Landing Pages

In today's customer-centric world, User Experience(UX) plays a crucial role in determining the success or failure of a product. With a singular focus on the target audience and their experience, an expertly-designed UX ensures that users have a seamless, enjoyable, and immersive experience with a product. This, in turn, leads to a steady stream of satisfied and loyal customers. This is why industry giants like Google and Amazon have made UX a fundamental aspect of their business operations.

To stay competitive in today's market, successful companies continually test and iterate their products to align with the evolving needs of their users. Investing in UX has become an essential component for achieving success. Furthermore, UX plays a critical role in elevating the return on investment (ROI) for organizations. This article delves into the ways in which UX design can impact customer satisfaction and boost ROI.

UX and CX: Are they the same? 

The customer experience (CX) covers a customer’s holistic interaction with a brand across multiple touchpoints such as customer service, advertising, brand reputation, sales process, pricing fairness, and product delivery. In short, it is concerned with all the user touch points including social channels. Analyzing CX helps companies to know where their brand is positioned. 

On the other hand, user experience (UX) relates to how a user interacts with a specific product and it focuses mainly on the digital touchpoints of the user like website, applications, and devices. UX primarily focuses on areas such as usability, interaction design, visual design, information architecture, content strategy, and user research. 

CX is a more holistic initiative for customer retention whereas UX design aims at providing a pleasurable and easy experience for the users while using the product. UX is a subset of CX and is essential to enhance ROI

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Both UX and CX have to be in tandem to boost customer loyalty and customer retention.   Let’s see an example of purchasing a product from an online store to illustrate this. 

  • A user logs into the website to search for the product with the desired specification. If the navigation is seamless and product recommendations and customer reviews are personalized, the user can quickly arrive at a decision. 
  • Then, within a few clicks, he can complete the payment. This is a positive user experience. Such an experience will make the user come back as the customer experience was great. 
  • Imagine the package will be delivered to the user on time but the product was defective. 
  • The next step for the user will be to contact customer service to figure out whether the product can be exchanged or not. 
  • If the customer service team promptly responds to the user and resolves the issue, it is a positive customer experience. 

Thus we see how both UX and CX are essential for customer loyalty which is a determining factor of the profitability of the business. 

UX Strategies to Improve CX and ROI

Eliminating the risks of product failure is the main goal of UX to improve customer satisfaction. For this, certain principles of UX have to be focused on. 

  • Usefulness: The design needs to have a purpose, and only user research can help in finding what is useful for the users.  
  • Usability: Valuable insights and feedback have to be gathered from the users to measure the usability of the product and iterate the design accordingly. 
  • Speed: The product design must ensure that it can cater to the fast interactions of the users on the web page/mobile app. 
  • Trends: The UI/UX design has to be relevant and empower users to buy more. 
  • Simplicity: Users like to have simple, accurate, and user-friendly solutions for their pain points. So keep the design as simple as possible. 

A good UX and CX are the pillars of a great ROI. Investing in UX enhances customer satisfaction which directly affects the company’s ROI. Following these core UX strategies will help to create a flawless user-centric design.

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User Research to Create a Customer Persona

Before getting into UX design, UI UX designers need a firm understanding of the user types, their needs, and their pain points. For this, designers interview people who are using similar products, gather feedback from them to identify the pain points, conduct one-to-one meetings or launch online questionnaires to gain valuable insights into customer needs, motivations, and concerns. Keep in mind that the user needs may vary with demographics, interests, and purchase behavior. To summarize, knowing the exact target audience will help tailor user-centric designs that eliminate pain points and deliver the best customer experience. 

Mapping Customer Journeys

The data from customer personas can be applied to design a flawless customer journey. The key touchpoints that customers have with the product are identified and difficulties faced by the customer while interacting with the product are mapped. Using these maps, UI UX designers ensure that every interaction of the customer with the product is seamless. Such customer journey maps eliminate the errors that can arise due to assumptions made by designers. In addition, these maps are a great tool to understand where the customer needs are not met and then iterate the design to serve them better. 

Prototyping and Wireframing 

The design team creates a layout to demonstrate how the key interface elements look and work in a digital product. The layout can be low-fidelity wireframes or high-fidelity wireframes, also known as rapid prototypes. The choice of wireframes depends on the purpose of the design of the product and the requirement of the team members. Such basic skeletons of the design help designers prioritize all the elements with customers at the center point. The high-fidelity prototypes are close to the ultimate version of the product and developing such prototypes helps to gather feedback from the customers at an early stage. 

Testing the Usability 

Usability testing is performed to evaluate the design or prototype with real users. It helps UI UX designers to make corrections and modifications at an early stage of the design process. As discussed earlier, prototyping is the best way to find out the bottlenecks of the UX design and fix them before it goes on a large scale. Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer conducts permanent A/B testing to redesign the product that caters to user needs. 

Why should you calculate ROI for UX? 

UX/UI  improvements in design will deliver brands more positive product reviews, enhanced brand loyalty, considerable reduction in user errors, and better conversion rates. There are many success stories of companies that had an indirect increase in profits due to improvements made in their UX design. 

  • Humana, a health insurance company performed A/B testing on their homepage banner. The first design was good but the company felt that it had to be improved to increase click-through rates ( CTR). Simple changes were made in the design and copy. These small changes in the UX design of the homepage banner resulted in a 433% increase in clicks. 
  • Virgin America wanted to make its website more usable for modern travelers. So in 2014, they decided to make minor changes to their website to give a pleasurable digital experience for their customers. After successful A/B testing, they released a responsive website. As a result, they observed a 14% increase in conversion rates and 20% fewer support calls. 
  • Rev, online transcription and captions service, completely redesigned their website to give it a modern look. Initially, the website had a carousel as the main design element to highlight the value propositions of the company. In the new design, the carousel was replaced with a simple bold value proposition with call-to-action(CTA button). This resulted in an increase in conversion rate by 19% in 9 months. 
  • Vocier, a luxury suitcase brand found out that their website lacked usability. They made A/B testing pages. After implementing the changes, the conversion rate of the final version was 75% higher than the older website. 

These real-life examples show that simple changes in the UX design can have a positive effect on the conversion rate and dramatically impact your company's bottom line. So it stands to reason that investing in UX can contribute to the growth trajectory of the company, and already has for many brands. 

How can I Calculate the ROI for my Investments in UX/UI services?

It's quite challenging to get raw data on return on investment(ROI) in UX/UI services, as the result of the changes has an indirect impact on the profitability of the company. But these observations can help in determining the impact UX has on ROI. 

  1. Cost-benefit analysis: In this method, the costs of the UX/UI services, including the development and test of the design, are calculated. Then the value is compared to the benefits, such as increased productivity, improved user experience, and reduced support costs. This analysis gives the net benefit of the investment.
  2. Return on assets (ROA): Here, the return on the UI/UX services is calculated as a percentage of the assets invested. To calculate this, divide the net benefit of the investment by the total cost of the services and multiply by 100. 
  3. Net Present Value (NPV): The present value of the future cash flows of the UX/UI services are assessed by considering the time value of money. 
  4. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) measurements: Track the before and after key performance metrics such as the task completion rate, error rate, and task completion time. 
  5. Cost of rework: Compute the cost and effort of UI/UX design services at the beginning of the project. Then compare the data to the cost of rework after software implementation to analyze the total cost savings. 
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A solid UX design enhances CX and boosts ROI

A pleasurable user experience greatly influences the customer experience. Research by Deloitte and Touche reveals that customer-centric companies were 60% more profitable than companies that were not focused on the customer. And a good UX is inevitable for a positive user experience. Therefore, investing in UX is a smart move due to the following reasons: 

  • Greater ease of use boosts overall revenue/conversion as the customers get emotionally attached to the brand. And this results in customer loyalty. 
  • A well-designed product enhances customer satisfaction along with business-to-business satisfaction. 
  • UX techniques preempt user issues in the development stage of the product. This lowers the company’s expenditure for support calls. 
  • A product backed with comprehensive user research is less likely to fail to eliminate the risk of a wrong thing. 

Now that you know how to get started with improving CX and UX, increasing overall on-site conversions, you can also start the process of bringing higher quality traffic to your website in the first place…through effective advertising and targeting. With MarinOne's paid media management platform, you will be able to see what ads perform across all paid media channels you're running, and invest wisely accordingly. Get started with our expert consultation team today to learn more about improving your customers' brand experience.

Aparna K.S. is a guest contributor to the Marin blog.

Create Landing Pages that Convert

Your marketing landing pages are receiving a lot of traffic — but are they converting visitors into leads? A landing page is an essential part of your marketing strategy for attracting new prospects and pulling them further into the customer funnel. 

The average conversion rate for landing pages is 2.35% across industries. Of those, 25% of sites have a conversion rate of 5.31% or above. The top 10% of sites have a conversion rate of 11.45% or higher. If your conversion rate isn’t reaching the high end of these percentages, we’ve got the best optimization strategies necessary to create a top-performing landing page that converts.

Eight Ways to Create a Landing Page that Converts

Here are actionable tips to get your landing page to convert like the top 10%.

Create a Good UX

For an optimal user experience, follow the best design principles. Sometimes, even if your copy is good, a poor design can hurt your landing page conversion rate. 

What you need to do: Test different designs and tweak the highest-converting elements until you reach an ideal landing page look, feel, and experience. 

Example: Lyft

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Lyft’s landing page is well-designed and well-balanced, with a good proportion of text and imagery. With a single-field form and a CTA that stands out, they make it easy for users to sign up right there and then. The page also includes a benefit-oriented headline, encouraging visitors to take the next step. 

Include Testimonials

Using social proof as part of your marketing strategy is one of the easiest tactics to adopt. Once you’ve successfully driven visitors to your website, you want them to stay there. Findings reveal that online reviews impact 88% of consumers’ buying decisions. Customers don’t trust brands as much as they trust other people. Using testimonials on your landing page can also:

  • Give you the opportunity to showcase important features in an easy-to-read format
  • Help you get ahead of your competition
  • Establish use cases that might otherwise not be highlighted in marketing copy
  • Give prospects a chance to read a review that addresses their concerns
  • Demonstrate your product has been approved by a wide range of different people

What you need to do: Include testimonials on your landing page by displaying simple quotes or videos to help build trust. Alternatively, link the quotes to a person’s direct social profile. To add a more personal touch, use customer photos where possible. 

Example: KeyScouts

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KeyScouts is an online marketing agency that has chosen to use a socially proven customer testimonial widget on their landing page. Not only does it look authentic, but for visitors who want to verify that a review is real, it connects them to the reviewer’s LinkedIn profile. 

Keep Forms Short (and don’t forget to link to a thank you page)

You don’t want to sacrifice lead quality, but if you find a way to eliminate a form field or two, it could have a serious impact on your conversion rate. When you reduce the number of form fields, even by one, it improves your conversion rate by almost half. If users have to go through a lengthy process just to receive your offer, chances are they will leave the site without completing the form. 

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What you need to do: Determine the value of what your offer will bring your consumers. Then begin formulating how many fields, and what types, to show your user, eliminating any that are unnecessary. 

Example: Shopify

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Shopify has created a single field on their landing page, making it as easy and quick as possible for customers to take action. All you have to do is provide your email address to start a free trial. When a form is simple to complete and customers don’t have to offer up too much personal information, they may be more willing to commit. 

Compel Visitors to act NOW

Leverage a sense of scarcity and urgency. This creates higher demand by inducing FOMO (fear of missing out), thereby motivating consumers to act faster. However, scarcity alone will not create demand. Using a combination of the value of an item and showing consumers that they can trust you as a vendor when the deadline hits is key. 

What you need to do: Determine what offer will drive urgency and decide how you want to present it. Be sure to make a clear and meaningful distinction between the offer and the normal price. You can use keywords like “hurry,” “limited quantity available,” and “time is running out.” Using red throughout your designs is also a powerful tactic that tends to attract consumer attention. 

Example: Amazon

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There’s a reason Amazon is one of the most widely used e-commerce sites. If you’re already an avid Amazon shopper, you’re probably well aware that it’s one of the best places to strike a good deal—and that’s because Amazon knows how to make its customers keep coming back for discounts. They show you the quantity left for the product you’re considering with a harmless “order soon” side note that generates impulsive purchases. Amazon also masters the principle of creating urgency by sneaking in copy that lets you know how much time you have left. And if that’s not enough, they incentivize customers to act quickly by advertising “lightning deals” and offering warped perspectives on savings to “trick” you into buying things. 

Use Video

If you aren’t already using videos on your landing page, it’s time to start. Videos are a valuable way to create trust and comfort. It gives the information you’re conveying more context and makes it more personal. In fact, businesses that utilize video as part of their content marketing strategy see an 86% increase in conversion rates. 

What you need to do: Define why your visitors need your solution and what’s going to happen next. If you can effectively answer these questions in your video, you will exponentially increase your chances of landing more conversions. 

Example: PartnerMD

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PartnerMD uses a video to address the common pain points of the normal healthcare experience. In the video, there is a clear explanation of what PartnerMD offers and why concierge medicine is the best solution. More importantly, the video explains why the form is there and what the visitor will accomplish by filling it out. 

Don’t Underestimate the Power of White Space

Using white space on your landing page helps you create a visual hierarchy that guides the viewer where you want them to go. By focusing on white space placement, you can strategically draw attention to the most important elements of your page first. Essentially, creating a bigger impact for your content. 

What you need to do: Break up your content by separating text from images to improve readability. Remove any distractions and give all elements enough surrounding space so your landing page isn’t cluttered. 

Example: Wix 

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Wix has created a captivating and stunning illustration of a website design on its landing page. The headline copy is short and to the point, the white text is easy to read, and the use of white space is carefully balanced with the other elements on the page. By using white space, the page’s touchpoints are clear, encouraging visitors with a direct call to action. 

Grab Attention with the Right Imagery

Using relevant images or humanizing your offer can make it more relatable, encouraging visitors to convert more easily. Images usually catch consumers’ eyes before they even read your headline. In fact, because our brains process images 60,000 times faster than text, they influence a visitor’s immediate opinion about your brand. 

What you need to do: Since you don’t have long to make a first impression, choose your images wisely. Make sure the images you select accurately promote your product or services. And of course, use visuals that are high quality. Your goal should be to create a landing page that is memorable, easily understood, and emotionally relatable.

Example: TUSHY

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Tushy’s landing page is creatively brilliant. From a humorous image to its soft pastel color palette and clean design, they successfully capture their visitors’ attention. It’s minimal, attractive, and memorable. Their value proposition is laser-focused, identifying who the target audience is while highlighting the benefit of their product. 

Eliminate Customer Fears

There are many strategies you can use to alleviate customer fears. Take buyers’ concerns into account, and you’ll be seeing more conversions before you know it. By eliminating any hesitations they have about your product or service, you can boost their willingness to buy. 

What you need to do: Give consumers the confidence that your product is one they can trust. Keep your promises. Follow through on shipping policies if you offer them, consider offering money-back guarantees, and give customers a way to test-drive your product. 

Example: Warby Parker

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Warby Parker gives customers ease of mind by letting them try on glasses before fully committing to buying them. By giving their customers time to make a decision from the comfort of their own homes, Warby Parker sways its customers towards a more enjoyable experience. 

Ready to Start Converting Leads?

When done right, landing pages can generate a significant number of qualified leads. By implementing our tips you’ll get ahead of your competitors in no time. 

Contact MarinOne today to learn how our platform can help improve your paid media management processes and get the landing page conversion rates you seek.

Conversion rate is a crucial metric for digital marketers. It indicates how well your ads are working—since conversions are the main reason you're running ads in the first place. If your conversion rate is low, your advertising dollars are going to waste. But if it's high, you'll have much more money to spend on other marketing campaigns, like PPC. If you're running display ads and not seeing the results you want, it might be time to tweak your strategy. So, what exactly can you do to increase your digital ads’ conversion rates? 

In this article, we'll walk you through eight tips to help boost conversions so you can reach a larger audience and increase sales. Remember, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to conversion optimization, but following these tips will help get you started on the right path!

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What is conversion rate and why is it important?

Conversion rate is a tricky concept. It's not as simple as measuring how many customers you get out of each ad. Instead, it's a measure of how many people who see your advertisement actually do what you want them to do, like download an ebook or make a purchase.

By increasing your conversion rate, you can make the most of your digital marketing budget and maximize your return on your investment. 

A high conversion rate is a result of:

  • A streamlined and appealing sales funnel
  • A well-designed website that is formatted effectively
  • A unique and compelling brand and proposition
  • An effective call-to-action

A low conversion rate means your website’s performance or design may be lacking.  This could be as a result of slow loading pages, forms that are broken, or content that doesn’t accurately convey the offer’s value. 

Through conversion rate optimization (CRO), you can allocate your PPC budget more efficiently and persuade prospects to take action. 

How to calculate your conversion rate

To calculate conversion rate, divide the total number of conversions by how many visitors clicked on your ad. To get the percentage, multiply that result by 100.

Leads Generated ÷ Website Traffic x 100 = Conversion Rate % 

This formula can be used for every conversion opportunity on your site. Count only the number of visitors on the web pages where the offer is listed. 

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8 tips for improving conversions

Identify your conversion goals

To optimize your conversion rates, create a robust conversion optimization plan. Consider what your prospective customers really want from you so you can make the conversion path as smooth as possible. Conversion goals help you optimize your advertising objectives more easily. With defined goals, you can also measure your marketing performance and set benchmarks for improvement. Clear objectives will lead to more successful campaigns. 

Make sure your landing page copy is clear and concise

There are a few ways to make your content more accessible and clear to readers:

  • Your landing page copy must be short, simple, and easy to understand. 
  • The tone should be conversational so it makes a natural connection between you and the reader, rather than sounding like an overly formal marketing pitch. 
  • If possible, use bullet points to highlight key benefits that would appeal to the specific type of customer who is visiting this page. 
  • Separate long lists into multiple sections so they don’t create readability issues when viewed all at once.

Create a sense of urgency to get customers to act now

“Accelerators” offer the extra push users sometimes need to convert. To increase conversions on short-lived deals and offers, use copy that provokes a sense of urgency such as “Limited time only,” “Last chance,” or “While supplies last.” As part of your ad creative, add direct call-to-action buttons to increase conversions. Offer limited-time discounts or free shipping for orders placed in the next 24 hours with no coupon code needed! This will help drive traffic and increase sales, especially for those final hours before major holidays. 

Add an interactive element like an online chat window or live demo for more engagement opportunities

By engaging customers with a live chat capability, you can increase both customer satisfaction and conversion rates. Live chat tools are perfect for consumers who are on the fence. This is one of the best ways to respond quickly when a customer has a question about your product or service, which can lead to increased sales

Offer content upgrades that are relevant to people who have already converted

If someone has bought a product, they might be interested in learning more about the topic or how to get even more value from the purchase. If someone has signed up for your email newsletter, they're probably interested in staying up-to-date on new products and promotions. Content upgrades can include: 

  • More information on the same topic
  • A free trial of a paid service
  • A coupon code for a discount on future purchases
  • A digital download

Use social proof such as testimonials from other satisfied customers

Social proof is a powerful persuasion tool that we've all seen in action—and reviews are one of the most instrumental forms:  89% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase. Social proof builds trust and when your customers have established trust in your brand, they’re more likely to convert. Here are some tips:

  • Build  a strong online presence 
  • Incorporate social proof into your digital ads by including links to where others have left reviews
  • Include testimonials from happy customers 

Reading reviews and testimonials puts consumers at ease. If it’s not apparent that your customers have faith in your product or enjoyed using it, your conversion rate will likely suffer. 

Create a FAQ page so customers can find answers quickly and easily

Include a search button on each landing page where a customer can type in their question or issue so a link to the answer appears at the top of the page for them. Next, make sure you include links to the FAQ page from both your homepage and contact page, or wherever else is relevant. This ensures that anyone who uses Google to research your business before clicking on one of your ads will be able to find this valuable resource immediately after landing on one of these pages. 

Surround buttons with lots of negative space

When your button stands out from its background, it becomes more obvious and easier for users to spot when they're scrolling through pages of content or shopping carts filled with products. This means that more people are likely to click on the button than if it was surrounded by other things like photos and logos, which can make buttons less visually prominent or harder to see.

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Get started improving your conversion rate today

There's no doubt that digital advertising is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. In fact, display ad spending is projected to increase by 20.9% in 2022 alone. So if you're looking for a new way to increase conversions and improve your bottom line, MarinOne can help. 

Knowing how to improve the conversion rate of your digital ads is critically important to the growth and development of your business. With MarinOne, you can create, manage, and measure your digital ads so you can gain insights into what's working and what's not, allowing you to make adjustments that improve your results. MarionOne’s automation tool enables you to track ad metrics and conversions automatically. 

Learn more about MarinOne’s ad automation tools. Or reach out to one of our MarinOne experts today to schedule a demo.

From spend monitoring to ad ranking, keeping tabs on your campaign performance across your different marketing channels can be a lot of work. And because optimization is the key to a successful campaign, it’s good to stay in the know. However, most of us are not on our computers all the time, so we need an easy and efficient way to stay on top of it all, and be notified of any major changes immediately.

With Marin’s Automated Alerts, you can stay in the know with automatic monitoring and notifications for all your marketing campaigns. These alerts bring changes directly to your inbox, so that you can be notified as soon as they happen. This means timelier analysis and action, so that your campaigns can continue running smoothly even while you're away.

Check out these 5 alerts that you can set up in Marin to stay productive, optimize strategy, and make the most out of each advertising dollar.

  1. Monitor CPA

This may feel pretty standard. But as a reminder, the cost of an acquisition or conversion is important to ensure not only that our ads are converting, but that they are doing so at a profitable rate. It is important to modify an alert like this one with an impressions count to be sure that an ad or campaign has reached enough users to properly determine an ideal CPA.

Example: Alert me if impressions are greater than 1000 and CPA is greater than X.

  1. Getting Close to Spend Cap

This can help you monitor your budget pacing, and view the rate at which your campaigns spend. Take action before your cap is hit so that you make adjustments to achieve your performance goals.

Example: Alert me if total spend > $950 (where spend cap = $1000).

  1. Impression Share is Dropping

If your strategy includes top or absolute top impression share, this alert is for you. By receiving a notification when an ad’s impression share drops below your target, you can take the appropriate action (improve ad ranking, evaluate keywords, expand budget) before falling too far behind.

Example: Alert me if the impression share drops by more than 10%

  1. Check Keywords

If you’re testing out some new keywords for your campaigns, use this alert to monitor their performance and iterate when necessary. This alert is great for keyword strategy

Example: Alert me if CTR is less than 3% for selected keywords.

  1. Ads Not Converting

Your ads may not be converting because of audience targeting, ad copy, or user-experience on your landing page, you want to be notified about ads that don’t lead consumers to the end goal of a purchase or sign-up. This helps you save money and optimize your campaign for success.

Example: Alert me if I’ve spent more than $1000 and conversion rate is less than 10%.

Once you’ve created these alerts, you can breathe a bit easier knowing that if something dramatically shifts in a campaign, you’ll be notified and can take action immediately. Automated alerts in Marin are customizable and can be set up in just a few minutes. Schedule time with an account representative today to learn more!

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.

What is the Breadcrumb Technique?

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.

Why Reduce Conversion Anxiety?

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?

What 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:

  • You enter “carpet installers” in Google Search.
  • You click an ad that tells you that they have the lowest prices of all the other companies.
  • Once you land on the first page, you’re hit with a long form that requests all your personal contact information.

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.

  • Fear...of being contacted when you aren’t ready.
  • Uncertainty...about whether or not it’s the right company to hire.
  • Doubt….of whether to leave your information in the first place.

These are all things the Breadcrumb Technique solves.

How Does the BreadCrumb Technique Work?

To answer this question, first understand two forms of user psychology. We’ll focus on the “yes” ladder and compliance psychology.

The “Yes” Ladder

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.

Compliance Psychology

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.

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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…

Example 1: Testing & Optimization

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.

Why It Works

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.

Example 2: Breadcrumb Technique

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%.

Why It Works

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.

Example 3: Dynamic Keyword Insertion

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

Why It Works

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.

Example 4: Micro-Conversion Tracking

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%.

Why It Works

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.

Example 5: Live Chat

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.

Why It Works

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.

What’s the saying? There is no rest for the weary? Just when it feels like summer’s just begun, it’s already time to switch up your marketing campaigns for back-to-school shoppers.

According to Google Trends, interest in “Back to school” is on the rise since early June. But summer isn’t over yet, which makes this the perfect time to take advantage of this level of interest before we hit peak season.

Here are the top 6 things to make sure you check off your list to ensure you’re prepared for this year’s back-to-school season:

Understand your competition.

Don’t be so quick to start changing bids. A little research on your competitors goes a long way. Identify the gaps and move quickly on those opportunities. Look for top and direct competitor ads, and don’t forget online tools that can assist in finding out what competitors are doing with keyword bids. We recommend arming yourself with competitive information now so that your account is prepared for the next big retail shopping season.

Target back-to-school focused search queries.

Most back-to-school shoppers include parents and college students—as they prepare for back to school, they’re also searching online for deals. Marketers can benefit from this by creating campaigns that are focused specifically on back-to-school keywords and deal searches. Some examples of this are:

  • back to school supplies
  • back to school sales
  • cheap school supplies

Be sure to give these campaigns a healthy budget, plus either an end date or a scheduled pause to ensure they don’t continue to run post-season.

Create relevant, compelling ad copy and landing pages.

Parents and college students are often price conscious, but also want the products they purchase to last. Also, shoppers are often looking for sales to save money. Marketers should focus their ad copy around these consumer needs to incentivize shoppers to click their ads.

If a consumer doesn’t see a phrase that indicates there may be a good deal on the landing page that comes after their click, they may select a competitor instead. Helpful phrases include the obvious “back to school,” but also things like:

  • sale
  • clearance
  • an additional X% off
  • durable
  • lasting
  • all school year long

And more. We suggest using discount-focused terms for smaller ticket items like colored pencils, and durability-focused terms for larger ticket items like backpacks and athletic shoes.

Put together a bidding strategy

Make sure your strategy is informed by previous years’ data and this year’s goals. This also goes in line with understanding your competition, as we mentioned earlier. Take note of when the cost-per-click in your campaigns rose last year, and by how much, and adjust bids accordingly to ensure you’re pacing well with market demands throughout the season.

Don’t forget to include your shopping campaigns in your bidding strategy planning as well, especially for larger ticket items. Many consumers do a lot of research on items such as backpacks prior to making a decision, and may choose to purchase these items online in order to get exactly what they want.

Stay top of mind using retargeting.

Retargeting is another area where you may be able to better keep the attention of consumers who do a lot of price comparison shopping before making a purchase. Create a separate retargeting campaign specific to, again, higher-dollar items such as backpacks and athletic shoes, targeting users for several days after viewing your product.

When creating these retargeting ads, we recommend showing the products viewed previously in the ad, and potentially offering a coupon code to incentivize the consumer to purchase this product from your business specifically.

Remember mobile!

Parent and student purchase decisions are heavily influenced by mobile. According to Google, in 2014 over 40% of back-to-school searches were done via mobile devices. These searches are typically performed on the go by busy parents and students trying to get back-to-school shopping done in between all the other things they need to do.

What are these roving shoppers doing? They're performing price comparisons, checking product availability, and searching for the closest store to their current location to sneak in a quick trip and check items off their list. You can capitalize on this by using location extensions and prominently displaying inventory availability for products at nearby stores on their easy-to-navigate mobile site.

If you’re strapped for time and can’t roll out a new back-to-school strategy, keep this checklist on hand, since these best practices are also applicable during the holiday shopping season. Want to learn more? Join the Center of Excellence for our back-to-school webinar on Thursday, July 21st!

With spring rapidly approaching, this is a great time for search marketers to start preparing for an annual account audit. What are some of the top areas of focus for spring cleaning your account? Marin's Center of Excellence has created a process for identifying key ways accounts can be improved through structural and performance-based changes.

Step 1: Identify pain points in the account to narrow
your focus

Before you dive into cleaning up your account, identify the main areas where you’d like to focus your time. Chances are you don’t have a lot of bandwidth to dedicate to anything but day to day management tasks -- so to save time, start by asking yourself some questions to help narrow the focus of your audit and cleanup.

Some of these questions might include:

  • Where does the account fall short of meeting its goals?
  • Does the account have unutilized objects (things like past promotional creatives)?
  • Do you regularly perform A/B tests?
  • Have you had issues with revenue attribution?

Step 2: Perform an audit

The second step is to perform an audit of your account. You should focus your time on two major areas of opportunity: account structure and performance.

Tip: When performing the account audit, pull data in a format that allows you to make bulk changes. This way, once you’ve identified issues, you can easily take action and save time.

First, take a look at your account structure to make sure it follows search marketing best practices. This’ll make your account easier to navigate and ease day to day management. Second, analyze your account for performance issues that require action. The Center of Excellence recommends looking for the following:

Account Structure

  • Duplicate keywords
  • Conflicting negatives
  • Past promotional creatives
  • Missing active keywords/creatives
  • Misspelled creatives
  • Campaign setting alignment
  • URL tracking issues


  • Underperforming objects
  • Optimal use of negative keywords
  • Quality Score analysis
  • Landing page content
  • Keywords
  • Ad copy

Step 3: Implement changes

The third step is to take corrective action based on insights you discover during the audit.

Be sure to keep track of any changes you make and a record of the audit -- this is essential, since it’ll allow you to effectively measure future performance.

Step 4: Measure

Use your record of changes to measure the impact of your spring cleaning efforts. Compile this information into a visual representation of the improvements to share with your colleagues or clients.

If you’re a Marin customer interested in partnering with the Center of Excellence on an account audit, contact your account representative, who’ll connect you with a Center of Excellence consultant today! Or, if you’re new to Marin, request a demo.

Pumpkin spice lattes. Cold weather. Football on TV. That can only mean one thing - the holidays are here!

While you’re busy planning your holiday vacation, family meals, or gift shopping plans, remember to schedule a few minutes for your retargeting campaigns. Consumers are ready to spend billions over the next six weeks (especially online!) so make sure you adjust your campaign settings to capitalize on the holiday rush.

Here are a few simple steps you can take to boost your campaign performance for the holidays:

Increase your budgets

With all that holiday shopping going on, you’re likely going to see a boost in site traffic, which means you’ll see an associated boost in impressions served and advertising funds spent. Make sure your campaigns have a proper budget set to guarantee you have enough ad money available for the day, so that you don’t miss out on these potential new customers.

We recommend a 25-50% budget increase for the holidays, but you know your site traffic best. Whatever % of traffic increase you’re expecting, boost your budget about that same %.

Raise your campaign bids

Consumers will be spending a lot of money on products, but that also means advertisers are spending a lot of money on ads. You’re going to have competition! With so many advertisers fighting for ad space, it’s not uncommon to see your CPM costs rise during this time of year. To be ready for this, make sure you increase your CPM bids across your campaigns. Allowing your campaigns to bid a higher amount will make them more competitive and give you a better chance of serving more ads. We suggest increasing your CPM bid by 50-100% of the current average CPM cost for the campaign.

Use holiday themed ads and landing pages

Your potential customers are thinking, talking, and singing about the holidays this time of year. Join that conversation! Using ads that mention specific events like Black Friday or Cyber Monday can grab a visitor’s attention. Send them holiday cheer, mention that there are X number of shopping days left, and give them a reason to click on your ads. Use the holidays as a call to action, and you could see a boost in clicks and conversions.

Create landing pages and content on your site for these holiday events, then create audiences that capture visitors of these pages. (Information about audiences is available here.)

Finally, create campaigns to serve your holiday ads to your holiday page visitors. If they’re coming to your site looking for holiday deals, they are more likely to respond to holiday themes ads.

We hope these suggestions are helpful and lead to a profitable holiday season for you and your business. As always, please feel free to contact us at with any questions or comments.

From our team to yours - happy holidays!

AB Landing Page Testing

“Why aren't we testing more on our website, {insert SMB marketer name}?” Sound familiar? No one can question the value of a solid testing plan and the long term benefits it can reap for your company. However, SMB marketers within their organizations face big challenges in how to strategize for website testing and optimization. Some of the bigger issues that arise include low traffic volume to websites, not enough conversions to reach statistical significance within a reasonable timeframe, and tight budgets that put testing tools out of reach. Here are a few ideas to consider as you develop your testing plan with these challenges in mind.

Pick Your Spots

Analyze your web analytics data and understand which pages generate the most traffic and conversions. Based on your web metrics, pick the ideal number of variables you can reasonably test. Your homepage is an obvious place to start, but it’s surprising to hear how often I come across colleagues or industry peers that want to test on secondary pages yet have no idea those pages generate only a handful conversions a month. To get the most impact as part of your testing plan, consider A/B testing over multivariate testing and try for more radical design concepts to test against your control.

Test Strategically Across Web Assets

One thing I’ve learned about website optimization is to leverage all available channels for gathering and applying findings. A website may not get a million visitors a month, but when you start adding website visitors, direct and organic, to display ad and paid search clicks, you can start understanding overall site performance a lot faster than individually testing each program.

I tend to leave website pages for larger impact variables such as layout, forms, and buttons. I’ll test messaging in some display and paid search campaigns to get a sense of what visitors may be responding to and apply my findings to the website. Every test has a reason and every learning, good or bad, should be logged in a testing repository. If you haven’t created one, it’s time to start organizing your findings in an easily accessible and reviewable format.

Industry Analysis

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. And, while we’re all trying to leave our own mark in everything we do, it’s always a best practice to make sure you understand what is happening in your industry and on other well respected websites. I generally like to keep tabs on several thought leading companies to see what the next new online trends will be. Websites such as,, and (my old employer where we tested A LOT!) are just a few of the great companies I reference for ideas on my next big test. Grab ideas but be sure to test elements that best suits your audience and business objectives. What works for someone else, may not work for you.

Final Thoughts

Website testing and optimization remains an important part of the game plan for all online marketers, regardless of company size or the number of daily visitors. For those of you with less than ideal traffic for testing, I hope some of these suggestions can help jump-start your testing strategy and make it a higher priority moving forward. Continuing to optimize your website will result in a positive impact on your bottom line; increasing conversion from your marketing programs and helping to counter budget limitations and rising media costs. One thing I didn’t cover was the paid tools and vendors that can assist you with testing and optimization. If you’ve had success with third-party tools, I would love to hear your experiences in the comments section below.

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