Month: February 2018

How to Skyrocket your Business using Explainer Videos in 2018

Animаtеd еxрlаinеr vidеоѕ hаvе bееn gаining a lot of рорulаritу оvеr the lаѕt соuрlе оf уеаrѕ, аnd thеу hаvе bесоmе a highlу еffесtivе mаrkеting tool fоr businesses. Animаtеd vidеоѕ аrе a реrfесt mаrkеting tооl tо аttrасt viѕitоrѕ tо уоur wеbѕitе аѕ it mаkеѕ it еаѕу for a brand tо infоrm thе tаrgеt аudiеnсе аbоut thе kеу bеnеfitѕ аnd fеаturеѕ оf thеir рrоduсtѕ аnd ѕеrviсеѕ. Now, let’s just see what explainer videos are all about…

For more information:

https://www.animate2explain.com/blog/skyrocket-business-using-explainer-videos-2018/

How to Increase Conversions by Avoiding These 7 Navigation Mistakes

I see this problem all the time when I’m consulting businesses. They are getting tons of traffic to their websites, but visitors just aren’t converting.

If this sounds like your situation, don’t hit the panic button yet.

Look on the bright side. At least you’re having success when it comes to driving people to your website. But if you want to design a homepage that converts, you have to look at how visitors navigate through your pages.

Every day I see websites with design flaws.

Brands spend much time trying to improve their SEO rankings and don’t spend enough effort improving their websites. Creating a website that converts isn’t an overnight process.

This takes time, effort, and patience. You need to learn how to run A/B tests and analyze your design elements so that you can make calculated improvements.

That said, there are certain changes you can implement sooner rather than later.

I’ve taken the time to identify the top 7 navigation mistakes I see on a regular basis. Use this list to analyze your existing website to make sure you’re not making the same blunders.

1. Labels and headlines that don’t drive conversions  

When someone visits your website, it’s all about making a first impression. Think about what people see on your menu bar and headline tags.

I don’t like to throw businesses under the bus. So I’m not going to show you a specific example of a website that’s doing this wrong. But I’m referring to headlines and labels with terms like:

  • who we are
  • what we do
  • about our hiring process
  • places we work

While this information should be included on your website, it shouldn’t be the focal point of your design. None of these will lead to conversions.

Let’s take a look at a brand that understands this concept and has appropriate labels and headlines on its site. Check out the homepage for Knockaround:

image7 8

The navigation menu has only four options, which is perfect.

We read from left to right, so the first two choices we see are “shop” and “design your own.” Both of those labels were written to help drive conversions.

Information about the brand’s history, staff, and operation are reserved for the “about” headline.

I don’t want you to think your brand story isn’t important. In fact, I’ve written an extensive guide on how to create an about us page that generates leads.

But when it comes to driving conversions, you need to shift your focus. Nearly all the clickable links in the example above from Knockaround will drive conversions.

The website has a clean and simple design, so it’s easy for visitors to be drawn to these conversion buttons. The result is increased sales.

2. Using a non-standardized layout

People have been browsing the Internet for years. Over time, there are certain standards we have grown to expect when we land on a web page.

It’s important for you to come up with a differentiation strategy for your marketing campaigns to help you stand apart from your competition. But when it comes to your website navigation, stick with a standard layout.

For example, where do you expect to see a navigation menu when you visit a new website?

You’ll assume it’s at the top of the screen. Burying your menu in the middle of the screen will look strange for your visitors.

They may not spot it right away, and it’s not something they are expecting to see. Here’s an example of a standardized website layout from Unbounce:

image8 7

As you can see, it follows the format of most websites you see on a daily basis. The standard typically follows this progression:

  • menu bar at top of screen
  • large headline
  • short description sub header
  • CTA button

You might be thinking this is too boring. Think again. Using a standardized page layout will help you drive conversions. Visitors will know exactly where to navigate without having to think too hard.

Let me give you an analogy to further illustrate the point. When you are looking at a picture on your smartphone or tablet, how do you expect to zoom in on the image?

You use two fingers on the screen and spread them apart. That’s what you’ve grown accustomed to.

But what if that command didn’t work for certain websites? You’d be thrown off and probably wouldn’t convert. Plus, you’ve been using smartphones for far less time than you’ve been browsing the Internet.

So stick with what people are familiar with, and don’t stray too far from a standard layout.

3. Conflicting CTAs

Having call-to-action buttons on your website is necessary to drive conversions. But too many CTAs not related to each other will confuse the visitor.

Most people think that adding multiple CTA options to each page of their websites will increase the chances of one getting clicked. But it actually has the opposite effect.

These are the typical CTAs:

  • buy now
  • sign up today
  • join our email list
  • refer a friend
  • click here to receive your discount

What’s wrong with these CTAs? Nothing. Unless they are all on the same screen at the same time.

Take a look at the BuildFire homepage:

image10 2

BuildFire specializes in custom mobile app development. When you land on its website, you’ll see two call-to-action buttons.

Although the wording of each button is different, they both drive the same type of conversion.

The “get started” button is intended for people to start building their mobile apps. If they click the “build an app” button, they’ll be accomplishing the same thing.

In fact, both CTAs bring the website visitor to the same landing page. So it’s all about which button speaks to the user. Those are the only two options they need to choose from.

If this website had additional buttons, e.g., to try to get email subscribers, sign up for a free trial, or receive a coupon code, it would hurt its conversions.

It’s all about your priorities. For some of you, getting more email subscribers may be the priority of your current marketing strategy. If that’s the case, eliminate any other CTAs on your page that conflict with your conversion goals.

4. Too much clutter

Your web design needs space to breathe.

Don’t try to fill every inch on the screen with text and images. Empty space can be just as effective.

Empty space in your web design will ultimately help direct the visitor’s attention to your focal points. Now they won’t have a problem spotting your value proposition.

Websites with simple designs have higher conversion rates.

Having too many elements on your website will slow down the page loading time.

Pages that take more than four seconds to load can expect to see bounce rates increase by 100%. Websites that take eight seconds to load will have an additional 150% increase in bounce rates.

Consider removing images from your pages. Research from Google Analytics suggests that websites with fewer images have higher conversion rates.

image1 8

Based on everything we just discussed, this makes sense.

Lots of images will slow down your page loading time, increase bounce rates, and ultimately kill your conversions.

But if you remove clutter, simplifying your design, users won’t have an issue navigating through your pages.

5. Not accounting for scrolling

Most pages will require the visitor to scroll.

That’s fine. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have scrollable pages, but it’s important you recognize how your screen will change as the visitor navigates by scrolling.

Think about the current placement of your CTA buttons.

When someone scrolls down a page of your website, are the CTA buttons still visible? If the answer is no, it’s going to hurt your conversions.

Scrolling through a page is great because it gives the visitor more information about your brand, products, or services. But let’s say they get halfway down the screen and decide they want to convert.

If the conversion link is all the way back up at the top of the screen, they’ll need to scroll back and go hunting for it. That’s not a good scenario for you.

Each additional step people take to convert is going to hurt you. Let’s take a look at the Square website to give you a great example of what I’m talking about:

image9 3

This is its homepage. As you can see, it follows a standard layout and doesn’t have any clutter, which are two of our previous discussion points.

But what happens when you scroll lower on this page?

Let’s see if you can still locate the CTA button at all times:

image4 8

This screenshot is from the same page.

The way the CTA fits on the screen makes it appear as if the visitor is on a new page. As you can see, the CTA button is still clear and visible.

Now, as the visitor learns more information about the product, they can click on the link and convert.

But that’s not the end of the page. Let’s continue scrolling to see whether this pattern continues:

image6 8The pattern is indeed the same.

Keep in mind we’re still looking at Square’s homepage. I haven’t navigated to another screen yet or made any clicks. But as I continue to scroll, I always have an option to convert.

This statement holds true all the way to the very bottom of the homepage.

image3 8

I think I’ve made my point clear.

Square has perfectly designed its navigation to ensure that website visitors always have an option to convert.

Use this as a reference for your pages as well. Keep in mind that each scrolling screen should almost appear as a completely new page to be as effective as possible.

You could also consider implementing a fixed menu bar with a CTA button at the top of your screen. That way, when a visitor scrolls, the menu is visible at all times.

6. Complicated checkout process

If you sell products or services on your website, you need to put shopping cart optimization at the top of your priority list.

Consider all the design elements on your checkout page.

If the buttons required to complete the transaction are hidden or mis-written, it’ll kill your conversions.

Furthermore, you need the checkout process to happen in as few steps as possible. Take a look at the top reasons for shopping cart abandonment:

image5 8

A checkout process that is long and complicated ranked third on this list.

Your navigation elements play a huge role in how customers finalize their transactions. So analyze your site, and figure out where customers are abandoning the page.

Make sure your purchase buttons are big, bold, and clearly displayed on the screen.

7. Forgetting about mobile users

Navigation on smartphones and tablets differs from navigation on computer screens.

Just because you implemented changes on your desktop site doesn’t mean your navigation is perfect. You still need to optimize your design for mobile users.

Remember earlier when I discussed the importance of speed? Well, speed is even more important when it comes to mobile browsing.

Mobile sites that take longer than three seconds to load have a 53% abandonment rate. Furthermore, 50% of mobile users expect pages to load in less than two seconds.

If you have an ecommerce site, this is extremely important for you to recognize. That’s because 70% of all mobile transactions are completed from smartphones.

When you optimize your mobile site, you need to make sure it encompasses all the previous design elements we discussed:

  • labels that drive conversions
  • standardized layout
  • similar CTAs
  • no clutter
  • scrolling-friendly

To check whether your mobile site is properly optimized, you can use tools such as the mobile-friendly test from Google:

image2 8

But just because the site is mobile optimized doesn’t mean all your navigation elements are perfect.

It’s up to you to manually make all those design changes if you want to increase your conversions.

Conclusion

Having lots of website traffic is great.

But traffic doesn’t automatically translate to conversions. If you think your page conversions are below satisfactory or have room for improvement, you need to take the time to analyze your navigation elements.

Recognize how visitors browse on your site. What do they see?

Their eyes will be drawn to your labels and headline options. Write them so they drive conversions.

Your website design isn’t the place to experiment with your differentiation strategy. Use a standardized layout for a smooth navigation. That’s what people are used to, so don’t confuse them.

The CTAs on your screen need to be related to each other. Too many conflicting CTAs will lower your conversion rates.

Remove clutter on the screen. Use blank space to your advantage.

Check what the users see when they scroll through your pages. There should always be a CTA button visible to drive conversions.

Simplify your checkout process. Don’t ignore mobile users.

If you avoid making these 7 navigation mistakes, you’ll see a significant improvement in your website conversion rates.

What navigation elements on your website need to change to increase conversions?


Quick Sprout

Do the Right Thing for Your Business … and Your Audience

This week was all about doing the right thing — being cool, kind, ethical, and respectful. Not in spite of your business goals, but to support them. Because it turns out, most people would actually rather do business with someone who isn’t a complete tool. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman talked about content authenticity — what
Read More…

The post Do the Right Thing for Your Business … and Your Audience appeared first on Copyblogger.


Copyblogger

How to build a “Lights Out” puzzle clone with Xamarin.Forms

Just like with the Colorful rating system, the inspiration for this demo was a blog post I wrote almost 8 (!) years ago. The article called “Lights Off – A puzzle game using HTML5 canvas” was essentially a clone of Lights Off, but built using the HTML <canvas>-element.

Lights Off is a clone itself, based on the 1995 game Lights Out by Tiger Electronics. For today, I’ll show you how to create a clone of this puzzle game using Xamarin.Forms. Can you solve the puzzle? Simply click on a tile to flip it along with the four adjacent tiles.

If you’re like me, you can’t wait for the Marvels Avengers: Infinity War movie to hit the cinemas. Because it’ll be in theaters April 27th, I’ve given this sample a slight Avenger-theme! Let’s dive in.

The idea

I named the game XamLights (short for Xamarin Lights Out). The idea is exactly the same as the canvas-version.

We’ll start off by creating the playing field using a Grid. This Grid will have a 5×5 dimension filled with tiles which we’ll get back to later.

Next, we’ll need to apply logic for flipping the tiles. As you can see in the example, it simply flips the tile together with the direct surrounding tiles. The red arrows show where the user would have clicked with an empty playing field.

Now create some levels that set the starting position and let the user try to flip the tiles in the correct position! Of course, after each click we need to check if all the lights are off and the player is done.

Levels

To create the levels, I once again used a two dimensional array that represents the playing field. It’s easy to work with (in code), but also great to see how the field is going to look like eventually, since the code exactly represents the field.

 new char[5, 5] {     {'o', 'x', 'o', 'x', 'o'},     {'o', 'o', 'o', 'o', 'o'},     {'o', 'o', 'x', 'o', 'o'},     {'o', 'o', 'o', 'o', 'o'},     {'o', 'x', 'o', 'x', 'o'}, } 

We’ll use this structure under the hood to know which tiles need to be flipped to start the game. An 'x' means “frontside-up” while 'o' means “backside-up”. Now, let’s see how we can create the tiles!

Tiles

The tiles that are part of the grid have some of the same logic we used in the Xamarin.Forms animated profile cards. The setup is a base class with a an background and Image that are placed “on top” of each other. On top of that, there’s another invisible frame that can receive the Tap-events using a TapGestureRecognizer. These are simply all the elements we need in order to make the sample look like cards.

Important parts to know:

  • The Tile itself knows which X & Y coordinates it holds in the Grid.
  • The added TapGestureRecognizer throws a TileTappedEventArgs when tapped and includes these coordinates.
  • The animation is handled here as well.

Check out the full implementation as well.

Animation

The exact same animation has been used as the Flip-animation in the Xamarin.Forms animated profile cards. You can easily change this with other animations if needed, but it gives the game a neat effect.

 public async Task Flip() {     if (_frontIsShowing)     {         await _foreground.RotateYTo(-90, 400, Easing.CubicIn);         _foreground.Opacity = 0;         await _background.RotateYTo(0, 400, Easing.CubicOut);          _frontIsShowing = false;     }     else     {         await _background.RotateYTo(90, 400, Easing.CubicIn);         _foreground.Opacity = 1;         await _foreground.RotateYTo(0, 400, Easing.CubicOut);          _frontIsShowing = true;     } } 

The image

Sadly, there is no background-position property available in Xamarin.Forms like CSS. Therefore, we can’t re-use an image and we’ll have to split it. I took the Avengers: Infinity War movie poster and splitted the image in equal parts.

The images are named row-#-col-#.jpg which we can easily use in our Tile since we know our X & Y coordinates. I’ve used Embedded Images for ease of use.

 _foreground = new Image {     RotationY = -90,     Source = ImageSource.FromResource($  "XamLights.images.row-{yPos + 1}-col-{xPos + 1}.jpg") }; 

Since the X & Y coordinates are 0-based, we’ll need to add one since the images aren’t.

Game logic

Now to put all the pieces together! The game logic ties all the pieces of the puzzle (no pun intended) together. This is just a part of all the code.

 public class GameViewModel : ViewModelBase {     // Two dimensional array that represents the playing field     private Tile[,] _tiles = new Tile[5,5];     List<Task> _fieldsToFlip = new List<Task>();      public void AddTile(Tile tile) {         tile.Tapped += TileTapped;         _tiles[tile.XPos, tile.YPos] = tile;     }      private async void StartGame() {         var game = Games.RandomGame();         for (var x = 0; x < 5; x++) {             for (var y = 0; y < 5; y++) {                 if(game[x, y] == 'x') {                     _fieldsToFlip.Add(_tiles[x, y].Flip());                 }             }         }         await FlipFields();     }      private async void TileTapped(object sender, TileTappedEventArgs e) {         // Check which fields we need to flip         // The field itself         _fieldsToFlip.Add(_tiles[e.XPos, e.YPos].Flip());          // The field above         if (e.YPos - 1 >= 0) {             _fieldsToFlip.Add(_tiles[e.XPos, e.YPos - 1].Flip());         }          // Other fields to flip         await FlipFields();     }      private async Task FlipFields() {         await Task.WhenAll(_fieldsToFlip);         _fieldsToFlip.Clear();     } } 

Some important parts to point out:

  • Because of the async/await-pattern and animations we want at the same time, the _fieldsToFlip holds a list of animations we stack together and execute in the FlipFields-method.
  • The AddTile-method holds a reference to all tiles created by the View.
  • One StartGame, a RandomGame is selected and flipped based on the value.
  • TileTapped handles the logic to determine which tiles need to be flipped.

This class also includes the check if all the Tiles are facing upward (meaning the game is finished) and that’s about it.

Conclusion & Download


There you have it, a simple (but addicting) puzzle game using Xamarin.Forms. Download the source and challenge yourself to solve all the levels. I also added a custom app icon to tribute Xamarin and the Avengers. I know the code can be improved, so feel free to send me a pull request with improvements!

If you like creating puzzle games with Xamarin.Forms, I recommend you to check out Xuzzle by Charles Petzol as well. A next step would be to run this sample in the browser using Ooui by Frank Krueger. Let me know what you think in the comments and feel free to improve the code!

The post How to build a “Lights Out” puzzle clone with Xamarin.Forms appeared first on Marcofolio.net.

Marcofolio.net

Post-GDPR, Purch points to 70 percent consent rates and the sweet spot for contextual targeting

Per this publishing/performance marketing platform, here’s how consent for data-based targeting and context for non-data targeting may thrive. The post Post-GDPR, Purch points to 70 percent consent rates and the sweet spot for contextual targeting appeared first on Marketing Land.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.


Marketing Land – Internet Marketing News, Strategies & Tips

The FBI, FTC and SEC are joining the Justice Department’s inquiries into Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica disclosures

An alphabet soup of federal agencies are now poring over Facebook’s disclosures and the company’s statements about its response to the improper use of its user information by the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Trade Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission have joined the Justice Department in examining how the personal information of 71 million Americans was distributed by Facebook and used by Cambridge Analytica, according to a Washington Post report released Monday.

According to the Post, the emphasis of the investigation has been on what Facebook disclosed about its information sharing with Cambridge Analytica and whether those disclosures correlate to the timeline that’s being established by government investigators. The fear, for Facebook, is that the government may decide that the company didn’t reveal enough to either investors or the public about the extent of the misallocation of user data. Another concern is whether the Cambridge Analytica decision violated the terms of an earlier settlement Facebook made with the Federal Trade Commission.

The redoubled efforts of so many divisions could potentially ensnare Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, who was brought before Congress with other Facebook officials to testify about the breaches. People familiar with the investigation told the Post that the officials’ testimony was being scrutinized.

In a statement, Facebook noted it had received questions from different agencies and that it was cooperating.

The Federal Trade Commission first confirmed that it was investigating Facebook in March.

Acting director Tom Pahl said at the time:

The FTC is firmly and fully committed to using all of its tools to protect the privacy of consumers. Foremost among these tools is enforcement action against companies that fail to honor their privacy promises, including to comply with Privacy Shield, or that engage in unfair acts that cause substantial injury to consumers in violation of the FTC Act. Companies who have settled previous FTC actions must also comply with FTC order provisions imposing privacy and data security requirements. Accordingly, the FTC takes very seriously recent press reports raising substantial concerns about the privacy practices of Facebook. Today, the FTC is confirming that it has an open non-public investigation into these practices.

The multiple investigations by U.S. and U.K. agencies into the ways in which Cambridge Analytica accessed and exploited data on social media users in political campaigns have already pushed the political consulting firm into bankruptcy.

It’s unlikely (read impossible) that Facebook would suffer anything like the same fate, and the company’s stock price has already recovered from whatever negative impact the scandal wrought on the social network’s market capitalization. Rather, the lingering investigations show the potential for government regulators (and lawmakers) to involve themselves in the company’s operations.

As with everything else in Washington, it’s always the cover up — never the crime.


Social – TechCrunch