2015 Online Marketing Tips From The Experts [Infographic]

It’s that time of year again, in what seems to be an annual Tribes blog tradition.

In 2012, we we’re lucky enough to get 7 marketing experts to share their best marketing tip. In 2013, we collected even more with 13 marketing experts.

And now, we’ve gone and outdone ourselves again by collecting 15 marketing tips from authors, keynote speakers, founders and CEO’s who are amongst the worlds best online marketers.

Sometimes, you will read an experts post and you might not even know half of them, but this list is different. Every one of the names below is instantly recognizable. And better yet, we’ve created an Infographic to highlight the key take-aways.

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14 Conversion Rate Tools That Every Expert Needs

Conversion rate optimization tools

Exclusive Bonus: Click here to download all 14 Conversion Rate Tools and Receive 7 Bonus Tools not mentioned in this post

The best conversion rate experts use a set of  tools to help them optimize websites based on research, data and testing.

At the end of 2014, digital marketers’ put conversion rate optimization on the top of their priority list.

That’s right, ahead of content marketing, mobile marketing and search engine optimization, marketers’ listed “driving increased conversion rates” as the number one priority.

And why wouldn’t we? For the same traffic, we get more revenue. It makes sense.

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The Roadmap to Successful Conversion Optimization

CRO, conversion rate optimization or conversion optimization. Whatever you call it, it’s currently hot. Very hot. Because who wouldn’t want to earn more with the same number of visitors? Conversion optimization is often approached incorrectly… In this article, I’ll show you how not to do it. But more importantly, how it must be done. Step by step.

buttons

CRO is not about button colors!

Do you recognize yourself? You read an article in which Company X increased its conversion rate by 50%, by changing the color of the call-to-action button from red to orange. You happen to have red buttons on your site as well. So you set up an A/B test to see whether orange buttons would work better for you. In the worst case, you don’t even do an A/B test and you just make all your buttons orange in a hurry. Let the money roll in!

But what happens? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. No difference at all.

And so you decide: CRO doesn’t work! Wrong. CRO works ridiculously well. Only not that way.

How should you do it?

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2014 Online Marketing Tips From The Experts

As 2013 draws to a close, it’s helpful for online marketers to start to look ahead as to what 2014 will offer.

At the end of 2012, we asked 7 online marketing experts to share their best advice for 2013. In this post, we’ve gone one step further and gathered 12  experts to share their best tip for 2014 when it comes to online marketing.

In 2012, the expert tips were to focus on mobile, conversion optimization and content creation. And they were right, as these trends exploded. What’s interesting is that similar tips are shared for 2014.

If you missed out on last years tips, you won’t want to miss out on this years advice. We have authors, keynote speakers, founders and CEO’s and all of them are instantly recognizable.

12 online experts share best marketing tip for 2014

rand-fishkin-1

Rand Fishkin | Moz | @randfish

Surveys, interviews, usability tests, phone calls, and emails can all help, but there is no substitute for experiencing your audience’s pain yourself. If at all possible, I love to make myself and my team into real users of our product, trying to solve actual issues with our tools (or find information targeted by our content). That builds a personal experience from which you can project yourself into many other audience mindsets. The only caveat – be careful about over-extrapolating a single experience out to a wide market.

Bryan-Eisenberg

Bryan Eisenberg | Best Selling Author | @thegrok

The single biggest reason why people fail to convert on a website is that they could not get their buying questions answered. Most often this happens because they land in the wrong place and navigation (or internal search) makes it difficult or impossible for them to push their confidence levels high enough to purchase (or become a lead) and not feel any buyers remorse. This year it would be great if you started thinking about your business the way Jeff Bezos thinks about Amazon.com; they are not in the business of selling books but in the business of helping customers buy books. This is true customer centricity. A Bain survey recently shared that 80 percent of company executives believed they delivered a “superior experience” to their customers. But when Bain asked the executive’s same customers about their own perceptions, only 8 percent of customers felt those companies were really delivering. Which camp will you fall into in 2014?

Neil-Patel

Neil Patel | Quicksprout | @neilpatel

My best marketing tip for 2014 is to create really detailed content. I do so on Quick Sprout through advanced guides that are 30,000 to 40,000 words and it is causing me to get hundreds of thousands of visitors.

It takes a lot of time and energy to create these guides, but the traffic is worth it.

Ben-Jesson-Karl-Blanks

Ben Jesson & Dr Karl Blanks | Conversion Rate Experts

Again and again, we observe that our most successful clients have great products (or services). A great product trumps everything.

  • So our tip for this year is: Do whatever you can to create a great product.
  • Once you have a great product, you’ll find it easy to create a great conversion funnel.
  • And once you have a great conversion funnel, you’ll find it easy to afford traffic.
  • A great product is like a firework. The marketer just needs to light the touchpaper.
  • A poor product is like a wet firework. It takes a lot of skill to light it, and you might wish that you hadn’t.
 Chris Goward

Chris Goward | Wider Funnel@chrisgoward

Stop worrying about your bounce rate!

If you’re improving the wrong goals for your web marketing, you could be moving very fast—in the wrong direction. If you’re not sure, start with how to improve the right website optimization goals. Once you’re focused on the right goals, the other decisions become easier.

Then, make a commitment to continuous A/B split testing and optimization in 2014.

 Brian Massey

Brian Massey | Customer Creation Equation | @bmassey

Look at your analytics as a fluffy snugly toy, the kind you take to bed with you every night when you kick off your bunny slippers. Marketers and business owners who can’t grasp some simple graphs and reports are sleeping alone in the cold night of the internet. You don’t have to be “mathy.” But you do have to be friends with data and understand some simple rules about it.

 Peep Laja

Peep Laja | Conversion XL | @peeplaja

Data-driven approach is the future, and if you’re not a master of analytics and testing, you will be left behind. In 2014, invest heavily in becoming really, really good at gathering and interpreting data into actionable steps, and validating your hypotheses through testing. You need to know *exactly* what’s happening on every page of your website. Learn to go from “I don’t know” to “I’ll find out”.

Linda Bustos

Linda Bustos | Get Elastic | @Roxyyo

My best marketing tip for 2014 is to experiment with Twitter Promoted Tweets. It can be tough to build your own audience on Twitter, but this new ad option enables you to reach followers of other users’ accounts and pin your promoted tweet to the top of their feeds for more exposure. It’s inexpensive to run a $100 test campaign to see how it performs, and you can promote individual tweets. So for example, if you are an ecommerce site that sells vintage style clothing, you could target followers of @asos, @nastygal and @modcloth (among others in the niche), and be sure to include images or Vines in your tweet to show off your wares for highest response. It’s a very targeted way to get your message out to new people for customer acquisition.

Stephen-Pavlovich

Stephen Pavlovich | Conversion Factory | @conversionfac

The opportunity in mobile conversion optimization is huge. Having a responsive site is a good start, but testing now will give you a huge advantage over the competition. (And if you don’t have a responsive or mobile site, pick one crucial page on your website and split-test it against a mobile version of just that single page – it’ll quickly show you the opportunity.)

Brad-Geddes-1

Brad Geddes | Certified Knowledge | @bgtheory

In 2012 search marketing started to shift from keywords to audiences and this trend accelerated in 2013. Today, you must understand your target market beyond the keyword. What are your audiences, their demographics, their similarities, their differences, and their online behavior? While we won’t abandon keywords in 2014, if you want to stay on the cutting edge of marketing techniques, you must begin to switch your promotions away from just relying on keyword groupings and towards audience segmented offers.

 Chris Hexton

Chris Hexton | Vero | @chexton

2014 looks like it’s going to be about mobile, at least when it comes to email. There’s a lot of great data out there at the moment about increasing open rates on mobile devices so marketers need to make sure they’re optimizing for this!

Gerry McGovern

Gerry McGovern | Customer Carewords | @gerrymcgovern

Treat your existing customers as if they were prospects. Get to know them better by observing what they are doing online, not what they say they are doing. Recognize the shift in power and influence towards the customer. Always keep in mind that a current customer is a potential not-a-customer-anymore.

There you have it. 12 great tips from some of the best online marketers in the world, which covers mobile, content creation and data driven marketing. If you want to add to the list of marketing tips, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

What is your best marketing tip for 2014? Do you agree with the experts?

* Update: Gerry McGovern added to the list of experts on 19.12.2013

How Site Speed & A Slow Website Impacts Online Sales

When was the last time you abandoned a website because it took too long to load?

If you’re like me, then there’s not too many things that are more frustrating than a slow website!

In 2006, 40% of online shoppers were abandoning a website if it took more than four seconds to load. In today’s fast paced world, people expect a website to load in two seconds or less. That’s right. 2 seconds.

According to Amazon.com, for every one second delay, conversions will drop by 7%. That’s a $2.5 million loss per year if you sell $100,000 per day.

Conversion rate by page load speed

A study by Akamai in 2009 surveyed more than 1,000 online shoppers and found that more than 47% of people expect a web page in load in two seconds or less. The research also found that speed impacts customer loyalty with:

  • 52% claim that a quick page load is important to the loyalty of the website
  • 64% who are not happy with the site will shop at a competitor
  • 79% are less likely to return to the website

A slow website not only affects your online sales, but 27% are also less likely to shop at the sites physical store.

In 2010, Gomez interviewed more than 1,500 online shoppers in their “Why Web Performance Matters” report.  One of the biggest findings from the Gomez report was that more than two-thirds told others about a disappointing web experience.

A slow website will lead to you losing business online and offline and customers will shop elsewhere

Site speed improves SEO

Another important aspect to site speed is SEO (search engine optimization). A slow website not only provides a poor user experience, but will also get your website penalized in the search results.

Site speed became a focus to search engine ranking factors in 2009, which came from a usability test that both Google and Bing conducted to determine the impact of a slower search results page.

In their study, Google found that by slowing page speed down from 100 to 400 milliseconds. the number of searches per user decreased over a four to six weeks period.

Bing’s study had a measureable impact on clicks and revenue by delaying the search results by two seconds. Bing found that the two delay decreased revenue by 4.3% per visitor. With more than 48 million monthly visitors, that’s a huge loss.

Websites are getting slower

Eight years ago, Amazon announced that for every 100ms of website speed improvement, they saw a 1% increase in revenue. Yet for the leading eCommerce sites, websites are getting slower.

Top 500 Retailers Average Page Speed

In just over eighteen months, studies* have revealed that of the top 500 retailers:

  • Only 8% use image compression
  • The average page load time is 7.72 seconds
  • Sites are 13.7% slower compared to 2012

* Studies using Google Chrome browser

In order to fix your site speed issues, there are a number of tools you can use. Here are three of the best tools you can use to test your site speed:

Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool provides recommendations on what you can do in order to make your site faster. The most common problems experienced are browser caching, un-optimized images and minifying JavaScript/ CSS.

Impact of making your site faster

Prioritizing site speed improvements is challenging.But there are ways to increase site speed, or perceived site speed. One way to get internal buy-in is to run your competitor websites through the WebPageTest tool and using the ‘create video’ function.

SuperOffice compared their site speed with SalesForce, Zoho and Sugar CRM. The test discovered that SuperOffice’s competitor sites were loading in just over two seconds, whereas SuperOffice took 12.8 seconds to load.

By watching the video comparison, SuperOffice could see that the flash was taking a long time to load. As a result, the flash banner was removed from the home page and a new video test was created, comparing SuperOffice websites – One website without flash and three websites with flash.

The second video test found that:

  • Page load speed WITH flash = 11 seconds
  • Page load speed WITHOUT flash – 2.7 seconds

This means that by removing the flash banner, the website speed improved by 10 seconds.

Their website now loads faster, which delivers a greater user experience. But how does this impact conversion rates?

SuperOffice compared the changes five days after the change with the five days prior to the change.

The result was that conversion rate increased by 88%, from 0.36% to 0.67% and goal completions increased by 78%, from 19 to 34.

Impact of Page Speed to Conversion Rates

During the comparison period, overall web traffic decreased by 4% and no other marketing activities were launched. The only change documented was the improvement to site speed.

Make site speed a priority

A slow website will negatively impact your business, and website users expect your site load within two seconds. A fast website is no longer a luxury or a nice-to-have. It’s expected.  And by keeping a slow website, your customers will turn to the competition.

Here are five steps you can take to make sure your website loads faster:

  1. Use the conversion loss calculator to estimate how much revenue you are losing
  2. Use the WebPageTest tool to compare your site speed against your competitors
  3. Send these results to the senior management or CEO to make site speed a priority

Once you have been given the go ahead to improve site speed performance, you can:

  1. Run your most visited 10/25/50 pages through a site speed tool to identify load time issues
  2. Have your IT team fix the problems immediately

Once your page speed issues have been fixed, you can then monitor the improve to your conversion rates.

Looking for More Conversion Rate Optimization Tools?

I’ve created a list of 18 Conversion Rate Optimization tools that every CRO experts needs to boost conversion rates.

And I’m sharing them with you, for free.

Access the tools below.

Other resources: