Here’s a Call to Action For Ya!: Create Better Content

The text Call To Action appearing behind torn brown paper

My Takeaways From This Year’s Call-To-Action Conference

In our industry, more than others, we are consistently challenged to break through the noise and engage individuals in a way that converts them to customers. This means creating better content.

The 5th Call-To-Action Conference, hosted by Unbounce in Vancouver, BC, was full of insightful and actionable ideas about the ever changing marketing landscape. From AI generated pages to a step-by-step walk-through of landing page audits, there were new things to learn and relearn throughout the conference.

Here are my top takeaways:

Continue reading “Here’s a Call to Action For Ya!: Create Better Content”

Improving User Experience

some designs on paper, beside a laptop

A day rarely goes by at the Strathcom office where I (or one of my design team) don’t receive a request to change/edit/add/remove/update the design or layout elements on our websites. The intent of the request is usually to draw more attention to a piece of a client’s website or to increase conversions. However, sometimes these requests unintentionally do the opposite and negatively impact the usability of the website and, can potentially result in a lost user (and ultimately a lost sale). All because they neglect one crucial element: user experience. Continue reading “Improving User Experience”

CRO and UX – A Perfect Match

CRO and UX

CRO and UX are two terms that show up often when looking at analyzing and improving website performance. The practices of Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) and User Experience (UX) may seem similar in the context of the goals you are trying to achieve, but they have unique approaches to methodology and execution… 

So What is the Difference Between CRO and UX?

CRO is the process of encouraging visitors to perform specific actions (conversions) on your website. The success of CRO goals are inline with the goals of a business. An example of goal with an automotive dealership website would be to drive more website homepage visitors to book a test drive on the latest model release of a vehicle.

UX is the research and testing of a website’s usability, or simply put, how easy it is to use a website. User Experience focuses on the user first by studying their interactions with elements on a website. The focus of UX Design is to put a user’s needs as the priority by making the process of navigating through a website as seamless and easy as possible.

Not Mutually Exclusive – A Match, Instead

The uses of CRO and UX are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they complement each other to provide even more value to your website… 

Through the use of UX, reaching CRO goals is even easier because tests can be made with hypotheses based on actual user data instead of a theory pulled out of thin air that needs to be proven through weeks or months of data collection and testing.

Additionally, CRO can provide focus to UX testing by helping identify problematic areas of a website design. When you have a goal in mind for your website or a feature on a specific webpage, UX testing is a perfect tool to fine-tune your design and increase usability.

User Experience emphasizes a user’s needs while Conversion Rate Optimization targets the business’s goals; using both strategies is key to building a successful and badass website. If you’d like to learn more about how we can make UX and CRO work for you and your business, then touch base with us at Strathcom Media to learn more.

Homepage Elements with the Highest Conversion Rates

Conversion Optimization: probably the most important topic imaginable for building car dealership websites, and a topic we’d like to shed some light on. Here’s what we at Strathcom discovered during our tests for conversion rates!Print

A Call to Action is Like Asking for the Sale

You train your Salespeople to close the deal, and the same kind of logic behind that also applies online. There’s no denying the insane importance of a Call to Action (CTA), and knowing just when and where to ask for the sale is just as important. In our tests, we excluded clicks from top-level menus. Here are the stats:

The Most Clicked-on Webpages

  • New/Used Inventory – people like to browse, so let’s suggest taking a test drive, for example
  • Specials – let’s load this page up with incentives; that’s the idea here anyways, right?
  • Service Appointment

Highest-Performing Design

Button-style CTAs outperformed “image + text” CTAs. Main CTA buttons account on average for almost half of the clicks on a webpage, making them by far the most important CTAs to include.

Best Placement

The higher above the fold, the higher the conversions.

iStock_000070576867_Medium

A Convenient Quick-Search Bar

Makes sense, doesn’t it? Users want to find what they’re looking for right away and if they don’t, they’ll go somewhere else. The stats:

Usage

One of the top-performing homepage elements to encourage conversions – we found in our tests that quick-search bars average around 20% of all site clicks.

Placement

  • Placement on the homepage doesn’t matter, as it’s consistently used wherever we put it – it’s just a matter of making it accessible
  • When placed lower on a page, users will actively scroll down to use it

A Ton of Links

One paragraph on the homepage could contain links to just about every other section of the site, giving readers an easy way of searching for and finding what they need. Stats:

Most Clicked-on Links

  • Contact Info/Location/Directions/Hours – some users are customers already, and they just want to find out where and when they can drop by, so let’s be sure they can find out easily
  • Book Service Appointment
  • View New/Used Inventory

Highest-Performing Design

Links with button styles, but ONLY when used sparingly – let’s be smart about how we use buttons.

For our testing purposes, “conversions” was defined as clicks which took a user to an internal webpage. We tested using heat maps, click maps, and Google Analytics data, and our tests were done over multiple sites with differing designs.

Important Lessons from the 2015 Call to Action Conference in Vancouver

The 2015 Call to Action conference in Vancouver
The 2015 Call to Action conference in Vancouver

 

Strathcom Media was very lucky to be able to attend the Call to Action Conference hosted by Unbounce in Vancouver, B.C. With over 400 attendees from around the globe, this conference brings 20+ online marketing experts who shared important information and advice about successful conversion, testing, content, and more. We got tons of useful tidbits and techniques that we can’t wait to start implementing into our sites, and we’ve summarized those key takeaways for you below. We hope you find them as helpful and insightful as we did!

Avoid Landing Page Overload

Don’t overload landing pages with useless information, images, or links. Everything that you include on your landing pages should have a good reason for being there, so don’t get caught up in creating an attractive design and forgetting about the most important parts of a page. If you’re not sure what, if anything, needs to be removed, then start testing! It’s the best way to determine how positive the user’s experience is.Four Corners of Conversion - Oli Gardner

Another simple, yet important aspect of an effective landing page (and website) is to ensure everything loads quickly. As one of the speakers noted, when websites loaded just one second slower, there was a 7% reduction in conversion rates. Who knew one second could make such a huge difference? To create a quick and efficient landing page optimized for conversion, you should make sure you have good hosting, use fewer images that aren’t too big in size along with caching and compression, and remove any unnecessary elements that could be slowing things down.

Don’t forget that unnecessary elements can also include links. A recent Unbounce survey of almost 8,000 companies found that those companies could increase their conversion rate by 50% just by doing one astonishingly simple thing: removing three links from their landing pages.

Test & Research

Testing is so important, yet over 60% of companies test their content and statistics less than five times a month. Testing helps you understand your customers, measure your success, and improve your strategies by not only allowing you to determine what techniques have been successful, but also by giving you priceless information about your failures so you can pinpoint what didn’t work and improve it for next time.

How to Conduct Solid, Data-Driven Conversion Research - Michael Aagaard

Don’t confuse testing with research, though. While testing helps you determine what’s working and what isn’t, researching helps you understand why something was a success or failure. Research can also help you anticipate and remove any potential issues or give you the knowledge to resolve them as they arise. After all, how can you resolve an issue if you don’t first understand it?

Focus on the Feelings

Effective marketing touches people’s emotions. People are subconsciously moved to purchase products when you show them how good it’ll make them feel or how it’ll improve their lives, not just by telling the customers about a product’s features. Appealing to the emotions of your customers becomes easier when you remember that you’re a customer too. If something doesn’t work for you, chances are good that it’s not going to appeal to other customers either.

Other Important Takeaways

  • Personalize emails beyond just adding a customer’s name by addressing their behaviour (e.g. signing up for a newsletter vs. an expiring subscription).
  • Don’t be fooled into ignoring email in favour of social media. Social media helps spread the word, but email is better at keeping a customer’s attention, while offering faster conversion rates and more revenue.
  • Mobile devices are being used now more than ever, so you should create a dedicated mobile site.
  • Continually work to identify customer friction points on your landing pages.
  • Overall success is achieved when the customer’s experience is a positive one.

Thank you to the Call to Action organizers, speakers, and attendees! It was a great conference and we can’t wait to attend CTACONF 2016!

Strathcom Raises over $3,000 for the Stollery Children’s Hospital

From November 1st to 2nd, a tenacious team from Strathcom Media challenged their endurance and participated in the annual Extra Life video game marathon in support of the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation. With the support of Strathcom employees and friends, they surpassed their goal and raised $3,265! As soon as office hours ended, the team of intrepid players threw on their comfiest sweat pants, set up their gaming rigs, and hunkered down with a flat of energy drinks.d For over 24 hours they cruised the virtual streets of GTA San Andreas, battled epic dragons to save the people of Skyrim, raided dungeons in WoW’s Azeroth, built real-life slot car tracks in the office, and ran away in fear from the utterly terrifying Slender Man. We’re proud of our team and we’re excited to go even bigger next year! Check out the awesome time lapse of the marathon below: