Friday, December 6, 2013

New Google Plus Cover Image Size by Greg Gifford

Once again, Google has changed the size of Google Plus cover images. The change rolled out yesterday, and we’ve got to say – finally Google did something right.

The last version was ridiculously huge – and since Google only displayed the bottom of the photo, most of the image was never seen. Everyone complained, and for once, Google has listened and created a better solution.

The new image retains the 16:9 aspect ratio, but it’s displayed at a much smaller size. Since the display ratio is the same, you don’t have to change your image – it’s automatically updated. So what’s the size, you ask? The maximum image dimensions are 2120 x 1192, but you can upload a cover image as small as 480 x 270. The recommended image size is 1080×608.

Your entire image is visible when you land on the page, so businesses can provide a much better branding experience. The ugly dark gradient that was added to the bottom of the cover image is gone, so your photo looks exactly the way you want it to look.

Your business info now appears to the left, over a blurred background – so it’s much easier to read and doesn’t cover any of your photo. The blurred background is created using the center of your cover image, so the colors match nicely. It’s a much more modern look, and the info display is much more user friendly.

Check out a comparison of the old cover image size vs. the new:

That’s the same cover image in each photo – you can see how the new display shrinks the image down and adds the blurred info display background on the left. Here’s a larger sized shot of the new cover image size:
new Google Plus cover image and info display
Make sure you check your business page and see what the new cover image size looks like. Many businesses had their important info near the bottom of the image to try to take advantage of the old display style – if your image has everything crammed into the bottom, you’ll need to upload a better image immediately.

Courtesy of AutoRevo, LTD

20 Of The BEST Calls To Action by Brooke Ballard

You can’t talk content marketing, strategy or return on investment (ROI) without mentioning CALLS TO ACTION.
You’ll find these little beckoning words on websites and billboards, ads and posts, blog articles and marketing materials. So what exactly are calls to action (CTAs)? defines a call-to-action as,
“Words that urge the reader, listener, or viewer of a sales promotion message to take an immediate action, such as, “Write Now,” “Call Now,” or (on Internet) “Click Here.” A retail advertisement or commercial without a call-to-action is considered incomplete and ineffective.”
I’m constantly looking for effective and innovative CTAs, because let’s face it, “Click Here!” gets old after a while.

So, I’ve compiled a list of some smart and savvy CTAs just for you. Thank me later!
calls to action


Here are twenty of the BEST CTAs I’ve seen, accompanied with tips or [LINK] – meaning that is the link placement for the user to complete the CTA and visit your content/blog/event/site/etc..
  1. Grab Yours Now –> [LINK] (yep, it had that little arrow leading me right to the link)
  2. Will You Be There? [LINK]
  3. Hope To See You Soon! [LINK]
  4. Please Share With Your Friends And Fans: [LINK]
  5. What Are Your Thoughts On This (Topic)? [LINK]
  6. How Would You Handle ______?  [LINK] (asking for responses; tie it in with your topic)
  7. Read This Post: [LINK]
  8. Have You Ever ______? (enticing comments or engagement)
  9. What’s YOUR Favorite ______? [LINK] (tie it in with your topic)
  10. This Article Will Teach You How To ______: [LINK]
  11. YES or NO? ____________ (see example below from Amy Porterfield)
    CTA example 1
  12. Seriously, SIGN UP! You’ve Got Nothing To Lose: [LINK]
  13. Save Your Seat! [LINK]
  14. Limited Seating Available: [LINK]
  15. View This _____ To Learn How To ______: [LINK]
  16. Want A Sneak Peek At ______? [LINK]
  17. QUICK QUESTION: Do You Prefer A, B, Or C? (enticing comments or engagement)
  18. You Don’t Want To Miss _______! [LINK]
  19. This Is THE Solution For ______: [LINK]
  20. This List Is Filled With Resources For ______: [LINK]


Whether it’s an ad, blog post, tweet, or update, each piece of your content marketing should have quantifiable goals. What are you hoping to accomplish? What do you want the reader to do?
Without this critical step, you’re using the loathed (by me, anyway) “post and pray” method – which is fruitless when trying to measure ROI. If you’re a real marketer looking for real results, you will have a goal in mind for your content. And with it, some sort of call-to-action. Slapping a post on Facebook and waiting for ‘likes’ is SO 2010!

So is using, “Click Here” for every, single CTA.

Courtesy of Steemfeed

26 Tips for Using Instagram for Business by Debbie Hemley

Are you wondering how to use images and short video to enhance your customers’ experience?
Have you considered creating a brand profile on Instagram to make your brand visible to a new market?

Getting started on Instagram is fairly straightforward.

Simply sign up for an account (e.g., use the same name as your Twitter handle), add a profile photo (e.g., brand logo) and a link to your website, connect your account to Facebook and let your followers know they can follow you there.

It’s what to do next that presents a difficulty for many brands.

What follows are 26 tips and brand examples, an A-Z guide, for capitalizing on a business presence on Instagram.

#1: Acquaint Yourself With How to Use Instagram for Business

Businesses have been flocking to Instagram in droves. In response, Instagram started the Instagram for Business blog, which offers tips, brand spotlights, API examples and news from Instagram HQ.
instagram blog
Instagram's blog will help keep you in the know.
Check it out and add it to your reader to keep up to date on some of the coolest ways to use the Instagram platform for business.

#2: Balance Fun Images With Pictures From Your Business

Rachel Sprung writes, “Take advantage of the increased real estate you have with the Instagram web page to tell a story with the images. Have a healthy balance of fun images and business pictures.”
Anthropologie has struck a good balance with their images. Their followers like fun images as well as business ones. A puppy picture received 7,640 likes and a picture of their personal shoppers posing at a company luncheon event received 3,457.
engaging post with puppy
One of the ten most engaging posts mentioning #Anthropologie.
Track the engagement on your images to find out what your followers like best!

#3: Cultivate a Following

Tim Sae Koo offers 3 helpful tips for getting more followers on Instagram:
  • Connect your Facebook account
  • Use relevant, popular hashtags
  • Engage by following others and liking their photos
Cross-post selected images to your Facebook page with a hashtag that aligns with your campaign or brand image to help people who don’t know you’re on Instagram to find you there.

#4: Debut Videos

Instagram’s recent Video on Instagram has given Twitter’s Vine a serious competitor to contend with. Most notably 15-second, filter-enabled, editable video functionality compared to Vine’s 6.5 seconds.
Jordan Crook charts the differences between Instagram and Vine in the image below:
instagram vs vine chart
Jordan Crook charts Instagram vs. Vine.
Honda debuted an Instagram video by making a joke out of the choice. Fun idea!

#5: Embed Instagram Video in Your Blog or Website

Last month, Instagram released a new embed feature for its desktop web browser version. Mike Gingerich provides helpful instructions, in addition to examples for when and how to use Instagram videos.
Since you never know who will see your shares on a social networking platform, embed your Instagram video in your blog or website to extend the reach of your content.

#6: Follow Your Followers Back

The people you follow on social networking platforms make all the difference in the world. Curiously, many brands on Instagram (some with very large followings) don’t follow back.
To create strategic relationships on Instagram, find the brands and people you enjoy and can learn from in your followers and follow them back. We’ll talk more about this in #23.

#7: Generate a Flexible Posting Plan

Carley Keenan offers the following advice on the frequency of sharing on Instagram:
“You don’t need to post on Instagram every day. The ‘feed speed’ on Instagram is still mostly laid back. If you start posting a lot, you might saturate your followers’ feeds, and you don’t want to force yourself into the noise too often. Decide what you have ready to post and create a schedule to help you remember what to post when and to track what is working once you get going.”

#8: Harness the Power of Apps

Kay Tan put together a list of 20 apps that will enhance your photo-sharing experiences. There are apps that let users print images, search tags and keywords, subscribe to Instagram profiles via email, download all Instagram photos in a single archive folder, plus many more.
Use these apps to make Instagram a significant part of your social media marketing strategy.

#9: Inspire Potential Customers

Anna Colibri suggests you post photos that are relevant to your brand and potential customers.
Whole Foods Market posts representative photos to promote healthy, wholesome food products, store events, sustainability and their active community of customers and employees.
whole foods market
Whole Foods Market's photos are relevant to their brand.
Attract your target market with images that share a compelling and inspiring story.

#10: Juxtapose Use of Filter Types and No-Filter Images

Instagram provides a number of filters to change the look and feel of your photos.
A study conducted by Simply Measured earlier this year found 59 percent of the world’s top brands are now active on Instagram.
Their findings also shed light on choices around filtered photos: “Lo-fi is the filter of choice for 14 percent of brands’ filtered photos, followed by Valencia with 12 percent, Rise with 12 percent, Amaro with 11 percent, Hudson with 9 percent, Sierra with 9 percent, X-Pro II with 8 percent and Hefe with 7 percent.”
favorite filters
Simply Measured Favorite Filters: The Most Engaging and the Most Used.
Marketo also suggests that filters are more than a question of aesthetics, they can say a lot about you!
Shake things up a little every now and then, and try out a new filter or go the no-filter route.

#11: Kickstart Instagram Efforts With a Change in Perspective

Russ Meyer recommends that for brands to be successful on Instagram, they need to get past their inherent interest in selling and instead:
  • Share a distinctive view of the world
  • Cultivate a unique visual sense
  • Capture things that are interesting to the brand and to the core target customer
  • Train your eye to focus on what makes a great, provocative, engaging image
Entrust your Instagram presence to someone in the organization who understands how to align images with the interests of your target customer.

#12: Leverage Photo Contests on Instagram With Facebook

Businesses can host photo contests on Instagram using hashtags to organize submissions and an RSS feed to follow along with new photos as they’re added.
Samsung Camera used the hashtag #LiveInTheMoment to successfully promote their Instagram photo contest on their Facebook page.
samsung photo contest
Over 17,000 fans saw the status update and 336 commented on it.
Use Facebook status updates to encourage your fans to enter your Instagram photo contest.

#13: Market Your Brand Using Trends

Remember when Twitter’s #followfriday seemed somewhat avant-garde? Instagrammers can use a number of trending hashtags to join in a bigger part of the visual community storytelling.
Charles Mazzini takes us through the days of the week beginning with #ManCrushMonday and ending with #SelfieSunday.
way back wednesday on statigram
#WayBackWednesday viewed on Statigram.
Find a trending hashtag that’s relevant to your marketing strategy and participate with images from your brand.

#14: Network on Instagram

Kim Garst writes, “Instagram connects people through photos” and suggests 3 essential ways to create a network:
  • Engage—like others’ photos and leave comments
  • Follow your already established followers from other social media platforms
  • Include your hashtags—if your brand uses specific hashtags on Twitter or Google+, use them on Instagram as well

#15: Optimize Your Profile

Instagram profiles—like their counterparts on Twitter, Facebook and other social networking platforms—need to include brand information in specific ways (e.g., maximum number of characters, specific image sizes, attention to branding).
Brandon Gaille has a helpful list of what to include in your profile and Gerry Moran provides an easy-to-digest graphic illustrating where everything shows.
instagram profile
Gerry Moran shows how to build the perfect Instagram profile.
Complete your profile with all of the information customers might need to find you and do business with you.

#16: Promote Your Business on Both Facebook and Instagram

Great things can happen when a platform is purchased by an entity such as Facebook. Instagram and Facebook as a duo offer brands a unique opportunity for promotion.
James Borow explains, “Brands create Instagram videos, share them to their Facebook pages and then boost them into paid media that hits the Facebook news feed, in the same way that they boost text or photo posts. This enables brands to reach Facebook’s 818 million monthly active mobile users, which dwarfs Instagram’s 130 million. It’s profiting from Instagram without having to advertise on Instagram… For now it’s all about capturing and sharing the world’s moments—and paying to distribute them on the world’s largest social network.”
Capitalize on Facebook’s integration of Instagram to reach a wider audience.

#17: Quantify and Qualify

Want to know how your brand is doing on Instagram? There are image analytics tools such as BlitzMetrics and Curalate that will provide detailed insights.
Tim Peterson writes, “Curalate is able to track an Instagram post’s likes and comments so that a brand can see how that popularity translates into added followers, but also capitalize on the popularity. Denim brand 7 For All Mankind used the platform to identify that an image was resonating on Instagram. It then pushed that out as a Facebook ad, resulting in the brand’s most engaged ad on that platform to date….”
Use image analytics to identify images and video that resonate with your fans and followers.

#18: Reward Followers

Collins Paris describes how American Express “offers its followers backstage entries to events such as fashion shows, concerts and even the U.S. Open.”
He recommends that retail brands reward their followers with discount codes and promos.
american express
Follow American Express for insta-access to exclusive experiences, news and rewards through our lens.
Deliver perks to your followers so they will make viewing your feed content a priority.

#19: Showcase Photos of Employees

Showing your employees at work not only gives a behind-the-scenes view of your company, it’s also a way to celebrate staff and show them how much they’re valued. A great example is Beaucoup Bakery, which shares pictures of their staff with the hashtag #beaucrew.
member of beaucoup bakery
A member of #beaucrew at Beaucoup Bakery.
Acknowledge staff members’ skill sets, successes and milestones on Instagram.

#20: Treat Followers to a Visual Experience

Sharpie shows followers how their product can be used to “start something” creative. The majority of their photos in their feed show drawings in a myriad of colors.
Grab a Sharpie and start something.
Find a creative way to showcase the use of your company’s products and services.

#21: Use Industry-Related Hashtags

If you’re at an event or location that’s designated by a hashtag (something like #smmw13), Jenn Herman recommends you add it to your photos so that event coordinators and other attendees can find them.
engaging photos mentioned
10 most engaging photos mentioning #smmw13.
Track the relevance of your Instagram hashtags with Nitrogram, the Instagram analytics and engagement platform that provides key metrics on hashtags including contributors, content, engagement and context.

#22: Video Important Brand Moments

Tom Edwards suggests that “Brands can share unique branded experiences, highlight brand advocates, co-create content with audiences, preview products, highlight a specific cause, extend the brand’s persona via video, preview upcoming events by adding visual context, share important news, drive promotional awareness, leverage Instagram video for promotion and create videos that show fan appreciation.”
Capture your company’s important moments in 15-second videos and share them with your followers so they feel included.

#23: Widen Your Exposure to Other Brands

As we covered in #6, it’s good practice to follow other brands on Instagram. Statigram is a great tool for finding brands and hashtags that relate to your brand. Simply enter the brand name or hashtag into the search box and click Search.
In this example, I wanted to see if Target had a profile on Instagram. They do!
search on statigram
Search for businesses and industry-related keywords on Statigram.
Use this tool to find, follow and research your competitors on Instagram.

#24: eXpose Something New

ABC World News often shares a photo about a broadcast they’ll be doing later in the day.
abc interview
ABC News shared hours earlier that Robin Roberts would be interviewing Venus Williams.
Use Instagram to give your followers a first look at or sneak preview of an event, a product or news feature.

#25: Yuck it Up

Donna Amos writes, “While running a business requires dedication, sweat and sometimes tears, it should never be all work and no play. Instagram is perfect for displaying fun times in the office or when you’re out and about having lunch or dinner with coworkers. Sharing these types of images with followers speaks volumes. It not only suggests that you don’t take life too seriously while on the job, but instead you must be happy and successful in your career.”
All work and no play will make your brand a dull company on Instagram. Integrate images that show your human side to create stronger connections with your followers.

#26: Zap Between Instagrammers’ Images and Edit for a Longer Film

Lexususa had a cutting-edge vision with their #LexusInstafilm using 212 instagrammers’ images to edit together a 3:44 Instagram video to showcase the 2014 Lexus IS.

@Lexususa a brand who knows how to zap it to their audience.
As one instagrammer says in the video, the Lexusinstafilm is a great example of what Instagram is, “A community that comes together.”
Transform crowdsourced images into a unique video message that features and highlights the creativity of your loyal followers.
Over to You
These are just a few tips on how you can use Instagram to create a presence for your business. Check them out and see what works best to enhance your brand.

Courtesy of Social Media Examiner

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Here’s How to Choose the Right Promotion App for Your Facebook Page by Mike Gingerich

You’re on Facebook because you want engagement, right?

But you don’t want engagement purely for the sake of engagement.

You want it because an engaged Facebook community translates into more leads, more customers & more sales for your business.

Put simply, more engagement means more sales:
Research data reported by Vocus notes that 79% of Facebook fans are more likely to purchase from a brand they have liked.  Thus, pursuing more fans and deeper engagement with existing fans is a valuable priority!
But how do you get more engagement on your Facebook page?

Lots of ways. You can:
And you can also run promotions. But you need to choose the promotion type that fits best with your goals.

Certain promotion types work better for certain goals and certain industries.
Below I’ll outline a number of promotion types and offer tips on how to select the right one for your Facebook Page.

Each type can draw fans to your page and incentivize them to explore and engage with it. And each type is a Facebook approved tab app that complies with Facebook’s promotion policy.

4 Promotion Types for Fan Pages


A sweepstakes is a chance-based, easy-entry promotion that fans enter by completing a simple form with their name & e-mail. Winners are drawn randomly after a set date.
As with most Facebook promo apps, a sweepstakes can be a “Like-gated” so fans have to Like the Page in order to access the entry form.

Pros of using a Sweepstakes:

  • Low barrier to entry (simple form completion)
  • Works for a wide variety of industries
  • Pages can capture key user information – important for future email/location marketing
If you run a sweepstakes, you can limit each fan to a single entry or allow fans to enter repeatedly.
I recommend allowing fans to enter daily because it ensures the most continued engagement — it incentivizes the fan to return to the page day after day.

Sweepstakes promotions can work for a wide variety of businesses — including B2B and B2C.

They help
  • draw fans to the page to enter
  • boost viral sharing – if the app has a sharing mechanism that increases entries


deal or offer is another promotion type with a low barrier to entry.
Here’s how it works:
  1. Facebook page asks the fan to do something
  2. when fan completes task, he is given access to the deal
For example: “Like our Page to access this 40% off Coupon”

Other examples (and app offerings) include (1) sharing a post on your Facebook news feed or (2) sharing a post on a friend’s timeline to access the deal.

Like sweepstakes, deals are useful because:
  1. fans respond to them
  2. it accomplishes a task helpful to the company (e.g. more Page Likes)

Pros of using a Deal app:

  • Low barrier to entry (simple task completion)
  • Expands reach to additional social networks — which can help the Page reach a wider audience or other type of audience than currently reached on Facebook
  • Works for a wide variety of industries
  • Pages get something of value in return – such as further exposure, a Like, or a e-mail address for their list

Facebook Deal Example


A contest is different than a sweepstakes or a deal in that it requires more effort & skill from the fan to enter.

For example, the fan has to take a photo that meets certain requirements to enter.
Instead of a random drawing to determine the winner, contests select a winner via:
  • voting by the public
  • judging by a select group
While photo contests are the most common type of contest on Facebook, there are other types too, like videos, essays or photo captions.

Pros for using a Facebook Contest:

  • More opportunity for engagement
Contest entrants engage via their entries, of course. But more importantly, new users and potential fans come to your page & engage by way of viewing and voting on entries — which can add up to some serious reach, exposure, & interaction on your page.

Another option for a contest is to consider a two-stage process.  This adds the benefit of a initial round of voting and then the need to return to view and vote again in the final round.
  • Entrants are motivated to share with Friends
Entrants want more votes — so they extend the reach of the contest to their network of friends by asking for their votes.

This social sharing by entrants to their friends both (1) increases the contest’s reach and (2) functions as a positive referral mechanism.  The entrant’s invitation to friends to vote adds trust & credibility to the Page — and to its products & services.
  • Better qualifying of entrants
Making entrants meet a certain criteria for entry acts as a sifting mechanism.  It adds a barrier for those who just enter any promotion because it’s easy & they might win, regardless of whether they’re interested in your business.

Depending on your contest’s entry guidelines, this process can serve to qualify or pre-screen entrants as potential customers.
  • Access to user generated content
If your promotional rules make it clear that contest entry materials can be used by your company in the future, the contest can be an excellent method of getting user-generated content relevant to your brand — and useable in future social marketing.
Note: Contests may not work for industries or businesses that don’t lend themselves to this type of engagement.  For instance, it might be a stretch for a medical practitioner to run a photo contest due to privacy concerns or relevance.


multi-network social promotion is a promotion that involves Facebook and at least one other social media platform — such as Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram.

Similar to a deal, the fans are asked to accomplish a task and upon completion they are then given access to the deal offer.  The difference is that the task is centered around doing something on a different social platform such as Pinterest or Instagram.

In this case the fan comes to the Facebook page and the promotion is outlined.  The fan then accomplishes the task — such as adding a image to Instagram with a certain hashtag or using a integrated pin tool to pin a image to Pinterest.

Some apps allow images to be pulled in from the other social network to appear on the page tab.  Otherwise the image can simply stay on the other social network.

Either way the fan has engaged with your Facebook page and simultaneously extended information about your brand to another social network.

Pros for using a Multi-Network Social Promo:

  • Extends brand to more social locations - This type of promotion can work great for a company whose audience is active on more than one social network — or for a company seeking to continue gaining Facebook traction but also expand visibility on Pinterest, for example.
  • Image Driven - Images are powerful in social media and a multi-network social promo using images can capture the attention of viewers and invite sharing & comments — all of which boost visibility & drive referral traffic.
  • Suitable for a wide variety of businesses - A multi-network social promotion can work for apparel firms to credit unions, venues to radio stations and more.
Instagram Contest for Facebook Page


  • Keep the entry form simple — too many fields will cause fewer entries.
  • Make the prize relevant to your company! – an iPad is not relevant if you own a craft store.
  • Ensure the prize value equates to your product – $30 Gift Card for $600 watches is not a motivating deal!
  • Keep the contest moving! don’t run a month-long contest.  The attention span of a Facebook fans is short. They won’t keep track of an entry and vote daily for 30 days.  5-7 days is a better span or perhaps 10 days if it’s a 2 stage (initial and finalist rounds) contest.
  • Set voting to 1x per day for Conteststhis encourages entrants to get voters to come back each day — a perfect situation for your page!
  • Know your target audience!  — is your target using Pinterest or Instagram already?  If so, a multi-network social promotion could work well.
  • Ensure the process is seamless – make sure the promotion is doing the work for you and giving the user the best possible experience.  Apps integrating OAuth for login or other integrated means to access the service directly (without the “open a new browser window” issues) are critical.  Fans should be able to arrive, understand, and complete in short order.
Promotions for Facebook pages offer the power to draw fans in, boost page engagement, and accomplish tangible marketing goals — like increasing e-mail list numbers.  Deals in the form of coupons and discount codes will always be an attractive means to help increase traffic to a page and encourage visitors to begin a fan relationship with the page.

While not an end in themselves, contests & offers can be part of a larger marketing strategy and a key piece of helping a business grow their social community.

Courtesy of

Need help with Managing YOUR Social Media Campaign?
Contact us and visit:

How Long Should Your Landing Page Be? by Neil Patel

landing page
Have you ever wondered how long your landing page should be? Some people say long landing pages convert better, while others say short ones are better.
So, the question that comes to mind is:
How long should your landing page be?
Sadly, the answer isn’t as simple as “long” or “short”. The real answer is “it just depends”. But don’t worry, I’m going to break down how you should determine if you need a long or short landing page.

What are your visitors’ objections?

Have you ever wondered what the biggest secret to a high converting landing page is? It all comes down to answering objections.

Good marketers don’t place text, or proof elements like testimonials, on a page for no reason. Everything you place on your landing page should address potential objections.

For example, if someone tells you they aren’t willing to make a purchase from your site because they don’t feel safe about putting in their credit card details, you would want to combat this through trust seals such as VeriSign or customer testimonials.

Before you answer your visitors’ objections, however, you need to find out what they are. By using surveying tools like Qualaroo, you can ask your visitors questions like:
  • What else would you like to see on this page?
  • Why didn’t you complete the purchase?
  • What’s the one thing that I could have done to convince you to sign up?
People will share with you their reasons for not converting. Once you have 30 or 40 responses, you will start seeing commonalities.

You can then take those objections and integrate the answers to them within your landing page copy. Once you implement this, you’ll notice an increase in your conversion rate.

The one thing to note when answering objections is that you shouldn’t worry about your page length. Sometimes you will be able to answer them through a simple image. Other times, e.g., in the case of a more complicated objection, you will have to include a few paragraphs of text.

The bigger the ask, the longer the page

If you are asking someone for their email address in exchange for a free ebook, your landing page probably doesn’t need to be too long. Why? Because asking someone for an email address isn’t too big of a deal.
A good example of this is the Quick Sprout homepage.
quick sprout homepage
It currently converts at 67.2%, which isn’t bad. It does well because I am only asking you to enter your website URL. I’m not selling anything, nor am I even asking you for your email address. For that reason it’s easy for me to have a high conversion rate through a short landing page.

On the other hand, if you are asking someone to make a $1,000 purchase from your site, you will need a long landing page. No matter what you are selling, people are always nervous about big purchases even if your company is well known. By having a long landing page, you’ll be able to build a connection with your visitors, plus you’ll be able to answer all of their objections.

Break up your landing pages

Whether you are selling a product or a service, you should consider breaking up your landing page into multiple steps. This will train your visitors to make small commitments, which makes them more likely to complete the transaction.
crazyegg homepage
For example, we ask for an email and password on Crazy Egg before we ask for your credit card information. In other words, we’ve broken this down into two steps instead of one. Why? Because through A/B testing, we’ve learned that you are at least 10% more likely to complete the purchase in the two-step scenario. Apparently, you feel that since you have already given us your email address, you might as well give us your credit card details.

This is what I call the hoop theory, which says that getting your visitors to invest a little at a time will turn them into customers.

This strategy is so effective that e-commerce companies use it with their checkout process. Just think about Amazon…When you are checking out, you see your cart first, then a landing page with your shipping information and then a credit card checkout page.

To show you the effectiveness of breaking up your landing page into multiple steps, I decided to run a test on Quick Sprout. I added an email address field to the homepage, and it dropped the conversion rate down to 29%: out of 100 visitors, only 29 gave me their URLs and email addresses.
But when I asked visitors for their email addresses in step 2, instead of the homepage, there was a 91% chance that they gave them to me.
step 2 homepage
That means out of 100 visitors, 67 entered their URLs. And out of the 67 people that entered their URLs, 60 gave me their email addresses.

By breaking up the landing page into two steps instead of one, I was able to collect 60 emails instead of 29. That’s a big difference.

Avoid these common mistakes

When creating a landing page, you’ll notice that silly little mistakes will affect the length and, more importantly, your conversion rate.
Your goal shouldn’t be to create a short or long landing page; instead, it should be to create a high converting page. Here are some of the things you need to keep in mind:
  • Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication – do not sell more than one thing on your landing page. The more complicated you make things, the lower your conversion rate will be. You can also keep things simple by reducing options such as navigational ones.
  • A picture says a thousand words – when possible, use images or videos to describe your product or service. This will help you reduce the length of your landing page.
  • Don’t forget the fold – people have an attention span of 8 seconds, so make sure you grab their attention above the fold.
  • Messaging is important – when you surveyed your visitors to figure out their objections, they told you what they wanted to see. If you use the commonly mentioned words within the survey results in your landing page copy, you’ll see an increase in conversion rate.


If you are making your visitors commit to a small ask, e.g., give you their email address, and they don’t have too many objections, your landing page should be short.
If you are asking for a big commitment, e.g, making a $1,000 purchase, you’ll need a long landing page as there will be a lot of objections for you to address.

The length of your landing page typically revolves around how big or small your ask for a commitment is as well as how many objections there are to it.
Once you create your landing page, make sure you run a few A/B tests as there are always exceptions to the rule, and there will be room to improve your conversion rate.

Courtesy of I'm Kind of a Big Deal, LLC

Need help with YOUR Internet Marketing and Web Design? Contact us and visit:

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Goodbye, Keyword Data: Google Moves Entirely to Secure Search by Thom Craver

Originally posted on September 23, 2013---BUT worth re-posting!

The day many SEO professionals hoped would never come, but feared eventually would, apparently has arrived today. It appears that Google has cut off keyword data altogether.

Nearly two years after making one of the biggest changes to secure search that resulted in a steady rise in "(not provided)" data, Google has switched all searches over to encrypted searches using HTTPS. This means no more keyword data will be passed to site owners.

Encrypted Google searches don't pass the keyword data through to websites, thereby eliminating the ability to track users by their keyword searches. The biggest impact for many site owners has been not being able to segment users by keywords within their web analytics software.

To publish any intention of Google's motives for this move would be pure speculation. Not wanting to feed the rumor mill or feed any false speculation, Search Engine Watch has reached out to Google for a comment.

"We added SSL encryption for our signed-in search users in 2011, as well as searches from the Chrome omnibox earlier this year," a Google spokesperson told Search Engine Watch. "We’re now working to bring this extra protection to more users who are not signed in."

When encrypted search initially launched in May 2010, Google initially had encrypted search on a separate URL. A year later, in late 2011, Google started redirecting all U.S. users who were signed into their Google Accounts to the encrypted version at This led to the now-infamous "(not provided)" row in keywords data in Google Analytics and other web traffic software packages.

When questioned, Cutts was quick to respond that it was estimated that the amount of "(not provided)" visits "even at full roll-out ... would still be in the single-digit percentages of all Google searchers on"

As time rolled on, the conversion to encrypted search expanded globally to all signed-in users then even further to include default searching in Firefox

Just last month, BrightEdge released a study fining the percentage of "(not provided)" data was over 50 percent for some industries.

There are methods around determining "(not provided)" data via Webmaster Tools. While the method isn't fullproof, it can be useful to determine trends.

At this point, it seems even when you aren't logged in, using private browsing (or incognito mode) and forcibly type HTTP://, you are being redirected to the HTTPS version, thereby encrypting your search and no doubt leading to a total removal of keyword data – at least from Google search visitors. Remember, keyword data from other search engines – like Bing, for example – still send keyword data through.

Courtesy of Incisive Interactive Marketing LLC.

Need help with Managing YOUR Internet Marketing? Contact us and visit: