5 Checks to ensure your Business Facebook page is up to date

5 checks

#1: Review Your About Box

One of the big differences between pages in the Local Business category versus the other categories has been the About box in the page’s left sidebar. Pages in the Local Business category would show the business’s address and phone number, while pages in all other categories have the page’s short description displayed.

about box description image

Previously, the About box displayed the page’s short description for non-local businesses.

Now, some pages in other categories, such as Company, display the address and phone number in the About box, instead of the short description. Pages that have not yet added their address and phone number, like the one for Gucci, show “Ask for” links to visitors.

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There are “Ask links” in the About box on pages that do not have updated contact information.

It’s important for marketers who have a Facebook page in a category other than Local Business to visit it to make sure it shows your short description, as opposed to a missing address and phone number.

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This is the admin view of pages missing local business information.

If your page is missing information, you either need to update your address and phone number (which you can do by clicking on what needs to be changed) or switch your page to a different category.

To edit your page category, go to your About tab and edit it under Page Info.

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Go to Page Info in the About tab to update the category of your Facebook page.

The updated category will appear beneath your Facebook page name, so choose something highly relevant for your page.

#2: Add a Call to Action for Different Devices

The Call-to-Action button allows you to display a specific call to action next to your page’s Like button.

This drives traffic to your website or mobile app, and ensures people who like your page will be presented with the most options to follow your page.

Here are two examples of Facebook pages in a similar industry: Due.com and Hiveage.

Due’s Facebook page does not use the Call-to-Action button. When someone likes the page, the options to Get Notifications from the page and have the page’s posts show up first in the news feed are separated under two drop-downs.

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A Facebook page without a Call-to-Action button splits the audience’s notification options.

On the other hand, Hiveage’s Facebook page uses the Call-to-Action button. When someone likes the page, the options to Get Notifications from the page and have the page’s posts show up first in the news feed are under the Liked drop-down. This is where new fans are more likely to hover.

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A Facebook page with a Call-to-Action button gives viewers notification options under the Liked button.

If you don’t have a Call-to-Action button on your Facebook page, you can easily add one. Go to your page and click Create Call to Action.

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Click to create your Call-to-Action button.

Next, you will find options to set your Call-to-Action button for website visitors (from a computer), as well as for iPhone and Android users.

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Set up a separate call to action for website, iPhone and Android users.

Click the drop-down under Choose a Button to see your call-to-action options.

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Choose from a variety of call-to-action options.

Next, enter a relevant website URL in the website field. Alternately, switch No to Yes under Set up a Link to an App and then choose a specific app for iPhone or Android users.

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Click Yes under Set up a Link to an App, and then select apps for iPhone and Android users.

When you’ve finished the setup, click the Create button to test your Call-to-Action button. You want to make sure it directs Facebook page visitors to the right web page or app.

#3: Choose a Featured Video

Video on Facebook is a hot commodity. Add a Featured Video to your Facebook page. It will appear at the top of your About box, as shown on the Facebook page ofSubaru.

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Subaru uses a Featured Video on their Facebook page.

To include a Featured Video on your page, start by uploading a video to the Videos tab. Afterward, you get the option to add it as a Featured Video.

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Add your upload to the Videos tab, and get the option to add a Featured Video.

Simply select a video from your uploads to add as your Featured Video. Once you do that, you can click the pencil icon at the top right of the Featured Video on the Videos tab to add a description to your video, change it or remove it.

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Click the pencil to edit your Featured Video.

It is particularly important to add a description to your Featured Video, since anyone who clicks to watch the video will see it. Think of it as another call to action, likeChipotle does on their page.

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Use your Featured Video description as a call to action.

As long as you’re thinking about descriptions, add one to your Facebook page’s cover photo. The same rules apply. Anyone who clicks on it will see whatever you added for the photo description as a call to action.

#4: Allow People to Privately Message Your Page

While this feature has been around for a while, some businesses don’t realize its value. Think of messaging as a great reputation-management tool. People might be more likely to click the Message button on your page with a complaint before posting something publicly on your page.

To enable this feature (if you haven’t already), go to your page’s General settings and check the box to allow people to privately message your page.

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Go to your page’s General settings to turn on the Message option.

The Message button will then appear next to your Like button.

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Make sure your Message button appears on the page.

The Message button is also a great option for businesses that don’t allow people to write posts on their pages. The alternative is forcing people to put complaints as comments on random page posts.

#5: Post Regularly With Publishing Tools

When did you last post to your Facebook page wall? In addition to the above cosmetic tips, you want to continuously make sure your Facebook page has new posts for your fans to enjoy.

If you don’t want to invest in a third-party tool and can’t remember to post to your Facebook page daily, try the built-in Publishing Tools.

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Use the Publishing Tools inside your Facebook page.

This set of tools allows you to schedule posts, so you keep your page updated regularly. All you have to do is take a little time one day a week to write some great updates for your page. Then schedule a new post to publish each day.

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Take one day a week to schedule daily posts using Publishing Tools.

Once you schedule your posts, you just have to wait for the notifications to roll in and monitor comments. The updates will keep your page fresh and open the door to engagement opportunities with your audience.

In Conclusion

Your Facebook page represents your business, so make sure it’s accurate and fan-friendly. Perform these basic checks to ensure your page is up to date in terms of the latest features Facebook has to offer. This is essential for page owners and their audiences.

What do you think? When was the last time you updated your Facebook business page? What other things should Facebook page owners be on the lookout for? Please share in the comments.

5 Psychology Secrets for Interaction Design

It’s becoming more important every day for your designs to connect more with users and include a “human element.” Website and user experience design needs to feel real, from aesthetics to interactions to motion (perceived and real) to emotional connection.

The problem designers most often encounter when thinking about users is not thinking about them as actual people. It sounds a little crazy, right? But we are not talking about designing robots here. As described in Interaction Design Best Practices, humanistic design creates an engaging experience that users can connect with physically and emotionally.

Here are a few ways to do it.

1.Your Mantra: “Humans Come First”

The first step is saying it out loud: “Humans come first.”

Now repeat it until you hear this phrase echo in your head before and during the design and planning phases of every project. And the way to do that is to actually be more human. Be intentional in actions, interactions and design. Most of all, empathize with your users.

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Photo credit: Reebok

One way to ensure that you’re designing for humans is to create a user persona. You can use fictional identities composed from researching your users. This will help eliminate you guessing about your users and will allow to design with their needs in mind.

For example, the persona process we follow at UXPin looks like this:

  • Review usage data in our app, segmenting users based on overall engagement. For example, these segments might include people who started a trial but didn’t buy, people who started a trial and bought, etc. Once we’ve defined the segments, we look at behavior based on events created in KISSMetrics.
  • For qualitative data, we interview ~30 users total from all segments to try to understand the “why” behind the data.
  • Based on quantitative data and interviews, we can start plotting out patterns that eventually form our user personas.

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Photo credit: UXPin

You need to create things people want. Step back and evaluate every website or app you frequent. Do you feel like you are part of the design? Is it personal? It is intuitive and easy? That’s human.

2. Design for Comfort and Predictability

There are a few elements in the design process that you just can’t change, like device type and screen size. But you can affect how things render and how comfortable your designs are to use in different environments.

For a design to “feel right”, it must be comfortable to use.

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Photo Credit: Rosenfeld Media, Creative Commons 2.0

  • Thumb patterns on mobile devices need to be reachable and accessible. Think about different phone, and hand, sizes when considering element such as buttons or swipe actions.
  • Think about typeface size. Users should not squint to read the copy.
  • Provide contrast that will stand up in varying conditions. While desktop users are most likely to view a website indoors, users might look at a screen in other lighting conditions with their various devices.

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Photo Credit: Bugaboo Strollers

  • Motions and movement should mirror real-life. (Look at the 360-degree rotation of the stroller above.) Think about the physics of a ball rolling. Now imagine that ball on a mobile phone screen: which way should it roll? (To the lowest point of gravity as the phone is moved because balls always roll downhill.) As outlined in Interaction Design Best Practices, perfecting these microinteractions go a long way towards creating a delightful experience.

The more comfortable users feel, the more likely they’ll continue to interact with your product.

3. Connect Emotionally

Focus on the one emotion your project should convey. Don’t get wrapped up in trying to create multiple emotional experiences. Do one exceptionally well.

The emotional connection is two-pronged:

  1. Your design should create a relationship between users and your product.
  2. Your design should create relationships between users.

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There are a variety of ways to create an emotional connection with your users. As outlined in Web UI Design for the Human Eye, color is a good way to stir emotions in people. Contrast, complementary colors and vibrancy all tug at the heartstrings in different ways. Colors evoke different moods in people as well. For example:

  • Red: Conjures up passion, and gets the blood pumping with excitement. 
  • Orange: Gives a whimsy lightheartedness to a design.
  • Green: Promote prosperity, both physically and financially.
  • Purple: Conveys the lap of luxury.

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Photo credit: Felt App

But color is but one aspect that goes into nurturing an emotional bond. Copywriting and visuals also play a role. Felt App’s marketing site has light copy with a conversational tone. The photos are all moments that one might experience in life — mementos of the past. The colors are earth tone, mostly browns with a splash of red from the one envelope. All of these elements alone don’t add up to an emotion, but together these all craft the feeling of nostalgia.

Emotional connections are established in a variety of ways. Brand loyalty, for example, stems from emotional connection. The type of emotion is determined by the tone, message and design choices you make. For example, a photo of people crying can cause concern for users – why are the people in the photo upset and how can they be helped?

4. Design with Mental Triggers

Understanding a little human psychology goes a long way when it comes to design.

But you don’t have to enroll in college again to use those tools. Spencer Lanoue broke down “ Psychological Triggers That Make UX Design Persuasive” from an academic research standpoint for you.

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Photo credit: Laerepenger

Here’s what the concepts look like (and how they relate to design):

  1. Do something for other people. And they will return the favor. Look at the example above, take the quiz and you can save money.
  2. People look at the behavior of others. Especially when they are not sure how to act. Include a social stream in your design to make users feel like part of a bigger group.
  3. Users want what they can’t have. The scarcity principle is why limited-time deals work so effectively.
  4. Users tend to fall in the middle when it comes to making choices. Most people will be drawn to the center. As recommended by Hick’s Law, more choices leads to decision paralysis, so choose carefully.
  5. People are drawn to what is relevant to them right now. Consider beacons, notifications or check in tools to be in the moment.
  6. People remember elements that stand out. Use contrast to create focus.
  7. People require timely feedback. Know the “Power of 10” when it comes to interaction design. As Jakob Nielsen stated, users need feedback within 0.1 seconds to feel like they still control the experience. If it takes longer than 1 second for your interface to respond, the feeling of control quickly disintegrates. Whether the feedback is purely visual or text-based (like a modal window), make sure it’s clearly understood and uses a conversational tone.

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Photo credit: Bose

Bose is a good example. The site takes a few seconds to load, but the smooth loading animations makes the wait feel less tedious. As you hover over each product, the smoothly triggered animations makes the user feel like they’re playfully browsing through a rolodex. The interface also features contrasting bars of colors to capture the user’s attention, drawing them immediately to the products.

Take a look at the animated prototype we built below in UXPin. Notice how the menu loads immediately after tapping, but transitions a bit slower (so that it’s not jarring). Again, we use bright colors here to quickly grab the user’s attention.

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Photo credit: UXPin

While it may feel manipulative, the use of psychological trigger allows you to further your ability to reach out to the human on the other end of the screen.

5. Design With Simplicity

A wise man once said, “the design is in the details.” Simplicity always strengthens the details.

Websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram thrive on this human factor. People are sharing their lives with other people. The design and interface is simply the vehicle that gets them there. Now think about the designs of each of these websites. All of these platforms started with simple tools for sharing and while they have grown in complexity over the years, the core usability is still easy to learn.

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Photo credit: The University of Sydney

Start with simple visual elements:

  • Color: Stick to one or two colors that are high in contrast. Keep cultural considerations in mind, especially if your website is designed for an international audience.
  • Typography: The first rule of typography is that it must be legible (letters are easy to discern) and readable (words and sentences are easy to understand). All main body copy should be set at a level that is comfortable for the eye. Start with a sans serif style and include plenty of space between lines. For the best visual comfort, consider size and the number of characters per line.
  • Space: More space makes a design feel open and inviting. Cramped lettering or elements that are too close together feel chaotic and jarring. It’s a tricky balance though, because wide open spaces can sometimes create the feeling that something is missing. A good approach is to subtract elements from your design until it breaks, then working your way back over the threshold.
  • Micro-interactions: Design interactions and notifications work in an almost invisible way. Like a simple hover animation, they add visual polish while giving users instant feedback. Follow the 12 principles of animation.

Prototyping your design is a good way to see if these visual elements work or not. While doing so, look for where you can trim because as the old adage goes, “less is more.”

Takeaways

Designs with a human touch just feel right. It might be intangible, but it’s undeniably powerful.

Think of interactions between people. Most communication happens using common languages, such as speech or even posture or gestures. It’s usable communication.

It’s the very same thing when it comes to designing a website or app. The most stripped-down purpose is to communicate something with users. Creating a simple, easy-to-understand method for this communication is always the quickest route to success.

3 ways to find out if your SEO initiative is working

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There has never been more data available to digital marketers. With this abundance of information, however, comes the significant challenge of understanding and leveraging the data.

The goal of any SEO campaign is to look at a project and quantify its impact. Was the project a success? What was the lifetime value of a project? What types of projects work best for each objective? Once these facts are known, it is possible to gain a better understanding of how and why certain projects were successful and then predict the impact of future projects and initiatives. More specifically, if the expected return on a project is known, it is possible to prioritize budget and timing accordingly.

Most marketing experts measure unique users, page views, time on site, bounce rate and search rankings to determine if a campaign is working. These metrics don’t determine, however, why it worked. Fortunately, there are lesser-used statistical analysis processes that can be leveraged to make these determinations and get to the root causes of poor performance.

  1. SIMPLE LINEAR REGRESSION

A simple linear regression is a basic input versus output equation. In relation to SEO terms, analyze organic search trends over a 12-month period and adjust for seasonality. To do this, first find the seasonal index, a breakdown that shows the relationship of one month to the entire year.

Once the index is complete, “de-seasonalize” the data by dividing each month by its seasonal index, run a simple linear regression to find a true forecast and then re-apply the seasonal index to each corresponding month. Once this simple linear regression is complete, it is then possible to create yearly forecasts for organic search traffic, set accurate SEO program goals and generate monthly expectations for a project that takes seasonality into account.

  1. MULTIPLE LINEAR REGRESSIONS

A lot more variables exist that can impact organic search traffic than just seasonal trends, and that’s where the use of multiple linear regression becomes effective. This is an approach for modeling the relationship between a dependent variable (“Y”) and multiple explanatory variables (denoted “X”). From an SEO standpoint, a multiple linear regression takes external factors such as paid search, display advertising, market fluctuations and seasonality into consideration. With these factors included in the equation, it is possible to determine how various inputs impact search traffic, accurately predict future organic search traffic and provide a historical indication of where SEO may have led to incremental traffic.

 

GROW YOUR SEO

Businessman editing the annual report charts - working on a tablet computer

SEO

See what gardening and SEO have in common in this infographic at wsm.co/gardenseo

  1. IMPACT ANALYSIS MODEL

Multiple linear regression relies heavily on historical organic search traffic, but the impact analysis model (another form of analysis) allows us to establish a baseline, incorporate multiple inputs and uncover the incremental value of SEO projects. A baseline for organic search traffic is essentially what the numbers would be without the use of SEO. That being said, traffic should fluctuate with industry search trends. In order to develop a baseline, first determine the search volume trends within the industry or vertical. Once that is complete, determine a year-over-year growth/decline rate for each month within that sector and then apply (monthly) the growth/decline rate to the previous year’s organic search visits and get this year’s baseline. Then, using a multiple linear regression, determine the impact of media spend contributions including online media click and impression contributions. This process takes into account both online and offline advertisements.

Incremental visits are then determined using the following equation:

Organic visits – (Organic Baseline + Online Media Click Contribution + Online Media Impression Contribution) = Incremental Visits.

With these factors considered, digital marketers can determine how many incremental visits and conversions the SEO project drove over the course of a year, how the various SEO projects impacted traffic and what the impact of future projects will be. Using linear regressions to forecast the future, multiple linear regressions to understand the external factors and the impact analysis model to determine expected return on a project, it becomes possible to prioritize budget and timing moving forward.

Applying this level of advanced statistics to SEO projects can seem to be a relatively novel concept, but its effectiveness demands a closer look.

9 tips on using landing pages for your social ads

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Landing pages are an inseparable part of the web browsing experience: we have all visited one at some point, whether or not we were conscious of the fact. Whenever you click on an online ad, register for a webinar, download a survey or a white paper, it’s likely that a landing page facilitated your experience. It’s not surprising, then, that these types of pages are an essential tool for a marketer, as they help move the potential lead down the sales funnel, converting a visitor into a customer.

What is a landing page?

In the realms of marketing and advertising, landing pages are the web pages which are accessible exclusively through a link or a button, and built to serve a specific objective. Social media landing pages, which we will focus on in this post, are commonly accessible by call-to-action buttons on paid social advertising, among other times of digital ads.

Elements of landing pages include a brief description of the offer, a call to action, and a preview of the product or service. In an ideal landing page, both the copy and the page design converge on a single purpose: to drive the customer to a specific action, such as downloading a white paper or registering for a webinar.

Almost as important as knowing the definition of a landing page is knowing what the landing page is not. A landing page should not just be the homepage of your website—there are too many buttons to click, options to choose from, and products and services offered. If the goal of your social ad is to increase traffic to your domain, consider other options and leave landing pages for what they do best—help acquire sales leads.

Landing pages help businesses increase conversions on the social media ads by honing in on the juicy details of the offer. This helps make the ads more effective, since most of them are limited by character and image size on the host social network—the landing page helps elaborate more on the value of the initially advertised offer. It also segments the value proposition into several easy-to-understand parts: for example, your social ad may contain a call-to-action button that simply says “Learn more,” which takes the user to a landing page with an added offer of a free trial. However, it’s important to be consistent with your offers across the advertisements and landing pages, even if the offer is segmented into two or three parts.

Landing pages also provide a better social advertising user experience: a user who noticed your ad while browsing their Facebook News Feed will have a dozen distractions—friends’ updates, photos, birthday and event notifications, etc. By taking the user to a dedicated page, you are removing all the extra noise and helping them focus exclusively on your offer.

Another advantage of using landing pages for social media ads is their increased capacity to capture leads. Major social media networks offer ad analytics for businesses, which include the user’s location, gender, and age group. But capturing the specifics, such as their name, occupation, and email address is a different story. This is where landing pages come in: most of them include a lead capture form that encourages users to fill out their first and last names, email address, company they work for, and their job title. Not only does this help marketers get a better picture of their potential customers, but it also presents an opportunity to contact these customers with similar offers in the future. However, be careful about how much you ask of your customers—the general consensus among conversion experts is that the more information you ask to disclose, the lower your conversion rate will be.

9 tips on using landing pages for your social ads

There are many elements to a landing page, and the best way to find out what helps your business achieve the best conversion rates is to test, test and test. Keep this in mind when you consider implementing any of the following tips—these practices have been effective for other businesses, but your product or service may call for something completely different. Don’t be afraid to trust your instinct, but make sure it’s always backed by conversion data.

1. Keep your copy consistent across ads and landing pages

The last thing you want to do is mislead a potential customer with inconsistent offers. Since the landing page works best as an extension of your advertising, make sure the copy is consistent in both the ad and the landing page. For example, if you’re drawing people in with a 2-for-1 offer in the social media ad, your landing page should give more details on how the customer can get the 2 items for the price of 1.

This social media ad popped up in my News Feed, and lead me to the shop’s homepage—but the offer is site-wide, which makes one of the few exceptions to the “no homepages as landing pages” rule.
landing pages for social media ads

2. Acknowledge the social media referral on the landing page

The way brands communicate with customers on social media is often different from any other communication line—there’s room to show off personality, have a sense of humour, and stray off the beaten path for different approaches to interaction. Thus, it’s advantageous for brands to address the referral source on the landing page, especially if you know the customer will be arriving there from a social network. This can be done by including the brand’s official Twitter handle or Facebook page in the body of the landing page copy, or simply open with a line that mentions the network.

This is especially helpful for brands involved in social media marketing or e-commerce, since they know their customers will also likely to look for profit from social channels. Take a look at the way Shopify frames their landing page originating from a Facebook ad:

Shopify’s Facebook ad
social media ad Shopify – examples of landing pages
Shopify’s landing page originating from the Facebook ad
In addition to directly addressing the way the Shopify app can be helpful for Facebook marketing, the landing page also contains clever design cues that tailor it to the network. The page’s colour palette is congruent with Facebook’s colour, and the header is designed to look similar to a Facebook search bar.

3. Place essential page elements above the fold

The central part of the landing page is the call to action button—whether you’re encouraging the customer to start a trial, download an asset, or sign up for a webinar, all the design and copy are designed with the single purpose of driving the user to click the button. In order to accomplish this, design your page to have all important elements “above the fold,” or in the portion of the page that is visible in a browser window when the page first loads. If you’re not sure if your landing page presents the information right away, look at the portion above the fold and ask the following questions, from a user’s perspective:

Where am I? What’s the purpose of this page?
Do I know what they’re offering?
Does this page explain what I have to do in order to get the offer?
The first question might seem a bit silly, but you’d be surprised at how many landing pages fail to identify their brand association. Whether it’s a logo, recognizable brand colours, or a headline that mentions your company, your ownership of the page should be explicit. Take a look at the ‘above the fold’ portion of the landing page for our latest white paper on Social Governments:

landing page for social media ads

Once the page first loads, I can see that this is a Hootsuite property, I know it’s about social media strategies for government bodies, I can glean that it offers a white paper from the little icon underneath the headline, and I can read the first couple of lines of its description. While I can’t see the call to action button, I see an arrow that shows me how I can access the advertised resource, and the top of the lead capture form. These directional cues are a great trick to draw the user’s eyes to the important elements, even if they end up below the fold.

4. Don’t reuse copy for multiple ads or landing pages

Since landing pages are such an important part of the lead conversion process, your company needs to pay special attention to the text on the page—which can be a challenge if you don’t have a dedicated copywriter. Thankfully, there are plenty of online resources that can help you optimize copy for the purposes of your landing page. Plus, if done right, your word count for landing page copy shouldn’t be that high anyway.

The main thing to remember is to tailor each landing page to the value prop of social media ads that refer to it, as well as the offer. Don’t reuse copy from other landing pages, even if the chances of the same customers seeing the copy twice are low. Not only does it appear lazy, but it can also hurt your conversion rates, especially if the copy is inconsistent with the offer from the social media ad.

5. Focus your landing page on the value add for the customer

The purpose of landing pages is to gather more leads, but all elements of the page need to focus solely on how the offer can help the visitor, not your business. As such, it’s important to highlight the value of the asset or the offer every step of the way—whether it’s done by cleaning up the copy and removing any jargon-heavy parts, using more possessive pronouns, or including customer testimony. James Scherer of Wishpond advises marketers to “[h]ome in on what the visitor gets, not what they should do.”

For example, if you are designing a CTA button for an offer concerning a cleaning product, encourage customers to “Clean up my kitchen!” instead of “Buy now.”

6. Optimize your call to action button

The CTA button is the crown jewel of your landing page: it’s what the user will be looking for when they first arrive on the page, because it’s what gets them the asset or offer promised in the social media ad. So make sure your CTA button is clearly visible, ideally above the fold, and the copy is consistent with the offer. For example, if the purpose of the landing page is to get users to download a white paper, your CTA button copy should have a variation of “Download now” or “Read now.”

When it comes to the landing page’s CTA buttons, the testing rule is more important than anywhere else on the page. Test the colours of the button, the font of the letters, the actual call to action text, and directional cues around the button itself. You might be surprised what gets you that three-digit spike in conversions—sometimes, it’s something as little as changing a possessive pronoun!

7. Consider trust badges

If the conditions of receiving an offer ask the user to disclose personal information, it’s important that the customer feels safe to do so. In landing page design, this means including trust badges and displaying them in a prominent spot. Ideally, you want these badges to be close to the call to action button, so the customer is reminded of your trustworthiness as a final motivation to consider your offer.

You can also mention your partners or clients that belong to an industry that may be similar to the visitor’s occupation (especially if you target your social advertising to a certain demographic), as a way to show off recommendations from professionals in that field.

landing page for social media ads

Be aware of the design of these badges: you want to follow brand standards of security brands, as well as your clients and partners, but avoid piling in too many logos or conflicting colours. This might actually take away from the overall impression of your landing page, and that’s the opposite of the effect you want to achieve.

8. Optimize your design assets

In the same vein as the text on the landing page, all design assets should show off your offer in the best light without being too excessive. Follow a simple colour palette, don’t add too many images or videos, and don’t overdo it on the directional cues. With landing pages, less is more—try to include as little extra elements as possible, but make sure all of them contribute to the main purpose of the landing page.

9. Test, test, test

Remember how I said that testing is the most effective strategy to increase conversion rates? Before you implement changes based on any of the tips above, run an A/B test to see if these factors actually influence conversion on your brand’s landing pages. At the very least, test two different versions of the landing page to see how the different changes affect your numbers. However, according to WordStream founder and CTO Larry Kim, if you want to break the top 10% of winning landing pages, the more pages you test, the better are your chances of drastically increasing conversion rates. Kim recommends testing ten (!) landing pages with different offers, messaging and flow to find the winning combination for your business. So, suffice to say, designing landing pages is not for the faint of heart—but if it helps you gather more high-quality leads, these efforts will surely pay off.

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Increase your Blog traffic with Images

You want to create content that gets shared and builds an audience, right?

Of course you do. But (if you’re like us) – you don’t have a lot of time, so you need to make sure your content has impact.  The latest data tells us that picture list posts are right in the middle of the sweet spot and a content marketer’s secret weapon.

What Analyzing 100 Million Facebook Posts Told Us About the Power of Images

Do images help create impact and result in more social sharing? Well, you’ve been hearing that a picture is worth a thousand words since you were in school. But school’s out, and as grown ups we like a little proof before we pour our budgets into something.

So we looked at 100 million Facebook posts over the last three months.  We found those without an image had 164 interactions on average (shares, likes, comments) whilst those with an image had an average of 372 interactions.Your teacher was right. Images work.

We’re wired to respond to visual cues. What had the most the impact, the numbers you read above or the image?

Picture List Posts – What Are They?

So we like images. But what is a picture list post? In simple terms a picture list post is a series of curated images that delivers value through the combination of images. We like images but we equally like narrative and context. Picture list posts have a clear purpose for example:

Telling a story. We are hardwired to tell and remember stories. Picture List posts combine those two natural impulses into one format. A picture list post can create a narrative through a series of images. I can tell a story about technology simply by posting pictures of my old phones and my chargers over the last 10 years!

Making comparisons. Picture list posts make it easy to draw comparisons through a series of related images. These might be ‘before and after’ or a series of pictures over time.

Demonstrating how to do a task. Picture list posts can make it easy to follow a process or complete a task. These range from how to bake a cake through to using the new features in Google analytics.

Curating ideas. One of my favorite forms of picture list posts are those that help me brainstorm ideas quickly and provide me with inspiration. These might be 10 great landing page designs or 10 UX design ideas.

Do Picture List Posts Have Measurable Impact?

Do they work? Right now, the top ‘picture list posts’ on BuzzFeed and Playbuzz get over 1 million shares. Picture list posts consistently perform well relative to other content and publishers are well aware of this. Two of the Guardian’s top 6 most shared articles last year were picture list posts.

The most shared picture list post last year was one by BuzzFeed which received over 2.5m shares. This post revealed the huge size of the universe through a series of images, working away from the earth. The image showing the size of a large comet on the top of L.A. was also quite striking.

Photos: Matt Wang / Via mentalfloss.com and @lucybrockle
Photos: Matt Wang / Via mentalfloss.com and @lucybrockle

BuzzFeed is well known for its list posts but there is a growing trend for other publishers to also tap into the power of ‘picture list posts’. The Guardian is producing picture list posts more frequently such as this one Overpopulation, overconsumption – in pictures (which had over 300,000 shares).

Photos by Zak Noyle and Daniel Dancer
Photos by Zak Noyle and Daniel Dancer

The New York Times has run similar picture posts including its very popular the Year in Pictures.

Below is a selection of picture list posts that got over 250,000 social shares.

You may not achieve a quarter of a million shares but the evidence shows that a well designed picture list post will outperform other content formats.

The Perfect Content Formula: A combination of images, lists and curated content

One of the reasons picture list posts work so well is that they combine the power of images, lists and curation into a single post. It is like rolling three of your favorite superheros into one.

Let’s look briefly at the these three content formats.

The power of images

There is a mass of research and data about the power of images to back up our 100 million Facebook article analysis.  Research by Socialbakers found that images on Facebook constituted 93% of the most engaging posts on the network, compared with status updates, links and even video. On Instagram pictures can accumulate over 500,000 likes in a single week. People love to share images. So if you want your content to be shared, you simply have to include images.

The power of curation

Curated content works really well as there is simply too much content to consume. How many of the 250m images posted yesterday on the internet did you view? (Probably more than you should have). Good curators help us by selecting relevant content and add value through commentary and context.

Curation is generally undertaken by experts or those with a passion for the subject. They find, curate and contextualize content. This saves the user time significant time in undertaking their own research and content discovery. Good curators can also provide context to a story and add their own viewpoints to provide a more comprehensive overview of a subject. Curated content is increasingly popular in a busy world, where we are overloaded with content.

Pinterest boards can work really well as collections of curated images. You can also search for a collection of tagged images. For example, when I was after inspiration for my very small London walled garden I pulled up these images below of French Courtyard Gardens.

So How Can You Get in the Picture?

Sold on the benefits of picture list posts? Great. So how can you make them work for your industry or topic? Ask yourself some questions to get started:

  • What types of images work best in your industry or topic? Have a look at examples on Pinterest or Google images.
  • What images can you use to tell a story? For example, the growth of a company can be told very effectively through pictures of offices and staff over time.
  • What type of stories work in your area? How does one of your successful projects or case studies look as a series of images?

Do you really need a web design agency?

Thinking about hiring a web design agency?  Think again. Is that really all you need, an agency that designs websites? Even if ‘design’ also encompasses building your site, I am not sure that is enough for most organizations.

Do you really need a web design agency?
It’s not enough to launch a website anymore, you also have to think about its long term running. There are so many questions to answer. Questions like:
• Is your website recovering its costs?
• How are you measuring its success?
• Who is responsible for ensuring content is accurate and up to date?
• What happens if a user complains about accessibility?
• Who decides if there are disagreements about what should be on the site?
The list could go on.

More than just building sites, organizations need help, setting policies and procedures, outlining a roadmap for future development, carrying out ongoing testing, establishing responsibilities and roles. Organizations need a partner that can help with building a web team, setting policies and procedures, outlining a roadmap for future development, carrying out ongoing testing, establishing responsibilities and roles. They don’t just need somebody who is going to point out the problems, but an agency that will get involved in finding solutions.
Sure, there are smaller organizations that don’t need all of this. However, these are the kind of organizations that are probably better off working with a freelancer. Yes, there are some organizations that have already done all of this thinking and have their internal processes in place, but I suspect these are thin on the ground.

A web agency rather than a web design agency

My point is that most organizations need more than a web design agency that builds their site. They need a partner who can get really stuck into the organization and help to answer these questions. Here at aab design inc. we are not just a web design agency, our mission is to help established companies to become more successful 
in the digital world. We do that by taking the time to understand your goals and your business objectives, and by working with you to design & deliver bespoke WordPress solutions that gain you significant business advantage.

You may have noticed that on our website aabdesigninc.com we don’t call ourselves a web design agency anymore; we refer to ourselves as a digital marketing agency. That is because we believe our clients need a lot more than pretty pictures and development. Increasingly the work we do is as much about strategy, governance and measurement, as it is about building sites.
Our focus is on creating websites our clients are proud of, and websites we are proud to put our name to. We don’t just build websites, we build brands, and we know how important it is for a business to have a brand which represents its personality, goals and objectives.
So next time you go to hire a web design agency, ask yourself whether you actually need something more, at aab design inc. we offer the services that you need. We are designing Responsive and Mobile websites for the 21st Century.