Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Moz Local Dashboard Updates

Posted by NoamC

Today, we're excited to announce some new features and changes to the Moz Local dashboard. We've updated your dashboard to make it easier to manage and gauge the performance of your local search listings.

New and improved dashboard


We spent a lot of time listening to customer feedback and finding areas where we weren't being as clear as we ought to. We've made great strides in improving Moz Local's dashboard (details below) to give you a lot more information at a glance.

Geo Reporting


Our newest reporting view, geo reporting, shows you the relative strength of locations based on geography. The deeper the blue, the stronger the listings in that region. You can look at your scores broken down by state, or zoom in to see the score breakdown by county. Move your mouse over a region to see your average score there.

Scores on the dashboard


We're more clearly surfacing the scores for each of your locations right in our dashboard. Now you can see each location's individual score immediately.

Exporting reports



Use the new drop-down at the upper-right corner to download Moz Local reports in CSV format, so that you can access your historical listing data offline and use it to generate your own reports and visualizations.

Search cheat sheet


If you want to take your search game to the next level, why not start with your Moz Local dashboard? A handy link next to the search bar shows you all the ways you can find what you're looking for.

We're still actively addressing feedback and making improvements to Moz Local over time, and you can let us know what we're missing in the comments below.

We hope that our latest updates will make your Moz Local experience better. But you don't have to take my word for it; head on over to Moz Local to see our new and improved dashboard and reporting experience today!

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don't have time to hunt down but want to read!

Monday, May 25, 2015

5 Simple Ways to Optimize Your Website for Lead Generation


Optimizing your website to generate leads is a no-brainer. But it's not as simple as throwing a "click here" button on your home page and watching the leads pour in. (Unfortunately.)

Instead, marketers and designs need to take a more strategic approach. In this post, we'll go over some quick ways you can optimize your website for lead generation that actually work.

To understand how to optimize our website, we'll have to first gain a basic understanding of the lead generation process. What components are at play when a casual website visitor turns into a lead? Here's a quick overview:


The lead generation process typically starts when a website visitor clicks on a call-to-action (CTA) located on one of your site pages or blog posts. That CTA leads them to a landing page, which includes a form used to collect the visitor's information. Once the visitor fills out and submits the form, they are then led to a thank-you page. (Learn about this process in more detail in this post.)

Now that we've gone over the basics of lead generation, we can get down to the dirty details. Here are five simple ways to optimize your site for lead generation.

1) Figure out your current state of lead gen.

It's important to benchmark your current state of lead generation before you begin so you can track your success and determine the areas where you most need improvement.

A great way to test out where you are is to try a tool like Marketing Grader, which evaluates your lead generation sources (like landing pages and CTAs), and then provides feedback on ways to improve your existing content.

You can also compare landing pages that are doing well with landing pages that aren't doing as well. For example, let's say that you get 1,000 visits to Landing Page A, and 10 of those people filled out the form and converted into leads. For Landing Page A, you would have a 1% conversion rate. Let's say you have another landing page, Landing Page B, that gets 50 visitors to convert into leads for every 1,000 visits. That would be a 5% conversion rate -- which is great! Your next steps could be to see how Landing Page A differs from Landing Page B, and optimize Landing Page A accordingly.

Finally, you could try running internal reports. Evaluate landing page visits, CTA clicks, and thank-you page shares to determine which offers are performing the best, and then create more like them.

2) Optimize each step of the lead gen process.

If your visitor searched "lawn care tips" and ended up on a blog post of yours called, "Ten Ways To Improve Your Lawn Care Regimen," then you'd better not link that blog post to an offer for a snow clearing consultation. Make sure your offers are related to the page they're on so you can capitalize on visitors' interest in a particular subject.

As soon as a visitor lands on your website, you can start learning about their conversion path. This path starts when a visitor visits your site, and ends (hopefully) with them filling out a form and becoming a lead. However, sometimes a visitor's path doesn't end with the desired goal. In those cases, you can optimize the conversion path.

How? Take a page out of Surety Bonds' book. They were struggling to convert visitors at the rate they wanted, so they decided to run an A/B split test (two versions of a landing page) with Unbounce to determine which tactics were performing better on each page. In the end, they ended up changing a link to a button, adding a form to their homepage, and asking different questions on their forms. The result? A 27% increase in lead generation.

If you want to run an A/B test on a landing page, be sure to test the three key pieces of the lead gen process:

a) The Calls-to-Action

Use contrasting colors from your site. Keep it simple -- and try a tool like Canva to create images easily, quickly, and for free. Read this blog post for ideas for types of CTAs you can test on your blog., like the sliding CTA you see here:


b) The Landing Pages

According to a HubSpot survey, companies with 30+ landing pages on their website generated 7X more leads than companies with 1 to 5 landing pages.

For inspiration, here are 15 examples of well-designed landing pages you can learn from.

c) The Thank-You Pages

Oftentimes, it's the landing pages that get all the love in the lead generation process. But the thank-you page, where the visitor is led to once they submit a form on the landing page and convert into a lead, shouldn't be overlooked.

Along with saying thank you, be sure to include a link for your new lead to actually download the offer on your thank-you page. You can also include social sharing buttons and even a form for another, related offer, as in the example below:

    • HubSpot landing page

Bonus: Send a Kickback Email

Once a visitor converts into a lead and their information enters your database, you have the opportunity to send them a kickback email, i.e. a "thank-you" email.

In a study HubSpot did on engagement rates of thank you emails versus non thank you emails, kickback emails doubled the engagement rates (opens and clickthroughs) of standard marketing emails. Use kickback emails as opportunities to include super-specific calls-to-action and encourage sharing on email and social media.

3) Personalize your calls-to-action.

Dynamic content lets you cater the experience of visiting your website to each, unique web visitor. People who land on your site will see images, buttons, and product options that are specifically tailored to their interests, the pages they've viewed, or items they've purchased before.

Better yet, personalized calls-to-action convert 42% more visitors than basic calls-to-action. In other words, dynamic content and on-page personalization helps you generate more leads.

How does it work? Here's an example of what your homepage may look like to a stranger:

Smart Content

And here's what it would look like to a customer:

Smart Content

(To get dynamic content (or "smart content") on your site, you'll need to use a tool like HubSpot's Content Optimization System.)

4) Test, test, test.

We can't stress this part of the process enough. A/B testing can do wonders for your clickthrough rates.

For example, when friendbuy tried a simple A/B test on their calls-to-action, they found a 211% improvement in clickthroughs on those calls-to-action. Something as simple as testing out the wording of your CTA, the layout of your landing page, or the images you're using can have a huge impact, like the one friendbuy saw. (This free ebook has fantastic tips for getting started with A/B testing.)

5) Nurture your leads.

Remember: No lead is going to magically turn into a customer. Leads are only as good as your nurturing efforts.

Place leads into a workflow once they fill out a form on your landing page so they don't forget about you, and deliver them valuable content that matches their interest. Lead nurturing should start with relevant follow up emails that include great content. As you nurture them, learn as much as you can about them -- and then tailor all future sends accordingly.

Here's an example of a lead nurturing email:

Lead Nurture Email

This email offers the recipient some great content, guides them down the funnel, and gets to the point. According to Forrester Research, companies that nurture their leads see 50% more sales ready leads than their non-nurturing counterparts at a 33% lower cost. So get emailing!

What other tips do you have for optimizing your website for lead generation? Share them with us in the comments.

free ebook: optimizing landing pages

The Biggest Pet Peeves of CRO Experts


Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) isn't a widely known field, even among digital marketers. If you need a quick refresher, CRO is the process of creating an experience for your website visitors that'll convert them into customers.

But this science of lead conversion is quickly gaining ground. After all, who doesn’t want more clicks, leads, and sales?

On International Conversion Rate Optimization Day back in April, some of the best CRO experts in the business came together for an "Ask Me Anything" discussion on, where they answered questions about all things conversion rate optimization. One of the interesting topics they covered was the things that really tick them off in the world of CRO. And trust me when I say they didn't hold back.

What were some of the things that grinded these CRO experts' gears? Here are 13 pet peeves related to conversion rate optimization to be sure you aren't making on your website.

13 Pet Peeves From CRO Experts

1) Over-Simplification

The world is not simple, yet it’s natural for people to oversimplify everything. Optimizers have to be better than that. There is no 'people always prefer' or 'who would ever.'"

Peep Laja (author, CRO specialist, & founder of ConversionXL)

(Read more from Laja here.)

2) Assumptions

You should [make it] very easy for the user to checkout. The buttons and headlines should tell people what to do next. Never make assumptions that you know what the customer should do."

Alex Harris (e-commerce conversion specialist)

(Read more from Harris here.)

... Send good cart abandonment emails (and A/B test them), minimize distractions during the checkout process, make it clear to the customer what's happening in the process and when, try to avoid anything that makes it look like you're springing surprise fees or clever accounting on the customer, and reinforce why they're buying from you (painless pre-paid returns process, best in class quality, social proof of satisfied customers, etc. etc. -- test what works best for your customers)."

Jim Gray (marketing engineer, data scientist & founder of Ioseed)

(Read more from Gray here.)

3) “Click Here” on Calls-to-Action

I personally hate "click here" prefixes, and so do search engines. (It hurts SEO.) It begs the question, does your CTA not already look like a clickable button For both headlines and CTAs, I use a variation of the fore mentioned formula: "I'd like to..." [WHAT: Specific Action]; "Because I want to..." [WHY: Specific Value].

"It's important to pair WHAT and WHY together. Sometimes this can be accomplished in one line. Two lines (headline + subhead, 2-line CTA, CTA + booster) are more often needed though. This shouldn't be feared if it provides more clarity and value."

Angie Schottmuller (chief of conversion marketing at Unbounce)

(Read more from Schottmuller here.)

A simple formula to follow for button CTA's is 'Action Verb' + 'Benefit.'"

Bobby Hewitt (president and founder of Creative Thirst)

(Read more from Hewitt here.)

4) Ghost Buttons

Ghost buttons drive me crazy. It goes against usability. The concept is a designer's fantasy trend that should die. The only time I find this tactic useful is when a client insists in having two CTAs on the page, and I basically want one to disappear. Ghosted buttons have ghost conversions."

Angie Schottmuller (chief of conversion marketing at Unbounce)

(Read more from Schottmuller here.)

5) Ego

"It can be really hard to let something go when you've sweated over it. If it loses, you have to have the courage to throw it away. The best way to do that is to celebrate the fact that you learned something from the failure."

Oli Gardner (co-founder of Unbounce)

(Read more from Gardner here.)

6) Unclear Call-to-Action Copy

It has to be abundantly clear what's going to happen when someone clicks that button. What are they going to get? Are they scheduling a demo, or signing up for that demo right then and there? You can't afford to leave people wondering, or they won't click out of nervousness."

Joel Klettke (CRO copywriter)

(Read more from Klettke here.)

7) A "One-Size-Fits-All" Approach

I've seen case studies where including the word click increased... clicks. But like every case study, it isn't a panacea and should be taken with a grain of salt. You can't apply case study learnings, only use them to serve as inspiration and to be used to generate your own related hypothesis."

Oli Gardner (co-founder of Unbounce)

(Read more from Gardner here.)

Everything you've read about button design is true, and false, and somewhere in between. If you truly believe that the best hypothesis and test you can come up with -- the one that will deliver a 200% increase on conversions -- is to change the button, then you should run A/B or multivariate tests against all of those options to see what works for your audience.

"The fact is, different audiences relate to different designs, language, reading levels, colors, and more. Averages across industries won't help you here."

Stewart Rogers (director of marketing technology at VentureBeat Insight)

(Read more from Rogers here.)

8) Superlatives and Hyperboles

When it comes to using words like “amazing,” Peep Laja said it best: “Superlatives tend to lose against specifics (‘amazing pizza’ vs ‘stone-oven baked pizza by an Italian master chef,’ ‘fastest pizza delivery’ vs ‘delivery in 15 minutes’) 9 times out of 10. Instead of superlatives, offer lots of detail and specifics.”

Superlatives tend to lose against specifics ('amazing pizza' vs. 'stone-oven baked pizza by an Italian master chef;' 'fastest pizza delivery' vs. 'delivery in 15 minutes') 9 times out of 10. Instead of superlatives, offer lots of detail and specifics."

Peep Laja (author, CRO specialist, & founder of ConversionXL)

(Read more from Laja here.)

Instead of obsessing over individual words, think about your context and slash hyperbole wherever it stands. If the claims you are making are believable, hit on customer pain points and directly explain a benefit, then the verbiage you use to describe that benefit can be flexible, so long as it fits the context."

Joel Klettke (CRO copywriter)

(Read more from Klettke here.)

9) Buzzwords

i personally loathe 'rockstar.' I've used it. I'm embarrassed about it. But ... when I see it on a page today, I instantly get that feeling that an old person is trying to sound young."

Joanna Wiebe (conversion copywriter)

(Read more from Wiebe here.)

10) Fluffy Language

A big hindrance on conversion rates and SEO alike is content that reads like generic fluff for the sake of targeting phrases."

Joel Klettke (CRO copywriter)

(Read more from Klettke here.)

11) Half-Baked Value Props

I hate when writers rely on old, tired [stuff] like, 'We do X so that you can focus on what matters!'( what matters?); 'We get to know our customers' (everyone does); 'We're the highest quality' (what does that even MEAN? Nobody wants high quality!)."

Joel Klettke (CRO copywriter)

(Read more from Klettke here.)

12) Ignoring or Avoiding Data

In answering the question, "What's your biggest pet peeve?"

When others pretend like the data doesn't exist."

Tommy Walker (marketer at Shopify)

"Or worse, when others attempt to manipulate math for statistical significance to claim that the data qualifies as a valid test. Statistical significance is not the same as validity."

Angie Schottmuller (chief of conversion marketing at Unbounce)

(Read more from Walker and Schottmuller here.)

13) Businesses That Stop Testing

“Always be testing” was the rallying cry for this crowd. The takeaway? Keep on testing, even after you have wins. (If you're not sure where to start, here's a list of real-life CRO tests to try for yourself.)

Many thanks to all the CRO specialists who joined me in this discussion.

What are your biggest CRO pet peeves? Share them with us in the comments.

free webinar: conversion rate optimization

Saturday, May 23, 2015

6 Tips for Making the Most of Your Retargeting Campaigns


This post originally appeared on HubSpot's Agency Post. To read more content like this, subscribe to Agency Post.

You may wan't to sit down for this statistic. Ready?

Only 2% of traffic converts on the first visit to a website. I repeat, 2%.

Considering you work tirelessly to drive traffic to your website in the first place, it's crucial that you have a plan in place to win back the attention of the 98% that took off empty handed. But how?

Retargeting is an advertising technique that allows brands to remain in front of bounced visitors once they've left their website. Through the use of a JavaScript tag on your website, your visitors are "cookied" upon arrival, allowing your retargeting vendor to display your ads to them as they browse other websites. (Which is why those boots I looked at on Zappos are seemingly haunting me.)

If you're ready to turn window shoppers into actual paying customers, this is a technique that you'll certainly want to dive into a bit more. To help you do so, I've put together a comprehensive list of tips on how to make the most of of your retargeting campaigns.

Real quick, to clarify how retargeting really works, take a look at this visual:


Image Credit: Retargeter

How to Make the Most of Your Retargeting Campaigns

1) Segment Everything

With audience segmentation, users can break down their visitors into groups based on their behavior on the website. Much like lead scoring, visitors can be bucketed into different levels of sales readiness according to the specific pages they have visited.

With this information in tow, you can then create more optimal ad experiences by highlighting the products or services these specific groups previously viewed and directing them back to pages they visited.

For example: Let's say a visitor viewed both your pricing page and your case studies page, but then wandered off without taking any next steps. While it's safe to assume they had some interest, you may want to segment them and serve up an ad for your consultation page to catch their interest and re-engage them.

2) Leverage Frequency Caps

Have you ever been in a clothing store where you can't seem to make it through one rack without being heckled by a sales associate? It's like everywhere you turn they are waiting to start a dressing room for you or tell you which shade of blue best compliments your eyes.

Even if you are interested in what they're offering, it can all feel a bit overwhelming.

To avoid this type of overly assertive approach with your retargeting, you'll want to leverage frequency caps. Frequency caps allows you to place a fixed limit on the number of times a specific ad will appear to help you be more strategic in your efforts.

The frequency cap should be entirely dependent on the objective you are trying to achieve, as well as what stage of the buying cycle the visitor is in. However, as a rule of thumb, Retargeter recommends exposing visitors to 17 to 20 ads per month.

3) Experiment With Durations

While frequency caps aim to regulate the number of impressions a visitor will experience throughout the day, week, or month, campaign duration focuses specifically on the lifespan of the cookie.

When you set a duration for your retargeting campaign you're essentially creating a signal to destroy the cookie after that specified amount of time. From this point on, visitors will no longer be served up ads.

The duration of your campaign should be set to align with the length of your sales cycle. However, according to Perfect Audience, you should aim to test longer-scale campaigns (30 to 90 days) against shorter campaigns (three to seven days) to determine what converts best.

4) Don't Forget to Use Burn Pixels

If your product or service only requires a one-time purchase (or you simply don't want to waste your budget on a visitor you've already successfully converted once), you'll want to use a burn pixel.

What's a burn pixel? It's essentially a line of code that that lives on the "post-transaction" page. When a visitor lands there, they are marked as so and will stop being served ads.

However, this isn't to say that you shouldn't be focused on marketing to your existing customers. While a burn pixel helps you to conserve your retargeting budget, research from Gartner Group suggests that 80% of your company's future revenue will come from just 20% of your existing customers. That's huge.

With that said, burn pixels can also be used to remove those who have already converted from your original retargeting campaign so that you can enroll them in a secondary campaign that employs ad copy that speaks to their unique wants and needs as a customer, rather than a visitor.

5) Conduct A/B Tests

To keep your campaign fresh, you'll want to pay close attention to which ads are performing (and which ads aren't). To uncover the most effective ads, consider conducting a handful of A/B tests that hone in on specific variables.

For inspiration, check out these A/B testing suggestions:

  • Size: For web campaigns, Perfect Audience found that ads with a resolution of 300 x 250 or 728 x 90 tend to perform best. Testing the size of your retargeting ads could mean the difference between an opportunity lost and a customer closed.
  • Type of Content: Looking to restore their client's faith in retargeting, Add3 tested offering an ebook versus a whitepaper and ended up seeing a 325% increase in leads.
  • Value Propositions: Ad real estate is primarily limited, meaning that you have little room to get your point across. To ensure they were delivering the strongest message, Retargeter tested two variations of a value proposition which helped to increase the conversion rate from 0.22% to 0.26%.

6) Rotate Your Creatives

If you went to a movie theater that never updated their film selection, would you keep going back for more? Or would you find a new movie theater?

Sure, we've all rewatched our favorite movies over and over again, but after awhile, they become predictable. And suddenly, that element of suspense and enchantment is gone.

To ensure that you're keeping your visitors curious, it's important that you have a plan for rotation. Rather than serving up the same thing every week (think grade school cafeteria menu), you'll want to swap out some of your existing ads with fresh ones to pique the interest of both new and existing visitors.

This will help to combat banner blindness and provide you with an opportunity to test out some new ad copy.

Has your company experimented with retargeting? What type of return have you seen from it? We'd love to hear about it in the comments section below.

Editor's Note: Perfect Audience is now an integration partner. With it, you can connect your marketing and advertising together with ease by creating retagreting audiences based on HubSpot Smart Lists. Check it out here.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

How to Market a Pro Sports Team: Inside the Boston Red Sox's Growth Strategy


The concept of growth is a little different when you're a marketing executive for a professional sports team.

For Adam Grossman, SVP of marketing and brand development for the Boston Red Sox, success is often dictated by two things that he can’t actually control: the team's wins and losses. But he still has to do his job and fill seats, sell merchandise, and drive revenue for the organization.

That presents a unique challenge for his marketing team: How do you measure success, exactly? How do you know if you’re doing a good job? How do you make an impact when a huge part of your success (the team) is something you can't control?

Adam joins Mike on this episode of The Growth Show to talk about his experience running marketing for the Red Sox -- and, previously, as the SVP of public affairs for the Miami Dolphins. If you've ever wondered what life is like for an executive in the sports world, you won’t want to miss this episode.

In this episode, Adam talks about:

  • How he measures marketing success outside of the team's wins and losses.
  • How the Boston Red Sox use customer feedback and data to drive some of their drive in-stadium decisions.
  • Creating a great experience night in and night out for fans, regardless of whether the team is winning.
  • The importance of staying agile as a marketer and taking advantage of what's in the news.
  • The differences between his experience in Major League Baseball versus the National Football League.

Subscribe to The Growth Show in iTunes and never miss a new episode.

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Monday, May 18, 2015

7 Conventional Landing Page Design Tactics You Should Still Test


Conventional wisdom is usually the safe play. Why take risks when there’s an established “right way” to do things?

In marketing, however, success often falls to those willing to buck trends and experiment.

When it comes to optimizing your landing pages, complacency and assumption are your worst enemies. It’s far too easy to defer to best practices instead of discovering what makes your unique audience click. Proven landing page techniques are commonly practiced for a reason, but what works for 90% of websites won’t automatically work for yours.

The genius of A/B testing your landing pages is that it allows you get a little bit crazy without making a permanent error. You can be as unconventional as you want, and testers consistently find that extreme adjustments are required for extreme wins. If you’re using a template anding page designer, making these “big changes” can take less than a minute, so there’s no excuse to play it safe.

To get the big wins, you need to test even when the answers seems obvious. Here are seven landing page “best practices” you should be challenging on your site.

7 Landing Page Design "Best Practices" You Should Still Test For Yourself

1) Minimalistic Design

Conventional wisdom dictates that landing pages should remain as empty, calm and spacious as possible. No distractions. Three colors maximum. One font. Like this landing page from DropBox for Business:


The issue with this hard-and-fast "rule"? Different audiences demand different stimuli at different times. A Swiss audience might react differently to sleek design than an audience based in the rural America. Millennials are used to considerably more stimulation than an AARP crowd.

While simplicity is a “best practice” for a reason, like any practice, it should be tested specifically against your audience. Sometimes a more complex layout can drive more conversions.

2) Smiling Faces

A variety of studies (including several here on HubSpot) have demonstrated the effect a smiling face can have on your conversion rate. Human faces can create emotions within your visitors and help compel them to take action.

But images of human faces can also distract visitors. The human-free version of the HubSpot landing page below actually converted 24% better than the one with a smiling face that you're seeing.


One of the biggest problems I see is with smiley photos is incorrect implementation. Many businesses will use images that are pretty obviously stock photos -- you know, the ones with painfully fake smiles -- in order to capitalize on this “best practice.”

But, in some cases, stock photos can actually kill your conversion rate, so you'll want to tread carefully here. High quality photos of real people are the best way to go, but again, they won’t work for every one of your landing pages. (Here's a list of 10 sites for free, non-cheesy stock photos to get you started.)

3) Security Seal

An eTrust, PCI or BBB badge on your page supposedly assuages fears that your site visitors may be harboring, so they can feel free to move forward with your offer, knowing their information is secure. In the example below from, you'll find several trust seals on the left-hand side.


Consider, however, that people often associate these types of seals with web forms relating to financial transactions. If you’re not asking your visitor for money, and yet you place a trust seal next to your signup form, it might raise suspicion that credit card charges could soon appear.

In situations like these, your landing page may perform better without the icons. It’s not so much a case of poor principles, but more a misapplication of good principles. Building trust with your visitors is paramount, but you want to save trust verifiers for the right point in your conversion funnel.

For more on trust seals and whether your landing page needs one, read this blog post.

4) Offering Only Legitimate Service Packages

A lot of marketing is simply the extension and exploration of natural intuition. For the most part, this stuff makes sense. But there are times when the study of human response can throw us for a loop.

When creating a pricing page, it would make sense to add a variety of packages to most efficiently engage with demand. You want to offer several legitimate package options and optimize your price points for max revenue. That’s standard practice.

But what several marketers have found is that customers will actually convert at a higher rate with the inclusion of an irrational option no one would ever buy. The concept stems from our inclination to compare objects that are more similar. By including an obviously inferior option that's similar to our desired sale package, we can influence users to make the desired purchase.

For example, Carter & Kingsley increased a client’s profits by 114% simply by adding a package no rational person would ever buy:


Unbounce did the same thing, increasing revenue by 233% with the inclusion of a made-up product:


For some reason, this strategy can actually work -- and it might just be able to boost conversions on your website.

5) Adding Social Proof

Social proof can actually be extremely powerful at building trust with your audience and leveraging the power of the crowd for the purpose of conversions. But like so many other “best practices," social proof is only effective when applied within a specific set of parameters. The misapplication of social proof can significantly sabotage your conversion rate. Its power to destroy is directly proportional to its power to build.

For example, CalPont saw a big conversion boost after removing social share buttons from their page content.

calpont-products.png increased CTA click-throughs by 11.9% after eliminating social share buttons.


The unifying factor here is that negative social proof is just as powerful at discouraging conversions as positive social proof is at increasing them.

In both of these examples, the pages tested tended to have a low share rate. Not all content is the type people want to circulate on social media. Accordingly, the visual display of low share counts actually worked against the company. It essentially told the customer, “No one wants this, and you shouldn’t either.”

So while social proof can be a big win in certain scenarios, it's something worth testing, because it will likely work against you if you’re not careful.

6) Hiding The Price

Any salesperson will tell you to never reveal the price too early. The price is nothing more than a figure until you’ve been able to first establish the value of your product or service. Then, once you’ve built up the value in your readers’ minds, revealing the price makes it look much less intimidating -- and can even be utilized as a major selling point in your pitch.

In a person-to-person sales presentation, this means saving the price for the close or pre-close. On your website, this traditionally looks like waiting until the bottom of the page to include your price or saving it for after your customer clicks-through to continue the sales process.

But, as we are highlighting in this article, standard best practices don’t always work. And that’s what SafeSoft Solutions found when they included their price above-the-fold in the middle of their homepage hero shot.


The only change they made to the landing page above was to add in the $75 price sticker, and it increased conversion by 100%. What if you, too, are just a simple change away from doubling your sales? It's worth testing out.

7) Using Video

In a sense, this principle is akin to “bacon makes everything better.” It may be true most of the time, but anyone who's attended a creative dinner party and been served bacon-wrapped sushi knows better. (Sushi is good, and bacon is good. But together, they make for culinary revulsion.)

While video can be an effective (and visually appealing) tool for enhancing impact or conveying a difficult concept, when it comes to landing page conversions, it can also alienate, over-stimulate, or distract your audience's attention from your primary call-to-action. Here's an example of video on a landing page from Shopify:


In one case, testers found that replacing their homepage video with a much-maligned image-slider actually increased signups by 30%. Another business increased conversions by hiding its intro video within a modal box instead of featuring it within an embedded player.

Test, Rinse, Repeat

The "best practices" of landing page design can help you to jump into marketing with a solid game plan. What works well for the majority of companies might do fine for yours. But once you've gained some context and experience, it’s time to take off the training wheels and start testing for you unique audience.

Every brand is different. Every landing page is different. Every website visitor is different. What fails for 90% of businesses might catapult yours into success. You’ll never know until you start challenging the cookie cutter practices and figuring out exactly what works for your audience.

free ebook: optimizing landing pages

Sunday, May 17, 2015

cloud app policy

Cloud app policy ensures the usage of cloud applications complies with the overall corporate security plan as well as regulatory requirements.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

How to Spot a Lead on Twitter [Flowchart]


This post originally appeared on HubSpot's Sales Blog. To read more content like this, subscribe to Sales.

To many salespeople, "social selling" equates to "LinkedIn." According to a survey conducted by PeopleLinx, 76% of reps understand LinkedIn's potential for sales, but a scant 16% see the value in Twitter for social selling.

This gap is understandable. While it's fairly simple to identify a good fit prospect on LinkedIn based on social activity and profile information, spotting a lead on Twitter isn't so easy.

But in the barrage of tweets that flood your Twitter stream each day, what are the signs that someone is looking to buy?

The following flowchart from LeadSift sheds some light on this tricky topic. Factors that can help salespeople recognize a warm or hot lead on Twitter include number of tweets, brand mentions, and recent activity. While it's not a perfect science (I'm sure there are some decision-makers out there who like Justin Bieber), this graphic can aid you in parsing out the tweets to pay attention to from the ones you can safely ignore.

(HubSpot customers: HubSpot's Social Inbox color-codes your customers and leads on your Twitter stream so you can can tell these things right away. Use it to save time and prioritize your Twitter engagement.)


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DLP – data loss prevention

Data loss prevention, or DLP, refers to technology or software developed to protect and prevent the potential for data loss or theft.

Friday, May 15, 2015

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The True Cost of Not Meeting Your Customers' Expectations [Infographic]

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For businesses, this concept is both intriguing and concerning.

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According to Socially Sorted, the image-focused Instagram is now surpassing Twitter in daily mobile traffic. And Facebook posts with images generate an estimated 53% more likes that solely text-based posts.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

predictive analytics

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

big data analytics

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How the Looming End of Internet Explorer Will Affect Ecommerce

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Monday, May 11, 2015

big data

Big data describes a massive volume of structured and unstructured data that is so large that it's difficult to process using traditional database techniques.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Simple Guide to Choosing the Right Chart for Your Data

This post originally appeared on HubSpot's Agency Post. To read more content like this, subscribe to Agency Post.

You and I sift through a lot of data for our jobs. Data about website performance, sales performance, product adoption, customer service, marketing campaign results ... the list goes on.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Should I Rebrand and Redirect My Site? Should I Consolidate Multiple Sites/Brands? - Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

Making changes to your brand is a huge step, and while it's sometimes the best path forward, it isn't one to be taken lightly. In today's Whiteboard Friday, Rand offers some guidance to marketers who are wondering whether a rebrand/redirect is right for them, and also those who are considering consolidating multiple sites under a single brand.

Whiteboard - Should I Rebrand or Redirect My Site? Should I consolidate Multiple Sites Under One Brand?

For reference, here's a still of this week's whiteboard. Click on it to open a high resolution image in a new tab!

To rebrand, or not to rebrand, that is the question

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Today we're going to chat a little bit about whether you should rebrand and consider redirecting your existing website or websites and whether you should potentially consolidate multiple websites and brands that you may be running.

So we've talked before about redirection moves best practices. We've also talked about the splitting of link equity and domain authority and those kinds of things. But one of the questions that people have is, "Gosh, you know I have a website today and given the moves that Google has been making, that the social media world has been making, that content marketing has been making, I'm wondering whether I should potentially rebrand my site." Lots of people bought domains back in the day that were exact match domains or partial match domains or that they thought reflected a move of the web toward or away from less brand-centric stuff and toward more keyword matching, topic matching, intent matching kinds of things.

Maybe you're reconsidering those moves and you want to know, "Hey, should I be thinking about making a change now?" That's what I'm here to answer. So this question to rebrand or not to re, it is tough because you know that when you do that rebrand, you will almost certainly take a traffic hit, and SEO is one of the biggest places where people typically take that traffic hit.

Moz previously was at and moved to We saw a dip in our traffic over about 3 to 4 months before it fully recovered, and I would say that dip was between 15% and 25% of our search traffic, depending on week to week. I'll link to a list of metrics that I put on my personal blog,, so that you can check those out if you'd like to see them. But it was a short recovery time for us.

One of the questions that people always have is, "Well wait, did you lose rankings for SEO since SEO used to be in your domain name?" The answer is no. In fact, six months after the move, we were ranking higher for SEO related terms and phrases.

Scenario A: Rebranding or redirecting

So let's imagine that today you are running, which is right on the borderline. In my opinion, that's right on the borderline of barely tolerable. Like it could be brandable, but it's not great. I don't love the "sci-fi" in here, partially because of how the Syfy channel, the entity that broadcasts stuff on television has chosen to delineate their spelling, sci-fi can be misinterpreted as to how it's spelled. I don't love having to have "and" in a domain name. This is long. All sorts of stuff.

Let's say you also own, but you haven't used it. Previously has been redirecting to, and you're thinking, "Well, man, is it the right time to make this move? Should I make this change now? Should I wait for the future?"

How memorable or amplifiable is your current brand?

Well, these are the questions that I would urge you to consider. How memorable and amplifiable is your current brand? That's something that if you are recognizing like, "Hey I think our brand name, in fact, is holding us back in search results and social media amplification, press, in blog mentions, in journalist links and these kinds of things," well, that's something serious to think about. Word of mouth too.

Will you maintain your current brand name long term?

So if you know that sometime in the next two, three, four, or five years you do want to move to StarToys, I would actually strongly urge you to do that right now, because the longer you wait, the longer it will take to build up the signals around the new domain and the more pain you'll potentially incur by having to keep branding this and working on this old brand name. So I would strongly urge you, if you know you're going to make the move eventually, make it today. Take the pain now, rather than more pain later.

Can or have you tested brand preference with your target audience?

I would urge you to find two different groups, one who are loyal customers today, people who know and have used it, and two, people who are potential customers, but aren't yet familiar with it.

You don't need to do big sample-sizes. If you can get 5, 10, or 15 people either in a room or talk to them in person, you can try some web surveys, you can try using some social media ads like things on Facebook. I've seen some companies do some testing around this. Even buying potential PPC ads and seeing how click-through rates perform and sentiment and those kinds of things, that is a great way to help validate your ideas, especially if you're forced to bring data to a table by executives or other stakeholders.

How much traffic would you need in one year to justify a URL move?

The last thing I think about is imagine, and I want you to either imagine or even model this out, mathematically model it out. If your traffic growth rate -- so let's say you're growing at 10% year-over-year right now -- if that improved 1%, 5%, or 10% annually with a new brand name, would you make the move? So knowing that you might take a short-term hit, but then that your growth rate would be incrementally higher in years to come, how big would that growth rate need to be?

I would say that, in general, if I were thinking about these two domains, granted this is a hard case because you don't know exactly how much more brandable or word-of-mouth-able or amplifiable your new one might be compared to your existing one. Well, gosh, my general thing here is if you think that's going to be a substantive percentage, say 5% plus, almost always it's worth it, because compound growth rate over a number of years will mean that you're winning big time. Remember that that growth rate is different that raw growth. If you can incrementally increase your growth rate, you get tremendously more traffic when you look back two, three, four, or five years later.

Where does your current and future URL live on the domain/brand name spectrum?

I also made this domain name, brand name spectrum, because I wanted to try and visualize crappiness of domain name, brand name to really good domain name, brand name. I wanted to give some examples and then extract out some elements so that maybe you can start to build on these things thematically as you're considering your own domains.

So from awful, we go to tolerable, good, and great. So is obviously terrible. I've taken a contraction of the name and the actual one. It's got a .net. It's using hyphens. It's infinitely unmemorable up to what I think is tolerable -- It's long. There are some questions about how type-in-able it is, how easy it is to type in., which that's pretty good. SciFiToys, relatively short, concise. It still has the "sci-fi" in there, but it's a .com. We're getting better. All the way up to, I really love the name, StarToys. I think it's very brandable, very memorable. It's concise. It's easy to remember and type in. It has positive associations probably with most science fiction toy buyers who are familiar with at least "Star Wars" or "Star Trek." It's cool. It has some astronomy connotations too. Just a lot of good stuff going on with that domain name.

Then, another one, That sucks. Okay, at least I know what it is. Neighborhood is a really hard name to type because it is very hard for many people to spell and remember. It's long. I don't totally love it. I don't love the "info" connotation, which is generic-y. has a nice, alliterative ring to it. But maybe we could do even better and actually there is a company,, which I think is wonderfully brandable and memorable and really describes what it is without being too in your face about the generic brand of we have regional data about places.

What if you're doing mobile apps? You might say, "Why is that in awful?" The answer is two things. One, it's the length of the domain name and then the fact that you're actually using someone else's trademark in your name, which can be really risky. Especially if you start blowing up, getting big, Google might go and say, "Oh, do you have Android in your domain name? We'll take that please. Thank you very much.", in the tech world, it's very popular to use domains like .io or .ly. Unfortunately, I think once you venture outside of the high tech world, it's really tough to get people to remember that that is a domain name. If you put up a billboard that says "," a majority of people will go, "Oh, that's a website." But if you use .io, .ly, or one of the new domain names, .ninja, a lot of people won't even know to connect that up with, "Oh, they mean an Internet website that I can type into my browser or look for."

So we have to remember that we sometimes live in a bubble. Outside of that bubble are a lot of people who, if it's not .com, questionable as to whether they're even going to know what it is. Remember outside of the U.S., country code domain names work equally well --, .ca,, wherever you are. Now we're getting better. Memorable, clear. Then all the way up to, I really like the name I have positive associations with like, "Oh year, restaurant critics, food critics, and movie critics, and this is an app critic. Great, that's very cool."

What are the things that are in here? Well, stuff at this end of the spectrum tends to be generic, forgettable, hard to type in. It's long, brand-infringing, danger, danger, and sketchy sounding. It's hard to quantify what sketchy sounding is, but you know it when you see it. When you're reviewing domain names, you're looking for links, you're looking at things in the SERPs, you're like, "Hmm, I don't know about this one." Having that sixth sense is something that we all develop over time, so sketchy sounding not quite as scientific as I might want for a description, but powerful.

On this end of the spectrum though, domain names and brand names tend to be unique, memorable, short. They use .com. Unfortunately, still the gold standard. Easy to type in, pronounceable. That's a powerful thing too, especially because of word of mouth. We suffered with that for a long time with SEOmoz because many people saw it and thought, "Oh, ShowMoz, COMoz, SeeMoz." It sucked. Have positive associations, like StarToys or WalkScore or AppCritic. They have these positive, pre-built-in associations psychologically that suggest something brandable.

Scenario B: Consolidating two sites

Scenario B, and then we'll get to the end, but scenario B is the question like, "Should I consolidate?" Let's say I'm running both of these today. Or more realistic and many times I see people like this, you're running and, and you think, "Boy, these are pretty separate." But then you keep finding overlap between them. Your content tends to overlap, the audience tends to overlap. I find this with many, many folks who run multiple domains.

How much audience and content overlap is there?

So we've got to consider a few things. First off, that audience and content overlap. If you've got StarToys and AppCritic and the overlap is very thin, just that little, tiny piece in the middle there. The content doesn't overlap much, the audience doesn't overlap much. It probably doesn't make that much sense.

But what if you're finding like, "Gosh, man, we're writing more and more about apps and tech and mobile and web stuff on StarToys, and we're writing more and more about other kinds of geeky, fun things on AppCritic. Slowly it feels like these audiences are merging." Well, now you might want to consider that consolidation.

Is there potential for separate sales or exits?

Second point of consideration, the potential for separate exits or sales. So if you know that you're going to sell to someone in the future and you want to make sure that's separate from StarToys, you should keep them separate. If you think to yourself, "Gosh, I'd never sell one without the other. They're really part of the same company, brand, effort," well, I'd really consider that consolidation.

Will you dilute marketing or branding efforts?

Last point of positive consideration is dilution of marketing and branding efforts. Remember that you're going to be working on marketing. You're going to be working on branding. You're going to be working on growing traffic to these. When you split your efforts, unless you have two relatively large, separate teams, this is very, very hard to do at the same rate that it could be done if you combined those efforts. So another big point of consideration. That compound growth rate that we talked about, that's another big consideration with this.

Is the topical focus out of context?

What I don't recommend you consider and what has been unfortunately considered, by a lot of folks in the SEO-centric world in the past, is topical focus of the content. I actually am crossing this out. Not a big consideration. You might say to yourself, "But Rand, we talked about previously on Whiteboard Friday how I can have topical authority around toys and games that are related to science fiction stuff, and I can have topical authority related to mobile apps."

My answer is if the content overlap is strong and the audience overlap is strong, you can do both on one domain. You can see many, many examples of this across the web, Moz being a great example where we talk about startups and technology and sometimes venture capital and team building and broad marketing and paid search marketing and organic search marketing and just a ton of topics, but all serving the same audience and content. Because that overlap is strong, we can be an authority in all of these realms. Same goes for any time you're considering these things.

All right everyone, hope you've enjoyed this edition of Whiteboard Friday. I look forward to some great comments, and we'll see you again next week. take care.

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