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Google app gains Forward button

Google

In addition to adding support for Accelerated Mobile Pages to Chrome for iOS, Google also this morning issued a refresh to its native search app on the App Store, which supports Google Now cards. Google 17.0 for iOS, a free download, packs in improvements to help you get things done more quickly in the app such as the addition of a Forward button (what took them so long, really?), a more reliable voice search, the ability to revisit recent pages for a full seven days and a few local search results improvements.

“Based on your feedback, recent pages and searches are now accessible longer,” says Google. To revisit your recent pages up to seven days back, hit the Recents icon on the top right corner of the homepage or to the right of the “G” button centered alongside the bottom.

Previously, your recently visited pages were available for 24 hours.

They also added a new Forward button and voice search now works better in noisy environments. Google also mentioned that local search results for gas stations now include gas prices, with hotel search now providing useful information about amenities such as Wi-Fi, gyms, pool, laundry service and so forth.

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Why Landing Pages Matter

landing pages

are a very important part of your business. You see, if you optimize your landing page, you can be increasing both your traffic and your conversion rate. Obviously, you should tailor that landing page to your preferred audience, but there are a number of things that go for all landing pages. In this post, we’ll go over some best practices to get you going!

Of course, you’ll have to do quite a few different things for your landing page to gain more traffic as opposed to increasing your conversion rate. In this article, we’ll focus mainly on how to increase your conversion rate. But don’t underestimate the importance of optimizing your page’s SEO. Check out our post on cornerstone content to get you started in that department.
Product pages vs. landing pages

If you have a shop and offer just a few products, your product pages will be landing pages. Take our company as an example. Our plugins all have product pages, and these pages are the pages people use to enter our site when searching for our plugins in Google or after they clicked on an ad on Facebook.

If you have a large shop, product pages and landing pages could very well be different. People will search for specific products, but also for particular categories. If you own an online shop selling clothes, people could search for a specific brand of jeans or jeans in general. You should make sure both function as landing pages.

Focus your landing pages

Focus is especially important on your landing pages since this is where you’re selling your products! Make sure you only have one thing people can focus on and not a lot of different things. If people come to your landing pages because they are looking for the ballet shoes you are offering on your website; you want to guide these visitors to your checkout.

For most landing pages it’s usually pretty easy to figure out what you want people to see most prominently. If you’re selling a product, your landing page for that product should focus on the ‘Add To Cart’ button, also known as the call-to-action. Think about the placement, color and text of your call-to-action. We’ve said this before.

Safety signs and security seals

Safety signs are security seals and logos that increase the trust of your visitors. They make sure people feel like your landing page is a safe place. Of course, some safety signs seem to be more effective than others. Though, having a security sign works better than having none.

Payment options

People also prefer your eCommerce shop supporting more than just one payment option. And if people see your landing page has (multiple) trustworthy credit card logos, they’ll feel safer on it! But most importantly, about 60% of your visitors will just abandon their transaction if their preferred payment option isn’t or appears not to be available. So make sure these signs and logos are easy to find on your landing page.

This means that people will try to copy the behavior of others. And if you show them others who were (very) happy with your product, this will convince them to use it as well. One way to do this is by showing testimonials on your landing pages.

Another way to do this is showing how many other people have already used your product. This is often used for newsletter subscriptions, for example. We’re doing this on our WordPress SEO plugin page as well:

 

Headlines of your landing page

Your landing pages have to be very clear about your product from the start. People’s attention span is just about 8 seconds, so you have to make sure you tell all the important stuff first and tell it as fast as possible.

Make sure to optimize your headline and tagline. These should clearly communicate the core goal of your product. Create a headline for your landing page that attracts your visitors’ attention. Below that could be a tagline that brings home the message of your headline. Writing decent headlines and taglines is a science on its own, so this is something you need to test.

Images

Images are said to have a significant impact on navigating your visitor from your landing page through your website. If you’re selling physical products, having decent images on your landing pages can have a really big impact. This way people will better understand what they’re buying. It’s a replacement for actually touching and seeing a product in a physical store.

An excellent way to increase people’s understanding of your product is by having pictures of people using your product on your landing page. People can envision themselves using the product then as well. Beware of the dangers of this, though: using people in pictures will almost always result in facial distraction. Make sure the people in the pictures are looking the right way.

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Early Data on Expanded Text Adds Yields Mixed Results

Computer brain

Merkle has released early results on click-through rates of expanded text ads relative to standard text ads in its Q2 Digital Marketing Report. The agency began participating in the expanded text ads beta in April and analyzed the longer ad format’s impact on click-through rate (CTR) across thousands of ad groups.

When Google first announced that expanded text ads (ETAs) were coming, the company touted as much as a 20-percent lift in click-through rates on expanded text ads. Merkle looked at ad performance for non-brand traffic and brand traffic.

For non-brand queries, early results showed expanded text ads drove a 16-percent lift for the median site and ad group on desktop. Mobile phones, however, saw just a four-percent bump in CTR and tablets an eight-percent increase overall.  Merkle added that individual results did vary widely, with several advertisers seeing lower CTRs from expanded texts on non-brand traffic from some devices.

On brand traffic, expanded text ad click-through rates were nearly in line with, or slightly worse than, standard text ads. ETA click-through rates were four percent lower than standard text ads on mobile phones, flat on tablet and off one percent on desktop.

Merkle points out a few caveats when looking at this data. Little is known about the auction conditions for ETAs, such as how many expanded text ads display on a results page, how often product listing ads showed with expanded text ads and whether there is a difference in the queries that trigger ETAs versus standard ads during this period when both ad formats are running simultaneously. Another thing to note is that the frequency and mix of extensions that show with ads can vary significantly with each impression.

ETAs were receiving 47 percent of total impressions in the ad groups in which they were included, Merkle reported. Merkle’s client base skews large retailer.

These are early results, and more analysis will be forthcoming, as ETAs are now available to all advertisers, but they raise questions about the testing environment advertisers are supposed to be making decisions in over the next couple of months, as well as the long-term upside of ETAs. Google has said the key impetus for the new longer format was the idea that giving mobile users more information up front will give them more confidence to click. With that, it’s surprising to see these phone CTR results and to see desktop outperform phone.