Last week Three Deep’s Director of Optimization, Angie Schottmuller, headed to South Beach Florida for the Interactivity Digital Conference where she presented on Conversion Optimization. She provided the audience with 6 Power Tricks of the Trade that are sure to help you get more conversions! Here are some of her tips!
Visitors come to your website with a purpose. Of course, your website has a purpose for your business as well, but it’s very important to meet your visitor’s needs first. This often results in developing personas for your landing page, including attitudes, use of time, and what desirable actions the persona would want to achieve.
Good landing pages focus on the relevance, value, and action that users will receive by visiting the landing page. Keeping that in mind, Angie reviews the “essentials” to each landing page, which include:
Once you have all of these essentials designated with content, Angie encourages you to rearrange them until you have a clean and logical layout.
One of the most important aspects of the landing page is the call to action. In her presentation, Angie stressed the importance of having one CTA in a very obvious spot. Going even further, she presented the 12 hour color wheel and encouraged CTAs to have a complementary color to the main color of the landing page, providing a noticeable difference for optimal impact. She also encouraged the audience to stay away from the default CTA “Submit”, and focus on CTAs that maximize the value for a visitor.
Do you get tired of all the fields you have to fill out when you submit a form? Angie encouraged the audience at Interactivity Digital to simplify their web forms by using the following steps.
Visitors value the credibility that a business can provide. Make sure your landing page conveys your credibility by providing testimonials, case studies, industry press or accreditations, awards, and more. Angie also suggested that landing pages can include video to further establish credibility. She also provided a guide to soliciting strong recommendations with questions that help to prompt quick reviews.
The last topic Angie covered in her presentation was including an offer for your landing page. An offer could be a free gift or service, particular savings, an event, or tool that entices a visitor to complete your landing page. If your landing page will likely be accessed by mobile users, Angie stresses the importance of creating click-to-call links on the page so the visitor can be connected to your business with the click of a button.
Angie acknowledged that all of these tips can be overwhelming and hard to understand where to start with your conversion optimization. She encouraged the audience to utilize a 5 second test on the landing pages to see if visitors could remember:
If visitors are having trouble remembering something in particular from that test, it highlights an area for priority on the conversion optimization. To run tests on your website, visit http://www.fivesecondtest.com.
If you have any more questions regarding conversion optimization, we encourage you to contact the Three Deep team for assistance on learning more about how conversion optimization can help you get more qualified leads and improve your costs!
On April 18, 2013, Google announced that Google+ Comments were being enabled into their Blogger platform. Almost overnight, blogs that appeared to have little reactions or comment activity became a vibrant community of reactions and shares.
Since I do not use blogger to host any sites, I went to the Google Analytics blog to find an example of how these comments work when implemented. I checked out my post from last year about Google Analytics for Lead Generation and noticed that the article that once had 0 comments suddenly came to life with 44 comments pulled in from Google+!
The comments on the post were both aesthetically pleasing and also a great way to view all of the activity that had happened around that post. Where I was once concerned that the post didn’t receive a lot of attention, I can now see that many people found it to be useful.
Naturally, blogs that weren’t powered by Blogger wanted to show these comments on their websites as well, so the industrious individuals at Cloud Hero worked to make that dream a reality by releasing a Google+ Comments WordPress Plugin.
Now just about any website can use Google+ comments on their site using this plugin. *Note, this plugin is not officially sanctioned by Google, so install at your own risk.
The best part is that the plugin now supports the ability to maintain your current WordPress comment system in addition to Google+ comments. That means that if you use Disqus, Facebook or even the native WordPress comments system, you won’t lose the comments that are already on your site.
As you can see, I am a big fan of Google+ comments, but with any new technology, we need to make sure we understand the implications of what we are getting ourselves into with adopting a new technology. Here are some implications that come to mind when I think about the adoption of Google+ Comments.
Now that Google+ comments are available, you should assume that every single item you publicly share on Google+ will ultimately become a comment on that website at some point in time. While that should not be a concern in most cases, you will need to make sure you understand your privacy settings before sharing.
Even if you share an article privately, anyone in your circles who is reading that article will see your private comment when they visit that site! For more information on how this works, check out this fantastic Google+ post from Gideon Rosenblatt on his Observations on G+ Comments.
I hear it all of the time “I don’t have time to use another social network, so I won’t use Google+” – but what if another social network came to you? What if you could interact with Google+ right within an article? I think that for most users they will start to use Google+ more often! Google+ comments allows a greater number of visitors to interact with your site, which should increase your sites credibility with Google.
It’s not about how much time is spent on the network, but rather the ability for the network to add value to your every day life. Google is focusing on providing value added features to their Google+ network and these features represent wins in many uncontested battle areas. Enough tactical wins of these nature and Google may just win the war!
I wrote about it and many others have as well: Google+ Directly impacts search results. With Google+ comments now being implemented directly on a site, the amount of engagement that savvy site owners will see between their site and Google+ will increase exponentially. In other words, Google+ started off as important for SEO and now it’s even MORE important. Get onboard before it’s too late.
You may notice that we don’t yet have Google+ comments on our website, and that is for good reason. We are currently working on revamping our site to a new design and web host. As part of that update process, we will also be adding Google+ comments to the site at that time. Stay tuned!
Last month I received a message from Citrix about the renewal of my GoToMyPC account.
After having success with GoToMeeting at Three Deep, I signed up for their GoToMyPC service in order to be able to remotely access my home computer while at work or traveling.
The service is very slick and easy to use, but I haven’t really used it nearly as much as I intended while signing up. In fact, I can’t remember the last time that I actually used the service.
When I received a renewal email from them last month mentioning about how I could save money, I was intrigued. Maybe I could actually save money on this service that I rarely use if I switch plans.
I was appreciative the gesture, but not really motivated to re-up for another year of the service at any price if I wasn’t going to use it.
That’s why I was stunned when I read down further in the email and noticed that if I did not log into my account in the next few weeks, they would cancel my account for me automatically!
While this may not sound convenient to some, I was amazed by the honesty deployed Citrix in this situation. They were more than willing to sacrifice their own revenue in order to make me happy. That is extremely rare these days.
Believe it or not, without this email, they would have likely had a sale from me for another year, because I keep GoToMyPC around simply as a safety net and a guard against the unknown. It appears that this is not necessary, because I should be able to renew my account quickly in the event that I need to access my PC while away from home.
It’s a rarity these days to see such refreshing honesty. The only other company that I have seen make this kind of concession to a customer is actually my colleagues at Three Deep. There have been times where we have sacrificed our own revenue in order to do the right thing for our clients. Citrix appears to be one of those companies as well.
It didn’t take me long to get confused by the Citrix/GoToMyPC gang. The next day I received an email from them telling me that plan was going to renew on March 6th (the same day as before).
So what does that mean? Am I renewing or am I leaving?
It turns out that Citrix actually did renew my account for another year, in spite of their well crafted and thoughtful email the day before. So, I had to pay for another year of renewal for a service that I don’t use, even though their well crafted email said otherwise.
I would argue that Citrix would have been much better off sending me no email at all. Not only have they given me false hope, their system flat out lied to me. They said if I do nothing, I will not be charged. Then they told me I would be charged the next day.
And charge they did.
What would you do in this situation? I actually started writing this blog post out of praise for Citrix, but now I am venting my frustration. Next step is emailing them a link to this article!
Last Tuesday, Three Deep had the honor of hosting a Google Engage Connect Event. Three Deep was one of just a small selection of agencies asked to host this event for small businesses to improve their online marketing initiatives. We were fortunate to have a few of our friends join us despite the snowy weather, both in the office, and online.
Couldn’t make the event? Check out our Storify story, or take a look at our summary below.
Up first was Lisa Gevelber, Director of Marketing for Google. Lisa referenced research that suggests that users of the web can often be using up to four devices at any moment (their computer, television, tablet, smartphone, etc.). As a business, how can you make sure that your message is the one that stands out? She then showed an initiative with Google AdMob that paired traditional ads from leading brands such as Coca-Cola and Volvo and asked the creatives behind them how they’d adapt the tactics to online. The Coca-Cola campaign was featured, based on the 70s ad “Give the World a Coke”.
Featuring both mobile and desktop advertising, users could send a Coca-Cola to an unsuspecting person across the globe and could send translated messages. The recipient’s reaction was captured via video cam and was sent to the sender, along with any messages they sent back.
Lisa stressed the importance of how a brand should strive to establish an emotional connection with their consumers. Google does this in the following three ways:
With the example of Daniel Lee, a father who chronicled his daughter’s childhood through touching messages on Gmail, Google Chrome demonstrated how it can “be there” for all the major milestones. Whether it be integrating Google Maps into an email, or attaching the latest YouTube video, Google Chrome ensures that these all work flawlessly together.
Google also demonstrated how it helps customers achieve their goals by giving businesses a free website via the GXBO initiative. They used Vermont staple, King Arthur Flour to show how a small business can make the most of online with the right website and advertising.
Finally up, was Frank’s Restaurant, a story of a married couple that struggled to get their business moving, and how pairing with Google Reviews helped catapult their business to profits, and popularity.
Lisa stressed that if you’ve ever wanted to get your marketing initiatives off the ground, to start today. You know your customers, try something new that you haven’t done before!
After Lisa’s presentation, John Nicoletti spoke about Google’s research on the Zero Moment of Truth, which addresses how the internet has changed traditional decision-making. Whether it’s checking a smartphone for the latest coupon to buy a mascara, or discovering a review about a new restaurant, being aware of the Zero Moment of Truth is helpful for businesses of all sizes.
John informed the viewers that 83% of people consult reviews, and 58% of these people say that reviews do affect their purchase decision significantly. Additionally, 84% of smartphone users perform in-store research while shopping. The need for businesses to be accessible via reviews and mobile experiences has never been greater.
John says the best way to win the Zero Moment of Truth is to do the following:
John encouraged viewers to map their moments of truth for their business and then to download the ZMOT Handbook.
After John’s presentation, Bickey Russell helped to close things by addressing the importance of working with an agency, and how Google is equipping agencies to help small businesses succeed.
At the end of the presentation, our Vice President, Jeff Sauer told attendees that no matter the business, the principles that Google shared can be applied to any industry, and Three Deep is excited to help businesses discover how to better reach their audience. If you are curious how we can assist your business in leveraging these tactics or want a copy of the full recording, we encourage you to contact us today!
Last week Google Announced major changes to their AdWords platform by rolling out an “Upgrade” to AdWords called Enhanced Campaigns. This is one of the largest changes to the AdWords system in years and has been discussed quite frequently by search marketers across the globe.
While this may be an actual enhancement for some, we view it as mostly marketing speak by Google to put a positive spin on a fairly unpopular set of changes among search marketers.
The basic premise of Enhanced Campaigns is that Google wants search marketers to stop thinking about their campaigns as Mobile vs. Desktop searches and start looking at campaigns as one. This can cut down on management time needed to work on campaigns, but also upsets most smart search marketers who are used to creating and managing separate Desktop and Mobile campaigns in order to control for bid and user experience disparities.
The main reason for a backlash and negativity toward these changes are that mobile traffic does not always convert as well as desktop traffic for certain industries and objectives. For example, an e-commerce website may have a much lower conversion rate from mobile visitors than desktop visitors. With an “enhanced” campaign, it will be more difficult to weed out poor performing traffic. While you can reduce your bids on mobile by a % of traffic, the concern is that reports will no longer be transparent about which clicks are desktop and which are mobile. This can very easily drive up costs for many programs without delivering incremental results.
Here is a summary of the changes that come along with enhanced campaigns:
Dislike. While some of the features of enhanced campaigns may be ultimately beneficial, we dislike the fact that this is a forced change. Google has not had a great history of forcing changes with search marketers and taking away their ability to optimize accounts. For example, last year when Google forced ad rotation changes, it was such an unpopular move that they were forced to repeal their change and allow indefinite, even ad rotation.
I have a feeling that the forced merging of Mobile and Desktop campaigns may also be repealed in the future.
Like. This will be a very positive addition to optimization of AdWords. The ability to analyze effectiveness of individual sitelinks in PPC will result in more conversions and potential cost savings. A win-win for marketers and Google.
Like. Three Deep has been using a 60 second methodology to help determine if a call is a legitimate sales opportunity for years. It is good to see Google also adopt this policy. Why 60 seconds? Because it is long enough to ensure that the call is not wrong number, misdial or other low quality calls. This is not saying that all calls over 60 seconds are legitimate sales leads, but it does indicate that the call was at least connected.
Mixed. User context optimization is the ability to adjust your bids by a number of factors. Do you want to reduce your mobile bids by 70% at night? This can easily be done with user context optimization. While this sounds good and is great marketing sizzle, I don’t see how it will really play out to make things more simple. It seems as if this type of targeting just makes everything a lot more complex for people managing campaigns and has a lot of opportunity to do more harm than good.
Like. I love any change that gives marketers more power to increase response from customers and lower overall costs. While this may make things more complex to manage, savvy agencies will use this to the advantage of their clients.
We like most changes outside of the Enhanced Campaigns, but enhanced campaigns is such a large change that it makes the positive developments bittersweet for many marketers. While we remain hopeful that the merging of mobile and desktop will have minimal impact on rising costs, that still remains to be seen. The other changes to the platform are mostly quite positive and will help marketers get more bang for their buck!
What do you think of the new Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns? Feel free to leave a comment whether you agree or disagree!
Inspired by an excellent local Minnesota blogger, Arik Hanson, and his top 10 posts of 2012 meme, I thought it would be fun to go through the top 10 posts on the Three Deep blog for 2012.
The methodology used follows what was recommended by Google’s Adam Singer on a Google+ post, which featured instructions as well as a custom dashboard to make this super easy to do.
10) Home Improvement Contractors Should Avoid Yellow Pages PPC – Part 2 by Tom Audette and Jeff Sauer
The second half of our series on home improvement and PPC from traditional yellow pages companies.
9) Only 15% of Small Businesses Have Claimed Their Google+Local Listing by Tom Audette
Staggering statistic when you think about it.
8) Why We Created Crossfuse by Jeff Sauer
Jeff’s opus on why Crossfuse is solving a very important market need.
7) Social Analytics Tools vs. Google Analytics by Diane Kulseth
Great post from Diane outlining why social analytics tools don’t always get you the data you truly need.
6) Home Improvement Contractors Should Avoid Yellow Pages Paid Search Programs by Tom Audette and Jeff Sauer
The title says it all. Avoid these low quality programs if you want to succeed online.
5) Home Improvement Infographic by Mark Roussin
This would be higher if it weren’t posted in November. Mark showcases a highlight of his internship with Three Deep – the creation of a fantastic infographic.
4) 8 SEO Predictions for 2012 – Our Grades by Three Deep SEO Team
The Three Deep SEO team grades predictions by industry Expert Rand Fishkin
3) It’s Never too Late to Automate, but Sometimes it’s too Soon by Jeff Sauer
Many people have “tool envy” and seek out the latest and greatest tool available to make their job easier… only to have the tool fail. Learn why this happens so often.
2) 3 Not So Easy Ways to Remove Twitter Spam Followers by Diane Kulseth
A great tale of how Diane decided to clean up some of the spam followers she received from her Twitter account.
1) Why All Online Home Improvement Lead Generation Services Suck by Tom Audette
Why was this the #1 post of the year? The Title! How could you not read that post if you saw it pop up on your screen?
Have you done a wrap up post to highlight what you wrote in 2012? Let us know if you want to learn how!
Last night I received an email from Amazon that I viewed on my smartphone showcasing their upcoming Black Friday deals. It looked fairly standard in presentation, with a television, a computer and a tablet showcased in the email. Being in marketing, we see hundreds of presentations, blog posts and emails that have similar pictures. We are in a multi-device world, blah blah. But what made Amazon’s email different was that the image on all 3 of the screens displayed in their email were animated GIFs! These images rendered beautifully on my phone, with the animations seamlessly working with little noticeable effect on download time. When I got home, I noticed the same thing in my Mac mail client. Beautiful animation. Even though the email is simply an enticement for me to go to Amazon’s website and purchase, I have kept it in my inbox so that I can constantly refer back to it as a good example of inviting emails. That is something that almost never happens for email marketing campaigns.
This remains to be seen. While both animated GIFs and Email Marketing are more than 15 years old, I rarely recall seeing them working in harmony in email marketing campaigns. I am guessing this is for a few reasons:
Because the cycle of planning and sending emails is often date driven and under the gun to get out on time, it becomes very difficult to add extra frills to the campaign. Animated GIFs add extra time that many people simply do not have available. Amazon is able to do this because they likely have a tightly integrated team who is able to plan out these executions. As is the case with most E-commerce innovation, Amazon is clearly a leader in email marketing for e-commerce as well.
Try starting with a full service agency that has creative, strategy and delivery services under one roof. Three Deep has developed all of these core competencies into our email marketing team, our teams sit right next to each other, and we would love the opportunity to take on your groundbreaking and challenging email marketing campaigns!
When it comes to marketing in the home improvement industry, it can be hard to understand the importance of getting your business online. The value of an online presence for a home improvement contractor is invaluable and research proves it. To highlight this, Three Deep has been hard at work visualizing data about how internet users search for home improvement services online by creating this home improvement infographic. Take a look!
Continue Reading Home Improvement Infographic →
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If you search on Google for a famous person, you may see something that looks like this:
This box, located in the right hand corner of a search results page, is what Google calls a Knowledge Graph, and is an attempt to answer common questions without needing to leave the search results page. In most cases, the Google Knowledge Graph trumps any ads from displaying on that page, making their search results a purely organic experience.
As a daily Google searcher, from almost its inception, I am so accustomed to seeing the old format that I am still surprised each time the Knowledge Graph pops up. Even though it’s not a major change to the way search works, I’m left scratching my head pondering the question “is this bad, or just different?”
The design snob in me can appreciate the way that Google stays on brand with a consistently uniform results page across multiple platforms (mobile, desktop and tablet results are consistent across devices).
But aside from the aesthetics, what is really going on here? Why is there so much space left below the Knowledge Graph? As a digital marketer I’m wondering why Google is going about this going completely ad free for these results pages? Only time will tell.
While Google’s Knowledge Graph may not provide many answers for the time being, they are clearly making plenty of room for it in their design. They are also incorporating knowledge graph in an audible way on certain mobile device searches.
How will all of this affect Google’s main source of revenue (advertising)? Only time will tell, but I for one am looking forward to the day when Google creates a knowledge graph for me.
What have been your experiences with Knowledge graph? All positive or missing the mark? Let us know in the comments.
Last week, Google made major announcements about upcoming changes to how Google Analytics will function and contribute to the future of digital marketing measurement. At Three Deep, we view all of these changes as improvements to the program, but it should also be noted that a few changes may affect how people currently have Google Analytics configured.
The first major announcement of the week was Universal Analytics, which is a version of Google Analytics that allows us to move away from a session based tracking paradigm over to a user based tracking method. This allows marketers to measure activity by users across multiple computers, devices and mediums. With the proliferation of mobile devices, tablets and multiple computers, this form of measurement is becoming more and more important. It’s also important that Google Analytics adjust to measure the world outside the web, because otherwise the tool is in danger of being left behind for new tools that do a better job of measuring activity in these new mediums.
Without getting too technical, Universal Analytics is achieved by minimizing the reliance on cookies to track visitors, replacing cookies with server-side processing of visit data to increase speed and flexibility. When you send data to Google’s servers, you can also attach a user identifier to that visit that will be used to match up visitors across devices, which is then matched up by Google server side to create a unified picture of how your users interact with various touchpoints.
If you want to learn more about the announcement and get more detail, I live-blogged the Universal Analytics announcement last week, complete with screenshots and explanations from the event.
The AdWords reports in GA are among my favorites, because they allow for end to end analysis right in the tool (you know how much you spent and how much you earned, allowing for an ROI). One of my pet peeves with this report has been that you only can do this level of analysis with AdWords data, and you would need to download data and match up details in excel to do this analysis for Bing, Facebook or LinkedIn.
Now this is something that you can do by uploading your cost data into Google Analytics using the API or an application provider like Next Analytics (an excellent tool and friend of Three Deep).
Read Google’s announcement on this integration here.
With Universal Analytics, we will now be able to import external data into Google Analytics to be used in measurement. This external data can be turned into dimensions that we can use to further enhance our reporting capabilities within the tool (for example, we can create a dimension such as gender or age).
You will be able to create up to 20 custom dimensions in a free GA account. This will give significantly more flexibility than what can be achieved currently with Custom Variables. It will also eliminate the need to code each page with custom variables, allowing for retroactive data matching since all dimensions will be based on the data you import.
You can use dimension widening to better understand activity that is happening offline, outside of your standard website metrics. Does your website generate a lot of leads and phone calls? You can now import lead status and sales data into Google Analytics for complete online/offline customer measurement.
Websites must have universal analytics configured to take advantage of Dimension widening and Offline Measurement, because this data is tied to the Unique ID that you assign to your website users.
One of the things that we should also address is that some of these changes by Google to a virtually cookie-less tracking solution will take away our ability to do crazy integrations with cookie data. This may mean that some integrations will be phased out in their current form (like pulling data out of cookies and pushing into your CRM system, and phone call tracking replicating cookies). For lead generation sites that rely on these integrations, this is a drawback and a loss of functionality.
However, the good news is that these will ultimately be replaced by a simpler method for achieving the same effect (integration between your offline and web analytics data). It also paves the way for many more advanced integrations and mash-ups. The long term benefits of moving away from cookies outweigh any minor setbacks we may see along the way. I wouldn’t be surprised if phone call tracking solutions begin to tout their improved Google Analytics integration in the near future.
As someone who is fascinated by web measurement and passionate about unlocking insight from website visitor data, I am very excited about what we have in store for the future. Google Analytics has long been the leader in making web measurement easier to grasp and now they are helping marketers measure activities well beyond the screen.
Whether you are just learning about web analytics or have been measuring for years, these announcements and product upgrades will only help bring measurement to the forefront of the decisions we make as marketers in the future.
Are you as excited about these advancements as we are?