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4 Simple UX Practices Proven To Increase Conversions

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4 Simple UX Practices Proven To Increase Conversions


One of the first things I tell prospective customers is that I can send them millions of visitors each month.

I have some hacker friends that can bring in the traffic for us.

The problem is, none of that traffic will convert.

In fact, all that traffic will merely act as a bandwidth drain.

Bottom line – if the SEO traffic we send to our client’s sites doesn’t convert, we get fired.

I don’t like getting fired and am willing to bet you don’t, either.

Let’s take a look at a few proven conversion rate optimization (CRO) tactics you can use to move the needle in the right direction.

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Conversion Rate Optimization Can Get Expensive

I am a huge fan of CRO.

But true CRO requires significant testing.

Significant testing requires high-level tools, personnel, and a lot of time.

If you want to have statistically significant proof that your landing page is going to work, you’ll have to spend some significant time and money.

But most people can improve their conversion rates by double-digit percentages simply by following the best practices in this column.

1. A Form On Every Page

Having a form on every page increases conversion rates.

One of the most popular questions I get is, “By how much?”

And the answer is, truly, “It depends.”

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But I’ve never seen a site that implemented forms on every page that didn’t see a significant increase in conversion rates.

The reason that forms work is simple.

Consumers typically visit several sites that meet the criteria they have set for a vendor.

In the B2B world, this could be an intern tasked with finding the best solution for a CEO’s problem.

On the B2C side, it could be a list of top sellers of a hot product.

Granted, in an ecommerce situation, the top vendors of a hot product will simply see their ecommerce sales rise.

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However, in the case of a product sell-off, vendors with forms collect far more customers to follow up with once stock is replenished.

These customers are also amazing to re-connect with when your company is having a sale, getting rid of overstocked inventory, looking to boost sales during slow times, or merely adding to mailing lists promoting targeted offers.

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2. Unique Selling Proposition Is The Best Bait

First, if you don’t have a unique selling proposition (USP), it’s probably a good idea to go and create one.

For those not familiar, a USP is simply a reason that people should buy from you instead of somewhere else.

Your USP not only helps you make the initial sale or get the contact, but it should also serve as one of the reasons your customers keep coming back.

Think of your USP as the extra bait on your hook.

Consumers, whether they are looking to buy a physical product or provide their contact information to become a lead, need something to move them from being a prospect to being a customer.

The USP is frequently the gravity that moves a consumer through the sales process.

A good USP is frequently the difference between a sale and a skunk.

However, a well-crafted USP will not appeal to everyone.

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By definition, it can’t.

A USP is meant to appeal specifically to the customers you want for your product or services.

In fact, in some cases, your USP will be specifically formulated to appeal to certain customers, and not appeal to others.

For instance, if you have a high-end product, your product is probably not going to be right for a customer that is budget-conscious.

In order to write a proper USP, you’ll need to understand your customer base and create a message that appeals to them.

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Don’t be afraid to give them a specific message that will appeal directly to them.

It’s ok to lose a customer that wasn’t that into you.

But it’s a crime to lose a customer that is ready to pull out their wallet and purchase directly from you.

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3. Chat – Front And Center

You can work to answer every question that has come before, but that doesn’t mean that your new customer doesn’t have a question you haven’t thought of.

Having chat on your site is a game-changer when it comes to conversion rate optimization.

In my experience, chat alone on a site can increase the rate of conversion by up to 30%.

And you don’t even have to have full chat on the site.

What do I mean by that?

On our site, we have chat, but it acts more like another form than an actual chat.

Our chat is not monitored.

It acts as an answering machine.

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When a customer visits our site after they have interacted with a couple of pages, a chatbox pops up saying, “Have a question about our price, our services? Want to see more? Chat with me now!”

Once the visitor starts a chat, they are met with a dialogue stating we aren’t available right now but if they leave a message we will get back to them.

I come into the office at least five to seven times a week where someone has filled out that form.

Those were leads that most likely would never come through the door without online chat.

4. Phone Number In The Upper-Right-Hand Corner

More and more, I run into prospects that don’t think it’s necessary to provide their phone number on their site.

In fact, for many, a success metric includes cutting down the amount of time on the phone.

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I think this is a mistake.

Not only should you be happy when your customers call you, but you should also be recording their phone calls and looking for things you can make better or more efficient.

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If your business is technical in nature – say you sell a SAAS product or other item that requires some training for the customer – then cutting down on tech support phone calls is a legitimate goal.

But if you are selling a product or service, you want your potential customers to pick up the phone when they have a question.

In fact, you may learn something from those customers that pick up the phone that is keeping your shy customers from entering their credit card number in the first place.

Having your phone number buried on your site is almost like an admission of guilt to some consumers.

These consumers figure if you are scared to talk on the phone you don’t have confidence in your product or service.

In reality, most website owners simply look at a phone call as the failure of their masterful communication on their website.

But Web consumers are trained to look for a site’s phone number in the upper-right corner of the site.

Place it there and put call tracking analytics on it to see how many calls you get.

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Record the calls and have an operations person regularly listen.

You’ll be surprised at the insights you can gain.

Bottom Line

You don’t have to spend a million dollars to increase your conversion rates.

There are simple things you can do.

Rely on your USP, your chat, and your phone number, and I suspect you’ll see your numbers increase in a short period of time.

More resources: 


Featured Image: Vectorideas/Shutterstock

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SEO

How To Use Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper

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How To Use Google's Structured Data Markup Helper

If you drill down to the very core, every search engine optimization (SEO) strategy has the same aim: convincing Google your webpage is the best answer to a user’s query.

There are a lot of tactics you can and should employ to achieve this, but that’s the goal.

And, as the Google brain has grown more complex, it’s able to display increasingly more detailed and helpful answers.

For example, if you’re looking to book a flight from Chicago O’Hare to LAX, Google can now show you options in rich snippets on search results pages.

Likewise, if you run a concert venue, you can add code known as structured data to your website that will encourage Google to display your events when they’re relevant to web searchers.

If you’re not familiar with the term “structured data,” don’t fret – there are a lot of SEO professionals and web marketers who aren’t.

In this article, we’ll set that right, plus give you tips on using the Structured Data Markup Helper to easily add it to your site.

What Is Structured Data?

As defined in this post, structured data is information (data) that is organized (structured). Organized information is basically what structured data is.

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For SEO purposes, structured data is a specific type of formatting that gives Google information about the meaning of a page.

Following a standardized vocabulary outlined by Schema.org, it is used across several search engines, including Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex.

Structured data can use syntax like JSON-LD, RDFa, and Microdata, among others.

Why Is Structured Data Important?

There are several reasons why webpages use structured data.

For one thing, it makes navigation easier for both search engine crawlers and human users.

This is because it provides the information that can then be displayed on search engine results pages (SERPs) in the form of rich snippets, video carousels, and other special search result features and enhancements.

This leads to faster indexing by search spiders and enhances your site’s search visibility. This can also help improve your click-through rate, increase conversions, and grab more voice search traffic.

In an article for Search Engine Journal, Winston Burton, Senior Vice President of SEO at global search and marketing agency Acronym, detailed the results of adding structured data to the client’s website.

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With no other optimization strategies employed, the client saw a 400% net growth in rich result organic traffic and a 140% growth in impressions for the company’s answer center.

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Even if this is a statistical outlier, it still highlights the massive potential of using structured data.

What Is Structured Data Used For?

Now that we’ve covered what structured data is and why it’s important, let’s look into some of the ways it can be used.

In an April 2022 Google Search Central SEO office-hours hangout, Google Search Advocate John Mueller dove into structured data and its uses.

If you have 30 minutes to spare, it’s well worth the watch. If you’re in a hurry, the part that’s relevant to the current topic begins at 27:19. Or better yet, read Roger Montti’s coverage of it here.

In this hangout, Mueller was asked a question about how to choose the best format for structured data.

His answer was that it’s not so much about what format a page uses, but rather what kind of rich result is available for the page.

Structured data is very versatile and provides a lot of opportunities for businesses to use it to drive clicks. Some of these you may wish to take advantage of include:

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Knowledge Panels

Used for things that are part of the Google Knowledge Graph, they provide a quick overview of information about a topic.

Screenshot from search, Google, June 2022

As a business, you can use knowledge panels to give users at-a-glance information about your brand name, logo, and phone number, among other things.

Rich Snippets

Sometimes referred to as rich results, this is the additional data Google shows users in addition to normal search results. This may include things like music, events, or recipes.

Rich Snippets ExampleScreenshot from search, Google, June 2022

For commercial purposes, this is where reviews can be shown. It can also highlight things like products, addresses, and special offers.

Hosted Carousels

Common on mobile devices, this shows multiple “cards” from the same site.

Not to be confused with ordinary carousels, which can include images, video, and other data pulled from multiple sites, hosted carousels use content from only one “host” site.

Google currently supports the following types of hosted carousels:

  • Educational Course.
  • Movie.
  • Recipe.
  • Restaurant.
Carousel exampleScreenshot from search, Google, June 2022

AdWords

If you’re using Google’s automated ads as part of your PPC strategy, you can use structured snippets to give more information to customers.

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For example, you could use them to provide information about a line of products, included features or services offered.

AdWords exampleScreenshot from search, Google, June 2022

But, before you go inserting structured snippets into your webpages willy-nilly, you should know these are subject to standard Google Ads policies and must meet a number of requirements, a full list of which can be found here.

Getting Started With Structured Data

By now you should see the benefits structured data can offer, so let’s look at how to add it to your website.

The simplest way to add structured data to your webpage is by using Google’s Data Highlighter tool.

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To use this, simply open the tool and highlight data like name, date, location, etc. with your mouse.

Google will note this information the next time it crawls your site and present the data in rich snippets on search results pages.

You can also manually markup elements on HTML webpages. Sound intimidating? It’s not. You just have to have a small working knowledge of coding.

For your convenience, we’ve provided a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:

  1.   Open Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper.
  2.   Click the “Website” tab.
  3.   Select the type of page you’re marking up (e.g., job postings, restaurants, Q&A page, local businesses, etc.)
  4.   Enter the URL of an existing page or raw page HTML.
  5.   Click “Start Tagging.”
  6.   Highlight the parts of the page you want to be included in rich snippets and identify them in the dropdown that appears.
  7.   Fill in the required information. For an event, this includes the event name, location, and date.
  8.   After you have finished tagging, click the “Create HTML” button and choose an output format. JSON-LD is Google’s preferred format, though you can also choose Microdata.
  9.   Copy the code or download it. If you are using JSON-LD, paste the generated code into the body of the existing page. If you choose Microdata, replace your page with the generated HTML.
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Some other things to note:

  • To test the generated code, copy and paste it into the Rich Result test, which will show you any missing fields you need to fill in.
  • You can have multiple items on one page, but Google recommends that they are all the same type, e.g., all movies or all job postings.
  • All pages you want to display rich snippets for should be available to the public and not hidden behind login screens.
  • It may take a few weeks for Google to crawl your new page, but once it does it can be shown in rich snippets.

Is Structured Data A Ranking Signal?

Now for the $10,000 question: Will structured data markup help your site appear higher in search rankings?

Unfortunately, no.

In a deep dive into the topic, Search Engine Journal found that while it offers many benefits, there is no direct evidence schema markup is used by Google to determine search ranking.

That said, because it helps search engines more easily understand the content of your website, it can help you show up in relevant queries you may have been excluded from in the past.

Key Takeaways

Traffic is always the name of the game in digital marketing. And leveraging structured data on your website is a great way to help attract visitors.

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Not only does it enhance the appearance of your content in search results, but it can help your site get indexed faster.

Rich results (particularly positive product reviews) can also significantly improve your click-through rate and average time on the page.

If your page is used in a featured snippet, it will show at the top of SERPs.

In addition to the increase in visibility that provides, featured snippets are used to answer voice search queries. That means you’ll be the only result for anyone who uses Siri or Alexa for a query.

The final reason you should use structured data on your website is that it gives you more control over your information.

You determine how Google understands your brand and allows you to control how your information is defined.

Structured data is a useful tool in your toolbox. It doesn’t work for every site and every type of content, but if you’re in a field where it is useful, it’s something you need to be using.


Featured Image: NicoElNino/Shutterstock

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