The Fundamental Checklist For Website Navigation Design & Architecture – Part 1

checklist-check-list-shutterstock People make assumptions about website navigation, often to the detriment of findability. We assume that the web designer or developer is naturally knowledgeable about effective site navigation. Does the designer's or developer's home page have a jquery homepage slider that takes up the majority of the screen? Or cool drop-down and fly-out menus? Granted, any designer or developer naturally likes to show the breadth of his or her expertise. I have a different reaction than most people when I see those items on a website. My immediate question is why the "wow" factor is wasted on navigatio [...]


Rotating Banners: Why Image Sliders Kill Conversions

web-design-website-layout-slider-shutterstock Digital marketers and web designers love rotating banners, which allow multiple pieces of content to occupy a single prominent space on a web page. (Synonymous terms include image sliders, carousels and animated sliders.) On the surface, the idea seems like a great way to keep several competing departments happy, giving them all a piece of prime real estate on the page. But there’s just one problem: your visitors probably won't consciously pay attention to them. The evil truth of rotating banners is that they do the opposite of what's intended, distracting users away from your most import [...]


How To Achieve Better Conversion Rates for Your Third Party Web Applications

kunikuni_piglet_shutterstock2014-07-07_0858 If you use a web-based, third party service for your career center, ticket registration or maybe webinar registrations, you are probably feeling some conversion pain. Even though these systems provide a (usually) less expensive option than building it yourself, they are usually quite ugly and have a subpar user experience.   We've become accustomed to third party services being this way because everybody has to use them, but there are options that might be worth looking into that could give you a little bit more control over those ugly systems. Their poor user experience may stem fro [...]


4 Things To Get Right Before You Pay For Traffic

click share by position If you're thinking about starting to pay for traffic or expanding an existing program, there are four core concepts to get right before you start burning cash. Determine: What's a visit worth? Design for Conversion Get Your Message Right Establish an Organic Strategy Determine: What's A Visit Worth? The most immediately actionable analysis for a marketing team is to calculate the value of a visit to the channel you are planning to invest in. This analysis is essential for intelligent bidding in more sophisticated channels such as Paid Search or Programmatic Display, because p [...]


Testing Is At The Heart Of Marketing Success

ab-testing-test-shutterstock Marketing for any business is an ongoing effort that requires consistent refinement and improvement to see positive results in the long-term. It is not enough to simply create a quality marketing program and leave it alone to do its job. Rather, the marketing plan for any business needs to be monitored on a daily basis in order to make sure maximum returns are achieved. Testing, Testing Thanks to A/B testing, or split testing, it has never been easier to refine marketing programs. Businesses that aren’t using testing as a major part of their marketing plan are missing out on a big oppor [...]


Ride The Tides Of Your Website To Make More Money With A/B Split Testing

The Traitors' Gate at the Tower of London In medieval London, pirates were often punished by chaining them to a wall near the Thames River (you pronounce it “ˈriv-ər”) at low tide. For most rivers, this wouldn't be a problem. The pirate would simply get wet. [caption id="attachment_89092" align="aligncenter" width="600"] The Traitors' Gate at the Tower of London[/caption] However, the Thames, being an estuary, rises 15 feet, 20 feet or more at high tide. These pirates didn't just get wet. They got dead. You might say that the judges of London used the tides for their work, but the pirates lived and died by these tides. [...]


Digital Is Digital Wherever It Appears: The Road To Total Convergence

shutterstock_132436751-fish-cannibal Believe it or not, there are many people who don't consume digital advertising in silos. While digital marketers are continuously trying to identify how and when an action on a certain device will turn into a conversion, consumers are jumping back and forth between mobile, desktop and tablet, taking their purchase path in different directions daily. Over the past year or so, digital marketers have been obsessed with the rise of mobile and the increase in purchase power of the mobile device. However, this tunnel vision thinking has quieted a powerful media trend: the rise of total media c [...]


Up Close @ SMX Advanced: Conversion Rate Rockstars

slide-19-1024 When you get right to it, all online marketing comes down to conversions -- whether you define a conversion as a sale, a click, a whitepaper download or a registration. That was the topic covered in the "Conversion Rate Rockstars" session at SMX Advanced this year, which I'll recap here.   First, let me introduce the players on the stage: Moderator: Ginny Marvin, Contributing Editor, Search Engine Land (@ginnymarvin) Q&A Coordinator: Marty Weintraub, Founder & Evangelist, aimClear (@aimclear) Speaker: Feras Alhlou, Co-Founder/Principal Consultant, E-Nor (@ferasa) Sp [...]


5 Ways To Improve Mobile UX That Will Result In Higher Conversions

mobile-responsive-design-featured Depending on whose statistics you read, mobile device usage has increased anywhere from 125 percent to 3000 percent in the past several years. Regardless of the actual number, the reality is the same: in order to get visitors to convert, your site must be able to meet their needs whether they're holding a mouse, a phone or a tablet. And the single best way to optimize for mobile conversions is to optimize the user experience. Here are five practical tips for improving your mobile UX: 1. Design For The Device The very first step in designing for the mobile device is to remember that use [...]


Digital Marketing 201: Explore Segmentation To Drive Growth

segmentation_shutterstock Being able to segment your web visitors, buyers, customers and prospects isn't the first thing that most of us as marketers turn to. We understand the need for it, but it's usually not a big focus. Even when teams do pay attention, it is often only to email lists. Segmentation is something that should be considered from the very start because it will help you better understand your customers and their needs which drives sales. Segmentation That Drives Sales There are many ways to segment your visitors and customers. Every business should have its own unique ways of segmenting, but the [...]


Conversion Optimization: Measuring Usability In The User Experience (UX) – Part 3

shutterstock_193851854-usability One of the joys of measuring usability on websites is being able to continually improve the user experience. During usability testing, I often observe the effect of improved interfaces first hand. Additionally, I commonly observe a shift in perception. Before usability testing, many users believe they are at fault, the ones who are making mistakes. After usability testing, users realize that they did not make mistakes. The poor or substandard interface is the reason for a compromised user experience. In Part 1 and Part 2 of this article series, I went over four of the six items that usab [...]


Growth Hacking Your Marketing Strategy

Visitors Ignore Your Ads GAAAHHH!!! I can't escape digital marketing! Every time I open an email, an app, my social media account, even some of my software tools, somebody is sending me an ad message that I just can't turn off. Everybody wants my attention -- and advertisers are getting sneakier all the time by being more personal, more unique and more compelling. That's great for the advertiser that has the money to spend, but it's becoming harder for the small guys to compete.  It's also teaching the consumer to ignore everything. We've known about banner blindness -- in which people naturally learn t [...]


Conversion Optimization: Measuring Usability In The User Experience (UX) – Part 2

Learn what is clickable - image Many online marketers dismiss usability as a critical part of the user experience. A delightful experience requires effective and efficient goal attainment. A delightful experience also occurs on websites that are easy to use and easy to remember. As I've mentioned previously, usability should take into account the following 6 elements: Effectiveness: Can users achieve their desired goals on your website? Efficiency: How quickly can users achieve their goals on your website? Learnability: Is the website easy to learn the first time users encounter it? Memorability: Can repeat visi [...]


You Need More Than Just Google Analytics To Succeed Online

analytics-featured If you want your online business and campaigns to succeed, Google Analytics will not meet all of your measurement needs. That may seem like crazy thinking because GA has a huge array of capabilities. However, there are many areas where we have better tools for understanding visitor behavior such as interaction, user sentiment and impact from change. Without using these tools to gain insight, you will not be as successful as you can be. So, if GA isn't enough, where do we turn for gaining the insights we need into visitor behavior? I wish there was a single tool with everything ne [...]


Conversion Optimization: Measuring Usability In The User Experience (UX) – Part 1

usability-components Here is the scenario: I am speaking at a conference about the 7 Facets of the User/Searcher Experience. Whenever I can, I try to provide case studies and usability test results to help illustrate each facet. Inevitably, there is somebody in the audience that stereotypes search engine optimization (SEO) professionals. What could an SEO possibly know about the user experience? From my perspective, usability is at the top of my UX list. Findability is intricately intertwined with usability. People can't use what they can't find. Through field studies and multiple usability tests, I learned [...]


In Lead Gen, Sometimes Broader is Better

lead generation Today's marketers are laser-focused on targeting. It makes sense -- the idea of picking out who is most likely to buy your product is the ideal situation. In the all-you-can-eat data buffet, reaching our audience and only our audience is relatively easy, and it has become the definition of efficiency. Unfortunately, in lead generation, targeting that narrowly isn't always the best solution. Let's say, for example, that your target (like everyone else's) is the CMO. You set up filters to ensure you're reaching that most senior marketing executive and no one else. Decision makers only. Bud [...]


4 Elemental Problems With Low Converting Web Pages

The Vinegar and Baking Soda Reaction As “power” marketers, our work can look more like scientific experiments than creative campaigns. More and more, power marketers make decisions with data. The collection and interpretation of this data requires a new set of skills. Nonetheless, the goal remains the same for our online initiatives. We want to get a reaction from our visitors. We want to get them to do something. Complete the form. Download the document. Buy the product. Subscribe to the list. Water the camel. When we aren’t generating reactions on our site, we can see the results clearly in analytics. High b [...]


State-Level Usage Statistics: How They Can Be Leveraged

retargeting-spying-binoculars-featured For many brands, regionalization of marketing programs represents a key pillar to their overarching strategy. Particularly for those companies operating nationally, it's often difficult and costly to target consumers on a very granular level. Regionalization allows marketers to look at trends across a slightly larger area -- typically several adjacent states that share some cultural elements -- and create campaigns that are more relevant for consumers in that area as compared to national initiatives. However, this strategy can overlook some unique qualities of individual states and cities. [...]


Conversion Optimization For Guide E-Commerce Shopping Carts

holiday-retailer2-600 E-commerce websites come in all shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common: the shopping cart. For something that is so easy to do in real life, the online shopping experience is usually done so badly you'd think some companies were trying to turn away shoppers. Those companies that get it right find themselves on the Internet Retailer 1000 list. When you don't have an e-commerce team to make regular changes and ensure that people find what they want and buy more stuff, what should you be doing to increase conversions? When 1% Means 6 Figures You need to create a clear pictur [...]


4 Things Online Marketers Should Know About User Experience (UX)

browse-ask-search Many people like to use the term user experience as a reason to justify their website design, development, search engine optimization (SEO) and content decisions. Why are we migrating to a responsive design? Because it's good for the user experience. Why are we implementing structured data? Because it's good for the searcher experience. Why do we have to create a blog and write new posts every day? Because it's good for the user experience. Why are we decreasing the download time of our web documents? Because it's good for the user experience... and it's good for search engine rankings, too [...]


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