You really only do two things every day – you either make the thing, or you make the thing better.
In this article, we are focusing on the latter.
Before launching your next, new thing – look at all your campaigns and marketing assets, and ask yourself what has the biggest opportunity for improvement? Where can you get more bang for the buck?
Read on for examples from web conferencing software, a nonprofit health system, and an event management company.
This article was originally published in the MarketingSherpa email newsletter.
Landing Page Optimization. Search Engine Optimization. Paid Search Optimization.
Really, all these tactics begin with marketer optimization. Entrepreneur optimization. YOU optimization. No matter how powerful technology has gotten, there is no successful marketing tactic that isn’t powered by a marketer or entrepreneur.
So start by getting in the right frame of mind with Session #2 of MECLABS’ freely available course – Landing Page Creation and Optimization: 6 key questions to prepare the marketer (MECLABS is the parent organization of MarketingSherpa).
And then read these quick case studies from your peers to give you ideas for your next optimization effort.
When Livestorm was launched in 2016, the brand-new company had a few challenges: brand awareness was non-existent, many large competitors were already present in the market, and SEO (search engine optimization) traffic was weak since the website was new.
With all those challenges that are common to any startup, the team had to develop an acquisition strategy for the web conferencing software and chose to focus on SEO as a potential channel – generating qualified traffic to the website by targeting specific keywords. At the time, they focused on only one specific niche: marketing webinars.
The team built an early website to target this use case and created a lot of content around the topic. They targeted searches containing this specific keyword but knew that this strategy was only addressing the very top of the funnel. When it came to prospects further along in the buying process, they didn't have any content to attract them to the website.
Since they had no brand awareness and almost no budget to spend at that time, they had to find ways to put Livestorm on the map. In January 2018, they came up with the idea to create comparison pages on the website to address that problem.
Creative Sample #1: Comparison landing page for web conferencing software
The team wanted an automated process to create those pages to maximize the ROI (return on investment) on the time spent creating them. They started with keyword research and listed all keywords containing a mention of major competitors. After doing this research, they gathered all findings in a spreadsheet using the format: “competitor A vs competitor B.”
Once they had a final list of all the competitors, they researched and listed all the competitors’ features. The data was added to the CMS (content management system) as a table.
To help automate the process, the team wrote a script that went through this table to loop and pair all competitors together – one page was created for each competitor. The table compared the features of each competitor by column. The creation of the content itself was also partially automated – the team created small introductory paragraphs and fillers that were personalized for each software. This meant the content could easily be edited and adapted for each comparison page.
The main goal was to increase Livestorm’s visibility online and generate qualified leads. They added Livestorm-centric paragraphs to the bottom of each comparison landing page that didn’t initially include the web conferencing software. The objective was to present Livestorm as an alternative to the main competitors, in a tone that was as neutral as possible.
For example, the AdobeConnect vs Zoom landing page has a table comparing these two webinar software brands at the top. Copy lower on the page explains these webinar software brands, but also adds in that Livestorm is browser-based and doesn’t require a software download – a key competitive point against these two competitors that do require a download.
SaaS (software-as-a-service) companies tend to update their software on a regular basis, and they constantly offer new features. Knowing that, the team wanted to make sure the comparison pages would remain up to date as much as possible. They allowed any visitor to suggest or request a change in the comparison table by adding a CTA (call-to-action) right below it. With those insights, they can regularly update the comparison pages.
“The comparison pages were published on Livestorm’s website and after only a few months, I started noticing initial results. At first, the pages comparing our main competitors between each other got most of the traction. But then, the pages comparing Livestorm and our competitors started generating organic traffic as well,” said Thibaut Davoult, Head of Growth, Livestorm.
Last year, the comparison pages generated six percent of Livestorm’s organic traffic, and they attracted links from more than 130 referring domains. Most of the comparison pages rank within the first 10 SERP (search engine results page) results for the associated keywords.
UCHealth is a not-for-profit health care system with several hundred locations in Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska.
The team optimized its paid search strategy by moving away from regional-based campaigns in favor of individual campaigns for each location, providing optimization opportunities at the most granular geotargeted level. This resulted in hundreds of individual paid search campaigns, each with its own dedicated budget.
Location Targeting – With several hundred UCHealth locations, the team needed control over budgets, ad copy, keywords, and bid strategies at the most granular level possible. In addition to geotargeting around the individual locations, they implemented key ZIP code and county-level location targeting, with bid adjustments set for each based on performance.
Keywords – To better reach new prospective patients, they identified high-intent keywords across each service line, including both proximity-based (e.g., “hospital near me”) and geo-based (e.g., “urgent care hours in Calhan”) keywords. they added keyword exclusions to all campaigns to eliminate irrelevant traffic and improve efficiency.
Conversion Tracking – The team audited all paid search conversions in Google Ads and imported CallRail tracked conversions to ensure that Google’s automated bid strategies could maximize return. Once enough conversion data accrued in the campaign structure, they adjusted bid strategies to optimize toward users most likely to become a patient.
Landing Page Optimization – Similar to the adjustments made at the campaign level, the landing page strategy shifted focus from regional-based to location-specific. This optimization allowed for more location-based ad copy and improved quality scores, bringing down costs per click and per action across all campaigns.
Despite a 12% year-over-year decrease in spending, share of voice increased by 30%, and impressions rose by 40%. Clicks increased by 99%, and conversions increased by 111%. Cost per click reduced by 55% and click-through rate increased by 41%. Conversion rates increased by 6.11%, with a 58% decrease in cost per action.
“We have created a cohesive team with a seamless process that allows us to react quickly and to effectively support a high-achieving enterprise-level search program, driven by continuous improvement,” said Vincent Serio, Senior Director of Digital Marketing and Social Media, UCHealth.
“They are bold marketers with an exciting brand, they challenge us and trust us, and their work matters. Perhaps even more so these days,” said Zac Pritchett, Brand Management/Principal, The Richards Group (UCHealth’s advertising agency).
Outback Team Building & Training offers virtual team building activities that it promotes through affiliate partnerships and paid search ads. Each activity has an individual activity page, similar to a product page on an ecommerce site.
For example, the Virtual Clue Murder Mystery individual activity page receives 10,000 visits per month.
Creative Sample #2: Individual activity landing page for event management company
With an individual product page, you only have one shot. If the landing page doesn’t tap into the visitor’s motivation, you will likely lose them.
To help make the landing page appealing to a wider set of motivations, the team A/B tested including a section near the bottom of the page that includes a carousel of “other popular virtual team building activities” to optimize the landing page’s performance.
Creative Sample #3: Addition to treatment landing page for event management company
The team saw a 40% lift in conversions on the test variant. “After seeing these results, we applied the same test to other activity landing pages and saw improved conversions by 20 - 50% across all other activity pages,” said Datis Mohsenipour, Director of Marketing, Outback Team Building & Training.
Live Streaming Session: The key to transformative marketing is a transformed marketer – Join Flint McGlaughlin, CEO, MarketingSherpa and MECLABS Institute on Thursday, November 18th at 1 p.m. EDT (replay is available immediately after the live session at the same link).
Become a Marketer-Philosopher: Create and optimize high-converting webpages – the online course is fully underwritten by MECLABS, with no monetary cost to participants.
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