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See The Landing Pages These Shopify Merchants Used to Scale Ad Revenue 33X

Year round Liz and Bill Farrell, a husband and wife team, work the dirt at Fat Stone Farm in Lyme, Connecticut with their two kids.

After making the move from cubicles to the great outdoors, the Farrells realized they loved growing fresh food, and creating healthy, farm-grown products ranging from elderberry apple shots to their own maple syrup.

Now—when you think of a typical farmer’s marketing strategy—you might picture a hand-painted sign at a local market, but Liz and Bill run a digital elderberry empire.

The couple started as Shopify merchants and then partnered with digital agency Webistry to take their business to new heights. They wanted to see better return on ad spend, and prepare for winter (their best sales season of the year).

It was a perfect partnership from the start, but nobody could predict that a combo of Unbounce landing pages, popups, a Shopify integration, and near obsessive audience building and retargeting on Facebook would:

  • Lower cost-per-acquisition from $ 145 (at its highest) to just $ 1.55(!) for the company’s Elderberry Apple Shots and DIY Gummy kits.
  • Increase return on ad spend for their Elderberry Apple Shot campaigns from 1.66X to an incredible 33.12X.
  • Deliver a cost-per-lead for a sweepstakes campaign of just $ 0.51.
  • See sweepstakes conversion rates from ad click to entry of up to 79.55%.
  • And garner Facebook relevance scores of 8s and 9s.

Overall, with Webistry’s help, Fat Stone Farm tripled ROAS in just five months (December ‘16–April ‘17), and—via continued optimizations—reached returns of 33X over a year and three months.

Here’s their epic ecommerce story, and the paid media tactics that could work for you too.

Winter is Coming

Historically, sales of Fat Stone Farm’s Elderberry Apple Shots go up in winter to help fight off flu season. So in early winter 2016, Bill and Liz approached Jonathan Naccache, Co-Founder at Webistry to prep some advertising.

The agency discovered that they couldn’t look to AdWords for a huge win. The search volume for elderberries or related products wasn’t super high, and this approach simply wasn’t scalable. Instead, they needed to generate extremely targeted custom audiences on Facebook (which can be difficult because prospects on Facebook aren’t necessarily screaming about their love of elderberry – these prospects need to be uncovered).

In Webistry’s approach, each ad campaign would target a group of interests that could coincide with elderberry products. They’d target Facebook users who’s interests included: alternative medicine, natural remedies, homesteading, or those engaging with popular health blogs like Mother Earth News and Wellness Mama.

It took a lot of research, and as Jonathan says this is where the agency advantage comes into play: “having access to several strategic minds, resources and thorough research gets you a significant edge right off the start.”

The First Ad to Shopify Landing Page Combo

From December 2016 to January 2017, Webistry ran campaigns on Facebook targeting each of the audience segments they’d identified might be interested in the elderberry shots.

Here’s an example of some of the ads (corresponding to fall and winter seasons):

Pictured above: the ads Webistry ran to the associated landing page.

All elderberry apple shots ads led to this Unbounce-built PPC landing page, which converts at 4.7% (lifetime average conversion rate). A conversion in this case was a purchase via the ‘add to cart’ button):

Notice the benefit copy from the ad headlines is carried through to the Unbounce landing page. Click to see a larger version.

And while the orange ‘add to cart’ button on the page looks deceptively simple, it’s actually where the magic happens. Instead of redirecting prospects to the brand’s Shopify store, Webistry fashioned custom javascript to make the button integrate seamlessly with Shopify and offer a slick, on-page checkout experience:

Interested in adding a Shopify cart to your Unbounce landing pages? Webistry shared the custom Javascript in our community. Head over, grab the script, and drive purchases on your own pages.

Two months into this campaign, return on ad spend was 1.66X, and cost-per-purchase was fluctuating between $ 19 and $ 145. Jonathan knew they could improve upon these early results and began targeting audiences of vegetarians, vegans, healthy eating aficionado, and homesteaders.

And so, in April 2017 the agency launched a new landing page campaign for smoothie lovers.

The idea was to position the elderberry product as the ideal ingredient to add to a smoothie. Here’s a sample ad used to launch this campaign:

And of course, the landing page this ad pointed to:

This beautiful landing page converts traffic to purchase at 9.44%

Beyond driving sales, the agency realized there was potential for lead capture here too (as a means of remarketing to especially interested prospects later), so they added an on-exit popup to this page. It offered up a free smoothie recipe book and integrated with a Mailchimp autoresponder.

With an 18% conversion rate, here’s the popup built in Unbounce:

The smoothie campaign helped drop cost-per-purchase down to ~$ 9.65, and Bill and Liz saw a return on ad spend of 3X from their initial investment after just five months of executing this strategy.

This was great, but Webistry wanted to help Fat Stone Farm stay present in their potential buyer’s world year round. They could lie low waiting for winter again all summer, or they could start developing highly refined retargeting and lookalike audiences to reach all year long.

The Sweepstakes That Raised the Stakes

In May 2017, continuing in the off-season, it was time to start preparing for their next winter. Fat Stone Farm was seeing major benefits from refined Facebook audience targeting, so Jonathan and the team extended this strategy with sweepstakes.

They used weekly sweepstakes as a means to gauge and track prospect’s interest in the products, then later in the winter, they created Facebook lookalike and retargeting audiences to get in front of similar groups of interested people regularly.

As Jonathan shares, this allowed the team to generate even better target audiences:

“Our goal was to create campaigns that helped us measure different levels of interest, and to identify these audiences by tracking every event with a pixel. We had a drip campaign setup, and non-winners of the first sweepstakes were given access to a second sweepstakes.”

That is – those who didn’t win each week were offered access to another sweepstakes prize (either the breakfast pack or gummy pack product). This helped introduce prospects to other Fat Stone Farm products and gauge interest for these versus a complementary offering like smoothies.

Here’s a sample ad for the sweepstakes:

And here’s the first landing page touchpoint:

Click the image above for a closer look.

If you didn’t win, you might be sent a second offer in the sweepstakes, with a chance to win an Elderberry Gummy Kit via the landing page below:

Click the image above to see the full landing page.

Of the people who clicked through on the Facebook ad and reached the first landing page above, 18.79% converted. Moreover, of the people who did not win the first sweepstakes, but clicked through the email announcing the second sweepstakes, 79.55% converted via the landing page.

Hot tip: Webistry embedded a third party tool called ViralSweep on these pages. It’s a sweepstakes application to help manage entries, select a winner at random, and allows people to win bonus entries by referring friends via social.

Not only did this campaign collect over 15,000 relevant leads that Fat Stone Farm could remarket to year long with terrific offers, but it reduced cost-per-lead down to a mere $ 0.51.

Which brings us to…

Winter Season, 2018

After all the ad testing, landing page alterations, and lessons along the way, Webistry re-launched the sales campaigns using six months of audience-segmented data.

They launched the gummy kits as a standalone product landing page (vs. the sweepstakes page) and continued to sell the Elderberry Apple Shots. The best part? From January to March 2018 Webistry achieved the highest return on ad spend for Bill and Liz since starting to work with them: a whopping 33.12X.

Additionally, this season they saw the lowest cost-per-acquisition of just $ 1.55.

As Bill Ferrell says of the partnership with Webistry:

“These guys are worth every penny. Excellent results (very high CTRs, good CPA, [and] lots of new customers!). The Webistry co-founders are hands-on, creative, and keep tweaking throughout. Their attentiveness to the campaigns and my crazy ideas have exceeded my expectations month after month.”

Berry good results indeed.


Unbounce

Are AMP Landing Pages All They’re Cracked up to Be? A Look Into Page Speed

AMP landing pages worth the fuss?

For a while now you may have heard the buzz surrounding Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), and—if you haven’t already done some research—you might be wondering what all the fuss is about (or wondering why a landing page and conversion platform like us hasn’t mentioned this trendy topic yet).

Well, we’ll get to all of that! Today we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about AMP as a marketer and why your Google rep has likely been singing its praises.

First up: What is AMP?

AMP is a project that was first announced by Google back in 2015 as a means to serve up mobile pages faster. Accelerated mobile pages use a restrictive HTML format to serve up web pages almost instantly to your visitors, with the added benefit of pages being cached and pre-rendered by third parties (like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Bing News, and Cloudflare).

This is a stark change from waiting for every single element on your page to load and, at its core, it’s a way of developing simple web pages that meet strict guidelines for preventing slow load times. It’s helping bring the internet back to basics.

AMP pages on mobile
How AMP pages look in mobile search results.

Early adopters of AMP included publishers like The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Wall Street Journal. Much like Facebook’s Instant Articles, AMP gave these publishers a way to reach audiences in an almost-instant way (ultimately important for decreasing bounce rate, and signalling to Google your content is satisfying visitors). Since publishers run their business on page views, this was a natural place to start and great fit for AMP.

Google then created extra incentive for publishers by prioritizing AMP articles in their “top stories” carousel. You can currently spot AMP articles in your own mobile search results by looking for the AMP thunderbolt symbol.

Some AMP myths, debunked

The AMP Project has come a long way since 2015, but it’s still having a hard time shaking some of its roots. Here are a few of the myths floating around:

Myth 1: AMP is only for online publishers
AMP landing pages are a perfect match for publishers, but serving up news faster is not its only use case. Believe it or not, even eCommerce brands are increasing their revenue with the same traffic by converting their product pages to AMP.

While this giant conversion over to AMP may sound like a massive undertaking, remember: You don’t need to create an entire AMP mobile website like Aliexpress. You can start with a single landing page that lots of customers reach from organic or paid search. Simply decreasing your bounce rate on the visitor’s first entry and speeding load time up can have a big impact on first impressions, and ultimately your conversion rate.

Myth 2: AMP is owned by Google
We can’t deny that Google has been the driving force behind the AMP technology and its adoption around the world. But despite its massive role in driving AMP forward, the team is insistent that AMP is not a Google project, but rather an open-source project. Although the lion’s share of the more than 500 contributors on GitHub are Googlers, they’re not the only ones.

Myth 3: AMP is only for mobile
It’s true mobile is a huge part of Accelerated Mobile Pages (it’s in the name, after all), but that can be a little bit misleading. As Paul Bakaus from Google explains, AMP HTML is mobile first but not mobile only. He believes you’ll see better gains from AMP on mobile pages, but recommends trying AMP on desktop as well.

What are AMP landing pages good for?

We know that fast-loading pages equal lower bounce rates and higher conversions, and AMP provides an almost foolproof way of achieving fast mobile landing pages. Its strict guidelines for what can be included have speed best practices built in, which is why AMP landing pages have a medium load time in under one second. And let’s be honest: We could all use some extra conversions on our landing pages via speed increases.

So what does AMP mean for SEO?
While an AMP landing page does not necessarily equal a higher search ranking, Google recently announced that, starting this summer, page speed will finally become a ranking factor in its mobile search algorithm.

While Google has always favored content with a positive user experience (speed being a part of that) speed did not previously have a direct effect on the ranking algorithm. Before July 2018, it might be a good idea to do some spring cleaning of your mobile landing pages (swapping out massive images and keeping things small)—whether these pages are accelerated or not.

What do AMP landing pages mean for PPC?
For a long time now, “landing page experience” has played into your Ad Rank on AdWords, and we know that page speed factors into this experience. One of AdWords’ five tips for improving landing page experience is to “decrease your landing page load time,” for which they suggest to “consider turning your landing page into an Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP).”

AdWords expert and ex-Googler Frederick Vallaeys has even called AMP landing pages “the best kept AdWords secret” due to the opportunity for improving conversion rates.

It’s really all about page speed

At the end of the day, the reason you’d create an AMP landing page is to improve your page speed. By creating these pages, you ensure fast load time, but this doesn’t guarantee your content is good enough to keep people around. Page speed is only one factor in a positive landing page experience, and won’t solve the problem of bad content.

Moreover, if page speed is what you’re after, AMP is only one way of achieving it. Even the AMP Project’s website admits that the format puts user experience above the developer experience. Simply put, it’s not the easy way to do things. So before jumping straight into AMP, consider whether or not you can reduce page speed in simpler ways, like cutting back on scripts and image sizes.

Not sure where to start, try running your landing page through our free Landing Page Analyzer for some actionable tips.

What are the limitations?

AMP can do wonders for your page speed, but it doesn’t come without a few caveats. In fact, the reason the AMP framework creates a fast page is because it is so restrictive. AMP is constantly being improved, but it’s still far from perfect. Here are a few limitations to consider before going all in on AMP:

Scripts are often not supported

landing pages built with AMP sacrafice scripts
Photo by Henri L. on Unsplash.

Scripts are a speed killer, period. Support for JavaScript is incredibly restricted in the AMP framework, so if you build an AMP landing page, you won’t be able to add all the scripts you currently use. As an example, if you want to connect your page with your CRM (a pretty common integration via a script), you’d need an AMP version of this script to be supported. Scripts are supported currently on a case-by-case basis and more often than not they’re unsupported at this time.

Analytics aren’t straightforward

Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov on Unsplash.

One of the best features of AMP is also one of its biggest drawbacks. Since the AMP pages are pre-cached, they are served from a different domain than your own. That means that your website visitor might click an ad, then visit your AMP landing page served up pre-loaded from Google.com, and then click through to your website.

This can really throw off your site’s analytics, splitting up your user sessions between your domain and third-party domains. If you’re not comfortable giving up perfect analytics for gains in load time, AMP might not be for you.

Worried about your website visitors seeing inconsistent domains? As of last month, AMP released an update that will keep the display URL as your own domain even if the page is being served from another domain such as Google.com.

Even though AMP Analytics are available, there are a limited amount of options available. Here’s what you’ll be able to track:

  • Page data: Domain, path, page title
  • User data: client ID, timezone
  • Browsing data: referrer, unique page view ID
  • Browser data: screen height, screen width, user agent
  • Interaction data: page height and page width
  • Event data

Setup isn’t super quick
Just because AMPs format is restrictive doesn’t mean it’s a walk in the park to implement. Developing AMP pages could take your developers significantly longer to create than a non-AMP page. They’ll then need to validate that their code ticks all of the boxes of the AMP format and also upkeep the pages to make sure they continue to comply with these restrictions.

Browser versions are limited
A smaller restriction (but one nonetheless) is that AMP only supports the most recent two versions of major web browsers. This means if your visitors are hanging onto a circa 2014 version of Chrome, they won’t see your AMP page.

What naysayers are saying

Like anything, there are two sides to the AMP story. Because of its close ties to Google, some think the company has too much control, using its power to shift the internet to a new way of developing web pages altogether. Some think it’s unfair for Google to pressure companies to adopt the framework in order to reach the top stories carousel or maintain their organic rankings. Others worry that Google could abandon AMP at any moment, after more than 1.5 billion web pages have already been published using the format.

On the other side of the argument, web users are speaking for themselves by abandoning slow pages at a faster rate. They’re also choosing Google more than any other search engine. Although there are alternatives, Google holds 90% of mobile market share. There must be a reason for this, and I’d hazard a guess that it’s because Google gives a better user experience than its alternatives.

From the AMP Project’s website:

“The companies involved in the project want to make the mobile web work better for all — not just for one platform, one set of technologies, or one set of publishers, or one set of advertisers. Making the project open source enables people to share and contribute their ideas and code for making the mobile web fast. We are just at the beginning of that journey and we look forward to other publishers, advertisers and technology companies joining along the way.”

What Unbounce is doing about AMP

This info’s all well and good, but you’re probably wondering: what’s Unbounce—best known as a conversion and landing page platform—going to do about AMP?

I’m glad you asked.

We’re happy to share that we’re currently building AMP capabilities into the Unbounce builder.

We’re premiering this functionality with a tight-knit group of customers in an alpha test before we open up to a wider closed beta of additional customers. The reason we’re working with a small group first is to ensure that we are able to get early feedback while we work on adding more capabilities. We’ll be closely monitoring conversion data from the alpha participants to ensure customers are seeing the value that we think they’ll see with AMP.

Here’s a taste of what it might look like in the Unbounce builder:

What took us so long?

By now you’re likely convinced that fast pages are critical to your conversion rates, and AMP can help, so you may be wondering, what took Unbounce so long to build (let alone talk about) it?

Well, we began investigating AMP and how it would work in the Unbounce builder back in 2017, and our friends at Google have been supporting us along the way. We made the decision not to publicly share our progress on AMP until we officially kicked off the development of our alpha program last month.

Trust us, page speed is something that’s been on our mind for quite some time. Last summer, our team became one of the first to complete Google’s Mobile Site Certification, and in September we returned to Google’s Canadian HQ in Toronto to join the search giant in co-hosting a mobile speed hackathon. Most recently, Google mentioned our alpha at their annual developer conference, and in a few months, they’ll be hosting the very first Canadian West Coast date of the AMP Roadshow right here in our Vancouver office.

Sign up for the AMP Roadshow at Unbounce HQ hosted by Google, on September 5, 2018.

We had hoped to bring you AMP a little bit earlier, but our team has been heads down for the past several months focused on the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Keeping your data safe and secure is our top priority, and we believe it is important to provide you a landing page solution that is GDPR compliant as this sets a critical foundation.

We are proud to say after months of hard work, Unbounce is GDPR compliant. Less than a month ago, AMP also released an update designed to help AMP pages become GDPR compliant as well.

Not sure what we’re talking about? Learn all about GDPR and how it affects your business here. (It’s a big deal).

Our next steps with AMP

Now that we’ve got your data safe and secure via GDPR compliance, our team is full steam ahead experimenting and developing AMP capabilities in the Unbounce builder. We’ve made some great progress and it’s looking pretty darn cool if I do say so myself (seriously, we can’t wait to show you). Once we’ve completed our alpha test, we’ll be widening the scope to a closed beta test.

The progress will look something like this:

  • Alpha >> Closed Beta >> Open Beta >> General Availability >> Public Launch

We’ll be sharing our progress right here on the Unbounce blog, and—if you’re a current customer (or about to create landing pages with us)—we invite you to sign up for early access to the beta once it’s launched.

Not sure whether AMP is for you? You can still achieve faster pages without this markup. Try running your landing page through our free Landing Page Analyzer to get some quick tips on how to improve your landing page today.


Unbounce

Real Estate Landing Pages (Our Customer Favorites + Why We Think They’re Great)

Whether you’re an independent realtor or work at a real estate agency, you can gain a competitive advantage if you have owned digital properties to drive your paid and social traffic to.

Owned properties — like landing pages — provide you more control in real estate versus relying on popular listing sites where the journey isn’t always clear, you can’t customize your call to action or match your branding.

In short, real estate marketing can really benefit from lead capture landing pages because they allow you to:

  • Establish and grow your mailing list, ensuring you can follow up with and remarket to interested prospects later.
  • Showcase properties especially well, creating urgency and delivering especially compelling offers (like granting early access to listings, for example).
  • Track social and paid campaigns better. With a listing site you don’t have access to metrics and can’t determine ROI as quickly as you can with a landing page.

Ultimately, you can use landing pages to understand exactly who is interested in a property, entice prospects to book appointments (or other offers) and wow new clients with on-brand design.

In this post I’ll break down some of the best ways to start using real estate landing pages with a few examples from Unbounce customers.

1. Showcase your listings (and grow your mailing list)

At minimum, every real estate broker needs a place to share listings online. But ideally, you’ll want to own the experience.

RE/MAX agents Matthew Davidson and Kimbe MacMaster know this first-hand.

These independent agents use Unbounce landing pages to showcase an overview of a property: quick stats, a photo gallery, a video and details on the community. And while a property is available, prospects can book a showing as the call to action:

Featuring trendy parallax scroll, this page converts at 0.38%. Click to view full-length landing page.

Once the listing is sold (nice work Matthew and Kimbe!), the CTA changes to allow interested parties to sign up for early notice for similar listings in the future:

This post-sale CTA swap is a terrific way to build your email list for advertising similar properties in the future.

Having used the Unbounce Loft template, Matthew and Kimbe can simply duplicate this page each time they need a dedicated place to feature a listing. This allows the duo to be listing-specific when they link from a Facebook or search ad, ensuring a seamless ad-to-landing-page experience for potential buyers.

According to the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report, 41.6% of marketers in real estate have at least one page that converts under 1.3%, so Matthew and Kimbe’s conversion rate above is in line with what we see for many real estate marketers.

See how your conversion rates stack up in real estate (and nine other popular industries)

Download the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report to see how your landing page performance compares to your competitors.

By entering your email you’ll receive other resources to help you improve your conversion rates.

2. Entice buyers with exclusive pre-sale info, floor plans, price lists and more

Booking viewings of individual properties is great, but what if the real estate you’re selling is still in development?

Working with large and small-scale real estate developers, Rennie helps their developer clients plan and execute all aspects of their marketing and sales strategy, including online advertising. As part of their online strategy, they create project-specific landing pages and direct all paid traffic to those pages to gather leads.

Here’s an example created for The Pacific by Grosvenor:

This real estate landing page currently converts at 7.92%. Click to view full-length page.

Jennie Sebastian, Rennie’s Digital Marketing & CRM Manager, shared that the marketing team typically has a kick-off meeting five to six weeks before a campaign. Once they determine targeting and put together a media schedule, creative — including development of the landing page — can begin.

The campaigns typically employ search ads, display, Facebook, Instagram and WeChat, but the team is always looking for new ways to reach their target audiences.

As many real estate marketers can likely empathize with, Jennie shared:

One of the biggest challenges in online marketing is coming up with a strong call to action that entices users to provide us with their personal information.

Depending on the phase of the project and assets available, CTAs range from, “Sign up now for early access” and “Download all floorplans now,” to “Book a private appointment now.”

Through numerous A/B tests the Rennie team has found that more specific CTAs convert significantly better than more generic ones, as they clearly articulate to a prospect what they are receiving in exchange for their information.

Which brings us to landing page idea number three…

3. Get prospects to picture themselves in their dream home with a virtual tour

Just as Jennie from Rennie told us above, compelling CTAs are very important in real estate marketing, and offering a virtual tour has proven to be very effective for their team:

We recently offered a virtual tour using special 360 degree photography for one of our projects in Calgary. After updating the CTA to “Take a virtual tour now,” we saw a significant increase in the conversion rate.

Here’s an example page of theirs, which converts at 4.15%:

Click to view the full-length landing page.

Clicking the CTA button triggers a form gating the tour:

Even if you can’t wrangle 360 photography, you can still get prospects to picture themselves in their dream home.

Simple videos, photo galleries, or even the hero image on your landing page can do the trick. But be sure to test.

Example test of hero image variants

Here’s an example from Coronation Properties via digital agency Rocket. They test variations of their pages with different key elements of a property featured in the hero image.

Here’s a variant wherein the bedroom is the hero shot:

And another where the kitchen takes the spotlight:

The takeaway here?

Get creative with videos, 360 tours, or even experimenting with your hero shot, to give clients a glimpse into the property that’s right for them.

4. Offer up relevant listings to abandoning visitors

While landing pages clearly offer a competitive advantage in real estate, you also want to ensure you’ve optimized your website for conversions.

As our customers at Brixio know, you can try out an Unbounce overlay to ensure you’re not missing out on conversion opportunities. Overlays allow you to show relevant offers to specific users at the perfect time, making them less likely to leave your website without converting.

Unbounce Convertables

We love their idea for an overlay triggered to appear on exit to those leaving a website, tempting potential real estate buyers with off-market or exclusive listings.

Here’s a preview of what they had in mind:

With Unbounce, you can launch your overlay at any point during someone’s visit on your website: on exit, on arrival, after delay, on scroll and on click. Find out how Unbounce overlays work here.

5. Test a simple value prop to prompt more commitment-heavy offers

For marketers in the business of custom real estate, your offer of a tailor-made home is much more commitment-heavy than simply moving into an existing place.

This poses an interesting challenge: interested prospects likely have many questions, may be exploring many options and need a reason to trust you immediately.

Here’s agency Rocket’s solution: an on-brand, clear landing page (where prospects can “enquire today”):

This page converts at 1.84%. Click to view full-length landing page.

This small offer accompanied by all the fine details serves as a type of micro conversion, ensuring Manor Homes’ prospects have the chance to reach out and get the conversation started about a custom home.

Get creative with your own micro conversion incentives! For example, you may want to consider inviting prospects to download a collection of your custom homes to preview at their leisure.

6. Offer up relevant content marketing (so you can nurture leads later)

Plenty of businesses use content marketing to reach their target audience, and as Edina Realty knows, this applies to the real estate industry too.

As a subsidiary of Home Services of America, Edina Realty’s licensed pros guide customers through home buying and selling. To provide the most value to their clients, they deliver unique and useful content via custom landing pages.

Check out this Unbounce landing page they created to distribute their Ultimate Guide to Selling Your Home – it converts at a whopping 18%:

Click to view full-length landing page.

By combining content strategy with retargeting, Edina Realty is able to reach prospective leads throughout the funnel and deliver quality leads to their agents.

Hannah Kaeter, Digital Marketing Manager at Edina Realty, told us about the importance of educating leads:

One of the key challenges in our market is a low inventory of homes for sale at lower price points. With this challenge comes an opportunity to educate potential sellers — many of them first-time sellers — about the process so they can evaluate and make informed decisions about their own property and situation.

Ready to build your digital property?

Overall, the above examples illustrate the importance of having a dedicated place to send your paid and social traffic, which can make all the difference in whether you can track the ROI of your real estate marketing. This beats relying on common listing sites — especially in the case of condo developments or offers that require sophisticated branding or high commitment, like custom homes.

Replicate the success of these realtors with Unbounce’s real estate templates, and be sure to download our Conversion Benchmark Report for a breakdown of where you stand in this industry.


Unbounce

Graphical Ideas That Add Trust Factor to Your Landing Pages

Shopping on the internet can seem impersonal at times, but it doesn’t need to be. Consumers who are used to thoroughly examining products when they buy offline will need a lot more than your word to prove that your site, and products, are the real deal.

There are many drawbacks currently associated with online shopping. They include:

  • Phishing scams
  • Data theft
  • Credit card fraud
  • Fake online sites
  • Poor quality products
  • Virus-infected websites
  • Poor service

The list goes on. In fact, it was for some of these reasons that Newsweek in 1995 published an article, “Why the Internet won’t be Nirvana”. How wrong they were. Today, there are various ways to counter the certain vulnerabilities of online shopping.

The use of trust elements have made arguments against online shopping obsolete. It is therefore important to include various types to reassure customers that they are safe when interacting on your website.
Businesses need to verify from their hosting providers about security plug-ins they can add to their website. If you have a good managed domain and hosting service, you can get support installing some programs on your site. On the other hand, a dedicated hosting package means you will perform all plug-in and extensions yourself.

Invest in design

It is common knowledge that a smartly designed product often adds exclusivity to its identity. Likewise, a neatly designed website has a psychological advantage. The impression that time and money was invested into your business increases its perceived value.

But that’s not all. Here are few other graphical features that build trust for your consumers:

Prove that your website is alive

There are several websites out there hoping to make a profit from buyers. But how can buyers trust a them if the last entry was in March 2015? This could also mean that the products are either non-existent or expired. Website owners should regularly update their pages with rich content and include features that prove they are current.

A calendar or timer is just not enough. The most convincing sign is having fresh content or regularly updated articles on your site. Some ingenious sites use an embedded social media plug-in, with live conversations going on. In addition to building trust, regularly updated sites are easily indexed by Google search bots, making them appear more visible to search engine pages.

Humanize your site

One of the major reasons behind Clifford Stoll’s 1995 article in Newsweek was the absence of ‘human connection’. True, the seemingly impersonal quality of web interaction can be limiting, but this can be resolved by unmasking the team behind your business. An ‘about us’ page revealing real images of members of your business, and a short blurb of their bios, has proven to be helpful in this regard.

Another humanising feature can be a live chat option with a real person on the other end. If you have the time and resources to make it a 24-hour service, that’s good. Otherwise, you can set up your live chat to be available at peak periods when your customers are the most active.

Include your contact information or geographical location

Many fraudulent websites prefer to conceal their identity or address because of their shady intentions, and would rather conclude their business via email or phone. For this reason, many sales ready customers avoid websites that do not include proper details of their location or alternative contact information.
Increase your site’s relevance and trustworthiness by adding a complete contact hyperlink. Tell prospective buyers your offline address in case they have complaints about your product or service. Alternatively, a toll-free phone line can equally work. In addition to building trust, contact information can increase footfalls in your brick-and-mortar store.

Use social proof (Online reviews and testimonials)

What is social proof? This is evidence that several other people are not only using your product or service, but are also enjoying them. This can come in the form of user reviews or recommendations. Beside each product, you can setup a comment(s) section from your customers. Interview them or request a rating about their experience with your products, then embed the responses on your site.

Images of customers add genuineness to comments or recommendations, so it is advisable use them. However, refrain from using fake images otherwise it could work against you – it is the sort of thing a fraudulent website would do, which is exactly what you are trying to avoid. Instead, request for permission to use your real customers’ images.

You may have seen some websites display a list of previous and current clients. This is a form of social proof that seems to tell the customers that, “these big brands trust us, and so should you”.

Use Trust badges

The internet has its own version of accreditation, usually in the form of plugins. From internet security, to product quality and customer service excellence, these ‘badges’ can be placed at strategic positions on your web pages to promote trustworthiness. Some examples include:

  • A hack safe website badge (MacAfee Security)
  • Approved Business Bureau badge
  • Finance security badge (Verisign)
  • Money back guarantee badge

Ensure you can back up your claims. There is no point putting up a money-back guarantee sign if you do not give customers back their money. Claiming to be accredited by an industry authority could put your business in trouble if you are found guilty of lying. The key is to be as honest as possible.

tust factor landing page

Get an SSL secure site

A glance at your domain name can inform visitors about your web security. The ‘S’ in the HTTPS guarantees visitors that your website is protected and their information is safe. People want to feel secure trading on your website, especially when it involves revealing credit card details or other information.
You can get your web content encrypted with a secure socket layer (SSL). It requires contacting the online service provider and providing proof of your business and website ownership. In addition to winning customer trust, websites with a secure domain name enjoy positive search rankings on Google search engines.

Finally, always proofread your content for errors. Nothing dumbs down the credibility of a good website like spelling mistakes or grammatical blunders.

25 Ecommerce UX Tips You Need to Know

This post was written by James Cummings, a business psychologist and serial entrepreneur, with over a decade working in finance, IT, marketing and recruitment sectors. He has authored numerous books in the management space and is Founder and CEO of www.dailyposts.co.uk.

The post Graphical Ideas That Add Trust Factor to Your Landing Pages appeared first on SpyreStudios.


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Split A/B Testing Graphical Elements of Your Landing Pages: Best Practices to Test and Quantify Conversion Value of Landing Page Elements

It is a known fact that one of the best ways of generating high conversion rates is by having high-converting landing pages. Landing pages are standalone web pages with a single purpose – to act as a point of entry for a particular website.

Study has shown that designers have just 50 milliseconds to make a good first impression on a customer. With such little time available, selecting the right design for your marketing can often be the difference between increasing your bounce rate and gaining a new customer.

Related: Graphical Ideas That Add Trust Factor to Your Landing Pages

Ideally, as a designer, you want to make sure that the first page a user sees on your website converts into optimal success.

split a/b testing

Split A/B Testing for Landing Pages

According to Unbounce, “A/B testing is the act of running a simultaneous experiment between two or more pages to see which performs or converts the best”.

To begin an A/B testing, there need to be multiple designs created, amongst which ones will be selected for testing as you please.

According to John Jantsch at Duct Tape Marketing, “landing pages allow you to create a custom-tailored experience for your customers based on current marketing campaigns or targeting”.

He also has this to say about landing pages: “Today, landing pages have simply become a required element in the marketing toolbox for every imaginable business, including local brick and mortar types.”

There is always a difficulty in achieving a balance when it comes to designing landing pages. You have to decide between making data-driven decisions and using your intuition. Your decision should, however, be based on a fine balance of experience, gut instinct and personal opinion as well as data, which most people can find difficult to achieve.

Let’s assume you sell eggs and you normally put them in conventional paper egg crates. You sell an average of 50 crates a week. Then you hear about A/B testing and decide to try out other types of crates for the egg. You try bright coloured plastic crates, and discover you sold 200 crates the following week. This definitely means that the way you displayed the eggs attracted more customers, increasing your sales.

Split A/B Testing Best Practices

There’s no one size fits all when it comes to landing page design. However, there are some basic best practices and processes that increase your chances of making a winning one.

The following steps look at the best practices/processes for A/B testing of landing page elements.

a/b testing

Step 1: Collect Data

This involves taking a look at your site’s analytics and identifying high traffic areas, as well as pages with low conversion rates that need to be improved on. It is preferable to begin with high traffic pages as this will allow you gather data faster and you have more data to work with.

Step 2: Identify Goals

“Goals are the desired results of a process,” says Brendan Wilde, marketing manager at Umbrellar Cloud Hosting. “The goals set are the metrics which would determine which variation of an element is more successful than the other and works best for your site. Goals in this instance can exist in any form; for us at Umbrellar for example, our set goals could be the number of visitors to a landing page, or the number of enquiries and sign ups we get in a week.”

Step 3: Develop a Hypothesis

A hypothesis can be described as a prediction. Once you have identified the goals, it is necessary to come up with a hypothesis of why you think one approach will work better than the current one. Start by having a list of ideas you want to use for a new approach and prioritize them. It might take some research from you to come up with a list of ideas. You can also take a look at what other people are doing, to inspire you.

Step 4: Create Variations

This step comes after you have your hypothesis ready.

Create variations of the elements you want to test. Use an A/B testing tool to make changes to an element of your website or mobile app. Most of the best A/B testing tools have a visual editor, so you can easily make changes to the color of a button, hiding navigation elements, or custom made changes.

split a/b testing

Step 5: Run Experiments

Kickstart by launching your tests and wait for visitors to participate. As visitors come to your site or app, collect data about which variation or approach works best. Visitors’ interactions with each variation is collected, measured, and compared, giving an insight into what works best.

Step 6: Analyze Results

After you complete your experiment, the next action to take is to analyze the results from the test carried out. The A/B testing software will present the data from the experiment and show you how the two variations performed. If one variation performed much better than the other, you can switch your site or app over to the version that works best. You can continue iterating the experiment to improve your results.

Some elements you should consider testing:

  • The main headline: try a smaller headline versus a longer headline; no headline versus having one; different header style; font size; and positioning of the headline.
  • The Call to Action (CTA): text in a button, for example, ‘buy now’ versus ‘purchase item’; action of the button; shape and size of the button; changing the button position; and multiple call to action buttons versus a single call to action button.
  • Text block: Long versus short text; using bullet points versus normal text; SEO optimized versus human readable text; or no text at all.
  • Form testing: long versus short; and same page form versus multipage text.
  • Copy testing: Long copy versus short copy.
  • Pricing Strategies
  • Landing Page Image
  • Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
  • Sales Copy Text font
  • Style Page Layout and Design

Conclusion

A/B testing is not all about guess work but is rather a deliberate effort to understand user behaviour and why users react positively to results you receive from the experiment, leading to further improvement of your landing page design.

A/B testing is unique for its simplicity and availability of free tools, which if successfully used, will definitely improve your conversion rates.

This post was written by James Cummings, a business psychologist and serial entrepreneur, with over a decade working in finance, IT, marketing and recruitment sectors. He has authored numerous books in the management space and is Founder and CEO of www.dailyposts.co.uk.

The post Split A/B Testing Graphical Elements of Your Landing Pages: Best Practices to Test and Quantify Conversion Value of Landing Page Elements appeared first on SpyreStudios.


SpyreStudios

29 About Us Pages for Design Inspiration

About pages are the perfect place to set the tone for your website. What kind of company are you? Are you serious and responsible, quirky and avant-garde, or somewhere in the middle? Check out these about pages for design inspiration below!

Moz

about us page design inspiration

Mike Kus

about us page design inspiration

Hubspot

about us page design inspiration

Shape

DDB

about us page design inspiration

LivSo

about us page design inspiration

Food Studio

about us page design inspiration

6tematik

about us page design inspiration

Degordian

about us page design inspiration

Bukwild

about us page design inspiration

Letters, Inc.

about us page design inspiration

Heads Of State

about us page design inspiration

Harbr

about us page design inspiration

TBWA

about us page design inspiration

TOWA

about us page design inspiration

McCann

about us page design inspiration

MailChimp

about us page design inspiration

Amy Porterfield

about us page design inspiration

Fender

about us page design inspiration

 

Photoshelter

about us page design inspiration

 

GIPHY

about us page design inspiration

KickStarter

about us page design inspiration

500px

about us page design inspiration

Wix

about us page design inspiration

99designs

about us page design inspiration

Eva Black

about us page design inspiration

Hello Lovely

about us page design inspiration

Whoa Nelly Catering

about us page design inspiration

Squarespace

about us page design inspiration

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The post 29 About Us Pages for Design Inspiration appeared first on SpyreStudios.


SpyreStudios

How Team Sprout Uses Its LinkedIn Company Pages Report

As a SaaS B2B company, LinkedIn has become an increasingly important part of our social strategy. Our senior leadership is always interested in our LikedIn follower demographics and wants to better understand how this group is interacting with our content.

That’s why Sprout’s LinkedIn Company Pages Report is so important for our team. It makes it easier for us to distill and present valuable data and insight to internal stakeholders. Monitoring the activities and demographic data of our Page followers—particularly, knowing the industries to which they belong and tracking content engagement patterns—has been crucial in managing and evolving our LinkedIn strategy.

We also use the report to track the progress of our overarching business goals. One of our team’s 2015 objectives is to grow our LinkedIn Page community to include more followers that are at the Director level or higher. The follower demographics section of the report aggregates the professional titles of those who are following our Page, which gives us a clear sense of who our audience is and helps us target our content accordingly. With the LinkedIn Company Pages Report we’re able to measure and monitor our 2015 goal and identify that 31% of our followers are at the Director level or higher.

Sprout Social LinkedIn Company Pages Report

Engagement metrics like impressions, comments, clicks and shares help us understand which content is contributing to our Page’s overall success. We’re even able to map our publishing behavior against our impressions and draw correlations between outbound message volume and its positive or negative impact on audience growth. With access to this insight we were able to demonstrate a 4.3% gain in followers and a 373.7% increase in published posts over the course of four months. Since its launch, the LinkedIn Pages Report has been a beneficial addition to our reporting suite and has empowered our team with the data we need to analyze trends and draw conclusions that influence our digital marketing efforts.

This post How Team Sprout Uses Its LinkedIn Company Pages Report originally appeared on Sprout Social.


Sprout Social

Page Layout Research: What the “Where’s Waldo?” books can teach us about designing better pages

What can “Where’s Waldo?”, the lovable children’s book series of the ‘90s, teach us about designing better page layouts?

A lot, it turns out.

In UX, we use different page layouts to help organize information and guide the users’ eye path. The “F” pattern, for instance, is commonly used for article heavy sites to guide the users’ eye path downward while supporting headline scanning. Reddit, Google News and Buzzfeed all use the “F” pattern layout.

F Pattern

“F” Pattern (Source)

One of the earliest layout patterns, and the one still most commonly used today, is the Gutenberg diagram. Originally conceived in the ‘50s by Edmond C. Arnold to help organize newspaper layouts, the Gutenberg diagram breaks the page down into quadrants and explains how the user interacts visually with each quadrant. In the diagram, the primary optical area is the upper left quadrant where the eye path naturally begins.

The lower right quadrant, the terminal area, is where the eye path ends. Gravity pulls the eyes diagonally between the two quadrants leaving the upper right and lower left quadrants largely out of the eye path.

gutenberg diagram

The Gutenberg Diagram (Source)

While it is very western centric, the Gutenberg diagram  makes sense. We read top to bottom, left to right, so our eyes are naturally drawn to the upper left of a page when first looking at it. As we scan the page, our eyes end up at the bottom right of the page.

We’re taught to follow this general eye path as soon as we learn to read. Even today, we utilize this pattern when designing web pages because it leverages our tendencies to follow that eye path. It’s rare to find a web site where the company logo isn’t in the upper left corner.

So what does this have to do with Waldo?

Randy Olson recently published an article on how to find Waldo in under 10 seconds (and trust me, it works.) Olson mapped all of the points where Waldo was hiding in the seven main Where’s Waldo books. Then he ran those points through an algorithm that found the optimal eye path to use to spot Waldo quickly. As part of his research, Olson created a kernel density estimate   to illustrate where Waldo is most commonly hiding.

Waldo Locations

Waldo’s 68 Hiding Locations Plotted Out (Source)

Waldo kernel density estimate

Olson’s Kernel Density Estimate (Source)

When you overlay the Gutenberg diagram and Olson’s kernel density estimate, something interesting becomes apparent; the highest density of Waldo’s hiding spots fall within the least viewed quadrants of the page. Waldo is most commonly hiding in the areas our eyes are trained to avoid. In fact, 70% of the time, he’s in the upper right or bottom left quadrants of the page.

optical layout map

Optical Layout Map (Source)

What does this teach us about designing page layouts?

If you’re designing a page and want the most important elements to pop out at your visitors, don’t put those elements where Waldo would be hiding.

Use the primary optical area and the terminal area as your main points of reference for important information.

And always remember that no matter what you do, we don’t optimize web pages, we optimize thought sequences. Guide your visitor through a thoughtful conversation. Eye path  and page layouts are simply tools to help you do that. But don’t forget that they are simply means, not ends.

Bonus: In case you read this whole thing JUST to find out how to find Waldo in under 10 seconds, 80% of the time, Olson’s optimized eye path to find Waldo is below. Happy hunting.

Waldo optimal search path

Olson’s “Where’s Waldo?” Optimal Search Path (Source)

 

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Ecommerce Optimization in 8 Minutes: How to increase the performance of your category pages with a clear value proposition

A clear value proposition is at the heart of any business. But in the ecommerce space, where commodities are much more common, it’s incredibly difficult to compete and also be clear about the value your product brings to the market.

In this eight-minute video, Flint McGlaughlin optimizes a page submitted by Ruby of Armstrong Ceiling Solutions and talks mainly about how this page, and pages like it across the industry, can benefit from a clear, compelling value proposition.

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Optimizing Software Landing Pages: How to minimize anxiety and maximize conversion in a free download

Downloading software is a difficult decision. As consumers, we’ve been burned by so many software downloads that have spyware, adware and malware hidden inside them.

Making that decision to download more attractive is exactly what Flint McGlaughlin walks through in this video.

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