5 Things To Think About With Mobile Landing Pages

Mobile Friendly Landing Page Blog Graphic

With us now more than a month into Google’s “Mobile-Friendly” update the writing is clearly on the wall to make sure your customers can reach your content anytime, anywhere. Just to give you an idea how important it is to make sure your landing pages are mobile friendly, last year, eMarketer did a study predicting that smartphone usage was going to break the 2 billion mark. Additionally, earlier this month, Google released a statement saying that mobile has surpassed desktop usage for search. So with that in mind we’ve put together 10 of the best top practices you should consider when updating your landing pages to meet your audience’s mobile needs.

Start Here

Building a mobile site from the ground up is pricey and takes up a lot of time. The best way to get started to see if you need a mobile solution is by tracking your analytics and finding your customer’s pain points and see where the drops in conversion on your website are. Once you’ve found these points, you’ll know where to start focusing your efforts. Two of the key things you should keep an eye on when tracking your mobile conversions are buying patterns and traffic.

Short and Sweet

When designing your mobile landing page, you’re going to have a lot less room to work with than you get with desktop pages. Headlines are going to need to be short, I mean really short. Consumers are more fickle than ever as well, don’t even try to use a click-bait style title (“This happened, but what happened next brought me to tears”) or you’ll have more bounces than a trampoline in the summer time. Four words or less is what you want to aim for.

Organization is Key

When designing how the content will sit on the page, make sure your call-to-action is instantly visible. You have to see the page from the customer’s perspective, would you spend minutes at a time trying to pinch and scroll around a page to try and find something? Neither will your customers. One good method to try when condensing your material for your landing page, is “vertical chunking.” Think about how you can describe what you’re offering in 3-4 sentences.

White Spaces Are Friends, Not Wasteful

I know I’m spinning a line from Finding Nemo here, but the concept sticks. You must resist the urge to fill every pixel of white space on your pages with imagery or text. If you try to do this, you’ll have so much going on that the customer will get confused and lost on what they’re trying to do and will probably end up with them leaving. If you are going to use a template during the design of the landing page, remember – white space is your friend, not waste.

Mobile Landing Page Examples

What NOT to do with a Mobile Landing Page

Time Is Money

On mobile, you only have seconds to pitch what you’re offering to your customers, and I mean that literally. When it comes to mobile, speed is everything. I know I’m preaching to the choir where this is concerned, but it can’t be repeated enough, the longer your customers have to wait for a page to load, the more likely they are to leave. When coding for a mobile landing page, try to use streamline technologies like HTML5 and jQuery, these will help improve your page load times. Additionally, keep the number of HTTP requests to a minimum, this will help further improve your page’s load time. Lastly, remember not all mobile connections are the same. Some may be using Wi-Fi while others might be on a 3G or 4G connection. Aim to design the page to load quickly on the worst of connections and they’ll be like lightning on the faster ones.

What other tips and tricks do you have for building the best mobile landing pages. Let us know in the comments below! Want help getting one built for your business? Our marketers are inbound certified and can help you get your landing pages off the ground! Shoot us an email or give us a call!

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10 Essential Tips for Ecommerce Web Design

When selling your products online, the design of your e-commerce website can greatly impact your online sales. The design of your e-store has gone from a convenience to a significant strategy element for businesses. It can help a business establish their identity, develop its brand, and make its products stand out from the competition. However, you need to tread carefully when designing your site. The wrong web design could cost you potential income and have an overall negative impact on your business. But, there is a silver lining to this cloud, following these tips will get you on to a better user experience and improved sales numbers.

Are You Mobile Friendly?

It’s 2015, a responsive, mobile friendly e-store is no longer a competitive advantage or customer convenience, it’s a necessity for doing business online. With ComScore releasing a recent report that mobile internet use has now surpassed desktop use, being mobile-friendly is needed to keep up with your competitors. This change from desktop to mobile shopping will impact B2C and B2B customers alike.

A Professional and Polished Logo

The logo is one of the most important parts of your brand. It’s the watermark that sticks in people’s memories when confronted with something you sell. Make sure it is clean and fits your brand image. When placing it on your site, make sure that it is a high-resolution image and it’s prominently featured. Usually this is done by placing it in the upper left hand corner of the site. Additionally, you’re going to want to link the image back to the home page so that customers can easily navigate to it.

Keep Pages Clean

It’s very easy these days for a customer to have a visual overload when they go to a website and they leave because of too much choice. To keep visitors on your site, make sure to not have competing calls to action or lots of visual clutter (i.e. images, videos, etc) that would draw the customer’s eyes away from what is important.

Don’t Be Afraid Of White Space

Controlling white space through design is a great way to keep uses focused on the content. Creating this space in-between your text and images gives some “breathing space” for customers to digest information before continuing on their journey. With visuals becoming more and more the focus of competition for user’s attention on the web, less is more. Controlling what you do with white space will help improve the user experience, and increase returns for your e-store.

Use Color To Stand Out

When using colors for your website, the rule of thumb is to use a mostly neutral color palette which will help you project an elegant and modern experience. Using small dashes of colors for headlines and key graphics can draw the user to the most important information. Additionally, make sure that the color that you do use complements your logo and is consistent with your other marketing materials.

Don’t Use Generic Photos Found On The Web

Today’s consumer is extremely savvy, and can sniff out generic stock photos quicker than you can say Getty. When visitors see generic photos on your site for your services or products, they’re pulled out of the experience, and will gain a generic impression of your company. Investing in professional photographs of your products or investing in professional stock photos can really make the difference. Good photographs will catch the eye and can invoke an emotional response to the written content.

Button, Button, Where’s The Button?

The submit button is usually considered the ugliest part of a website. To help change this you could do it a number of ways. Make the button interactive, when you hover or click it, have it change color. You can also change the text so that it doesn’t say ‘submit.’ No one wants to submit to anything, so take a different approach and change it to something fun or related to the product.

The Dinosaurs Called They Want Their Flash Plug-in Back

The days of Flash have come to a close. While it was a great innovator for rich media on websites, today, there are many more alternatives that are site and user-friendly. One of the most popular options is using HTML5. With search-engine friendly text and the ability to function on practically all mobile operating systems without a plug-in, it really is the way to go if you plan on having embedded videos  or other rich media on your website.

Make Reading Easy On The Eyes

When choosing fonts for your website, keep in mind, most people are going to be on the site from a mobile device. Some large scale fonts, might read well on a computer screen, but when scaled down for the mobile screen, they lose the desired look and feel, and in the worst case scenario end up being unreadable. To get around this, it is recommended that you choose a universal font, and make sure to pick one that can be easily read at 11pts or less.

Don’t Forget To Test The Design

Finally, whenever you are changing around a current design, or planning on implementing a re-design, always make sure to test the changes. In actuality, all design decisions are really a hypothesis waiting to be tested. By using different testing methods such as A/B testing and user testing, your customers can help you improve your designs by providing feedback from real people on your different design experiments.

By using these tips, you can help bring your website to the fore and help it become an even greater revenue generator for your business. Need help designing a new website, or is your e-commerce platform caught behind the times? Feel free to drop us a line or shoot us an email, we would be happy to help your business reach even greater heights.

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PPC Crash Course for E-Commerce Part 3

Continuing from the last two weeks, we’ve covered what platforms could be a good fit for your business along with researching the best keywords for your products. Then, we went over how to structure your account and set up budgets for your ads. Today, in our final part, we’re going to go over global campaign settings and how to set up split testing for your ads. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

Location, Location, Location

The old real-estate adage applies to PPC in a very big way. When you upload your campaigns and ad groups, your campaign settings will automatically be set to the default settings in AdWords. So, before you set anything to live, you’re going to want to review and customize those settings to make sure that your ads are being displayed to the right people in the right places.

The first thing you’re going to want to review is the geographic locations that you want to show your ad in. You can determine how limited you want to show your ad in case you only ship to a few different places outside of the US. If you’re not limited by that, the best way to start is by including the countries that you know you receive a lot of orders from. If you plan on targeting different languages you can do this at this point as well. Additionally, you can fine-tune this feature to target specific regions or cities within the other countries and make the search as granular as you’d like (see examples below).

Country Targeting in Google AdWords

Country Targeting in Google AdWords

City Targeting in Google AdWords

City Targeting in Google AdWords

It’s All About The Networking

In addition to choosing where geographically your ads show, you can also choose where on Google’s network the ads will show. Well, outside of the ads being served on the search results, you can choose to have the ads served with Google’s search partners as well. For example if you put together a text ad, this ad could appear on non-Google websites, such as AOL search (yes, it still exists), Ask.com, in addition to other Google sites such as Google Maps, YouTube, and other parts of the Google-verse. This setting is just as granular as the geo-targeting setting above. You can pick and choose where your ad will display and whom it will display with. If there is a site or Google product that you don’t want displaying your ad, this is where you can include or exclude specific partners and sites.

Additionally, once you get some AdWords experience under your belt, there’s a whole other network known as the Google Display Network, that showcases your ads on additional sites outside of Google’s search partner network. For example, if you ever wondered how a Google AdWords ad appeared in a banner ad on The Weather Channel’s website, this is how. However, I wouldn’t recommend tooling around with this until you get some campaigns under your belt. However, if you’re feeling particularly confident in your AdWord abilities, you can find out more information on it here.

Also, you can choose if you want to include or exclude mobile devices and tablets. However, if you sell something online I would highly recommend that you advertise on these devices. Especially now that more than 50% of internet users are accessing stores and websites from a mobile device.

Ad Testing – Making Sure The Ad Brings Your “A” Game

Ad testing is very important, as it lets you find which ad is the best one for your keywords. Ads are the way you showcase your product to the world with PPC so you want to make sure you get the ad right the first time. Where E-Commerce is concerned, ad testing is all about your product segmentation. Having your ads be relevant to your keyword lists that is associated with that ad group is where your ads will shine and make sure it has a high quality score. To sum up what quality score is, is a way provided by Google to help you pay less for your ads.

Let’s take the knitting supply store we’ve been using for this series, and they want their ad to showcase their stainless steel knitting needles. If the keyword is, “stainless steel knitting needles” then they should call that out in their ad. With split testing, you want to set up two ads per ad group to test against each other to see which is running better, however, both still need to be calling out the product within the ads. What you’re testing is different benefits and features that the customer might be looking for, different destination URLs that are linked to the ads, display URLs, call-to-actions, and dynamic keyword insertion. So, this is how one of their ads could read:

Stainless Steel Knitting Needles
Our Products Are Top Notch!
Get Your Stainless Steel Knitting Needles Today!

And the other ad could read:

Industrial Strength Knitting Needles
High-Quality Stainless Steel Knitting Needles On Sale.
Get 15% Off Your First Purchase!

From these two ads, you’ll be able to track through the AdWords platform which one is being received and converting better.

Well, that’s it for our crash course! Now you’re all ready to set up and start your first ad campaign with PPC! While this outline gives you the important first steps, there is a lot of other things that can affect your campaigns after they’re launched. However, if you’re curious about what else you can do to analyze and track your AdWords campaign, you can check out Google’s own guide which goes into great detail on how everything works and how you can effectively track and use the product to your advantage.

Take care and Happy Ad Hunting!

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PPC Crash Course for E-Commerce Part 2

So last week, we went over an introduction and the basics of what you want to look for when doing advertising for your e-commerce business. This week, we’ll be going over structuring and budgeting your PPC campaigns. So, let’s dive in!

Ad Group Structuring

Good account structure helps you make changes to your ads quickly, and allows you more granularity when targeting. So, when just starting off with PPC, the best ad structure strategy to use is to copy your site structure, by product. Taking our example from last week, let’s say you’re selling knitting needles. So you have a campaign for steel knitting needles, bamboo knitting needles, ceramic knitting needles, so on and so forth. By structuring it like this, it’ll help you create keyword lists that directly relate to the corresponding ad along with the ads leading to that specific product. This works really well because it aligns ad groups and landing pages for those ads like so:

Google AdWord campaign structure

Courtesy of Google AdWord Answers

 

If you’re feeling frisky, and want to take a look at a more advanced ad structure or feel that the by product structure isn’t for your business, you should check out this article by Sam Owen at Search Engine Land. He talks about structuring ads based on user intent, rather than by product. Definitely worth a read.

Budgeting

Now, this is where things get tricky. Budgeting is always a moving target. You may have a set budget for these ads to begin with, but deciding how you’re going to divide it amongst your campaigns is where things start getting a little murky. There are three things that you need to look for when you first start planning your budgeting for ads. First, which campaigns have products with high search volume? Second, what is their average cost-per-click (which can be found in the AdWords tool we went over in part 1)? Lastly, which product will make you the most money?

What you end up with is a secret sauce mix of giving a higher budget for ads that have a high search volume, where it will make you the most money, and those that have a higher CPC that in turn requires more budget money. However, you don’t want to give too much of your budget to a campaign that’s going to have a high cost-per-click that doesn’t make you as high of a revenue as other products, this will cost your ROI and be a waste of your limited budget.

A good way to get around this when you’re starting out is to just give all of your campaigns equal budgets for the base amount you (or the client) are willing to spend each day, and tweak from there. If you start seeing a campaign performing at a good ROI, start giving it a higher budget. Conversely, if you see another campaign is not hitting its necessary ROI, you can redistribute the money in that campaign accordingly.

This is what makes PPC great for e-commerce. If one of your products is one of your top money-makers than feeding its ad group a higher budget will help you produce even higher sales as long as you have the inventory for it. If you’re a mom and pop shop, that is hand-making everything, you may want to limit yourself to a number of sales per day. But, if you drop ship or are a distributing from a large warehouse, keep feeding those budgets as long as you continue to get a good ROI from them.

Well, that’s it for this week. Next week we’ll go over the last details of using PPC for e-commerce. See you then!

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