This is a guest post from Johnathan Dane, Founder and CEO of KlientBoost.
Wondering why you’re being plagued with low conversion rates and high first-page bounce rates?
As marketers—we’ve all been there.
If you stop to reflect on your audience’s user experience once they land on your page, you might notice that it’s not so inviting after all.
The reality is, that first-page form field might be dissuading your visitors without you even knowing it.
The Breadcrumb Technique helps address the issue of aggressive single-page form fields and gives you the tools to create a much more effective landing page user experience.
The Breadcrumb Technique refers to the use of multi-step landing page forms in order to get visitors to micro-convert all the way to the desired conversion action. Just like Hansel and Gretel who left themselves breadcrumbs in order to find their way back home, the technique uses the same principle in guiding a potential converter with low-threat questions until the very end.
There is a common misconception that having fewer forms means a greater chance that a visitor will convert. It’s understandable. After all, “less is more,” right?
While there are certainly cases where this is true, quite the opposite has also been proven to happen. If you know how to leverage them, adding more low-threat questions in progression can actually reduce conversion anxiety, thus leading to higher conversion rates.
Unbounce describes conversion anxiety as:
“What your prospect feels when confronted with friction on your landing page or website. Anxiety occurs when your page poorly communicates your value proposition or creates doubt in the user’s mind.”
Stirring up conversion anxiety can bring issues like fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) into play. And when you’re a marketer trying to get a visitor to leave his/her name, email, and phone number, FUD is the last thing you want.
So what is it about single-page form fields that causes user anxiety?
If we try to channel some user empathy, we can get a good idea of why visitors might be feeling anxious when converting.
Let’s say you’re thinking about replacing the carpet in your house:
At this point, the form has already come on too strong. While you wanted to start looking for the best prices on carpet installers, you probably weren’t ready to share your information and be contacted by a salesperson.
They’ll most likely give you an aggressive sales pitch that you just aren't ready for.
These are all things the Breadcrumb Technique solves.
To answer this question, first understand two forms of user psychology. We’ll focus on the “yes” ladder and compliance psychology.
This is a type of persuasion method focused on getting your visitors to say “yes” to small, less aggressive questions in order to gain their trust. From there, you slowly start asking slightly more aggressive questions until the “ultimate ask” or goal is reached.
Here’s an example of a three-step form - image source
You can see that the first step asks very low-threat questions, staying away from personal information. The second step’s questions are a tad more aggressive, qualifying questions. And the last page asks for the actually valuable, desired, contact information.
Take note that these questions don’t have to be pointless. Figure out what qualifying questions would constitute a high-quality lead for your business and implement them on separate pages.
Now, you may be asking, “Why would they continue answering if they started seeing multiple pages anyway? They might not even give me their info once they reach the end.”
All valid questions. That’s where compliance psychology comes in.
This is the idea that a marketer can put their “foot-in-the-door” with a potential converter using small, low-threat questions, thus leading to a better chance that they’ll answer the next question in the sequence.
In simplest terms, they’ve already committed to the first set of questions, so they might as well answer the next ones until they’ve finished what they started.
Here’s an example of a two-step form - image source
Whether you should be using a two-step, three-step, or even five-step form is all based on testing. Try A/B testing each length until you find the number of pages that show you an increase in conversions. If you notice conversion rates decreasing as a result of too many form field pages, you'll know you’ve gone too far.
It’s also a good idea to test the qualifying questions that you use in the intermediary steps of your forms. They could just as well lead to improved conversion rates if people identify effortlessly.
That was a lot of emotions to take in for a landing page optimization topic! But it’s added a lot of understanding on how your visitors feel about their user experience.
Remember: the main goal of conversion rate optimization is always to increase conversion rates. So although this method is about user psychology, the technique still follows any business's main objective—to increase revenue.
This is a guest post from Johnathan Dane, Founder and CEO of KlientBoost.
Landing pages, especially eCommerce landing pages, have just one job — to get visitors to buy something.
But if eCommerce "best practices suck and are worthless," as GetUplift founder and conversion optimization expert Talia Wolf says, how do you make improvements that actually move the needle?
Well, as most marketers would agree, the strongest tactics and best “best practices” are always based on hard-earned data. So we’ve collected five eCommerce landing page tips and tactics that have created significant, measurable growth for eCommerce vendors.
In fact, the first example shows the importance of collecting measurable results in the first place…
Creating an eCommerce landing page without testing in place is like shooting a basketball with a blindfold on. You might get lucky and score once or twice, but you won’t improve if you can’t see what you’re doing.
Let’s take one common landing page bugaboo, page length, for example. Some conversion experts cite short landing pages as their favorite examples. Others will tell you to go long.
For example, SEO software provider Moz created a landing page variant that replaced their basic model with an entire buyer’s journey:
They say size doesn’t matter, but… - image source
In the end, the test results showed a 30% higher conversion rate for the longer page. So longer pages are better, right?
Well, in the second test, below, the shorter landing page variant increased conversions by 70.1%:
Wait, size really doesn’t matter? So confusing. - image source
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for the length of your landing page—but there is a way to find out what your visitors want.
How, you ask? Test it.
Testing variations on your landing page is the only surefire way to find out what your particular audience needs to convert. The right page length — just like the right headline, the right call to action, and the right form fields — is easier to find when you can back up blue-sky ideas with real information.
In both instances above, the data provided measurable results (not educated guesses) that the designers could work from and improve upon.
Testing elements of your landing page and making changes based on those results will help you close gaps in your conversion funnel and bring in more qualified leads.
Here’s another example: one of our recent clients, a Southern California-based credit union, increased their landing page conversion rate by 174% and reduced cost per conversion by 81% — after just one round of testing.
The three different examples prove the same tactics’ value through-and-through: strategies are one thing, testing and providing actionable data is another. The strongest changes and strategies aren’t based on hunches, they are built on cold, hard, numbers.
The Breadcrumb Technique is a fancy term for multi-stage landing page forms.
With this tactic, you don’t ask for your visitor’s name, phone number, and email up front. Instead, you start with some qualifying questions to demonstrate that you and your visitor are a good fit for each other. This filter also helps reduce leads that weren’t going to convert anyway.
In this example, the Advanced Grass’s landing page form wasn’t converting well, despite the incentives and benefits listed throughout the page:
Advanced Grass’s original four-question form. - image source
Instead of reducing the number of form fields or changing the offer entirely, this landing page added an initial stage of questions before the contact information request:
Stage one of Advanced Grass’s new two-stage landing page form. - image source
Adding questions with preset responses before the contact form actually boosted Advanced Grass’s conversion rate by 214%.
Adding more questions might seem counterintuitive if you’re trying to reduce user friction, but the Breadcrumb Technique is effective for three simple reasons.
First, inciting engagement is much easier if your lead off with low-impact, non-threatening questions like those in the second image above. Compliance Psychology states that the smaller the initial ask, the more likely you are to receive a yes as your request grows in size and significance.
Once you have your “foot in the door,” high-impact questions like contact information becomes less threatening.
Second, user psychology. Getting visitors to answer your innocuous first-stage questions, especially questions that don’t require personal information, creates a commitment that they’ll naturally want to follow through to the end.
Third, if you have your tracking set up correctly, you can start to identify where in your conversion form users are giving up. Maybe your initial questions are perfect and users are starting to convert, but your offer is still too strong and users are “bouncing” between the penultimate and final stages of your form. This type of actionable data makes it easier to tweak your offer.
Either way, the Breadcrumb Technique primes your conversion forms for more engagement and more quality leads.
Dynamic keyword insertion (DKI) allows you to customize your ad text without creating an overwhelming number of ad groups.
DKI is a useful tool for eCommerce systems with large inventories or products with different names but the same description. By inserting specific terms that match searches, your users will be more likely to convert.
In this example, AskNicely is promoting software that records and reports customer feedback through Net Promoter Scores (NPS), which can appear under a variety of searches. The primary term, “software,” appears in the original headline, but if a user looks specifically for “NPS software,” that phrase appears in place of the original word:
The keyword or phrase you searched for would determine which headline you’d see in the ad above. - image source
DKI can also help with reaching a local audience. If you’re trying to reach a specific geographic area with your marketing, the same feature that inserts the location name into your ad can add it to your landing page, like in the section below:
Will Northern Ontario have to keep shopping for carpet the hard way? - image source
Dynamic Keyword Insertion adds specificity to your eCommerce efforts that make your landing pages seem more personal, local, and attuned to your user’s needs.
An AYTM Market Research study found that, even online, American buyers largely prefer the personalized service and local benefits of purchasing from small businesses over large companies.
By adapting your copy to match the local and/or specialized keywords your audience is looking for, you’re more likely to engage and convert these visitors into qualified leads.
Micro-conversions are the steps a visitor must take to convert on your landing page.
While they don’t count as actual conversions, some trackable landing page micro-conversions include time on site, video views, partial form completion, cart abandonment and more.
When clothing subscription service Le Tote wanted to increase the scale of their online advertising, they realized they wouldn’t get far without tracking and improving upon the steps that led to a conversion.
It’s like Rent-a-Swag, but not ridiculous. - image source
By combining updated landing pages with micro-conversion tracking, Le Tote was able to increase conversions by more than 250% and reduce cost per conversion by more than 60%.
Think of each successful micro-conversion as a forward step on your “conversion bridge,” which users need to cross to complete your desired action.
Tracking micro-conversions can illuminate where users are getting hung up on your landing page, which will help you address those obstacles and make your landing page more effective.
Adding a live chat box to your eCommerce landing page can also improve your qualified leads, conversion rates, and sales. By actively engaging your visitors, you can guide them through the sales funnel and respond to their concerns in real time.
Financial software provider Intuit added a live chat box on their product comparison page and saw sales increase by 211%:
Having a specialist on hand to answer questions is especially useful for large or complex online transactions. – image source
Intuit also tested a “Chat Now” prompt on their shopping cart page to offer assistance during the later stages of the buying cycle and reduce cart abandonment:
Note the message match: Because QuickBooks is in the shopping cart, it’s mentioned in the chat prompt. – image source
The live chat on this page led to a 43% increase in average order value and a 20% boost in conversion rate.
An eDigitalResearch customer service survey found that consumers preferred live chat for customer service over email, phone, and social media. Furthermore, 67% of the respondents that were already using live chat found it easy to use, and 73% said they were highly satisfied with their system.
Live chat boxes can help you reduce any friction your visitors may be experiencing while allowing them to chat anonymously, which is less pressure than phone, email or video chat. It also helps build confidence in your brand and puts your users at ease; they know that you’re an expert who is ready and waiting to help them in any way they may need.
Implementing these five tips and tactics into your own eCommerce landing pages can help you increase your conversion rate, leading to more qualified leads, sales, and improved customer value.
But keep in mind, just as the first tactic stressed, eCommerce campaigns are peculiar little beasts. Each will bring its own problems, pain points, and solutions. So make sure you take the time to customize your campaigns and testing to your audience to get the best results possible.
This marketing infographic is part of KlientBoost’s 25-part series. We’re super excited to partner with them so you can enjoy a new gifographic once a day in your inbox. You should subscribe here.
If you’re already using Google AdWords to your advantage, there’s a good chance you’re using pizza to your advantage, too.
Not when it comes to PPC, but when it comes to being happy.
Pizza is part of a well-balanced marketer. And while you need balance in your diet, you also need balance in your AdWords account.
That’s why we here at KlientBoost, in partnership with Marin, have created the AdWords Performance Pizza—eight parts that'll help you take your AdWords account to the next level.
Perfectly sliced for easy (and delicious) consumption.
This is a guest post from Johnathan Dane, Founder of KlientBoost.
Have you ever thought your Google advertising account should be performing better?
You may be following the advice of many that say that the more time you spend in your account, the better.
But what if it’s all backwards?
What if it only takes you 10 minutes a week to improve your Google advertising performance?
If your Google campaign performance hasn’t been improving month over month like the table below, then keep reading.
It’s about to get interesting. Let’s get started.
If you’re running any type of display or remarketing campaign, you might find that your display ads are showing up on websites, apps, or even video overlays that aren’t performing well.
Overall though, you might be decently happy with your display performance, but always wondered if it could do better.
[caption id="attachment_7076" align="alignnone" width="500"]
Take a look at your Automatic placements under your Dimensions tab[/caption]
To start the “performance pruning”, see which Automatic placements either have a cost per conversion that’s too high, or better yet, which placements are actually bringing in sales (not just conversions) by equipping your Google advertising Final URLs with ValueTrack parameters.
This will then help you get more conversion volume out of those specific placements when you extract and target them exclusively through a new campaign.
Search term reports are such an important part of regular Google advertising maintenance that it’s not uncommon that some people do this more frequently than brushing their teeth.
When looking at your search term report, get as close as possible to making sure your search terms and keywords have no discrepancies between them.
In other words, your Added / Excluded column from your search term report should have the green “Added” label going down the list for as long as possible, just like this:
[caption id="attachment_7077" align="alignnone" width="500"]
This gives you a much stronger control of what you’re paying for[/caption]
When that happens, you can make your ads specific to not your keywords, but your search terms and see higher click-through-rates from your efforts.
Let’s say you look at your search term report and find your search terms and keywords don’t match. The first thing you should do is extract your search terms with the most impressions and create what are called Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGs).
Just like the name implies, SKAGs are ad groups that only allow one keyword per ad group, that then have corresponding ads that are extremely specific to that keyword.
Did you know that the last keyword and/or ad clicked always gets to lionshare of conversion credit?
What if there were seven other touchpoints (impression and ad clicks) that happened before the final conversion? Wouldn’t you want to know what helped assist that conversion?
I know I would.
If you don’t care, there’s a good chance you’ll pause keywords and placements that don’t get the conversion credit. But, when you do, you’re strangling your account at the same time, without even knowing it.
Let’s take a look at your Google advertising attribution.
Inside your account, go to the top of your Google advertising interface and click Tools > Attribution.
Once you’re there, take a look at the Time Lag report on the left side. Here, you can see how long it takes people to convert from either first impression, first click, or last click.
[caption id="attachment_7078" align="alignnone" width="500"]
Here’s a look at first impression conversion delay of 6.19 days[/caption]
This will help you make your nurture and/or retargeting campaigns more of a priority to test.
Are you a local, statewide, nationwide, or even an international advertiser?
No matter how big an area you’re targeting, every geographic hill, slope, mountain, and valley performs differently. The same thing goes for individual states and cities.
And, because you can’t target people who live on just a hill (yet), the next best thing is to understand the performance of each state or city that sees your ads.
[caption id="attachment_7079" align="alignnone" width="500"]
To see this report, go to your Dimensions tab, then View -> User locations[/caption]
As you can see above, the state of New York may be costing more per conversion than others. So, you may want to add in negative bid modifiers at the state level, like this screenshot shows.
You can then drill even deeper and create new campaigns with state level campaign targeting, and give bid modifiers to individual cities within that specific state to get your closer to your cost per conversion goals.
You can take it even further and start utilizing city specific ad copy and landing pages with area code specific phone numbers, to appear more local to visitors and increase your conversion rates.
As I’m sure you’re already aware of, Google advertising doesn’t allow you to separate devices in their own campaigns like they used to.
These days, you have to group desktop and tablets together in the same campaign. And while Google may say that both those devices perform similarly, there are thousands of Google advertising accounts out there that say something completely different.
Here’s the truth: Desktops and tablets will never perform the same way.
I’m not just speaking from a conversion rate standpoint, but also from a sales standpoint.
When Google told the world that devices don’t matter, but user context does, they certainly never thought of every single industry, but more so of a blanket band-aid that would apply to “most advertisers”.
Believe it or not, there are some workarounds you can use to get desktop, tablet, and mobile campaigns in their own campaigns and still target the search and/or display network.
But first, let’s look at how we find current device performance differences within your account.
[caption id="attachment_7082" align="alignnone" width="500"]
Here’s how you find that info[/caption]
First, go to Segment then Device in the dropdown.
[caption id="attachment_7083" align="alignnone" width="500"]
This will expand your view with three extra rows[/caption]
As you can see in the screenshot above, our mobile devices are giving us the lowest cost per conversion while tablets are sucking it up and being the most expensive.
Now let’s say for a minute that your tablet performance is just as good as your desktop performance (like Google says it is), but your mobile performance sucks.
You can quickly add in what’s called a negative bid modifier between 1 and 100%.
[caption id="attachment_7084" align="alignnone" width="500"]
Go to Settings -> Devices and increase or decrease in the red square[/caption]
If you never want to target mobile devices, then you can set a negative bid modifier of 100%.
Just like keywords, ads, and landing pages perform differently, so does Monday compared to Thursday, and Saturday compared to Wednesday.
Inside your Google advertising account, you can see this day of the week granularity in a snap. Just head over to Dimensions ->View: Day of the week.
[caption id="attachment_7085" align="alignnone" width="500"]
In this case, Saturdays and Sundays are doing really well[/caption]
Having these kinds of numbers doesn’t mean that you should stop advertising on Thursdays (because it has the highest cost per conversions). But, it could mean that you should start considering “day of the week” bid modifiers like we did for our devices earlier.
Some industries tend to be very predictable in their weekly trends. If your company falls into a category like that, then take advantage of the control you have and get more aggressive with your bids on great performing days, and taper back on the not so great-performing ones.
Just like we saw how your days perform differently during the week, so do your hours within the day.
And, just as we can create bid modifiers for 24-hour day targeting, we can also take advantage of the same thing with bidding blocks of hours within a certain day of the week, to break it down even further.
[caption id="attachment_7088" align="alignnone" width="498"]
In this screenshot, late mornings and afternoons tend to perform better than mornings[/caption]
If you already have the data and insight that allow you to use this type of granular bidding, then definitely do so.
You might even find that Google or other bidding platforms are restricting how many bid modifications you can make on a daily basis. If that’s the case, I suggest you try using Brainlab’s 24 hour bidding script that allows you to take it one step further, and then some.
Now before I let you go, please keep this in mind:
“With great control, comes great responsibility.”
Having access to all of this data is great, but only if you can be actionable with it to improve your performance.
I see time and time again that people spend countless hours trying to tweak and prune things with modifiers, rules, and even scripts that change bids depending on the weather.
While all of this is great, most of it becomes entirely obsolete as soon as you have a landing page test that improves your conversion rates by 50%. When that happens, all the things you’ve put into place need to be redone.
One thing that will always help you out, no matter your goals, is to extract and target things in a granular fashion that makes sense.
Use the dimensions tab and its reports to your advantage and keep on making progress :)