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Archive for the ‘Conversion Optimization & Usability’ Category

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The 5 Best Things About Facebook Conversions (And How to Set Them Up)

By | January 23, 2013

On January 23rd, 2013 Facebook rolled out

1. Facebook Conversion Tracking by Categories

After years of fumbling for an answer to Google AdWords tracking, the new Facebook Conversion feature offers multiple conversion types to digital advertisers. You can now measure the checkout revenue driven by ads, see where your registrations & leads are coming from and average shopping cart abandon rate. It also includes an “Other Website Conversions” option that can be used to track specific goals and interactions like white-paper downloads.

2. Pixel Verification

Once a pixel is generated, all you have to do is add it to the page you want tracked (ex: thank you page or order complete page.)
Facebook Conversion Pixel Code
One of the nicest feature is “pixel verification.” Facebook will tell you if the tracking pixel is correctly installed. The only con is that it verifies only once a conversion registers, but after that happens it offers assurance that if the code ever got erased, you will quickly notice in your conversion dashboard.

3. It’s Available in Ad Manager

Unlike other features that were only available in Power Editor (such as custom audiences), the Facebook Conversion can easily be managed from the much user-friendly Facebook Ad Manager. The Conversion Tracking section on the left allows you to manage all your conversion pixels. You can share them with your advertising agency or client, check whether the pixel status has changed or get a new pixel.

4. Optimized CPM for Conversions

When your conversion pixel is in place, it’s time to set your ads to Optimized Cost per Impressions (CPM.) The difference to your standard CPM is that Optimized CPM delivers those impressions to eyeballs that are most likely to convert, based on what your conversion specs are. The possibilities seem endless! In addition to the standard actions Facebook ads used to track, such as page ‘likes,’ app installs and event RSVPs, you can now track the re-sharing of a particular object, the mentions of a page and offsite actions such as accumulated revenue. Here is a full list of Facebook’s new conversion specs.

5. A Measurable ROI

The Facebook conversion is one of the many new features and ads that Facebook has rolled out in the last year to attract new advertisers and retain existing ones. The main reason companies were reluctant to start marketing on Facebook was the cloudiness around Facebook and ROI. What is a ‘like’ worth? How important is a mention? Was the Facebook referred revenue organic or paid? It seems these are questions marketers and agencies will no longer have to scramble for. Now, through Facebook Conversions you will be able to account for every penny spent on Facebook.

What is your favorite thing about Facebook Conversions?




Why Your Calls-to-Action Aren’t Working

By | November 9, 2012

How important are calls-to-action? Your calls-to-action create a link between your incoming traffic and your opportunities to convert these visitors into leads. Creating effective CTAs is vital to maximizing your conversions.

While that might seem intimidating, it’s not difficult to enhance your CTAs to suit your goals and audience. Follow some of our best practices below to make sure your effective content marketing is followed up with equally as effective calls-to-action.

Use Contrasting Colors

Contrasting colors are one easy and effective way to draw attention to your main CTAs. The trick is to ensure they still coordinate with

the major color scheme of your website, while standing out from the other elements on your page.

It also doesn’t hurt to place your colorful calls-to-action on the left hand side of your pages, since the majority of visitors read left to right.

Offer an Incentive

How can you expect visitors to take the next step if they have no reason to? You must give your website visitors an incentive for clicking on your CTAs. If you want someone to download your whitepaper, you should offer them bonus content or some other exclusive offer that will encourage them to take action.

Create a Sense of Direction

Have you ever noticed the CTAs that really draw your attention all have something in common? They have arrows pointing at them. Just adding this simple visual element can help guide your visitors to the most important elements on your pages. This includes your content. Use arrows to draw attention to videos, important information or your CTAs.

 Have Strong Content

You can follow every best practice in the world, if your calls-to-action are placed at the bottom of pages with horrible content marketing, you’re not going to get conversions. Create content that people want to read, watch and share. This will make them more likely to connect with your brand and click on your CTAs.

You worked hard to provide your audience with tailored content, don’t lose them with poor calls-to-action. Understand your goals, follow these best practices and perform A/B testing.

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Mike Perla To Speak at Conversion Conference, Guest-Posts on Blog

By | September 27, 2012

Fathom’s director of conversion optimization & creative, Mike Perla, took the time to write a great post on enhancing website usability over at the Conversion Conference blog. Mike says the key to converting visitors is to limit the “friction” they face. To learn what “friction” means and how your website can increase its conversion rates in a few simple steps, read the full article.

Can’t get enough conversion knowledge? Mike Perla will be presenting “Usability: Reducing Friction and Boosting Conversion” at the Conversion Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. October 9-10.

If you’re interested in attending the conference, we’ve got a deal for you. Save $100 on registration by using the discount code “FL12524.”

 About Mike Perla

As Fathom’s director of conversion optimization & creative, Mike Perla heads the conversion rate optimization and website design teams. He joined Fathom in 2006 with more than 10 years of experience as a designer and developer for both online and print media. Right after joining the company, Mike led Fathom’s rebranding and was instrumental in the launching of its video production department.

Mike has managed and directed high-traffic website designs. He has also developed proprietary Flash applications and been an advocate for and skilled practitioner of conversion rate optimization, Web design, persuasive copywriting, persona development and market positioning.

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Know Your Audience: Moving Prospective Students Through the Buying Cycle

By | September 25, 2012

Imagine that you’re interested in going back to school. You don’t know which program to pursue or which school to choose. In fact, you’re not even sure if continuing your education is the right choice. Right now, you just want to do a little online research to explore the possibilities.

So you go to Google and type in “schools near [your location].” You click on the first result and land on the school’s home page. Once you locate the school’s blog, you end up reading a post about trends in information technology. And at the bottom of the post, you see the words:

“Want to pursue a degree in Information Technology? Apply online at any time.”

What do you do next? Do you click on the “Apply Online” hyperlink?

Of course you don’t. You’re not even close to making a decision about your future.

What if the call-to-action were different? What if it read:

“Want to explore opportunities in the information technology field? Request more information about our Information Technology degrees.”

Do you fill out a form to request information? Nope. You may have a mild interest in technology trends, but that doesn’t mean you’re ready to choose a degree program—especially when it means going to the trouble of giving the school your contact information.

How about a softer call to action such as “learn more?” In this case, you might click through. But you’re more likely to just leave the page and keep browsing.

So what kind of call-to-action should the school have used in this blog post?

That is a question that only the buying cycle can answer.

The 3 Buying Modes

The most significant thing that the above scenario illustrates is that a school’s audience can vary radically based on where a visitor falls in the buying cycle. Here is a breakdown of prospective students according to the 3 major buying modes:

In the hypothetical example, you imagined yourself to be a research-mode prospect. This is the earliest stage of the buying cycle, and people in this stage are asking themselves one major question: “Is school right for me?”
Consider-mode prospects have decided that they want to go back to school, and now their main question is “Which program is right for me?”
People in commit mode are ready to commit to a school. They’ve decided which program to pursue, so the only question left is, “Which school is right for me?”

Don’t Force Everyone Down the Same Path
The three buying modes teach us not to force everyone through the same funnel on a school’s website. A person in research mode is looking for completely different things than someone in commit mode, even if they both start their path on the home page.

Besides, it’s pointless to usher all visitors down the same path. If prospects encounter links, calls to action, or entire pages that don’t line up with the questions they’re asking, they’ll just leave.

Aligning your content strategy with the buying cycle means answering the questions that different visitors are asking. To do this, a school needs to create multiple pathways throughout the site that cater directly to the needs of each buying mode.

For example, how would you target a research-mode student who lands on your “Trends in Information Technology” blog post? First, keep the “learn more” call to action – more consider-mode prospects than researchers will read this post, plus they’ll be the ones who want to learn more about the IT programs. Second, cater to casual research-mode browsers by directing them to a list of related posts or resources at the bottom of the page. Even better, make it easy for that researcher to find more general blog posts such as “5 Ways to Tell if You Should Go Back to School” or “Surefire Ways to Fit School Into Your Schedule.”

Want to learn more about the buying cycle in the education vertical? Check back for more in-depth posts on the Research, Consider, and Commit modes.

*Image provided by


Check out Fathom’s 30-pg. Ultimate Guide to Marketing an Educational Institution with Social Media. It’s full of insightful interviews and illustrative case studies on using Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for marketing a school.

Social Media 101 for Schools

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5 Quick Ways to Increase Conversions in AdWords

By | September 12, 2012

Looking to boost the performance of your Google AdWords PPC campaigns quickly? Who isn’t?!

Consider the following tactics that will help increase conversions in AdWords:

  1. Protect Your Brand & Make Bank in the Process: With the recent study by Google showing that advertisers receive 50% increase in incremental clicks when showing up #1 organically and in PPC (and the possibility your competitors will bid on your brand), it’s really a no-brainer that your company should be bidding on its name and different variations. Branded keywords are by far your top converting, and you’re leaving money on the table if you’re not bidding on them.
  2.  Get Noticed More Often with SiteLinks: Are your campaigns using Google’s ad sitelinks? If not, do you realize how many potential clicks your campaigns are missing? Sitelinks can increase click-thu rate by more than 30% according to Google Internal Data 2011.
  3.  Accelerate Your Results with Accelerated Delivery: Have a top- converting campaign performing really well? Change the ad delivery from “standard,” which is Google’s default setting, to “accelerated” and generate more clicks and hopefully, more conversions. Make sure you increase your campaign daily budget to keep your ads showing throughout the day.
  4. Loosen Up Your Match Types and Reach More Customers: Have top- converting keywords in ‘exact match’ or ‘phrase match’ only? Consider loosening up your keywords to ‘broad match’ modifier and capturing more clicks and conversions.
  5.  Fight for Higher Positions–Bid Up Max CPC’s: Look at keywords converting under your goal cost-per-conversion and try bidding up if your average position is worse than the top spot. Try even running an ACE test to determine the ROI of your keyword with a higher CPC and better average position vs. the control CPC and average position.


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