Category: CRO

What is click through rate and why is it important for Google Ads?

Click-Through Rate (CTR) represents the number of clicks received divided by the number of impressions received.

Your CTR helps indicate:

  1. How helpful and relevant your ads are.
  2. How successful your targeting/keywords are.

Improving your CTR can increase your ad rank – meaning:

  1. Increased impression share. This essentially means that your ads have more visibility – with a bigger portion of the impressions that they are eligible to receive.
  2. An increase in visibility can lead to increased site visits.
  3. Potentially lower cost per clicks (CPCs) for a better position.
  4. Potentially higher conversion rates (CR). CR depends on many factors but in theory:
    – An informative ad means a higher proportion of users will click your ad (increased CTR)
    – With more information at their fingertips, they are more qualified to make a decision about purchasing your product or service after they’ve clicked your ad.

Here are some simple steps to improving your CTR and your overall campaign performance:

1. Include the keyword in the ad copy

Keeping your ad relevant to the users’ search term increases the chance of being clicked.

2. Include a strong call to action to encourage users to take action

For example ‘buy now’, ‘contact us for a quote today’ or ‘sign up now for a free sample’.

3. Change match type

Even after the recent update to exact match, CTR’s are much higher on exact match keywords as the queries that can trigger adverts are very closely linked to the keyword.

Reviewing our client data from the past 12 months, CTR on exact match keywords was on average 105% higher than broad match terms, and conversion rate was 138% higher.

Remember that it’s still important to have a balance of match types (including broad and phrase) to maintain a healthy volume of impressions and clicks.

4. Add negative keywords

Negative keywords enable you to filter out search queries that are less relevant to your keywords.

The broad keyword + red +shoes could trigger an advert for the query “I want to buy red shoes” in addition to “red shoes film”.

Despite being a classic, a search for the 1948 film is very unlikely to result in a click on your ad (never mind a sale), bringing down your CTR.

Adding an extensive list of negative keywords not only improves your CTR by weeding out the irrelevant terms, it also saves you a tonne of budget! When we ran an initial audit for a client recently we found that adding one additional negative keyword saved them over £5000 per month.

5. Provide as much relevant information as possible

Google Ads have recently given us a third headline and a second description – that’s an extra 120 characters to communicate to your potential customers.

Adding ad extensions to your campaigns give users more reason to click on your advert. Taking them to specific, relevant pages via sitelinks or communicating your unique selling points through callout extensions.

Next steps:

If you’d like an in-depth review of your GoogleAds account, call 0161 956 8963 to speak to a paid media expert.

Marketing on a shoestring budget: What key areas to consider

With marketers continually being asked to work with less, and yet drive continued success (or better), taking a step back and identifying a marketing strategy that works with the budget you have available should always be the first step.

It can be tempting to look at bigger competitors and follow suit when in reality their campaign strategy only works due to the huge budget they have at their disposal and the economies of scale they can achieve.

What this article aims to highlight is what considerations should be applied at the early stages of strategising how to spend your ‘shoestring’ budget.

Understand User Behaviour

This can be done through a variety of methods, through commissioned third-party customer research to analysing user behaviour across owned marketing assets such as social media profiles and brand websites.

Website user behavior tracking software like Hotjar or Crazy Egg offers priceless insights into how your customers navigate around your website, identifying clear barriers to conversion, confusing UX and more crucially, what is working well.

Additionally, from experience using Hotjar far more extensively, it is worthwhile making use of the poll functionality available to license holders. There is no quicker way to get useful user feedback than strategically placing polls on the key commercial pages around the website for instant feedback on how users are finding the user journey, and what can be improved on.

Make sure to carefully consider the question, are the questions specific enough to get a suitable enough answer that you can use to improve the website flaws?

The initial investment is not very expensive, and with the improvement in UX potentially driving an increase in sales/applications that will far out way the outlay. Hotjar provides a range of options to suit your budget and business needs so it is definitely worth checking it out.

By ironing out any kinks in the user journey prior to investing the small budget you have for marketing is the investment that could give you an advantage over competitors. User experience (UX) and Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) are areas of marketing that are commonly overlooked, with the main focus directed at solely traffic acquisition. Read our previous blog on how SEO, UX, and CRO can all be used cohesively to achieve success.

Invest in the Right Channels

As previously mentioned, the easy route to follow is to mimic what the other brands in the sector are doing regarding what channels the marketing pounds are being assigned to.

Understanding where your target audience spends their time is paramount to any marketing strategy and as tempting as it may be to jump on the bandwagon of the ‘channel of the moment’, research this stage extensively.

Social media is a good example of a channel which presents vast opportunities in terms of enormous reach and brand awareness potential and at a relatively low cost, but is this the best channel to reach your target audience? If you are after a high valued customer type or targeting a specific niche, then the lure of Facebook might turn out to be the wrong move. Always revert back to your campaign objectives, and ask yourself;

  1. What is my objective?
  2. What message am I trying to promote
  3. What determines success?
  4. Is it the best use of my limited marketing budget?

Listen To Your Customer

Listening to your customer can come from actually getting out in the real world and speaking to people face-to-face, but many companies will often pass up the chance to speak to their customers in person when given the chance.

From a brick and mortar retailer to a car dealership, many brands will engage with customers every day, passing up the opportunity to learn more about their buying habits, what brought them to your place today, and how did they find you. You may find customers are much more honest when asked in person, as opposed to rating something 1 to 10 online.

Again reverting back to my previous point, does the question you ask allow for meaningful answers to be gathered, and for actions to be taken off the back off it?

Resist the urge to rip it up

When a new marketing or brand manager come into a new company, it can be a natural instinct to want to put their own spin on something, completely disregarding what has been done previously. If results as a whole were not great, you may think the natural reaction is to assume everything that was being done did not work.

However, potentially the less fashionable approach of simply building incrementally on the existing strategy might be the right (less glamorous) approach. By nurturing the existing marketing strategy and not ripping it up, you can earn the cumulative benefits that were only achieved by building on what was done before you, not to mention it is the more cost-effective approach a shoestring marketing budget requires.

The important thing to remember is that even if you operate in the same space as many other brands, both big and small, a good strategy is a way of leveling the playing field, and in some cases achieving that competitive advantage that all businesses strive for.

Small marketing budget or not, CandidSky has experience working across a wide range of sectors and marketing budgets, driving continued growth in increasingly competitive markets.

To see what we can do for you, why not get in touch on 0161 956 8963.

SEO, UX & CRO: how do they interact for success?

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), UX (User Experience)  and CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation) are too often treated as separate entities. But getting all three aspects of a marketing strategy nailed is key to increasing website traffic, engagement, conversions and retention… and who doesn’t want that?

With so much focus on driving traffic to a specific area on a website and high rankings, the element that gets forgotten about is the focus on not only keeping that traffic on the website, but increasing their conversion.

From my own experience in previous positions, I‘ve been in the unfortunate situation where the design department have conveniently forgotten to bring the SEO team into a new web build discussion until it is ‘too late’ to make any design changes. One reason for this ‘selective amnesia’ is largely down to the belief that SEO and UX cannot work hand in hand, and that SEO recommendations will be detrimental to achieving a well-designed website. Well, unless your marketing strategy is to solely use word of mouth as your main traffic driving channel, your results are likely to reflect the lack of integration across different departments.

Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) I feel is a channel normally thrown in with implementing new landing page designs, with multiple elements being tested at once and not being particularly thought out about what is being tested, but has enormous potential to make a real difference to website performance.

Most companies undertake an element of SEO marketing, therefore identifying where to gain that competitive advantage from a website perspective is even more crucial. This is where UX and CRO come in.

One way to think about how these three channels work together is:

SEO = art of driving traffic to the site

UX = keeping traffic engaged on the site

CRO = turning traffic into customers/taking a specific action

SEO satisfies search engines, UX and CRO satisfy people.

While the goals of each channel might be slightly different, they are part of the same customer journey, and all need to be successful in order to maximise a website’s potential. Imagine if a website focused solely on SEO, yes organic rankings will improve (hopefully) and a lot of relevant traffic will arrive on the website, however, if the level of UX doesn’t match the level of SEO, users will simply exit the website when served a potentially confusing poor user experience.

Crossover between SEO, UX & CRO

UX and CRO appear similar on face value, however, there are slight differences that demonstrate the value that can be achieved by focusing on both channels.

UX is intended to make your website easier, to navigate around, and to take key actions on. CRO is intended to help you make the actions you want them to take available and taken more often such as download that white paper, submit an enquiry or join a newsletter mailing list.

In addition, poor user experience metrics such as time on site, pages per session and bounce rate inform search engines that ranking this site too high will also provide a poor user experience to their audience.

In fact, a positive user experience is becoming more and important from an SEO perspective with factors such as a site showing its secure, mobile-friendly and has a fast page load speed all impact organic ranking positions in a positive way.

Therefore, neglecting the time needed to ensure your website traffic is being served a positive user journey and can convert easily, has a detrimental impact on your SEO efforts.

CRO is a channel that is likely seen as the least important of the three based on the recognition and promotion it gets industry-wide, which is hard to comprehend when it is the channel that can most impact your revenue, ROI and build brand loyalty through conversions.

A comprehensive CRO campaign should focus on combining data-driven insights with user experience, A/B Testing, competitor analysis and in-depth user testing. It is an area of the marketing mix that should be consistently evaluated, and despite there being best practice elements involved there is no one-way of CRO that’s fits all scenarios, and should, therefore, be tailored to the customer’s behaviour, intent and objectives.

Getting out of the siloed mindset

Obviously saying this is the easy part, the challenge is implementing this into the internal processes within a company environment. This should start with involving all departments at the beginning of each web build/project to ensure SEO, UX and CRO are factored into the design. 

In a previous blog, I refer to the impact of siloed marketing channels and how cross-channel marketing is crucial to driving real value in a campaign. Well, this blog follows the same train of thought in the sense that design and channel teams working in a siloed fashion can lead to siloed outcomes.

If your company is undertaking a new website build project for a company, ensuring not just design drives the outcome, but the strategy in general also plays a role.  To create a product that the client is happy with and drives quality traffic and conversions is a win-win for everyone. Experimenting with new page layouts, for example, has the potential to not just benefit SEO performance, but provide a more suitable page for your PPC traffic to land on, increasing ROI and decreasing costs.

Next steps

If combining SEO, UX and CRO is an area you want to explore further, please get in touch to discuss how we can best support your wider marketing objectives.

If you would like to work at CandidSky and develop your career prospects, take a look at our Careers website for available roles and find out what is like to work here.

And finally, take a look at our other blog posts to see what else we have been up to.

How to report SEO success to your boss

SEO success

 

Marketing Managers often have a difficult time conveying the value of their SEO efforts to their boss, and are often left wondering how to demonstrate the channels true value.

But worry not…

Throughout this article,  we aim to provide detailed insights into how to report SEO success in a way which your superiors will not only care, but emotionally engage with,  resulting in receiving the plaudits you deserve.

Understanding KPIs and objectives

KPIs (key performance indicators) are the bread and butter of any marketing campaign, not just SEO. Before starting any work, you need to have a thorough understanding of your organisation’s KPIs, and align with your digital strategy to help achieve the business’ wider objectives. An example KPI may be that you wish to achieve an X% increase in revenue by next year, or that the organic channel generates X number of conversions in a certain period of time.

If you have an in-depth understanding of your objectives, you can continue to demonstrate how your SEO results are contributing to the achieving them. This will undoubtedly engage your stakeholders, resulting in personal recognition which we all love!

Conversions

Whether you’re an e-commerce business aiming to improve revenue, or you’re a lead generation company wanting to increase the number of enquiries, you’ll want to be referring to these in every report and meeting you have with your stakeholders.

Ultimately, stakeholders don’t care whether we have achieved a 100% increase in traffic Year on Year, or if we’ve witnessed a 10% uplift in Share of Voice. They simply don’t see the commercial benefit of these metrics. Instead, they care about how SEO is contributing towards the wider objectives, which is why it’s essential to constantly revert back to the first point in the report.  You can ensure that you’re able to report these accurately by tracking everything in Google Analytics (form completions, phone calls, clicks for directions etc.) and explaining how results correlate with offline media.

Visibility

Whilst rankings aren’t the most commercially relevant metrics for a campaign, they do represent the progress which you’re making. As a result, it is important to include a section about visibility in your SEO report, which hopefully shows progress Year on Year!

Furthermore, if you are able to communicate continued progress for priority commercial keywords, you’re also likely to also witness improvements for other metrics, such as conversions. Moreover, if you are able to establish a connection between a particular improvement in visibility and an improvement in sales/conversions, then this is going to connect more with your stakeholders, thus making them care more than if you were to simply outline the data.

Work completed and expected outcomes

Whether you report to your boss on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis, you will need to outline the work which you’ve completed over the period and the expected outcomes. An example could be that you’ve built X number of high quality links to a particular area of the website, which you expect to improve sitewide visibility and authority over the coming months.

By outlining the work you’ve completed and explaining the projected outcome, you’re adding value and quantifying your role, which further enhances your boss’ understanding of why you’ve spent a proportion of your working week on a task. Furthermore, if you have an attentive boss who has a particular interest in organic search, this could present an opportunity to educate them on SEO best practices and improve their understanding of the channel.

Furthermore, we always recommend adding a section at the bottom of a report explaining tasks which are planned for the upcoming period, so that that boss’ feel ‘in the loop’, and know what is going to be delivered in the next meeting.

Make your reports easy to digest

Most Directors and Stakeholders don’t have time to read through paragraphs and paragraphs of text, therefore it is essential that every report you generate is well structured, aesthetically pleasing and easy to digest.

Every person is different, therefore it is important to understand what your boss’ value within your report, and what they understand. Once you know this information, you can begin generating your report with graphs and well-structured content – we’ve found bullet points and prominent headings often make content easy to digest.

If you want to speed up your reporting, you can use reporting software such as Data Studio or Report Garden, which allow you to pull through real time data from Google Analytics. This data can be quickly made into graphs and charts, which will improve the value of your report to stakeholders, thus better communicating the value of the channel.

Next steps:

If you would like to speak to us more about SEO and how we can grow your business online, contact us today to arrange a call.

If you would like to work at CandidSky and grow your career prospects, take a look at our Careers website for available roles and find out what is like to work here.

And finally, take a look at our other blog posts to see what else we have been up to.

 

Not converting? Five other ways to engage with your visitors

If you are not seeing the conversion rates that you are expecting, take a look through our five ways to engage with your visitors.

  1. Buyer Personas. Creating buyer personas is fun! Marketing Mike, HR Hannah, Retail Rachel. Once you have your ideal target audience / customer demographic, you can test content based on the profiles created that’s relevant to the buyer, they will be more engaged if the product or service is related to their requirements.
  2. Re-marketing on Facebook is a great way to re-engage interest in your brand. Be clever with it, don’t just show them the product they’ve looked at. For example, build useful content to share that’s interesting for the user to read, or even better, a short video that’s quickly consumed.
  3. Understand your user’s social behaviour, pin pointing where they spend time -Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube etc can help you decide what content to serve and on which channel.
  4. Knowledge base, having informative content on your website that can be shared through social and blogs really help to reengage a user, it builds confidence and shows them you’re an expert in your market. John Ryan By Design as an example, has an excellent resource centre full of educational content about beds and mattresses, helping to build a relationship with potential customers at the research stage of their buying journey.
  5. Brand awareness through display advertising, re-marketing and Gmail Customer Match will expose or remind people of your brand. Serve ads with discount codes or offer a white paper download for example, that way you’re giving them something and will increases the chance of converting. Creating similar audience lists will also reach out to people with the same online behaviour as your customers.

Next steps:

If you are interested in working with CandidSky and seeing how we can help to grow your business online, contact us today to arrange a call.

If you would like to work at CandidSky and grow your career prospects, take a look at our Careers website for available roles and find out what is like to work here.

And finally, take a look at our other blog posts to see what else we have been up to.

Web Development Best Practice: Site Speed

Getting your website to its optimal load speed and maintaining it is crucial to maximising profit.

A recent Wall Street Journal study announced that sales at Amazon increase by 1% for every 100ms they shave off page load time. In this blog we share 5 development tips you can apply to speed up your website and improve page load time.

1. Get the right server

You can do everything to improve the speed of your website, but if your hosting isn’t up to scratch, your hard work will go to waste. People sometimes pick their server package based on price, the cheapest package is not always the best value decision. Choose your package based on the amount of traffic your site is likely to serve otherwise you may lose out on a lot of revenue when your site can’t cope with the traffic levels.

Another consideration is the server location. The closer the location of the server to your customers, the faster your site will be. This is down to latency; your customers have to make a connection to your server, if the majority of your customers are UK based and connect to a data centre in the US the interval between the response connection is far greater than to another UK based server.

server

2. Make sure to load webfonts asynchronously

Have you ever visited a page (especially on your phone) and it appears to have loaded slightly? You scroll but there’s no content. What feels like an eternity later (if you haven’t given up) the text appears. It’s because webfonts are blocking the content from showing.

Webfonts can be a huge burden on page load speed.

To avoid this you can load fonts asynchronously. This, in most instances, will have a big impact on site speed. Be aware, this can result in  a ‘flash’ effect as the fallback font loads before the page fetches the defined font. Usually, with a little work, this can be prevented.

By loading fonts in this way, your users will not be left twiddling their thumbs waiting for your content to appear.

3. Carefully consider your tracking scripts

While tracking is very important there is a balance to strike. It’s crucial to be able to understand what your customers are doing on your website but badly executed scripts can be incredibly detrimental to site speed. A lot of tracking scripts are Javascript heavy which can impact site performance on less powerful devices. Many tracking scripts do take speed and performance seriously, by properly researching before implementation you should be able to find a suitable solution that does not make your site lag.

4. HTTP/2

A newer version of the HTTP protocol has recently been released (which will change web development best practice – more on this in the near future). The benefits of adopting a HTTP/2 enabled server right now are relatively small but this will change over time and become very beneficial in the long term. HTTP/2 can load more assets without the restrictions of HTTP/1.1 protocol which can only load a set amount of assets at any one time. Note: All recent browsers require an SSL certificate to use HTTP/2.

5. Enable browser caching and gzip (or brotli)

Enabling caching has two main benefits; quicker page loads and less burden on your server. Enabling browser caching will greatly improve user experience for returning visitors; users download assets on their first visit to the site so do not need to download them again on (most) future visits.

Enabling gzip/brotli ensures the smallest possible file is sent to the user so assets reach them in the quickest time possible. A no brainer really.

 

Final thought

By getting these fundamentals right you form strong foundations for your site. These tips can be implemented quickly, and will not have a huge impact on your/your developers work flow. However, they will have a noticeable impact on your site speed and user experience which, as we’ve seen with Amazon, can be great for improving conversions.

Achieving a seamless brand experience: Mobile optimisation

These days, we use our phones for pretty much everything.

Whereas once a smartphone was considered a luxury item, now it is an everyday essential. You might not be surprised to hear that mobile usage is still steadily rising, but did you know…

  • We check our smartphone 150 times per day.
  • On average, we spend nearly 3 hours a day looking at a mobile screen.
  • Over half of all emails are now opened on a mobile device.
  • 57% of the time we use a smartphone, we use it in conjunction with another device.

Even Google announced, over a year ago, that their algorithm would favour websites with improved mobile compatibility. This results in higher rankings for sites that are optimised for mobile.

mobile-person

How are people using mobile technology?

Global think-tank Nielson reported in 2015 that smartphone usage spans all age brackets. The question we need to ask ourselves is not ‘Who is using mobile?’, but ‘How are we using mobile?’

  • 50% smartphone users have made a purchase via mobile. (Prosper mobile insights)
  • 73% of smartphone users prefer to use mobile web to purchase rather than an app. (JumpTap.com)
  • On average consumers use two devices to complete a purchase. (Banana-splash)

The data highlights a clear trend: people are using their mobiles to buy more, but also to research products before they make a purchase on another device. Multi-device optimisation is something all brands need to get to grips with if they are to stay competitive in the near future.

mobile-shop

Multi-device optimisation

3G and 4G connections make it possible for users to access high-speed internet anywhere at any time, on multiple devices. It’s incredibly important that visitors have the best possible experience of your brand across all devices.

Businesses need to stop thinking of mobile and some tablets as miniature versions of their desktop websites. Users interact with sites very differently on mobile than they do with desktop, which means more thought needs to go into how people browse on mobile and what they want to do.

Even more than this, mobile and desktop have significant differences in size and ability, including:

  • Less ‘above the fold’ space – On average, a mobile has 100 pixels, whereas desktop has 400 pixels.
  • Touch screens – The way users physically interact with a web page is different. While users typically engage desktop by using a keyboard and a mouse, smartphone browsing is likely to be done on a touch­screen.
  • Screens rotate ­– Desktop screens are always in landscape; smartphone screens can rotate from landscape to portrait.
  • On the Go – Mobile users tend be distracted more easily when commuting, socialising or watching TV, so designers have to work harder to hold their attention. This makes good UX and UI crucial.

multi-device

Making a start

Google Analytics can tell you a lot about how your site performs on mobile. There are a few key bits of info you can mine to create your mobile story:

  1. Landing Pages – Where do mobile users enter your site? Does it differ to those on desktop? Concentrate on getting these pages optimised first.
  2. Exit Pages – Where are mobile users leaving your site? Can you spot any obvious reasons why? Spend some time looking at these pages and interacting with them on mobile – make some changes and test the impact.
  3. Mobile Device Reports – These can be used to highlight specific issues devices/operating systems – you may find that Android users have a higher bounce and/or exit rate on certain pages – perform cross-device tests on those pages and make sure they work across all major devices that your users access your site with.
  4. Funnel & Goal Creation – Set up mobile funnels and goals, such as your shopping cart or a ‘thank you’ page. Track how far users get and how many goals complete. Work backwards to understand if any pages are under-performing and require attention.

 

Final thought

The idea that businesses have to get a better understanding of their mobile traffic in years to come is a short-sighted one. Businesses need to understand their mobile traffic now.

Remember that people using mobile devices have different search and conversion patterns. Helping mobile users complete your funnel, and understanding the difference between a desktop and mobile user, are vital considerations for any company looking to increase their rate of conversions.

Design for conversions

One of the most important purchasing factors is trust.

You trust that when you buy coffee from your chosen shop, it will be exactly the same each day. You trust that when you buy clothing from a familiar brand the sizing is consistent.

If things unexpectedly change, it leaves a bad taste in our mouths. Negative experiences weigh heavily on how someone perceives your business. So much so that it can affect whether someone purchases your product or service, or if they become a repeat customer. To build trust with a user your brand experience has to be flawless, especially if you’re a new brand competing in a very competitive market.

So when Bellfield came to CandidSky for support in driving more transactions we immediately set to work implementing the design and UX knowledge we have honed over many years.

The original page

bellfield-before

We identified a few key areas to work on to drive those conversions up:

  • Addition of secure payment trust indicators
  • Reorganisation of ‘add to basket’ call-to-action to make the user flow more natural
  • De-prioritisation of secondary sales messages
  • Strengthening of secondary sales copy to bring more clarity
  • Increasing the priority and visibility of the ‘stock’ notice
  • Removal of distractions such as sharing links
  • Navigation, logo and header alignment adjustments

The updated page

bellfield-new

The updated design addresses usability and trust issues.

Removal of distractions, such as the ‘quantity’ field and social sharing links, make the decision process much smoother for the user. Too much extra info creates friction in the sales process – it is imperative to remember what the goal of the page is – in this case it is to lead the customer to the checkout – not build brand presence on social.

The introduction of secure checkout and payment by PayPal builds trust with the user. Paying by PayPal can give a customer a sense of security because they don’t have to pass any payment details, secure checkout logo’s reassure them that they can safely part with their card details on your site if they so choose.

Final thought

It’s easy to overlook things like micro copy, alignment and also common to give the user too much choice. In doing so you are negatively impacting the goal of a page. Look at your website with fresh eyes and ask yourself one question – what is this page for? When you know the answer to that you’re half way there.

Landing Page Optimisation & PPC: A match made in heaven

Are you pumping a lot of traffic through paid search but failing to realise the expected returns?

There’s a high chance there is something wrong with your landing page.

The landing page has a massive impact on a PPC campaign’s conversion rate, average cost per click and overall revenue generated. It’s essential to optimise your landing page for the following reasons:

  • The landing page is most vulnerable to customer abandonment
  • The more you test, the more chances you discover to improve conversions
  • It will lower your cost per click by increasing your quality score
  • You will maximise return on investment

What tends to happen

We understand there are many variables that can impact a campaign, however, we often see the below scenario play out time and time again.

Let’s say you spend £5,000 on paid search, your conversion rate is approx 33.5%, therefore, the return is £1,700. You decide this is not a good enough return and take action, which is a sensible decision.

You decide to increase the budget, let’s see what happens when we double the spend to £10,000. You achieve double the number of clicks and double the number of transactions. Your return increases a little too, to £3,000. This increase is directly linked to the increased budget, not campaign performance improvement.

Table 1: Double your advertising spend

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 12.46.45

Change your tactics

Work with our digital partners has shown us that by allocating 20% of your PPC budget to landing page optimisation can have a huge positive impact on your ROI.

Through our structured process, we manage to double the conversion rate from 33.5% to around 67% and achieve a £6,000 return on investment. As well as improving ROI for paid advertising campaigns, landing page optimisation will benefit organic and direct traffic conversion rates too.

Table 2: Invest 20% conversion optimisation budget

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 12.58.24

By going through this systematic data-driven process you significantly improve your chances of increasing your ROI.

Three rules to remember

We follow three simple rules from search term query to the landing page to give the campaign every chance to succeed.

Rule #1: Relevance

There is nothing more frustrating to customers than not getting what they have been promised. When formulating an advert and landing page, it is essential to pay close attention to the messaging. The keywords and phrases should all be consistent and on brand.

Here’s an example of a company getting it right. Topman provide exactly what they promise.

The user journey looks like this:

  • The customer searches for a ‘specific phrase’ on Google (in this case, the search is for blue T-shirts)
  • Topman entice the user to click through to their store by predicting and matching the search
  • Once clicked, Topman ensure the customer is directed to the right page, fulfilling their promise of presenting a variety of blue T-shirts

If the landing page is relevant, you significantly increase the chance of converting the customer, which leads to a higher quality score. This reduces the amount of money you pay for keyword clicks.

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 14.54.46

Rule #2: Value

If your landing page is relevant to the customer’s search query, you can guarantee that you now have their attention. When a customer clicks on an ad, they believe you have the solution to their problem.

The next step is to maximise the value the page is providing to the visitor. You need to answer their query effectively to ensure they continue through the conversion funnel.

The advert above provides value quickly by telling the user about free delivery, student discount, and a 70% off sale.

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 14.55.20

Rule 3#: Call to action

This is the digital equivalent of the professional handshake.

Providing your customer a next step is essential to getting the conversion. There are many studies into the best call to actions. Ultimately, it needs to stand out, be in the right position and tell the customer exactly what is going to happen when they take action.
As you can see from the image above, my attention is quickly drawn towards the products, which take up the primary real estate of the page. It is obvious what Topman want the customer to do on this page, select a shirt.

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 14.56.19

Notice just below the navigation that we are reminded of the sales, and free delivery, this continues right through the conversion process. Consistency, between advert and landing page, is paramount.

Final thought

We are seeing more companies allocate their budget to optimising landing pages to increase ROI on PPC campaigns.

It’s the perfect place to start, they are the ideal place to begin testing and improving conversion rates. Landing page optimisation compliments a pay per click campaign because of the amount of traffic the PPC campaign delivers to the page. As traffic constantly regenerates, and you have a clear objective for the page, you can test and optimise continually to improve conversion rates.

The best thing is, you do not necessarily need to increase your advertising spend; simply reallocate a portion of your budget to conversion optimisation.

Conversion Rate Optimisation Step 1: Does your website work?

In the next few weeks, we’ll talk about the structure and process of conversion optimisation, giving you practical ways of optimising your online channels.

Hierarchy of optimisation

The process we use is adapted from well-respected conversion practitioner, Bryan Eisenberg, who has used this process for many years to help businesses grow. Just like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the top levels of the pyramid can only be reached once the lower levels have been fulfilled.

 Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 11.02.15

This series will discuss each step in more detail, we’ll provide tips, advice and insights to help you improve your online marketing performance.

Step 1 – Functional: Does your website work?

Before we get to start A/B split testing and producing fresh designs from our findings, we have some groundwork work to do to ensure your website is fully functional.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are there any bugs in your site?
  • Are there any broken links?
  • Is your site loading fast enough?

This may seem obvious but it’s the step we see people miss, time and time again.

Why these questions are important

There are a number of reasons why you will benefit from fixing bugs and optimising your site speed.

  • Improved SERP rankings – Buggy sites and broken links cause frustration amongst users causing them to leave a site. UX metrics such as bounce rate influence search rankings. It is highly likely visitors bouncing off a website will decrease rankings and, therefore, visibility to potential customers.
  • Page load time affects conversions – Data has shown people decide whether or not to convert within two seconds of landing on a site, anything longer decreases the chance of that visitor converting, if your site doesn’t load quickly it immediately puts you at a disadvantage.

conversion-rate-page-load-time

Graph courtesy of SmartInsights

Practical ways to improve conversions

Unless you have a fast, reliable website you will lose visitors. All the hard work, and budget, you put into your paid and organic search campaigns will go to waste. You can learn more about the relationship between SEO, PPC and CRO here. Visit Devio for more info on websites,  optimized for search and conversions that load quickly and look beautiful.

Read on to find out how we perform our initial health check on a website.

1. Optimise for speed

  • Enable server gzip compression, this allows the server to serve compressed files.
  • Enable long caching headers for certain file types, this lets the user’s browser hold onto resources for longer so they don’t have to frequently re-download.

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 11.48.22

Results of a speed optimisation campaign we ran for a client in early 2016.

2. Cross-browser testing

Web pages are rendered differently by different browsers. This affects how they look and function, for instance, a user on Chrome may see a grid of images appear in a completely different way to a user in Firefox. That’s why it is important to cross browser test and amend any rendering discrepancies before they cause any major issues.

We recently conducted a cross-browser test for a client who approached us with conversion issues. We found that conversions from users browsing on Internet Explorer (IE) were far lower than those we saw from users browsing on Chrome. Upon investigation, we found a link was being rendered incorrectly in a key area of the IE customer journey. Once this was fixed conversions across both browsers levelled out and revenue increased.

 

3. Cross-device testing

What works on a desktop will not necessarily work on mobile or tablet. Devices, like browsers, render content differently. It’s essential that users experience of your brand is equal across all devices. We say ‘equal’ because it shouldn’t be identical, content needs to be optimised for each device, as a user interacts differently with a desktop than they do a mobile or tablet.

Optimising a site to work seamlessly across all devices can have a massive impact on conversions. Two months ago, after performing a Google Analytics audit for one of our clients, we highlighted the need for them to improve their mobile website. After redesigning their mobile experience and implementing the changes, we’ve seen increased traffic of 62.14% YoY on mobile devices and an increase of 108% in conversions.

Getting started

Fixing bugs takes time but the benefits are huge and, in doing so, conversions will increase.

Get to grips with your analytics tool, see if you can spot the rogue metric that doesn’t quite follow trend across most browsers and/or devices. This should identify some ‘areas of interest’ for you to concentrate on.

In our next Conversion Optimisation blog we’ll talk you through step two, accessibility.

 

The bridge between conversion optimisation & search engine marketing

Driving visitors to your website is great; but turning them into customers is a different kettle of fish.

This article tells you how search marketing and conversion optimisation work hand-in-hand to achieve your goals.

If you are a business owner, then by now you should be quite aware of all the advantages there is to using SEO for your business. You must also know how to use WordPress to your advantage and what are niche options and how they can help you increase your topical relevance. It essential to know all these concepts in-depth, as it’s your money which is being given to companies that are helping you grow your business.

The role of SEM is pivotal to any company’s digital success. At a basic level, the role of SEM is to increase the amount of qualified traffic driven to your website. The intention is that visitors will end up responding to your specified call to action – which could be to fill out a form, download a brochure or subscribe to a newsletter.

Why you need conversion optimisation to accompany SEM

You have 50,000 visitors to your website. 50% that leave your site without consideration of your product this leaves you with 25,000 visitors.

Industry experts believe between 30-70% of visitors have intent to buy. Around 12,500 realistic visitors ready to purchase.

Your sites conversion rate is 1-2%. You generated 250 transactions/leads, which is great. However, you have 12,250 visitors who did not convert – do you still think increasing acquisition spend is the way forward?

Increased traffic leads to greater online visibility of a product or service, but if a website is not optimised correctly then it is missing key opportunities to convert visibility into action, and visitors into customers.

shop-front

The shop on a high street

Your website is like a shop on the high street.

So, you have a shop on a busy high street full of people looking for the shops and items they need. SEO & PPC are your shop window, the bright lights and big signs of offers that lure customers into your store. This is where conversion optimisation comes in. Once the customer has been attracted in is the layout of the store and friendly, efficient assistance to help customers find what they need quickly and easily.

Think of conversion optimisation as a systematic approach used to understand, locate and provide solutions improve the layout of your store. Only then can the shop reach maximum customer appeal and function as expected.

How do we improve conversions?

The simple answer is continuous improvement. This starts by collecting data on your website visitors and beginning to analyse their behaviour, which will allow you to uncover key gaps and barriers that tend to reveal why visitors aren’t converting as expected.

Google Analytics allows you to collect data about visitors to the website, which means you can start making crucial commercial decisions based on empirical data. Numbers don’t lie they are ‘fact’ and not what you perceive is happening. You can use Google Analytics to uncover weaknesses in your customer journey.

ga-blog

Look out for:

  • High bounce & exit rates
  • Page loading time
  • Device / browser usage

If you are able to determine what visitors are clicking on and what information engages them, this can provide you with an invaluable insight to make changes and keep testing until you come closer to reaching your goals.

The idea of testing is considered a major part of conversion optimisation and ties in with achieving continuous testing. Visual Website Optimiser (VWO) is an A/B and multivariate split testing tool that identifies winning variations. The importance of testing becomes clear once you embark on your first experiment, you will be fascinated by the results.

Summary

Whilst SEM remains an incredibly important aspect to any digital marketing campaign, this is only half the story.

Businesses need to pay close attention to their visitors’ behaviour and allow them to find their way to the checkout easily, with as few barriers as possible.

4 cultural shifts for CRO success

Whilst running client CRO campaigns we’ve discovered that when teams adopt certain habits, conversion rate optimisation is far more successful.

In this article, we discuss four mindsets that, if introduced and reinforced, lead to a favourable environment for conversion rate optimisation practices to thrive.

  1. Customer-centric approach
  2. Build a culture of optimisation
  3. Data drives decisions
  4. Failure is not a failing

Read on to find out how incorporating these theories inspires growth.

Customer-centric approach

One of the most common questions we’re asked when talking to businesses is ‘how do I increase my conversion rate?’ Answering it is very difficult. It’s highly dependent on factors that differ between company, sector and goals, and isn’t always the best thing to concentrate on.

Our approach focusses on learning about the customer. Different customer types, on how, when and why they interact with your site and its content, as well as how the customer interacts with search campaigns.

shop-blog

Build a culture of optimisation

You have to keep understanding your customers and making improvements in line with findings to be successful. To do this, you need to shift perceptions with-in your team.

Build a culture of optimisation, where ‘improving performance’ becomes part of their cognitive process. As long as goals are communicated effectively, your team will remain focussed on delivering quality results time and time again.

Try it. We’ve seen huge improvements in performance when companies embrace a culture of continuous improvement.

Data drives decisions

Data is very powerful. It produces concrete metrics that can be analysed to judge a website’s performance. Empirical data is arguably more valuable than anything else when looking at ways to solve problems with new and innovative solutions. A solid benchmark of data gives the best starting point for identifying and priortising areas to improve

test-blog

Failure is not a failing

When you enter the world of testing some things won’t turn out the way you expected. This should not be seen as a failure. Testing produces data. As we know, data is invaluable to good decision making, so testing, no matter what the result, is crucial. Any data that helps us make the right decisions in the future is always a big benefit.

The take home

  • Learn about your customer to improve business performance
  • Never accept that what you have is the best, everything can be improved through constant testing

Get in touch

We would love to hear about any other strategies you have come across during conversion rate optimisation campaigns, let us know by contacting me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

3 simple steps for Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) campaigns

In this blog we explore a basic approach you can take when considering a Conversion Rate Optimisation campaign.

What is Conversion Rate Optimisation?

Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) even sounds complicated. Really, when broken down to its sum parts, it’s very simple. In one sentence it can be explained as: the scientific and systematic approach of improving your website performance.

Whether you are trying to increase the number of enquiries, sales or downloads, or decrease bounce rate, exit rate or unsubscribes, a Conversion Rate Optimisation strategy is designed to improve your current standing.

In this article we will discuss the broad strokes of what is involved in a CRO campaign.

convert-blog

Evaluate

The first step is to establish your current position. If you don’t know where you are, you can’t improve. Some key questions to consider:

  • How are you driving people to your website?
  • Do they come direct, do they search or are they largely coming from paid search i.e. advertising?
  • Who are they?
  • Are your visitors homogeneous or do they have different characteristics?
  • Do you know how long it takes for a customer to purchase a product?

Establishing your customer persona’s and understanding their requirements will help you understand their motives thus increase your chance of converting them to customers.

Measure

It is imperative you know your current position to ensure you are tracking the right data for your customer segment. Make sure you:

  • Understand your customer journey
  • Create a goal plan for each page
  • Set realistic targets

This will help you and your team identify the weakest elements of your online performance that need attending to in order to ensure you hit target.

measure-clock-blog

Improve

Often there will be a long list of changes you will want to make to your website. Based on your goals and objectives, and analysis of the data you collect, you can begin to prioritise the highest impact changes you need to make to improve your website. The 3 key criteria we recommend are: 

  • Time – how long will it take to complete the change?
  • Impact – how much of an impact can you expect the changes make?
  • Resources – do you have the capabilities available to make the changes suggested?

Get started

For more information on conversion optimisation drop us an email at info@candidsky.com or give us a call on 0161 956 8963.

As ever you can connect with me on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Above the fold: Influencing customer reactions

All of our lives we hear people saying it’s wrong to judge a book by the cover, yet when arriving on a website, many of us do exactly that. Our research indicates you have as little as two seconds to shape a customer’s opinion.

That’s why first impressions are vital and it can still be argued that above the fold content is essential real estate for a website. As customer behaviour and technology changes, however, we must question whether traditional usage of above the fold is still valid.

In this article we focus on the following areas:

  • Defining the fold
  • Whether the fold is still important
  • How we used the fold to improve results

What is above the Fold?

Above the fold is the area of a website visible to a person when they land on a website without them having to scroll. It is the first view customers will have on your site, maybe even your brand. The term comes from the Newspaper industry; Newspapers had a limited amount of space to convince readers to buy their paper. By displaying the most compelling headlines and images above the fold, they maximised their chance of securing a sale.

Above the fold in practice
CandidSky Optimise The Flavour Factory

The Flavour Factory are a luxury and established e-liquid brand that launched in 2013.

Having attracted a significant client base through organic search, The Flavour Factory understood they needed to make continuous improvements to their website to keep on top of ever-changing client demands and maximise profit from an increasingly competitive marketplace. The Flavour Factory approached us to help them achieve these objectives. Our conversion rate optimisation (CRO) team created the strategy. Our web design and development teams implemented the necessary changes to deliver, test and tweak the hypothesis. From our site audit and customer research, we identified important insights related to UX and conversion, specifically impacted by the above the fold information being presented.

The Problem:

  • The primary product, bundles, was located below the fold
  • There was no easy way for a potential customer to register interest without making a purchase
  • The navigation bar included low priority links that were not the primary focus of the purchase cycle

The Solution:

  • Relocate bundles above the fold and pump up the size of the image tile to give it prominence
  • Add a subscriptions tile to capture the data of potential customers not quite ready to commit to a purchase
  • Decrease the size of the product category image tiles pulling them above the fold
  • Relocated the login and basket icons to decrease clutter and reduce distraction
  • Replace FAQ and blog links in the navigation with higher priority links – bundles and subscriptions

flavour-factory-after

Amazing Results:

  • Increased revenue by 91.02%
  • Increased click-through rate by 60.40%
  • Increased conversion rate from 4.07% to 5.70%.

Our Conclusion:

Small changes grounded in solid customer research and analysis of highly relevant data sets will result in noticeable improvements for your brand. Clearly, in this instance, the hierarchy of information on the page, in particular, what the above the fold content was, had a massive positive impact on The Flavour Factory.

Despite faster internet connections decreasing page loading times, and a massive uptake in mobile and tablet usage making scrolling more natural, the fold can still effect conversion and user experience.

Customers are in charge; they have more choice than ever before meaning you have to make it as easy as possible for them to complete your desired action. Customers have become impatient; they can and do leave websites if they do not find the information they want straight away. Customers do scroll, but they need a reason to do so and this reason needs to become apparent quickly.

As a strong advocate in the power of CRO, I am a firm believer in employing the principle of marginal gains. Constantly look at your website, think about each page and what you want it to achieve then trial various ways of achieving your goals. If it doesn’t work, try again. If it works, make it better!

I’ll be writing more on marginal gains in the coming weeks so stay tuned, and as ever I’d love to hear your opinion or answer any questions you may have. Find me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

 

Breadcrumbs: Remove Anxiety From Your Customers’ Website Experience

BREADCRUMBS – VITAL NAVIGATION AID, OR UNNECESSARY GIMMICK?

Often, people say there’s no point to breadcrumbs and we don’t need them. I disagree, I think they improve user experience and reduce anxiety.

In this article I’ll be focussing on the following areas:

  • What are breadcrumbs?
  • Breadcrumbs In The Real World: TK Maxx Vs Topman
  • Top 4 reasons why we need Breadcrumbs
  • 6 things to remember when using breadcrumbs

What are Breadcrumbs?

Breadcrumbs are a form of secondary navigation. Their primary function is to help customers understand where they are on a website and be able to easily jump to a previous page in the hierarchy. Essentially, if a customer reaches a page they don’t want to be on, they can easily find their way back. Customers may use the ‘back’ tab in their browser, which is fine, however breadcrumbs simply provide an additional option.

Breadcrumbs in the real world: TK Maxx vs Topman

TK Maxx – User Experience

Recently I went shopping at TK Maxx in Manchester, I was in a rush and had 10 minutes to find a t-shirt before I was due to meet some friends for lunch.

Around 15 minutes had passed when I eventually found what I was looking for. I proceeded to the checkout and paid, however on trying to exit the shop I completely lost my bearings as there were no obvious exit signs.

It wasn’t immediately apparent at the time, but without those signs I felt a little anxious and frustrated; after all I was now in serious danger of not being on time to meet my friends.

I had to consciously think about where I needed to go to exit the shop rather than being guided out of the shop. Maybe this is a clever tactic to encourage customers to browse for longer, but to me it left a negative association with the brand.

Topman – User Experience

Compare this to my experience at Topman one week later. Again I was under similar time constraints.

I found the item I was searching for, paid and left the shop without even thinking about it. Everything was well signposted and the shop had a systematic flow, leaving a positive association with the brand.

In-site navigation, breadcrumbs plays the same role as the signposts in Topman and eradicates that feeling of ‘anxiety and frustration’.

Despite this, breadcrumbs are often omitted from sites. A common sticking point is that website designers aren’t sure if it’s worth the effort as they can take time to implement properly and it’s perceived that they only serve to clutter the page.

 Top 4 reasons why we need Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs help customers establish where they are located on a website, they also allow customers to read information quickly. Below are the four key reasons why breadcrumbs can benefit your website and more importantly, your customer.

  1. Reduces customer anxiety

Breadcrumbs can reduce customer doubt and anxiety about what they can expect, aiding a positive brand experience. When you achieve this, a customer will affiliate your brand with a friendly, usable and pleasant experience.

  1. Less customers leaving the website

If a customer reaches a product page that they’re not interested in, they will either leave or go back to the category page. Breadcrumbs encourage the customer to start again, rather than leaving your website altogether. Breadcrumbs can also be used internally such as, an intranet, which can significantly increase productivity and time-efficiency.

  1. Impacts SEO rankings

Taking an SEO point of view, breadcrumbs are considered best practice. Placing them high up on the page helps search engines crawling the site.

From a usability point of view, customers can navigate a breadcrumb instead of hitting the back button. Google is moving towards usability metrics which can aid a websites ranking in SERPs. Having been around for decades, breadcrumbs show no signs of going anywhere, Google are replacing the URL within its search results with the site name and breadcrumb navigation path.

  1. Can you think of a good reason not to use them?

I research usability topics on a daily basis, not once have I been convinced of not using them and here’s my rationale.

  • Breadcrumbs never cause any problems when conducting user testing.
  • They don’t take up much real estate on a page.
  • Breadcrumbs by and large have not change over many years, so customers are not distracted by them. In fact, it could be recognition that a website is systematic and well set up.

6 things to remember when using breadcrumbs

Commonly, breadcrumbs appear in a horizontal line showing the trail from the highest level page (home) to the current page the customer is on. Below are my recommendations for best practice with the help from some industry leaders:

  1. Show the full customer journey to provide context to their location
  2. Remember to use your home page to anchor a breadcrumb
  3. Breadcrumbs are best located below the navigation and above the page title
  4. Clearly show where the customer currently is on the website
  5. Do not use Breadcrumbs on the homepage as that’s always considers that starting point
  6. Ensure your breadcrumbs follow SEO best practice guidelines

What’s your opinion?

Breadcrumbs have never found the spotlight due to their permanent status of ‘secondary to the navigation bar’. However, they can be a powerful element to improve user experience. Breadcrumbs aid customer acquisition (SEO) and customer usability (CRO).

Should you have Breadcrumbs on your website? For the majority of websites, yes. They do no harm and I believe if you can ease the customer journey a little you should do it. If you walk into a shop and an assistant smiles, that is a lot nicer than frowning. Ultimately, this won’t affect your purchase decision, but contributes to a pleasant experience.

I’d love to hear your opinion, find me on Twitter or LinkedIn

Why White Space is Important

When discussing white space with people who don’t necessarily have a web design background, often it can be interpreted as wasted space – in fact, it’s the complete opposite. The truth is that it’s really utilising the available space in a more beneficial way. Firstly I’ll explain what it is…

What is white space?

White space isn’t necessarily space that’s white – it’s empty (or negative) space between elements on a page. It allows those elements to get the focus they need and can generally make or break a design.

Let’s use amazon as an example. There is an awful lot of stuff on here, it’s a very busy website and not the greatest example to promote white space. I’m going there, as I feel it demonstrates my point for making something stand out in a crowd.

This is the top part of the amazon homepage, of all the page as it stands. You’ll notice that the area with the Kindle is the only part that has a larger amount of white space around it. Why is this? Let’s take a look at an alternative version of this page.

Although the differences aren’t huge, we can see that, having reduced the amount of negative space, it takes the focus away from the primary product amazon is trying to sell.

By adding white space instead of cluttering up areas with content that may not bring any value you can use it to bring focus to the areas you want people to view most.

Another example

Apple is a great example of using white space effectively. They are all about showcasing their products, and they keep it simple in many ways.

Huge image, minimal copy and lots of white space. It is all about the product. Not their logo, not who they are, not their latest offers or blog posts. This allows you to focus on the product and not be bombarded with huge amounts of information immediately that you see on a lot of home pages.

The image above, for example, shows the exact same information in the original. Immediately the product Apple want you to focus on is competing with 4 other areas. It’s likely people will ignore the iPhone and focus on the other 4 areas as much as they would focus on the iPhone first. In the original everyone has to focus on the iPhone, which is the most important thing on this page at the time.

White space isn’t a waste of space! It’s a way to put emphasis on the most important things on a page, and is something which should be incorporated in to design to help guide users through the journey you’ve laid out in front of them.

Tips to help keep your visitors for longer (and increase conversion rate)

A problem that we often hear companies  have is holding visitors on their website for any decent length of time. We find that the solution often comes down to how relevant your content is and the way that you present it. In this blog I’ll cover a few points which can help to decrease bounce rates, increase time spent on the site as well as increasing conversion rate.

Speed is of the essence

When the internet first become widespread, slow connection speeds meant that website creators needed to scale back and optimise websites in order to keep loading times to an absolute minimum.

Today for those with broadband internet this is less of a problem, but if a website uses lots of high quality imagery and animation it can still slow down the site and affect loading times. Within a matter of seconds the visitor’s attention can be lost, and they may choose to navigate away.

Research conducted by Google has shown that even improvements as small as 100 milliseconds can increase the number of users who choose to stay on a site. This in turn can have a dramatic knock on effect on the amount of people who convert to either a sale or desired action.

Click to view info graphic full screen.

Question everything

When creating content for your website, question every part of your content. If any part of it offers no value to your users, then why is it there?Remove it, it’s one less distraction.

Readability

If you want to keep users engaged, make sure your content is easy to read. If a visitor finds it hard to read content they will more than likely seek out another source. Take cues from services like Instapaper and Readability, they both offer exceptional reading experiences.

Who are you and what do you do?

If I can’t find out who you are and what you’re offering quickly, chances are I’m going to leave your site right away. Most users will follow suit. Make sure it’s clear what your company offers and where you want them to go next.

Don’t be intrusive

It might seem like a good idea to add a popup on visiting your website to get the user to sign up to a newsletter, to inform them of an offer or to ask them to follow you on a social network.

Some visitors may respond to these techniques but you are in danger of irritating other users in the process, making it more likely that they will leave. If your newsletter or offer is that good, let your content convince the user to sign up.

Getting more signups

Do you have a really long form requiring a full life story about the user before they can sign up? I’ll guess you don’t get many signups.

It’s proven fewer sign up fields can increase conversions by very large amounts. If this is a newsletter registration, asking for only the email address may help to increase responses.

Include everyone

When considering the mobile aspect of your site, you may consider cutting certain parts of the page content down so that it more easily fits inside the mobile window. For a very large section of people, mobile is their primary method of accessing the internet.

If visitors believe they are viewing a watered down version of the site they may simply choose to view full web version of a site anyway, or worse still, leave the site altogether.

If you are faced with this dilemma its often better to simply show the full version of the site by default and test extensively across a wide range of devices to ensure that it will offer an acceptable experience.