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How To Fix Your Landing Page Conversion Mistakes

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You notice traffic picking up on your landing page. You eagerly wait for the weekly report to see a corresponding increase in conversions.

It arrives, and you discover the conversion rate dropped.

Why didn’t more traffic lead to more conversions?

Many reasons exist, but to identify the one(s) relevant to your page, take a step back and analyze the root cause.

Conversion rates drop as landing page traffic picks up? It’s time to investigate, says @Lakshmi_writes via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Here are five of the most common pitfalls to consider and some ideas on how to rectify them:

1. People visiting your website aren’t your target customers

Think about it. Some people are visiting your landing page, but they don’t convert because they aren’t looking for what you offer.

To get to the bottom of this possibility, check the source(s) that leads your visitors to the landing page. One of two problems likely exists.

Search engines

If much of your traffic comes from search engine results, your page’s content, especially its keywords and key phrases, could be the top suspect.

Google and other search engines like categorize and rank your content differently than how you intended. Let me break it down with this example:

Let’s assume you create a landing page designed to convert visitors interested in your air conditioner maintenance services. The target keyword is “air conditioner maintenance.” You include product names and key phrases mentioning buying options.

When the search engines crawl the page, they interpret it as a page selling air conditioners. People who click on the ranking result intend to buy air conditioners. Instead, they find content about how to maintain them after they buy.

Now you can see why the visitors who land on the page don’t convert.

If search engines interpret your #content with an intent different than yours, search-directed visitors likely won’t convert, says @Lakshmi_writes via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

How can you check to see if that’s the problem? Find out the keywords for which your site’s pages are ranking. The keyword analysis will identify your top-ranking keywords. Do they match your content and business intentions?

This process is especially helpful for businesses that serve customers in their region. You need people from the location where you sell to visit your website. You don’t care about the same type of audience from other locations. In this case, you need the keywords relevant to your location.

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Online ads

You want people to click on your ad. In doing so, you may go overboard with promises you can’t fulfill.

Let’s assume your brand sells food to a diet-focused audience. The ad includes the text: “Guilt-Free Snacking – We Mean It!” The health-conscious prospect is excited and clicks the ad. After landing on the page, it would just take a few seconds to figure out the “guilt-free” snack contains significant calories. Not only does the calorie count induce guilt, it induces the visitor to leave the landing page without converting.

Though an enticing promise in an ad can lead to a spike in your landing page traffic, it will not yield high conversions, and worse, it could make visitors distrust your brand long into the future.

Keep your ads honest and straightforward. It’s OK to add some garnishes and sugary words if you want, but never cross the line and add details to mislead people.

2. Your content doesn’t hook visitors

The headline and opening line matter a lot since it’s usually the first thing people read when they land on your page. It needs to hook visitors and keep them interested. Advertising legend David Ogilvy says it all in this quote:

On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent 80 cents out of your dollar.

His thinking is reinforced by a stat from Copyblogger: On average, eight out of 10 people will read headline copy. Only two out of 10 will read the rest.

You need that headline to be compelling, magnetic, and tempting enough for your audience to read further.

To convert landing page traffic, first write a compelling, magnetic, and tempting headline, says @Lakshmi_writes via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Of course, you also can’t neglect the impact of the rest of the content, as it all contributes to the likelihood of a visitor converting.

Just think about what you generally do when landing on a website. You read the headline and you’re intrigued. You read more of the content. However, you probably don’t read every word from top to bottom. You read the first few lines, scroll down, read the headings, go to the last section, and may scroll back up again. If it doesn’t relate closely to what you want to know, you leave unconverted. It’s as simple as that.

People typically don’t read websites; they scan them. Here are a few tips to keep your scanning visitors hooked:

  • Make every single heading matter.
  • Use an easy-to-read font size.
  • Use a combination of header tags, italics, and font colors to differentiate the content and bring attention to specific points.
  • Keep the tone casual and conversational. Make the audience feel as if you are talking directly to them.
  • Identify pain points the visitors likely are experiencing.
  • Highlight a few ways your brand aims to solve them and include testimonials.

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3. The design doesn’t do justice to the content

Yes, content is important. But the website design is at least if not more important. A bad user experience could harm your conversion funnel even when your content is perfectly on target.

Go back to your web designer with information so they can work to design a more attractive and useful page. Give them links to customer profiles, previous successful converting landing pages, etc. Then, they can work with the page’s content creator to better design a page that functions well for visitors.

TIP: Create two or more landing pages to test CTA positions, color schemes, etc., to see what converts the best.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: 3 Graphic Design Tips for Non-Designers

4. Your landing page takes a long time to load

You could have the most relevant content in the best-designed package, and sometimes visitors leave without seeing the whole page. No one has the patience to wait for 10 seconds for the page to load.

A long loading time also can contribute to poor search engine rankings. (Go to Google Analytics and check out your site speed to see the current speed and loading time.)

If it’s more than three seconds, reduce the size of images and videos to increase the pace. You can find other options to save time in this Moz article about increasing page speed.

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5. Pop-ups get in the way

Irritating your visitors with pop-ups they don’t want to see is a sure way to drive them away. You frustrate them more when those pop-ups have tiny close buttons that are impossible to find. Visitors click on the corners, on the outside of pop-ups, and wherever they can to close it. When nothing works, they simply leave.

Let’s be honest. As much as people hate pop-ups, you still might benefit from them. The best solution is to create pop-ups that are less likely to annoy visitors. Create them in a medium-size with crisp and attention-worthy content and an easily visible close button.

Don’t bombard visitors with 10 pop-ups. Use no more than three at the most. If you think you need more, rotate the pop-up promotions or send them on a time-appropriate basis.

Stick your landing page conversions

When you get good traffic on a landing page but the visitors don’t convert, it’s time to investigate. Explore the root cause – likely related to your content, design, or user experience – and fix it immediately. Then, you can see your conversions rise higher in proportion to the landing page traffic.

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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YouTube Ad Specs, Sizes, and Examples [2024 Update]

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YouTube Ad Specs, Sizes, and Examples

Introduction

With billions of users each month, YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and top website for video content. This makes it a great place for advertising. To succeed, advertisers need to follow the correct YouTube ad specifications. These rules help your ad reach more viewers, increasing the chance of gaining new customers and boosting brand awareness.

Types of YouTube Ads

Video Ads

  • Description: These play before, during, or after a YouTube video on computers or mobile devices.
  • Types:
    • In-stream ads: Can be skippable or non-skippable.
    • Bumper ads: Non-skippable, short ads that play before, during, or after a video.

Display Ads

  • Description: These appear in different spots on YouTube and usually use text or static images.
  • Note: YouTube does not support display image ads directly on its app, but these can be targeted to YouTube.com through Google Display Network (GDN).

Companion Banners

  • Description: Appears to the right of the YouTube player on desktop.
  • Requirement: Must be purchased alongside In-stream ads, Bumper ads, or In-feed ads.

In-feed Ads

  • Description: Resemble videos with images, headlines, and text. They link to a public or unlisted YouTube video.

Outstream Ads

  • Description: Mobile-only video ads that play outside of YouTube, on websites and apps within the Google video partner network.

Masthead Ads

  • Description: Premium, high-visibility banner ads displayed at the top of the YouTube homepage for both desktop and mobile users.

YouTube Ad Specs by Type

Skippable In-stream Video Ads

  • Placement: Before, during, or after a YouTube video.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Vertical: 9:16
    • Square: 1:1
  • Length:
    • Awareness: 15-20 seconds
    • Consideration: 2-3 minutes
    • Action: 15-20 seconds

Non-skippable In-stream Video Ads

  • Description: Must be watched completely before the main video.
  • Length: 15 seconds (or 20 seconds in certain markets).
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Vertical: 9:16
    • Square: 1:1

Bumper Ads

  • Length: Maximum 6 seconds.
  • File Format: MP4, Quicktime, AVI, ASF, Windows Media, or MPEG.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 640 x 360px
    • Vertical: 480 x 360px

In-feed Ads

  • Description: Show alongside YouTube content, like search results or the Home feed.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Square: 1:1
  • Length:
    • Awareness: 15-20 seconds
    • Consideration: 2-3 minutes
  • Headline/Description:
    • Headline: Up to 2 lines, 40 characters per line
    • Description: Up to 2 lines, 35 characters per line

Display Ads

  • Description: Static images or animated media that appear on YouTube next to video suggestions, in search results, or on the homepage.
  • Image Size: 300×60 pixels.
  • File Type: GIF, JPG, PNG.
  • File Size: Max 150KB.
  • Max Animation Length: 30 seconds.

Outstream Ads

  • Description: Mobile-only video ads that appear on websites and apps within the Google video partner network, not on YouTube itself.
  • Logo Specs:
    • Square: 1:1 (200 x 200px).
    • File Type: JPG, GIF, PNG.
    • Max Size: 200KB.

Masthead Ads

  • Description: High-visibility ads at the top of the YouTube homepage.
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 or higher.
  • File Type: JPG or PNG (without transparency).

Conclusion

YouTube offers a variety of ad formats to reach audiences effectively in 2024. Whether you want to build brand awareness, drive conversions, or target specific demographics, YouTube provides a dynamic platform for your advertising needs. Always follow Google’s advertising policies and the technical ad specs to ensure your ads perform their best. Ready to start using YouTube ads? Contact us today to get started!

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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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