Category: Website Design

Don’t Optimize Your Web Pages, Optimize Your Customer’s Thought Sequences Instead.

I'm at the Marketing Sherpa and Marketing Experiments Optimization Summit sponsored by HubSpot. The morning keynote was delivered by Dr. Flint McGlaughlin who is the CEO of MECLABS, an internet optimization laboratory.Dr. McGlaughlin said many interesting things this morning, but the key thing he said that was particularly insightful was this:

Don't Optimize Your Web Pages. Optimize Your Customer's Thought Sequences.

This is such an important concept I'm going to say it again: Don't optimize your web pages, optimize your customer's thought sequences. (Side note: I'm actually going to have this tattooed on my cat's forehead. I like my cat, but I'm not afraid of using him to further my career.)

If you're like many people trying to get the most from your marketing, you're analyzing ways you can improve your website's performance. You might be trying to improve conversion rates, reduce your bounce rate or increase visitor's time on site.

All of those are terrific goals and should always be clearly-stated -- but the starting point for any marketing communications program (i.e., website, brochure, print ad, direct mail letter, etc.) is to get inside the mind of your customer.

When you get inside the mind of your customer (or, when you think backwards, as my friend Jerry Brown likes to say), you can start analyzing how your customers engage with your products and services. And when you do that, you'll find that revenue growth will soon follow.

How to get inside the mind of your customer: Let's say you're an ad agency or web design firm and you're presenting to a new client prospect.

If you're like most ad agencies, you'll kick things off by telling the client prospect three things:

  1. What your billings are
  2. How long you've been in business
  3. Who your key staff members are
If you did that -- and you know who you are -- you've made a classic mistake. The truth is, most clients don't give a damn about any of those things. After all, can you imagine a marketing director telling their CEO, "We hired XYZ agency. They have 147 employees! Can you believe how lucky we are? 147!"Ain't gonna happen.But if you get inside the mind of your client prospect, you might take an entirely different approach. In fact, if you analyzed your client prospect's thought sequences, you'd start the meeting by mentioning these three things:
  1. Who your clients are (the bigger, the better)
  2. What you do (i.e., SEO, social, mobile, paid search, etc.)
  3. What your results have been (e.g., 10:1 ROI for XYZ client)
In the end, those are the only three things you need to tell a client prospect in an introductory meeting. Telling them who your clients are validates that you're a successful agency; telling them what you do confirms that you can deliver what they're looking for; and telling them your results lets them know that you can generate revenue for them.Optimizing Your Customer's Thought Sequences: The example I gave above is slightly different from what Dr. McGlaughlin was talking about during his speech, but it illustrates a key issue -- the starting point for any successful marketing campaign is to get inside your prospect's mind and analyze their behavior.By doing so, you'll be on your way to greater market share, better ROI and, best of all, more revenue.If you like what you read today, you can have these blog posts delivered to your in box each morning by clicking here. Or, you can sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter by clicking here. Posted by Jamie Turner, Chief Content Officer of the 60 Second Marketer. Jamie is also the co-author of How to Make Money with Social Media.

New Research Reveals 5 Ways to Improve Your Conversion Rates

We all know that testing your email headlines, website layouts and creative concepts is the best way to improve the results of your marketing campaigns. But we also know that A/B split testing can be a pain. So, we took a look at the Which Test Won? website and found new research that reveals 5 ways you can improve the conversion rates on your campaigns.Here they are:
  1. Add a Video: The infamous music downloading company, Napster, tested 2 landing pages, one that featured a “What You Get With Your Subscription” video and one without. The page featuring the video got 18.5% more free trials and paid subscriptions.
  2. Use a British Accent: Now that we’ve established you should have a video, you should take into account the test done by Eyevision, a video marketing company which found that using a British accent voiceover on a video on the homepage resulted in a 6% lift in free downloads.  Interestingly though, in the UK an American accent upped downloads 8%.
  3. Use Fewer Words in Headlines: A test done for World Class Driving confirms that when it comes to Pay-Per-Click headlines, less is more. By cutting the verbage down from the explanatory title “Drive 5 Supercars. The US Supercar Tour” to “Life is Short. Drive Fast” they increased conversions 34%!
  4. Include A FAQ Box in Checkout: Van der Valk Hotels & Restaurants wanted to increase the conversion rate amongst customers who visited their reservations page. The hotel group surmised that one of the reasons people would abandon the site at an advanced point in the process was due to incomplete information and unanswered questions. So they looked at the questions that were received most by their customer service lines and put the answers up to the right of the reservations page in a FAQ box. The results were a 9.2% higher conversion rate for the page that featured the FAQs.
  5. Use People-Focused Language: In a test done for Hubspot in which they were hoping to increase free trials, the company tested a page which asked the visitor what their goals were: “Use Web to Grow My Business” or “Deliver More Quality Leads for Less” against a page where they asked who the visitor was: “I’m a Business Owner” or “I’m a Marketer." The page that focused on the visitor’s role, as opposed to their goal, won out and increased free trials 49.1% for the site.
Though the results of these tests cannot be universally applied to all businesses, the outcomes can provide insights into the way consumers think when presented with marketing materials. And if nothing else, taking the quizzes on which version won is a good (and slightly nerdy) way to kill an afternoon.Posted by Nicole Hall, Account Manager with Mobilize Worldwide. Mobilize Worldwide develops mobile apps, mobile ad campaigns, mobile websites and just about anything else related to mobile marketing for brands interested in growing their sales and revenue using this new and emerging medium.

The 5 Deadly Sins of Web Design

Most consumers who encounter a truly awful website will click away to competitor’s site in a matter of milliseconds. But not Vincent Flanders.  On the contrary, he has dedicated a whole book and website to Web Pages That Suck.While the title sounds slightly cruel, the site serves a good purpose. By checking out sites that completely miss the mark, you can make sure you never make the same conversion-killing mistakes that these poor people made.There are a lot of errors than contribute to a poor website experience, but what follows are the five deadly sins of web design:
  1. Lack of Focus: People should be able to tell what your company does within 5 seconds of visiting your site. If users can’t easily figure out what your company does, and consequently, what value you can bring to them, they will immediately click away. Irrelevant graphics and fluffy copy will just confuse your customer and slash your conversion rate.
  2. Too Little Contrast: People need to be able to read what you write. Don’t make it hard on people to read your copy by making it light gray on a white background, or even worse, hot pink on lime green. If users have to strain to read your info, they’ll just choose to read it somewhere else.
  3. Getting In Your Own Way: Make it easy for your visitor to take action. This seems obvious, but  distracting graphics, needless splash pages and registrations often do just that. If a consumer visits your site with the goal in mind to make a purchase, let them do it without throwing up roadblocks and distractions.
  4. Putting All Your Eggs In One Basket: Your website is undoubtedly an important marketing tool in your overall strategy, but you need to be realistic about how much a website can achieve. You cannot expect a website to replace all other forms of media and trying to design a website that does so is a recipe for disaster.
There are a lot of ways for websites to go awry, but keeping a customer focus and using a little common sense will help you avoid many of the common pitfalls… and ensure that you are not deemed a Web Page that Sucks.Posted by Nicole Hall, Account Manager with Mobilize Worldwide. Mobilize Worldwide develops mobile apps, mobile ad campaigns, mobile websites and just about anything else related to mobile marketing for brands interested in growing their sales and revenue using this new and emerging medium.