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- 5x your existing growth and conversion rate
- Add 1,000s of leads and subscribers to your list
- See where your visitors are dropping off and how to fix it
- Bring cart abandoners back to your site and guarantee 10x ROI
- Introduce virality into every aspect of your marketing campaigns
- Price your product or service using 30+ rare techniques
- Optimize the 1 goldmine on your site you probably pay no attention to
- Create high-converting landing pages and CTA buttons
- Test every element on your site for performance
- Use sales psychology to increase transactions and your prices
- Write copy that gets attention, clicks and generates sales
- Use screen recordings, heatmaps and your visitors’ actions to increase profit
- Make your pages load faster and improve your rankings in the search results
- You just need a website :)
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In this course, you'll learn to:
5x your existing growth and conversion rate
Add 1,000s of leads and subscribers to your list
See where your visitors are dropping off and how to fix it
Bring cart abandoners back to your site and guarantee 10x ROI
Introduce virality into every aspect of your marketing campaigns
Price your product or service using 30+ rare techniques
Optimize the one goldmine on your site you probably pay no attention to
Create high-converting landing pages and CTA buttons
Test every element on your site for performance
Use sales psychology to increase transactions and prices
Write copy that gets attention, clicks and generates sales
Use screen recordings, heatmaps and your visitors’ actions to increase profit
Make your pages load faster and improve your rankings in the search results
In addition to all of the ideas and strategies in the course, I’ve included a presentation from Neil Patel, the co-founder of Quicksprout, Kissmetrics and Crazy Egg and $175 in advertising credits.
All of the lessons are screen recorded in HD 1080p so you can see everything I mention during the lectures (check out the free preview sections).
And there’s also a checklist at the end of each section with a link to every website you see in the videos.
I’ll personally be answering any questions you have and I’ll be happy to provide links, resources and any help I can offer you in improving your site’s traffic and sales.
I’ll also be updating the course every month with new tactics and approaches to growth hacking so that you’re always up-to-date.
At this point, you've read the reviews, you know about the bonuses and you've got me on call.
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- This course is for anyone with a site looking to increase their traffic, leads and sales - quickly
So once you’re at google.com/analytics, you’ll see this guy creepin over. You want to go up to the top right and click sign in to google analytics. And then once you’re done with that, you’ll see your main dashboard where you have a list of all your websites. You want to go up to the top menu and click on admin. (wait)
And then you’ll want to select the property and this is the website that you’re going to set up the goals or funnels for. So I have my branding course. And then over on the right side, you want to click on goals. And now I’ve already set up a goal here and I’m going to show you how to set this one up called Make a Payment. And even though it says make a payment, it doesn’t necessarily have to be somebody buying something. You want to click on add new goal and then choose the top option. And this can be used for an email address collection or somebody purchasing something. You click on next step, give it a name, and you can make it the same, make a payment…or, add email address or phone number.
You get 20 different goals that you can set up in google analytics. So I’m going to put this as the first one. And then the destination page would be like the thank you page I was talking about in the last video. So if we click next step. Here under the destination thing, you want to change this dropdown to “begins with.” And this is going to be the part that comes after your domain name. So you’d have yoursite.com/thank-you and that’s the page that people see once they’ve entered their email address or made a purchase. It could be payment-success-page like you see here if you happen to run an ecommerce business or sell some sort of product.
Down below that there’s an option to include a value, so depending on how much money you expect to collect from a typical purchase, you can put that in there and google will track how much money you would be expected to make based on these conversions. But again, this is optional.
And then below that, you see the funnels we were talking about. And if you click that to on, it’s going to give you a number of different steps that you can include. So… for example, on an ecommerce website, typically somebody adds something to their cart, and then they’re going to enter their personal information, maybe shipping address and then credit card and then there’s the success page. So there’s 4, maybe 5 different steps involved in that. So, at each part of the process like I said in the previous video, you might have people dropping out. So this is how to set up analytics for that. You want to give the first step a name so let’s call this personal information. And then put the part after the domain name that comes up when people see the page to enter their personal information. So whatever comes after yoursite.com, slash and then maybe it’ll say personal info or name and email. (wait) And then you want to check that to yes.
And then go down to the bottom and click add another step. And then this might be the shipping information. Now, if you’re still a little confused about what to put into these fields with the slash and then the name. I’m going to show you an example here from amazon.com so you can see here after I’ve added something to my cart and signed in, I have this part /gp/buy/address select. That’s the part that you would want to put in the field in GA. Now in the next step, you can see it changes to gp/buy/ship option select, so that’s the part I want to put in the next step. And so on. So if I click continue, it’ll now take me to the payment page, where I select a credit card… and you can see once again, it changes to pay-select. And so these are the parts of the URL on your site that you want to put into the fields here. And of course the last one would be the thank you page.
Now there’s a really cool option down at the bottom if you click Verify this Goal, it’ll give you what your conversion rate would have been if you had set this up a week ago. So it’ll take the data they’ve collected in GA so far and give you a percentage. So I can see here that based on the number of people who came to my branding course landing page, 14% of them ended up buying. So if we click create a goal, this’ll set up your goal, and you can see it here on the list. This is identical to the one above it. I just wanted to show you how to run through this process so I’m going to click this one off.
Now if you want to see the conversion rate, go up to the top and click Reporting. And then there’s a menu item at the bottom on the left side called Conversions. If you click on that and go to goals and then overview… it’ll give you a little chart and a bunch of percentages. And it’ll show you all of the people who ended up buying whatever it was or entering their email address. You can see here the payment success page/ and then some random letters and numbers. But again, all these pages began with branding/payment success page, which is why you entered that in the field.
And so that’s how to set up goals and then you can all see funnels under the same conversions menu at the bottom left.
Giveaways are one of the most powerful and effective ways of growth hacking your email subscription list but unlike, say, pop-ups, they’re not used as often as they should be. And that’s good because people tend to become blind to commonplace tactics.
Unbounce put together a case study on giveaways covering millions of visitors on 100 client sites and found that landing pages with giveaways saw a 700% increase in leads or email subscribers, which are really the lifeblood of most online businesses.
Giveaways are great not only because you get 100s or even 1,000s of email addresses that you can market to in the future, but you get the benefit of an extremely targeted list of people.
This is why it’s important to make the product or service you give away as specific to your niche as possible. You don’t want to give away something that everyone in the world might want like an iPhone. Otherwise, you’re gonna get a bunch of people signing up for your giveaway that don’t care about what you or your business offers. And that just wastes your time and money.
Once you’ve decided on the product, you can either buy it yourself if it’s not beyond your budget and you honestly don't need to spend that much money to have a successful giveaway. You'd be amazed at how many people fall over themselves to get a $200 service for free.
Or, if you’re trying to save money, you can reach out to the business that sells the product you plan to give away and ask them for a free one to use in your giveaway in exchange for the free advertising. You might also offer to write up a review on your site since you’re giving away a product that you think is valuable to your audience.
A lot of people recommend having a 1 st, 2nd and 3rd place or giving away more than one of the same thing so that people feel like there’s a better chance of winning. Some people won’t enter giveaways at all if there’s only one prize because the odds are too low. You should test out both, though – one prize or multiple and see which gets you more subscribers and entries.
Let me show you a couple examples of how successful using a targeted prize can be. First, here’s a guy named Josh Earl who gave away something called Sublime. Now if you’re not into coding and programming, you’ve probably never heard of it. But because he chose a prize that only his potential customers would know and like and marketed only in places where those people were likely to be, he managed to pick up more than 100,000 new and very targeted subscribers in about 11 days. I'm going to include the write-up he did on setting up his giveaway in the resources.
Another business that used giveaways and gathered more than 100,000 email subscribers in about a week was a company called Harry’s that specializes in razors and shaving cream. They had been a brick and mortar business that finally launched a website and they decided to do it by giving away some free products. You can see it worked pretty well.
So you might say, well shoot, why don’t I just run a giveaway every week. In general, there’s diminishing returns to running giveaway. Noah Kagan, who runs the KingSumo service I’ll talk about in a second, recommends doing them quarterly. He overdid them while building up AppSumo’s subscriber base and found that each one seemed to bring in fewer people than the last until he started spacing them out over time.
You'll notice I keep using the word giveaway as opposed to giveaways or competition and this is because if we go back to the Unbounce case study, you can see that including the word giveaway in your prize title led to a 27% increase in entries. They also found adding the month to the title increased conversions by an additional 40%.
Now besides picking a good title and a targeted product, you’re need to promote your giveaway like crazy. So start by sending the link to the giveaway to all of your contacts and existing subscriber list, sharing it on your social media accounts, creating a blog post about it and maybe even using Hello Bar to let your site visitors know about it.
Then, you’ll want to find all the forums and message boards that are extremely interested in your niche using boardreader and omgili. You just type in your main keyword and they pull up all the blogs related to that topic. You should also post the link in Facebook groups and Google+ communities. I can’t stress how important getting the word out is.
In the next few lectures, I’m going to walk you through two services you can use to set up giveaways – the first one called KingSumo is only available for Wordpress sites but the second called Gleam can be used on any site. Both of these services provide what we might call virality by giving people additional entries for sharing the giveaway on facebook, Twitter, pretty much any major social media platform.
They also provide people with their own referral link to the giveaway so that if they email their friends about it and those people sign up through the link, they’ll receive even more entries. Both Josh Earl and Harry’s used this viral feature and the latter said it brought in more than 77% of their total entries. So let’s go ahead and see how to set all that up in the next couple videos.
Leadpages also has exit intent popups that you can set up on any webste so if you decided to set up a leadpages acct, all you hav e to do is go up to leadboxes at the top and click create new leadbox and you can see here I’ve already created one called exit intent leadbox and so I’m going to edit this one and show you what I did here and this is kind of your standard editing window here, and if you click on something, it’ll bring the editing menu on the left side.
And so this is the text here that they would see when they try to leave the page. I know a lot of sites will use words like Stop with an exclamation point, or wait, or before you go. Anything to get people’s attention so you can get tem to stay on your page or at least just enter their email address before you leave in exchange for something free and then whatever you offer will bring them back at a later time.
And what I did here is kinda create an exit intent popup as if I was doing this for growth hackers.com and you can see they this sort of green outline to their site,but then all of the CTA buttons or View Article, or See More are this bright red. And so I incorporated that into my popup since people are already going to be familiar with clicking on a certain color on your website. So I have the growthhackers green logo here and then the color of the CTA button is that dark red that you see there. Youcan also change the background color.
There’s a website called nichehacks and the guy who runs that has these popups on his site that are very extreme colors, they don’t really match up with anything else on his website in terms of colors. He did a case study where he talks about the percentage their email addresses based on these popups – either exit intent or timed – and it’s north of 20%. And I can tell you that the average percentage of people who enter their email address on most websites is around 2-3%.
So just by using these very extreme colors, you grab people’s attention. And that’s really what exit intent popups are about. You don’t wanna get too conservative with these. So make sure you test out all different colors and options and don’t worry about being too extreme. This is your last chance to get the lead. So once you’re done with that, you wanna choose your lead magnet. And here I just have thisuh, sample beginner’s guide to growth hacking. And then the thank you page URL.
You can use the default one that leadpages has or you can set up your own where you ask them to share your offer with the friends or on facebook. We talk about upsells elsewhere in the course that you can use after you collect someone’s email address or make a purchase. So play around with your thank you page and make sure there’s always something for people to do after they give you the lead or sale.
You never want them to hit a dead screen, where all they see is a dead screen and their only option is to exit out, meaning leave your site. Once you click publish, you wanna click exit leadbox. And then you’re gonna get your code and you wanna paste that in the pages where you want this exit leadbox to show up. And that’s how to set up an exit intent popup with leadpages.
This is the case study I talk about in the lecture on surveys and you can see how lucrative combining them with the right landing page can be. Landing pages look a lot like your homepage. You typically have a hero shot, which is the big image you see on a lot of sites now or a video, a large headline, a sub-headline, some bullet points, a description, maybe some testimonials and a call-to-action button. But while your homepage might have a menu bar, sidebar and 28 links going to other parts of your site, a landing page should only have one link, the call-to-action button.
Your visitors shouldn’t be able to go to your homepage by clicking on the logo at the top left; there shouldn’t be any menu bar items, links to articles or any way for them to do anything other than what you want them to do. Which is usually either to enter their information or buy your stuff.
However, in order to get people to give you their information, email address, phone number (the data collection part you see here), you generally have to give them something of value for free first, which then allows you to market to these people somewhere down the road. And this free something is typically an online course, an ebook, a newsletter, a T-shirt, anything that you think will entice your visitors.
Now a landing page can be either short-form or long-form. A short-form landing page is where there’s not that much to read, the call-to-action is right in front of you and the decision is much simpler. Long-form landing pages, on the other hand, provide a lot more information; you might have to scroll down to see the button they want you to click on and it requires more thought than a short-form page.
There’s this commonly held but false belief among a lot of internet marketers that long-form pages don’t work. Meaning that if you don’t throw a call-to-action button in somebody’s face and pressure them to make a decision based on what they see at the top of the page, they won’t click on it. And you can see that that’s not necessarily the case. This site got 63% more clicks with a longer page, whereas this site saw 11% higher conversions with a shorter page.
But the right length actually depends on how complicated, new or expensive your product or service is. If it’s something that requires more understanding, you don’t want to ask people to click or buy right off the bat. You need to give them enough information to figure it out, get comfortable with the product and only then will they go through with the lead or purchase.
If your product or service is somewhat simpler and less expensive, you probably won’t need all that extra information to get people comfortable. Short-form will work just fine.
Ultimately, you need to match up the time it takes people to feel ready to make a decision to the time it takes to digest your page and come across your call to action. That’s why it’s always good to test out different length pages to see what happens to your conversions and sales. It’s possible that your product is more complicated than you think and you need a longer-form landing page, or vice versa.
Another thing to think about when you’re creating landing pages is to tailor them to where people are coming from. Meaning if you buy some ads to get people back to your landing pages, you want the message they see on that landing page to match what they se in the ad. Matching the messages not only makes people feel like they’re in the right place but makes it feel more personal.
And I would actually have the majority of the ads you buy send people to a landing page - as opposed to the homepage. Because if you’re going to spend money on advertising, you want to give yourself the best chance at getting the lead or sale and landing pages are typically much better at that than your homepage is, simply because there are fewer distractions.
Unfortunately most online businesses I know of only have one or two landing pages and they either get their leads through there or through the email entry boxes in the sidebars of their site. This is a start, but if you really want to grow, you’re going to want 40 or more landing pages. Yes, 40+ and here’s why:
There was a study conducted by Hubspot of 7,000 companies and they found that businesses with 40 landing pages got 500 or more leads per month and it was practically linear. The more landing pages you have, the more leads you get.
And with most landing page creation services like Instapage, OptimizePress or LeadPages, it’s unlimited - it doesn’t cost you anything extra to create additional landing pages and in the end, more landing pages means money for you. So do yourself a favor and set up a lot more landing pages than you have now.
Now that you have a good idea of what to put on a landing page, I’m going to show you how to eliminate all of things that you shouldn’t put on a landing page - the menu bar, sidebar and all the other distractions. If you’re using Leadpages or some other landing page creation site, you won’t have to worry about this, but if you set up landing pages manually on your site, this’ll help you out. After that, we'll get into what to think about and do when it comes to the call-to-action button.
You see these buttons all over the internet, on every homepage, in the sidebars of blogs, on ecommerce sites, pretty much everywhere and you probably never thought much about them, but every element of these so-called call-to-action buttons or CTA buttons, can have a huge effect on how many people click, which in turn determines how many email addresses you collect or how much money you make.
The position, text, size, shape, color, prominence and the text surrounding the button can all change the conversion rate you see. However, CTA buttons require testing, because as you’ll see, there are some case studies where certain companies saw lifts in clicks from one thing and that same change reduced the number of clicks for another company.
The first thing I mentioned was the position of the button and I can tell you the conventional wisdom was to always put it above the fold and when we say above the fold, we mean everything you can see on a webpage without scrolling down. And you can see the area above the fold highlighted in red here on a sample homepage.
And an above-the-fold CTA button is OK for some sites, but it depends more on the complexity and price of your product or service. If you have an expensive or complicated product, you typically need to educate your visitors more before they feel comfortable or knowledgeable enough to click on your button. And you can see a test here where they put the button at the bottom and saw more than 4 times as many clicks vs. placing it at the top.
Now once you’ve figured out the best placement for your buttons, you need to focus on the text on the button. Most people use something boring and generic like submit, learn more, register, click here or sign up, but you can get much higher conversions using something specific, a little out of the ordinary, attention grabbing, but most importantly of all, you need to provide a benefit to people thinking about clicking on your CTA. What’s in it for me? That’s the question people are going to ask themselves before clicking on anything.
And that’s the benefit you want to splash on your CTA. Willy Franzen at Copyblogger changed his to include the text “Subscribe by E-mail” and “Subscribe by RSS” along with appropriate graphics. After I had my epiphany, I switched the text to “Get Jobs by E-mail” and “Get Jobs by RSS.”
subscription rate has increased 254% since I made the change, and 66% of the new subscribers are e-mail subscribers.
I wanted to you show how much of an effect just one word can have your clicks. All they did in this test is change the word your to my and saw a 90% jump in conversion. On the other hand, I’ve seen tests where your performed better than my, so again, you have to test.
The other word I wanted to show you a test for is Get, and this goes back to your visitors asking what’s in it for me? This company changed the word Order to Get and saw an almost 15% increase in clicks. And this as also because Order implies giving your money away and Get implies something that makes your visitor’s lives easier.
You can also play around with the words Now and Today. Sometimes the speed with which people think they’ll receive the benefit can increase clicks.
Here they not only added a benefit but also increased the size of the button, which by itself can have a big effect on your conversion rate. Now it’s not always bigger is better, because as you can see here, the CTR went down when compared with the smaller button, but this as another thing to test out on your buttons.
One thing that creates almost a universal increase in clicks once you have the size of your button optimized, is to round the corners. And there’s a study here from Harvard Medical School by two psychologists who presented test subjects with 140 different objects and found that the rounded ones were favored 33% more than the sharp objects were.
And the same goes for rooms. Another study asked people to say whether a room was beautiful or not beautiful and overwhelmingly people found rooms with rounded features more beautiful than rooms with sharper edges. And this is sort of hard-wired into us, because we associate sharp things with danger and also because it actually takes the brain longer to process a shape with corners versus a rounder object.
In terms of CTA buttons, the sharp corners point away from the thing that you want people to do which is to click on it. Rounded objects tend to get you to focus on what’s inside. You can see here they not only changed the color but they rounded the corners and saw a 36% increase in CTR.
This is why color is important as well. However, there is no one best color. I can tell you a lot of case studies will say red like the one you see here which resulted in a 21% increase, but if you have red as the predominant color on your site, red most likely won’t get you very many clicks. It just blends in.
Here you have a post that’s essentially a joke, making fun of other posts that claim one color is the best. I can tell you Amazon uses orange and they test relentlessly, but just because that works well for them doesn’t mean the same for you. Bottom line, you want a color that stands out from the main colors on your site.
One thing to keep in mind as far as using red or green is people who are color-blind and it’s sort of a misnomer because almost everyone who’s considered color blind only has problems seeing reds and greens. They can see other colors fine. But it is 4.5% of the population and if your site is mostly men, it’ll be closer to 8 or 9%.
Another thing to think about is making sure other things on your page don’t look like they’re CTA buttons if they’re not. You can see this company saw a 45% increase in clicks after making the CTA button the center of attention and moving the distractions to the sidebar.
Same for this company OpenMile who had what looked like three CTA buttons on their old homepage. The redesign they did with the focus on the central CTA led to a 232% increases in leads.
I talk about this in the lecture on HelloBar, but using arrows to bring attention to your CTA can often help conversions. On a site for a luxury product or a high-end service, this might not be a good idea. It can take away some of the prestige of your image, but for the majority of sites, you should test out an arrow.
Finally, test out using testimonials next to your CTA button and saying “no credit card required” if you’re trying to get people to sign up for a free trial. Because what scares some people away from even clicking on the free trial button is whether or not they’re going to have to enter their credit card info. A lot of people will just assume you have to and leave altogether.
You’ve learned quite a few ideas and techniques to hack your growth and increase conversion so far and you’ve seen case studies of how effective some of these strategies can be, but it’s possible that your demographic or audience doesn’t respond the same way the people in the examples I provided did. You might have a business where the average visitor is a woman over 50 and the things that increased profit for 20 year old males just won’t work with them.
And that’s just the name of the game. There’s nothing that works for everyone when it comes to growth hacking or conversion strategies. But you never know until you test it out. And so at this point I want to give you a few things to think about as you go about testing different features, colors, words, designs, whatever it might be and then I’m going to walk you through a free service called Optimizely that you can use to set up your own tests and see whether or not each strategy you’ve learned throughout the course is growing your business..
Now when most marketers refer to testing, they typically use something called A/B testing, which is sometimes also called split testing. And this is a pretty simple concept and you’ve already seen some examples throughout the course. You have one page, typically your existing homepage but it can really be whatever page you want and you have a design feature that you want to test out, maybe and this is the proverbial example - your call-to-action button and right now it’s red but you want to see if, say, green gets you higher conversions.
So you create an identical version of your homepage except that it has the green CTA button and the green button is shown to half your visitors and the red one is shown to the other half and at the end of a month or so, you see which had more clicks and determine the winner.
And the good thing about these services is that they show the two variations over the same time period. Because you don’t want to show one page one week and the other variation the week after. And it’s for the same reason that you don’t want to run it from say noon on a Tuesday to 3am on Saturday a month later.
Because if you look at your analytics, you’ll likely see a rush of traffic at certain times of the day and on certain days of the week. There’s likely a big dip on the weekends but maybe a spike on Tuesday or Thursday. You want to make sure your test doesn’t include an extra spike or two of traffic. You want it to begin and end at the same time on the same day of the week. And you don’t want to make any other major changes to your site while the test is running. You also want to test mobile devices separately from desktops, which Optimizely makes pretty easy to do.
In general, you want to start testing on the things you’re struggling most with. Are you getting a ton of visitors to your site, but not many of them are clicking on your CTA button? Are people adding things to their cart but not checking out? Wherever the weak points are, start your testing there.
A/B testing, I should mention, is meant to complement other forms of testing. There are certain areas of your site where a usability test, a heatmap or a survey question, which you’ll see how to set up a little later in the course, might work better than an A/B test. You have to decide what’s going to get you the best information.
Now a lot of times you see these case studies where people report triple digit growth and I can tell you they did 20 or more other tests where there was no increase before finding the thing that did. And that’s the norm. You’re going to find most of your tests won’t have any effect at all. You just have to keep plugging away trying new things and eventually you find something that comes through.
Just so you have some ideas, I’m going to include a list of more than 50 things you can test at the end of this section that you can try out on your site. Just remember that testing is something you should always be doing. You can never stop improving your conversion rate.
Finally, this is from eConsultancy’s CRO report, which is a survey of 1,100 digital marketers, and they found that the marketers who were seeing rising sales were doing almost 6.5 tests a month versus 2.4 for companies that were losing money and these same people said that A/B testing was by far the most effective method for increasing growth.
And so now that can see the importance, I want to show you how to set up your own tests, but before that I need to dive into something called SS and this is exciting stuff so grab a coffee, a Coke, splash some water on your face, anything to keep you awake.
I want to talk about some things that you might not be aware of when it comes to SS even if you already understand the concept. Because SS is a very unreliable number and there’s a good chance your test winners aren’t winners at all.
Just to give you a brief primer on SS, let’s say you have 1000 visitors come to your site over the month of your test and 50 of them click on your call to action button, let’s say 30 on the red and 20 on the green. But maybe you do the test again for another month and the results are reversed and you have 20 people click on the red and 30 on the green.
The only way you would know whether your test result is accurate is to see a lot more trials – in your case, a lot more visitors and conversions so that you’re more certain of the declared winner of your A/B test.
Now the calculation for SS is not that important. There are calculators online, one of which you see right here that do everything for you. All you have to do is put in the number of visitors that saw each version and then the number of conversions and it’ll tell you the SS of that test result.
What is important is the level of significance you use. A lot of scientists and marketers because they learned from other scientists or just saw that everyone else was doing it use 95% statistical significance as sort of their benchmark for declaring a winner in their test. And they’ll say things like we’re 95% certain that the result of this test or experiment was not due to luck or error.
And that’s the number you see here and you can see it goes up as you increase the number of conversions, right because you become more certain that something didn’t happen by luck the more times you observe it happen. And the lower your conversions are, the lower your certainty is.
Now sometimes marketers will subtract that 95% statistical significance from 1 to get 0.05 and call that number the p-value. And they assume it’s essentially the same thing as the 95% number, but they’ll instead say there’s a 5% chance or less that our result was luck or error.
And that sounds like a pretty low chance, low enough to make you pretty confident in your test except that it’s not. And it’s because the 0.05 p-value doesn’t actually mean there’s a 5% chance that the result was chance or error. In fact, a P value of 0.05 corresponds to a false result at least 29% of the time, meaning your tests will declare a winner incorrectly at least 29% of the time. If you lower the P value to 0.01 or 99% statistical significance, it still corresponds to a false result probability of at least 11%.
The math behind those numbers is a little complicated but I’ve included some examples in the pdf checklist where you can see how easy it is to mess tests up with p-values.
Either way, I just wanted you to be careful about the 95% SS number because while everyone’s using it, more and more science journals are refusing to accept studies based on p-values of 0.05 and you’re trying to do these tests to improve your sales and clicks and I don’t want you to change things based on a test that showed 95% significance for version 2 and it turns out you would have made more money with the version 1.
Now nothing will ever be 100% certain but ideally, you’d like to shoot for at least 98 or 99% SS. The latter still leaves you with an 11% of chance of a false alarm, but that’s much better than 29%. Just remember not to end your test the second you see 98% or higher% SS. You can often see that early on with only a few conversions, but it’s essentially meaningless at that point.
Most conversion rate experts recommend you let your test continue until you have at least 200+ conversions, no matter how long it takes. And if after you’ve hit your target of 200 you still don’t see 98% or higher SS, then you really can’t make a conclusion. And you can either let the test continue or test something else altogether. I would also keep the test going another couple weeks if you hit, say, 200 after a week or two, just to be surer of your result.
And then as your monthly traffic goes up, you’ll also want to increase that number. A lot of high-traffic sites shoot for 1000 conversions or more before they draw a conclusion. And yes, that means if you have a site that already gets a lot of traffic and sales, you’ll be able to do your tests more quickly because you’ll be able to hit those conversion targets in a shorter period of time. Which is why those marketers in the eConsultancy survey I mentioned in the last video were able to do 6.5 tests per month.
That’s why if you’re a low traffic site, you’re going to want to take more chances, make bigger changes in your tests. Whereas a high traffic site might be able to change one word or one color on a CTA button that might not even be on the homepage, you might as a small site owner, have to create two completely different versions of your homepage in order to get the number of conversions you need to hit SS, change your text altogether – headlines, bullet points and descriptions, a homepage with a video and one without, a long-form page and a short-form page. And it’s because as a low-traffic site, most of if not all of your site’s clicks and conversions come from just a few CTA buttons or areas.
The good thing is, if you’re using the techniques in the course and you’re consistently testing things, your traffic won’t be low for long. Each test builds on itself. You find something that converts at 3%, test that against something else that does 4% and so on until you’re in the double digits. On the other hand, you will find some tests actually lower your growth rate temporarily. Testing sometimes requires short-term sacrifices for long-term gains.
I want to show you a 2015 survey of more than 1,000 companies and marketing agencies and they were asked several questions, but I think the most telling is, What percentage of your sales are you getting from email? The average was 21% out of all the companies surveyed.
In terms of ROI, 66% of respondents labeled it excellent or good, behind only SEO. This is why building a list is so important.
So how do we growth hack the email marketing process? First, you want to send your emails at specific times of the day. I’ve seen a lot of studies online based on 1,000s or millions of emails saying which day and time are the best, but this study from Mailchimp is based on billions of emails sent and so I like to think of this as pretty definitive.
They found that Thursday was the best day to send emails for open rate and click-through rate by a slight margin over Tuesday. This is something you need to test out yourself, though. Thursday is not going to be the best day for everyone.
The cool thing about Mailchimp is that once you start sending emails, they collect data for you on your open rate and click-through rate and send you recommendations based on when your subscribers are most likely to open and interact with your emails. They call it Send Time Optimization. That’s only included if you have a paid monthly plan, though. With the free plan, you can use the analytics Mailchimp provides to test it out yourself.
As far as the best time to send emails, they found 10 am was optimal based on the billions they tracked. College kids were the only demographic they found in the study that had an optimal time other than 10 am. For college students, it was 1 pm. When I was in college, that was my optimal time too. So if your main audience is between 18 and 22, you might want to test out a later send time.
So it’s great to know that 10 am is the optimal time but you have people on your list who are in different time zones. So if you send something out at 10 am in NY, it hits LA at 7 am and that’s not good. That’s why Mailchimp and Aweber and most of the ESPs have time zone optimization where you can set it up so that it goes out at a specific time in each time zone. So they send it at 10 am in NY, wait an hour, send it to the next time zone and so on. And they get that information when someone signs up for your list and they see their IP address, which gives your location.
Going even further, I want to show you a study of more than 100 billion emails from Constant Contact, another ESP like Mailchimp and they found that customizing your emails to smaller groups of people increased open rate up to 150%. Meaning if you segment out your list based on the amount of interaction people have with your business – your site, your products, etc. and you personalize your emails to those people, they’ll be much more likely to open your emails.
And just to show you what I mean in more detail. Groove was sending out the same message to everyone regardless of what they did after signing up. But what they found is that if they sent a message depending on what they user did after a few days, the response rate was about 10% higher. So you can see here, this would be sent out to someone who didn’t create a mailbox and someone who did and each would have different text telling them the next step to take.
This can also be done with people who have made purchases with you in the past, which I talk about in much more detail in the lecture on loyalty programs.
Now in the next lecture, you’ll see two articles on how to set up something called a drip campaign, which is just a series of emails sent out automatically after someone’s email address is added to your list. And the articles cover Aweber and Mailchimp. But I would recommend reading the posts on Aweber even if you don’t use them. There’s a lot of good information about drip campaigns in there.
Now I will say there is a monthly fee to use the service Litmus that I was talknig about in the last video, but a lot of ESPs will provide their own email testing services for you for free or rather included in your plan and mailchimp is one of those. It actually uses litmus’s platform to do email testing.
This is not available on the free version that covers up to the 2000 email addresses I was talking about. But if you move up to the paid version this’ll be included so you won’t have to shell out another $60 or $70 to use litmus’s software.
And so you’ll want to check with your ESP whether it’s aweber, constant contact, get response and see whteher they cover that. Reach out to the support team or just google if they have email testing. But even if you’re not using an ESP, litmus has a 7 day free trial. And the thing about most businesss’s emails is that they tend to have pretty much the same layout and design.
Most people don’t change up the way their emails look very often, most businesses at least. And so if you use the 7 day free trial, all you have to do is test out the layout that you plan on using for your business emails and just see if it shows up well in most email accts and if it does then you can just cancel it before the 7 days is up. And then the next time you go about changing your layout maybe next year for example, you can just use the 7 day free trial again. Now in the last video, I also showed you litmus’s page testing option, and it was fairly limited as you saw. There were only about 5 browsers you could check and each of them only had maybe 2 or 3 versions. It certainly wasn’t as robust as the email testing options.
And so I want to show a website you can use to get way more page tests than litmus offers. And this is going to cover pretty much every browser known to man and every version of that browser going back for the last 7 or so years. And this is called browsershots.org. you can see here it’ll come, all of these will be checked, I’ve unchecked a lot of them. Because this whole process of scanning your page in all of these different browsers can take a long time . you can see here there’s probably more than 150 options, so I unchecked the ones except for, say, the most recent browsers, maybe the most recent 5 versions of it in case people haven’t updated. And once you checked off the ones you want, you certainly want chrome, firefox, ie, safari. But once you’ve chosen whichever browsers you want, you want to create a free account because that’s going to give you ability to save as a preset so that every time you come here, you don’t have to uncheck 100 different old versions of these browsers. You can just test the page using the preset option and that’ll go through it a lot quicker. And so once you’ve run the scan here, it’s going to take about 15 mins to do maybe 30 some browsers.
The thing about browsershots.org is that it doesn’t cover any mobile browsers. And so to do that I use a site called crossbrowsertesting.com…. and I usually just use the free trial here. It is somewhat limited. I’m not aware of a free service online so I usually just use this and I make sure to check off chrome because as you’ll see here, chrome is the most used browser by far among all of the available options. So you have chrome here at about 45%, safari, ie, and this is a combination of desktop and mobile. And this covers all browsers worldwide from August 2015. I just want to show you what the screenshots here from browsershots.org look like and it’ll give you the full page layout here and you can see whether or not things are showing up well across all different browsers. So just a couple options you can use as far as getting a discount on your email testing through your ESP and then we also have browser testing that you can use to test out your pages ,make sure everything’s showing up well so that people don’t leave because they’re unhappy with the experience.
I wanna show you some ways you can go about hacking your money-back guarantees because 99% of people use a 100% money-back guarantee or 30 or 60 days and it’s kinda become so common that it doesn’t really have an effect on people anymore. And so I wanna show you a number of alternatives you can use and case studies that show you how well these alternatives perform so that you can (1) make your customers feel more comfortable about buying something – that there’s a way out if they don’t enjoy it. But the fact that you’re offering one of these extreme money-back guarantees makes people feel that you’re extremely confident in your product and removes a lot of that pain that comes with spending your money on anything.
And so I wanna take you through a couple examples here. The first one is from Hampton and you see this 100% Hampton guarantee. This is not just a normal 100% guarantee, because a lot of hotels don’t have MBGs. You kind of, you stay there and if you don’t enjoy your experience, that’s it, too bad. But what Hampton does, they say that if at the end of your stay, you didn’t have a pleasant experience. You don’t have to pay for the stay. And say they go a little above and beyond what most hotel chains do.
The next example is from Zappos and most people are pretty familiar with how generous their return policy is. They have the 365 day money back guarantee that as long as you return the item in the same condition as you got it, that they will accept it within a year of purchase and they’ll also pay for the shipping. Now there was an article done on zappos about their return policy and they said here that our best customers have the highest return rates but they’re also the ones that spend the most money with us and are our most profitable customers. So giving people that ability to try out your product might seem like giving away money in the short-term. But it turns out they end up making it all back for you and then some in the long-term
This is an alternative I’ve seen in couple places. Offer 100% plus an additional 10% or 15%. You can even go a little more extreme than that and offer a 200% money back guarantee. That’s what this internet provider Afrihost does. You can also try a cash-back guarantee where you give them all of their money back plus $100. Or in this guy’s case, he guarantees that you’ll make at least $5,000 this year from his program or he’ll return all your money. Now a lot of people get nervous and worried about offering something like this. They think that people will take advantage of it. I can tell you from personal experience, I’ve had between 110% and 120% money back guarantee for about a year now and I haven’t had a single person take advantage of it. There’s also tim ferriss’ book the 4 hour workweek and he talks about how he offered a 110% 30-day MBG and he said that sales increased more than 300% within a month of introducing the guarantee and that returns decreased overall.
I’m going to include a good list of other MBGs alternatives from Derek Halpern at Social Triggers. The best ones you’ve already seen in this video, and it’s really just about testing them on your site. I mean nothing is guaranteed to work on every person’s website. So you wanna try out different types of guarantees. You can do the 110%, you can offer extra cash back, you can guarantee something. You have to be a little creative with these.
According to a study from IMShopping and Harris Interactive, 77% of people would be interested in getting help online before buying something. Which is why live chat is becoming increasingly common on ecommerce websites and even some blogs.
In case you’re unfamiliar, live chat is the little button you see along the bottom right here. It usually says, Can I help you with anything? And then you click on it and a popup box shows up where you can type. This one says leave a message. Maybe he’s in the bathroom. The reason many online retailers and ecommerce businesses are using livechat is because increase sales in most cases and it’s usually less expensive than a traditional telephone customer service rep.
In fact, a company called Blue Soda Promo says that 60% of their live chat conversations end up in sales, which is huge. They tend to spend more money, too, because live chat reps typically offer upsells and cross-sells. Virgin Airlines says order value is 15% higher with people who use live chat.
You can even have your live chat reps offer discounts or free shipping to people who seem to be on the edge about purchasing. Especially people who connect with a live rep on the pricing page or on the shipping page during the checkout process. It gives you a way to recover what might have been an abandoned shopping cart before the person leaves.
There’s actually a company called Schoolkeep that doesn’t have any prices listed on their pricing page. The second you hit the page, a live chat rep pops up and ask you some personalized questions, and then gives you a quote based on your answers.
Livechat also help customers who are just looking for an item and might have left altogether if not for the ability to ask where to find it, which ultimately helps improve customer satisfaction. Plus, many people (including yours truly) like having a written record of the conversation, so they can reference back to it if they forget the answer to their question.
These transcripts are also valuable for you as a business owner. They tell you the most common questions people have, which allows you to put those questions and answers in the FAQ section of your site, maybe add some more bullet points to your homepage to make things clearer or include some more information on the pricing page.
Another benefit of live chat is that it increases profit by reducing employee expenses since live chat reps are typically able to handle multiple visitors versus just one customer at a time with a phone rep. Live chat reps are usually cheaper to hire, too, since you don’t have the expenses associated with phone lines or physical locations. That’s why live chat reps can often be hired for less than $5 an hour as you’ll see later on.
I should say these statistics and benefits are not going to be the rule for every site. Live chat generally performs better when you have a lot of different options or products to choose from or when the product is complex or expensive. And it saves money when visitors ask questions fairly often so you’re not paying a rep to sit there for hours without anyone asking anything. So like everything else in this course, you’ll want to test this out.
But just so you don’t have to spend any money to find out, I’m going to show you how to set up a service called Live Person in the following videos, because it offers the best free plan that I’m aware of – 150 conversations a month and one operator – and I know that most students are running small businesses where one would probably be enough.
If you’re gonna need more than one, I would recommend using a company called Olark. It’s not free, but it’s cheaper than LivePerson once you go over one operator. It also allows you to have the live chat box open automatically or after a certain period of time so you don’t have to wait for people to click the live chat button, which tends to increase interaction and sales.
Whatever you do, though, make sure your live chat rep, whether it’s you or someone else, is trained well. They should know your business inside and out and it’s always good to give them a cheat sheet of the most common Qs and As. You also wanna make sure they’re not overwhelmed. Taking too long to answer questions is just as bad as leaving someone on hold.
A lot of live chat services like LivePerson require your email address before you start chatting, but if you’re using one that doesn’t, encourage your reps to get leads. These can be used to follow up with your prospects and their questions, set up demos and send promotions.
Anyway, let’s go ahead and see how to set up Live Person.
So as I said, people who use the live chat option on your website are gonna be more likely to make a purchase from you. And there’s gonna be some people who are consciously looking for the button. They just need to ask a few clarifying questions before they make a purchase but the majority of people are just browsing your website. But if you can get them to engage in a conversation with your live chat rep, they’re also gonna be more likely to make a purchase.
And this is Olark’s blog and you can see here they have a typical pop up live chat box asking have a question? We’d love to help. Sometimes they’ll ask, how can I help you? And these are fairly traditional, but they’re kinda boring and they don’t really grab attention. And so this blog post focuses on non-traditional greetings and how big of an effect they can have on the number of people who engage with your live chat reps. And so this first example is from an advertising agency and they tested out 4 different questions that they could ask people uhh, when they were ready to use live chat. And the first one was, what’s your best marriage advice? And obviously it has nothing to do with advertising. But that ended up getting the highest response rate out of the four questions there and it was the only that had nothing to do with advertising or business.
So these very counterintuitive, non-traditional greetings can work really well because they grab attention and maybe people just answer the question because it made them laugh, you know, kinda put them in a good mood. And then from there, the live chat rep can move into a conversation more related to the sales side of the business. But as long as you can engage people in a conversation, and this is sorta why, when people call you at dinner time, they ask you a couple of questions that are just sort of friendly, kinda small talk to get you into a positive mood and just talking in general. Unless you call my dad and then it’s, dammit, who the hell is calling at this hour. Hello? No, no I’m not interested. I just said, I’m not interested.
And the second example here, and I just wanna show you how big of an effect this can have on your sales and conversion rates. This was a company that sold promo products and they tested out 3 different questions. And the first one, how many lanyards are you looking for ended up winning by a pretty large margin. And it also raised their overall conversion rates within adwords by 37%. So getting to the point with your question can also work well.
So I wanna go into the live person dashboard here and show you how to change up what the button says and then the question people see once they click on it. So if we exit out of the code that you installed on your site.
You wanna go up to campaigns at the top and then just click on the line there where it says Live Chat on Your Site. And so that’s the default button that uh, you’ll have on your site if you don’t make any modifications to it.
They also have different categories depending on what your business sells. So let’s just say we had a technology business and you have your typical free consultation here. You can also change the size of it to be much larger, you can make the button look 3 dimensional.
So once you’ve selected that, go down and click next.
And you can change the location of this by clicking the location button and then choosing the part of the screen where you want it to show up. So let’s say we had it down on the bottom right. And if you click on the uh text there where it says Need Help? You can change this to whatever you want. And this is gonna be particularly important. Because as I was saying uh, having a unique question can get people to respond, but you also need them to see that question in the first place by clicking the live chat button. So you’d probably want something a little bit out of the ordinary for your button. So if we had a technology business, you might say, Talk Nerdy to Me.
And of course, you’d wanna center that, I’m just doing this kinda quickly so you can see exactly what you can do here. If you click the little gear icon here and you go down to Customize Automatic Messages.
This is where you can change up the question that people are gonna see once they click on the live chat button. You know, what’s your best marriage advice or something that um, is unique to your business but is also kinda fun for your visitors.
So then if we click next, this is where you’ll get to choose the uh theme for your popup box. That’s the ocean theme right there, it’s kind of a blue at the top with blue message from the representative. And you can also change the picture that shows up in there by adding the URL. And then you just hit the checkmark. Then you hit save and click next.
And as I mentioned in the intro, this is where you can place it on a specific page, maybe the part of your checkout process where people were abandoning their carts at a pretty high rate. You can place it on the pricing page, pretty much anywhere you want. Um, Or you just have it show up on every single page on your website.
But once you’re done choosing that option, you wanna click next. And here you’ll get to choose whether it shows up to all visitors, new visitors or returning visitors. I would recommend showing it to everybody, uh, as they do. But once you specify that, you just hit done.
And then we’re gonna exit out of this modification menu. And if you go down to the bottom left and click on the three bars, this’ll take you back to your campaign dashboard. And then if you click on data sources, this is where you can link up GA, so you can get a lot of good data and information on how well live chat is converting for you. And so if you click Connect, it’ll ask for permission to access GA. And then you can also link up your ecommerce business down there by clicking configure next to a number of different options.
I’m gonna show you how to setup a loyalty program for your busienss and a lot of small businesses have these, even companies like starbucks and subway, uh tend to have little punch cards or kind of mini credit cards that you can use where you buy 10 items and you get, you know the 11th one free. And these can be really useful for any business. You can see here this was a survey done of 29,000 people by the information and measurement firm Nielsen. And they found that 84% of people were more likely to visit retailers that offered a loyalty program.
Now most visitors to your site or to your business are not going to sign up for your loyalty program, but even having a small % of people signup for it can result in a large number of sales. There was a study done by the center for retail management at northwestern university and they found that only about 12-15% of customers are loyal to a single retailer but that those customers can be responsible for anywhere from 55 to 70% of total sales.
As if that wasn’t uh convincing enough, there was another study done by seewhy, which is now a company called hybris of 250,000 online transactions and found that only 3% of new customers bought again, but that 11% of returning visitors, meaning visitors who were likely part of a loyalty program or were at least loyal to that business, would buy again within 28 days, so they were more likely than 3x as likely to buy if they were loyal customers. This is why loyalty programs can be so valuable.
There’s a paper written by a company called Manta and they surveyed 1,000 small business owners and found that a repeat customer tended to spend 67% more than a new one. They also found that it cost according to these SBOs 10x more to acquire a new customers than to retain an existing one. There’s a case study from a small coffee shop called Milano and they created a loyalty program where if you bought 12 items that cost at least $2 you would get a free drink. A little over 430 people signed up for it within 3 months.
And the thing about loyalty programs is that you not only get these customers who are spending more money and who make up a big part of your sales, but you also get these people’s email addresses, you get their buying behavior so that you can tailor your offers to these specific people and I’m gonna show you some services that you can use that will automatically do this so you don’t have to sort through each person, say this guy buys this and this and this. It’ll collect all the data for you and send out specialized offers depending on what they bought in the past. And I’m gonna show you some data here they collected . they found that loyalty customers represented 23% of daily transactions even though they didn’t make up anywhere near that percentage in terms of total customers.
Now when you’re setting up these loyalty programs, one thing you want to think about is giving people a little head start. And just to give you an idea of what I mean. There was a study done by researchers who gave out 300 loyalty cards at a local carwash. And they gave 150 people this card that you see here with 8 slots. Where if they got 8 carwashes, they got the next one free. And then they also gave 150 people cards where there were 10 slots but 2 of them were already filled in. so the offer was identical, they both had to get 8 car washes to get the 9th one free. But the people who were given a headstart had nearly double the rate of completion as the people who were given a blank card. It was 34% of the ten stamp group with the 2 head start vs. 19% in the 8 stamp group
so I wanna show you a service now that will tell you how to set this all up, how to give people this headstart, how to collect data on them. And this is a company called belly at bellycard.com/business. And just to show you some of the features here and what the interface looks like on people’s uhh smartphones. So they’ll have a certain number of points that they’ve collected from your business. Um, You can choose the point values, so if they get , you know, 10 points, they get a free drink or a free piece of clothing, whatever it is you sell at your business. You can set the point values, itll show the total. It’ll show the name of your business, address, phone number.
And then it also keeps track of their emails so that you can send out campaigns to certain people based on their buying habits and bring them back to your store or website. There’s a connection with social media so that when they buy something at your business and this is kinda like 4square, it’ll show up in their social media acct. matt just visited starbucks at a certain location or bought a new pair of shoes at yoursite.com. and then finally you have analytics so you can see some demographic info and their age, where they’re from, male or female. The pricing is $99 per month for the basic version which gets you the loyalty program, analytics and the mobile version. And then you can pay the $30 a month more and you get social media accts and automatic email marketing.
Now if you’re using shopify, magento or bigcommerce and these are probably the most well-known ecommerce platforms. There’s a company called sweettooth at sweettoothrewards.com that will give you a loyalty program for free that you can integrate with your ecommerce site. It’s only free up to the first 500 people, but if you have a very small business and it tends to stay small, you can use this for free. And then beyond that, there’s certain pricing levels depending on many people sign up. If you click the shopify pricing, you can see what it looks like, and it’s the same for all of those platforms.but I’ve tested out quite a few loyalty programs and these were the ones that I thought were the easiest to use and the cheapest, so for any type of business you can use Belly. If you use Shopify, magento or bigcommerce, you can try out sweettooth.
Product reviews and testimonials can be very very powerful in getting people to purchase your products, just because there’s so many options available online and people do a lot more research than they used to.
And as you can see from this case study, product reviews boost revenue for online visits by 62% and this is according to a huge study by Bazaar Voice of 35 billion product page views and more than 57 million reviews. And they found a positive link between the number of online reviews for a product and sales. They said just adding one review led to a 10% in orders and then jumped to 25% when a product goes from 0 to 30 reviews. They also mention that people who interact with a customer review convert at a 58% higher rate and average order value increased by 3%.
So big increases for using reviews and I just wanna show you one more case study from a company called Fig Leaves. They found that adding product reviews led to customers being 35% more likely to complete a purchase. So I wanna show you how to set up reviews or testimonials whether you just have a blog or you have an ecommerce website. I think this is gonna be most helpful for product reviews. If you go to your plugins menu and I’m gonna show you how to do this for a Joomla website and if you’re coding it yourself in a second. But first, I wanna show you the WP demo. I’ve alrdeay installed this. It’s called WP Customer Reviews. Once you’ve added this to your dashboard, just scroll down to Settings and then you’ll see this with the big star next to it. Click on that customer reviews. And then on here you can connect to your email address if you wanna get security updates, but if you don’t just click No Thanks and they’re gonna show you the rest of the options where you’ll get to modify the plugin and change how it displays.
Most of these things you’re gonna be able to leave on default but if you have a local business, but if you have a local business or an ecommerce business if you have a physical location. Zip code, phone number and then remember to click Save Changes. If you scroll down, you can enable this plugin by default for all of your new posts and pages. I don’t know if I’d do that, cause I don’t know if all your new posts and pages are gonna be something where someone would leave a review.
And if we scroll down here, you’ll see the fields that they’re gonna ask for when someone goes to leave a review. And you’ve probably seen these at the bottoms of some articles in the leave a comment section. And they sometimes ask for your website but it’ll say optional next to it in parenthesis.
So the first one is the fields to ask for and the second one is fields to require. So if you don’t leave website checked in this second set of options, it’ll put optional next to it. And then finally, the fields to show on each approved review, it’ll show the name of the person and the review, but you don’t want to display their email address to everybody. And then that’ll be the text to show when they go to submit their review – what it’ll say on the button. And then you just click Save Changes.
Down in the advanced section, it says you can enable this plugin for all existing posts so if you have a lot of product pages or even just posts that you wanna leave reviews on, you can enable that. And once people have left reviews, you’ll have this other option on the left side of your dashboard for customer reviews and you can go in and approve reviews so if people are leaving you can obviously delete those.
The next one I wanna show you is how to do this for Joomla. And this is called JLex Review. It’s a paid extension, I was looking for a free one. I was looking for a free one but all the Joomla extensions were paid. But this is the highest rated one as you can see along the right side. So that’s an extension you can use for Joomla. And then if you have a Shopify store, and a lot of ecommerce stores like woocommerce, they’ll come with these reviews included but if not, you can add this one specifically for free, it’s called Yotpo Reviews.
In the next lecture, I’m gonna show you how to get these reviews and stars in the search results so that people are more likely to click on your website or your product, which will how it can improve your search result rankings. The Wordpress plugin I showed you will do this automatically, but if you’re coding yourself, this’ll show you how to put reviews and stars into the search results.
So you’ve probably seen these when you did a google search and you saw a listing for recipe or product and you see the little stars in there. These stars, uh increase click-through-rate, pretty significantly. And you can not only add stars and reviews but also prices and event dates a lot of other information that’s gonna make it much more likely that people click on your result versus even somebody who’s showing up above you in the search results.
And so I wanna show you a case study, or rather 10 case studies averaged out. And these companies from all over the world increased their click through rate or the number of people who clicked on their website in the search results by about 30% using so-called structured markup, which is exactly what we were just looking at with the stars in the search result or the price or other information that gives people a little more detail about what they’re about to click on. Um, sometimes these are called rich snippets
And so I wanna show you how to set this up so that google knows about your reviews and any other information you wanna add. Now, if you’re using the wordpress plugin that I showed you in the last lecture, it’ll do this for you automatically but if you have an ecommerce website and it maybe it already came with reviews as an included option and you didn’t really need the plugin to do this, but you want those reviews to show up in the search results, this is how you can do it.
You have to go to google.com/webmasters/markup-helper. And then you have to pick a category here, so we pick products and then you just enter the URL of your product page or whatever it is that you want to show up with the stars. So I just went to this random walmart page and I copied the URL and pasted it in there. And then just click start tagging.
And you’re gonna see the page in the little viewer here and everything you see here, you’ll be able to highlight. So if we were to highlight the name of it, you just click that, and then click name, and then over on the right it would show it as name. and then that way - that will display in the search results.
You can also do the price like I was showing you in the very beginning of this lecture. Click that. You’ll see it over there on the right.
That’s just like you saw there.
And if we scroll down a little bit since we are talking about the reviews here. The way to set these up, um and you can do not only the uh average review but also the number of reviews. This says 44. you go down to aggregate rating and click count and you’ll see that over there on the right. And then for the actual rating itself, go to aggregate rating and then rating value.
And again, you can do this for anything you see on the page. Give it a uh, let’s call it a structured markup or a rich snippet.
So once you’re done adding your identifiers in there, click create HTML and you’re gonna see the code that you have to copy and paste into your page highlighted in yellow so that this stuff will show up in the Google search results. So all you have to do is find all of the yellow areas by scrolling down here and then just paste those into the existing code on your page – just the yellow stuff.
Now once you’ve added this highlighted code to your website, you wanna go to developers.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool and I’m gonna include all of the links you see uh in this section and every other section in the pdf checklist at the end so don’t worry about copying that down now .
Um, and you go here and you can either enter the source code, meaning the whole HTML code, I think it would probably be easier to click fetch URL and then you just enter the link of the website after you paste in the code, just like you see there, into the field there and then you click fetch and validate. And it’ll tell you if it can find the correct code in your page, and then that way your search results will show up with the review stars or price whatever you’ve added to it.
Um, it can take a few weeks for it to show up. It depends on the amount of traffic that you get to your site. If you already get a lot of traffic to your website, Google’s going to display this structured markup much quicker. If you have you know a blog that you update once every few weeks, it could take up to a month for this to show up in the search results.
But that’s how you add the rich snippets to the search results and the reviews and testimonials to your website and it’s gonna increase your click through rate quite a bit.
And finally, what you can do if you have Google Webmasters set up, now called Search Console, is do all of this in your dashboard instead. So after you’ve clicked on the site you want to set this up for, just go over to the left and click Search Appearance, go down to Data Highlighter and then click Start Highlighting. Then you’ll just enter the page you want to highlight, choose a category and they have all the categories I showed you before we started highlighting before. Restaurants or products if you want to put the ratings in there, they have movies and then events in case you have a webinar or some event coming up. so it might actually be easier to do it from here but you’ll of course have to set up webmasters like we did at the beginning of the course.
There’s a statistic that’s often mentioned among writers and they say that 80% of people will read the headline, but only 20% will read the rest so if your headline doesn’t grab their attention, your article or post won’t be read.
So I want to show you some clever ideas that’ll help you hack your product and service headlines first and then in the next video I’m going to show you how to bring more people to your site who happen to find your post title among a sea of others on social media or aggregator sites that vote up the top articles based on clicks.
And you can use these ideas for post titles, the subject line on your emails, the headline on your homepage or landing page, the name of an ebook, anything that requires a headline or title.
The first one comes from Joanna Wiebe from Copyhackers. She talks about stealing your customer’s language using reviews and surveys. So if you’re creating a product or offering a service, all you have to do is check out your competition’s reviews on Amazon, Yelp!, YouTube, wherever you can find them, take their most common complaints and turn them into your product headline outlining your benefits over the competition.
And the example she used here took this person’s negative review saying Day 1: 4 stars. Day 6: 2 star and turned it into a headline stressing reliability and consistency
Day 1: 5 Stars. Day 1000: …Still 5 Stars.
Our Espresso Machines Are Reliably Amazing.
You can also survey your customers and use their answers to craft your headlines. This is what Charlie Hoehn did when writing the inner lining of the book jacket and back cover of his book #1 Amazon Bestseller Play It Away. And it makes it feel like you’re reading the mind of your prospective readers or customers, because most people have the same doubts, uncertainties and problems. So use your visitor’s words to draw them in.
The second one is from Alex Lasky of OPower who tested out four different headlines to get people to save energy. With the first three talking about saving money and the planet or being a good person, there was no change. It was only with the headline comparing you to your neighbors that resulted in a drop in energy use.
The famous investor Warren Buffett talks about this a lot. He once said, “It’s not greed that drives the world, but envy.” So take advantage of this by offering your visitors and leads the ability to outperform their peers.
The third headline formula you can use here involves our relationship with time. Researchers set up a lemonade stand with two little girls behind it to see what sign (the headline) would bring in the most money.
- The first said, “Spend a little time and enjoy C&D’s lemonade”
- The second said, “Spend a little money and enjoy C&D’s lemonade”
- The third said, “Enjoy C&D’s lemonade” (neutral sign)
They gave people the opportunity to pay between $1 and $3 each – it was their choice. When the experiment was over, the sign talking about spending time had brought in eight times more money than the sign stressing money.
And this is because research shows that spending money on experiences (meaning time spent doing something enjoyable) brings more happiness than spending money on things. So when you’re crafting a headline for your product, consider stressing the experience of it as opposed to how much money it will save your customers.
You can think of product names as headlines, too. And that means that the names of products can be changed to create an aura of higher value. Starbucks uses this to their advantage by calling their drinks Pike Place or Caramel Macchiato. That allows them to charge $3 or more for a cup of coffee. Fun fact about your instructor here. I have never had a cup of coffee in my life…
This type of product name or headline can also be used to make your customers feel better about buying something bigger or more expensive. This one comes from a deli called Bird and Carter that uses names like Tall instead of Large to get women to feel more comfortable ordering a bigger drink.
These last two ideas don’t just apply to people selling food or drink either. When I talked about the pricing tiers on a website, I jokingly named the middle option The Beast. Some companies call it Professional, others Essentials. As long as you’re selling a product or service that doesn’t already have a brand name, you should take advantage by giving it a name that makes your customers feel better or more important about buying it and makes you more money at the same time.
There’s a headline type that’s gotten a lot of attention in the past couple years and it’s usually called the curiosity gap headline, clickbait or the Upworthy headline, named after Upworthy.com, the fastest-growing website of all time. And in a way, they, along with Buzzfeed, Wimp and another site like Upworthy called ViralNova essentially hack their headlines to bring traffic in and let’s just say, it works really, really well.
In less than three years, they all have more than 4 million unique visitors a month and are ranked in the top 300 of all sites on the internet for traffic. Now a lot of companies think these types of headlines wouldn’t be applicable to them, but I can tell you that CNN is even using these curiosity gap headlines.
So this company Ripenn analyzed all four sites’ most viral posts (2,616 of them) looking to find out what headlines brought them the most clicks and shares. And they found a handful of commonalities between all of the most viral headlines.
First, was that they name-dropped in many of them using celebrity names, well-known companies or current events. And it doesn’t matter what kind of blog you have. You can always tie a celebrity name into a headline. For example, an investing blog might have 8 Stock Picks That Warren Buffett Would Love.
Or a site on health: Why Did Dr. Phil Wait So Long to Reveal These Dieting Secrets? And the article might be about a long-term study on food and exercise that recently finished.
Name-dropping gives you a chance to come up in the search results for extremely popular search terms that you wouldn’t have had a chance to otherwise. This is an article on Mashable and you can see here that they get the largest share of their traffic from people searching for the words “facebook” and “YouTube.” That’s several million searches per month of potential traffic for a site that’s simply about technology in general.
And the guy who started Mashable was just a 19-year old who wrote articles out of his bedroom and a year and a half later had 2 million monthly readers. So it works really well even if your site has nothing to do with the words in your headlines.
For example, let’s say you ran a blog helping people get jobs with tips for interviews and resumes. Your article’s headline might be and I’m stealing this from an article I read: 20 Resumes That Wouldn’t Get You Hired at Facebook.
OR let’s say you run a food blog, you might title your post: The Best YouTube Recipe Videos You’ve Never Seen. All very curiosity driven headlines, likely to get a lot of clicks and attention because of the well-known brand name and the novelty of the headline.
And you can do the same for popular events going on like the Olympics or World Cup or something that’s in the news like this example when a virus called the Heartbleed bug was spreading:
Here’s What You Need to Know About the Heartbleed Bug…
Or if you’re looking to come up in Google search and need it to be shorter: The heartbleed bug hit 1 million sites: here’s how to avoid it
And I say shorter because length is an important factor in headlines and that’s actually the second thing they found in the study but I want to come back to that in the next video so let’s skip ahead to number 3 here - curiosity is the crack rock of the internet. And you can see what they mean with this example.
This Guy’s Wife Got Cancer, So He Did Something Unforgettable. The Last 3 Photos Destroyed Me.
And there was a little of that curiosity factor in the examples I showed you for name-dropping so you certainly can combine all of these viral elements into one headline if you want.
Number 4 was emotion. Emotion is what makes deciding to click on something possible. A neuroscientist named Antonio Demasio did a study of patients with brain damage in the area that connects the decision making part of the brain to the emotional part and found that these people were “capable of rationally processing information about alternative choices; but were unable to make decisions because they lacked any sense of how they felt about the options.”
The author of this article also mentions brain scans which show that consumers make choices about brands based on how they feel rather than which makes more sense. And of course the same goes for headlines. So I would encourage you to look at the 2,616 headline examples from the study. I’m going to include the link in the pdf checklist.
There’s one thing that’s not included in this study that’s particularly likely to get clicked on and that’s numbers. There’s a guy named Kevan Lee who writes articles for Buffer’s blog and he took the data from this study and added it to data from 20 other popular sites and found that 19% of all the viral articles had numbers in the headline. Almost 1 out of 5.
There’s also another study that was done by BuzzSumo of 100 million articles on the web and found that list posts were the second most shared types of articles over the 8 month period. And I have a feeling if they did the study again, it would be number 1 because the study was done in 2014 and infographics aren’t as popular as they used to be.
But if you take a look at the spreadsheet of all 2,616 headlines, you can see that BuzzFeed, which has the highest traffic of all four sites, included numbers in almost 40% of their most viral posts. What they also found was that top 10 lists outperformed every other number. Better than top 5 or top 15 for example.
Another thing the 100 million article study found was that question headlines which were usually tied to quizzes were shared more than any other type of article. And coming in 4 th after questions were how to headlines. How Tos and DIY posts and videos are hugely popular. This is how wikihow and ehow became so popular and why they regularly show up on the first page of the search results for how to questions.
An interesting find from a company called Outbrain which runs an ad network after analyzing 65,000 paid links was that headlines with negative words like never, worst, can’t, won’t, no, without had 63% more clicks than those using positive words. And it may be because people have gotten tired of everything claiming to be the best and amazing.
So a headline I read the other day from a marketer named Matthew Barby that says, “Facebook Likes Don’t Matter Anymore” will likely get more clicks because of the words “don’t” and “anymore”
One word that you probably don’t want to use is “announcing.” This is based on a study of viral articles on 100 different blogs. Announcing sounds like a press release from the 70s. It’s dated and probably won’t get your headline much attention.
So now that you have an idea of what works for headlines, I want to talk more about headline length and how to come up in search, because a lot of these sites, particularly ViralNova, use extremely long titles.
In the last video, I briefly mentioned a study by Kevan Lee at Buffer of the 4 viral sites and 20 others. Something else he found was that the average length of the headline for a viral post, was 62 characters. And this is important because Google cuts off the majority of posts after 58 characters when they display them in the search results.
But then he also mentions that some viral headlines were way more than 58 characters, like this one at 104.
At First, I Felt Sorry For The People Who Live In This Tiny House. Then I Looked Closer…Now I’m Jealous.
And the reason these sites often don’t care about length is because they bring in the majority of their traffic from social media where all 100 characters will easily display.
In fact, if you’re posting on facebook, 100 to 139 characters seems to be the sweetspot, according to a study by BlitzLocal of more than 120 billion impressions.
That’s why it’s OK to change your headline depending on the platform you’re posting on. If you’re looking to rank your post on Google, I would keep it at that 58 character length on your site.
But if you go and promote the post on social media, it’s OK to add some more words that you couldn’t fit in before or change it completely to better align with the demographic of that site. You could technically have 10 different headlines for the same article – each for a different social media platform. I’m going to include a link to some research on the optimal length for each your post titles on each social media platform based on how many clicks and shares they got.
One important thing to keep in mind about facebook is that they are cutting down on the number of clickbait headlines in the newsfeed and the clickbait tactic is evolving.
So this example worked well on ViralNova in 2014 and it might get you a lot of clicks on Twitter because of the curiosity factor, but you probably won’t get your post in the newsfeed for very long.
I Thought I Had Seen Everything… Then I Went Back To The 1930s And Saw This.
You also would have a lot of trouble getting into the top 10 results in Google because it doesn’t include any keywords. That’s why you rarely ever see a post from any of these four clickbait sites in the search results even though they get tons of shares and views. It’s because they rarely target specific words and terms.
So I mentioned before that a lot of B2B companies think that these types of headlines wouldn’t work for them and maybe some of them are right, but if you’re writing serious informational posts for a blog or trying to get your ecommerce site products with reviews into the search results, you can still use these headlines as an example as long as you don’t copy their structure exactly. What you want to do is use the same curiosity element but include the keywords as well.
So if I was writing a list post on growth hacking, I might make the title “10 growth hacks that brought me 100k visitors. #6 is genius.” Adding in that #6 is genius part is a very common style used on these viral sites and certainly makes people want to click. And there’s nothing corny about that headline, it would work well on a B2b or a B2C site.
Or if I was writing a guide on facebook marketing
The facebook marketing tactics that won’t work in 2016. Of course, everyone wants to know what they should stop doing. It’s also a negative headline, which at least according to the study I talked about before, will get you more attention.
Bottom line, it’s very important to include your target keywords and some sort of reference to what it is people are going to read or see. By the way, there’s an Excel spreadsheet at the end of the article on Ripenn with the 2,616 viral headlines so you can look through and find some examples you can steal for your own posts and titles. I’m going to include the link in the pdf checklist at the end of this section.
You also have to remember that headlines like “You’ll never believe what this guy said about women” might have worked well in 2014 and 2015, but headlines and everything else evolves. The things that got you to click the year before might not get you to click two years from now. The effect has worn off. Even Upworthy has said they’ve been changing the way they write headlines recently to keep people curious. So keep an eye on what these sites are doing and tailor it yours.
What I would start doing from now on is copy and paste the headlines and titles of the articles that made you click or you just thought were well written into an Excel spreadsheet that you can use as what we call a swipe file, from now on. That way you’ll have a list of clickable headlines that you can insert your own words into.
All of the ideas in this lecture are a good starting point for you and you’ll probably hear me say this 1,000 times in this course, but no matter what else worked for a million other blogs and writers, you need to test your headlines. I can tell you that Upworthy requires their writers to come up with 25 headlines which they test out to see which gets the most interaction. The first 10 are probably going to suck. That’s OK. The more ideas you come up, the better. The best writers spend several hours coming up with titles for their articles.
So in the next video I’m going to show you some cool sites you can use to come up with potential headlines and titles for your posts and a couple services you can use to test them out.
Just because you use a negative word in the headline doesn’t mean that the content of the post is negative. So I could have an article entitled, 15 Beautiful Acts of Kindness You Won’t Believe. It’s a negative headline but the content is clearly going to be very positive.
In fact, according to research from UPenn professor Jonah Berger, author of Contagious, positive articles get shared much more than negative ones. You certainly wouldn’t know it from all the crime reported on the news. That’s one of the reasons why The Huffington Post announced in February 2015 that they plan to dedicate more coverage to positive stories from now on than negative ones.
They have a history of using conversion and growth hacking techniques to bring in more traffic, so it will be interesting to see what happens to their numbers going forward.
So at this point, you know all about headlines, the length of those titles and the sentiment of viral posts. And so you’ve gotten your visitors to click on your article, but now they need to be intrigued by the first thing they read.
Because the well-known copywriter Joe Sugarman, well, if you follow copywriters, always says that the point of the headline is to get someone to read the first sentence. And the point of the first sentence is to get people to read the second sentence and so on.
And he wrote a book on sales writing called the Adweek Copywriting Handbook and he talks about an ad he wrote in the WSJ where he told people in the first sentence that there were several misspelled words in the body of the text and that if they circled them and mailed the page in, he would give them $2 off the price of the product for each word they found.
And so I have this course on branding that I wanted to increase sales for and so I stole his idea as you can see here and within a few days, people were spending more than a minute longer on this page based on what I saw in my analytics and sales have increased roughly 19% per month since then. And it’s because the longer people spend with your product, the more likely they are to buy it. And that’s an easy growth hack you can use for your posts. Also have that 120% money back guarantee I was mentioning earlier in the course.
One of the other findings of Jonah Berger’s study was that posts that are crafted as stories are more likely to go viral. And this can be the struggle and eventual success of someone, something historical, a quick event in your life, even a made-up story.
Groupon does this.
And so using this research, Rob Walker, the author of What We Buy & Who We Are bought 100s of very cheap items from a thrift store and then had 200 people write made-up stories to go along with them and then posted them on eBay.
Like this little teddy bear that cost $1 and sold for $51 all because of the story below it. They ended up making $8,000, which was 28 times what they paid for them. So the next time you write a post or a product description, try to weave stories into some of your posts and reference back to them as you go through your points.
Now sometimes when you sit down to write an article or you’re trying to make up a story, you get writer’s block or maybe you just ran out of topics. Or sometimes it’s not so much writer’s block as an inability to write what you can explain in words very easily. Because when someone asks me about investing for example, which is my original background, I can talk for hours explaining things to them. But when I want to put those things down on paper, it never seems to come out as smoothly.
And that’s why I started recording myself answering questions a few years ago. Because that’s what you’re doing when you write posts or product reviews. You’re answering a question for your readers and potential buyers.
And so let’s say you’re thinking about writing a post on a particular topic. All you have to do is take out your phone, download a free recorder app, there’s tons of them online and have someone ask you a question or just ask yourself one. When you’re done explaining, just play it back and write down what you said. There’s your post.
Plus, if we go back to the viral study, you can see that the last point on the list was to write like a human being. I guarantee you sound way more relatable and much less salesy speaking than you do in your writing. That’s why they always say when writing for potential customers, you should write like you speak. Easier said than done, unless you record yourself. And then they’re one and the same.
Regardless of whether you record yourself or write, make sure you make an outline. That makes things much easier when you go to write. This is the one I made for this course. And when I was done with a video, I just highlighted that part in blue.
And you might be wondering what this has to do with growth hacking and conversion. The reason I’m telling you how to write more easily is because the more you write, whether it’s words or the number of articles, the more traffic you’re going to bring in. That goes for ecommerce sites, too. In fact A study of 2,300 HubSpot customers revealedthat businesses that blog witness their monthly leads rise by 126% more than those who don’t.
How often to blog is a pretty common question and there really is no one size fits all, because there’s also a guy here who did an experiment where he wrote short posts everyday for a month which was more posts than he did in the previous nine months and saw his traffic double.
But then there’s Brian Dean from Backlinko.com who has only 31 articles on his entire site but brings in 2 million visitors a year. And it’s because he writes very long, content-packed posts, which are often over 2,500+ words each. And the only way you can write that much is by being productive with your time. So that’s why I recommended recording or creating an outline. So you can increase your traffic and leads.
Now if you asked me which one I recommend – writing more short posts or fewer longer ones, I would say the latter. Articles over 2,500 words each get more shares and have higher search result positions than shorter posts according to the same 100 million article study we saw before.. You’re probably going to find that most of your traffic comes organically through the search engines so you’d ideally like to optimize your posts for Google and Bing and they both favor longer posts.
Typically people just use the default font and typeface that comes with their site yet quite a few studies, some of which I’ll go over in this section, show that when you use the right lettering, size and spacing on your site and in your marketing campaigns, it can increase the amount of time people spend on your site, enhance your brand image and increase your sales and profit.
Numara Software tested out a larger font and increased letter spacing and saw a 24% increase in pages per visit and a massive 133% increase in form conversions, meaning the number of leads they got. And it turns out that it may not only be that a larger font size makes things easier to read.
Professors at two German universities wired 25 people people with electrodes and found that when people were shown words in larger fonts, the emotional centers of the brain fired earlier and longer than when they were shown smaller fonts.
In other words, “larger fonts enhance how people are affected by the emotional content of words.” And emotion, as I mention elsewhere in the course, is the determining factor in whether people make any decisions at all, including buying your products and services.
In addition to emotion, your statements and posts need to be believable. In an interesting experiment from NY Times writer Errol Morris, 45,000 readers were shown a passage from the book The Beginning of Infinity about the unlikelihood of an asteroid hitting the Earth.
The trick was that readers saw the text in one of five different fonts: Baskerville, Georgia, Computer Modern, Helvetica, Trebuchet or Comic Sans. They were then asked whether they thought the passage’s arguments were correct and how confident they were in their answer.
People who read the piece in Baskerville rated themselves significantly more confident than the others. In essence, certain fonts are more believable than others.
In a 2009 study by researcher Dawn Shaikh at Wichita State’s University’s Software Usability Research Lab on the “personality factors” of 40 different fonts – 10 fonts each from 4 different categories – serif (fonts with feet), sans serif (fonts without feet), display type, which are the fonts most typically used for headlines (basically fonts that are almost always set larger than normal type face) and handwritten / script.
379 people were given a sample of nonsense text and a set of bipolar adjectives on a scale with varying points of intensity. Each used a 7-point scale which allowed participants to judge both direction and intensity of their responses:
The study revealed that certain texts do in fact convey corporate personality characteristics. Thus, it’s important to keep your brand’s typeface or font consistent with the image or personality you want to convey. I’m going to include a link to the study so you can check out the personality traits of each typeface and make sure your chosen lettering is consistent with the image you’re trying to portray.
Smashing Magazine, a website that specializes in conversion and user experience did a study in 2013 of 50 well-known websites – sites like Time, The Financial Times and the Boston Globe just to name a few, to see what kinds of fonts, typefaces and spacing they were using for their headlines and body of their articles.
So I want to take you through some of their findings real quick. First, was serif vs. sans-serif. And just in case you forgot from the last lecture, serif fonts like Times New Roman and Georgia have little feet off the corners of the letters. These, like Baskerville, tend to show authority and trustworthiness. Sans-serif, on the other hand, are often easier to read on a computer or screen. Those would be like Arial or Verdana.
And you can see here’s it’s almost a 50/50 split between the two for the headlines so it all depends on what you’re going for on your site.
For the body text, serif is used 62% of the time so most of these sites want to show authority. The most popular typeface was Georgia, but as you can see from the Others category at the bottom, many sites are using a lot of less common typefaces.
For the font size of the headline, most sites seem to favor the 29-32 range, while 16 pixels, which is your standard 12 point font, was the most common for body text. However, if you have an older demographic, and you can see the ages of your visitors in Google Analytics, you may want to increase that to a 13 or 14 point font. But I would never go below 12.
Now line length is also important because if you’ve ever read a story where the text stretches from one side of your desktop computer screen to the other, you’ll know how annoying it is. This is why newspapers keep their stories in tight columns. It’s easier to read and it increases the amount of time they spend with the paper.
According to most usability experts the optimal width for an article with a 12 point font, is about 50-60 characters. And in fact, the sentence where it says that here, is almost 65 characters long so just a little shorter than this and you’re good to go. They also do something else that works well here which is to start people off with the tight few sentences next to the image that start this article.
This works to get people’s reading flow going. You kind of give them something easy to start out with. Because a lot of people like myself will look at how thick the scroll bar is along the right to get an idea of how long the article is and that quick head start sort of makes you feel like you’ve already made some quick progress on the article.
You’ll also notice the text here is broken up with plenty of subheadings, bullet points and paragraphs. You never want to create a wall of text. I wouldn’t even know what to do with this thing. They should be ashamed of themselves.
The last thing you should pay attention to is the line height and that’s the distance you see here. A site called Medium at medium.com does a particularly good job with this as you can see here – lots of space between the lines. If you’re using a 12 point font which is the 16 px you see here and a 50-60 characters per line width, you’ll want to use a line height of 24 pixels. And so in the next couple videos, I’m going to show you how to change that and all of the other things I’ve mentioned so far – font, typeface and line width.
One last thing that the Associated Press has always done and makes it extremely easy to read your posts is to make each paragraph a maximum of one or two sentences.
Now if you’re using an HTML site and you’re coding it yourself, there’s a website google.com/fonts and this is gonna allow you to pretty much change your font to anything you want and then just paste the code into your page, so you can scroll through the, the scroll is like a forever scroll, it’s like Pinterest.
So you can see a lot of different options. And whenever you wanna add one that you like, you just click add to collection and it’s gonna add it down at the bottom. And when you’re ready, you just click review and it’ll gonna show you… a bigger version of the ones you picked.
You can change up pretty much anything you want here and it’ll tell you the impact it’ll have on your page load time. So certain fonts, umm depending on the complexity will slow down your site more than others. This is pretty low level right now. Remember that when you’re using fonts, you only wanna use a couple different ones. The more fonts you use, the slower your website’s gonna be. So just pick a couple that you like, maybe one for the headlines and then one for the body and maybe a different one for the sidebar, but I would keep it, you know, 3-4 max.
So all these options you can change, but I think you’ll end up leaving most of these at the default. You’re gonna add this code to your website and this gives google access to your site so that you can change up the fonts and that they can upload whenever they have a new font, it can automatically be implemented onto your site. And then you’re just gonna insert that code into your CSS and that’ll identify the fonts that you chose.
Now for the line spacing, again if you’re coding your own page, you just look for line height and you change that to the number of pixels that you want between lines. So generally like I mentioned in the intro, you wanna use a 24 pixel, but you can test that out and see which increases your time on site and conversions.
Now if you’re using Joomla and I’m sorry about this ghetto explanation here, I had to look this up myself because I don’t use joomla personally I’m gonna include this link that walks you through the font and line spacing set up. So if you go to your template manager in admin under extensions and click the templates tab, you’ll see something like this where you’ll be able to change uhh, the margins and line height. And then to change the font is also in the template manager and you just click on the fonts option at the top there and then change up whatever you want in here.