All posts by Phil Lewis

Tips to create an effective “How to” post for increasing traffic

What 1.6 Million Articles Can Teach You about the Perfect “How To” Post

True or false?
It’s harder than ever before to get your content noticed.

The competition is stiff. Over 2 million blog posts are published every day on the Internet. And, according to one study by Content Marketing Institute, over 70% of businesses had created more content in 2015 compared to 2014.

So, how can you stand above the noise?
The folks at BuzzSumo analyzed over 50 million posts last year and found that the best performing ones are “how to” articles. Why do they work? And how do they work?
Here’s what 1.6m “how to” posts can teach about writing the perfect one.

Why People Love “How To” Posts?

You can’t write a bad headline if you start with the words “how to.” These two magic words appeal to the need most people have to improve themselves, to get smarter, richer or to live their lives in a different way.

But, you need to be careful. According to BuzzSumo, the best “how to” articles address the questions the readers are asking and provide value by helping them fulfill a specific need.

Look at this example:
How to Quit Smoking in One Month…or Money Back Guarantee

Suppose instead it said, “How to Follow a Series of Rules That May Eventually Help You Quit Smoking.” It doesn’t have the same effect. And it sounds like a lot of work. It says nothing about the real benefit, and it doesn’t seem to provide the best answer to the audience’s problem.

How to Create the Perfect “How To” Post

Creating a great “how to post” is no easy task. You need to really understand the question your audience is asking to be able to provide the best possible answer.
So, how can you provide valuable tips that help your audience?

Find Out What Questions Your Customers Are Asking

It goes without saying that the perfect “how to” post should provide an answer to a question: “How do I…?” There’s no point to providing an answer to a question nobody’s asking. So you need to identify your audience’s problems, needs or interests.

Go to sites like Quora or Yahoo Answers to see what questions your audience is asking. Use tools like BuzzSumo to research the content your audience is sharing. Or simply ask your prospects via social media, questionnaires or help desks where they need help.

Find the Right Question to Answer

After identifying the questions your audience is asking, you need to determine the question you are going to address. Your article should provide valuable information, so you need to make sure that you have enough data to write an authoritative answer.

Use the Perfect Structure

According to BuzzSumo, the most shared “how to” articles have over 3,000 words and follow a clear structure.
Based on their analysis, the perfect “how to” post should include:

    • Numbered lists
    • Practical tips
    • Easy to scan content
    • Studies to back up claims
    • Links to useful tools
    • Relevant images and videos

“How to” posts are a great way to establish yourself as an authority in your niche. Make sure you follow these tips to write your perfect how-to posts.
And, remember, try to be helpful.

4 Essentials for a powerful exit-intent popups or popovers

4 Tips to Unleash the Conversion Building Powers of Exit-Intent Popups

Look, getting traffic is not that hard. If you have a marketing budget, you can invest in ads and attract as many people as you want.

But, do you know what’s incredibly difficult? Making your traffic stick. If your visitors leave your website without taking action, than all your efforts are in vain.

So, what can you do?
Exit-intent popups are a powerful tool that can persuade users to give a website, another chance.

Think about it this way: you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Your visitors are already on their way out so displaying one popup and trying to convince them to stay can’t hurt you.

But, here’s the trick – you need to optimize them to get the best results.

1. Target Different Visitors with Different Messages

Smart marketers group the people who visit their website into different segments. That way, they can tailor their messages to the specific needs of each audience group. Surely, you won’t be able to send a customized message to all your customers, but you can make them feel appreciated by providing offers tailored to their needs.

Here’s an example: If a visitor leaves your online shop, you can use exit-intent popups to offer them a discount in return for their email. On the other hand, if they are about to exit your blog, you can display an overlay popup that is relevant to what they are currently reading.

2. Make Them Responsive

According to one study from IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark, nearly half of e-commerce traffic comes from mobile devices. As more and more people switch to smartphones and tablets over desktop computers, making your exit-intent popups responsive is not only smart, but mandatory, too.

Follow the same principles in responsive design for your popups as you would for your website. Make sure they fit each screen size, look right and grab people’s attention.

3. Test Your Exit-Intent Headlines & CTAs

It goes without saying that little things can make or break your website – page speed, typos, errors, and copy.

Your exit-intent popups are your last chance at convincing people that you are worthy of their time. So getting your headline and CTA copy right is extremely important.

Don’t use generic messages or a vague CTA. There’s really no space for ambiguity in an exit-intent popup. Make your copy short and actionable, and focus on getting your message across without any interference.

Use exit-intent popups to explain your visitors why they should stick around:

  • You have something free to offer
  • You offer discounts
  • There’s more valuable content they haven’t read yet

4. Make Them Load Fast

On one hand people hate waiting, but on the other hand they love it. Your website falls into the first category. According to one study, 40% of people abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load, and over 79% of online shoppers claim they will leave a web store without buying anything if it performed badly.

To make sure you get the most of your exit-intent popups, ensure they load quickly. Design your popups as simple as possible, using few images or other visual elements. Keep your message short, simple and relevant.

Before You Go

Follow these tips to convince your visitors they should give your website a second thought. Remember, you only have a few seconds to keep a visitor to your page.

Make them count.

How to boost your PPC ad Campaign

5 Psychological Tricks to Supercharge Your PPC Ad Copy

Writing copy for your PPC ads is not an easy task. You have to deal with limited word count and restricted ad space. Not to mention all the work you have to put in to differentiate yourself from ten other advertisers you’re sharing ad space with.

Talk about pressure, right?

So, how do you do it?

One key point of creating compelling copy is understanding why consumers think and act the way they do. When you understand the psychology behind the way your prospects think, you can help them pick even better.

To help you get started, here are five psychological tricks to jazz up your PPC ad copy.

1. Use Emotions to Trigger Response

Most people believe that the decisions they take are the result of careful, rational analysis. In reality, however, people’s decisions are largely driven by emotions. They decide first based on what they feel, and justify their decision later through logic and reasoning.

To get prospects to click on your PPC ads, you need to establish an emotional connection with them. Identify your customers’ desires, passions, interests, friends and enemies. Then take your brand and look for ways it is related to your customers’ profile.

2. Exploit the Fear of Missing Out

Bizarre as it may sound, FOMO – or Fear of Missing Out – is a very real emotion. Countless people are afraid that somewhere, someone is having more fun and more rewarding experiences than them. The good news is that you can use FOMO to your advantage.

Write your headlines so that it feels to your customers like a loss if they don’t click them. Make them believe that not taking action will be a loss for them. Instill a sense of urgency in your content by using time-sensitive words.

Here are some examples:

  • 30% Off Blenders. Sale ends in 2 hours. Ships free in the US. Shop Now!
  • Free Download – First 100 Subscribers Only!
  • Only Three Seats Left. Buy a Ticket Now!

3. Use Anchoring

Ever wondered why it’s almost impossible to resist a sale? Or why do you continue to return to the same Chinese restaurant to get the $2 noodles?

Most of the times, the reason is anchoring. Anchoring is a cognitive bias that describes people’s tendency to rely on the first piece of information they get.

So, instead of letting people find the anchor themselves, show it to them. Mention the original price of the product, and then show the sale price right next to it.

4. Use Negative Superlatives

Positive superlatives like “best”, “greatest”, “and smarter” can increase the effectiveness of your PPC ad. But, as it turns out, negative superlatives like “worst”, “awful”, “terrible” can be even more powerful than positive ones.

After studying 65,000 titles and comparing positive superlative headlines, negative superlative headlines, and no superlative headlines, Outbrain found that negative words performed 63% better than positive ones.

5. Audience Referencing

Imagine you just bought your first cookbook. Excited, you try one recipe and cook your first batch of cookies. They were OK, but not too impressive. Later that day, you come across the following headline:

“For people who are almost (but not quite) satisfied with their cooking – and can’t figure out what’s missing.”

Don’t you feel like it’s talking directly to you?

That’s audience referencing at its finest.

When you reference your audience in your PPC ad headline, your prospects will instantly feel known and named. By using the word “you”, you are involving your audience directly with your headline, increasing the chances of getting them to click and convert.

With so many of your competitors worrying about things like keywords, demographics and metrics, you now have the ammunition to make your PPC ads really stand out.

That is if you start tweaking your copy today.

So go!

Optimize landing page for conversion even with low traffic

How to Optimize Your Landing Page for Conversion When You Don’t Have Enough Traffic

So you have this great product, your mom loves it, your friends likes it, and hey, even a group of people you don’t know like it.

You’ve spread the word about it through social media, you’ve started a blog, and you create content regularly. You’ve even taken the steps to design a landing page to bring in more traffic and eventually more customers.

Now, what?

At this point, as you work to promote your business, you should be tweaking your landing page to generate more high-quality leads.

We hear you say…

“But I can’t optimize my landing page since I don’t have enough traffic to A/B test.”

While it’s true that you need traffic to test, it doesn’t mean you can’t still optimize your landing page or your campaign. Read on to find out how.

Analyzing Your Landing Page When You Have Low Traffic

If your page traffic is low, generating statistically conclusive results is overly complicated. Also, it takes a long time to gather valid data in your Google Analytics. Even though it might be frustrating, you can still collect data and analyze your page to come up with premises for conversion.

Here are some ideas:

Click Heat Maps

You don’t need A/B testing to be able to look over your prospects’ shoulder and understand their behavior. Click heat maps are a great conversion optimization tool that can tell you exactly where people are clicking on your website. They also analyze with great accuracy the scanning behavior and clicking behavior of your visitors.

Click heat maps can tell you whether visitors are finding your landing page unclear or if the position of your call-to-action buttons is the optimum one. For example, if your call-to-action is under the fold, but most of your visitors don’t scroll down, you might want to redesign your page.

However, you need to make sure you have a statistically valid sample data from which to draw your conclusions.

User Session Replays

You don’t need to have thousands of visitors a day to record user sessions. In fact, regardless of how much or how little traffic data you have, you can use tools like SessionCam or Clicktale to see how your visitors are interacting with your page.

Session replays are great tools for observing not just how visitors behave on your page, but for studying how they fill out forms too.

Qualitative Research

At the core, the purpose of your landing page is to convert visitors into leads and eventually into customers. Even if you don’t need enough traffic to run tests, you still need to figure out how to appeal to your visitor’s needs. One way to do it is through qualitative research. In other words, you need to actually speak with your customers to get to know them and their needs. Set questionnaires and ask your visitors to describe their experience with your page. Don’t ask generic questions like “on the scale of 1 to 10, how satisfied are you with our services.” Instead, ask questions that offer you insights into their needs, shopping and user experiences and so on.

Test Everything Yourself

Does every button on your landing page work properly? Does your page load quickly? Does it work with every browser? If your answers are, “my developer tested everything”, you are probably losing customers and money. You need to test everything yourself and keep your eyes open for bugs, glitches or user experience problems.

While low traffic means you can’t run A/B tests, you have no excuse not to optimize your landing page. Next time you need to tweak your page, use these tips to gather valid data.

Happy Optimizing!