Which of These Headlines Boosted Webinar Signups by Over 20% More?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This week’s post is about a headline test I came across this week on the Lead Pages blog—the test resulted in 22% more response from a registration page.

The only change made was to the headline…

Original headline: “How I Sold $2,442,832.00 on Low-Tech Webinars”

Second headline: “New Free Training: How to Create a Webinar That Sells…in 28 Days or Less”

Which do you think won out?
It was the second: “New Free Training: How to Create a Webinar That Sells…in 28 Days or Less”

According to the Lead Pages blog post, “In the month that this test ran, the first headline that read: How I Sold $2.44 Million… attracted a conversion rate of around 33%. The winning headline that read:  New Free Training… brought in a conversion rate of 41%.”

More importantly, why do you think this was the case? I have to admit when I first read them both, the first was very tempting for me to choose, BUT then I put myself in the prospect’s shoes.

Here is why I think the second won out:

1) New FREE TRAINING screamed out at me. If you are a prospect looking for an answer and you see a FREE resource that could help you get there…you’re going to take notice. I think these words got attention.

2) “How to…” always gets attention. How-to-do (fill in the blank)—is a great way to start a headline because the reader wants to know “How to” do what you did to solve his problem or get results. In this case, it was about creating webinars that sell…make the prospect money.

3) “In 28 Days or Less”—Adding this time element to the headline speaks to the prospect. “Wow, I can learn how to do this and see results in less than a month?” This seems like a short amount of time to wait for the answer to his problem.

4) The headline FOCUSED on the prospect and his problem—even though there was no actual “you” language used in the headline, it was an implied “you”…compare this to the original headline (which I think was a good headline), but it was about “I”…not so much about “you”!

Although, “How I Sold $2,442,832.00 on Low-Tech Webinars” is intriguing, especially with numbers like that, it was not about the prospect, but about the person holding the webinar.

Even if the webinar is about the prospect, the words in the headline are more “I” focused rather than “you” focused and this sends a message even subconsciously to the prospect.

So, what are your thoughts on this headline test? Were you surprised? Do you agree or disagree with my analysis? Talk to us!

Has Anything Changed in SEO for 2015?

SEO basics
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

With all of the changes Google has made from Panda to Penguin, to Pirate, and Pigeon, I wanted to find out what the SEO experts are now saying for 2015.

According to a recent blog post by SEO Expert, Andy Williams, the basics are pretty much the same, “…do include your keyterms. Just be sensible. If you write good content then the terms should naturally be included and you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.”

Here are the SEO basics he’s talking about:

Title Tags: Use a keyword/phrase in the title tag that is “relevant” to the page topic rather than just stuffing a bunch of different general keywords in the tag.

Meta Descriptions: Write these for your audience. Use them as an attention getter or a call-to-action. This is the text that Google displays to your audience in the search listings page. The copy in this description can help persuade your potential prospect to click or not based on what he reads.

Meta Keyword tags: This tag was so abused back in the day that now it really is no longer relevant.

Headings (H1, H2, H3, etc.): These would include the tags that are used to format the text titles or headings and subheadings on your page. As a rule of thumb, try to make sure the text in these tags is “relevant” to the paragraph text that follows…and it doesn’t hurt to use a key term that would also be found in that paragraph.

These headings tell your visitors what your copy is about (and also lets Google know what your content is about).

Internal links/link building: This is a sticky one. Personally, you will usually only see an external link in my posts when I quote or refer to another source (for credit purposes).

Williams advises, “If a link doesn’t add value to the content or the page it is included on – it shouldn’t be there. Try and add anchor text rich links all over the place and you won’t be finding much success.”

I am very careful about linking because I’ve read so much negative advice on this as of late.

Forbes recently ran an article about how linking can ruin your SEO efforts. During a recent webinar, Google’s webmaster trends analyst, John Mueller, said the following when asked about linking for SEO, “We do use links as part of our algorithm but we use lots and lots of other factors as well. So only focusing on links is probably going to cause more problems for your web site than actually helps.”

Content: I would say that your content is most important since it is the primary element on the page that hopefully keeps your prospect’s attention. That being said, it should sound natural…write like you talk…and the keywords should just fall into place.

Alt tags: Use this tag to describe the image, using a keyword term is fine if it isn’t overdone and make sure it is relevant.

If you are an SEO expert, or just someone that has studied SEO and have something to share on the subject—I highly encourage you to comment and tell us your thoughts on this ever-changing piece of the web optimization puzzle.

3 Web Optimization Tweaks that Have Improved Conversions as Much as 160%

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Whether you are an online marketer, small business owner, or a copywriter—I found some information that you can use to boost your web/landing pages response. A great article came across my desk this week on 21 different web optimization tweaks that have been shown to improve landing page conversion rates…some as high as 160%.

For the sake of time, I picked three of the top-performing tweaks and will list them in order of improved conversion rate from smallest to largest. Here we go…

First: Contrasting Color for Your Call-to-Action Buttons – “changing the button color from green to red improved conversions by 32.5%

In this case, the test showed that the “red” button outperformed the “green” button, but as the author says, not so much because it was red, but because it stood out more from the current background. Buttons are a page element that can vary from page to page, product to product—there is no one size fits all. Tweak and test different color and size buttons to see which is best for your page.

The other important part of the button is the “text”—direct the prospect as to what action to take next and what he will get (benefits) for taking the action.

Ex: “Sign Up” vs. “Sign Up and Get Instant Access”

Second: Clear Headlines…”by adding one word, they increased their conversions by 89.97%

Headlines…my all- time favorite. In this test they took a very weak headline, “Natural Joint Relief” and added the word supplement to the end— “Natural Joint Relief Supplement” –increasing conversion by almost 90%.

My guess is that clarity came into play and right away the prospect knew the ad was about a natural joint supplement. In my opinion, this is still a weak headline even with the change and yet after it was tweaked, it still improved performance.

There is so much more room to improve the improvement by adding benefits and focusing on the prospect’s problem. What’s your opinion?

Third: Reduce the Number of Form Fields– “company reduced their 11-field form to 4 fields, which increased their conversions by 160%

And the tweak that resulted in the highest rate of conversion…

Yes, this is an oldie, but goodie. Time after time tests show that the least amount of fields there are in an online form, the greater the conversion. Too many fields act as “mental friction” and can cause the prospect confusion or anxiety about filling out the form. In this case, less is always more.

I highly encourage you to read Smriti Chawla’s article, “21 Conversion Optimization Best Practices for Beginners” and use it as a checklist of items to tweak and test your web/landing pages!

Test Results Revealed: How Listing a Phone Number Increased Web Page Visits by Over 18%

Image courtesy of MisterGC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of MisterGC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I write a lot about tweaking and testing your business web pages to see what elements perform the best. This week’s article is about how not only listing a phone number on a checkout web page performed better, BUT how the right phone number on a checkout page increased visits by over 18% according to a blog post published by Creative Direct Marketing Group.

A flower shop business decided to test two different phone numbers on their checkout page…a local number and a toll-free phone number. THE WINNER: the local number.

You might say, “Why would this be?—I mean wouldn’t people outside of the immediate area rather have a toll-free number listed for their convenience?”

While this is probably true, it may be that a “local” phone number gives the perception that the business is more accessible…(true or not, noticed I said perception).  A toll-free number may have given the appearance of a business far off in the distance somewhere.

Result: The local phone number may have lessened some of the mental hesitancy and anxiety a prospect may feel when buying online.

In any case, I think contact information (and a phone number especially) can make a prospect feel a lot more comfortable about handing over his hard-earned money when making a purchase online.

As the article said, “Clearly, Flowers Across Melbourne’s prospects were more comfortable with a local number than a toll-free number.”

I’d take it a step further and say a phone number (local or not) gives more credibility than just an email—it just depends on your target market.

I recently made a sizable purchase online for some software. I have to admit that I was very nervous because there was no phone number listed anywhere on the business website—not even on the support page. The only contact info listed were the standard email addresses… info@, support@, etc.

There is something comforting to a prospect to know that should there be a problem, he can pick up the phone, hear a voice, and deal with a real person.

I went against my better judgment and bought anyway because the owner of the website is pretty well-known in his market and has credibility…so I bought…and so far so good.

I’ll close by saying that many people are not like me and would not have taken the chance and purchased—this would have resulted in a lost sale.

You really need to take the time to get to know your prospects, tweak and test, and find out what works best for your business.