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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Episode 019 | IELTS Q&A | Session #1

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In dieser Episode beantwortet Andrea Fragen von 4 Hörern der IELTS-Test-Prepcast; Mohammed und Rajiv aus Indien und Glück und Fatimah aus den Philippinen. Bitte Ihre Frage an www.ieltstestprepcast.com/ stellen. Wir können nicht versprechen, alle beantworten aber beantwortet Häufige gestellte Fragen und interessante Fragen in Zukunft Q&A Episoden. Die Q&A-Sitzung-Abschrift wird... [Mehr...]


 

8 effective tips to grow your email list without the technical headache

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Everyone says you should build an email list.

But, should you?

I’d have to say yes and with a potential ROI of 4,300% [source], it’s hard to ignore.

Even when you take ROI out of the equation, email is still one of the best channels to facilitate the growth of a community and get more returning visitors.

So this begs the question: how can you grow your email list while minimizing any potential technical headaches?

There are ways that this can be done and you may just find this easier than you think.

As a marketer, my aim is always to minimise friction between my business and my clients.

If you truly want to build your email list then you need to be committed to doing the same for your website and its visitors.

Take a look at your website and ask yourself – how easy is it to subscribe to my list?

Do you have opt-in forms in key locations? (e.g. sidebar and after blog posts)Do your opt-in forms stand out?What about when people add their email address, is it clear that they have to look for a confirmation email?

Your aim should always be to make it 100% clear to your audience; what it is that you want them to do.

Plenty of big sites do quite well by just setting up a straight forward opt-in form where readers can subscribe and get email updates.

But, what if you aren’t a big site?

It’s not so easy to get someone to hand over their email address and it’s not surprising.

With that in mind, you need something that’s more compelling than just “free updates”.

You need something that is exclusive, that your subscribers can get real value out of.

This can be done easily by putting together an exclusive free download; you may have heard people refer to this as a “bribe” or a “lead magnet”.

You can then take this further by adding a call to action for a paid product or service at the end of your free download – this is especially easy if you’re putting together a PDF.

I quite like how the folks at KISSmetrics offer this free guide below their blog posts:

kiss-metrics-box

Here is an example of the landing page that you get sent to:

kiss-metrics-landing-page

It does add another step to the process, but this gives you a great opportunity to really sell your visitors on the free resource you’re offering.

Also, if you’re looking to capture more data than just name and email, this can be a great way to go.

This type of thing can be easily enough by an image and some HTML/CSS but there are tools on the market that can help you do this, e.g. Lead Converter.

(Disclaimer: Lead Converter is made by the same company as Advanced Web Ranking, I don’t work for them in any capacity, but it’s definitely a handy tool that will help you).

The benefit here, over just quickly having one coded for you is that you get a full platform capable of split testing and offering other lead generation options too.

And testing is important.

The smallest detail can make the largest difference to your conversions.

We’ll talk about this in a bit more detail later on in the post.

One of the challenges that I have always faced is keeping all of my opt-in forms synchronised and track statistics from a single dashboard.

Fortunately there are plugins like OptinMonster which can be great for those who use self-hosted WordPress installations.

I’m a huge fan of OptinMonster, but, what if you want to track analytics for multiple sites? Or you want to use a different CMS, or just a regular HTML/PHP site?

Then it’s definitely a challenge.

Well, it was.

A new tool, Optin Architect now allows you to manage all of your opt-in forms from a single dashboard.

With it being a new system, it doesn’t support all of the same opt-in form locations that OptinMonster does, but it does cover pop-overs, sidebar opt-ins and site wide opt-ins.
There also looks to be a lot of new features on the horizon here.

Try checking your analytics and looking at how many of your visitors actually return to your site.

For most site owners, over 70% won’t return.

What does your analytics platform tell you?

That’s a crazy amount, but highlights the need to grab someone’s attention and compel them to sign up to your list.

Pop-overs are one of the best ways to build your list, but it’s true that a lot of people do find them annoying.

There are ways that we can make this tactic less intrusive, for example:

Display pop-overs on the 2nd page viewOffer something worth interrupting your visitorsDisplay a pop-over just before someone bounces from your page

My 3rd point is what I want to talk to you about in more detail.

There is a piece of technology that does this very well.

It’s called “exit intent” and it tracks mouse movements to figure out when people are moving their mouse to exit the page.

Aside from tools like OptinMonster and Optin Architect which I mentioned previously, there are other platforms that offer this functionality which include:

Pop-overs don’t always work – or do they?

A study carried out by Dan Zarrella found that there was only a minimal impact to bounce rate, when pop-overs were used.

Although it also found that by using a pop-over, you could almost double your conversions.

Despite the fact that this worked for Dan, it doesn’t mean that it would definitely work for you.

Why?

What works for one industry or group of people doesn’t always work for another industry or group of people.

Best practice can be a great foundation but after that you need to test things for yourself, but you can do this by setting up a pop-over and monitoring your bounce rate.

Out of all of the opt-in forms that I use on my own site, the one that converts the best is my in-line opt-in form.

This is just a basic opt-in form that I add to key pages on my site.

Here’s an example:

sign-up-form

In the example above, I have used a basic form in OptinMonster, using short-code – but most email marketing platforms offer code that you can use in a similar way.

I get most of my conversions using these forms from my about page, but this can work quite well on resource pages or other priority pages.

This may not work for all websites because you need to identify your key goals for a given page.

For example, if you have a page where you are encouraging visitors to get in touch and enquire about a service you’re offering, you wouldn’t want to use this type of in-line form.

If you haven’t come across social proof before, it comes down to this – when people see that you have an endorsement by an industry influencer or loads of subscribers, it conveys that they should follow you or subscribe to your website.

So, when you see something like this:

It looks impressive right?

But what if you were highlighting that you had a few hundred subscribers, or less?

That’s not so impressive.

That’s where negative social proof comes in.

If you’re got something to shout about, like a testimonial from Chris Brogan or a huge amount of subscribers – tell the world.

If not, focus on the benefits that your visitors will get when they sign up to your list.

The design of a website is a crucial factor that does make a difference to how many people to subscribe to your list.

Let’s say that you add an opt-in form in your sidebar and then add one below your blog posts, to get the basics covered.

Are your visitors going to even notice those opt-in forms?

Or, are they going to be drawn to something else, maybe a badge in your sidebar?

Badges can work, but only if they can be used as a trust signal that will generate some positive social proof.

There are a few questions that should be asked here:

Can anyone get one of these badges?Are they difficult to get?Is the source of the badge an authority?

A good example of a badge that could work well would include a top 10 badge from Social Media Examiner:

social-media-examiner-badge

On the flip side, a badge from a blog directory that nobody reads and anyone can get would be an example of the type of badge that you should remove.

When I start working on a site, one of the first things that I look at is what can be distracting visitors from the sites core goals.

This is important for improving conversions in general, not just building your list.

I look at each element and ask the question – does it really need to be there?

And the motivation for keeping or removing an element can vary; I may choose to leave an element in place that will distract a user.

However, I will only do this if keeping the element contributes to other conversion goals for the site or it helps to improve the user experience.

Despite the fact that growing our list is important, we need to minimize any negative impact to user experience.

Have you ever wondered how the pro’s get incredibly high conversion rates?

They test and keep testing.

And it’s not just about testing huge design changes; the slightest tweak can make a huge difference.

Right down to the colour of a button or the text of a button.

For example, in a split test that I ran recently, I was able to improve conversions by 6 times, simply by changing the button colour to a colour that wasn’t included in the design of my site.

There are list building tools which I’ve mentioned previously which will allow you to split test your opt-in forms, but its well worth looking at this at the page level – everything on your page is a factor.

There are plenty of tools on the market (I talk about some in more detail here) which can help you do this.

Two in particular stand out:

These are paid tools, but they’re incredibly straight forward to use.

One of the challenges (aside from setting up split testing) is generating new variations of your pages.

In a lot of situations it does involve hiring a developer, but these types of tools can pull in the page you want to test and give you the option to tweak the layout on the fly.

All via a code free interface.

Building your list can be a challenge.

But, if at first you don’t succeed – try again and try something different.

Testing is the key to moving forward and the slightest change can make all the difference.

Do you have anything to add to the list?

Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the author, and not necessarily the views of Caphyon, its staff, or its partners.

Adam Connell is the founder of BloggingWizard.com. He regularly shares actionable insights for individuals and businesses into how they can easily grow their online presence and get more leads. Adam was previously the Operations Manager at UK Linkology.


View the original article here

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Go profit search keywords using AWR 11.1

The underlying connection was closed: The connection was closed unexpectedly. The underlying connection was closed: The connection was closed unexpectedly. It’s been just a few weeks since we redesigned Advanced Web Ranking Desktop, and we are already rolling out a new and improved version, thanks to your great feedback.


Keywords from Google Webmaster Tools and AdWords keyword suggestions for customized locations are just some of the goodies you’ll find inside.

So let’s take a look at what’s new in AWR Desktop 11.1:


Following the integration of Keywords from GWT in AWR Cloud, we received many requests to add the new research tool also to the desktop application. So, starting from this version of AWR Desktop, you’ll be able to easily find the most profitable keywords that are already driving traffic to your website.

To use the tool, simply navigate to the Research -> Webmaster Tools menu and synchronize your project with your GWT account.


Keywords from GWT - desktop


You can now get AdWords keyword suggestions that are relevant for a specific city, region, or country. To do this with AWR 11.1, simply define the customized locations you are interested in from the Research -> Keyword Research -> Google AdWords Planner tool.


Custom locations for AdWords keywords


AWR 11.1 now allows you to choose the menus and tools that you want to use on a daily basis. You can customize the access to various sections of the application by using the new mode selector.


AWR Mode selector

This will open the Select actions dialogue where you can choose which sections to be visible in the application.

Select actions dialogue2


You can now see the number of visits, average time on site and bounce rate of your domain split by pages, as well as the revenue that each landing page drives. Simply click on the Analytics – Pages view to see it in action.


We added the Quick report function to the Projects screen, which allows you to generate a CSV export with the overall progress of your AWR projects.


That’s about it for now. I hope you have enjoyed reading this article. You’ll find more goodies inside the new version of AWR Desktop, waiting for you to try them.


As always, I am looking forward to reading your thoughts shared in the comments section below.


Aura Dozescu is the Dir. of Business Development for the AWR Cloud. Passionate about Internet Marketing and SEO technologies, she is working closely with seo software developers to implement the feedback received from customers. Connect with her on Google+


 

Five Actions for Finding Your Next Web Hosting Service

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According to data from the U.S. Census., 20 years ago (in 1991), U.S. start-ups per 100.000 individuals was about 185.6 businesses.


Now, start-ups per 100,000 people declined 29.3 percent, to 131.3 (for 2011, the most recent year of figures available).


Wait! What’s all the “hub buzz” about start-ups and the success of tech about? Aren’t entrepreneurs and digital start-ups performing well?


Yes, some are doing well, yet aside from targeting a consumer base and leveraging a respective sector, digital enterprises must face the demands of a “digital” business platform.


For example, 50 years ago, a tire supplier handled delivery logistics, employees, and the costs of rubber and associated materials. However, today’s vendor of the same, must be concerned with search engine optimization, social media, and the essentials of digital existence – such as efficient web hosting.


Consider scenarios foreign to successful business owners of 50 years ago:

Websites, set to launch per marketing materials and press release, do so unsuccessfully, confusing browsers and potential clients.A small business owner, leveraging limited funds best they can, must “share” hosting with others, using servers unable to handle peak traffic hours appropriately.Old and out-of-date servers, lack of back-up servers, and weak security, pose risks to online presence and continuity.

The situations, all involving weak or ineffective web hosting, plague modern-day start-ups.


But, don’t look so worried! There are ways to find a gracious and effective “host”.


The proverbial “grapevine” is a great place to hear if you’ve lost your love or if particular web hosting vendors have lost the love and respect of existing customers.


Assuming today’s hosts are hip to social avenues of attention, conduct a search on Twitter, perusing through a particular vendors stream using AllMyTweets.


Modify the search to target personalities (rather than tweets about hosting) and seek local or global vendors as needed.


1


Let’s use “FatCow” to milk AllMyTweets for what it’s worth.


2


I’ve highlighted some troublesome sentiments in red, consumer issues in yellow, and highlighted a positive and consumer-offered compliment in green.


Of course, this is but a small window of opportunity regarding the respective Twitter handle and subsequent sentiments of consumer service in real-time.


To supplement social media, use search operators to reveal some passionate “opinions” about another vendor, HostGator:


Placing “HostGator” and “I hate” in quotes, we see related SERs.


3


Let’s reverse the emotion, seeing who’s got “love” for “HostGator”


4


Just as some say tomato and others say… (it doesn’t work as well in print – does it?), SERs reflexive of negative and positive sentiments regarding the web hosting company exist.


I really like the question of the bottom SER: Can I see some of the websites you host?


Using free, online tool, Domaintools.com, anyone can see anyone’s web host. Let’s use a real-to-life example. A potential competitor of my site is Hostigal.com.


Perhaps, I want to know about my competition, like its web hosting company. That way, I can assess potential weaknesses or strengths following up with subsequent research of their web hosting service.


5


We see bits and pieces of hosting information related to the competitor. Perhaps I want to ensure that a competitor, using a good hosting service, does not have any advantage over my own site, or I want to tell if a site is using third-party DNS servers (Note that some online ‘lookup’ tools do not reveal third-party services.) If you look at the ‘nameservers,’ you can make an accurate assessment on the location of the servers.


Let’s use another online tool to examine page speeds, also reflexive of web hosting efficiencies. Of course, one must consider additional factors as to why a page loads quickly or not (Internet connection, device, etc), yet checking a few sites related to a given web host can help determine the latter’s efficiency.


Let’s use a popular site to check page speed:


6


Google suggests that Moz.com ”leverage browser caching”, which could be addressed by web host. Google offers a few suggestions as well as additional online resources.


7


This may not be a “fault” of the web host, yet a proactive vendor would use Google Insights as an added concern. How your site responds is a reflection on them.


“Uptime” is the amount of time a server is running consecutively without interruption. Look at a number of web hosting review sites and you’ll find uptime to be of integral importance regarding sales and success.


If you think downtime is disastrous regarding immediate conversions, it may influence the authority of a site or pages as interpreted by Google and other major search engines as well. At most review sites, some consider it impressive to see mentions of 98% (or more) uptime. Obviously, we want to see 100% uptime, but things happen.


However, don’t settle for less when shopping for hosting. A score of 98% on a mathematics test is impressive, yet let’s do some calculations regarding 98% uptime.


8


Free, online tools like Uptimerobot.com, (free and paid with https://www.pingdom.com/) help scan uptime in a third-party capacity, ensuring your chosen web host is sincere with its promises of site functioning.


Revisiting Actions


Let’s review actions we’ve learned regarding finding your next web hosting service:

Use social media to gain a sense of how a given vendor relates to clients and those interestedLeverage search operators to gain a broader perspective of how people feel about a given vendorExact lookup tools to find web hosting details of a particular siteAnalyze page and site load times to optimize user experience and sales potentialMeasure uptime to calculate the potential downtime risk involved in using a given vendor

Now, you’re better prepared to find your respective “Prince Charming” of the hosting service world. Suiting a business-to-business need, a given vendor should be more than receptive to initial concerns, aspirations for growth, and expectations of quality.


Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the author, and not necessarily the views of Caphyon, its staff, or its partners.


Cam Secore has been perfecting his online craft since the days of dabbling in eBay at 13 to founding Reviewpon.com, a place to review web hosting suppliers. Always trying to emulate his favorite NBA stars, Cam offers posts about building trust online and making moves and passes that score big for businesses.


 

4 Psychological Concepts That Will Change the Way You Create Content

Translate Request has too much data Parameter name: request Translate Request has too much data Parameter name: request This post is for content creators of any kind who might be, just like me, facing the irritating daily uncertainty of whether the latest piece will pull the reader’s trigger or not.

The idea of the post was to try to determine what goes on in the minds of our readers, what are they thinking about when reading an article or a piece of content and how their reactions are influenced by the information received.

So, I did a little research, read a few dozens articles on engagement and psychology and pulled several ideas that I liked most.

Here it goes.

In my search I came across the blog of Gord Hotchkiss, whose writings I liked a lot. If you are into this type of reading, I definitely recommend you to check out his blog. I’ve also invited him for a couple of guest posts on our blog, so you will be soon reading his awesome stuff here too. Super excited about this!

Anyway, back to the topic.

On his blog he did a series of posts in which he talks, among other cool stuff, about the psychology of usefulness. What he did was to dig up the cognitive and emotional processes that determine us to stay loyal to an online publication.

The hypothesis was this:

“My original premise was that we have to find usefulness in an online destination before we’ll give it our loyalty. And we have to be loyal to a destination long enough for marketers to be able to identify a stable audience that they can know something about. [...] Lance Loveday countered by saying that entertainment could also be a factor, along with utility, that leads to loyalty. “

So, at the foundation of our ultimate goal as online publishers, which is to achieve the loyalty of our readers, lay both utility and entertainment.

Gord proceeded then to break down the mechanisms in our brains that assess both utility and entertainment.

When approaching entertaining activities (which are autotelic by nature) our brains fire our reward center and also bring a corresponding hit of dopamine, building thus repetitive patterns. We look forward to them because of the anticipation of the reward.

Usefulness on the other hand, falls into a totally different category. When dealing with non-entertaining actions (exotelic), tasks we have no desire for but complete them just because we need to, our brain applies a different algorithm.

In non-entertaining situations, our brain’s primary goal is to find the most effective solution for the task, using usefulness as key criteria.

Going even further with the analysis, we discover that there is a shortcut in our brains we take when determining what is useful and what is disposable. As neurologist Antonio Damasio showed in Descartes’ Error, we have a mechanism by which emotions guide us in decision-making. Rationality requires emotional input.

Whenever dealing with a non-entertaining task, our brain rapidly goes through a set of successive steps to determine the best approach for completing the task. Here is a diagram describing the process:

The Pshychology of Usefulness

“Not surprisingly, the more our brain has to be involved in judging usefulness, the less loyal we are.”

But even so, we still have a chance of winning our readers over by inducing positive emotions to them. Positive emotions communicate to the reader that the expected utility is higher than the perceived risk, therefore useful, while negative emotions would indicate the contrary.

There is scientific reason for why our brains take this shortcut path to assess utility:

“The reason why we may not be that rational in the application of these strategies in online encounters is that they play out below the threshold of consciousness. We are not constantly and consciously adjusting our marginal value algorithm or quantifiably assessing the value of an information patch. No, our brains use a quicker and more heuristic method to mediate our output of effort – emotions. Frustration and anxiety tell us it’s time to move onto the next site or application. Feelings of reward and satisfaction indicate we should stay right where we are.”

Ideally though, for you, as an online publisher, is to bypass this process of having your utility weighted every time. But that would mean for you to earn your reader’s loyalty and become a habit to them.

Considering the logical path the brain needs to take for the “habit” label to be set (see again the diagram above), there are three conditions to be met for a task (or online publication) to become one:

Repetition – has been done often enoughStability – the terms have been fairly constantAcceptable outcomes – the returns have been constant and satisfyingThis concept suggests that the way something is presented (the “frame”) influences the reactions and the choices people make.

For example, the framing effect has been confirmed in a variety of contexts:

A ‘95% effective’ condom appears more effective than one with ‘5% failure rate.’People prefer to take a 5% raise when inflation is 12% than take a 7% cut when inflation is zero.Considering two packages of ground beef, most people would pick the one labeled, “80% lean” over the one labeled, “20% fat.”Through multiple experiments it has been proven that people react differently to a particular choice, depending whether it is presented to them as a loss or as a gain. People tend to avoid risk when a positive frame is presented but seek risks when a negative frame is presented.

The framing bias contradicts the standard economic model of rational choice in decision-making which states that people always strive to make the most rational choices possible.

What it proves is that in fact, our minds react to the context in which something is embedded, not just to the thing itself.

Take another example: the drug addiction issue. This can be seen as a “law and order problem” (view embraced by the US) or as a “public health problem” (as seen in Netherlands). Although the facts are identical, the attitude toward the problem as well as the behaviour that follows, are poles apart.

So, it turns out that reality is not absolute, it is contextual. There are always at least two sides of a story. There are no cold facts.

Our decisions are based more on our attitude toward the problem than the facts, and our attitude is determined by the “frame” in which the facts are presented.

From a marketer’s perspective, framing is yet another method to influence the individual while at the stage of judging usefulness. Through framing you are able to inoculate your reader with a positive rather than negative emotion and thus determine his attitude towards you, your content and business.

And it’s not just through words that you can trigger emotions and influence your audience’s perception of who you are, but also through the design and colours you use, your structure and data visualization strategy.

With numerous articles on the power of storytelling in advertising standing as proof of that well known saying – “stories sell”, no doubt remains about the influence of a good story on the human brain.

Stories engage our imagination and through that, empathy and creativity. Stories reduce resistance and play the role of a common language between the reader and the storyteller. Stories make us feel uplifted, motivated and connected to those around us. Mostly, stories make us feel.


However, there are a couple of things worth keeping in mind about the reasons why our brains react the way they do when stories are told and which are the particular ingredients that trigger those reactions.


First of all, stories provide the context, the frame our brain needs to interpret and understand the facts. It is only through stories that information, actions and emotions have persuasive impact and personal relevance.


Other than that, researchers found through multiple lab experiments, that in the human brain, imagined experiences are processed just the same as real experiences. Meaning that stories are able to create truly genuine emotions and behavioral responses for humans, just as if they’d be taking part in the events.

For example, in extensive studies performed on this subject, it has been tested how the brain reacts to different sets of words while being monitored with a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine and it has been found that:

just by interpreting written words, the human brain also engaged the language-processing regionswords describing scents like “perfume” and “coffee,” ignited the subjects’ primary olfactory cortexmetaphors like “The singer had a velvet voice” and “He had leathery hands” roused the sensory cortexsentences like “John grasped the object” and “Pablo kicked the ball.” lit up the motor cortex.So, that is why reading a great story feels like such a vivid experience.

More than that, through the ability of stories to involve various portions of our brain simultaneously, storytelling becomes a much more effective method of engaging the reader, as compared to presenting cold facts or data drawn out of context,  for which brain activity has been reported to be limited.

Yet again, cognitive biases are another proof that our judgement is merely subjective. Essentially, cognitive biases are errors our brains make for trying to process information faster, using shortcuts (heuristics). We rush to conclusions based on appearances and fail to correctly interpret the situation. It is a trap we often fall into simply due to the way our brain works.


Some of these biases, with no vital impact on our lives, are essential though for constructing and effectively packaging content online. If you can manage to understand and control the biases your content is triggering, you are one step ahead in the process of influencing and persuading your audience through content.

Processing fluency is a notion that refers to the ease with which information is processed. It seems that our brain implicitly associates a high processing fluency with a positive experience.

So, we tend to believe that things which are simpler to understand are more credible, while we’re inclined to reject the things we do not understand.

A common example of this type of misperception we’re experiencing when dealing with familiar scenarios is the Moses illusion. To see for yourself, try answering this question:

“How many animals of each kind did Moses take on the ark?”

Another example of the processing fluency bias is how people interpret content based on the type of font it is written in. Experiments have shown that when reading text in a common and easy to read font, the fluency bias plays its trick on us, making us mistakenly grow confident in our ability to digest the information presented to us.

According to the Rhyme-as-Reason cognitive bias, we’re seeing the phrases or aphorisms written in rhyme as more truthful that those who are not rhyming.

A popular example is the phrase – “What sobriety conceals, alcohol reveals.” which was seen by the volunteers participating in an experiment as more true and trustworthy than the alternate phrase presented to them – “What sobriety conceals, alcohol unmasks.“

Although you will certainly not be able to write your content in rhyme all the time, you can still take advantage of this bias, by spicing up your narrative with aphorisms and adages that reinforce your ideas, and build your reader’s confidence.

The Anchoring bias (First Impression bias)

The Anchoring cognitive bias is our tendency to rely too heavily on the first piece of information offered (the “anchor”) when making quantitative decisions. Or, otherwise put, first impression really matters. Not in a blinding-completely-our-judgement way, but more in a subtle way.

You might be inclined to think that the anchor will be used in our judgement in an objective manner, but you’d be wrong. According to the results of a study conducted by Strack and Mussweiler (1999) the information we’re initially presented with influences the way we’re further evaluating similar things.

Although often considered when designing pricing schemes, the anchoring effect also has a major impact on our everyday lives.

Here’s a funny example of the anchoring effect in action: A husband performing ten times the amount of work his dad ever did, would feel that his work is enough for him to qualify as the “Best husband of the year”. Meanwhile, the wife feels dissatisfied about the amount of housework left for her to handle. The anchoring bias determines in this case each spouse’s perception of their efforts .

But you, as a content creator, how do you use the anchoring bias to determine the structure of your copy? Do you take advantage of it to highlight the benefits you provide for your readers?


I look forward to your thoughts on all these concepts, in the comments :)


Dana Loiz is an Online Marketing Strategist at Caphyon. She is passionate about her job and always in a mood to chat about SEO, Internet Marketing and Social Media. She tweets the news at @awebranking and you can also find her on Google+.


 

New website auditor-export, analytics behavior metrics, and much more

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3 essential tools to increase conversion rates on your E-commerce website

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After months of SEO campaigns, now you finally have all the traffic you need on your online store. But chances are, you are not seeing the same increase in conversion, i.e. paying customers.


And what’s the use of all this traffic if visitors are not converting?


In this article, I am going to share 3 tools that will help you increase and optimize the conversion rate of your e-commerce store.


If you are frequent online shoppers, you probably know that visitors often abandon their cart after adding items. And the thing with abandoned carts is that a high percentage of these visitors are actually highly potential to be converted into paying customers. Afterall, adding items to cart means that they are pretty serious about buying them.


There are quite a few Shopping Cart Recovery providers on the market. I am writing about Rejoiner in this post simply because it’s easier (zero cost) to start with – you get a 14-day free trial and the trial only starts after you’ve converted the first customer.


rejoiner logo


The concept of Rejoiner is pretty straightforward: you capture the information (most importantly e-mail) of visitors abandoning their cart, and send them e-mails reminding them of their abandoned cart.


Rejoiner allows you to setup multiple e-mails, and configure the number of days after the date of abandonment that the e-mails should be sent. The picture below shows the e-mail editing interface – yes, you can fully customize the HTML e-mails that are sent.


rejoiner-email


Rejoiner supports most of the popular e-commerce platforms. By downloading the plugins, you can integrate Rejoiner on your online store with ease. It also comes with a detailed developer documentation in case your shopping cart software is not supported by their official plugins.


Rejoiner also offers a comprehensive dashboard that shows you various statistics, such as abandon rate, abandoned carts, cart details, e-mail open rate etc.. With this data, you can then measure the effectiveness of your campaign, and adjust accordingly.


rejoiner-dashboard


TIPS: Try offering a small discount for abandoned carts. This might increase the conversion rate of cart recovery.


We’ve previously introduced Rejoiner, which is a traditional e-mail based cart recovery solution. But cart recovery can take many forms, and Conversions On Demand offers such non-conventional cart recovery / cart abandonment prevention solutions.


cod logo


In fact, what Conversions on Demand (COD) provides is more than cart recovery. They actually provide tools to PREVENT cart abandonment – this means it tries to keep your customers from abandoning their carts even before they want to do so. Four solutions that COD provides are:

The Cart Closer – prevent cart abandonmentTime2Buy – motivate reluctant customers to place orderEmail Catapult – similar to traditional e-mail based cart recoveryDaily Deal Bar – create deals easily

There is an easy-to-use configuration page for you to turn on/off each feature, and change how each of them should behave. For all the features that require an additional User Interface (UI) to be displayed on your website, there is also a gallery of design that you can choose from to make the integration easier. Of course, you can always implement custom design if you have the resource to do so.


cod-cartcloser


Perhaps one of the most useful features of COD is The Cart Closer. Once it detects a possible cart abandonment candidate, it shows an unobtrusive popup to keep your customers from going away.

cod-popup [Photo credit: Conversions on Demand]

There are also built-in tools to help you justify the effectiveness of your campaigns: Analytics – get insight of the effectiveness of the features you’ve enabledEZ-Test – test the difference with and without the features CrowdWisdom – compare your performance with other users

The picture below shows the UI for CrowdWisdom, that allows you to compare with other users to know how well you’ve performed, as well as how you can adjust to do better.


cod-crowdwisdom


TIPS: Make sure you track and test your campaigns with the built-in tools. If adjusted properly, COD can bring great results.


Reviews and testimonials could easily be the most important factor that affects the conversion rate. Naturally, products with a lot of (positive) reviews suggest that it’s a good product to buy. Similarly, testimonials of an online shop can greatly increase the confidence of the visitors with that particular merchant.


Yotpo offers a great suite of tools that deal with both product reviews and site testimonials, and it does so socially!


yotpo logo


The core feature of Yotpo is to send e-mails to customers X days (configurable) after their purchase, asking them to review the products they have purchased. It also allows you to send a follow up e-mail to all reviewers, offering them a discount for their sincere reviews.


On the website integration aspect, Yotpo offers a number of widgets that you can put on your website to display reviews on your e-commerce store. For example, the following picture shows the product reviews widget that you can include in your product page to show the current reviews.


yotpo-review-widget


Other than collecting reviews, Yotpo offers integrations with Twitter and Facebook, allowing you to post the reviews across social networks. If configured, the reviews can even be automatically posted on social networks (and you can set rules to limit posting of positive reviews only).


Another very useful feature offered by Yotpo is Zendesk integration. If you have not done so already, you should try using Zendesk as your support ticketing system. With the Zendesk integration, Yotpo automatically sends out e-mails to customers, after tickets are solved, asking them of their experience with the support received. This can be a good and organic way to generate site reviews.


zendesk-integration


Of course, Yotpo comes with a dashboard that shows you the performance of your campaign. You can easily get an idea of various important metrics to confirm that the review system is working as planned.


yotpo-dashboard


TIPS: Make sure you send multiple e-mails asking for product reviews from paying customers. You can set the intervals for each e-mail sent, for example sending the first e-mail 4 days after purchase, and the second e-mail a week after. Setting up discount can also increase the chance that your customers writing reviews for you.


Remember, conversion rate optimization (CRO) is as important as traffic building. The key with CRO is testing. Repeatedly testing the effectiveness of each CRO is essential in finding the best setup that’ll get people to buy from your website.


Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the author, and not necessarily the views of Caphyon, its staff, or its partners.