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Case Study: Landing Page Optimization & Testing For Lead Capture Page

Wpromote’s small business landing page is one of our primary lead generators where we drive the majority of our paid traffic and partner referral traffic. The ultimate goal of this page is to get visitors to fill out a form for a marketing consultation from one of our sales representatives. With our company mantra of “always test everything” we decided to run a series of conversion optimization tests to see how we could improve our lead capture page.

We were happy with the information that existed on this lead capture page, however we felt that we could improve the overall presentation by making adjustments to the design, layout, focal points and calls to action. Our goal was to design a new landing page that would outperform the current page, and then continue testing various aspects of the page to further improve its conversion rate.

To improve our landing page conversion rate, we ran the following series of optimization tests over a 6-month period of time:

  1. A/B Test
  2. B/C Test
  3. Button Call to Action Test
  4. Headline Copy Test
  5. Video vs Non-Video vs Video (No-Auto Play)

A/B Landing Page Test

To begin, we designed an entirely new landing page to test against our old page. All content was essentially the same, just laid out in a more direct and engaging fashion. Example changes include:

  • Added an Arrow Pointing to CTA
  • Highlighted a Testimonial
  • Shortened Copy at Top of Page
  • Moved Client Logos Higher
  • Changed the Main Image Used

Result = Version B Increased Conversion Rate 14.71%

B/C Landing Page Test

Our new landing page had outperformed our old page, but not as drastically as we had hoped. We saw several areas we could still improve upon and opted to create a third landing page to test, before moving on to multivariate testing.

Changes included:

  • Added Mini Case Studies
  • Included a Chat with Rep Button
  • Reduced Vertical Space in Header
  • Changed Buttons to Check Marks

Result = Version C Increased Conversion Rate 1.92%

Button Call To Action Test

After determining the winning landing page, we opted to run a multivariate test to continue to increase our landing page conversion rate. Since the form button is the main action on the page, it was important to find the best call to action copy. We opted to test 4 variations of copy for the button, which included the following:

Result = “Next” Increased Conversion Rate 34.38%

Headline Test

The next major focal point on the landing page was the headline. Headlines are one of the first things that users read when arriving to the page, and should quickly relay what the page is promoting and the benefits. We chose the following three variations of copy to test: 

Result = “Fast, Easy & Affordable Online Marketing” Increased Conversion Rate 4.52%

Summary Of Results

Through ongoing optimization the conversion rate has increased from 4.08% to 6.70%, which is a 64% increase overall.

 

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A Tech-Filled Fall

Fall is fast approaching which means the holiday season is faster approaching but do you know what that really means? Announcements, announcements everywhere! What fun tech gadget announcement is going to capture your heart and dominate your gift list this 2012 holiday season? Here’s a couple that have caught my eye.

Tablets are pretty cool but up until recently, you had to dish out some serious cash. The iPad is no longer theuncontested king and if you’re just getting into the tablet game there are more options. Two new announcements are the Google Nexus 7 and the new line of Kindle Fire tablets, which now boasts HD capabilities. Nexus 7 is a 7” tablet with WiFi and the 8GB model is $199 and the 16GB is $249. Fully compatible with the Google Chrome App store, there are plenty of games and apps to play with. Amazon one-upped Google and has a 7” WiFi tablet with 16GB memory called the Kindle Fire HD. If a 7” tablet doesn’t tickle your fancy, Amazon has an 8.9” Kindle Fire HD for $299, and another 8.9” Kindle Fire HD with 4G LTE wireless connect for $499.

These are awesome new tablets making it easier for people like me to buy one because they don’t cost a base $500. A bonus for Amazon Prime members is that you can easily link your account to your Amazon Fire HD tablet, allowing you to watch all those free movies and TV shows without a third party service, just some food for thought.

On to phones. In typical Apple fashion, they have announced that they will be making an announcement regarding the iPhone5 on September 12th. All I can tell you are the confirmed rumors (making them facts? Is that how that works?); it will be taller, thinner, the headphone jack is on the bottom, and the dock will be different. I’m personally not too happy about them changing their docking system because I don’t want to buy a whole new set of Apple products to plug my new iPhone into.

The only other phone that has really caught my eye is the Nokia Lumia 920, the new Windows phone. It has asleek home screen, an 8.7 megapixel camera with a Carl Zeiss lens, and a wireless charging system. Yes, you read that right; you don’t have to plug it in to anything to charge it. You do need to set it down on a designated charging pad, but that’s it. And that’s rad. No price or official release date has been announced but expect to see this phone sooner than later.

Apple now has some serious competition in the tablet market with Google and Amazon adding some fair priced, high performing handhelds. There has been smart phone competition for a little while but the Lumia 920 looks like it means business and with the iPhone changing it’s docking system, some people might try looking elsewhere (like myself). And this type of competition only benefits the user (as I shamelessly link to a previous article I wrote on competition in technology).

TL;DR

The real takeaway here is that you could potentially walk away this holiday season with a very capable tablet and an awesome smart phone (guessing on a $199 price with contract, could be lower or higher) for just about $400. You don’t have to be a loser this holiday season, isn’t that great!?

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How To Remove A Negative Online Review

Online reviews are quickly becoming one of the most visible barometers of a business’ success from an outside perspective and a major factor in drawing in new customers. In fact, recent surveys conclude that more than 70% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and more than half of people say a good review will make them more likely to patronize a particular business. That’s great news for businesses that already have stellar reviews on sites like Yelp or Google Reviews, but what about companies that have gotten unflattering or even scathing reviews?

If you’re a business owner who has noticed a bad review online, recognize that you aren’t alone. Every business has had to deal with a negative review at one time or another. And the good news is most Internet savvy customers have come to expect a few negative reviews from time to time. Another consolation is a survey that showed more than 40% of customers saying their decisions are more influenced on price and location than (either positive or negative) online reviews.

Of course, there is some bad news when it comes to negative reviews and that is that it’s virtually impossible to have a negative review removed completely. Large sites like Yelp have a policy of not removing reviews, instead, relying on its own filtering system meant to weed out fake reviews. The site does however allow businesses to post comments in response to unsatisfied customers.

If your business has been given a bad review, there are a few things that you can do to help counteract any negative effects. First, read the review with a level head and see if there are any valid points or constructive criticism that can be taken from the review. If possible, try to find out who wrote the review, so you can contact them directly and try to make it up to them by apologizing if needed and offering to right the situation. If you can’t contact the customer directly, you may be able to post a response to the customer on the review site. Doing so will give you a greater chance of them revising their initial review if they have a better experience the second time around. Try to respond as quickly as possible and only promise things that you can deliver on. This tactic will require you to constantly monitor mentions of your business on a wide variety of social outlets.

Along with responding to negative reviews, an equally, if not more important strategy is to engage the customers who already love your business by encouraging them to write their own reviews. Google Reviews shows the most recent reviews first so encouraging your supporters to write reviews means positive responses will most likely turn up first in Google searches. Don’t promise to reward your customers for writing a review, because that can give the impression that your customers can be bought. Instead, when a customer is genuinely happy with a product or service you provide, simply ask them to write a review. You can also encourage your employees to ask repeat customers to post reviews.

Lastly, be sure to focus on spending your marketing dollars toward positive buzz that will translate to your overall social media strategy, rather than wasting your time trying to get negative reviews removed. You’ll be more successful and save yourself a number of headaches.

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Wednesday Web Series: Doctor Who – Pond Life

If you’re a true Whovian you already have your Saturday night planned out: feed your cats while listening to the most recent Nerdist podcast, clean your figurines mounted throughout your home and then sit and wait to watch the Doctor Who season 7 series premier: Asylum of the Daleks. If you are not a Whovian, then you can Dalek my balls!

Back to you true Whos…if you are incredibly anxious for the season premier and cannot wait for Saturday, I recommend checking out the new mini web series Pond Life. Pond Life does 2 things: (1) show the Pond’s (Amy and Rory) life when their not with the Doctor, and (2) the web series shows quick clips of Doctor Who Season 7. The episodes are pretty short, but they do enough to hold Whovians over until this Saturday (September, 1st), when Doctor Who season 7 premiers! Three episodes of Pond Life have already been released, but 1 comes out tomorrow (Thursday) and the final episode shows on Friday, so you’re not too late to catch up with the Ponds and the Doctor Whoniverse in general.

Check out the preview of “Asylum of the Daleks,” the Doctor Who season 7 premier episode (below), and make sure to check in to Pond Life today, tomorrow and Friday!

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Time To Speed Up Your Site

In a world that becomes less and less patient everyday, eliminating down time is a natural progression in business models; a text book case of supply and demand. Hungry? Why wait. Need car insurance? Well 15 minutes could save you 15% or more. Don’t have 15 minutes? Go online. To go online, use Google’s new Chromebook or Chromebox, Google’s new laptop and home computer.

You may be asking yourself, “Why would I want a Google computer?” And the advertisements will tell you (as one of the main selling points) that your Google laptop and/or home desktop can boot up in a matter of seconds, eliminating as much down time as possible. Once it’s booted up, it’s only a matter of seconds to get on the web. So if you want to get online to see the hours of that restaurant that you’re trying to hurry to, you can check that in less than 30 seconds. This is America after all, and when we want something, we want it fast!

So how can we make the Internet faster? A dial up modem took up an entire phone line, in addition to a few minutes of our precious time to get online, but oh boy, was it worth it! We’ve come a long way since dial up and now fiber optic services are a fairly normal connection at home; and if it’s not wireless, well, it’s just not worth having. Anything longer than a couple of seconds to get online is reaching borderline unacceptable these days but really, how much faster can we get? And what exactly can be done?

Aside from trying to continuously reinvent Internet connections, how can we make the web a faster and more efficient tool? Instead of improving the connection, how about we improve websites? A great answer, but how can it be implemented? Well, if you’re in charge of pretty much the whole Internet, you can release a new update that puts a little more weight on site speed which highly motivates webmasters to make sure that their sites are all in order. Oh, hi Google, didn’t see you there… this is a little awkward. I wasn’t telling you how to do your job, just pontificating.

By doing this, everyone wins in the end (eventually). Webmasters have clean crawling efficient sites and visitors can browse through them quickly and happily. With Google releasing a new line of computers with the main selling point being that it boots up faster than your current computer, I don’t think it’s too far fetched to believe Google will make a push for faster loading sites. But every action has a reaction and in this case, faster loading sites result in higher bounce rates. “Well shucks, how do we fix that? The Internet sure is hard to handle.” I hear you, but that’s what Google is for. Do you remember your algorithm lectures in class? Me neither, and if I did they would not be in the same league as Google’s, not even the same sport. Heck, they wouldn’t even be allowed to spectate!

So here we sit, awaiting new updates to Google’s algorithms and all we can do is make speculations as to what could possibly come next. Faster crawling sites is my best guess, what do you think is next on Google’s list? The Internet has become essential to our lives but it is a very malleable tool, how do you think it could be improved?

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Wednesday Web Series: Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Minute

Let’s face it people. Most of us spend our free time at work checking-in on our fantasy sports teams. “Us” of course excludes hardcore nerds, many women and guys who were in a league once but never adjusted their team (and probably auto-drafted), thus not being allowed in any future leagues. But again, the rest of “us”…fantasy league addicts.

The problem with being a fantasy sports addict as opposed to a heroin addict is that when you lose at fantasy sports you have to live with the pain. When you lose with heroin you feel nothing. So naturally, fantasy sport addicts will try to do everything they possibly can to get updated information on player’s injuries, city’s weather reports, the state of the playing field, the team’s weekly motivation, if the players go to the bathroom just before they play (in horse racing this is sometimes an indicator of how well a horse will run) and any other tidbits of information that can help the fantasy sports player win their week, league and thus, life.

This week’s Wednesday Web Series, Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Minute, gives sports addicts some brief, easy to digest fantasy suggestions based on sports news. There really are hundreds of websites that do this exact thing, but if you want to find some non-ESPN opinions about prioritizing your QB draft pick or finding a surging baseball player to add to your team before your league’s playoffs start, you may want to give a Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Minute a minute of your time.

Check out the most recent Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Minute episode about QB options, below.

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Wednesday Web Series: Kaboom

Babes and booms. Big booms.

Former Miss USA, Tara Conner, and explosive expert, Rene Diamante, host the high-octane web series, Kaboom. The Yahoo Screen original series asks Rene to blow up all types of common objects such as ATM machines, vending machines and golf bags. Rene delivers big time by producing many “Oh S***!” moments. Each video is shot with slow-motion cameras from multiple angles and runs about 3 minutes long. The slow-motion is perfect for capturing the eye-candy: Tara Conner. Oh, and the items going Kaboom are pretty cool in slow-mo, as well.

Check out the most recent video of Tara and Rene destroying a vending machine.

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How To Get Your Business On Google Maps

What’s that saying about the key to having a successful business is your location? Oh yeah, “location, location, location.” Location is definitely important. But after you’ve picked your perfect location, the next important thing is advertising your location.

The days of looking up a business in the Yellow Pages has gone the way of overhead projectors and parachute pants. Unless your customers are 50+ years of age, most people who look up a business go directly to a search engine. In fact, according to Google statistics, 97% of consumers search for local businesses online.

That’s why as a small business owner, you need to make sure your business is listed on Google Maps, which pulls it’s information from Google Places. Listing your business on Google means that when a customer searches for your business by name, your business listing will come up at the top of the results page with your address, phone number, a map, directions to your location and a link to your website.

This information is of course important to get people in your door. But for web search purposes, entering your listing is vital to extend your reach and your organic search results. Getting your business on Google Maps is also free, so there is no reason not to do it.

Here is a step-by-step guide showing you how to get your business listed on Google Maps, including a video.

Step 1: Check For Your Listing
If you haven’t already listed your business with an online database or with a traditional phone book service, it’s likely that your business isn’t already listed in Google. The first step is to pull up a Google search page and type in the name and location of your business, including the city and state. If your business isn’t listed, click on the Google Places link and follow the instructions to fill out your business profile. Note: If you don’t have a Google account, you’ll need to set one up before you can proceed.

Step 2: Filling Out Your Information
The first thing Google will ask for is your business phone number. If there is no address listed that is associated with your business profile, you will be prompted with a template of information to fill out about your business.

When filling out the information for your business, the first thing you want to do is double check that your address is correct and the icon on the map is pointing to the right location. If it’s not showing the right location, you can adjust it by dragging it to the correct spot on the map.

Fill in all of the basic vitals like business address, phone number, email address, website, description of the business and hours of operation.

Step 3: Add Categories
Next, Google will allow you to add up to five business categories describing your business. If the categories you would like to select don’t show up in the automated list, you can also add a category. Use this feature as a way to include keywords for your business.

Step 3: Add Photos
In addition to listing the basics of your business, you can also upload photos of your business through the Google Places website. Use this feature to share a picture of your storefront, your company logo or anything that you think will help bring more customers into your place of business. You can add up to 10 photos, so choose them wisely.

Step 4: Add Videos
To help enhance your listing, you can also add videos associated with your business. To do this, Google asks that you upload your videos on YouTube and then copy and paste the URL into their form on Google Places. You are allowed up to 5 videos.

Then select the submit button and your business is now listed in Google Places, as well as Google Maps.

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Wednesday Web Series: Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

I am a Jerry fan. His self-titled television show, Seinfeld, changed my perspective on life and how I interpret the world around me. I am not alone in my passion for Seinfeld, however, I am a part of a smaller group who actually thinks that Jerry was the best character on the show. Okay, before you freak out…read me out.

The 3 Stages of, and to, Seinfeld

Stage #1: When people first start watching Seinfeld they are immediately drawn to the exaggerated and wacky Kramer. He’s wild and fun. Having Kramer as your favorite character is like having Michelangelo as your favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. It’s easy to enjoy funny words, big sounds and weird things. Nunchucks…am I right?

Stage #2: After one gets past the wildness which is Kramer, they immediately move to the eccentric, over-thinking George Costanza. George Costanza, or “Can’t-standz-ya” as he is sometimes known, thinks the things we think but would never actually take action on such as sleeping under your desk at work or rushing past a ton of children if there is a fire. George’s interactions with his parents and bosses feel very similar to our own. We begin to actually wonder if we would act the same way as George if we were in his situations. He is shockingly relate-able and we love him for it.

Stage #3: The final stage of Seinfeld nirvana can not usually be reached until one has watched an incredible amount of Seinfeld episodes…multiple times. You’ll be watching an interaction between Jerry and his annoying neighbor Newman (who you know is trouble because he basically caused all of the problems in Jurassic Park) and all of a sudden you’ll stand-up, pause your DVD and declare to the world, “I am a Jerry fan.” When it happened to me, I struggled with the realization that I have moved past Kozmo and Georgy-boy. How would I be able to bring up a Jerry centric scene to my friends and not have them try and trump me with a George telling his marine biologist story where he tries to save a whale, capped with Kramer’s great line, “is that a Titlest?” I wouldn’t be able to win a debate because my Jerry enjoyment was a feeling. Jerry is often the straight-man in the scene and has to let the comedy build around him. I appreciate the character who doesn’t get in the way of comedy…as Jerry does. The best way I can explain the concept of not getting in the way of comedy is by mentioning a late night comedy show like Conan. Conan O’Brien will occasionally have non-comedian guests on who talk too much or attempt to be funny. Those guest’s spots end up falling a little flat and not going very well. The best guest spots are when the guest allows the professional comedian (Conan) to lead the conversation and make the jokes. The guest gets out of the way of comedy and the interview ends up going very well.

In today’s Wednesday Web Series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Jerry Seinfeld goes for a drive and coffee with some of his professional comedian friends. Jerry basically takes one of his buddies on a little trip, and we watch the two comedians talk about whatever happens to come up. Jerry will occasionally throw out a specific question to get the conversations rolling, but for the most part the experience feels natural (as natural as a couple of successful comedians driving around in an old-school car can feel). So far, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is only 2 episodes into it’s run, featuring Larry David (Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm) and Ricky Gervais (The Office, Extras), but new episodes are on their way, every Thursday. If you are a Jerry fan, I suggest making a reminder to watch Seinfeld on Thursdays…just like in the old days.

Stage #4: Elaine is your favorite. Just kidding! Stage #4 doesn’t exist.

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Helping Web Crawlers Help You: How to Create an XML Sitemap

You’ve got the perfect website, loaded with rich content, videos, banners, the works. Your business page is brimming with the latest and greatest in attractive design, ready to rake in new hits and seal the deal on new conversions. Despite it all, it isn’t working. Nobody can find your site on Google and the leads aren’t coming. Do you have an XML sitemap?

If your website is like a book loaded with tons of valuable information, sitemaps are the table of contents. XML sitemaps tell search engine crawlers what kind of content is on your website and what it’s related to, so you can rank in searches for relevant, useful materials that might not be automatically indexed.

Not only will XML sitemaps let you direct web crawlers to all of your content, but you can also list “metadata” for rich content like images, videos, news, mobile options, and more. Search crawlers work entirely on reading and interpreting text, and you need to help them do their job better so they rank your website higher in searches. Google doesn’t guarantee that all web content is automatically indexed, but with an XML sitemap, you can guarantee that Google’s web crawlers can see everything you have to offer.

For example, your business is the leading provider of funny cat videos online. Web crawlers and robots don’t know that you have thousands of funny cat videos in your archives unless your XML sitemap lists each piece of content as a “funny cat video” in the metadata. With an XML sitemap, web crawlers now know that you have thousands of these videos, and will rank your site in searches accordingly.

Metadata in XML sitemaps is incredibly valuable if you deal with a lot of rich content that doesn’t normally have searchable text on it. The best content in the world can go unnoticed without good XML sitemapping underneath it, guiding search results directly to it. Do you want customers to find your website? Then you need an XML sitemap. It’s as simple as that.

XML Sitemaps Are Easy

Coding an XML sitemap by hand is simple and follows a basic protocol:

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>

<urlset xmlns=”http://www.yourwebsite.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9″>

<url>

<loc>http://www.example.com/</loc>

<lastmod>2005-01-01</lastmod>

<changefreq>monthly</changefreq>

<priority>0.8</priority>

</url>

</urlset>

This is an entire XML file for just one URL, and even includes all optional tags. Visit Sitemaps.org’s XML formatting page for a full breakdown of what’s going on here.

Too Complicated?

Don’t worry about that code. Even industry professionals don’t want to go through the hassle of writing an XML sitemap by hand—it’s good to know how in case things break down, but otherwise, let the computer do it for you. There are plenty of automatic sitemap generators online, from server-side indexing programs and site/CMS plugins to downloadable programs and online web applications. Google has a massive list of indexing apps to help you find what works best for you.

Google will also accept RSS and Atom feeds as sitemap files. If your business is built on a content management system or you use a simple service like WordPress, Blogger, or anything that produces and updates an RSS feed, you can produce an XML sitemap. You don’t even have to download or run anything! See, it’s simple.

Of course, the easiest solution is to go directly to content professionals that know how to use XML sitemaps, and plenty of other tools and tricks that can drive search engines and the people that use them directly to your business.