<< by on November 12th, 2009
This session was full of great data — describing everything from what post-click marketing is and things to consider when testing your pages/paths.
First up was Taylor Pratt from nFusion talking about closing the gap between SEO and usability. He started by sharing the stages of customer engagement:
So how can your SEO influence your usability efforts? Look at your site architecture influences:
- shorter URL structure
- shorter page load time
- creating user-friendly meta descriptions.
- improving site navigation
- limiting Flash content
- eliminating splash pages
- making ALT tags user friendly
There’s also content influences:
- gauging user intent
- improving page relevance
- setting clear expectations for the user
- making title tags bookmark friendly
- conduct an SEO audit to find usability opportunities
- set up a test with optimized headlines
- set up a test with and without Flash content
- change anchor text to include keywords to set better expectations
How does usability influence SEO? Obvious answer is conversions. Why else is it important? Site impressions are made in 1/20th of a second! Users only spend an average of 27 seconds on a web page. On the web, people succeed 66% of the time then move on.
By improving site architecture, you’ll:
- improve linkability
- decrease bounce rates and improve time on site
- improve navigation paths
- get keyword ideas from user testing
- improve keyword targeting effectiveness
- make a case for including keywords in headlines
- analyze top non-branded keywords for user engagement metrics
- setup user test with SEO targeted questions
- setup test with increases in images
Some basic questions to ask:
- can the page help the person accomplish their goals?
- does the page provide a signal of where to start?
- does navigation provide enough for the user to sel-identify
- does the page answer “what do they have here?”
Next up was Anna Talerico from Ion Interactive who gave 5 tips for improving conversion results. Anna started by sharing that post-click marketing comes in after the PPC or SEO click but before nuturing and sales.
Differentiate between organic and paid traffic. Organic can come from anywhere and go anywhere. Organic is a user-controlled experience. Paid is much more marketer controlled than organic. You can take more advantage of paid knowledge to capitalize on it. When optimizing for organic, look at the lowest common denominator vs. campaigns, where you should focus on
Match the message to the ad. Mismatched ad copy (the promise) and what the user sees when they landing on the landing page is common. Be sure to deliver on the promise on the landing page that was started at the ad copy level. Otherwise, you will have high bounce rates.
Segment your campaign traffic. All respondents are not the same, so segmenting your traffic can quickly funnel them to the information that is best suited for them. It allows people to self-identify quickly. This does create a multiple page experience, but it can actually bring users to conversion faster.
Give the horse the carrot. In other words, make the call to action very clear immediately when the user gets to your landing page. What do you want the user to do? Keep the carrot in front of the user until the very end of the process.
Test, test, test. There’s only one way to know which horse will win — and that’s to test!
Next up was Scott Brinker also of Ion Interactive who discussed taking landing page optimization out of the weeds. Scott emphasized that “landing page optimization” is focused on the page, but “post-click marketing” is about the whole book or library.
Scott covered seven levels of post-click marketing:
- Element testing: ex: which headline works best?
- Page optimization: collection of elements that work best
- Path optimization: What is a path better than a page?
- segment respondents
- guide users in a process
- provide entertainment or education
- Segmentation testing: what are the choices you give to segment?
- Campaign testing: Make more landing pages. Create more campaign-based experiences.
- Operations level: Think about operationally how you can get new landing pages/paths up fast and coordinated with post and pre click?
- The ultimate goal: break-through achievements.
Chris Goward from WiderFunnel was the final speaker. How should you test? Chris said it’s about asking the right questions. Analyze, Hypothesize, Test-erize.
WiderFunnel has a LIFT model — six conversion rate factors:
- Value proposition
- Relevance (to source media and to user need)
- Clarity (increase prominence of call to action)
- Anxiety (reduce anxiety on page)
- Distraction (how many things can redirect me away from call to action?)
- Urgency (tone, specials)
Chris gave some very good examples of which pages won in a test. He also shared whichtestwon.com, which is a new website from the founder of MarketingSherpa, Anne Holland.