How to beat most professional copywriters

Do you want to learn the “vital few” copywriting techniques that have the greatest impact on profits? Below, you’ll find the slides and video from one of our webinars—plus a transcript that has been edited to make it more readable. Our advice comes from years of experience increasing conversion rates for the world’s most successful […]

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Do you want to learn the “vital few” copywriting techniques that have the greatest impact on profits?

Below, you’ll find the slides and video from one of our webinars—plus a transcript that has been edited to make it more readable.

Our advice comes from years of experience increasing conversion rates for the world’s most successful websites.

What you’ll get from the slides and video

  • The “vital few” most effective copywriting techniques—with which you can beat most professional copywriters. (If this sounds impossible, remember that most professional copywriters don’t A/B-test their work.)
  • A winning copywriting template you can use to sell almost any product.

The slides

The slides from the talk, several of which will be baffling without the audio (see the video below).

A video of the talk

If you already know our company’s back-story, skip to the 5:14-minute mark.

The talk in podcast format

To download the audio of this talk, and others, subscribe to our podcast.

Resources mentioned during the talk

Screen-recording software

Feedback software

The mechanics of writing well

A transcript of the webinar (edited to make it more readable)

Today’s webinar is about how to beat most professional copywriters, and the vital few copywriting techniques we use to achieve the greatest impact on profits. I’m Dr. Karl Blanks from Conversion Rate Experts. During the call, if you have any questions, we’ll try to answer them.

First, I’m going to tell you the story of our background in A/B testing.

My cofounder, Ben Jesson, and I used to work in-house for a company that sold cellphones to international travelers. This was the graph they had on the wall for the staff compensation program—the end-of-year bonuses. It was a travel business, so it peaked every summer and dropped again in the winter.

By the end of 2005, we didn’t know what else we could do to grow the business. We were number one in the search engine rankings for all of the industry’s main keywords and we’d had loads of PR; we’d been in almost every travel magazine. It was at the end of 2005 when we discovered that A/B testing—and in particular, multivariate testing—could be carried out on websites.

Because of my scientific background, it seemed like an obviously good thing to do, because when you’re running large-scale industrial processes, A/B testing is the way you improve them. That’s how manufacturing works. And so, we started doing A/B testing on our website.

We tripled the company’s revenues to about $9 million in the following 12 months. And then, by 2007, we had doubled it again. We realized that this works, that it’s amazingly powerful. In doing so, we discovered we’d developed new techniques and a different approach to website improvement. It all involved A/B testing. And it all involved copywriting.

So for the rest of this talk, I’m going to talk about how you can become a copywriter yourself.

The title of this talk, “How You Can Beat Most Professional Copywriters”, may sound far-fetched, but you have to remember that most people who have the word “copywriter” on their business card aren’t copywriters by our definition. By our definition, if someone has never won an A/B test, then we would not call them a copywriter, because an A/B test is the way to measure that your copy has beaten the control—the existing version.

If someone calls themselves a copywriter but can’t show any evidence that they’ve won A/B tests, it’s like someone calling themselves a salesperson but can’t provide you with any evidence they’ve ever generated sales. Or someone calling themselves a golfer, but not only have they never won a game of golf, they have never even played against someone at golf. What I’m going to show you is enough to make you surprisingly sophisticated at copywriting.

We wrote an article about what we had been doing, and it went viral. Ours was one of the fastest-growing websites in the world that week, according to Amazon’s Alexa reports. The next day, Google contacted us out of the blue and asked, “What are your plans?” They invited us to become the first worldwide authorized partner for Google Website Optimizer, which was Google’s A/B testing tool.

We didn’t plan to create a consultancy, but that’s where things led. Nowadays, we carry out A/B tests and design pages for some of the world’s most sophisticated companies—companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon.

We’ve worked in almost every industry. We have sold almost everything. And it’s reassuring that whatever you sell, the advice in this talk will be applicable, and really, really effective.

(I won’t go into details, but on our “Clients and Results” page, we have 86 video testimonials from our clients telling the stories of how conversion rate optimization—CRO—has radically grown their businesses, often by more than double.)

When most people first find out about copywriting, they want to know: What are the words that sell?

There’s a book called Words That Sell that contains a big list of words that are useful for copywriters—like a copywriting thesaurus. The book has its uses, but that’s not really what copywriting is about. You might also buy the book, More Words That Sell, but that’s not what it’s about either. Nor is it Phrases That Sell, or Tested Sentences That Sell.

There are actually two skills to copywriting, and they aren’t really about the words.

  1. Skill one is about becoming able to sell the product face-to-face.
  2. Skill two is being able to take that knowledge and turn it into writing.

The rest of my talk is going to be mainly about these two steps.

Step One: Selling face-to-face

Step one, which I’m talking about now—becoming able to sell the product face-to-face—that’s the first thing you need to be able to do, and here’s why: It’s because your “robot salesperson”, which is what your website is, will be no better than its creator.

In other words, if you can’t sell the product face-to-face, if you couldn’t sell it to someone in person, then you don’t stand a chance of creating a page that will sell it because you don’t know all the things you need to say in order to sell. There’s no way you can create a page that does it automatically for you.

Have ready answers to common objections

Here’s a great example: With every client we work on, whatever it is, one of the things we always do is find someone—usually within the client’s organization, often someone in customer support—someone who can sell the product themselves.

In this example, we were working on a page for an electrical device, and we went to a store where they sold them. And this girl was amazingly knowledgeable, she sold about five of them per week. We showed her the client’s page and asked, “How would you improve this page?”

She replied, “When we started selling these electronic devices, the first thing I used to do is…people, our prospects, the visitors to the store used to ask us questions, so I would look on [the company’s] website for the answers and the website wouldn’t have them.” She then listed out about… I think it was 22 different things that customers often asked and needed to know before they would buy, none of which were on the client’s actual website.

Can you see how the website lacked the information a real person would need to sell these? She knew what those things were, and she effectively gave us a list of 22 common objections—and the counter objections she had come up with—that answered their questions and allowed her to sell the product.

That was ready-made copywriting gold. It didn’t come from a book of magic words; it was real genuine things a customer needs in order to take action.

Become the customer

The second part of learning to sell face-to-face is to become the customer yourself. Whatever we sell, we insist that our consultants go and buy it themselves. We reimburse them for it. (Just between us, we’ve bought a whole load of unusual things from clients this way.)

What we always do is start off on the web, research it. Don’t just go to the client’s website, but also shop around like you would in real life.

Record yourself with Camtasia—or if you’re on a Mac, ScreenFlow—so you’ll have a record of the shopping experience. We often like to include our own faces on the recording, because you can even see your own emotions at the times when you’re getting frustrated. You can zoom back through this at a later date and watch the movie to remind yourself of what different websites looked like and what the information was. It’s a very quick way of being able to work your way through different funnels.

If you have any questions, and if you normally pick up the phone to call customer support, do that and use Skype so you have a record of that experience as well. It’s really useful for you to become the customer this way, because you need to be able to understand the customer’s views. How crazy is it to think of selling something if you haven’t been the customer yourself?

Then, when you’ve bought it, use the product. Here’s a photo of my cofounder, Ben. One weekend, we were working for a company that sold sheds, and we asked, within our company, which of us most needed a shed. Ben didn’t need a shed, but I guess he was the person who was least reluctant to buy one and set it up, so yeah.

He ordered it, he had it delivered, he assembled it. And in doing so, one thing he discovered was that all of the panels of the shed, which had been delivered on the front lawn, were too large to fit through the house—which he had to do—and they damaged his walls on the way through.

So, he reported back to the client. They redesigned their sheds so that now, all of their shed panels are small enough to fit through a normal house doorway.

If you think about the improvement in customer satisfaction (and in Net Promoter Score) for making what seems like quite an obscure change, it’ll be huge. With all of these little things, as you’re using the products, you’ll learn different aspects you were unaware of until you were actually the customer.

Get honest feedback

The next thing you need to do is, on whichever page you’re improving, have an on-page survey asking questions. In particular, ask why…here’s one from one of our pages. It’s from our Learning Zone page where we ask, “Did you decide to download our PDFs? Please let us know why or why not. You can be brutally honest. We love feedback.”

It almost feels like cheating, doesn’t it? Where you can effectively just ask, “How can we improve this page?” or, “Let us know why you won’t take action.”

With so many of the pages on our website and on our client’s website, we have these surveys. We don’t run them forever—only for the time it takes to gather the information we need. Then you can iteratively improve the page, and when you see an objection coming up several times, fix that objection.

This survey tool is called Qualaroo, and we find it really useful for finding out specifically why visitors and customers aren’t taking action.

Create a mental shopping list

The next thing to consider is the mental shopping list. This is a list of all the things a prospect needs to think about by the time they take action.

Here is a basic list just as an example. (There’ll be lots more-detailed ones for each product or website you’re working on.) So here, for example, they need to think…

  • “This website looks relevant and it’ll satisfy my visitor intention.”
  • “I believe this is the best website of its type, so I won’t be considering the competitors (which include ‘doing nothing’ and ‘ordering offline’).”
  • “I can easily find what I’m looking for.”
  • “I can understand which product is best for me because the website makes clear recommendations.”
  • “I believe this type of product is what I need.”
  • “I believe this particular product is what I need.
  • I believe the claims the website is making about the company and their products because they’re supported with proof.”
  • “All of my miscellaneous product-specific objections have been overcome.”
  • “I found the whole experience pleasurable and I’d happily do it again.”

…and you can write those all out.

What you’ll find is that each website has different bottlenecks—different questions that aren’t being answered at the moment. So you need to create this list because you need to identify…

  1. Which stages, which paths, which aspects of the website are the customers or visitors getting stuck on?
  2. Which of these questions aren’t you answering at the moment?

→ To recap so far

Don’t start writing until…

  1. You know everything about the product.
  2. You’ve bought and used the product with your own money.
  3. You can understand why people buy it.
  4. You could sell it to yourself or your friends—because if you couldn’t sell it to yourself, then you don’t stand a chance of selling it to other people.
  5. Know all the objections and have great counter objections to them.
  6. You’ve gathered proof to support all of your claims. And speaking of that…

Gather a legal dossier

Imagine that you’re gathering proof—you’re essentially gathering a legal dossier to prove that the product and the website are the best. That’s a good way to think of it.

It’s not marketing, you know, this idea that it’ll work to just come up with loads of marketing buzzwords. That’s not what converts. Visitors are only converted with proof.

When I say you need to sell it face-to-face, that doesn’t mean you need to become a sleazy salesperson. That’s exactly what it’s not about. It’s about understanding all the things you’d need to say in order to persuade someone—all the things the visitor needs to know before they can take action. All those facts exist somewhere out in the world, and you need to get out and learn them.

So that’s the first step of the two aspects of copywriting. The second one is writing it down.

Turning it all into writing

Most people prefer only one of the two steps. People who love Skill One, selling, often shy away from writing. People who enjoy Skill Two, writing, are often uncomfortable with the selling part.

Few people are comfortable with both.

One of the secrets of becoming a great copywriter is that whichever one of the two steps you’re not comfortable with, push yourself out of your comfort zone.

If you can have the self-discipline to do whichever step you find least comfortable, and grow in that area, then you can become what’s quite a rare breed. There really aren’t enough good copywriters around.

Writing turns a genius into a moron

Here’s a packet of ham I bought from Tesco a few months ago. Pretty much the only sales copy on the whole package is where it says, “Just a Suggestion.”

Imagine if you went into a supermarket and it had a deli counter, and there was a person there serving up the ham. You order some, and they give you a packet of ham. Could you imagine the situation where you say, “Oh, thank you very much,” and you’re about to walk away and the person says, “Hang on…just a suggestion.”

“Oh yeah, what’s that?”

“Well, you could make a sandwich out of that.”

“Yes, I know that. Is that all?”

“Well, maybe you’d also want to not bother unfolding the ham properly. Or possibly add a bit of lettuce.”

“…But yeah, I knew that.”

That wouldn’t happen, would it? A real person would never say that in real life. They’d never stop you and say, “Just a suggestion.” But for some weird reason, the act of writing turns many a genius into a moron.

I think it has something to do with the way people are taught to write at school—there’s a disconnect. So someone who’d never dream of saying, “Just a suggestion…” when they’re selling ham face-to-face will be really happy to write it on a packet, not realizing what a strange thing that is to say.

Write like a human

One of the big things about learning to be a good copywriter is to write like a human. Write in the same way you’d speak to someone in real life.

It’s hard because at school, a lot of how you’re taught to write involves the opposite. It involves writing in a way you would never normally speak. So you have to unlearn a lot of skills and write things down in the same way you’d speak to a real person.

How do you do this? One easy way is to record yourself. Get a recorder and record yourself speaking, saying whatever it is you would say if you were face-to-face with someone.

Imagine someone walked through the door and said, “You know, I’ve just searched Google for these keywords. Over to you—what would you say to me?” And speak out what you would say to a real person who was calling in, then get that transcribed and analyze exactly what it is, maybe tidy it up. Make sure that all of the things you would say in real life are the things you’re saying on your website.

We often say the following to website owners: “I’m going to pretend to be a visitor and you have to sell to me, but you’re only allowed to sell by saying the words on your website.” Most people are embarrassed to say the words on their website to a real person, because that’s the point they realize the disconnect—that they would never use those words in real life.

Use the right number of words

People often say, “How long should a page be? Do people read these days? How many words should we be using on a page?” What we say is, you need to use at least as many words as you’d use when selling face-to-face.

Now, for some products—like this guy here selling watermelons—then the answer is, “Probably not very many words at all.” In fact, he looks in a bit of a bad mood. He looks like he might not speak very much at all.

But if you’re selling a CRM system, you wouldn’t dream of selling it face-to-face without at least three visits to the client’s building and to maybe have three one-hour sessions, then that’s a lot of words. Your page needs to contain at least as many words as that.

In many cases, that means your page will be much longer than you’re comfortable with. But look at examples of websites or pages that really do convert, and companies that do carry out A/B testing. Here’s Amazon’s page for the Kindle. If you printed that page out, it would be 19 feet tall. That’s over three David Hasselhoffs tall!

I know I said just now that you need to use as many words as you would in real life. But actually, you have to use more words, because in real life you can adjust what you say based on the person’s questions.

On a website however, you have to anticipate all the possible common questions and address them ahead of time. So typically, you’ll need at least that many words, and maybe more.

Now, this doesn’t mean I’m recommending that you waffle. Quite the opposite. You need to be as concise as possible—like really, really concise. But even when you are concise, you’ll still find that your pages have to be long because most things require a lot of words to sell them.

Resources for writing well

Next we’ll take a look at how to learn grammar and the mechanics of writing and “style” as they call it. Here are three great resources:

  1. The left-hand one is a very short book called The Elements of Style by Strunk & White. A lot of things in there are controversial, but the second half of the book is a great description of what good writing is. It’s very useful.
  2. The middle one is the Professional Writing Style website, which is a great guide to some very mechanical things you can do to create better sentences.
  3. The next one is the Plain English Campaign, which has some great guides on how to write in plain English. To some extent, what the Plain English Campaign PDFs do is give you permission to unpick lots of the things you learned at school in English classes.

Read it aloud

Next, when you’re writing, make sure that whatever you write, you get at least one person to read it out loud to you. You need to have someone who can read the whole thing. As they are speaking, you need to listen for … where do they get confused, where do they pause, where do they hesitate, where do they read something wrongly? That’s really valuable.

We do it for everything we ever write. Every single blog post gets read out loud by at least one person. It takes time, but it’s worth it because it’s so valuable.

You might think, “Do I really have time for this?” But if your page is important enough that maybe 10,000 people are going to see it, maybe a hundred thousand people are going to see it, then the answer is, “Yes.” Ten minutes of your time can save hours of your readers’ time.

Structuring a landing page for conversion

Now, I’m going to go through a template for a highly converting landing page.

Obviously, there are a whole load of different ways you can structure a sales page. What I’m giving here is a very versatile, very robust format which will work with anything. If and when you become great at copywriting, you’ll get to the point where you’ll want to start trying different approaches, but this is the most robust, universally applicable template.

An enticing headline

The first thing you’ll have at the top of the page is a headline. Some people say a headline needs to contain the “three major benefits.” There are certainly over a hundred different formulae for what makes a good headline—different types of headline depending on the situation. But the only rule is that the headline needs to make them want to read more.

Captivating opening sentences

Next, open with a sentence that makes them say, “That’s me.” If you’re selling CRM software, it’s not a bad idea to say at some point within the first sentence, “Are you looking for CRM software?” So people think, “Oh, I’m in the right place here. Yes, that’s exactly what I’m looking for.”

Use the inverted pyramid principle, which newspaper writers use. It’s where the first few sentences cover the whole of what you’re going to talk about, and then the writing becomes increasingly detailed as you go down. But don’t go too detailed too soon; you want to start off broad and then get narrower.

Bullet points and graphics

Next, use bullet points with the main benefits and a clear next step. It’s a good idea to open up your page with bullets of the main benefits.

Ensure the graphical appearance of the page matches the website and connects to the target audience. Some people ask, “What graphics convert best?”, but there’s no one answer. It’s all about signaling. You want to think, “What kind of website would the visitors like this to be? What kind of website would most reassure them?”—and then make it look like that type of website.

“Johnson Box” for easy navigation

It’s also a good idea to have what we call a “Johnson Box”, saying what you’ll get on the page.

The term Johnson Box is a word from direct mail. At the top of a direct mail letter, there’d be a table of contents—but a table of contents that both links to different sections and is also fascinating.

We find Johnson Boxes work really well on websites like the one we’re showing below, where you can see three irresistible fascinating links to each section so people can jump to the part that interests them most.

A Johnson Box effectively is a type of navigation, and some people now do it as a top navigation bar where when you click and it scrolls down the page for you. We find it to be a nice straightforward way of creating a long page that’s also navigable.

Here’s an example. Here’s our careers page, and you can see that we’ve labeled what the sections are. It starts at the top with a self-interest headline that gets the right people interested; the graphical appearance that matches the website; the Johnson Box you can see there, which is all the bullet points for the different sections so people can skip to what they want; and then here, you can see very early on, we’ve included bullet points with the main benefits.

Split the page into sections

You’ve got their attention but you still need to make every single word count. So, use subheads to announce and sell each section. Have sections that check off each item in the prospect’s mental shopping list.

Before, I said you need to create a big list of all the things the visitor needs to think. Now is the time in your body copy to make sure that each section, every single one of those list items, needs to be checked off. And support all your claims with evidence.

Font size is important too. The page should be like climbing into a hot tub of text. Start large and then gradually step down the font size. Don’t go from a large headline straight into a small body copy. It’s much better to step it down in terms of headline size.

And again, back on that page I mentioned before, you can see we’ve got the subheads, each of which addresses a different aspect we want to check off in the prospect’s mental shopping list. And there, you can see an example of us supporting the claims with evidence.

We always wanted to have a section on how you’ll be happy working for us, but it was only once we got the actual data to prove that consultants at CRE are happy that we included this section. Saying you’ll be happy working here is nothing unless you’ve got proof. And so, there’s the proof based on the survey data we capture compared to the industry average.

And finally, add a call to action

The final part of your page is to get them to take action. It’s really, really important that you get the call-to-action right, because that’s the point at which you’re getting them to do something. That’s the point at which they have to make a decision.

Here’s what your offer and call-to-action should do.

First, it needs to summarize the benefits. Because some people will have skimmed around the page or even just scrolled straight to the bottom. By summarizing the benefits, you make sure they’re reminded (or even learning for the first time) what they’re getting.

Then, present the offer, and justify the price to make them realize that what you offer is worth more than what you want in return. What you want in return may be money, but it also might be their email address, or for them to submit a lead, or to tell-a-friend.

Two easy ways to make them act right now:

  1. Risk reduction. We could talk for at least an hour about risk reduction strategies. There are many ways to reduce risk. In summary: (i) Work out ways to make the risk lower, and (ii) below the call-to-action, explain why the risk is low.
  2. Incentive for prompt action. Look within your company for reasons for urgency. Why should the visitor take action urgently? What’s the scarcity? And then be sure to mention it at that point. That’s the point at which people are hovering, wondering whether to go away or do something now.

That’s the end of the template.

The things most likely to increase profits

People often ask us, “What are the most important things? What are the top things I should test on my website? I’ve got my A/B testing software. What should I do first?”

That’s a hard question to answer because it depends on your own situation—it’s like saying “What part of my car should I repair”—but here are five of the most important things, the ones that tend to get wins in almost all cases:

  1. The angle
  2. The things that get looked at first
  3. The offer and calls to action
  4. The weakest aspects of your current website, whatever they are
  5. The proof

I’ll go through them in turn.

The angle

First, here’s a good example of what I mean by angle. Imagine you’re writing a page that sells fertilizer to homeowners. Now, here’s what the legendary copywriter Robert Collier wrote as the opening of a sales letter:

“With your permission, I’m going to make an analysis of the soil of your lawn to determine, at my own risk and expense, what elements are lacking in it, what you need for stronger, healthier, more closely grown turf.”

Can you see that that paragraph is not about special magical words; it’s about what he’s saying.

He’s not saying, “My fertilizer has the following three benefits…” He’s saying, “Free of charge, I’m going to carry out an analysis of your soil and tell you some interesting facts about it and diagnose what you need.” That’s a whole different angle, a whole different approach, a whole different meaning. Great copywriting lives at the level of meaning.

Imagine you were selling grass seed face-to-face, and someone says they aren’t interested. You might retreat and think, “I’m going to try once more, but this time I’m going to enter the conversation with a different angle, a different way of opening the conversation.” That’s what we mean by angle. It’s a different approach into the conversation.

The new angle might be that you start talking about the guarantee. It might be that you open with proof. It might be that you open by talking about the offer and how there’s no risk. It might be that you open by educating them. What matters is that you’re saying something completely different.

What they’re looking at

An eye-tracking report would show you exactly what your visitors are looking at. Even when you have no eye-tracking data, it’s important to be aware of the concept, and focus on those parts of the page that will be viewed most. In particular, focus “above the fold”—the top of the page—because that’s what people can’t help but see first. In particular, focus on headlines, images, and anything that’s large and stands out (“pops’)—because those things tend to be looked at first.

The offer and the call to action

You can change what you’re offering in several different ways.

First, you can look at the long-term strategy for pricing. You may want to make as much money as quickly as possible (or whatever the goal of your company is), but think long-term. Think of Amazon, which has the goal to keep customers for life. So think of your long-term strategy—not only to win this first A/B test.

Common winning offers are:

  • Make the initial purchase a “no-brainer”
  • Make the “headline offer” irresistibly appealing.
  • Consider stripping down the features of your service, then charging for extras.
  • If you can’t make it free, make it seem cheaper. There are lots of ways to do this. For example, start with a lower commitment. Or even charge as a monthly payment, which works so often.
  • Upsell and cross-sell. Think of other things your visitors will want to buy or will be buying at the same time.
  • Add premiums and incentives. You could give away a free report, which doesn’t have any unit costs. You pay only for the one-off cost of creating the report.
  • Think of ways of bundling or unbundling other products or other services.

There are many ways to package up your product without having to change what it is—to make it more appealing to the prospect.

Find your website’s weak points

Next, identify the weakest parts of your website. I won’t go into detail here, because there are so many different techniques. (Our best-selling book, Making Websites Win describes them all.) Most websites are weak in the following ways:

  • Proof. The slide shows just three examples of effective proof, but there are many ways to bolster the proof of your claims.
  • Social proof. Anything that shows you’re growing quickly, or that other people in your prospects’ situation are making the same decision you want your prospects to make.
  • Testimonials. Show examples of happy successful customers.

Testimonials can be from customers, but it helps if they have authority, popularity, credibility, and influence. Celebrities, for example, have many of those. One amusing example is that in the UK, Weetabix breakfast cereal is endorsed by the Queen. It has the Queen’s stamp of approval, which affirms that the Queen thinks it’s a good breakfast cereal. Now that’s a great proof element. (The Queen has also given our company her approval, twice.)

Endorsements can also come from the media, online and offline. What credibility does your company have, and what proof do you have in that respect?

A good thing you can do right now is, on your computer, take a second to create a new folder and call it “Proof”. From then on, whenever you see a good press clipping, or when a customer says something nice, file it in your “Proof” folder. Then, when you create a landing page, it’s really useful that all your proof is in one place.

Most companies, when we start asking them for the proof, say, “Oh, wait. Yes, we were in the news, but we can’t find a copy.” They don’t have an organized system for storing and retrieving proof.

Hiring copywriters

You may be wondering whether you want to learn to write copy, or whether you’d rather outsource or delegate it.” Here are a few tips to hire copywriters. Good ones are hard to find, but here’s what to look for.

First, find someone with a track record of getting wins. In particular, if this is the Olympics of writing, don’t trust it to someone who has never won—or even run—a race. Just because someone has “copywriter” written on their business card doesn’t mean they’ve ever had a win.

Next, once you’ve hired them, ensure their work is A/B tested. If someone writes copy and is trying to increase sales, why would they not want to A/B test their version against the control to learn if it worked? Why would they not want to know the truth? We insist on A/B testing all the changes we make to our clients’ websites—even if they don’t ask us to—because we want to know what works. Every great copywriter wants to know the truth. There’s no other way to become great.

Ensure the copywriter follows the two-step process I’ve described: 1) learn how to sell the product, and 2) use craft to put the message into writing. So hire someone who can sell and can write.

How do you know if they can sell? A good question is, would you buy from them? Are they the type of person you’d buy from? You aren’t looking for a sleazy salesperson; you want someone who’s thoughtful and methodical about how they persuade.”

How do you know if they can write? See if you can effortlessly understand what they write. Do you enjoy reading their writing? If you get bored reading their application form, don’t feel guilty deleting it—because if they can’t keep your attention in an application form, they won’t be able to keep your visitors’ attention.

The best copywriters in our company—and many that we didn’t hire—had fascinating application forms. We were looking forward to meeting them. There was one that made me laugh so much I literally had tears running down my face; it was hilariously funny. And that’s a good thing.

Thank you for joining us

That’s all for now. To discover more, visit our Learning Zone or get a copy of our best-selling book, Making Websites Win.

And whether you outsource copywriting or do it yourself, make sure it happens. Because it’s really, really important.

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9 Advanced eCommerce Marketing Strategies for Medium or Large Online Stores to Use in 2020

Apply these supercharged eCommerce marketing strategies to your online store and watch sales climb.

Editor’s Note: As we navigate a new normal amid the coronavirus pandemic, these are tried and true eCommerce marketing strategies and methods that have proven effective even as businesses change. We are adapting to the short-run, however, the importance of having longer-term strategies in place ensures longer-term business success and health. Here are additional resources to help you navigate your marketing strategy during this time.

If you go to Google and search “eCommerce Marketing Strategy,” you’re more than likely to turn up articles that provide beginner-friendly and surface-level advice.

While these posts are useful for people getting started with their first online store, merchants with established businesses need to know about specific marketing strategies they can use to gain a competitive edge.

In other words: You already know that using tactics such as pay-per click (PPC) campaigns, search engine optimization (SEO) and conversion rate optimization (CRO) are important in general.

What you actually need to know are specific digital marketing strategies that work right now to aid your marketing efforts.

The 9 eCommerce marketing strategies below are tailored toward medium to large businesses, but they will also work for a small business, too. Whether you implement one strategy, or all of them, into your eCommerce marketing plan, your store’s performance will improve.

Note: Want to talk to someone who can help with your eCommerce store’s digital marketing? Get in touch.

eCommerce PPC Marketing Strategies

see think do

#1: Use a “See, Think, Do” Social Media Ads Strategy

The cost of ads on social media platforms is rising steadily. To get a great return on ad spend (ROAS) depends on generating purchases while minimizing ad spend. This means finding new, cold audiences with a high ROAS.

Segmenting and optimizing social media ads to each stage of the marketing funnel is key.

Some stores can take a bottom of the funnel only approach to their ads to get a return, without focusing on converting a cold audience. However, this is not true for all online stores. Ideally, your store can test a full funnel strategy like the one we outline below against a bottom of the funnel (BOFU) campaign and come to a clear conclusion.

The full funnel that a customer goes through prior to a purchase is generally outlined as Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action.

In the context of paid social media ads, we’ve found great use from reframing the marketing funnel under Avinash Kaushik’s See, Think, Do business framework for categorizing prospects along their buying journey.

Note: Below is the definition for each stage of this framework, and a real Facebook Ads campaign we applied it to for a client that got a 10x ROAS.

“See”: The largest possible audience that would buy your products, but haven’t shown intent.

For the “See” audience, we want to inexpensively get targeted prospects to the website and looking at your products.

  • Goal: Cheap impressions at scale
  • KPI: Cost per mille (CPM)
  • Ads: Brand awareness to introduce the store and/or products (“Reach” in Facebook Ads Manager)

“See” Ad Example:

"See" ad example from Aviator Gear on Facebook

“Think”: A subset of the ‘See’ audience who have shown intent by engaging.

For the “Think” audience, we want to show the prospects who engaged with your ad the same products that they showed interest in on their last visit. We collect them as a custom audience using a Facebook Ads pixel.

  • Goal: Landing page views
  • KPI: Cost Per Engagement (CPE)
  • Ads: Remarketing product ads based on engagement / products viewed (“Conversion” as the campaign objective in Facebook Ads Manager)

“Think” Ad Example:

"Think" ad example from Aviator Gear on Facebook

“Do”: A subset of the ‘Think’ audience who are the most likely group to buy because they shopped for the longest amount of time.

After the past two stages, we attained a 10x ROAS for the ‘Do’ stage ads that we created for this client. The key thing we did was retarget the top 25% of landing page website visitors from the “Think” stage based on how much time they spent on site.

  • Goal: Conversions
  • KPI: Cost per purchase
  • Ads: Retargeting ads to the top 25% of the “Think” audience based on time spent on site, with bold graphics, copy, and calls to action (CTAs).

“Do” Ad Example:

"Do" ad example from Aviator Gear on Facebook

You can scale Facebook ads performance just like this by structuring campaigns to bring in new potential customers at the top of the funnel, and then filter only the most engaged prospects down the funnel to a purchase.

Note: Check out the original post with the full details of our ‘See, Think, Do’ eCommerce Facebook Ads strategy here.

#2: Use Facebook Ads and Google Ads Together

With a limited ad budget, eCommerce merchants often assume that they have to choose between Facebook Ads and Google Ads (formerly Google Adwords).

In reality, your business can probably use a cross channel advertising strategy that incorporates both platforms. Though, you may scale ads on one channel more than the other.

eCommerce companies can maximize their brand exposure, conversions, and profitability from PPC by using Facebook Ads and Google Ads together strategically.

What does this complementary strategy look like?

How Facebook Ads and Google Ads Complement Each Other

Social ads create brand awareness; People search Google for brand and products; Google Search and Shopping Ads capture searches relevant to your brand; Remarketing with Social Ads and Display Ads

Facebook (and Instagram) are great for getting new audiences on social media exposed to your brand.

This added brand awareness can create more branded searches for your brand and products in Google, which helps signal to Google that they should associate your website with your brand.

As Google recognizes your brand as an entity, it helps add traction to your branded search marketing campaigns, ensuring that you show up at the top when people search for your brand. Including brand+keyword search terms like “annemarie body lotion:”

"Annemarie" body lotion Google search

As audiences continue engaging with your Website and Facebook Business Page, you can remarket to them across the web through Google’s Display network and Facebook’s pixel.

To get the full details on using this multi-channel strategy, see our guide to Google Ads vs Facebook Ads for eCommerce.

#3: Optimize Your Product Data Feed

When we onboard new PPC clients, reviewing their product data feed is a crucial step of our initial audit. If products don’t have enough data, or are missing from the product feed altogether, this leads to missed opportunities for better Shopping Ads performance.

An unoptimized feed makes it harder for your products to appear when buyers search for them. It also leads to wasted ad spend. We often see a particularly high volume of low converting search queries being triggered in product listing ad (PLA) campaigns as a result of an unoptimized data feed.

As an absolute bare minimum, add in a featured image for your product, pricing, and availability to make sure you show up in Google Shopping’s product feed.

"instant pot duo plus" Google search results

The more information you add about each of your products in the feed, the more Google will show them, and the more they will stand out from the competition.

Optimizing the data feed with as much information as possible will not only make your shopping listing look more appealing to customers, but it will also allow Google to show your product for more relevant results. This helps avoid wasting ad spend on irrelevant search queries.

We recommend optimizing your product data feed by following these best practices. Foremost among them:

  1. Adding all your products to your product feed (not just some).
  2. Optimizing the products in the feed with as much relevant information as possible (colors, patterns, scents, size, weight, etc.).

Note: In addition to helping with PPC, clean product data feeds are also critical for optimizing the quality of search engine traffic your eCommerce website gets.

If you really want to take this to the next level, we recommend going with a data feed optimization platform. We use Feedonomics for most of our clients and tend to see a noticeable increase in performance fairly immediately.

eCommerce CRO Marketing Strategies

#4: Personalize Your Shopping Experience to Each Audience Segment

The growth of microbrands is already encroaching quite a bit on the bottom line of consumer giants. Often, these smaller brands cater their entire shopping experience to very specific, niche audiences.

As a result, the little guys are able to beat out the big brands for those niche customers.

The process for personalizing the shopping experience of your eCommerce business can be boiled down to bucketing your audience segments into customer personas, and giving each persona a tailored user experience.

For example, our client with a used photography equipment marketplace provides separate shopping experiences for their prospects who want to buy equipment, sell equipment, or get equipment repaired. They built out separate sections of their website to cater to each prospect’s intention.

There is no one-size-fits-all with how to do eCommerce personalization. It will vary based on your customer personas and the way these different users behave on your site. So first, you have to do some research and collect that data. Then, use that information to personalize your website.

The steps to personalizing your eCommerce website’s shopping experience are:

  1. Brainstorm and group personas together from your overall customer base.
  2. Identify the characteristics and site behaviors specific to each persona.
  3. Track and analyze that data with Google Analytics Custom Dimensions.
  4. Narrow down the 3-5 data points that are the specific actions usually taken by each persona (this requires more testing and analyzing to confirm).
  5. Personalize your website accordingly.

Want to see how to complete each of the above steps in detail? See our full guide to eCommerce personalization strategies.

#5: Optimize Shopping Cart and Checkout According to Best Practices

We still see eCommerce businesses that have yet to adopt common conversion rate optimization best practices for their cart and checkout pages.

Here are the CRO tips we recommend testing that even big stores miss:

Best Practice #1: If most purchases on your website are for one item, make sure to send users straight to the cart.

Best Practice #2: On the other hand, if you typically sell more than one item per order, keep users on the product page and encourage them to keep shopping. For example, Gap shows the dollar amount customers have left to spend to qualify for free shipping:

You are only $32 away from FREE shipping

Best Practice #3: Don’t display a coupon code field in the checkout process by default. Most businesses display the field for customers to enter a coupon or promo code. For example, Tani’s checkout flow displays the coupon code field by default:

Tani's checkout automatically displays the Gift card or discount code on checkout

Our testing for some clients has shown increased cart abandonment when the checkout flow displays this field by default versus hiding it. This suggests that some customers may have been abandoning the checkout page to search for a code to use after seeing the blank field.

A better option may be to do what PACT Organic does in their checkout flow. Which is to ask the customer if they have a coupon first:

Pact's website shows: "Do you have a promo code or gift card?"

Once the customer clicks that text to confirm they already have a code, the field to enter it drops down for them to use:

pasted image 0 20

Be sure to test one version of the checkout flow on your site with the field hidden, and one with the field displayed. See if hiding the field results in less cart abandonment and if so, make that the default option.

Best Practice #4: Keep your checkout process limited to as few steps as possible, and keep it distraction-free by eliminating unnecessary sections such as your website navigation header. The only visible elements that should be there are the ones necessary to complete their purchase. In general, this best practice is commonly known, yet we have seen that some stores still have cluttered or distracting checkout processes.

Best Practice #5: Display an order summary throughout the checkout process that lets customers easily see that they got the correct items. People will sometimes abandon the checkout and go back to the cart if they don’t see their entire order displayed and want to double check something. For example, Aquasana keeps the shopping cart items visible at the top while taking payments, with a link to go back to the cart if they need to.

Aquasana's checkout page displays the items in your cart on the checkout page.

#6: Display and Test Trust Elements on Your Website

Trust elements are proven to help reassure customers and increase conversion rates. These include graphics such as:

  • Security seals
  • 3rd party verification badges
  • Industry certifications

That said, we have tested trust seals and badges and found that what “trust” means for one brand and their customers may differ for another brand.

Different industries, businesses, and their customers come from different backgrounds, and have different values and needs when shopping. This is why the best way to validate which trust symbol works best for you is through controlled testing on your website.

One test we usually recommend running is to include trust elements throughout the customer journey (on your homepage, catalog, and especially in cart/checkout). This helps to reassure customers at each step because the element is on every page.

Burt's Bees landing page with TrustedSite verification.
Burtsbees.com includes the TrustedSite certification seal as a floating graphic in the bottom left on every page in order to help reassure users.

We have linked trust certifications to increased conversions through our own independent testing below (which commonly includes a control group with no certification preset on the site):

In both of them, the major factors are the website the trust badge appears on and the company behind the trust badge itself.

To start, test out the best trust badges for eCommerce and find what works best. Or hire a conversion rate optimization specialist to test what works best on your behalf.

Note: In addition to the strategies above, you can see more effective CRO strategies in our annual CRO study of the best-in-class eCommerce stores.

eCommerce SEO Marketing Strategies

#7: Scale Strategic Content Marketing

eCommerce businesses can see a direct ROI from publishing strategic content such as buyer guides, resources, and how-to articles. The other benefit of scaling high-quality content is that it can dramatically improve the SEO quality of your website.

To scale high-quality content for inbound marketing you can:

  • Hire it out to an agency’s content marketing team
  • Hire a Senior Content Manager in-house to manage your own portfolio of freelance writers
  • Work with a freelance content marketing consultant with their own team of writers and editors

As a general guideline, make sure the content is tailored to your audience:

  • What are your customer’s questions about your products?
  • What are the problems they need help solving that your product can help with?
  • What tone and format (e.g. articles, resources, videos) will your customers find engaging based on their personas and interests?

For example, we helped our warehouse industry client publish resources like warehouse-related checklists. Their customers tend to need help stocking and organizing their warehouses. This content helped to solve their problems. As a result, website traffic, signups, and conversions increased.

For other clients, a product buying guide often makes sense. For example, if you sell backyard playsets, a buying guide to the different materials they can be made of, configurations, and safety information is content that potential customers could find engaging.

Overall, make content that is tailored to the specific industries that buy your products. In the next strategy, you’ll learn how to make sure that your strategic content is highly optimized for search engines.

#8: Use Content Optimization Software to Supercharge Your Strategic Content’s Ability to Rank

If you can see what people are searching for and where they’re landing, then you can make sure those pages properly meet the search intent. What does “properly meet the search intent” mean, though?

It means providing the best answer to whatever it is they are hoping to get back from a search term. This is how you get your strategic content to rank higher in Google.

Some search terms indicate that users want to find specific products to buy (“burberry size medium topcoat tan check”). In that case, you want to provide the best product page possible for that Burberry topcoat, with those size/color/pattern modifier words like “medium,” “tan,” and “check” included on the page.

Other search terms indicate that the users have a problem or question they want to solve, like “how to care for leather luggage.” In this instance, you want to provide the best guide online for taking care of leather luggage compared to the competing leather luggage care guides at the top of Google.

We like to use Clearscope as an on-page optimization tool to make sure pages include the right type of content and keywords. It’s especially useful for strategic content like articles and blog posts.

Clearscope is a great tool for on-page optimization

Clearscope provides optimization suggestions based on the common keywords on the top ranking search engine results pages (SERPs). That makes it easy for you to include the right content and keywords for each page.

There are some other well-known content optimization tools out there (that we haven’t tried out), such as Ryte and Copywritely.

Once you know the keywords your customers are using, and have optimized your on-page copy to include them, there are more SEO tweaks that can make a big difference. Be sure to edit your meta tags, and add internal linking on category and product pages to incorporate those keywords in the anchor text.

Note: When optimizing a page for specific keywords like this, your goal is to publish a better version of the top-ranking content that ranks for the target keywords. This process is what doing content marketing for SEO entails in a nutshell.

#9: Add Schema Markup to Get Your Brand and Products Featured by Google

Now it’s time to help all of your content “pop” visually and rank higher in the search engines with Schema markup.

JSON Schema markup is code that indicates what’s on your webpages to search engines. Adding as much structured data as possible helps improve the odds of Google indexing and ranking your web pages higher.

Once Google recognizes the structured data on your pages, this increases the odds of visual elements being added to those pages in the SERPs. This can include beating organic rankings as a featured snippet at the very top of results:

"best electric lawn mower" Google search results
Google Featured Snippet for the search term “best electric lawn mower.”

You can generate structured data to add to your page according to Google’s specifications with their Structured Data Markup Helper.

Have a web developer implement the JSON code for relevant markup on your most important pages first, such as your highest trafficked and highest converting pages.

Once you’ve implemented structured data, use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to double check it.

Here are some types of structured data eCommerce website should be using:

Products, Pricing, and Availability Schema

Product Schema is important for any eCommerce site to get those products recognized as entities and indexed by search engines.

Adding structured data markup for Pricing, Price Range, and Availability Schema is also important to increase the odds of showing up for “Popular products” results like this:

"wooden coffee tables" Google search results

Ratings Schema

As you see in the image above and below, adding markup for ratings helps those nice star ratings to appear in search results.

pasted image 0 11

This markup is built into some eCommerce product review software platforms as well.

Organization Schema

Use Organization Schema to build your brand as an entity in Google. This markup helps to get your logo in Google’s Knowledge Graph.

Tuft&Need Google Business Information
Tuft & Needle in Google’s Knowledge Graph. Note how Google pulled additional information about their brand such as their contact info, headquarters location, and founders info as well.

Questions and Answers

People often input very specific questions about products and brands into Google.

This markup can increase the odds of a Q&A Snippet by telling Google that the page consists of questions and their answers. Such as this one pulled from Amazon:

Google's Q&A Snippet: "How good is Miracle Gro?"

Or this one pulled from a roofing and insulation supplier:

"when do I need to replace my roof" Google Q&A snippet

Video

As video results become more frequent, you can increase the odds of appearing in a video snippet. To do this, host it on YouTube and make sure to add video markup to the page of your site that it is embedded on.

"how to repair your iPad" Google results with a video on the top of the page.

A YouTube Video’s Featured Snippet

Sitelinks Searchbox

If you have site search enabled on your domain, you can have a Sitelinks Searchbox appear by your result, especially when people search for your brand or main keywords.

For example, searching for “etsy” yields their Sitelinks search box. Google provides the option to search Etsy’s site right there because it recognizes the site search markup on the page:

"etsy" Google search results pulls in Etsy at the top with a search bar into Etsy's actual site.

Just as you want as much information loaded into your product data feed for PPC, you want as much relevant structured data on your product pages as possible for SEO.

Overall, the more information you add to your schema markup, such as contact info and company heads, the more chances that information will turn up in search results (and in your PPC ads too).

The biggest brands already have their individual products in Google’s Knowledge Graph, such as this Knowledge Graph products result for “nintendo switch”:

"Compare similar products" shopping results with pricing and reviews

You can even compare products right in Google.

You can compare different products right from within Google

This is the direction Google seems to be going, so make sure your products get recognized by Google too.

Note: Google’s guidelines for structured data outlines their preferences for how developers should implement each type of markup data.

Ready to Supercharge Your eCommerce Sales?

With these 10 eCommerce marketing strategies, you’re well-equipped to increase sales.

The key thing is prioritize and implement them in your marketing plan, and that’s where eCommerce stores often need some help.

Our agency helps medium to large eCommerce businesses grow through PPC, SEO, and CRO.

Note: Want to schedule a consultation with us to see which marketing strategies your store should implement first? Get in touch.

eCommerce PPC Data Analysis Case Study: How We Maximized Profit Without Maximizing ROAS

This case study shows how eCommerce businesses can maximize profitability from PPC through data analysis. The surprising reality of eCommerce PPC is that maximizing the return on ad spend (ROAS) does not always maximize profitability.

The surprising reality of eCommerce PPC is that maximizing the return on ad spend (ROAS) does not always maximize profitability.

When products share the same margin, optimizing for ROAS is easier to calculate. i.e. One divided by the product margin = your target break even ROAS. Then, you can focus on growth from there (unless you’re also factoring in LTV, which you should).

When multiple products have different margins, ROAS is not necessarily the best metric to focus on. Organizing your ad performance by different data points beyond ROAS can help you discover unique opportunities for profit maximization.

For example, eCommerce companies that use Google Ads have many bid optimization levers available such as:

  • Devices
  • Audiences
  • Geography
  • Demographics
  • Day of the week

…and many other relevant data points.

Reporting: Audience Reports, Advertising Reports, Acquisition Reports, Behavior Reports, Conversion Reports, Real-Time Reporting, User Flow Reporting.

Of course, you also have the standard KPIs associated with pay-per click (PPC).

  • Cost
  • Clicks
  • Conversions / transactions
  • Revenue

If you can correlate all these data points to profit in Google Ads campaigns, you’ve enhanced your ability to optimize toward more profitability.

Our experience with data analysis like this has shown that Google ad campaigns should target the best performing products and layer in as many bidding levers (or “segments”) as possible to optimize that targeting.

In this eCommerce PPC data analysis case study, we will show you how this process of connecting the data between Google Analytics, Google Ads, and unique business stats resulted in 72% more transactions at an 8% increase in spend year over year.

Note: If you want to find profitable opportunities in your data, our Google Ads and Social Media PPC experts would love to help. Get in touch here.

Background: Increasing ROAS ≠ Maximized Profitability

The first step before starting any PPC campaigns for our clients is to understand their business as much as possible. In particular, the past and current marketing efforts, performance, and potential of their different products.

The goal of this is to identify which Google Ad strategies are actually profitable (whether or not they are generating a high or low ROAS) and maximize those. As well as to identify which strategies are not profitable (again, whether or not they have high or low ROAS) and minimize those.

In this client’s case, understanding how their business works first meant becoming familiar with how every one of the 500-600 products they sell has a product margin that changes in real time. Next, was finding a way to get that data incorporated directly into their marketing campaigns.

The challenge was figuring out how to incorporate their backend performance data (each transaction and product had varying margin data) and be able to calculate what ratio we needed to hit to break even or be profitable. Essentially, each transaction could theoretically have a different net profit. We needed to find a way to bake this data into our analysis for optimizing the account.

That meant looking at ROAS alone wasn’t going to cut it. Instead, we needed to marry their data tracking capabilities with our Google Ad performance data to calculate the actual ROI. The goal being to get as granular as possible so we could take advantage of our standard bid optimization segments, at a minimum.

Once we did, we had a clear view of how the profitability of the campaigns was an independent figure from their ROAS (calculated by conversion value / cost).

What does it look like? Here is a campaign level screenshot that compares our Test ROI metric (Profit / Ad Cost) to ROAS (Conversion value / cost). Note that the first four rows have a similar ROI but the ROAS ranges greatly from 3.72 to 6.72:

Conversion value/ cost vs Test ROI
The test campaign ROI’s varied. This told us that ROAS was not correlating with profitability.     

 

There were many many iterations before getting to the above chart, which now lives in Google Ads.

Doing this type of analysis on an ongoing basis, in a way that would provide usable and actionable data for multiple types of optimizations, proved difficult. There were data processing capability restrictions and inconsistencies in how the different analytics platforms in use reported results, which meant we had to cross check every data point (over…and over…and…over).

We needed to know that these data points were accurate to get a real look at the profitability of each:

  • Product
  • Campaign
  • Ad group
  • Keyword
  • Search Query
  • Device
  • Any segment you would traditionally use to optimize targeting

We started with figuring out how to collect that data, then analyze it to make decisions based off of it in a timely manner. This was the “data science” applied to create a data driven PPC campaign.

Again, this would allow us to maximize the return from the most profitable campaigns (the “golden nuggets”), and mitigate the loss from the least profitable campaigns.

Work: Finding Golden Nuggets with Analytics Auto-Tagging

A couple of the questions we needed to answer with the clients’ data had to do with user behavior data:

  1. What campaigns do people come to the website from?
  2. What do they end up purchasing?
  3. What profit did the purchase generate?
  4. How does that profit data correlate to key targeting segments such as search query, device, audience segments, demographic segments, etc?

In other words: Based on the final purchase each user made, what was the profit from the final transaction (people don’t always purchase what they search for) and how can we distribute that profit across keywords, search queries, products and every segment we can cut up the data with.

Note: You can use Google’s Enhanced eCommerce tracking to collect transaction and revenue data from your eCommerce store. It also tracks user behavior data such as product impressions, checkout or cart abandonment, transactions, refunds, etc.

One of the first things we tried was to set up a customized analytics report outside of Google Analytics to pair transaction ID’s with margin and profit. By using the transaction ID as our key unique identifier, we were able to create reporting segments for campaign, ad group, keyword, search query and product, which we then further segment by device. This got us granular product profitability data for our Google Ads, but it took way too much time to import and analyze the data manually.

Because we were dealing with big data analytics in real time, the best solution to do live ad campaign optimization and stay ahead was going to be with automation.

The automated solution: Essentially, we were already very comfortable combining backend profitability data with each transaction. The only missing piece was connecting transactions with a GCLID. Once we had GCLID tracking with transactions, we could now use the data import feature to create a new conversion for profit and import data directly into Google Ads.

Keep in mind: In order to create a custom ROI metric in Google Ads, you have to set up the conversion so that it doesn’t show up in the normal conversion reports, but in the “ALL conversions” report. This allows for more flexibility in measuring profitability within certain reports that do not allow you to use a conversion type segment (i.e. if you take all conversion value and subtract conversion value, you get profit, woop!).

At that point, we were able to focus our work on analysis and optimization, because the time-consuming manual work of importing and double-checking the data had been eliminated.

We could now rely on Google Ads for all data required to optimize performance. Instead of having to build custom reports for device / keyword / search query / product, we could use the standard reports within Google Ads as profit data was now baked into the standard reporting.

We could even look into additional segments such as geography, time of day, audiences, demographics and more! We had time to make adjustments based on these data points rather than be buried by analysis.

Now that we had collected enough data, we were able to take advantage of all of our traditional optimization efforts and optimize keyword, device, demographic and audience bids.

All in all, we were more confident in our decisions and were able to evaluate results on the fly to move more quickly and decrease CPC within ineffective segments. That resulted in a more cost-effective performance across the account. Where product-specific performance in shopping campaigns was more challenging in the past, now we had our “North Star” to help drive results and ensure they continued moving in the right direction.

It worked! We were now able to continue optimizing their campaigns as any shifts in the profit and margins of their products happened, since we linked that data between Google Ads and their backend data.

Impact: More Transactions and More Profit Thanks to Finding Best Products to Scale with Data Analysis

This work allowed us to automate what took a lot of time. We could use historical data to influence new strategies while being confident they held true in the present because we had the live ROI data attached.

From experience, we know that eCommerce seasonality is something to look at with PPC. The additional time we had and the confidence in our data allowed us to focus on a new tactic to take advantage of seasonality data.

Even though the ROAS data of the past wasn’t necessarily indicative of profitability, we could still use it as a directional indicator. In this case, we looked at the past 2 years to see if there were certain products that showed an increase in efficiency (ROAS) AND revenue / transaction volume to make sure they were maximizing that traffic this year.

The difference this year is that we were confident in investing more in these campaigns. We knew we’d have profitability data and could adjust more on the fly if needed. After comparing the holiday season vs the pre-holiday period, we isolated 30-40 products that showed a big increase in performance and conversion rates.

Since these products consistently did better historically, we grouped them together to bid more aggressively on them during the holiday season. This optimization led to more traffic, more conversions, and a higher ROI.

While costs went up slightly, the increase in transactions far outpaced the increase in cost year over year:

Google Analytics: Acquisition, Clicks, Behavior, etc.
Top level results comparing December 2019 vs 2018, with a 72% increase in Transactions and 68% increase in Revenue.

 

This chart compares cost and revenue Sep – Dec 2019 vs Sep – Dec 2018:

Google Analytics: Sep - Dec 2019 vs Sep - Dec 2018

The official tracking implementation went into place mid July and July – October was a particular focus in collecting data and optimizing bids. Things remain fairly consistent Y/Y until we hit early November, where you start to see the transactions significantly outpace the year prior thanks to the data analysis and optimizations to the PPC campaigns.

You don’t always see immediate results from data driven optimization, but there is a clear landmark for when results really take off. In this case, it looks to correlate to when we were able to do a lot of the heavier lifting on the optimization front.

Anytime you can both increase spend and ROAS, that’s a huge win. We also see the increased efficiency of the PPC campaigns here as the ROAS also outpaces the year prior (with a higher level of spend).

Google Analytics: Sep - Dec 2019 vs Sep - Dec 2018

The chart below shows “Cost” in blue vs ROI (profit / cost) in red. If we’re hitting 1 (100%) we’re at break even vs ad spend and anything above 100% is pure profit. Even though we’re more confident with better ROI data, it’s still helpful to cross check with GA ROAS data.

In this case, we’re seeing costs increase, with higher transaction volume, increased ROAS (screenshot above) and improved ROI (screenshot below): a win-win scenario.

Google Analytics: Improved ROI

The blue line represents ad spend while the red line represents the ROI. Both ad spend and ROI have increased since October 2019 thanks to the data analysis we performed in order to maximize profitability.

Takeaways

So, what should eCommerce businesses take away from this case study?

  1. Data driven PPC requires multiple layers of data collected to analyze and identify the best approach. We cannot overstate how much we enjoy working with clients who have such in depth data and knowledge of their business.
  2. While instant results from PPC do happen, it’s not necessarily the norm. There are unique challenges to every business that determine how to make the platform work for your business and what you need. Collecting the data is crucial, but the analysis process to that data is not “plug and play.”
  3. In this case, the longer process was understanding how to marry the client’s business metrics with the appropriate Google Ads capabilities. Then, to use that integration to make us both function based on our strengths.
  4. The other important idea here is that ROAS is not the KPI that equals profitability. To identify opportunities for profitability you need to combine a strong understanding of business KPIs with a strong understanding of Ads Strategy & Tracking capabilities. Good decisions will follow.

In this case, we were also able to build in assisted transactions reporting into Google Ads, a unique Google Ads / Google Analytics implementation we took advantage of. Ask us how we did it, it’s pretty cool…and nerdy.

Note: Do you want some help identifying opportunities to maximize profitability through PPC, SEO, or conversion optimization with your data? Our eCommerce marketing experts can help! Get in touch.

 

The Technology Changes in Insurance & Wealth Management

Recently, I had the chance to speak on a panel with Ryan Greene of ActionIQ, a leading CDP provider, and Gary Bhattacharjee of InfoSYS. The conversation was informative and sparked some thoughts around the key changes in technology that we are seeing i…

Recently, I had the chance to speak on a panel with Ryan Greene of ActionIQ, a leading CDP provider, and Gary Bhattacharjee of InfoSYS. The conversation was informative and sparked some thoughts around the key changes in technology that we are seeing in the insurance and wealth management sectors.

Think about Tech to Improve Service

When implementing new technologies, we often think of the main drivers as the IT and marketing organization. However, it is critical to ensure that the product and services groups are along for the ride when adopting new technologies (such as a Customer Data Platform). Making these big shifts by adopting new technology should be a group effort that transforms the way your organization thinks. By engaging these teams, you won’t run into internal blockages after you’re too far down the road to resolve any misalignments.

Insurance – hyper competitiveness

Think about the last time you completed a request for an insurance quote online. Within a matter of hours, you likely received several emails and phone calls from the moment you placed the request for the quote. The companies that will succeed at winning your business are the companies that have a connected, efficient, and responsive technology stack with an educated staff to back it up.

Retention is another area where competition is accelerating.  Churn from insurance customers occurs most frequently because of a lack of communication on the insurance providers’ part. The insurance management industry is not as innovative as it should be at this point. With the rate that customer expectations are moving, retailers such as Casper and Dollar Shave Club are managing direct-to-consumer and customization well and serve as an example for insurance companies.

On the banking and wealth management front, Citizens Bank and USAA have shined through the competitive field by embracing personalization in the online space, with Citizens breaking the mold as it launched its new digital bank. USAA has been a culture-driven customer-focused journey for many years with a long-term perspective. As a customer I can literally see and feel that USAA’s customer management is fully integrated, and the company continues to find ways to push this culture deeper through the entire organization.  USAA does this by not only embracing the culture internally (there are positions such as a Chief Customer Officer), but externally facing, its staff is truly customer-centric by leveraging customer data and understanding its services and products. For example, I once called USAA’s call center with an insurance issue, and the representative was able to provide me with a plethora of information about the company’s deals on cruise vacations.

What needs to change within the organization?

Your competitive advantage doesn’t lie within the technology, but rather, the people who support the technology. So, individuals within your organization should be excited to embrace change and technology – they should learn how new tools can improve their working environment and help them champion their roles within the organization.

Changes in technology are only accelerating as demand increases, so it is imperative that you become an agent of change by working to understand the people and technological processes within your organizational structure. To keep up with these changes, we need to de-silo teams and harness a cross-functional team structure.  

Successful technology adoption is dependent upon taking the right approach throughout the buying life cycle, from initial consideration to the ongoing enhancements required for a deployed solution. If done correctly, your team can properly leverage the technology to make the most of the investment.

If you’re considering a Customer Data Platform, check out Merkle’s Guide to CDP Adoption for 10 key steps before you buy.

eCommerce Marketing During a Downturn: Strategies and Options for eCommerce Businesses During the Coronavirus Crisis

In this article, we’re documenting and updating tactical and strategic marketing options for eCommerce companies during this coronavirus crisis.

We’re entering a recession thanks to the spread of coronavirus. For brick and mortar businesses, the social distancing and lockdown responses have been brutal.

But what about eCommerce? That’s, of course, what we work on every day, and the solution to what these businesses should do during this period is a lot more nuanced and complicated based on what we’re seeing so far.

We don’t have all the answers yet. But in this article, we’re documenting and updating tactical and strategic marketing options for eCommerce companies during this coronavirus crisis.

Below, we discuss these options in the context of the 3 pillars of eCommerce marketing: SEO, PPC, and CRO. We also discuss general tactics and strategies you can consider right now. Finally, we briefly share what we are doing as an agency for our own business.

Things are changing fast, though. So as our thinking on these topics evolves, we’ll update this post and log any updates. What you’re reading is our latest thinking on this topic.  

Your Digital Marketing Strategy: Should You Make Strategic or Tactical Changes, and If So, Where?

There are three pillars to eCommerce marketing, which are also our 3 main services:

We’ll discuss each in the order above, not as an indication of any priority, but simply because we think SEO and CRO have simpler answers right now. Meanwhile, PPC has a lot of nuance, so we’ll discuss it last.

Our Thoughts on eCommerce SEO Strategy During This Time

Based on what we’re seeing so far with SEO, there’s not much need for most eCommerce businesses to make any drastic changes. As always with SEO, the resources you dedicate to it aren’t intended to yield an immediate impact.

Yes, there may be some fluctuations in search volume right now (which could be positive or negative, depending on your industry). But SEO is, by nature, a long-term play and that’s not changing.

What should those SEO activities be? Here are some case studies and resources we’ve published that can help:

If you have questions about SEO changes you see right now, you can reach out to us via our consultation form or ask in the comments. We’ll respond as soon as we can.

Note: We’ll publish a complimentary post to this, reporting on trends we are seeing across all of our clients within the next week.

Our Thoughts on eCommerce CRO Strategy During This Time

For CRO to be successful, you need enough visits to reach statistical significance in your A/B tests. So if your site continues to generate reasonable traffic, continue doing it. But if it experiences a dramatic decrease, you should stop A/B testing. That doesn’t mean you have to stop CRO, though.

You can continue to make UX improvements to your site or work on the following:

  • Improve site speed (you don’t need an A/B test to tell you that faster sites convert better—this is well documented).
  • Assess where your site follows or doesn’t follow eCommerce CRO best practices. Then, propose fixes based on that. Our annual eCommerce best-in-class report can help.
  • Work on a large site redesign, which may be better performed when you’re not A/B testing.

Our Thoughts on eCommerce PPC Strategy During This Time

With PPC, strategy becomes more nuanced. The answer to what strategic changes you should make during this COVID-19 response period depends on the kind of business you run.

For example, we work with one company that specializes in medical supplies. They’ve cut their PPC ad spend in half because they can’t source inventory right now. Since they can’t ship orders, they needed to make some immediate choices with cash flow to invest in other parts of their business.

We also have several clients that are seeing downturns in PPC (and SEO) traffic due to a simple and expected decrease in consumer demand during this crisis—for example, in baby products, B2B industrial products, fishing products, and more.

However, we also have clients that are seeing significant improvements in PPC metrics and ultimately ROAS. One is in the supplement and nutrition space, while the other is a paid digital magazine.

How is that possible?

There are, of course, some products and industries that are in high demand during this crisis. But we currently suspect that others may simply be seeing improved (lower) click costs solely because of lower competition as many large brands are pulling back and are in “wait-and-see” mode. For example, Amazon has already decided to reduce some of its spend on Google Shopping and text ads.

What matters most in PPC is positive ROAS. As long as ROAS meet your company’s threshold, it makes financial sense to keep spending as much as possible.

For further reading, here are 2 case studies we’ve published on ROAS for eCommerce companies:

So instead of making any rushed decisions with your PPC budget, track your results as time goes on. If you experience fewer conversions and less traffic, but returns remain the same, stay the course. You may even see better ROAS than normal as several of our clients have.

Ad Spend Alternatives If Physical Retail Is a Key Channel

If distribution via physical retail partners is also a big portion of your business, you can get creative with how you use your budget. If your retail partners are open (like grocery stores), there are other ways you can spend.

Here are two ideas you can try today:

  1. Use your advertising budget to drive foot traffic over to those retailers.
  2. Discuss giving some of your budget to those retailers to do extra promotion of your products. That is, even if you’re not running ads, can you give them your PPC budget for them to run ads specific to your products?

Additional eCommerce Marketing Tactics Worth Considering

During an economic downturn, it’s necessary to experiment. Below are a few tactics we’ve seen some of our eCommerce clients try already.

Targeting New Customers

Due to the pandemic, your customers may not be in a position to buy what you’re selling right now. Consider using this time to see if your products resonate with other audiences.

For example, we work with one eCommerce company that’s in the B2B swimming pool supplies business. They remain confident because pools always need cleaning. Otherwise, they can suffer damages that cost owners much more money in the long run.

It’s possible that the economic downturn may create more do-it-yourself pool owners. These would be new B2C customers relative to their usual audience of pool maintenance companies. To reach new audiences, they’re considering creating more SEO content around DIY maintenance.

Building Your Existing Audience Cheaply Now for Retargeting Later

At the same time, your customers may not be in a position to buy your products now. But this doesn’t mean they won’t buy your product in the future. 

Remember, other companies may be slashing their ad spending budgets. And as a result, costs per click are likely due to drop in the coming weeks and months. If your business has enough cash in hand, you can take advantage of this.

Instead of optimizing for sales, experiment with dedicating ad spend toward growing your email list. Nurture relationships with those who sign up by offering quality content. Then, when the time is right, you’ll have a much bigger list of cheaply acquired customers to retarget to.

Accept Backorders

Even if you’re having trouble sourcing inventory, you may not need to stop selling right now. Instead, consider continuing to take orders. You can guarantee customers you’ll send products later when they’re back in stock.

Along with cutting ad spend, Amazon has stopped shipping non-essential items to warehouses. So, if you’re an eCommerce business that fulfills orders yourself, this is good news for you. Consumers that need to buy what you sell will have to do so on branded sites like yours instead.

Repurpose Your Products with New Ad Copy

Take a close look at your current product offerings. There may be an opportunity to reposition their value in a post-coronavirus world. You can achieve this by rewriting ad copy that reflects the country’s new conditions or repositioning existing products in the context of what’s happening to consumers in the world right now.

Here are 3 examples:

  • Example 1 – Stickers and Badges: A client we work with sells vinyl skins for decorative use on cell phones, laptops, and other electronics. They’re brainstorming repurposing a related product (such as stickers) and connecting it to a charitable cause in the fight against coronavirus. This would give customers who would love a way to help people hurt by coronavirus an opportunity to do so while purchasing this client’s products.
  • Example 2 – Home Furniture: Another client we work with sells office furniture, and has repositioned copy and creative for the time being to be a home office emphasis, helping fill an obvious need.
  • Example 3 – Home Furniture: On a similar note, here is an example of a recent email from Crate & Barrel (not a client), who sell home office furniture all year long, but simply positioned it as “WFH inspo” (working from home inspiration):

Crate&Barrel: Modern Craft - Reclaim the Office

Focus on Online Events

Some eCommerce companies host live events to market to their customers. But with social distancing in full effect, these aren’t possible right now. It has opened the door for businesses to experiment with online events.

We work with one eCommerce company that’s in the health and wellness industry. To build an offline presence, they’ve hosted in-person yoga classes in the past. But now, they’re shifting toward teaching more “live” online classes instead. eCommerce brands selling physical goods could do similar things in terms of product videos on Instagram, or Facebook, that help consumers use their products at home and solve current challenges consumers are facing.

What We’re Doing in Response Today as an Agency

Every eCommerce company that we work with has their own set of circumstances to address. To help them navigate the current climate, we’re using the following two-step process.

Step 1: We’re Reaching out to Clients, One by One

Before prescribing any solutions, we need to know where each of our clients stand. We need to first learn about the problems they’re facing since this crisis began.

We based who we reached out to first on our assessment of each clients’ underlying risks. To determine who needs one-on-one calls the most, we’ve considered the criteria below: 

  • If the client’s site has taken a traffic hit
  • If the client has already reached out to us
  • Google Trends
  • The client’s industry 

Step 2: Offering Our Recommendations

Once we have a good sense of each of our clients’ circumstances, then we’ll give our advice. 

Take for example the medical supplies business we referenced earlier. Cash isn’t an issue for them, only inventory. We may suggest that they spend it on other strategic levers, like SEO, where they can gain traction right now over competitors who may not be as focused in this area.

Where Our Business Stands in the Current Climate

Finally, for our business, most of our clients remain committed to working with us in spite of what’s happening. We haven’t received a rash number of cancellations due to herd mentality around the panic. 

We’re fortunate that most of the companies we work with aren’t debt-driven businesses. Many of our clients aren’t reliant on heavy cash flow.

We may decide to run campaigns at reduced levels of ad spend for some of our clients. But the workload we carry as a whole doesn’t change.

Like you, what happens next for us at Inflow is still unfolding each day. But in spite of that, we remain confident in our ability to help eCommerce companies thrive.

Google Podcasts gets a redesign and iOS rollout

The new design features an Explore tab with recommendations based on the listener’s interests.

The post Google Podcasts gets a redesign and iOS rollout appeared first on Marketing Land.

The Google Podcast app is now available for iOS devices, and the web version of the app now supports subscriptions, the company announced Wednesday.

Google has also reorganized the app with a tabbed user interface that includes an Explore section where users are shown new show and episode recommendations related to their interests.

Google Podcasts’ new tabbed user interface. Source: Google.

Why we care

Podcast discovery has been a challenge for content creators with most podcast apps showing only what’s available through that particular service. Google’s aim is to provide a comprehensive resource for podcast discovery, including paid content, and library management.

The addition of subscriptions to its web app lets users more easily switch between listening on their desktops and their mobile devices, something that iTunes and Spotify users have been able to do for a long time.

As Google’s podcast platform continues to expand, it’ll become even more important for publishers to manage their presence on search.

More on the news

  • Google began introducing podcasts in search results in May 2019.
  • The company made podcasts playable directly from the results page in August 2019.
  • When users select an episode, they’ll also be presented with topics or people covered in that episode and can jump to associated Google search results.
  • The “For you” section of the Explore tab recommends shows based on the listener’s interests and what is currently popular. Users can personalize these recommendations.

The post Google Podcasts gets a redesign and iOS rollout appeared first on Marketing Land.

This is the Key to a Persuasive Website

Having trouble viewing the text? You can always read the original article here: This is the Key to a Persuasive Website
What is the key to creating a persuasive website? Calum Coburn takes a page from the negotiator’s handbook. Learn the key to b…

Having trouble viewing the text? You can always read the original article here: This is the Key to a Persuasive Website

What is the key to creating a persuasive website? Calum Coburn takes a page from the negotiator’s handbook. Learn the key to being persuasive both in person and on the Web. “Turn the other cheek.” This well-worn phrase has come to mean many things. Forgive easily. Don’t over-react. Be strong in the face of adversity. […]

The post This is the Key to a Persuasive Website appeared first on Conversion Sciences.

Updating Content: Our Process and Results

The traditional blog format—regular, sequential publishing of diary-style entries—no longer makes sense for most businesses. To be honest, it never did. A B2B website that educates potential buyers isn’t a personal “weblog.” It doesn’t toss out unsubstantiated opinions. It doesn’t age the same way. The earliest articles may cover the most valuable topics, but our […]

The post Updating Content: Our Process and Results appeared first on CXL.

The traditional blog format—regular, sequential publishing of diary-style entries—no longer makes sense for most businesses. To be honest, it never did.

A B2B website that educates potential buyers isn’t a personal “weblog.” It doesn’t toss out unsubstantiated opinions. It doesn’t age the same way. The earliest articles may cover the most valuable topics, but our throwaway content culture lets older posts rot.

If the philosophical argument doesn’t motivate you, search engines will. The CXL blog started in 2011 and, currently, includes about 700 articles. In October 2018, older posts began to decline in rankings.

This post details our process to start the transition from a “traditional” blog into a modern resource center for marketers. It also happens to be the most efficient way to get more value from existing content, a timely benefit.

Why up-to-date content is the new standard

Jimmy Daly deserves credit for framing the issue:

Your readers are likely not part of a growing audience, but rather a continuous stream of people with a problem to solve. At the moment they need an answer, they search Google and find you.

Your editorial calendar is invisible to most readers. If I need to find an article on creating a custom dimension in Google Analytics, I don’t care if you published it five years ago. I need it to be up to date today. And I will judge your content, site, and brand by whether or not it is.

Satisfying users requires you to do more than the minimal amount to get Google to recognize an updated publish date (which, according to Ross Hudgens, is about 5–10%).

You could, of course, remove publish dates altogether (not gonna name names), but that doesn’t benefit users.

Ultimately, updating content is an iterative process to improve and improve and improve. Where do you start? From my time revising encyclopedias, I think in terms of “M” Mistakes and “m” mistakes.

  • “M” Mistakes are those that, in the reference publishing world, would get you a bad review, and bad reviews tank sales.
  • “m” mistakes are the tiny copy-editing mishaps that, as long as they’re few and far between, are tolerable.

In the content marketing context, there’s a parallel: “M” Mistakes are those for which someone might leave a painfully critical comment, or where you may get called out on social media; “m” mistakes are dated images or broken links. 

But those are just starting points. Committing to real updates is a shift in mindset, from taking accountability for what you publish today to taking accountability for everything that’s live on your site. 

Up-to-date content can be a differentiator

Anything, in the early days of the Internet, was good enough. Then, the goal was “long form” content. Brian Dean introduced the “Skyscraper Technique” in 2013 to out-long-form the long-formers. And that, ever since, has continued ad nauseum. 

For search engines, length is a useful if imperfect proxy for quality, which is why Googling something like “how to create a content strategy” returns a bunch of long, detailed guides:

example of serp that elevates long-form articles.

If the keywords you care about don’t yet return a list of multi-thousand-word articles, they soon will. Length is an increasingly unhelpful differentiator. (Search engines seem to be getting a bit smarter—elevating short, efficient articles—but long articles still dominate.)

For your content, you need to answer the question, “If everything on Page 1 is a well-researched, 4,000-word guide, how can I make my article stand out?”

Up-to-date content is one overlooked strategy. If I’ve come to expect that content on your site is up to date, that’s a powerful reason to click your link over another, even if you rank third or fifth.

There’s a further opportunity: creating and maintaining non-evergreen content.

When high-maintenance content is a good idea

We’re often told to make Twinkie content—stuff with a near-infinite shelf life. No expiration means no maintenance. But it also means that fewer people are publishing high-maintenance content (e.g., an article comparing prices and features of SaaS products).

Selected carefully, non-evergreen content is an opportunity to stand out. You invest time and energy to keep a handful of high-maintenance posts up to date—those for which you want to be the authority or those that bring in the most bottom-of-funnel visitors. 

It’s something to keep in mind when you start updating your old content.

How to find out if updating content is the highest value activity

Beginning in October 2018, organic traffic to the CXL blog began to decline:

organic traffic decline in google analytics.

At a glance, the reasons were difficult to suss out. The drop wasn’t dramatic, and when you have hundreds of posts targeting thousands of keywords, it’s rare to see movement in unison. I woke up each day to reports that showed small movements—positive and negative—for most keywords. 

I ran a full technical SEO audit (based on Annie Cushing’s wonderful template) to ensure there wasn’t an underlying issue. The strongest evidence that old posts were responsible for the drop came from a correlation between post age and a decline in organic traffic.

Stuff that was published prior to 2016 really took a hit:

chart showing the relative decline in organic traffic for older blog posts.

Some tools, like Animalz’s Revive, can help identify posts that recently lost organic traffic, but they can’t tell you when updating content is the content priority for your site.

There are also some limits to what traffic in general can tell you. Changes to SERP features can affect traffic even as positions stay constant.

For example, Google’s choice to move a People Also Ask (PAA) box above or below our link for a high-volume keyword regularly shifted traffic by double digits.

example of a people also ask box that's above the top-ranked links.
The PAA box sometimes moves above or below the top links, like those from PCMag and TrustRadius in this example. That choice can affect traffic—even as rankings stay constant. 

Like some medical diagnoses, the belief that old content was our biggest problem came mainly from ruling out other technical, on-page, and off-page issues.

The site was sound. The posts were well targeted. We had the links. But rankings and traffic were still trending in the wrong direction.

Knowing that, we needed a process to continually identify the posts that:

  1. Most needed an update (i.e. riddled with “M” Mistakes).
  2. Could bring the most high-quality traffic to the site. 

Our triage process for updating content

A good triage process is why you have to wait at the ER for hours to get a few stitches in your hand—but not if you’re having a heart attack. 

So which posts demand immediate attention? That’s an easy decision if you have 50 articles; it’s much harder if you have 5,000. We’re somewhere in the middle. With roughly 700 posts, there are too many for a manual review, but we don’t have to automate every last metric.

The beta version of our triage sheet, which we still use today, includes seven metrics spread across four categories:

  1. Age;
  2. Historical value;
  3. Organic potential;
  4. Outdated risk.

1. Age

This is the simplest one. How long has it been since the post was (1) published or (2) received a substantial-enough update to justify a new publishing date?

spreadsheet showing original and updated publish dates.

This metric is static unless a post is updated enough to change the publish date in WordPress. When that happens, we update the date in the “Listed publish date” column of the sheet, too.

2. Historical value

  • How many organic users did the post bring in during the last 90 days?
  • How do those 90-day values compare to the previous year?

Both of these metrics are pulled into Google Sheets using the Google Analytics Add-on:

google analytics add-on report configuration.

All four date values are all relative, with the report scheduled to run each morning:

google analytics add-on report configuration with relative dates.

3. Organic potential

  • How many impressions has the post generated in the past year, according to Google Search Console? We want a sense of how many users the post could bring to the site, regardless of how many it brings now.
  • How many referring domains does the post have? Anything that’s going to rank highly—and drive lots of traffic—will almost certainly require a decent number of links.
  • What’s the URL rating? This number, pulled from Ahrefs, is a hedge against the potentially misleading number of referring domains (i.e. one link from The New York Times beats 20 from scraper sites).
example of urls with similar ratings but a vastly different number of links.
Not all links are created equal. Two posts with similar URL ratings have a vastly different number of links.

I don’t expect these three metrics to change dramatically every month. You could pull this data quarterly, twice a year, or annually (as we do now). It just depends on how neurotic you are or how volatile those metrics might be for your site.

4. Outdated risk

This is a heuristic assessment of how quickly a post will seem out of date. In our context, an example of a high-risk post is our Google Analytics implementation guide. Every time a menu item or UI design element changes in Google Analytics, we have to update the post.

google analytics ui example.
Any changes that Google Analytics makes to these menu items requires another round of updates.

A low-risk post might be one on crafting a value proposition. Some examples and screenshots might start to look dated after a few years, but the core advice and process is the same.

The risk assessment, while potentially time consuming, should be a one-and-done effort. If you can make a call (on a scale from 1 to 4) in 5 seconds, that means you can tag 720 posts in an hour. Still, the process wouldn’t scale easily to tens of thousands of posts.

In those instances, you could use the blog category or tags as a rough guide (e.g., all “Analytics” posts get scored a “4”; “Copywriting” posts are scored a “2”). You’re not going to have a perfect system; get the best data you can and move on.

Turning metrics into a weighted score

For almost all metrics, I bucket raw numbers into quartiles. Quartiles give you a general sense of importance (e.g., “This post drives more traffic than 75% of posts,” or “Half of all posts have a higher URL rating than this one”), without obsessing over the extra 30 impressions per month that Google Search Console tells me a certain URL gets.

So, in the example below, all I really need to know is that the posts most in need of an update are at least 4.5 years (1,631 days) old, and those suffering the worst declines in organic traffic have lost at least 53% of organic users compared to the same 90-day period last year.

The quartile function (=QUARTILE) is native to Excel and Google Sheets, but be careful when a lower quartile is a worse outcome. So, for example, with the “Percentage decline” figures, Quartile 1 is scored as a “4.”

quartile calculations for metrics to prioritize updating posts.

Built into a dashboard, I get quartile ratings for every post.

quartile figures for metrics for content updates.

You could simply total the numbers across each row to generate a score. But all metrics aren’t created equal. We settled on a weighting system that emphasizes post age, traffic declines, and a high risk of outdatedness:

weights for metrics for content updates.

The sheet calculates a total score for each post by multiplying the scores (1–4) by the weights, summing the total for each row, and converting the result to a 100-point scale.

Scores update automatically as new data comes in from Google Analytics, or if there’s a manual update to the publish date. Every morning, we come in and re-sort the sheet to highlight the posts most in need of updates.

dashboard with scores for content updates.

Is it perfect? Of course not. But it’s a pretty efficient way to sift through hundreds or thousands of posts and target those that:

  1. Really need an update.
  2. Will deliver the most ROI.

Once you’ve tackled the “M” Mistakes in those posts, you can start thinking about more targeted updates, like formatting changes to win featured snippets.

You may even want to run the analysis below before starting on your core updates—many of these changes are simple to implement while you’re in the document making other updates. 

Bonus: How to spot the low-hanging fruit for featured snippets

Your site earns (or doesn’t earn) featured snippets for a variety of reasons. One of those potential reasons is the format of your content.

Say the featured snippet on a SERP grabs a definition for the keyword. But, in your post, that definition is buried halfway down and lacks any structural cues (e.g., a header that asks “What is XYZ?”). Google may fail to surface your snippet, which another site will get.

Historically, you could check if Google pulled a snippet for your site with an explicit site search plus the keyword that pulls the featured snippet (e.g., “site:cxl.com social proof”).

If Google returned a snippet, you knew that formatting was unlikely to be the problem. If it didn’t, you had something to work on.

An explicit site search no longer generates featured snippets, but an implicit one does (e.g., “social proof cxl”). So you can still check whether you earn a snippet—manually.

example of featured snippet with implicit site search.
Wikipedia owns this snippet, but we know that formatting isn’t the issue.

An implicit site search highlights a better way to scale that work. While all keyword tracking tools (to my knowledge) don’t work with search operators, they do, of course, work with brand names appended to the keyword phrase.

Here’s how to scale this process in a tool like Ahrefs.

1. Identify keywords for which you would like to own an existing featured snippet.

You could simply:

  1. Go into Site Explorer for your site.
  2. Navigate to the “Organic keywords” tab.
  3. Filter for “SERP features” to include “Featured snippet.”
  4. Filter “Positions” for 2–100 to exclude snippets you already own.
  5. Export the list.
featured snippets owned by other sites in ahrefs.

The exported list includes all keywords that return a featured snippet for a site other than your site. If this list includes thousands (or tens of thousands) of keywords, you can:

  • Sort by your site’s position;
  • Filter by page type (e.g., blog post);
  • Export only those keywords for which you rank among the top 10.
spreadsheet with opportunities to earn featured snippets for your site.

2. Append your brand name to those keywords and track them.

Append your brand name to the list of keywords using the =CONCATENATE function:

creating an implicit site search in a spreadsheet based on existing keywords.

Then, upload the list back into your keyword tracking tool. If the SERP contains a featured snippet for an implicit site search, then formatting is unlikely to be the issue. But if any keyword doesn’t return a featured snippet, formatting may be what’s keeping you from earning it.

tracking serp features for implicit site searches.
If you own the snippet for your implicit site search, formatting probably isn’t the issue.

3. Test formatting changes and monitor results.

For implicit site searches that don’t surface snippets, investigate formatting issues and test changes. As we’ve found, a simple rewriting of an H2 or bolding of a definition can be the bit of added info that Google needs.

These updates can take seconds to execute while driving hundreds or thousands more visitors to your site. It’s a low-cost way to earn traffic and accommodate mobile users, who want quick answers.

Does any of this actually work?

Hell yeah:

example 1 of more organic traffic from content updates.
example 2 of more organic traffic from content updates.
example 3 of more organic traffic from content updates.
example 4 of more organic traffic from content updates.

We’ve updated about 100 posts. Not every post has a dramatic rise, but most do. Still, it’s difficult (or, at least, time consuming) to measure the impact of post updates for two reasons.

1. For each post you update, you need to pull the before-and-after period.

Early in our process, we set up relative formulas with the Google Analytics Add-on that, with each passing day, included another day on each side of the update day.

So, for example, if five days had passed since the date of update, the report compared the five days before and after. The next day, it pulled six.

But if you’re updating hundreds of posts over hundreds of days, you’re going to waste a lot of time in the Report Configuration tab.

2. It doesn’t take long before you run into seasonality.

We often lacked near-term visibility into the impact of updates because of how weekends fell. Or, for example, updates made in early January showed exaggerated improvements since the comparison period stretched back into the holiday season.

You can get some validation by checking if Google shows the updated publish date. If it keeps the old one or doesn’t show any date, you didn’t do enough. You could also focus on rankings instead of traffic, as they’re less vulnerable to seasonal shifts.

For the first 19 post updates, I compared time spent and traffic earned for new post creation versus post updates. The results? I could update a post in about one-quarter of the time it took to create a new one and, in the near term, generate 85.2% more traffic than I could with a new post.

aggregate results from early post updates.
The collective impact on traffic from the first 19 post updates. On average, an updated post brought in an additional 1,506 users in the weeks following an update.

There are caveats. Obviously, new posts take a while to rank, so the traffic benefits from a new post take longer to materialize (though the ceiling may be higher). Also, we started by updating the highest value posts—the traffic bump is less for posts that don’t have as much organic potential.

These are reasons why it’s difficult to calculate a caveat-free ROI from this work, but the before-and-after screencaps from Google Analytics are persuasive anecdotal evidence. Plus, it’s what you should be doing anyway—for search traffic, your users, and your brand.

Conclusion

Updating posts gives you more value from stuff you’ve already created. It’s necessary, in part, because potential buyers are more likely to discover your brand from a post you wrote years ago than the one you published last week.

A solid triage process can help you max out the ROI for your efforts, even if it’s difficult to measure the impact precisely.

Once you’ve cleared out the “M” Mistakes, look for opportunities to provide more value—better images, supporting videos, etc.— or reformat content to earn traffic boosters like featured snippets.

The post Updating Content: Our Process and Results appeared first on CXL.

Selling remotely: A proven 11-step workflow to grow your business with remote sales calls and webinars

If coronavirus has forced you to start selling remotely, please don’t let this article overwhelm you. It has taken us over ten years to optimize the following workflow. Right now, your audience will sympathize with your situation. They won’t expect polish. They won’t be surprised if your kids walk in. Rather than follow the whole […]

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If coronavirus has forced you to start selling remotely, please don’t let this article overwhelm you. It has taken us over ten years to optimize the following workflow. Right now, your audience will sympathize with your situation. They won’t expect polish. They won’t be surprised if your kids walk in.

Rather than follow the whole workflow, you might want to copy it and then delete all the parts that aren’t a high priority for you right now.

Our entire workflow for setting up and presenting successful remote sales calls and webinars, including…

  • Three reasons why we sell remotely—and why you probably should too.
  • Some great technology that will hugely improve the quality of your video sales calls and webinars.
  • Proven templates for all the documents you’ll need to create a webinar (emails, blog posts, etc.).
  • “Don’t forget to go to the toilet”: The checklist we follow just before a video sales call or webinar.
  • Some easy-to-make embarrassing webinar blunders we’ve made, and how you can avoid them.
  • How to edit the slides and video and post them to your blog.

Why you should consider hosting webinars

Webinars and remote sales calls are highly effective for communicating with your target market. Many people are surprised that we have brought in many top brands as clients without ever having traveled to their offices.

We now turn down almost every conference speaking request, and instead we spend that time giving webinars. We have even presented remotely at “real-life” conferences:

Hello Latvia! We have spoken remotely at several “real-life” conferences, using GoToWebinar to present our beautiful slides and ugly faces onto the screen.

We estimate that switching from conferences to webinars has saved us a month per year that we would otherwise have spent traveling. It’s hard to quantify how much time we save from using web conferencing software for sales calls. One of our team members can now carry out seven international sales calls a day. Face to face, that would take over two weeks.

Webinars have three huge benefits over other marketing channels:

  1. They allow a level of rapport that articles don’t.
  2. They are time-efficient, for you and for the attendees, who don’t need to travel to a conference either.
  3. They are highly scaleable. It’s unusual to have more than 100 people attend a talk at a web conference, but it’s normal for a webinar.

However, no other marketing medium presents more opportunities for messing up. They are like a stressful cross between organizing an international conference, giving a presentation, and making a VoIP call. Over the years, we’ve accumulated many tips for getting the best results from webinars, usually by making mistakes then asking ourselves, “How can we safeguard against that ever happening again?”

We recommend you get a “Do not disturb” sign.

If you want to do only remote sales calls, and not webinars, then read Steps 1 and 3, and then skip to Steps 7–11.

Step 1: Get the right technology

  • If you’re wondering how our voices sound so professional (why are you laughing?), it’s because we use a great microphone (the Blue Yeti) with an anti-pop screen (like this one). We’ve recorded a comparison of the different microphone options, so you can hear what a huge difference it makes.
A good microphone makes a big difference to the sound quality. And makes you feel like an old-time radio presenter.
We had acoustic tiles fitted to the walls and ceiling of this office, to make it ideal for conference calls and webinars. They are almost unnoticeably discreet; they are on every wall except the one by the stairs.

Step 2: Have a kick-off meeting to agree the details of the webinar

We recommend you co-present webinars with other companies. That way, you provide valuable content to their subscribers, and in return you get exposure to a new audience. The following points will be useful when you have the first phone meeting with the people with whom you’ll be presenting:

  • Before or during this kick-off meeting, send out a Google Doc that contains the planning templates for the webinar. To save you loads of time, here’s our template.
  • Agree on the title of the webinar. (Ideally, it would be a subject about which you have already created content.) As with all good headlines, a good title will compel the visitor into wanting to know more, probably by speaking in terms of benefits. Our talk about usability, for example, was called “Conversion mistakes we’ve made. And how conversion affects SEO. With Rand Fishkin.
  • Agree who will be presenting, who will be moderating and who will be organizing (that is, setting up the webinar software).
  • Create an outline for the webinar, so each presenter knows how many minutes they can speak for. It’s a good idea to have 15 minutes for questions at the end. Agree now who will answer the questions.
  • Assign one of your colleagues to join the webinar as an attendee, so they can see and hear what the attendees see and hear. If, at the start of the webinar, you accidentally start showing your screen without realizing it, this person can notify you.
  • Agree upon the time and date for the webinar:
    • Should you have multiple sessions for different time zones? Remember that time zones vary by date, so don’t just look at the time differences as they are today. Instead, use TimeAndDate’s Meeting Planner or EveryTimeZone (which is more accessible).
    • Don’t have a webinar on a national holiday. Use Google Calendar’s “interesting calendars” feature to automatically add different countries’ national holidays to your calendar.
    • Ensure that the presenters, moderators and organizer will join the webinar half an hour before it starts (so they can check that the technology is working).
  • Agree a time and date several hours before the webinar to have a “dress rehearsal,” to agree on the final details and to test the slides and the technology. A 30-minute call should suffice. Twice during such calls we’ve encountered major problems. On one occasion, the other presenter took half an hour to get the technology working. On another, only a quarter of our screen was visible. You don’t want to leave that kind of problem till the day of the webinar.
  • Agree a time and date for a post-webinar de-brief call, to review any remaining tasks that need to be completed.
  • Agree if and how each party will we be promoting the webinar to its followers.
  • Give the presenters, moderators, and organizers the URL of this article (the one you’re currently reading), so they can follow this checklist themselves.
  • Ask for photos of the presenters, and the email addresses of the presenters, moderators, and organizers. Also, share cell phone numbers in case any one of you needs to be contacted in an emergency.
  • Confirm in writing everything you’ve just agreed. You can do this by emailing the URL of the “planning” Google Doc to the presenters, moderators and organizers.

Step 3: Set dates in your calendar

  • Send calendar invitations to the presenters, moderators, and organizers.
  • Reserve the room from which you’ll present the webinar. You don’t want to start the webinar out of breath because you’ve just had to wrestle several people out of the room. (Incidentally, this task is in the “calendar” section because we book resources using our online calendar. The room from which we present has its own calendar.)
  • Invite someone to be in the same room as you during the webinar—so they can be a “runner” if you need anything. It could be the same person who will be attending the webinar as a guest.

Step 4: In Google Docs, draft the blog post to announce the webinar

  • The blog post is surprisingly fiddly to set up, partly because the time zones are difficult to explain (and GoToWebinar doesn’t make things easy). This example of an announcement blog post has all the necessary parts. By drafting it in Google Docs, you can show it to the other parties before it goes live. This also saves you from the chicken-and-egg situation whereby you can’t publish the blog post till you have the GoToWebinar sign-up URL to include in it, but you can’t set up GoToWebinar until you have written the description of the session.

Step 5: Set up GoToWebinar

  • Be careful who sets up GoToWebinar, because this person will receive all of the email inquiries (and there may be tens or hundreds of them).
  • Copy and paste from the Google Doc the description of the session and the follow-up emails.

Step 6: Publish the blog post announcing the webinar

  • Once all the parties have agreed upon it, transfer the blog post from Google Docs to your site and to your co-presenter’s site.
  • Follow your publicity plan for the post. (Email your subscribers, etc.) We usually send just one notification, because that’s what we’d do to a friend—and we treat our subscribers like our friends. (In fact, many of them are our friends.) Most companies find that they get higher sign-up rates by sending out a series of emails in the days leading up to the webinar.

Step 7: Write the talk and create the slides

  • For remote collaboration, we much prefer Google Slides to PowerPoint.
  • If you’re using PowerPoint, send a slide template file to each person who’ll be creating slides. If you’re using Google Slides, simply send the link to the slide deck.
  • In this article we’ll not address how to write the webinar talk itself. Instead we’ll focus on the activities that are specific to webinars. If you want advice on how to structure a persuasive, valuable talk, then see “How to beat most professional copywriters,” which contains a highly effective template for creating persuasive messages. Nancy Duarte’s book, Resonate, is great too. If you want inspiration for creating slides, SlidesCarnival and SlidesGo can be useful.
  • Script into the webinar talk a second introduction for latecomers.
  • GoToWebinar’s interface shows how many people are actually watching the slides (as opposed to having the GoToWebinar window open in the background). You can increase the number of active viewers by regularly saying “Look at this slide” during the talk. Include in your script reminders to do this.
  • When the presenters have submitted their slides, combine them into one slide deck and check that all of the fonts and transitions have worked. Tip if you’re using PowerPoint: When you paste in a new slide, you’ll see a small clipboard icon that asks you whether to “Keep Source Formatting” (choose this one!) or “Use Destination Theme” (don’t use this one, unless you secretly hate your co-presenter and want to hear them cry in front of a thousand people. The button might as well say “Ruin Slides.”)

Step 8: The day before the webinar

  • In case of emergency, print the following:
    • Your slides (and annotate them if needed).
    • The dial-in details.
    • The “planning” Google Doc (which includes emergency contact details).
We use two laptops. The one on the left is for slides and GoToWebinar, and the one on the right is for instant messaging, accessing the web, and maybe joining the webinar as an attendee so you can see what attendees see.

Step 9: About 30 minutes before the webinar

  • Put the “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door.
  • If you’re using one, make sure your Bluetooth headset is fully charged.
  • Restart your computer (or, at the very least, free up your computer’s memory. For Mac, iCleanMemory works well).
  • Turn off any software that might slow down your computer, hog your bandwidth or hijack your screen:
    • Close any applications you won’t be using—including ones that only appear in the menu bar.
    • Close any software that is likely to seize control of your screen. For example, instant messaging software, calendar software or notification software.
    • Turn off backup software (like Time Machine).
    • Turn off file-sync services (like Dropbox and Google Drive Filestream).
    • If you use Apple macOS, open Notification Centre, scroll to the top, and activate “Do Not Disturb” mode, to prevent any embarrassing SMS messages you receive during the webinar from appearing on your screen.
    • If you have it (and if you don’t, you’re missing a trick) activate Owly (for Mac), which stops your computer from going to sleep or starting your screen saver.
    • Set yourself a reminder to restart your computer afterwards, so all of the above software starts again.
  • Ensure your backup internet connections are ready (your wireless card, phone tethering, etc.).
  • Minimize any possible sources of noise: Turn off doorbells, unplug unneeded cell phones and landline phones (note that a phone in vibrate mode can still make a lot of noise). Close windows. If your door is locked, take the keys out of the door, in case someone needs to let themselves in.
  • If you’ll be browsing the web during the webinar, open a single, blank browser window in “Incognito” mode in a browser you don’t normally use. Delete the history from your web browser, so people can’t see your history and bookmarks.
  • Tidy up your computer’s desktop.
  • Unplug any external displays before you begin, and present the slides from your main screen. (An external display is one more thing that can go wrong.)
  • Most webinar software allows you to record the webinar. However, also start ScreenFlow (for Mac) or Camtasia (for Windows), ideally on another computer, to create a backup recording. For a second backup, start a digital recorder recording.
  • Join GoToWebinar. If you’re using a phone, not VoIP, check that “Mic and Speakers” is deselected in GoToWebinar’s control panel—otherwise you may hear loud feedback noise. Also, remember that when “Mic and Speakers” is selected, your voice can be heard by the other presenters as soon as you open GoToWebinar.
  • If you’ll be using GoToWebinar’s “Mic and Speakers” VoIP service, then, regardless, activate the  “Telephone” option, and write down the dial-in details. Then, if VoIP fails at any point, you can dial-in with a normal phone.
  • The presenter should click “Record” when the webinar starts.
  • Throughout the session, presenters should ensure that they view the “Chat” section of the GoToWebinar control panel, in case other presenters need to contact them. If one of the presenters isn’t paying attention to your chats (perhaps their “Chat” panel is collapsed), here’s a clever way of getting their attention: On the webinar, tell the presenter that you have just chatted a URL to them, and ask them to forward it to all of the attendees. Then chat to them the URL of the resource along with a message saying “Please pay attention to my chats!”
  • Set up a spare laptop on your desk (if you have one). Join the meeting as an attendee on it. This allows you to see what time lag there is between you showing a slide and the audience being able to see it. Also, start up instant messaging so you can use it to communicate with other presenters if anything goes wrong.
  • If anyone else is using the same Wi-Fi connection as you, ask them to switch to an alternative until the webinar is over.
  • Have a last-minute wee. You’ve earned it.
  • Put a glass of water on your desk, in case your voice dries up during the recording.
  • Let the other presenters know that the moderator will be controlling the slides during the presentation, so to advance the slides the presenters will need to keep saying “On the next slide, you’ll see…” or “If you move to the next slide, …” or “[Presenter’sName], if you could move to the next slide.” This turns out to sound less awkward than you might expect. Alternatively, you can “Give Keyboard & Mouse” to them, but be aware that their mouse movements can wreak havoc if you forget to disable them when it’s your turn to speak.
  • Listen to some exciting music as loud as you can bear, to energize yourself. Here’s our Spotify playlist of exciting songs—though you’ll probably want to create your own.

Step 10: Present the webinar

  • Throughout the webinar, the moderator should watch the “Questions” and “Chat” panes in GoToWebinar’s control panel.
  • When the talk starts, mute any presenters who aren’t speaking, to minimize any background noise, and to reduce the likelihood of bandwidth problems.

Step 11: After the webinar has finished

  • Make sure you end the session, by closing GoToWebinar altogether. It’s surprisingly easy to leave it running. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the “Stop showing screen” button will stop the audio too.
  • Convert the movie file of the recording (using GoToWebinar’s conversion software).
  • If agreed beforehand, export the GoToWebinar reports and send them to the other presenters. Read all of the attendees’ questions, even if you haven’t promised to reply to all of them. Sometimes they contain personal messages that require action.
  • Restart your computer, to restart the software that you paused (Dropbox, Time Machine, etc.). Also, unmute phones, and undo any other changes you made during Step 9.
  • Upload your slides to whichever platform you use to share slides. If you have used any non-standard fonts, then save the file as a PDF before uploading them, otherwise they’ll look terrible.
  • Edit the video (using ScreenFlow or Camtasia): Crop any excess content from the start and end of the video. Optimize the sound by maximizing its volume, being careful that none of the peaks get too loud (in ScreenFlow they appear red when this happens). ScreenFlow has a feature called “Smooth volume levels,” which can be useful. However, if the other presenters are consistently quieter than you (because they don’t have an awesome microphone, perhaps), then it helps to turn their sections of the audio into separate clips, and then to edit the volumes of those clips independently. Export the video on “Web – High” setting. Then upload the video to your video-hosting service. We love Wistia, but you may prefer Vimeo or YouTube.
  • Embed the slides and video into a blog post (here’s an example). Don’t skip this stage; for every person who attends one of our live webinars, there are more than five people who see the video recording and/or the slides. Rather than create a new post, we edit the one that we used to announce the webinar, because it’s not needed any more, and there might still be links pointing at it.
  • Publicize that it’s published (email your subscribers, share it on social media, etc.).

Good luck, and let us know how you get on!

This article is one of a series, the index for which is here. To hear when the next article becomes available, get on our email list.

Website Navigation: Tips, Examples and Best Practices

Your website’s navigation structure has a huge impact on conversions, sales, and bounce rates. If visitors can’t figure out where to find what they want, they’ll leave. That’s the last thing you want. Instead, create clear, hierarchical website n…

website navigation

Your website’s navigation structure has a huge impact on conversions, sales, and bounce rates. If visitors can’t figure out where to find what they want, they’ll leave. That’s the last thing you want. Instead, create clear, hierarchical website navigation that helps your visitors find what they want instantly. Why Is Navigation Important on a Website? […]

The post Website Navigation: Tips, Examples and Best Practices appeared first on The Daily Egg.