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Meta Research Reveals Conversion Optimization Best Practices

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Meta Research Reveals Conversion Optimization Best Practices

Meta published a whitepaper containing the results of a study of 500 landing page experiences. The research provides insights that can help design better landing pages that convert at a higher rate and provide better user experiences that translates into repeat customers and referrals.

A yoga company reported a 13% increase in sales by following best practices as suggested by Meta.

They yoga company reported:

“Most of our traffic comes from mobile consumers, so it’s really important to create a seamless mobile landing page experience,” says Tiffany Tran, KlientBoost’s lead designer. “By focusing on the complete user experience from ad click to landing page, we’ve been able to see big increases in our conversion rates, which has directly led to more signups.”

Destination Pages

The Meta research defines five kinds of destination pages that a user can land on:

  1. Home page
    Provides an overview of products and services and provides a path forward to the next pages
  2. Product listing page
    Offers product details, ability to research and compare and navigate to a product purchase candidate
  3. Product details page
    Answers product questions and provides a clear path to adding the product to the shopping cart
  4. Form-driven landing page
    Designed to get visitors to fill out a form
  5. Landing page
    Primary purpose is to get visitors to another page

Each kind of landing page has specific ways for optimizing them. However what all have in common is a friction-less user experience.

The whitepaper observed:

“Consumer expectations of frictionless and delightful shopping experiences are higher than ever.

In a recent survey, 80% of people said the experience a business provides is as important as its product. …A survey by Emplifi found that 32% of consumers would stop doing business with a brand they love after only one negative experience.”

Best Practices for Conversion Optimization

While each form of landing page has their own specific optimizations, Meta found that there are three main optimization features.

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The three main important considerations for optimizing a destination pages are:

  1. Speed
  2. Details and answers
  3. Mobile optimized page elements

Speed

The Meta research recommends that pages load in less than three seconds because their research discovered that more than 50% of visitors will abandon a website that takes longer than three seconds to load up.

The research paper cited an advertiser who optimized their pages for speed and improved their bounce rate by 56%, experienced a 12% lower cost per page view
and a 5% lower cost per purchase.

Recommended actions for speeding up web pages:

  • “Minimize HTTP requests
  • Improve time to First Contentful Paint (FCP)
  • Deliver optimized assets
  • Defer loading out-of-view content
  • Remove unused third-party code”

Details and Answers

An interesting insight provided by the research was that there must be continuity between the ad that a visitor clicked and the destination page. That means that the images and messaging in the ad should carry through to the destination page.

Furthermore, the pages should answer common questions, details about the product itself like what it’s made of, specifications, value propositions, reviews and provide images that show the product from different angles as well as in use.

So if it’s an outdoor product, show the product in an outdoor setting in a way that the buyer might see themselves using it, what the Meta whitepaper calls, “lifestyle shots.

This is what the whitepaper recommended:

  • “Providing photos of products from different angles or in lifestyle shots, so customers can easily understand how the product looks in the real world
  • Sharing relevant product details through specifications that outline dimensions, bullet points explaining features and size charts that render well on mobile, so consumers can determine they’re buying the correct product”

The whitepaper also suggested reconsidering the mobile user-experience on a monthly basis.

Mobile optimized page elements

This seems like a no-brainer but the Meta whitepaper provides some thoughtful considerations. Chief among the recommendations was that the destination page should make the product information available within the first two viewports.

The whitepaper recommends:

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“Include critical product information within the first two viewports, including review summary, price, promotions, free shipping (if available) and core product attributes.”

Other recommendations include dividing up long content into sections using according headers, that call to action elements should span the entire width of the page, and sticky CTA elements.

With regard to the sticky CTA elements they cite the experience of a retailer that experienced a 3% lift in sales after making a product filter sticky.

They also found that conversions were better if page space were optimized and prioritized by doing things like making chat and promotional elements non-sticky.

Destination Page Scorecard

The whitepaper includes an evaluation scorecard at the end of the paper that helps businesses create a higher converting destination page.

The whitepaper itself is 33 pages long and is worth downloading to learn more details on how to increase sales through conversion optimization tips learned through researching the data.

Citations

Read the Meta Overview

Stick the Landing: How to Optimize Your Destination Page to Improve Ads Performance

Download the Whitepaper (PDF)

How to optimize your ad destination page to improve performance

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Google On How To Simplify Hreflang Implementation

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Google On How To Simplify Hreflang Implementation

Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller says hreflang implementation doesn’t have to be as complicated as people think.

Hreflang is one of the more confusing aspects of technical SEO and among the most important for international businesses and publishers.

In reply to a thread on Reddit, Mueller outlines a simplified approach for publishers to follow.

Hreflang: The Problem

Hreflang is a link attribute that informs Google of the language used on a page. With that information, Google can show the page version corresponding to the language a person is searching in.

Without the hreflang attribute, Google may serve pages in a language the searcher doesn’t speak or pages specific to a country the searcher doesn’t reside.

In the r/TechSEO forum on Reddit, a user is seeking advice regarding the use of hreflang for websites in multiple countries.

They ask if they can get by with a partial implementation of hreflang. For example, they are setting up hreflang for versions of the website in the same language, such as Germany and Switzerland.

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The alternative is linking all versions of all pages with hreflang, which is a considerable amount of work.

Mueller says that’s the best solution, but not exactly practical:

“In an idea [sic] world, you’d link all versions of all pages with hreflang. It would be the clean approach, however, sometimes it’s just a ton of work, and maintaining it if the sites are run individually is … good luck with that.”

Although linking every page with hreflang is the ideal solution, Mueller says it doesn’t have to be so complicated.

Hreflang: The Solution

First, Mueller suggests figuring out what needs fixing.

Identify whether a problem exists with searchers landing on the wrong site version.

If that isn’t happening, you may not need to implement hreflang.

Mueller states:

“In practice, you can simplify the problem. Where do you actually see issues with regards to people coming to the wrong country / language site? That’s where you should minimally implement hreflang (and, of course, a JS country/language recognizer / popupper to catch any direct visits). Probably a lot of that will be limited to same-language / different-country situations, so Switzerland / Germany in German may be the right place to start. Nothing breaks if you set up hreflang for 2 versions and have 4 unrelated versions.

If you already have these sites running, I’d check your analytics setup for traffic from Search, and compare the country where they come from vs the country that they end up on (pick one country, filter for the traffic from search, and compare the domains they end up on). If you don’t find a big mismatch there, most likely you don’t need to do a lot (or anything) for hreflang. There is no bonus for hreflang, it’s only about showing the most-fitting page in search for users in a specific country / language.”

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Next, look at which pages searchers are landing on. One of the most likely mistakes Google can make is serving the wrong version of a website’s homepage.

Since brand names aren’t localized, Google doesn’t always know which version of a homepage to serve if that’s all a user types into the search box.

If you find searchers are landing on the wrong homepage, but there are no issues with other pages, you can get by with a partial implementation of hreflang.

Mueller states:

“When checking, focus on the most likely mistakes first: same-language / different-country sites is one, but there’s also homepage traffic. Often times a brand name is not localized, so when people search for it, it’s unclear to search engines what the expectation is. If you find a lot of mismatches on the homepage but not elsewhere in the site, you can also just do hreflang across the homepages (that’s often easier than all pages in a site). Or you could do a combination, of course, all homepages + all German-language pages. Hreflang is on a per-page basis, so the beauty (and curse) is that you can pick & choose.”

Lastly, Mueller reiterates that it’s possible to save a lot of time with hreflang by checking to see if there’s a genuine problem.

Google may serve the correct versions of pages all on its own, in which case you don’t gain anything by adding hreflang.

“In any case, before you rush off and work on this for a year, double-check that it’s an actual problem first, and if so, check where the problem is. Maybe there are super-simple solutions (maybe you just need a country/language popup and don’t even need the rest?), and you can spend your time more wisely elsewhere.”

Think of hreflang as a tool to utilize when needed. You can prioritize other tasks if there’s no need for it.


Source: Reddit

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