Cosmetics has a primarily female customer base. Thus, there’s not a shred of orange, gray, or brown on the homepage:

4 milani website color psychology example

Woman’s Day uses all three of the favorite colors of women (blue, purple, and green) on their homepage, thus inviting in their target audience:

5 womans day website color psychology

Most people think that the universally-loved female color is pink. It’s not. Just a small percentage of women choose pink as their favorite color.

Thus, while pink may suggest femininity in color psychology, this doesn’t mean that pink is appealing to all women, or even most women. Use colors other than pink — like blue, purple, and green — and you may improve your e-commerce website’s appeal to female visitors. That may, in turn, improve conversions.

2. Men Prefer Blue, Green, and Black

If you’re marketing to men, these are the colors to stay away from purple, orange, and brown. Instead, use blue, green, and black. These colors — blue, green, and black — are traditionally associated with maleness. However, it comes as a slight surprise to some that brown isn’t a favorite pick.

Keep in mind that gender preferences are not cut and dry. Gender is a complex topic, and not all men or women will prefer the colors above. However, this information can serve as a starting point for A/B testing.

3. Use Blue to Cultivate Trust

Blue is one of the most-used colors, with good reason. A lot of people like blue.

Read the literature on blue, and you’ll come across messages like

  • The color blue is a color of trust, peace, order, and loyalty.
  • Blue is the color of corporate America, and it says, “Chill . . . believe and trust me . . . have confidence in what I am saying!”  
  • Blue calls to mind feelings of calmness and serenity. It often is described as peaceful, tranquil, secure, and orderly.  

There is wide agreement in the research community on the psychological effects of the color blue. Its subtle message of trustworthiness and serenity is true. You can use this to your advantage on your website and landing pages.

The world’s biggest social network is blue. For a company whose core values are transparency and trust, this probably is not an accident.

6 facebook homepage color psychology

A company that serves as a conduit for billions of dollars, PayPal, also prefers the color blue. Chances are, this helps to improve their trustworthiness. If they were to try, say, red or orange as the theme color and branding, they probably wouldn’t have the same conversion level.

7 paypal website color psychology

Blue is, in fact, a color heavily used by many banks. Here’s CapitalOne.com, a major Internet bank:

8 capital one website  color psychology example

Although blue is pretty much an all-around great color, it should never be used for anything related to food. Dieters have used blue plates to successfully prevent them from eating more.

Evolutionary theory suggests that blue is a color associated with poison. There aren’t very many blue foods — blueberries and plums just about cover it. Thus, never use blue if you’re selling foodie stuff. (Use red instead.) 

4. Yellow is for Warnings

Yellow is a color of warning. Hence, the color yellow is used for warning signs, traffic signals, and wet floor signs.

yellow wet floor sign color psychology example

It seems odd, then, that some color psychologists declare yellow to be the color of happiness. Business Insider reports that “brands use yellow to show that they’re fun and friendly.” There is a chance that yellow can suggest playfulness. However, since yellow stimulates the brain’s excitement center, the playfulness feeling may be simply a state of heightened emotion and response, not exactly sheer joy.

Color psychology is closely tied to memories and experiences. If someone had an enjoyable experience with someone wearing a yellow shirt, eating at a fast-food establishment with yellow arches, or living in a home with yellow walls, then the yellow color may cause joy by memory association.

One of the most-cited “facts” about the color yellow is that it makes babies cry and people angry. To date, I have not found any study that backs up this claim, even though everyone is fairly comfortable repeating it.

11 google serp color psychology example

I’ve even read that “the color yellow can cause nausea,” though I’m doubtful about this.

12 yellow causes nausea psychology example

If you find the study about cranky babies and angry people living in yellow-walled houses, please let me know. I’m pretty sure that babies are going to cry, and people are going to get ticked, regardless of the paint color.

Whatever the case, it seems true that “yellow activates the brain’s anxiety center,” as reported by one color expert.

A heightened anxiety level during any website experience is never a good thing unless it comes in small doses. Thus, a yellow call to action may create just a touch of anxiety needed to make them click the desired call to action.

Use yellow in small doses unless you want to cause unnecessary anxiety.

5. Green is Ideal for Environmental and Outdoor Products and Brands

Perhaps the most intuitive color connection is green — the color of outdoors, eco-friendly, nature, and the environment. Green essentially is a chromatic symbol for nature itself.

Apart from its fairly obvious outdoorsy suggestiveness, green also is a color that can improve creativity. Labeled “the green effect,” one peer-reviewed study indicated that participants had more bursts of creativity when presented with a flash of green color as opposed to any other color.

If your website’s focus has anything to do with nature, the environment, organic, or outdoors, green should be your color of choice.

Green isn’t just about nature, though. Green also is a good call to action color, especially when used in combination with the “isolation effect,” also known as the von Restorff effect, which states that you remember things better if they stand out.

You remember the Statue of Liberty because it’s big, tall, green, and there isn’t a whole lot of them in the New York Harbor. In color psychology, the isolation effect occurs when a focus item, such as a conversion step, is the only item of a particular color. The technique works wonders for calls to action, and green is an ideal choice.

Here’s how Conrad Feagin uses it:

13 discover how color psychology examples

All of Dell’s conversion elements are green.

14 dell pricing page color psycology example

The word “green” itself is a buzzword for environmental awareness and appreciation. Using the word and the color itself can lend an environmental aura to your website, improving your reputation among those passionate about environmental concerns.

5. Orange Can Create a Sense of Haste or Impulse 

The positive side of orange is that it can be used as the “fun” color. According to some, orange helps to “stimulate physical activity, competition, and confidence.” This may be why orange is used heavily by sports teams and children’s products.

A great example is the Denver Broncos logo.

In fact, there are a ton of sports teams that use orange: Florida Gators, Clemson Tigers, Boise State Broncos, Syracuse, New York Knicks, New York Mets, Cleveland Browns, etc.

Amazon.com uses orange in their “limited time offer” banner. The color suggests urgency, which makes the message more noticeable and actionable:

18 amazon kindle color psychology example

It makes sense. Orange means active. Orange means fun. Orange means togetherness because it’s a loud and warm color.

However, orange can be slightly overwhelming. A research paper advises,

Orange will be used sparingly to bring your attention to something, but not so much as to overwhelm the actual message of the advert.

Sometimes, orange is interpreted as “cheap.” If your product offering is cheap, or if you want it to be seen as such, orange may be a good choice. Vive la Big Lots.

6. Black Adds a Sense of Luxury and Value

The darker the tone, the more lux it is, says our internal color psychology. Black can also be associated with elegance, sophistication, and power, which is exactly what luxury designers and high-end e-commerce sites want you to feel.

In a Business Insider piece on color and branding, the author relates the significance of black:

“Black can also be seen as a luxurious color. ‘Black, when used correctly can communicate glamour, sophistication, exclusivity.’”

Louis Vuitton handbags are not cheap. Absent from the site are colors and designs of whimsy and fun. This is serious value:

19 louis Vuitton color psychology example

Citizen Watch, better than the average Timex, also uses the dark-tone website design:

20 citizen eco drive color psychology example

Lamborghini does the same thing. Black is the name of the game:

21 lamborghini color psychology example

If you sell high-value luxury consumer items on your website, black probably would be a good choice.

7. Use Bright Primary Colors for Your CTA

In strict testing environments, the highest-converting colors for calls to action are bright primary and secondary colors – red, green, orange, yellow.

Darker colors like black, dark gray, brown, or purple have very low conversion rates. Brighter ones have higher conversion rates.

Women’s Health uses a bright mauve-tinted shade for their popup call to action. They’ve got the female-associated purple/pink tint going for them, along with a bright tone.

22 bikini body color psychology example

GreenGeeks uses a yellow button:

23 start selling today color psychology example

The biggest retailer in the world uses that famous “add to cart” button. It’s yellow:

24 amazon  color psychology example

Some of the best conversion colors are the “ugly” ones — orange and yellow. An article on ColorMatters.com states,

Psychologically, the ‘anti-aesthetic’ colors may well capture more attention than those on the aesthetically-correct list.

Since a conversion element’s goal is to capture attention, you may do just fine with that big orange button (BOB). Or yellow.

8. Don’t Neglect White

In most of the color psychology material I read, there is a forgotten feature. Maybe that’s because color theorists can’t agree on whether white is a color or not. I don’t really care whether it is or not.

What I do know is that copious use of white space is a powerful design feature. Take, for example, the most popular website in the world. It’s basically all white:

25 google color psychology example

White is often forgotten because its primary use is as a background color. Today, most well-designed websites use plenty of white space to create a sense of freedom, spaciousness, and breathability.

Color Psychology Best Practices to Drive Conversions 

You may not be in a position to rewrite your style guide and pick your own website color palette or font colors on the email template. So, how can you use color psychology in these situations? There are a few options:

  • If the colors really suck, campaign for change. In some situations, you may need to make a difference. If you’re a high-heel designer selling to upscale women but have a crappy orange logo, share your concerns with the decision-makers. People sometimes make terrible color decisions. Kindly show them how a killer color scheme can make a conversion difference.
  • Use psychology-appropriate colors that match the existing color scheme. Sure, you need to adapt to the color scheme, but you can still use a splash of strategic color here and there. Let’s say, for the sake of example, that you have a blue-themed website. Fine. You can create a popup to harvest email addresses and use a bright yellow button. The button is psychology-appropriate, and it doesn’t do damage to the company’s color branding.

The more freedom you have in your color scheme, the better. Here are some solid takeaways as you implement color psychology into your website:

  • Test several colors: Despite what some may say, there is no right color for a conversion text or button. Try a green, purple, or yellow button. Explore the advantages of a black background scheme vs. a white background. Find out which works best for your audience and with your product.
  • Don’t just leave the color choice up to your designer: I have enormous respect for most web designers. I’ve worked with many of them. However, don’t let your designer dictate what colors you should use on your website. Color is a conversion issue, not just an “Oh, it looks good” issue. Color aesthetics is not everything. Color conversion effects are important! You should be heavily involved in the color selection of your landing pages to improve your conversions.
  • Avoid color overload: I’ve just spent over 3,000 words telling you how important an awesome color is. Now, you’re going to go out and color something. But don’t go overboard. Remember my final point. I put it last for a reason. White is a color, and it should be your BFF color, too. Reign in your color enthusiasm with a whole lot of white. Too many colors can create a sense of confusion.

Conclusion

The Internet is a colorful place, and there is a lot that can be accomplished by using color correctly, at the right time, with the right audience, and for the right purpose.

Naturally, this article leads to questions about making changes in your company’s context. What about if your company has a specific color in your style guide? What if the logo color dictates a certain tint? What if the lead designer dictates color requirements? How do you deal with that?

How have your color changes affected your conversions?

The post How to Use the Psychology of Color to Increase Website Conversions appeared first on Neil Patel.

Conversion Rate Optimization

How to Monetize Your Website Without Destroying Your User…

If you have a website that publishes content, you know there’s one thing that’s super important… monetizing your traffic.

You’ve poured tons of time and effort into creating a great site, and there’s nothing better than turning all that hard work into cash.

But monetizing your site isn’t as easy as it might seem at first. To get the most out of it, you’ll need to utilize some solid strategies.

Strategies for Monetizing Traffic to Your Website

There are a lot of ways to monetize your website. I’ll explain a few of the most common ones below. But first, let’s talk about traffic:

The More Traffic You Have, the Easier It Will Be to Monetize Your Site.

Some of the common ways to monetize a website (like running ads) won’t necessarily be worth it until you have a certain amount of traffic.

There are still ways you can monetize a website that doesn’t get much traffic. For example, you could use the audience you already have to launch a business (like coaching or freelance writing) based around your site. You could also sell products to your existing audience.

However, with more site visitors, you’ll have more options.

How do you build traffic to your website? There are tons of strategies you can use. Write an ebook, hold a webinar, grow your email list, improve your SEO…  basically anything to help people find you and get them interested in your content.

Monetizing Your Site

Once you’ve built up an audience for your website, here are just a few of the techniques you can use to monetize your traffic.

Paid Memberships or Paywalls

The simplest way to monetize your website is asking people to pay for your content.

Because there’s so much free stuff on the internet, people are hesitant to pay for content. However, if your brand is strong enough, your audience might be willing to pay. Many major news publishers offer only a few free articles and keep the rest of their websites behind a paywall. Here’s what that looks like at the Harvard Business Review:

HBR screenshot paywall monetize traffic

For bloggers and marketers, a more common approach is a tiered membership system, where most of the content on the website is free, but some is members-only.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing means using affiliate links to refer people to other websites. When people buy products from those sites, you’ll get a cut of the sale.  

If you’re using affiliate links on your site, you should let people know that. Try to only recommend products you think your audience will like.

There are tons of companies out there with affiliate programs. Amazon has one of the most popular ones.  

Amazon affiliates screenshot monetize traffic

Sponsored Posts

A third way to monetize traffic is by doing sponsored posts for brands. Companies might contact you asking you to write a post promoting them, with a link to their site. This is sometimes called native advertising.

Here’s an example of a sponsored post from HR Magazine:

HR magazine sponsoredcontent monetize traffic

Display Ads

Finally, one of the most common ways to monetize your website is by using display ads.

Display ads are extremely popular and show up on almost every website in the header, sidebars, and other places. In fact, the Google Display Network reaches 90% of internet users around the world. By using display ads, you can “rent out” space on your site to advertisers.

Here’s an example of what display ads look like from Speedtest.net:

display ads speedtest monetize traffic

Display ads are an easy way to monetize traffic. But to get the most out of them, you have to optimize them.

To do this, you have to understand how display advertising works, and which types of ads work best. Ads can be annoying to users if you implement them wrong.

Read on to learn about how to earn more from display ads without destroying your user experience.

What Type of Ads Should I Use to Bring in Revenue?

First, let’s talk about the types of display ads that are out there. There are a lot of different formats for ads. The Interactive Advertising Bureau has guidelines for ad sizes and specifications.

Here are a few kinds of display ads you might see on publisher websites:

Static Ads vs. Animated Ads

Static ads are the simplest and most traditional kind of display ads. A static ad is a picture, and that’s it.

An animated display ad is usually made up of 2-3 static images, which display one after the other.

These types of ads are sometimes called banner ads, and they come in a variety of different formats. You may have heard terms like “leaderboard”, “skyscraper”, “square”, “full banner”, or “half-page”: these are all different sizes for display ads.

Google has a guide showing some of the most common ad sizes (in pixels) for both mobile and desktop.

Ad sizing monetize traffic

Video Ads

Another type of display ad is a video ad.

You may think of a video ad as something that shows up on YouTube, but Google video ads also appear on publisher websites if they are Google video partners.

Video ads may be embedded within content or displayed on the side of the page.

Lightbox Ads

Lightbox ads respond when users engage with them. When people tap or hover over the ad, it expands or displays a video. Advertisers only pay when people engage with their ads.

Responsive Display Ads

Responsive display ads adjust their appearance to fit different ad spaces.

Advertisers can upload a bunch of assets (videos, images, logos, or headlines), and the ad network automatically chooses a combination of these to fit different ad slots.

Retargeted Ads

Ever looked at a website, and then seen ads for that same website a few hours later as you were browsing online?

You can thank retargeting (also known as remarketing) for that.  

Retargeting lets advertisers show their ads to people who have already interacted with their website in some way, or who have signed up for their email list.

Native Ads

The term native ad means an ad that blends into the content surrounding it, making users more likely to click.

While you may think of a native ad as a sponsored post or advertorial, display ads may also be called native ads when they are optimized to match the surrounding content.

Here’s a screenshot (from The Independent) of what a native ad looks like. It looks like an article, but note the “sponsored” label at the bottom:

native ad example monetize traffic

Which Type of Ads Should I Run?

As you can see, there are a lot of different types of ads to choose from. Which kinds should you run on your website?

As a publisher, it’s in your best interest to run ads in a way that will make them perform well. You want to get people clicking, so you can earn those advertising dollars.

But you also don’t want to ruin your user experience. Running too many invasive ads can have a bad impact on your site: it can slow down your page loading speed, potentially tank your SEO, and send your readers running for the hills.

So how can you know which ads will work best? Basically, you should be testing your ads, and you need to be using the right tools.

Read on for more tips on how to get the best possible ad experience for your website.

Tips for Optimizing Your Website’s Ad Experience

To effectively monetize traffic, you’ll want to improve the ad experience that users have on your website.

Here are a few different ways you can do that:

Optimize for Web and Mobile

Users are going to be accessing your site from different devices. The ad experience will be different on web and mobile.

Ideally, you’ll want to optimize the ad experience for visitors based on the device they’re using.

Optimize Ad Display

The way that ads are displayed on your site can affect profitability. This includes their size, their location on the page, the type of ad, and whether other ads are present.

Did you know that ads can actually dilute the effectiveness of other ads? If there are too many ads on a single page, each one may be less effective. Don’t assume that just adding more ads will lead to higher revenue.

Serve Users a Unique and Custom Ad Experience

Advertisers treat every visitor differently, serving them different ads depending on their preferences.

Yet most publishers treat every user the same.

Customizing your ad experience depending on the user could lead you to get better results. You can do this with the help of automated website monetization software (more on that below).

Importance of A/B Testing Your Ads for a Seamless User Experience

When optimizing your ad experience, A/B testing has its benefits, but it may actually decrease ad rates.

What is A/B Testing?

A/B testing is exactly what it sounds like: running a test where you compare two versions of something side by side (Version A against Version B), to see which one gets better results.

A/B testing will give you some hard evidence about which types of ads you should use. However, it’s not going to appease everyone. The limitations with A/B testing means that you’ll never be able to satisfy the B-side visitors

How Do I Run an A/B Test?

To run an A/B test, you should compare one variable that you can control as a publisher (for example, ad type or content position) with one that you can’t control (such as traffic source).

This will allow you to see which ad content performs better across traffic sources, devices, times of day, etc.

Which Ad Elements Should I Test?

As I mentioned above, there are a lot of variables you can test for when running your A/B tests. Some of these you can control, while others you can’t.

Ad Placement

One important variable to test for is ad placement. This has to do with where your ad is located on the page… is it at the top, at the bottom, in the sidebar, or within the content? Ad placement affects your ad’s visibility to users.

Image Size

Another variable is image size. Obviously, larger ads will be more visible on the page. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean they will perform better. Remember, it’s all about the user experience.

Traffic Source

Which source of traffic is generating the most ad clicks? Optimizing for the source can help you monetize your traffic better, by understanding which traffic is most valuable to you. Maybe it would be worth it to invest more in certain paid traffic sources, or maybe you need to go all-in on your SEO.

Ad Color

This one is pretty self-explanatory… what color are your ads? Should you be aiming to make them blend in, or stand out?

Color psychology can have an impact on conversion rate, so this is actually a more important factor than you might think.

Density

How densely packed are your ads on the page? We already discussed how ads can dilute each other, so ad density can be a key factor to look into.

Location Targeting

Are you making use of location targeting to show users ads that are relevant for their local region?

Ad Network

A final variable you can optimize for is ad network. Different ad networks may be paying you less or more for certain ads.

Tools for Testing Ads

There are a lot of different tools you can use for testing ads. I’ll quickly run through some of the most popular ones, and then I’ll let you know about my secret weapon that I use for monetizing traffic.

Google Optimize

If you want a simple tool for running A/B tests, you can use Google Optimize.

Google Optimize Screenshot Monetize Traffic

The upside is that Google Optimize is free. The downside is that you’ll have to do everything manually, which takes forever.

Basically, you can go into Google Optimize and connect it with your Google Analytics account. You’ll then need to enter the information for each experiment you want to run.

Optimizely

There are also some paid ad optimization platforms you can use. Optimizely is one example, which is fairly popular in the industry.

However, I’m not a big fan of Optimizely, because I don’t find it super intuitive or easy to use.  The free plugin Ad Inserter is an alternative to Optimizely that many marketers like using.

Ezoic

Finally, I want to tell you about my secret weapon: a tool called Ezoic. Ezoic uses multivariate testing to allow the machines to personalize the ad placements/density automatically.

Ezoic is awesome, because it actually allows you to customize your ad experience to what your user wants. This can help you more effectively monetize traffic.

ezoic screenshot 1 monetize traffic

You can use Ezoic to run automated ad tests.

Ezoic screenshot 2 monetize traffic

The software uses AI and machine learning to help you optimize your ads, so it makes decisions based on billions of pieces of data. These decisions are more effective than what you could do on your own.

Automating your testing saves tons of time: you can test thousands of variables in minutes. If you tried to do it manually, it could take months.

Ezoic has helped some websites get a 93% increase in total monthly revenue, and an 87% increase in average revenue per session. To me, those are pretty amazing results.

But not only is Ezoic great for revenue, it also helps you optimize your user experience for every single visitor. If your display ads are taking away from user experience, Ezoic will take the ad off the page.

Because of the improved user experience that Ezoic offers, users are likely to spend more time on your site. Companies have actually seen great results with this already.

Simplypsychology.org saw an 84% increased time-on-site after starting with the Ezoic platform.

Simply Psychology Case Study

And Askdavetaylor.com had a 49% increase in pageviews.

Ask Dave Taylor Casestudy

You don’t have to just use Ezoic with Adsense. You can use it with any existing ad platforms and get access to thousands of demand partners, helping you make more money faster.

Conclusion

If you’re a publisher, running display ads on your website is a great way to monetize traffic.

But there are tons of different types of ads, and lots of different variables to think about when running them. If you actually want to make money from display ads, you’ll want to make sure they’re optimized for the best possible performance.

Make sure you’re running the right tests, so you can get the most out of your ads.

What did you think about my tips for monetizing your traffic? Have you tried any of the tools I mentioned? Let us know in the comments.

The post How to Monetize Your Website Without Destroying Your User Experience appeared first on Neil Patel.

Conversion Rate Optimization

Why You Should Create Mobile Ads for Engagement (and…

Optimizing mobile ads is a tactic in almost every business owner’s toolbox.

More often than not, the CTA on those ads is asking for a conversion of some sort. Maybe it’s a purchase, a subscription, or just free trial signup.

But is that all mobile ads are good for?

Is that even what mobile ads are best for?

If you’re using your mobile ads to sell, sell, sell, you may be wasting a lot of your ad spend, to be honest.

Mobile ads themselves aren’t a waste of money. They can actually be very helpful.

However, it’s time to stop thinking mobile ads are only good for increasing conversions.

I’m going to tell you why that’s the case. And then I’ll show you how to start doing that.

In this article, we’ll discuss why the most successful mobile ads are the ones that promote audience engagement.

Then you’ll see how to use your ads to promote engagement. And finally, you’ll discover how to promote the right engagement to set yourself up for future conversions

Let’s start by analyzing the pros and cons of advertising to a mobile audience.

Why Are Mobile Ads Not Just Good for Conversions?

I know what you’re thinking.

If the end goal of engagement is a conversion anyway, why not just streamline the process and run ads meant to convert?

There are several reasons:

Ads that are too pushy will be skilled, ignored, or otherwise avoided.

Just check out the findings from this HubSpot Research study. Namely, take a look at the top three reasons consumers use ad blockers:

why do you use an ad blocker chart guide to mobile ads.

Ads made to convert can come off as annoying, disruptive, or even a security concern, instead of as helpful or engaging.

If that’s your ad, even those who don’t use ad blockers will ignore it. If you don’t make the value of your offer obvious and clear, your mobile ad will just fade into the background.

So that’s one reason a hard-sell conversion ad isn’t always a stellar idea. But why is this type of ad a pitfall for mobile advertisers specifically?

In short, many people still don’t buy things on their phones.

There’s no doubt that mobile commerce is on the rise — emarketer reports that mobile commerce will grow by 68% in 2022.

Despite the growth of mobile shopping, the majority of shoppers only use their phones to look up deals or product information — and then head to a store or a desktop to make big purchases.

In addition, some people want to see and touch a product in person. Or they want to watch full videos to explore all the features before pulling the trigger.

Finally, when users see your mobile ads on social media, they are often hearing about your business for the first time.

These consumers aren’t ready to purchase from you yet.

So why would you spend money on an ad asking them to?

The most effective social media ads raise awareness for your brand. Like in any setting, social media users need to move down the sales funnel before they can convert.

With all that in mind, it’s important to make your next mobile ad worth your visitors’ time.

In other words, it’s important to make your next mobile ad engaging.

What is Mobile Engagement?

There are four types of engagement that you can generate with an ad.

The first is probably the one you’re most familiar with: landing page engagement.

Your ad redirects consumers to your site, where they complete actions like filling out your form, making a purchase, and so on.

As a business, this is your end goal. But as we discussed in the last section, going the direct route to a conversion isn’t easy with mobile ads. Trying to do so can waste a lot of resources.

That’s where the other types of engagement come in.

One alternative engagement type is a website visit.

You can gauge this from metrics like bounce rate and average session times.

An ad asking someone to read a blog post would promote website engagement because blog posts typically see longer session times than other pages.

Another type is social media engagement.

When fans or followers interact with your social media page — liking, sharing, commenting, or using your personal hashtag — they are engaging with your brand.

Finally, there’s brand engagement.

This is measured through metrics like customer loyalty and repeat business.

It can also be measured by your Net Promoter Score. This is a score based on how many customers like your brand and how many see room for improvement.

net promoter score chart: guide to mobile ads for engagement

The Net Promoter Score is one of the best ways to improve customer retention over the long-term.

So how exactly do all these types of engagement make you money?

For starters, increasing any of these types of engagement will strengthen a customer’s trust in your brand.

That’s a necessity if you eventually want them to convert. People won’t buy from brands they don’t trust.

But it’s more than that.

When someone engages with your ad — downloads your ebook or watches your video, for example — you can track that.

Then, you can create a custom audience of the people who completed this specific action.

You can retarget them later with the perfect ad to continue leading them toward a conversion.

Mobile ads are the perfect way to increase all three alternative types of engagement. Up next, we’ll look at four essential tips to make your engagement ads stand out.

1. Know Your Mobile Audience

Mobile users behave differently than desktop users.

That means they have their own set of analytics to consider.

For example, the data below represents traffic that arrived to a friend’s site from a mobile Facebook ad:

mobile ad metrics example

Note the highlighted metrics.

Mobile users visited nearly three pages per session, spent nearly six minutes on the site, and had a bounce rate of 77.78%.

Below, you can see that most of these users visited the site during evening hours.

Mobile ad metrics

Now compare that with users who arrived at the site from a desktop Facebook ad:

Mobile ad metrics example

These users explored the site less thoroughly than mobile users, resulting in a higher bounce rate. Meanwhile, desktop users visited more consistently throughout the day:

mobile ad engagement rates

Evaluating this information will be a huge help when you decide how, where, and when you are going to engage your audience.

Will you run ads at a specific time of day? Will you direct them to your landing page or to a blog post or feature page?

You can learn both the demographics and psychographics of your mobile audience to maximize your reach.

All the info you need is available in your Google Analytics.

To start, create a segment of visitors who arrived at your site from a mobile Facebook ad. Here’s how:

Google analytics mobile ad example
  1. In Google Analytics, click on Audience and then Overview.
  2. In the new report that appears, select “+Add Segment.”

Your next step is to click on “+New Segment,” as shown below.

Add new segment to view mobile ads data

You’ll then see a menu that looks like this:

Google analtyics view mobile ads for facebook traffic
  1. Select Traffic Sources.
  2. Click in the field for “Source contains.” A drop-down menu will list the sources that bring visitors to your site. Select Facebook mobile: m.facebook.com.

Save your changes and bingo! Segment created.

From here, you can track analytics for this specific group. Discover what speaks to this audience to learn who they are and, consequently, who you should be designing your ad for.

2. Use Mobile Native Advertising

Mobile native advertising is an ad format that allows an ad to blend in with the app or mobile site on which it runs.

The advertiser usually purchases the space on which a mobile native ad runs.

This form of advertising is particularly popular because it’s known for increasing engagement.

There are eight types of mobile native advertising. But for now, we’re going to look at three you’re most likely to recognize.

The first is In-Feed Social advertising.

This is the Facebook ad that isn’t on the right sidebar. It’s smack in the middle of someone’s feed, appearing just like a regular post would.

Here’s an example from Mountain Standard:

Mobile ad example in feed advertising

The second type, In-Feed Content, is very similar to the first.

However, instead of these ads being made to look like a social media post, they’re made to look like the content of the site on which the ad runs.

For example, take a look at how this sponsored Live Science article blends in with articles on Yahoo:

Mobile ad example in feed

Without the “Sponsored” tag, even the most detail-oriented visitor would think this was just a regular article.

Last but not least: Paid Search ads.

You’ve probably heard a lot about this one. Google AdWords ads that appear on search engine result pages are the primary example, such as this ad for MailChimp:

Mobile ad example paid search ads

Because native ads blend in with content, they have a huge advantage over more ads-y ads like Google Shopping ads.

Native ads reach customers who have “banner blindness.”

These ads are more likely to be seen and engaged with because they’re placed where the most engagement already is: the content areas.

Logic’s on our side here and so are the numbers.

According to data published by MediaPost, consumers interact with native ads up to 60% more than they do with banner ads.

So what’s the catch? It’s more like a caution, actually.

You have to make sure you aren’t misleading your readers.

Someone scanning through search engine results could easily mistake your ad for an unsponsored result. And if they click your link only to realize you’re trying to sell them something?

You may have a problem on your hands.

Because according to Contently, 48% of consumers feel deceived in this situation:

mobile ads do consumers feel deceived.

You don’t want to be deceptive. If your ad blends in a little too well, go the extra mile to make your intentions clear.

In this example, the Denver Post and KB Home added the word “Sponsored” in the ad text to prevent confusion.

Mobile ads example

You do want to be in places where you’ll get seen, but you don’t want to trick users into clicking.

Avoid the deception by adding one or two words or obvious branding elements to your ad.

3. Build Trust with Mobile Ads

It’s easy to say you should “build trust.”

But how, exactly, does someone accomplish that feat?

It helps to think about the reasons you trust your favorite brands.

I’d wager a guess that one of the reasons is you don’t feel like they’re “only in it for themselves.”

Their product benefits you just as much as your money benefits them.

The brands you like are helpful. And, by keeping that in mind when designing your ads, your brand can be the same way.

Say you’re running an ad through AdWords.

If you want to be helpful, then you have to think about what Google searchers are trying to accomplish at the time they see your ad.

According to Textbroker, there are three reasons why people use Google: to buy something, to find a page, or to get information.

Searchers in the first category probably don’t need your help. At least, they don’t think they do.

But searchers in the second two categories are often searching for answers.

You can provide these answers by redirecting users to your online resources.

To get the most clicks, avoid making these ads super salesy.

Your headline, body, and CTA should be conversational. All you’re trying to do is communicate that you can help consumers solve their problem.

For example, Top10AntivirusSoftware.com runs this ad on the antivirus software SERP:

Mobile ads using conversational style example

This ad provides a list of the best antivirus software to help users decide what to buy.

The website offers helpful features, like comparing offers side-by-side, to build a good relationship with the user — even if that means they don’t convert today.

You can also use engagement ads to offer a resource. Type “data analytics” into Google, and you might see this SAS ad:

data analytics mobile ad

Once again, this ad isn’t trying to sell me anything. At least not immediately.

It isn’t even taking me to the site’s homepage.

But by offering me a free download, they still establish themselves as a reliable business in my mind.

They want to establish themselves as a thought leader in the industry.

Another way to use ads is to remind your audience you are an authority.

Don’t be shy. Tell them outright why you are the best at what you do.

After all, if you didn’t think you were the best, you wouldn’t be doing it.

And chances are, there are plenty of others who agree with you.

So use this to your advantage. Run ads that link to your popular content, your favorite customer testimonials, or a page announcing your recent accomplishments.

Filson does this by running a video ad about what they’re proud of.

Here’s one example of their partnership with the United States Forest Service:

Mobile ad example build trust

Just remember that listing your accomplishments won’t help much if your viewer doesn’t know what the next step is.

Include a CTA, even “read more” or “watch more,” to get users to your site.

4. Say No to Page Likes Ads

One of the best ways to get to know someone is to stalk their Facebook likes.

Said no one ever.

But if this were true, it would be really easy to know someone like the back of your hand. After all, Facebook’s always telling you that your friends like this page or that brand.

These are Page Likes ads, and they appear on both desktop and mobile.

Here’s an example of a Page Likes ad from Sprout Social:

facebook advertising guide 091

If you use Facebook, you can probably think of at least ten Page Likes ads you’ve seen in the past.

Which begs the question: Why are these ads so popular?

Businesses use Page Likes ads to:

  • Tap into a person’s desire to emulate others
  • Benefit from people’s natural trust of their friends

After all, according to ReportLinker, 89% of people would trust their friend over an anonymous online review.

So why did the last subhead read “Say no to Page Likes ads?”

Well, because Facebook likes aren’t as cheap as you think.

Yes, they do matter. You do want people to like your page. But unfortunately, there could be many people who like your page and never see your content.

Facebook is making it harder and harder to appear in your fans’ feeds.

As a result, you’ll often have to part with additional cash to boost your post and get the person whose “like” you bought to see your content.

Buying a like is a never-ending cycle of payment.

So what should you do instead?

When posting on your page, the nicest thing you can do for yourself is to include a video.

According to Marketing Land, your posts will reach most of your fans if you incorporate video content.

Create a video that raises awareness about a problem you can solve. Your fans will watch your video, and that first marketing seed will be planted.

Next, it’s time to advertise. But not with Page Likes ads. Instead, you’re going to run a specific engagement ad for a custom audience.

Use Facebook custom audiences to remind the people who watched your video of both their problem and your solution.

Just go into your Facebook Ads account and create a custom audience based on video views.

Facebook ads create a custom audience

Your ad will appear for people who have engaged in that way. But what will your ad say?

At this point, your mobile audience still isn’t ready to convert. You can get them closer with your next ad.

One way you can do this is by making your fans’ lives better.

Offer free resources to help solve their new problem. Now that they’ve watched your video, they won’t be wondering why they would possibly ever want to read your free guide.

Here’s an example from Audible:

Audible mobile ad example

You also may choose to run a drip campaign that convinces users to take a free course on how to solve their problem.

This image from AdEspresso shows an example of how Founder Institute does this:

founder institute mobile ad example

Your last option is to solve their problem right away, for free, and save the sale for a future problem.

You can immediately offer solutions like articles or checklists to establish a good relationship between you and your potential leads.

Here’s another AdEspresso example for Bonobos:

Adespresso mobile ad example

In every situation, offer solutions that are consistent with the problem you mentioned before.

Whether you solve their problem now or later, your dedication to providing a solution will encourage mobile users to engage.

Conclusion

Mobile ads just aren’t just for conversions.

Despite the growth in mobile shopping, some shoppers still hesitate to make a purchase on their mobile device.

Many Facebook users don’t know enough about you to buy from you.

And finally, ads that are too sales-y or pushy are likley to be ignored.

Luckily, conversions aren’t the only type of engagement. By using your mobile ads to promote website engagement, social media engagement, and brand engagement, you’ll make it easy to convert your customers later on.

Before you start creating your ad, study analytics for your mobile users specifically.

Use mobile native advertising to optimize engagement, and create ads that encourage your audience to trust your brand.

Finally, don’t engage with Facebook Page Likes ads. Instead, get the most out of Facebook ads by creating custom audiences so that you can follow up with them in the future.

What’s the best mobile advertising tip you’ve used to generate more leads and customers?

The post Why You Should Create Mobile Ads for Engagement (and Not Just Conversion) appeared first on Neil Patel.

Conversion Rate Optimization

When Should You Use Microsites

Your website may be filled with hundreds of landing pages jam-packed with products, ebooks, blog posts, and videos. While an organized site architecture should enable visitors to navigate through your website easily, sometimes it’s better to keep things even simpler.

This is where “microsites” can help.

True to their name, a microsite is like a mini-website for your brand’s content. Brands often create these sites for a specific event or campaign.

Having a microsite may be convenient because it allows visitors to view information about an event or campaign in one place with no clicking through a whole site necessary.

This article explains how to come up with microsite ideas and how to create one.

What is a Microsite?

A microsite is a branded content site or a small group of web pages. It’s typically located outside the businesses’ main website or brand URL. The microsite can have its own domain, but it could also exist as a subdomain of your company’s website.

Brands have used microsites for marketing campaigns or brand awareness.

Many brands create microsites so their target audiences can focus on one particular event, campaign, or content. If these promotional materials were placed on the main website, it could get lost in the crowd.

However, some brands use microsites to regularly publish specific content types, such as niche online magazines.

Microsites vs. Websites: What’s the Difference?

In simplest terms, a website is a large hub leading viewers to all sorts of information about your brand—your brand story, your products, etc.—while microsites are smaller and have more targeted content. The primary site is likely what people come across when searching your brand, while the microsite is what they find when they’re searching for information about a specific aspect of your brand for which you’ve created this individual site.

For example, Patagonia’s main website allows viewers to shop, learn about their activism, and more.

Microsites vs Websites Patagonia main site home page

In contrast, their Blue Heart microsite aims to raise awareness about the dams in the Balkan region—which Patagonia strives to show are harming their surrounding ecosystem and residents.

patagonia blue heart microsite

Pros and Cons of Microsites

Like nearly anything else in the marketing world, microsites have pros and cons.

Pro: Microsites May Help Visitors Focus On Your Marketing Campaigns

Sure, you could create a specific banner on your homepage to launch your new campaign. Unfortunately, many users may be distracted by the surrounding tabs, links, and product pages.

The average human attention span lasts for only eight seconds.

Even if you have a sizeable campaign-related banner on your homepage, surrounding site elements may distract visitors from that. Hence, less awareness and less participation.

By redirecting visitors to a specific microsite, you can wholly capture their attention.

It also forces people to focus on your campaign, cause, or event.

The main homepage is designed based on the campaign’s aesthetic, and the surrounding tabs and links contain specific information to bring awareness. Since other site elements have been eliminated, visitors can focus on your call-to-action or marketing campaign.

Con: Microsites Could Confuse Visitors

Upon learning the fringe benefits of having a microsite, you may be tempted to launch more than one so they can highlight several campaigns.

Be careful. Microsites must be used wisely.

A new user encountering your brand for the first time may unexpectedly reach your microsite.

These first-time visitors may learn campaign-specific information without finding the details they were initially searching for. If they can’t reach your main website easily, they may decide to shop elsewhere.

This con is additionally essential to consider because microsites can be costly, between your domain, design, maintenance, and more—you want to make sure you have good ROI for your microsites.  

How to Come Up With Ideas for Your Microsite

Creating a successful microsite usually isn’t as big of an undertaking as it sounds—as long as you know the right steps.

Here are those steps.

1. Create a Buyer Persona

Just like every marketing campaign you’ve launched in the past, you need to create buyer personas.

A buyer persona will help you visualize the target audience for your microsite.

Here are some questions to consider:

  • Who will visit your microsite?
  • Why will they visit the microsite?
  • What will drive them to participate in your microsite’s campaign or event?
  • How will you entice your target audience to visit your microsite?

The ideal marketing persona provides an overview of your target market’s background, demographics, goals, interests, and aspirations. A detailed persona gives you an even better understanding of your target audience’s needs and aspirations.  

The result could look something like this:

Microsites how to create a buyer persona

2. Define the Goals of Your Microsite

The SMART goal process helps set goals and objectives. The acronym stands for

specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.

Microsites SMART B2B Marketing goals

Let’s say your overall goal is to create a microsite to promote your new product line.

A good starting point is to determine the specific objectives you want to achieve by launching the microsite. What are your ideal sales or quarterly revenue? How many unique visitors do you want to attract?

For example, a specific goal could be: “I want to attract 100 unique visitors to my microsite per week.”

This is a clear and measurable objective you can monitor every week and may help you determine if your microsite effectively hits the goals you’ve set for your business.

3. Find Existing Examples of Microsites

To get some inspiration for your microsite, look into existing microsites.

According to Zesty, there are generally three types of microsites:

Informative Microsites

This type aims to educate visitors about a specific campaign, event, or cause.

For example, Team Rubicon’s microsite hopes to raise awareness of flood victims’ plights in the Gulf Coast.

team rubicon microsite

Interactive Microsites

These encourage engagement with fun activities or campaigns.

Spotify’s “Year in Music” microsite is personalized based on the visitor’s listening habits. It has a personalized recap of your favorite songs or artists for the past year. This could trigger some good memories and may make your listeners keener on returning.

spotify microsite

E-commerce Microsites

These sites sell services or products to consumers.

Bentley Motors launched a microsite to enable visitors to explore their new luxury Bentley Bentayga virtually.  Car enthusiasts have the option to request a test drive, digitally customize a Bentley Bentayga, or learn more about the vehicle.

Bentley Bentayga microsite

I’ve compiled a longer list of more microsite examples a bit further down this page to help you out.

How Do You Create a Microsite?

Now that you have a clear vision for your microsite, it’s time to create your own.

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Get a Domain and Hosting Service for Your Microsite

The first step is to get a domain name and hosting service for your microsite.

At this point, you probably have a few name ideas—or at least keywords in mind—for your microsite. You can use a tool like Domainsbot to see if these domain names are available or get suggestions based on your keywords. I used “social media SEO” to get the recommendations below:

domains bot samples of possible microsite domains

Another trick is to consider buying expired domains. This lets you redirect traffic from the old domain to your microsite.

Visit expireddomains.net to find expired domain names. Again, I searched “social media SEO:”

how to get domains for your microsite example

You should also opt for a .com domain if you’re targeting a global market, though a country extension (i.e., .uk or .au) also works if you’re targeting a local market.

Depending on your host, they may be able to sell you your domain through their site (often via a third party). You can also use a separate site, like Namecheap, to purchase your domain.

2. Design Your Microsite

You’ve already searched for examples of microsites to see what works and what doesn’t. Now, it’s time to work on your own.

Meet up with your marketing team, designers, and developers to plan the format for your microsite.

Let’s take a look at the basics to consider:

  • Number of pages: Is one page enough to deliver the information, or do you need multiple pages to meet your goals?
  • Gamification: Will your site use interactive elements to tell a story?
  • Navigation: Will users navigate through the website through clicking, scrolling, or zooming in?
  • Media: Will the microsite have blog posts, videos, or images? How do you visualize the final look of your microsite?
  • Call to action: Where will you place the CTA, and how will you make it jump out to users?

If you want to retain your brand’s look and feel, you may use branding elements similar to your main website. You can also go for something different if you aim to promote a specific event or a new product launch.

However, it’s best not to abandon your brand—you don’t want users to forget who’s inviting them to experience whatever your site is advertising.

3. Create Content for Your Microsite

You’ll want to keep your team involved in this step as well. Here are some questions to discuss with them:

  • What content will work best for your site—that is, what types of media will you use?
  • What tone will you use to interact with your target audience?
  • How will your microsite encourage users to take action?

Once you’ve decided what direction you’re headed, assign content and get rolling!

4. Launch, Update, and Promote Your Microsite

Once you’ve launched your site, you need to keep things fresh and bring in new visitors.

If it makes sense, update content regularly—especially if you’re using blogs. Even if you’re using this to advertise an event and information isn’t changing much, use feedback from viewers—such as through a “contact us” form—to ensure the information is useful and clear. Perhaps use their input to create a FAQ page as well.

And of course, you must promote your website to increase traffic. Use your existing social media to let people know about your microsite, and consider creating separate social media or event pages for the site itself.

Additionally, advertise it through traditional methods you use for your other pages, such as pay per click. If you have a brick and mortar store, use physical strategies as mentioned earlier.

Managing SEO for Microsites

Just like your main website, you’ll also want to manage the SEO for your microsite.

After all, you want it to rank in the search results and make it easy to find for users.

Let’s take a look at some SEO tricks you can pull off:

Optimize Your Microsite for SEO

This means focusing on on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO for your microsite.

We highly recommend watching our video on “The Ultimate SEO Checklist For New Websites” to help you get your microsites to rank on Google.

Create Great Content on Your Microsite

The quality of your content is essential, and this goes for microsites as much as it does for your primary site.

Besides optimizing for keywords, the content on your microsite must be relevant, engaging, and clear. Otherwise, visitors won’t be motivated to stay on your microsite for a long time.

So, dedicate time to create valuable content.

What Are Some Good Examples of Microsites?

Microsites can be used to fulfill different goals. Some businesses have used microsites to reach a specific target audience or raise awareness about a campaign. Meanwhile, other brands have used them to provide personalized content or invite users to engage in a particular action.

For a dose of inspiration, here are some fantastic microsites:

Future of Car Sharing Microsite

“Future of Car Sharing” is a collaboration between Collaborative Fund and Hyperkat, with assistance from Startup American Partnership. This microsite aims to educate readers on the benefits of car sharing. Visitors can scroll from left to right to learn more about car sharing types and how this practice is good for the environment.

the future of carsharing microsite home page

The story begins with the types of car sharing and the different companies and nonprofit groups facilitating it. Along the way, you’ll encounter statistics and the top reasons to participate.

future of car sharing microsite statistics

This microsite is useful because it uses easy-to-understand images and infographics to convey information. Users can hover in each illustration to learn more.

future of car sharing microsite hover popups

Styled by Levi’s Microsite

“Styled by Levi’s,” which is run by (of course) Levi’s, is a microsite allowing users to respond to a quiz about their style preferences.

styled by levis microsite home page
styled by levis microsite quiz

After completing the quiz, users are urged to log-in to their Pinterest accounts to get a personalized shoppable Pinterest board based on their choices.

When it comes to online shopping for clothes, everything is visual. According to Current Daily, the Pinterest boards can send customers to Styled by Levi’s chatbot and customer service. The platform also uses past browsing data of customers to generate personalized looks.

Thanks to this microsite’s user experience and collaboration with Pinterest, customers often find it easy to see Levi’s products matching their styles.

styled by levis microsite pinterest collaboration

3. My Creative Type

For their My Creative Type microsite, Adobe lets users take an interactive quiz to learn about their unique creative types.

My Creative Type microsite home page

Users are asked to answer abstract questions that are matched with creative traits. After answering a question, users can engage with interactive ASMR elements or animations, turning the quiz into an even more immersive experience.

my creative types microsite quiz question

At the end of the quiz, users can learn their creative strengths, untapped potential, and the biggest challenges they must overcome in their creative journeys.

Examples of Good Microsites My Creative Type

Conclusion

If you want to create a microsite, think about the objectives you want to achieve. Then, create compelling content to encourage visitors to engage.

Make microsites that have eye-catching designs and deliver seamless experiences to engage users further.

By knowing the right steps, you too could design a microsite your target audience will love.

How will you use microsites?

The post When Should You Use Microsites appeared first on Neil Patel.

Conversion Rate Optimization

How to Leverage Storytelling to Increase Your Conversions

In the not so distant past, I embarked on a journey to grow NeilPatel.com to 100,000 blog readers. At the end of every month, I shared my traffic stats and the changes I’d made. That storytelling strategy went on to help my blog reach over 100,000 views a month — in only about eight months.

As marketers, we use storytelling to help make our ideas stick. We create stories to help prospects understand our products, use company stories to build trust and transparency with consumers, and include stories in sales pitches to help persuade.

Why does it work?

Competition in native advertising and social media marketing is fierce. And, the rate at which great content is being produced and published on the web and across the media channels is expanding. Our readership is drowning.

Most people scan web content, looking for something that stands out. If they don’t find it, they’ll leave.

Visual stories and corporate storytelling can connect the dots and get people to ACTUALLY read your great content and take action. This is the essence of successful media marketing.

If you want to increase your potential customer conversions, then start captivating your target market by making emotional connections through storytelling.

Storytelling is like a vitamin. When it gets into your readers, it permeates their whole being and fights every objection that might otherwise stop them from becoming loyal customers.

In short, it’s an amazing secret weapon when it comes to your marketing strategy.

In this article, I’ll explain the five simple steps you can improve your potential customer conversion rate by combining storytelling and data.

The breakdown of what you’ll learn is:

  • What Storytelling Is
  • The Elements of Storytelling
  • How to Use Storytelling to Increase Conversions
  • Build Authority Through Storytelling
  • Storytelling Success Stories

Step #1: What is Storytelling?

Storytelling is the art of communicating your idea, message or event, by creatively weaving words, images, and sounds into a narrative. Visual stories, written stories, and verbal stories – this is the content we love.

When you tell a true story, your message is perceived as authentic. In the same way that live events get more retweets than general tweets on social media channels, your content will impact the lives of your target market, and improve your credibility.

storytelling benefits

Why should you use corporate storytelling in content marketing? We breathe visual stories. Even in the Stone Age, humans understood how to tell stories that evoked interest and made that emotional connection.

And, it’s one of the most effective ways to engage and persuade your audience.

storytelling infographic

Humans are born storytellers and adore visual communication. Storytelling gives life or meaning to a scenario and makes that emotional connection, provoking feelings of ecstasy, sorrow, or peace, and captivating your audience. This is exactly what you need when it comes to your digital marketing strategy.

It is little wonder that posts with visual stories and visual communication generate more Facebook and media channel shares than any other content type.

As it turns out, visual stories and communication (e.g., infographics, videos, memes, screenshots) get widely shared on major social media channels.

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Your potential customers aren’t looking for another sales pitch or a proposal that sounds too good to be true. They’ve heard enough of those.

For example, when you write, use relevant images and great visual stories that pique people’s interest.

Or, if you’re recording a podcast, you could use emotion-triggering music and sounds. For video creation, you can use words, images, visual stories, and sounds at the same time.

A study conducted by Forrester Research found that 88% of executives and organizational decision-makers long to have conversations, not pushy sales presentations.

With visual stories, you can create and promote infographics, which have collectively generated over 2,500,000 million visitors and 41,142 backlinks for me, over a two-year span.

I usually publish new infographics every Friday, and the results have been amazing.

use storytelling to drive traffic.

You can also create visual stories and content and submit it to authoritative media sites and platforms, such as Slideshare, Vimeo, and Animoto. This helps you gain a new target market and potential customers for your business.

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Corporate Storytelling in Persuasion

Persuasion is the master key that will unlock your conversion vault with your potential customers. Robert Mckee was right when he said that “Storytelling with persuasion trumps statistics.”

Marketing is for people, and people are emotional beings.

Our brains are wired to respond to emotional connections and triggers. Storytelling is the most natural source of those triggers.

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When you understand how to persuade others, you’ll no longer struggle to get more traffic. Instead, you’ll focus on improving conversions, because that’s what matters.

So, how do stories persuade a targeted group of readers or potential customers to take action? That’s the goal of setting up a content marketing strategy and writing in-depth content.

Moment of truth: What potential customers perceive to be true will ultimately guide their actions and decision-making processes. Consumer perceptions may or may not be accurate, but they’ll live by them, nevertheless.

When people visit your website or your media sites, what truth do you instill in them? Do you give visitors the hard sell, when they’re still trying to get to know you?

Instead of starting with “once upon a time,” or some variation of it, weave your story into your content. Stories can even appear on your headline, introduction, and, most importantly, on your landing page.

Add experiences, case studies, research studies, and significant results that you’ve helped your customers achieve. These are the foundation of your story.

I’ve used storytelling in the past to engage my readers, as well. For example, I shared a story on how spending $162,301.42 on clothes made me $692,500.

example of storytelling in marketing

Personality: The Norwegian author Rune Belsvik once said that the concept of story was “one of the first things that came to the world.”

Our personality is born out of stories. We’re created to share and listen to stories, to fall in love with visual stories. So, storytelling is a natural tool to help grow your audience and increase your conversions.

In the same way, storytelling gives your content new flavor and amplify its benefits, because it’s coming from a “personality” – a set of characteristics that makes you special and appealing to others.

In the beginning of your content, open strong, and establish your story. In the middle, build interest in the message.

Highlight the benefits of the topic and close with a call-to-action that’s persuasive, not pushy.

David Siteman Garland, founder of The Rise To The Top, uses this strategy to write his copy. He starts out his story on a strong note, gradually evokes interest by showing the results in the middle, then calls his readers to action at the end.

Here’s the beginning:

storytelling example
st

Here’s the middle of his copy, where David builds interest through success stories:

storytelling example in marketing

And finally, the call-to-action at the end:

storytelling example

Note: Established bloggers and internet marketers who have built solid businesses use content segmentation to improve their conversion rate. And, because they’re creative at storytelling, they’re able to experience greater levels of success.

The sooner you master the art of storytelling, the better for your brand and online business. Social media is redefining storytelling in a significant way. Know your audience and be authentic in your written and visual stories.

You’ve already gone through a lot in life and have endless stories to share.

I don’t believe that you should make up stories; instead, you should tap into the wealth of stories from family, friends, customers, entrepreneurs, and brands.

Then, align those stories to the audience you’ve come to know like the back of your hand.

Step #2:  Learn the Elements of Storytelling

When you’re telling or sharing a story with your potential customers, you want to achieve a specific outcome.

You want enough general knowledge to take your content marketing efforts to the next level.  Then, make sure to include the following elements of storytelling.

A Defined Target Audience

Have you defined your audience yet? Before you can successfully tell a story, there must be a qualified audience to enjoy it. Most people get it backwards, if they do it at all.

But, you have to define your target audience first, because they’ll, in turn, define your product both in and out of social media marketing.

As time goes by and you build relationships and engage with your potential customers and target audience, they’ll send you great feedback that will help define and improve your product.

So, how do you define your target audience and your potential customers clearly? There are several ways to go about it, but I’ve personally found that demographics are the first step.

If I can truly understand who my target audience is and where they’re browsing my site from, I can align my content and tell a better story.

Your audience demographic is just a market segment, but it will give you a great understanding of their complete persona or profile.

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Here are the four simple steps to define your audience, based on demographics:

Go to Alexa.com. Type in your site URL (e.g., lewishowes.com) and click “Go.”

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To find your results, scroll down the Alexa result page and you’ll find this:

image22

From the screenshot above, you’ll notice that LewisHowes.com visitors are mostly female, are college graduates, and browse the site from home.

If I were Lewis, now that I know my audience is predominantly female, I would align my content with storytelling nuggets that will appeal to both males and females, but weighted towards the females. I might not do anything further on the education aspect, because college graduates can effectively read and live their dream lifestyle.

But, since the majority of this target audience browses from home, I’d also try to give them worksheets or actionable tips that they can implement right away since they would have no boss around to audit what they are doing.

Armed with your audience demographics, you’ll want to dig deeper. Knowing your audience’s interests is a critical step in unearthing their biggest challenges and using storytelling to solve their problems.

The suggestions below paint a clearer picture of how you can best utilize each social media channel:

  • If you deal in fast-moving consumer goods (i.e., not luxury goods), Facebook is your ideal social media channel for attracting an audience, because the users are mostly young people.
  • Twitter is a microblogging platform for news-like updates. Use the social media channel Twitter to keep your target audience abreast of what’s happening with your site, business or community. It’s not for selling.
  • Besides clothing and decorative arts, Pinterest favors food and drink-related products. Family and relationship-related products also tend to receive more likes and repins.
  • Clothing, accessories and entertainment-related products do extremely well on Instagram because the users are primarily female.

Finally, LinkedIn is the platform of choice for business-related communications. So, if you’re looking to acquire business-minded customers, LinkedIn will out-perform Twitter and Instagram, by a long shot.

storytelling on linkedin

Measurable Goals

The second most important element of storytelling is a measurable goal.

Anybody can set a goal, but how many people can effectively measure it?

Smart marketers want to track their progress.

When you set a goal that you can’t measure, you’ll miss out on the potential of expansion. For example, you won’t know what other factors are required, when you set a bigger goal.

Here are some tips for setting measurable goals:

Start small: I believe in thinking big, but you should also keep your goals realistic. When you start on a smaller note, you’ll certainly hit the target and know exactly where you’re going.

storytelling have measurable goals

“10,000 visitors in a month” isn’t realistic in the beginning.

But, you can set a smaller, specific, and measurable goal, such as “Generate 1000 blog visitors per week, by targeting 25 long-tail keywords and spending an hour every day at relationship-building on discussion boards and social media platforms.”

This latter goal is measurable because you can check your Google Analytics to determine which keyword phrases are performing well in the search engines. You can also track your social media marketing activities and understand the best times to tweet.

You also want to measure your progress when using storytelling to meet marketing goals. Otherwise, you won’t be able to know whether or how your conversion rate is growing.

Set a schedule: For your goals to be measurable, you have to set a schedule. What will you do daily to achieve your goal?

A schedule gets you organized and increases your productivity.

storytelling set a schedule

Your schedule should match your deadline and help you focus on the most important tasks.

For example, if you’ve set a measurable goal to generate 1,000 search visitors per week by targeting 25 long-tail search queries, your daily schedule could be:

  • Research and select five longer tail key phrases: If I were in the weight loss/fitness niche, I could select these easier-to-target key phrases: how to lose 20 pounds, I want to lose weight, best weight loss exercise that works, top 10 fat loss programs and help me lose weight fast.
  • Read books, blogs, watch videos, etc.: I want to learn about the topic as much as I can before writing. There are helpful resources that I can easily access with a quick Google search.
  • Write my headlines: This is critical if you want people to click, read, and share your content. Spend 20 minutes to an hour on your headline, because if you don’t nail the headline, you’ll waste a lot of potential. In order to save time on headline writing, find a headline in any industry that catches your attention, then use it as a model to create a better one that’s relevant to your own industry.
  • Write the content: First, create an outline for your content, then expand on it to create your content or video.
  • Set a deadline: According to Nolan Bushnell, “the ultimate inspiration is the deadline.” Without a deadline, you aren’t inspired to act now to achieve a significant result, because the clock isn’t ticking.
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In leveraging storytelling to increase your conversions, every piece of content that you write and every landing page that you create should have a measurable goal with a schedule and a deadline.

Relatable data: The grudge match between storytelling and statistics rages on. But instead of choosing one or the other, why not combine both when creating your content?

I rarely write content without using data to back up my claims. Personal opinions have a limited ability to engender trust in your target audience. But, if you can prove what you say with statistics, then you win loyal customers.

Take a look at my recent post, to see how I positioned myself as an authority, by referencing something that Google said:

storytelling example

Sharing a story on how you went from being broke to being a millionaire may not do much for your customers unless you use data to prove it.

If there’s no data or case study relating to the story that you’re sharing, you can share your own data.

Go ahead and create charts and make it plain that this is what you found after a series of experiments.

Persuasion

The fourth element of effective storytelling is persuasion. You can’t influence people if you can’t persuade them. 

In his bestselling book, Influence, Dr. Robert B. Cialdini noted that reciprocity, commitment, social proof, authority, liking, and scarcity are the strongest factors in the psychology of persuasion.

The focal point is this: these six factors move people to change behavior, follow the course that you’ve set, subscribe to your email list, and buy your product, even if they don’t necessarily need it right now.

Let’s see an example of how social proof can increase sales.

Cialdini defined social proof as “the art of doing something because you see others who do the same thing.” You simply follow the crowd.

Here’s an example of how social proof increases conversion: Modcloth is a clothing commerce site.

It’s a great community, where shoppers vote on the styles that they believe the site should sell more of in the future. Such styles have a “Top-Rated” badge.

storytelling example modcloth

The evidence of this unique form of social proof is that products with this badge sell twice as well as products without it.

Here are other examples of top brands using social proof:

storytelling using social proof

To learn how the other five principles of persuasion increase conversions, see Peep Laja’s resourceful post, how to use Cialdini’s 6 principles of persuasion to boost conversions.

Use Storytelling to Increase Conversions

I’m amazed at how Huggies used storytelling to increase their conversion rate.  Huggies and Ogilvy had a definite and measurable goal – to connect with and deepen a relationship with expectant moms. They wanted to build engagement even before the baby is born.

To accomplish that goal, Ogilvy decided to get expectant moms involved. Through their campaign, “Delivery Hugs,” they created a powerful video that triggered a strong emotional response from people – especially mothers and moms-to-be

The video was viewed by millions of people. When those people shared the video and the story behind it, people were moved to tears.

Here are actionable ways to increase conversions through storytelling:

Develop a Content Strategy

Your content strategy simply refers to a structured plan by which you create content, promote it, test your campaigns, and track your progress.

The content structure gives you ample opportunity to boost the effectiveness of your content strategy.

And, you can easily achieve that by leveraging social media. Taking inventory of the leads that you acquire, the sales that you get, and the underlying trends in your industry is critical, when you’re developing a content strategy.

Leverage a Story People Already Know

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You could leverage other people’s stories to create a powerful, high-quality, evergreen piece of content. Stories are the secret recipe for other people’s success.

In All Marketers Tell Stories, Seth Godin poses three essential questions to every marketer:

  • Do you have a story?
  • When the right people hear the story, will they believe it?
  • Is the story true?

The harsh reality is that if your story is great, but you can’t tell it well, no one will believe you. All marketers tell stories, but only those who have mastered the art of storytelling catch our attention.

Millions of other people’s stories are available online. All you have to do is find one or more, create tailored content around the stories and reference original content.

This has nothing to do with duplicate content, plagiarism, or content curation. You’ll be creating unique content based on other people’s stories.

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For example, I’ll be creating an in-depth article on how Shopify tripled their sales. I’ll give all due credit and appreciation to Shopify, but the content will increase my search traffic and probably bring in clients.

You can read people’s stories on blogs or by listening to their presentations, reading their books, or engaging them in one-on-one conversations.

There should be a beginning, a narrative to show what happened and the lessons learned, then a conclusion that shows exactly how the same story can change the reader’s life for the better.

Lead With Dialogue

Storytelling that focuses on two-way communication will yield faster growth.

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Seth Godin says that “fast growth comes from overwhelming the smallest possible audience with a product or service that so delights them that they insist that their friends and colleagues use it.”

I have to agree because when your product isn’t worth talking about, no amount of marketing will help. Both the content and the product have to be highly useful first, then everything else follows. It’s all about getting feedback from your target audience.

Vanessa Van Edwards, the founder of The Science of Things, uses dialogue in storytelling.

storytelling example

Vanessa understands that when her audience gives honest feedback by taking a quiz, she can use the data pertaining to body language from 5,000 readers and create high-quality information products for them.

storytelling example

She even goes the extra mile by accepting research studies from readers. This single act gives the readers a sense of belonging. They’ll look forward to getting Vanessa’s newsletters and participate in anything related to body language because they’re a part of the community.

QuickSprout provides an interactive tool, as well. It literally talks to you, when you plug your URL into the search box.

storytelling example quicksprout

Sonia Simone tells thought-provoking stories by leading with dialogue. A few years ago, she posted a simple question that got my neurons fired up:

storytelling example use dialogue

If you already have an audience via social media networks, an email list, or a mastermind group, you can get feedback from them by sending questionnaires through SurveyMonkey.

Focus on Emotions

Our brains respond to stories more than anything else. Robert Plutchik’s “wheel of emotions” reveals some of the underlying emotions that influence your customers, which – when leveraged – can boost your conversions.

wheel of emotions in storytelling

Lisa Feldman noted, in her book The Science of Emotion, that for the most part, people have little control over their emotions. Often, they’re automatic responses to our experiences. What we like or hate and what we perceive as pain or pleasure are just two kinds of emotional triggers, among many.

Happiness is one emotion that makes us want to share. Psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott noted that our response to our mom’s smile with a smile of our own is usually the first emotional response we make in life.

When your content drives people to a state of happiness or joy, they will automatically respond to your offers, feel obliged to share your content, and will stop at nothing to tell others about you.  

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This is because happiness is hard-wired into the human brain. When experienced, it’s found in the left prefrontal cortex of the brain.

It literally functions from there. But, it may remain dormant until something – such as a story – triggers it.

A baby’s social smile further tells us that when happiness is shared, it ultimately increases and creates an atmosphere that encourages more happiness. What you share will actually come back to you multiplied.

Speak to your customer’s mind, but appeal to both logic and emotions.

Measure the Impact of Your Story

If you’ve ever wondered why most brands get media publicity with ease, while others stay on the sidelines, it’s because they were able to use storytelling to its full potential. You have to measure your success – because it’s critical to making smarter content marketing decisions.

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Planning, execution, and consistent learning are key factors that will help you increase your conversions.  But, you have to measure the impact of your brand story.

Measuring social media activities is easy. But, measuring the impact of storytelling is a little more difficult, because it has so much to do with emotional communication.

Step #4: Build Authority Through Storytelling

Social networks influence nearly 50% of all IT decision makers. Truly, the world as we know it is changing.

It was all about mass media in the past.  But today, social media is taking over. We’re living in the age of authority. Traditional media might still be popular, but it lacks effectiveness because it’s a one-way communication channel.

Social media is different. When you send a tweet, you can get a retweet or comment from a follower and, over time, build trust.

When it comes to building authority through storytelling, you need a level of influence in your business, family, society, and spheres of contact, before people can trust you.

What you believe in can be amplified if you’re able to convince a select group of people.

So, how do you start building your own authority? Here’s a simple three-step game plan that’s proven to work:

  • Affirm that you’re an authority in your industry
  • Focus on your creative voice
  • Share stories that pull people instead of pushing them

Affirm You’re an Authority in Your Industry

There is power in affirmations. When you affirm to yourself what you want to happen in your life or business, you can see it come to pass when coupled with smart action. Of course, you can’t just fold your arms and expect miracles to happen.

But, if you think you’re not qualified, competent, or decisive enough to influence people, it’ll show in your conversation.

Affirmations are positive statements that describe or convey a strong desire to achieve a specific goal or state of being, which is then repeated consistently until it’s imprinted on the subconscious mind.

For example, you can wake up every day and affirm, “Today will be an awesome day.” And, it most likely will be for YOU (though maybe not for EVERYONE).

guide to storytelling in marketing today will be a good day image

Affirmations work because when you continually repeat a statement verbally, it influences your thoughts and actions.

For example, repeating to yourself, “I’m increasing my sales this month,” plants the thought into your subconscious mind, which then begins to imagine the amount of money that you’ll make.

Repeat to yourself, “I’m telling better stories” and again, your mind will call you to order and nudge you to search out a powerful story for your next blog post or product.

In his bestselling book, You Are A Writer (So Start Acting Like One), Jeff Goins said that “becoming a writer starts with a simple, but important belief: you’re a writer and you’ve got to start writing.”

storytelling affirmations.

And today, Jeff Goins runs a successful online self-publishing business. Even if no one ever believed in him, he affirmed it to himself repeatedly and it became so.

Jeff’s latest book, The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do, is also full of affirmations. Goins’ work has been endorsed by the biggest names in the internet marketing world.

If you want to truly become good at something, you first have to believe in it.

Focus on Your Creative Voice

Storytelling is an art and therefore requires uniqueness and creativity. Your creative voice is what sets you apart from the crowd, just like your Unique Selling Point.

A post on Oprah’s website suggests that you find a quiet place to meditate and assimilate all of the information that you’ve accessed during the day.

When everything else fails, your creative voice will give your story a rhythm. It’ll alleviate boredom and take people on a journey of experience.

I love how the creative Gary Vaynerchuk builds authority through social media and blogging. He even advocates growing your brand by leveraging someone else’s.

In summary, here are a few ways to discover your creative voice and focus on it:

  • Heed Oprah’s advice. Set aside quiet time to meditate.
  • Learn from other people. Position your brand to benefit from their own.
  • Know your target audience inside and out.
  • Use storytelling to express your worldview, not to impress anybody.

Share Stories That Pull People, Instead of Pushing Them

Storytelling is meant to pull people in, not push or repel them. It’s about helping people become better.

Your story shouldn’t just be about you. Instead, it should relate to your audience and customers. It should pull them in and retain them.

use storytelling to pull people in

When using stories to capture an audience, keep in mind that they may not necessarily want to know every detail – the outcome is what counts. Many people don’t want to know how painful giving birth to a child is, but we all want to hear the cry of a baby, right?

Seth Godin has authored over 20 books. His style of writing, which incorporates storytelling, pulls people in. Godin has many brand associates, who regularly refer clients to him. Take a look at this opening in a post:

seth godin storytelling example.

As a content creator, writer, and business owner, you’re in this world to make a difference.

It’s not all about the money that you’ll make, but the joy of seeing your target audience and customers improve their lives, meet their goals, and smile again.

Step #5: Learn from Storytelling Success Stories

I’ve shared several success stories of how brand distinguished their products, customer service, and relationships with customers, all by telling real stories.

But, there are more storytelling success stories left to tell.

ITV’s Storytelling Launch

ITV had plans to create a new multi-screen ad format, which could be synced into other platforms. Their audience was mostly composed of smartphone and tablet users.

ITV storytelling example

When ITV combined this innovation with visual storytelling, they were able to merge the benefits of broadcast TV advertising with modern tablets and smartphones.

ITV storytelling example

During the X-Factor finale last year, the ad format was launched and it resulted in over 1,300,650 page views, with an average click-through rate of 8.75%

Jon Morrow

Jon Morrow is one of the bloggers that I deeply respect.

image29

He once shared a powerful guest post on Problogger, telling the story of how he was hit by a car in April 2006.

His leg was broken in 14 places. For the next three months, he endured significant pain and misery.

Then, he got brave and quit his job. He sold everything he owned and stopped paying most of the usual bills. The story got even more interesting, when he recounted how he moved to paradise to get paid to change the world.

In that post, Jon persuaded readers so strongly that it generated over 72,000 visitors.

Today, Jon runs a very profitable online business and his flagship blog, Boost Blog Traffic, gets over 100,000 monthly visitors. In fact, he earns over $100,000 per month.

Dallas Morning News

Dallas Morning News, a regional media company in the U.S., wanted to expand its reach through social media. They understood that traditional media is fast becoming tiring for viewers and fans unless it’s integrated into their social lifestyle.

dallas news storytelling example

Using Hootsuite, they were able to control their social activities from one portal, streamlining their endeavors.

They empowered and persuaded their team to cultivate the habit of sharing news and updates on social media platforms. This strategy increased the company’s engagement with a growing local readership.

And, they succeeded. Here’s the result of their social media integration:

image05

Conclusion

The human brain is wired to remember memorable and visual stories.

The sooner you start using storytelling in your content creation and marketing, the easier you’ll find it to increase your conversions.

There is no shortcut to improving your ROI as a content marketer and blogger. You have to consistently feed Google and your target audience with fresh, high-quality content.

As you do that, you’ll get more organic traffic and improve your long-tail keyword rankings significantly.

Have you leveraged storytelling to increase your conversions? What is your experience and how do you respond to other people’s stories?

The post How to Leverage Storytelling to Increase Your Conversions appeared first on Neil Patel.

Conversion Rate Optimization

How to Create an Engaging Value Proposition

Warren Buffet once said, “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”

Having a solid value proposition is one way your company can illustrate and introduce its value upfront. In just a few sentences, your company’s value proposition should describe your main selling point and draw in customers. A good value proposition tells your customers what they can expect to gain by doing business with you.

What is a Value Proposition?

A value proposition answers the question, “What makes your organization special?” For example, Facebook’s value proposition is a simple one: “Connect with your friends and the world around you on Facebook.” Facebook’s answer to “What makes your organization special” is “we can connect you to anyone, anywhere.”  

Think of it like this: Why should a customer pay attention to your brand in the first place? That’s where you should start when developing your value proposition.

A good value proposition includes three primary elements: relevancy, value, and uniqueness in the market.

  • Relevancy: Why do your customers need your product or service? What customer needs are you meeting?
  • Value: What do your customers have to gain by using your product or service? How can you help them with their bottom line?
  • Uniqueness: What can you offer your customers that your competitors cannot?

Your value proposition should be the first thing visitors see when landing on your homepage. It should also be included in all major entry points to your website.

Why Should Your Website Have a Value Proposition?

Value propositions are beneficial for drawing in customers, but they can also help you define your business strategy. You can use your value proposition to guide you in your decisions about things like:

  • innovations to your product or service
  • defining your company’s work culture
  • choosing graphics you use for your value proposition and across your site
  • how to layout your website
  • where you should place CTA buttons
  • everything else that goes into effective web design and development

You are in good company when you create a value proposition for your business. 69% of B2Bs have established value propositions. However, sadly, studies show that only 2.2% of companies have value propositions deemed “useful” by consumers.

If you can get your value proposition right, stellar growth may be within your reach. Brands with a strong value proposition enjoyed 76% growth over a decade.

How to Format a Value Proposition

To create a unique value proposition, you should review your company’s benefits, costs, and value. In other words, what does your business bring to the table? How much are customers expected to pay and do they face any risks by doing business with you? Finally, how do your company and offerings make the customer’s life better?

A value proposition is not a tagline, slogan, or catchphrase. Nor is it a positioning statement (i.e. “We’ve been America’s #1 Truck for 40 years”).

Take the value proposition from electric car maker Tesla, which seeks “to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” Now let’s analyze that value proposition (VP) so we can break it down into more manageable parts.

A value proposition should be:

Clear

Potential customers should be able to read your value proposition quickly and understand what your company has to offer in three seconds or less. Make sure it’s succinct and written with as few words as possible.

Tesla’s VP calls attention to the need for sustainable energy in a clear and concise manner.

Unique

Your value proposition notes what is special about your company. This is the “#1 thing” only your organization offers.

While Tesla is not the only electric car manufacturer, the company’s message of accelerating us into a more sustainable future certainly makes their VP more interesting.

Desirable

What you are offering is something people want and that few others offer.

Fast electric cars that support the environment is what Tesla is offering, and who doesn’t want that?

Specific

Finally, your value proposition needs to focus on a single message and communicate that message loudly. That message should be that your company stands head and shoulders above the rest.

Tesla’s value proposition is powerful and aims for a particular goal: to help us reverse our dependence on oil with fast and sustainable electric cars.

How Do You Incorporate Your Value Proposition Statement on Your Site?

You should get into the habit of trying to infuse your value proposition into every aspect of your site using copywriting and visual representations. From the headlines and body text to the primary and subsequent images you select, your value proposition should be well represented in every aspect of your website.  

Here is an example of a value proposition format and steps you can take to get started creating your own.

Create an Engaging Website Headline

Your headline should be able to state the end-benefit your company offers in a single sentence. How will your consumers’ lives improve? Your headline should also grab their attention right away.

For example, if your company offers tax assistance, your headline might read “Easier Taxes Are a Click Away.” Written like that, your headline includes a large aspect of your value proposition. However, your headline only conveys part of your VP. Your images and the rest of your body text should communicate the rest, such as that you provide excellent customer service and a memorable tax preparation experience.

A site offering dating help may use the headline “Find Your Soulmate Using Our A.I. Matchmaker!” Once again, customers can find their matches using your service, but the rest of your website should convey the rest of your VP.  That is, that your company offers enhanced matchmaking safety and more memorable first dates.

Not only do these headlines communicate what you offer (Tax Help vs. Love Matchmaking), but readers of your headline know right away how their lives will improve (easier time doing taxes, getting matched with the right person using the power of artificial intelligence).

Write a “Subheadline” or 2-3 Sentence Paragraph

Your headlines should be above the fold, followed by a subheadline or a few sentences. Above the fold means that your reader does not have to scroll to read that part of your content. They can land and read right away.

Your headline should be written to “hook” your reader, but your job is not finished yet. Your subheadline or follow-up sentences should offer a specific explanation of what you offer and why it’s useful. These elements should be written in such a way as to further entice your reader to continue down the page.

Using the above examples, we might have company value proposition paragraphs that look like so:

Tax Company

Spend more time doing what you love and leave the taxes to us. We help you find the right deductions, so you can keep more of the money you earn. Taxes don’t have to be difficult. Click the button below and discover how easy doing your taxes can be.

Dating Website

Tired of being matched with duds? Want to find your soul mate? Use the power of artificial intelligence and finally get matched with “The One” for a more enjoyable online dating experience.

Use Three Bullet Points

Your value proposition can now be placed into a set of bite-sized chunks, written as bullets that list your key features and benefits. These statements should be written with a focus on simplicity.

Using our examples, your bullet lists might say:

Tax Company

  • We work with all types of businesses and tax classifications
  • Instantly find all relevant deductions, saving you the most on your earnings
  • All tax filings are double-checked by experienced tax professionals, ensuring full IRS compliance

Dating Website

  • Get matched quickly – no more wasted time!
  • All matches are carefully vetted. Feel safe when going on dates.
  • Get matched with your soulmate, based on your specific criteria.

Notice how these value proposition statements get the point across about what the company does, and how the consumer’s life will improve.

Incorporate Visual Elements into Your Value Proposition

You can really hammer-home your value proposition on your homepage (and other pages throughout your site) by using images. Images communicate much faster than words.

You could showcase the product on your site with a clear and interesting view of all its most unique features. You might create a hero shot focusing on brand experience. Or, you can use an image that reinforces your main message.

Using our above examples, we might choose an image showing a person sitting happily in front of their computer, getting the instant tax help they need. A loving couple sitting across a table in a quiet restaurant, their faces framed by candlelight, might do the trick for the dating site.

Tips on Creating an Engaging Value Proposition

To create an engaging value statement, you can ask yourself questions like:

  • What product/service is your company selling? You should give a clear overview of what your customers are buying.
  • What is the end benefit of buying/using your product or service? How do you satisfy customer needs? And what customer experience can consumers expect?
  • Who is your target customer? You will develop a stronger relationship with your audience if you can identify their wants, likes, dislikes, and biggest pain points.
  • What makes your offering so unique and different? Your job is to find the exact words that describe your business and marketing strategy and unique selling proposition, so they appeal most to the customer segment you’re targeting. 

Let’s look at some examples of value propositions and use the above checklist to determine if the value is clearly and accurately conveyed.

Examples of Great Value Propositions

Example 1: Dollar Shave Club

Value Proposition Dollar Shave Club Example

Personal grooming brand Dollar Shave Club offers personalized grooming supplies. Let’s look at our checklist to see how this brand stands up to the competition in the value proposition department.

What product or service is the company selling? Personal grooming supplies.

What is the end benefit? Personalized products and a top-shelf grooming routine.

Who is the target audience? Men who want the best and most unique grooming products.

What makes the offering unique and different? Lots of brands sell razors. No other brand offers personalized grooming products that are “as unique as you are.”.

Dollar Shave Club offers a wide range of products, an attractive shipping box stuffed with self-grooming goodies, and all at a “handsome” discount.

Dollar Shave Club has done an excellent job conveying why users should pay attention to the brand and open their wallets to subscribe.

Example 2: Grub Hub

Value Proposition Grub Hub Example

GrubHub negates the need to leave your home or office the next time you’re hungry and want your favorite meal. No matter what craving you have, a GrubHub rep can have hot and ready foods delivered right to your door. But do customers know that immediately upon landing on the Grub Hub home page? Let’s find out.

What product or service is the company selling? Food delivery you will love. Can’t get much clearer than that.

What is the end benefit? Treating yourself with comfort food, on-demand.

Who is the target audience? People who want food they will enjoy delivered.

What makes the offering unique and different? Uber Eats, Postmates, and DoorDash also deliver restaurant food to your door. Grubhub, however, promises food delivery “You’ll Love.”

The background image GrubHub chose for its homepage tops off this terrific and convincing value proposition. Who’s hungry for a cheeseburger and fries, delivered right to your door?

Example 3: Grammarly

Value Proposition Grammarly Example

Grammarly is a robust content editor that integrates with Microsoft Word and Google Chrome. Scan your documents and the A.I. powered tool will detect spelling and grammar errors, comma splices, poor word usage, and plagiarism.

Does Grammarly’s home page offer a unique and compelling value proposition?

What product or service is the company selling? The service promises to make your writing great and to make the process of improving your writing simple. That value proposition is clear and concise.

What is the end benefit? Grammarly strives to help users compose bold and clear writing that is free of errors using the power of machine learning (A.I.).

Who is the target audience? Writers and editors of all kinds may derive benefit from using Grammarly.

What makes the offering unique and different? There are many spell-checkers out there. There are even apps to improve your writing. Grammarly ties all those benefits together to deliver a comprehensive editing software that makes your writing stand out. As an added benefit, it integrates with Microsoft Word, Microsoft Outlook, Google Chrome, Google Docs, and more!

The value proposition is further amplified by all the five-star reviews the brand has received, which is displayed underneath the button to further entice visitors to use Grammarly. Talk about social proof!

Example 4: Unbounce

Value Proposition Unbounce Example

Unbounce helps businesses convert leads into buyers. Let’s look at our criteria to see how the brand measures against the rest.

What product or service is the company selling? Unbounce promises to make landing pages for the consumer without the need for coding knowledge. Customers are promised high converting campaigns using A.I.

What is the end benefit? 33% greater conversions!

Who is the target audience? Anyone struggling to find leads online is sure to be intrigued by the larger than life headline on the home page. The value proposition is clearly conveyed. It is also attractive for those who want to remain competitive yet lack the necessary coding or technical knowledge.

What makes the offering unique and different? What sets Unbounce apart from its competition is the promise of a 33% conversion increase. Keep in mind the brand has no idea what your company does or offers; with that kind of confidence, consumers everywhere are sure to want to give Unbounce a try, especially when presented with a free trial.

Unbounce has done a good job with this above the fold content. The value proposition is clearly conveyed and is likely to be attractive to its target audience.

Example 5: Constant Contact

Value Proposition Constant Contact Example

Constant Contact, a MailChimp email marketing competitor, helps businesses find success with email marketing for e-commerce.

What product or service is the company selling? Constant Contact wants you to work smarter, not harder. The company helps you accomplish this by offering customers the ability to create branded emails, and gives you access to website building tools, e-commerce, and digital marketing, all from one dashboard.

What is the primary benefit? Work more efficiently with all the tools you need to make it easy for people to find you.

Who is the target audience? The audience is anyone who struggles to find ways to attract and communicate with customers.

What makes the offering unique and different? Constant Contact gives customers everything they need to start selling online right away. Brands can even do so without a credit card and with no risk. That is an attractive offer for anyone who wants to keep up with their competitors on a limited budget, and without locking themselves into something permanent right off the bat.

How to Test Your Value Proposition

The checklist we used is only one way to determine if your value proposition will dominate your market. The only way to truly know if your value proposition hits home is to consistently look at your analytics, test your web elements often, and perform ongoing market research. All three of these exercises should be part of your regular conversion optimization routine. 

Site Analytics

Look at how visitors react when landing on your website, as well as what keywords they are using in organic search to find you. Do they leave right away, causing your bounce rate to rise, or do they stick around and browse? Customer insights and behavioral tracking behind the scenes can tell you many things about the value proposition you have presented to your audience. While you can brainstorm the perfect value proposition, a data-driven one is far more effective, because you know it works.

A/B Testing

You can test the various elements of your value proposition on your site to improve conversion rates. An A/B test pits two different versions of your page against one another. You may test headlines, images, or your call to action.

Both versions of the page are shown to users, and the conversion data and statistics gleaned can then determine which version performs better. A/B testing tools like CrazyEgg can help make your value propositions more effective.

Market Research

While you are studying your site’s engagement metrics and testing the elements on your website, make sure you keep two fingers on the pulse of your market at all times. Study what your customers are buying, where they tend to hang out online, and buying trends as they pertain to your industry.

Only by understanding the market segment you are targeting can you hope to create the most effective value proposition.

That being said, as with most things, your market may change. When that time comes, you may find yourself tweaking your value proposition to meet audience demand. Be flexible and continue to study the market.

Conclusion 

You have several examples of how to structure your company’s value proposition. It can follow any format, as long as it is unique to your company and to the consumers you do business with.

For your value proposition to attract the most customers, and for your organization to gain the most competitive advantage, you must clearly define who your customers are, what their main problems are, and how your offerings can help to solve those problems.

Don’t forget to add visuals to increase the ease of communication between your brand and your audience.

To boost the strength of your value proposition, and gain more market share, conduct market research, and test your website elements regularly. Doing so can help you determine which messages resonate best with your target audience.

Are you prepared to write a unique value proposition for your company?

The post How to Create an Engaging Value Proposition appeared first on Neil Patel.

Conversion Rate Optimization

12 Best Landing Page Examples

Let me ask you a question…

Would you rather have a beautiful website or a website your customers love?

From a business perspective, you shouldn’t go for either.

Your answer must be 100% I want a high-converting website.

Because if people buy, then they both like it and you can safely and predictably scale your business.

Many people get in the trap of creating designs they like while their perfect client avatar is so much different than what they would imagine.

And that can be easily noticed when you click on ads you see on social media.

You might like the ad itself but most times the landing page on the other side is not what you want to see.

The connection between your traffic and your landing page is called an accurate message to market fit.

You want your message to perfectly fit your market so you can start with a winning funnel that’s only bound to go up from there.

Because if you mess up there, you would be optimizing and tweaking little components that will barely get you to break even.

But if you nail your message you would be getting customers left and right without even knowing why or how they came to you.

It’s your most powerful weapon and most businesses do it completely wrong.

So to help you out and guarantee your immediate success, we’ll be going over the best 12 landing page examples that you should use to scale your business.

We’ll go over each one’s strengths and weaknesses while making sure you find one that fits your exact business.

After this post, you’ll be able to come up with high-converting landing pages like magic.

But before we do that, we must go over…

What Makes a Great Landing Page

That question solely depends on your needs.

So let me ask you a couple of questions that will help you clear your mind and think in the right direction.

#1 What do you want to accomplish with your landing page?

Your most common options are:

  • Getting people to opt-in in exchange for Free value on a subject
  • Directly selling a low-ticket product like a book or a mini-course
  • Free Trial offer for a monthly service or software
  • Free + Shipping offer where you count on upsells to make a profit

You’ve got to know exactly what offer you want to present in your landing page before creating it.

And of course, there are other offers you can make but the idea here is to clarify what is the one that you want to use for your business.

If you’re not sure, there would be multiple examples further down the post.

Now for the next question, you need to ask yourself…

#2 Are you committed to this project or are you just trying out an offer?

Building a high-converting landing page is not an overnight hustle.

You might find yourself optimizing a non-profitable landing page for months before it starts generating real returns.

And if you’re not ready for that, then I recommend you quit before you even start.

Yes, you can get a lucky shot and hit a homerun from your first try but counting on it is delusional.

Be ready for the long game so you catch the long-term gains that are so much sweeter than the momentary satisfaction.

And for the final question…

#3 What’s your budget?

Before you begin designing your high-converting landing page, you need to prepare a solid budget.

You can’t expect everything to go smoothly throughout the process.

Problems are going to occur and most times the easiest and fastest way to solve them is to pay someone who is an expert in the field.

That can be a developer, a Funnel designer/builder, an Ad specialist, or a CRO consultant.

Either way, you should be ready to pay someone to do it right so you don’t face the same problems over and over.

In marketing and life, there’s a rule of thumb that suggests you should finish your work and then let someone else judge it.

Obviously, for landing pages, the way is to run some ads and see if the traffic converts.

If it does, you raise your ad budget and try to scale.

If it doesn’t convert initially then you should let a professional take a look at it.

And even if you already hired someone to build it for you, don’t expect him to help you here.

Yes, he can optimize your page but you’ve got to keep in mind that people have an emotional attachment to their work.

That’s why you need a third party to help you out.

And especially when it comes to optimizing a landing page for conversions, you must consider the idea of hiring an agency.

Big marketing agencies nowadays have had hundreds if not thousands of clients who had been in your exact situation.

That’s why hiring a marketing agency to help you increase your conversion is the best bet.

And talking about CRO (conversion rate optimization) there’s no better choice than NP Digital.

It is simply the best marketing agency for both SEO and CRO.

If you’re at the stage where you want to optimize your existing landing page but you don’t know exactly how to do it…

Then you should book a quick call with a professional where you’ll unravel the secret conversion optimization methods your business needs.

And now for the main event…

The Best 12 Landing Page Examples

These are the 12 Best Landing Page Examples we could find.

We’ll be judging them for conversions, offer, design, and customer experience.

#1 Get Response

Get Response is an example of a simple yet interactive landing page example.

You can see the Get Response team are bold as they’re the only software in the industry that uses an interactive headline.

The yellow sign you see on the image below changes between the words growing, leads, and sales.

That makes it for a great attention-grabbing headline that just makes you read on.

Also, they use a friendly, positive face which is something we don’t see very often in business that is not centered around a personal brand.

That of course is not a bad thing. It automatically builds trust and makes it easier for people to sign up for their software.

#2 Slack

Slack is always on the top of its game when it comes to landing pages.

They are constantly optimizing for conversions and that’s the best way to find your winning landing page.

Their current one is once again, extremely interactive, has a big eye-popping headline, and also shows how easy it is to use the software with a quick 5-second giff.

Straight from the get-go, you can see they value customer satisfaction and if you’re still not sure, scrolling down will lead to non-stop credibility and results that prove their authority in the marketplace.

#3 Intercom

Intercom’s main objective on this landing page is to get you to opt-in with your email.

Keeping it to email only is a great way to increase your opt-in rate.

A big, positive headline that puts you in the right state of mind to act now.

The images they use perfectly represent the headline’s main USP.

You can see an overall friendly environment and you just have to opt-in if you got to this page.

#4 Lyft

Lyft has been riding up the charts in the past years and their website, landing page, and their overall online funnel is not lacking behind.

They focus on attracting new drivers that want to control their own life.

And promising your employees freedom while working for you is the best way to snap the best candidates from your competitors.

We know Lyft has used multiple landing pages in the past but their current one shows real professionalism.

Once again, we see a giant, attention-grabbing headline. This time with a question to anticipate curiosity and thought process in their prospects.

And check out the button “APPLY TO DRIVE”. It implies that it’s not 100% sure you’ll be able to get the position.

Making it so your clients have to compete to get a hold of your attention makes it so they try harder in the job itself.

#5 Zoho

Zoho’s landing page is a great example of a more complicated but still extremely powerful messaging.

They use more text than the average software in the industry but that’s not necessarily bad.

For their specific case, they need to convert the prospect to begin a free trial which automatically builds tension in a prospect because he knows it will come a time he’d have to pay.

And converting someone to pay is way harder than just getting their email.

That’s why using more text in their messaging makes it for a powerful copywriting punch that maximizes free-trial registrations.

#6 Squarespace

Squarespace tops the list for the least amount of text in their landing page design.

At first, you may think that is not enough to convert someone.

But once you see that they’re a website builder you can see how the design and the quick and powerful messaging are all you need to sign-up.

They know their prospects mainly struggle with complicated codes and want to show a safe space where they can relax and drag and drop their winning website design.

#7 ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign solely focuses on showing you how their software brings the best customer experience possible.

And if you’re a business owner, you both want to be treated well and want to help your customers in tough times.

Their headline hits 2 birds with one stone and once again there’s no useless text or design.

Everything leads to the big green button and you starting your free trial.

#8 Hubspot

Hubspot is one more CRM that tops out the list today.

They, just like ActiveCampaign, show you that using their software will both help you and your customers feel better throughout the process.

Knowing that their ideal customer’s main objection is that learning a whole new CRM from scratch might be hard, tedious, and maybe even impossible, helps them narrow their message straight to the point.

#9 Shopify Plus

Shopify is one of the most well-known platforms in today’s online space and they know it.

As they’ve been rapidly growing throughout the years, they’ve been able to test out multiple landing page designs to find one that converts.

And the Shopify Plus’s landing page shows for it. 

Their main goal is to book a consultation call with their prospects which takes more than just a couple of words.

They have the budget to shoot professional videos for all of their products and services which helps transfer valuable information to their prospects in the fastest possible way — video.

Down below you see powerful credibility and if you take the time to watch the video, you’re most likely going to book a call with them.

Videos are a deadly weapon in the right business’s hands and Shopify proves that here and pretty much with anything they do.

#10 Webflow

Webflow shows the insights of the software immediately when you land on their landing page.

You can see instant credibility from big websites that have used their services and also you can begin for free.

That breaks any tension the prospect might have.

On top of that, you can see that their software is similar to Photoshop.

So if you’ve ever used Adobe’s products, you immediately know this work will be a piece of cake for you.

#11 ClickFunnels

ClickFunnels uses its software to convert you for a free trial.

And even if you have any skepticism you can play around with the funnel pages and buttons to see the responsiveness of nowadays funnels.

You can see that they use more text than the average website/funnel builder.

But once again they’re trying to convert people to start a 14-day free trial which is not an easy task.

They also use powerful videos that sell directly to their ideal customers.

And the best part is the analytics they’ve slapped on their landing page.

It’s a bold and powerful move if done correctly.

The way these analytics are crafted makes it so they are constantly being updated and it’s not just 100K+ users as you might see on other platforms.

ClickFunnels values its customer’s success stories and is always there to record each result.

It’s one of the harder landing page designs to pull off but if you do it, your conversions will skyrocket.

#12 Conversion Lab

Conversion Lab has been using this landing page design for years now.

We’ve noticed they split test different button CTA-s like book a call, get a free consult, and many more.

Keeping their Founder on the main page of the website builds a long-term relationship many businesses nowadays miss out on.

They clearly state their services through their persuasive headline and even if you’re not ready to book a consultation call with them, a pop-up will appear collecting your email.

Email follow-up is a great way to ensure that a high percentage of prospects that land on your website will end up booking a call with you.

That is all for our list today.

To conclude what you need to know when building your landing page…

  • Find what your best customers struggle the most with and then directly destroy this objection with a short and punchy headline.
  • Use credibility and videos if possible.
  • Know your goals — Is it to get their email, phone, ook a call, start a free/paid trial, or something else?
  • Clear and easy to follow Call to Action

And always, always optimize in the process.

You can NOT be perfect from day one. Every business on this list tests their pages dozens if not hundreds of times before concluding a winner.

And even then, they still optimize.

Have you tried building a landing page before? How’d it go — did it convert well and what were your biggest breakthroughs when doing it?

The post 12 Best Landing Page Examples appeared first on Neil Patel.

Conversion Rate Optimization

Bounce Rate Analytics: How to Measure, Assess, and Audit…

Your bounce rate can be such a scary number, right?

It’s common knowledge that a high bounce rate is bad, and a low rate is good.

Every time you log into your Google Analytics account, it’s right there waiting for you.

I understand the feeling when you see that number creeping up.

But the problem is that numbers can be misleading.

After all, how high is too high, really?

In this post, I’ll show you how to fully measure and assess your bounce rate. That way, you’ll know if it’s actually too high for your industry or if it’s perfectly normal.

I’ll share tips and tricks on how to audit your bounce rate and understand what’s driving it up.

I’ll also tell you some of my secrets for lowering your bounce rate.

But first, let’s talk about exactly what a bounce rate is and why you should care.

What is a Bounce Rate and Why Does it Matter?

A “bounce” occurs when someone visits your website and leaves without interacting further with your site. Your bounce rate shows you the percentage of your visitors who bounce off of your site.

By default, Google Analytics considers a visitor to have interacted with your site if they visited at least one additional page.

The bounce rate you see in your overview report on Google Analytics is your site-wide bounce rate.

bounce rate example in Google Analtyics

It’s the average number of bounces across all of your pages divided by the total number of visits across all of those pages within the same period.

You can also track the bounce rate of a single page or a segment or section of your site.

I’ll show you how once we start looking at the different segment reports.

The bounce rate of a single page is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the total number of bounces divided by the total number of visits on a page. 

Inspired by common questions that we’ve heard, this infographic provides answers to the most asked questions about bounce rate and provides tips to help you improve your bounce rate.

Bounce Rate demystified infographic

If you run an e-commerce site with a blog, you may want to implement a segmented bounce rate.

Why?

Your blog posts may have a very different average bounce rate than your product pages.

We’ll get into the exact details later, but segmenting the two can make your numbers more meaningful when you’re looking at the data.

So, why is bounce rate important?

According to SEMrush, bounce rate is the 4th most important ranking factor on SERPs.

bounce rate image

However, Google does not use bounce rate in its algorithm metrics, according to Google’s Gary Illyes: 

Can they both be right?

Yes, and I’ll tell you why.

Google’s algorithm may not directly take bounce rate into account, but what it signifies is very important to it.

As of 2016, RankBrain was the third-most important ranking factor of Google’s algorithm.

If you’re not familiar with RankBrain, its main purpose is to improve users’ search results by better understanding their search intent.

If a user clicks on your page and leaves without any interaction, that could signal to RankBrain that your site isn’t what they’re looking for.

It makes it look like your result doesn’t match the searcher intent well. As a result, RankBrain says, “Maybe this page shouldn’t be so high in the results.”

Can you see how these connect?

If you understand bounce rate properly, it can tell you if your marketing strategy is effective and if your visitors are engaging with your content.

The key is to understand what your “target” is and break down your bounce rate in a way that provides meaning.

What is a Good Bounce Rate? 

Many different variables determine what a “good” bounce rate is.

Things like your business type, industry, country, and the types of devices your visitors are using all influence what a good average bounce rate would be for your site.

For instance, Brafton found that the average bounce rate is 58.18%. However, their research shows that bounce rates are higher for B2B businesses than B2C businesses.

bounce rate by type of business

These benchmarks show a wide range of average bounce rates across industries:

bounce rate by industry

If you’re still unsure about the bounce rate you should be targeting, Google Analytics can help you figure it out.

Google Analytics provides a quick visualization of the average bounce rate for what it believes is your industry. It does this by benchmarking.

First, you need to set up benchmarking in Google Analytics.

Under the admin section, click on “Account Settings” and then check the “Benchmarking” box.

bounce rate bench marks in Google Analytics

Now you can compare industry averages.

Just navigate to your behavior reports. Click on “Site Content” and then “Landing Pages.”

how to view bounce rate in GA

You’ll immediately see the average, site-wide bounce rate.

view bounce rate on GA

Of course, a site-wide average can be too broad to be a valuable benchmark.

You can drill down further to view section-specific bounce rates.

With either the Content Drilldown Report or the advanced filter feature, you can see the average bounce rates for your site sections.

how to view per page bounce rate

For example, now you can compare the industry average for just your blog or product pages.

In the “Audience” section of Google Analytics, go under “Behavior” then “Benchmarking.” Then, select “Channels.”

Now you can choose your vertical and compare whichever time period you want to review.

This should give you a better idea of your website’s bounce rate performance compared to the average by channel.

bounce rate view in GA

The chart above compares your channel bounce rate against other Google Analytics accounts or properties in your industry.

If you want to look deeper, you can do so by going into “Acquisition,” then “All Traffic,” and then “Channels.”

Then click the “Comparison” button on the right and filter by “Bounce Rate” to see which channels are above or below average.

view bounce rate in Google Analytics pic 4

You can then dig even deeper into each one for further analysis.

Ultimately, a “good” bounce rate will be different for every site. It may even be different for every page on your site.

I suggest you focus on your bounce rate trends over time and how you can improve the highest ones to boost conversions.

The focus should be on using this metric to find weaknesses in your site. Don’t worry about hitting a magic number.

Now, let’s look at how you can improve your bounce rates.

Modifying Bounce Rates

Your site-wide bounce rate is too broad to be anything but a vanity metric.

It’s too shallow to provide meaning.

To measure and assess your bounce rate, you need to narrow it down and group it by different variables.

You won’t be able to start lowering your bounce rate until you really understand what’s causing it to be high.

You can modify the bounce rate metric you see in Google Analytics in a couple of ways.

As I already mentioned above, the first way is by segmenting your bounce rate.

We’ll look at nine different segment options that will help you assess and improve your bounce rate.

Segment Bounce Rate by Age

There are plenty of different demographics that Google Analytics tracks, which allows you to better segment and analyze your site traffic.

One of these is the age range of your visitors.

To look at bounce rate by age range, look under “Audience” and then “Demographics” on the left-hand sidebar. Then, click the “Age” option.

bounce rate by age google analtyics.

The resulting report should look something like this.

bounce rate segmentation google analytics age breakdown 2

Now you can easily see if your bounce rate is higher with a certain age range.

You can see in the example above that seniors (65+) have a much higher bounce rate than the rest of this site’s visitors.

If seniors are part of your ideal target market, make sure that you structure your web pages properly for marketing to them.

For example, avoid using jargon, trendy language, and slang.

Segment Bounce Rate by Gender

The “Gender” option is just below “Age” on that left-hand menu.

bounce rate by gender in GA

This report tells you your bounce rate for males and females.

Google analytics gender breakdown 1

You can now easily see if your site is better at retaining one gender over the other.

Gender targeting with tactics such as different language and colors can impact viewing and purchasing behavior.

bounce rate impacts of gender on buyer behavior

If you have a higher bounce rate with one gender, make sure you’re not accidentally creating the perception that you’re only targeting the other sex.

Segment Bounce Rate by Affinity

The next option in the “Audience” section is under “Interests” and then “Affinity Categories.”

bounce rate by affinity

This groups bounce rate based on visitor interests.

bounce rate google analytics affinity reports 1

Check out which affinity categories have the highest bounce rates to see if you’re losing out on key marketing groups.

You can see in the example above that this site is engaging best with business professionals and shutterbugs.

Engagement with music lovers, movie lovers, and green living enthusiasts is the poorest.

This knowledge can now help you better target those groups with your imagery and content.

Segment Bounce Rate by Location

Still in “Audience,” just under “Interests,” you’ll find the “Geo” section. Within that, you can click on “Location” for another segment report.

bounce rate by location

First, you’ll see a color-coded map that shows you where most of your visitors come from.

bounce rate google analytics geographic location

Below that, you’ll see the table version breaking down your visitors by geographic region.

bounce rate google analytics geographic breakdown 2

This gives you your bounce rate by country.

In the example above, you can see that Australia and the UK have much higher bounce rates than the other countries.

You can drill further into it to see if certain provinces are engaging worse than others. Then, you can adapt your marketing strategy to target areas where you want to see improvement.

Segment Bounce Rate for New Visitors

A good segment to check out is the “New Vs. Returning” breakdown. It’s also in the “Audience” section under “Behavior.”

bounce rate by new vs returning in GA

Now you can see if your new visitors are bouncing at a higher rate than your returning visitors.

google analytics new vs returning user bounce rate

I would expect your new visitors to have a higher rate.

To get more value out of this segment, you can view the acquisition source as a secondary dimension.

Just click on the “Secondary Dimension” drop-down list at the top of the table and select “Source” from the list that appears below.

We’ll talk more about acquisition in a minute.

Segment Bounce Rate by Browser

The browser breakdown report is a good way to see if you have any technical issues causing your visitors to bounce.

In the “Audience” section under “Technology,” select “Browser & OS.”

bounce rate by browser and OS

The report should look like this:

google analytics broswer breakdown bounce rate

If one browser has a higher bounce rate than the others, that might indicate that you haven’t configured your site well for that browser.

You also need to consider versions of browsers. For example, don’t just check Internet Explorer. Check across versions 8.0, 9.0, and 11.0.

bounce rate by browser in GA breakdown

If one has a noticeably higher bounce rate, your site might have bugs or UX issues with that browser.

Even if it’s an outdated browser, you will want to fix the issue if the browser is still bringing you traffic.

Segment Bounce Rate by Device

Underneath the “Technology” section, (still under Audience), you will see the “Mobile” section. Select “Overview” to see your bounce rate across devices.

bounce rate by device in GA

This will give you a bounce rate comparison between desktop, mobile, and tablet.

google analytics bounce rate mobile devices breakdown

If you find out that your bounce rate is significantly higher on mobile or tablet, it may indicate that you haven’t properly optimized your site for those devices.

You can also view the “Devices” report. This further breaks it down by mobile brand and operating system.

mobile device breakdown bounce rate

For example, if you find that Apple users are bouncing at a higher rate than Android users, you might have some design issues.

Pay attention to individual device models as well.

mobile device model bounce rate

Focus on trends and device release dates. For example, you might discover that your bounce rate is fine for Apple devices in general, but it’s too high for the latest models.

This may indicate that your website isn’t compatible with the newest Apple OS.

Segment Bounce Rate by Acquisition

Now, let’s look at segmentation by acquisition rather than by audience.

Go to “Acquisition,” then “All Traffic,” and then “Source/Medium” in the left-hand menu.

acquisition bounce rate GA

The table at the bottom of your screen should look like this.

google analytics traffic source bounce rate

It will show you a breakdown of where your traffic is coming from and the associated bounce rates.

Take a look at the sources with the highest bounce rates to see if there’s a trend.

Here’s an example where you can see that the paid advertising campaigns have a much higher bounce rate:

bounce rate by paid campaign

Either your advertising targeting is too broad, or your landing pages are not lining up very well with your ads, resulting in a higher bounce rate.

Segment Bounce Rate by Landing Page

The final option we’ll discuss is segmentation by landing pages.

In the left-hand menu under “Behavior,” click on “Site Content” and then “Landing Pages.”

bounce rate by landing page GA

The resulting table shows you a breakdown of your landing pages and their average bounce rates.

bounce rate by landing page report

You might find that one page has a much higher bounce rate than the others.

Visit that page and look for any design problems or issues that might be making it less effective than the others.

bounce rate by landing page high bounce rate example

Make sure you haven’t forgotten any key steps to optimize your landing pages for conversions.

Now that you know the different ways that you can segment your site traffic, I’ll show you how you can create adjusted bounce rates.

How To Create Adjusted Bounce Rates in Google Analytics 

You can adjust what Google Analytics considers an interaction. This will directly impact your bounce rate.

For example, you might feel that a visitor has interacted on your site if they watched a video.

In Google Analytics, you have the option to set an event like playing a video, clicking a button, or completing a download as an interaction.

Then, users who complete these “events” will no longer count toward your bounce rate.

However, you need to careful with this. Make sure that automated events don’t skew your results.

If you’ve set up your videos to play automatically, you don’t want to count video views as interactions.

The simple way to modify how Google records interactions is by sending events into your Google Analytics that tell you when a user spends a certain amount of time on a page scrolls through a certain percentage of a page, or sees a specific element on the page.

You can send events from Google Tag Manager:

1. Adjust Your Bounce Rate Through Scroll Percentage Events

The “Scroll Depth” trigger allows you to create custom events based on how far a visitor scrolls down a page.

First, you need to create a new tag.

create a new tag in Google Analytics

Then, name your tag, select “Universal Analytics” for tag type and choose “Event” for the track type.

Next, you need to type in the event category and event action.

To get the action, simply click the small plus sign beside the field and select “Page Path.”

For the event label, pick “Scroll Depth Threshold.”

If you don’t see this option available, go to your “Built-In Variables” screen and enable the scrolling variables:

create a google tag in send depth for bounce rate

Now, select “Non-interaction Event” as “False,” and add in your UA tracking ID.

If you’ve completed all of those fields, it should look like this:

google analtyics tag for bounce rate example

For this tag, I recommend setting the scroll to 75% of the page. That means that Google will consider a visitor to have interacted on your site if they scroll 75% of the way through the page.

create event for scroll for bounce rate

Make sure you’ve selected “Scroll Depth” as the trigger type. Then, in percentages, put down “75 percent”.

Once done, you can save, preview, debug, and then publish.

2. Adjust Your Bounce Rate Through the Timer Function

You can also decide that Google should consider a visitor to have interacted on a page if they spend a minimum amount of time on the page. 

Create a new tag and give it a name, such as “UA — Adjusted Bounce Rate — Timer.”

bounce rate adjusted timer

You can choose the length of time that you want to start with. I suggest starting with 30 seconds.

To do this, add a new trigger and name it “Timer — 30 seconds”.

bounce rate time google analytics

The interval is in milliseconds. So, for 30 seconds, you need to put enter “30000.”

Select a limit of one. Then, in the conditions section, set it for “Page URL matches RegEx*.”

This will make it so that Google Analytics includes all of your pages in the tracking.

Make sure you save, preview, and debug before publishing.

Other Methods for Decreasing Bounce Rate

Here are some more ways to see where visitors are bouncing and how you can use that information to boost conversions.

Review Top Exit Pages

Another report you should check out is your top exit page report.

You can find it right below the landing pages report on the left-hand menu.

bounce rate exit pages example

This report will show you what pages people most often abandon your website from.

Take a look at your top traffic pages and compare your bounce rate and your exit rate.

bounce rate by exit page report

This will show you who’s landing directly on that page and bouncing versus who’s arriving there from an internal link and exiting.

It can help you narrow down where you should spend your time testing and making improvements on your site.

Review In-Page Analytics

Another great report within Google Analytics is the in-page analytics report.

This is only available now via a Chrome plugin, but it is still beneficial.

As you can see below, the report allows you to see the click-through rate for every link on a web page. Page Analytics by Google for bounce rate

This is a great way to evaluate a landing page, but it can be useful for any content on your site, including your homepage.

It will allow you to see which links in your content people are clicking on and which ones they skip right over.

This will help you determine which anchor texts you should reword or which calls-to-action you need to improve.

View Page Timings

Your pages may have high abandonment because they’re too slow.

You can check this with the Page Timings report.

In the “Behavior” section of the left-hand menu, click “Site Speed” and then “Page Timings.”

bounce rate by page timings

The report will tell you how fast each page on your site is loading.

google analytics site speed bounce rate

You can sort by number of page views and average page speed. That way, you can start improving your pages with the highest traffic yet slowest load times first.

It also shows you your overall site average speed.

bounce rate total site average

In light of Google’s Speed Update, site speed is becoming increasingly important. But even apart from that, it’s critical for improving bounce rates.

For example, the average page speed above means that our bounce rate is 123% higher than it could be.

page load time impact on bounce rate

Google Analytics Site Speed Reports

You can check out the other Site Speed reports for further analysis and options for improving your site speed.

bounce rate see speed suggestions

The Speed Suggestions report will indicate potential issues and give you useful advice on how to resolve them, such as prioritizing visible content.

You can also use Google’s PageSpeed Insight for more strategies for improving site speed. 

Utilize A/B Testing

Throughout all of these report checks, you are hopefully pinpointing some specific areas you need to target for improvements.

It’s difficult to guarantee which changes will improve your bounce rate the most.

For instance, you may have identified a weak landing page. But what do you need to do to improve it?

Do you need to make it longer? Do you need a different call-to-action? What will increase your conversion rate?

A/B testing is a great way to test your improvement strategies.

It allows you to test things like different call-to-action wording, different landing page designs, and different target audiences.

A/B testing will make it easy to see what’s working and what isn’t since it allows you to show one version of your website to half of your visitors and another version to the other half.

Just make sure you set a clear goal for your testing and follow the correct steps.

To better understand your A/B test results, you can also use a significance calculator.

A/B testing significance bounce rate

Make Your Pages Easy to Read

It’s easy to forget such a simple aspect of your pages, but readability is important.

There are lots of free tools that allow you to check your content’s readability and your website, like the Yoast plugin for WordPress.

Make sure the headline is big and bold. Then, use subheadings stand bullet points to make the article easier to read. 

Here are a few tips to help you format your content and make it more readable:

  • Use subheadings to throw more light on your topic.
  • Use bullet points to explain benefits or points worth noting.
  • Use plenty of charts, images, screenshots, and quotes from industry experts, where appropriate.
  • Bold keywords a few times (don’t overdo this).
  • Ask a lot of questions in your content, to give readers an invitation to participate, instead of just read.
  • End your content with a subheading entitled “conclusion.” This tells the reader to read the last few words and take action quickly. Make your conclusion actionable.

You can test how readable your site is with WebFX’s free readability tool. 

Also, be mindful of your font size and type, your sentence and paragraph length, and the amount of white space on the page.

Consider other elements on your page that might be distracting, like your color choices and ad placements.

Include Clear CTAs and Consider Their Placements

A great way to get people to engage and convert is by using compelling calls-to-action.

A call-to-action should compel someone to do something, such as sign up for a newsletter or purchase a product.

There are many ways to improve your call-to-action buttons. Consider your copy, color, button size, placement on the page, and so much more.

cta impact on bounce rate example

Apple suggests making sure that all CTA buttons are at least 44 pixels tall.

hit targets bounce rate from GA

Sprout Social, a social media management software business, understands that giving users a free trial period and educating them along the way is a surefire way to convert more users into customers.

You can get buy-in without getting a buy from a client with a CTA for a free trial. This will help you achieve a good bounce rate. Review your landing page, whether a WordPress theme or not, to see how you can offer something with urgency and get a site visitor to take positive action.

If you’re in the SaaS business, offering free trials truly works. Your free trial should be made plain in your CTA.

Use Videos and Images to Engage Your Audience

Humans are visual creatures.

We love imagery. We also retain information better from images. 

If you hear something or read something, the chances are good that you’ll only remember 10% of it three days later. However, if you see a picture, you’re likely to remember 65% of it.

Adding images and videos is a great way to get your audience engaged with your content.

Short, catchy videos are increasing in popularity, and they can boost engagement.

videos help retain information and improve bounce rate

Infographics are also effective at drawing your visitors in.

In fact, over 41% of marketers say infographics were their most engaging form of visual content.

If you find that your audience isn’t engaging with a certain page, you may simply need to add more images, videos, and infographics.

Offer Live Chat Support

Live chat is the fastest method for offering customer service support.

If people come to your page and don’t immediately find exactly what they want, live chat can help engage them before they give up and try the next site.

There are lots of platforms out there today that can help you set up live chat services, such as Intercom.

improve bounce rate with live chat support

Live chat is one of the best tools you can implement on your website this year to decrease bounce and boost conversions.

Target Keywords With High-Value Traffic

Keywords can make or break your bounce rate. If you want to improve bounce rate, start targeting high-value keywords, because that’s where the high-value traffic is.

According to LinchPin SEO, a perfect high-value keyword sits at the intersection of four important metrics:

  • Traffic value
  • Conversion value
  • Persona value
  • Brand value

find valuable kw to improve bounce rate

Did you know that 97% of Google’s revenue is from advertising? The bulk of their revenue comes from targeting expensive keywords.

All keywords are not created equal. Some are going to bring you valuable traffic, while others will only keep you waiting by the side of the road for a ride that probably isn’t going to come.

where does google make money and impact on bounce rate

Simply writing content for your blog will not adequately reduce your bounce rate or improve conversions. 

You’ve also got to target keywords with high-value traffic.  These keywords, in turn, will send high-value customers to you.

Attract the Right Visitors

In her book Content Strategy for the Web, Christina Halvorson wrote that “Better content means better business for you.”

A higher bounce happens when you’re getting the wrong website visitor from the start. This is a targeting problem.

If your content strategy isn’t yielding the right visitors and increased sales for you, it’s time to improve. 

There’s nothing as powerful as publishing custom content that’s “right” for your market, using a content strategy that takes each stage of the buying cycle into account.

Brian Dean boosted his conversions by 785% in one day, with A/B split testing, because he recognized that the traditional ebook giveaway is no longer effective for building a massive list. He created the “content upgrade” strategy, which has now become a marketing standard.

The mistake that a lot of content marketers make is attributing a high bounce rate to a lack of quality content. But, the term “quality” is relative. Your definition of “quality” may not be the same as mine. A higher bounce might be better attributed to the wrong content.

For example, in the internet marketing world, lengthy articles (usually 2000+ words) are considered high quality, because they tend to address every question or concern of the target audience.

content length bounce rate

On the other hand, this is not true in non-internet-related industries, like health, entertainment, and finance. In these industries, shorter, informative articles tend to perform better on social media platforms.

This is a lesson for you when building a campaign or creating content: Always target the right visitors. If you run a Facebook Ads campaign, drill down into your campaign and get to the right people.

The value of the right audience can’t be overemphasized. In an interview with Forbes, Robert Kiyosaki said that the key to his success in building a multimillion-dollar brand around financial literacy is “simplicity.”

This is truly striking because I’ve often advocated the KISS (keep it simple stupid) concept.

It’s a chain reaction. When you create the right content and use the right channels to distribute it, you’ll ultimately reach the right audience that will be interested in your offer. You’ll develop a good bounce rate.

This is the easiest way to make marketing work for you. For example, if you sell information products (such as ebooks or software) and services, you’ll double or triple your sales conversion rate just by attracting the right prospects.

bounce rate autoresponder

Further, HubSpot’s research data shows us that 50% of consumer time on the web is spent engaging with custom content that’s tailored to them.

Write Attractive Meta Descriptions  

A lot of companies don’t optimize their meta descriptions for search users. As a result, their click-through rate continues to decline.

Maybe they didn’t think that it was that important – but it is. 

When users type a keyword into Google search, any word that matches the search term is bolded, to differentiate it from the rest and tell the searcher to consider that result.

Meta descriptions are HTML attributes that describe what a particular web page is about. Search engines use meta descriptions to display a snippet of your web page, so that users can determine whether a particular search result is right for them, just by reading the description.

image33

The optimal length for a meta description is 155 characters. If a web page description is longer, the remaining characters will not show in the search results pages. Instead, you’ll see an ellipsis (…) at the end. This may cause a higher bounce rate because people felt misled about your website.

Before you can successfully write an attractive meta description, you’ve got to understand the anatomy of a search result and where the meta tag fits in.

One of the tactics that I employed to grow Gawker Media’s traffic by 5,000,000 visitors was creating a unique meta description for each page, instead of allowing Google to automatically pull the site’s slogan or initial copy.

So, how do you write an attractive meta description?

If you’ve got the All In One SEO pack installed on your WordPress blog, this is easy to do. For every post that you publish (each of which is a separate web page on your site), you can provide a unique meta description. Use these tips:

Include the Target Keyword

Since a meta description is basically targeted at search users, make sure that the keyword they’re searching for is present in your description. However, this doesn’t mean that you should go stuffing keywords into descriptions

On the contrary, you should absolutely continue to write naturally.

For example, let’s say that your main keyword is best plumber in NY. Here’s how to include it in your description naturally:

meta example for better bounce rate

You can see that I mentioned the keyword just once in the description – not more. Also, notice how the keyword flows into the rest of the copy, so it doesn’t appear manipulative. This helps achieve a good bounce rate where a site visitor will see what the site is about and hopefully be enticed by the CTA.

Use A Call-to-Action in Your Meta

Search users – all users, really – need you to tell them what to do next.

Still using the above keyword (best plumber in NY) as our example, here’s how to use it as a call-to-action in your meta description:

meta description for better bounce rate

Conclusion

Analyzing and improving your bounce rate can be intimidating. But improving your bounce rate means a more engaged audience and more conversions.

If you follow the steps I’ve outlined in this post, you should see your bounce rate decrease in no time.

First, understand what a “good” bounce rate really is and narrow down your analysis to pinpoint exactly what your bounce rate metrics are telling you.

Remember that a site-wide bounce rate is simply a vanity metric. It’s too broad to provide actionable information.

Focus on the different segment reports and your other analytics tools to dive into the data.

Check out your top exit pages, page timings, and speed reports to understand what might be causing your bounce rates to be high.

To help people engage with your content, be sure to improve your site’s readability, add imagery, optimize your CTAs, and use live chat.

Do some A/B testing to see what works best for you and your audience.

Monitor your reports with each change to see where and how you’re improving

Remember: There is no magic number that you’re trying to hit.

Aim to keep improving and offering your customers a better, more engaging experience.

What tools and tricks do you use to monitor and improve your bounce rate?

The post Bounce Rate Analytics: How to Measure, Assess, and Audit to Increase Conversions appeared first on Neil Patel.

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