27 WordPress Tools, Tips and Tricks That Can Save 50% of Your Time

Invest more time creating great content, not just managing WordPress. Be more efficient and effective with these tools, tips and tricks.

WordPress is a great publishing platform that allows you to manage your blog and publish new content quickly and easily. WordPress comes with lots of time-saving features for publishing new content as compared to other Content Management Systems (CMS), but there is still a lot of room for improvement.

WordPress is also the most popular CMS out there. According to the stats, users produce over 43.7 million new posts on WordPress every month, and these are viewed by 409 million people. Amazing figures, isn’t it?

WordPress has a large number of scripts that are built in, but it is also very flexible. There are two main ways to change WordPress to help you create more content faster. First, you can use one of the thousands of quality plugins that can do anything from managing your SEO to capturing leads and help you with your markeitng.

Here are 27 tools, tips and tricks that can help you optimize WordPress to save 50% of your time creating new content.

WordPress Plugins

Plugins are great extensions that can help you do more things with WordPress. There are a lot of WordPress plugins available that make you more productive and save you a lot of time that would otherwise be wasted.

1. Ideas WordPress plugin

All of those times when you have a great idea for a blog post or content and you just forget them after a few minutes and ask yourself “what was that great idea?”

Ideas adds a custom post type on the sidebar of your WordPress dashboard. This area can be used to save notes, in other words future post ideas, inspiration. You can quickly write them down as they come up and revisit them when you need those ideas for new content.

Ideas WordPress plugin

Ideas is a great replacement for jotting down in a diary which may be forgotten, or using external applications like Evernote; keeping these notes on WordPress itself makes access easier.

2. Organize Series

Organize Series WordPress Plugin

Do you write series of posts? In WordPress, it may be hard to create a series of related content items. However, Organize Series makes writing related posts easier. It introduces a custom taxonomy for the related posts. Also, at the end of each post, a line displays the information regarding which part of the original post is this one say 1, 2 or 4. Managing related posts is no longer a hassle, thus saving you time.

3. Faster Image Insert

Faster Image Insert WordPress Plugin

If you have downloaded lots of images that you want to save to WordPress directly then this plugin can come in handy. Faster Image Insert not only makes uploading easier but you can effortlessly edit titles and alt texts of all the images en masse.

4. WP Smush.it

WP Smush It WordPress Plugin

Images do take a lot of space and can considerably increase page load speeds. If you are in the habit of compressing these images one by one then you’d be losing a lot of time on it. WP Smush.it compresses all the images automatically. You get to kill two birds with one stone— you get higher rankings, since site speed is a ranking factor, and you save a lot of your precious time.

5. Google Analytics Dashboard

Google Analytics Dashboard WordPress Plugin

Every blogger needs to check stats – how many visitors actually view your posts, what’s popular, how engaged people are and what is bringing more traffic. Google Analytics is great, but it requires you to log in to another platform.

Checking stats is addictive. Therefore, bringing Google Analytics right into WordPress gives you a one-stop-shop for your blog. Google Analytics Dashboard WordPress plugin helps you do just that—bring your Google Analytics stats into your WordPress.

6. Search and Replace

Search and Replace WordPress Plugin

Search and Replace WordPress plugin lets you find strings and replace them with another string in your SQL database. This allows you to replace words across your database. For example, if your company changes its name, or a person is promoted, you don’t have to go over all of your blog post to find and replace names or titles. Simply use this plugin.

7. WP Inject

WP Inject WordPress Plugin

It’s no secret – blog posts with images generate a lot more engagement as compared to blog posts that contain pure text. However, the job of sorting through and finding images, specifically if you are looking for free ones, is not easy.

WP Inject saves you a lot of time by removing the hassle behind finding images that are free to use. In the WordPress dashboard itself, WP Inject would go through millions of Flickr images and filter them by license so that you can use them.

8. Backupbuddy

Backupbuddy

Waking up with cold sweat worrying that your website is gone? BackupBuddy is designed to give you peace of mind. Just imagine the time you would be wasting if someone hacks into your WordPress dashboard and deletes the database. Once you have set up Backupbuddy, everything will be automatically uploaded to Cloud and you need not worry about anything.

9. Really Simple Guest Post plugin

Really Simple Guest Post plugin

Posting a guest post to WordPress can be cumbersome. But there is a solution that can help you avoid opening new accounts for people who will post a single post and streamline the entire process. Really Simple Guest Post plugin will set up a form where guest bloggers can submit the post. It will automatically be saved as pending post. It saves you tons of time as compared to getting a Word document, formatting it and posting it all by yourself.

10. Photodropper

photodropper

Similar to WP Inject, Photodropper lets you search from hundreds and thousands of creative-commons images and allows you to use them without leaving the WordPress dashboard ever. Talk about saving time.

11. Yoast SEO plugin

Yoast WordPress Plugin

If SEO is important for you, then Yoast SEO plugin is a one-stop-solution for your WordPress needs. It can help you set up meta tags, meta keywords, description and optimize the post to a great extent. It analyzes the content so that it meets the standards and also helps generate XML sitemaps without the need of another plugin.

12. JetPack plugin

JetPack WordPress Plugin

The Jetpack WordPress plugin supercharges your WordPress site. One of the main feature is stats reporting without any additional load on the server. It monitors the site and lets you know of any troubles via the notifications systems. It lets you display recent tweets and there are over 30 to 40 things that you can automate with Jetpack on WordPress. The full list is here.

13. Appointments+ plugin

appointments-plus WordPress Plugin

If you run a small practice and accept meetings, Appointments+ will save you time scheduling and accepting meetings. If you run a service site on WordPress, then this plugin can be a real boon because it makes the following possible:

  • Customers book their own appointments on your site
  • Schedule appointments with clients
  • Manage customer contact information
  • Collect payments using PayPal
  • Manage the team, create unlimited service providers and unlimited services
  • Send confirmation and reminder emails with ease
  • Book appointments one year in advance
  • Manage everything with WordPress

If This Then That (IFTT)

IFTTT is short for If This Then That. It can help you schedule and do a lot of your daily tasks in an automated way. Though setting it all up the first time would take a couple of hours, at the end of the day the time saved more than makes up for the initial time spent. Just set it and forget.

IFTT can help do most social media tasks that would actually take you hours without automation.

14. Publish to Facebook

When you add a new post on the site it automatically gets published to Facebook.
IFTTT Recipe: Add a new WordPress post & it updates your Facebook Page with a link post connects wordpress to facebook-pages 

15. Post from Facebook to WordPress

You can also set a recipe to automatically post Facebook posts to WordPress as posts. IFTTT Recipe: Links posted to my fan page are turned into blog posts with a reminder to visit the fan page. connects facebook-pages to wordpress

16. Tweet your post

For most people, tweeting is a job in itself. With IFTT you can automatically publish links to your published posts as tweets and get traffic from Twitter automatically.

IFTTT Recipe: Tweet my WordPress blog posts connects wordpress to twitter

17. Post to Gmail

You can save a recipe wherein whenever you publish a new post it get saved to Gmail along post title, post URL and content. IFTTT Recipe: WP to Google Plus connects wordpress to gmail

18. Email to post

Also, an email sent can be published as a post

IFTTT Recipe: Email to WordPress connects gmail to wordpress

19. YouTube to post

To publish a video to your site whenever you upload something to YouTube IFTTT Recipe: Allows for an automatic post from any uploaded #Youtube video to your #wordpress #blog with the vide connects youtube to wordpress

20. WordPress to Evernote

WordPress posts can be automatically sent to Evernote.

IFTTT Recipe: Archive WordPress posts to Evernote connects wordpress to evernote

21. Update post to LinkedIn

New posts can be sent as an update in LinkedIn. IFTTT Recipe: When Updating WordPress, Update LinkedIn  connects wordpress to linkedin

21. Save blog post to Google Drive

WordPress posts can also be saved to Google Drive.

IFTTT Recipe: Backup new WordPress posts to Google Drive connects wordpress to google-drive

22. Post RSS to your website

Post an RSS feed to your site. IFTTT Recipe: RSS Feed to WordPress Blog connects feed to wordpress

Other code snippets

23. Reupload images which you deleted by mistake

I often wondered if there was an easy way to get those images back which were deleted by mistake. And it turns out that there’s one such script from github that lets you do that. It scans the entire database and reuploads folders, restoring images.

24. Easy debugging of WordPress with Easy Debug Info Plugin

You can use this plugin to know about various debug infos and statistics on your WordPress site. It collects data points from server environment, WordPress theme installed, plugins being used version database details and a lot more.

Here’s the link.

25. Hide the WordPress version information

One of the very first things that hackers do in determining loopholes to hack your site is finding out which WordPress version you are using. There’s no easy way to do this, but adding this code in the functions file should help you. To access the code, click here.

26. Send emails with WordPress

Save tons of time by sending automatic emails directly from WordPress. I was surprised when I found out about this. WordPress supports mailing functions. Using wp_mail () you can send either plain-text or html emails. Get the code here.

27. Opening links in new windows

It’s a good practice to open external links in a new tab or window in order to lower your bounce rate. If you are someone who wants all external links to open in a new window but does not wish to go through each and every link and change it manually to open in a new window, then this is the perfect script for you. To get the script, follow this link.

Conclusion

These are some of my favorite time-saving hacks when working with WordPress. WordPress is not an ordinary CMS platform. It has such a huge community that WordPress is more of an advanced weapon developed by the smartest individuals worldwide.

Check Out These 6 Smokin’ Hot Web Design Trends

Online, Web design is everything. These are some of the 6 hottest Web design trends to watch before they explode and appear everywhere!

Designers are experimenting with new concepts and Web design ideas all the time. The Web design concepts are becoming bolder, more exciting, and more beautiful. They present even more challenges to designers, as every Web design needs to consider multiple aspects—UX, mobile responsiveness, online marketing, hot new trends as well as browser capabilities and SEO.

Here are some of the hottest trends that you should incorporate into your portfolio today.

1. Modular design

Keynote Modular Web DesignModular designs are like PowerPoint slides. The single most important point of difference between sites with and without modular design is this — modular sites don’t have a continuous page. Instead, you will find that the various elements are stacked atop each other. All these elements are screen-sized and as you reach the end of one, it slides away.

Keynote is a good example of a site with modular design.

One difficulty with modular web designs is that it is difficult to control how they behave on different screens like mobiles or tablets. All the web design elements need to be responsive for this to work properly.

Most Content Management Systems like the popular WordPress let you type in text and include images in a template style box. There’s no way you can alter this arrangement. Modular design works by thinking entirely out of this box.

Modular Web design lets you add any type of content, be it text or media and at the same time arrange it in the way you please. The different kinds of content are called blocks and can be sorted or re-sorted in multiple ways.

Modular Web design can be used for creating landing pages, blog posts and many other web experiences.

Look at all the possibilities of the system below:

The biggest opportunity is that you can design unique templates for different areas of the site. The homepage can be set differently than the product pages; review pieces differently and blog posts differently.

For the blog section of the website, this can be especially great design. Blogs are becoming more visual as visual content is gaining more popularity.  As you are blogging you can create a custom unique experience to engage users.

Here is an excellent primer on how you can design modular websites with ease.

2. White space is given prominence

Look at these sites, which have a generous helping of white space in their design.

White space in web design

White space is also called negative space, primarily because there’s nothing in that space. It’s the empty space between the constituent elements.

The space is not always white and necessarily need not be so. It can be a texture or other color, an area that is devoid of screen elements.

White space around a screen element, say the CTA, makes it the central point of focus. It stands out and calls out to visitors.

White space in Web design makes it easier for people to read text. Research finds that including white space improved comprehension by as much as 20%. That’s no joke.

What are the advantages of white space?

Makes text easier to scan in your Web design
White space reduces the amount of text that visitors see all at once and makes reading much easier. On the web, nothing is uglier than a cluttered page. It cannot lead users to an action. People stop reading when they find that it’s taxing them too much.

Text legibility in web design

Micro white space improves legibility

When The Economist realized that their design was too heavy and the content difficult to read, they proceeded with hiring Erik Spiekermann for the job.

web design white space

Erik in his redesign of The Economist proceeded by adding more white space and used a slightly smaller type with more leading. These small changes are called micro white spaces.

The results?

The content was now noticeably legible, less dense and didn’t overwhelm the visitor.

Another example of employing micro white space is Google.com. Look at how Google has changed the way the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs) are presented over the years:

The changes are subtle but if you are looking at the right places you will find that white space has increased over time. The homepage is a work of art in itself, an embodiment of the phrase: “simplicity is the ultimate complexity”.

Comparatively, a glance at the Yahoo homepage shows that they have thrown out every design principle out of the window. They want visitors to see everything and use everything. With attention spans lowering, no wonder Yahoo is sinking.

Whitespace leads the eye
According to Carla Rose, white space can guide visitors’ eyes from one point to the other, the proper use of which brings the important elements into focus. You can make your titles stand out with whitespace. Also, Rose claims that,

White space doesn’t have to be large. Just a generous ‘gutter’ between text and pictures can make a big difference.”

Sets the tone

White space can set the tone for an atmosphere. See the difference between the content used for a mailing and the one used for the website:

The content is exactly the same, same images; even the copy is same, the only difference being in the amount of white space.

The second image conveys class and luxury. The whitespace sets the tone.

Helps in brand positioning by creating a feel of elegance
The use of whitespace can work wonders for brand positioning. According to graphic designer Mark Boulton:

A lot more goes into brand positioning than just whitespace, but as a brief lands on your desk for a luxury brand, it’s very likely that the client—and their target audience—expects whitespace and plenty of it to align the product with its competitors.”

Look at Apple’s homepage:

Apple's homepage design

It’s the white space that conveys sophistication of the product.

This article covers a lot of examples where white space was effectively used to convey elegance and class.

Gives breathing space to CTAs

According to Oli Gardner of Unbounce, white space gives breathing space to the CTA. He calls it a design element that one cannot do without.

Arguments against using white space

The primary argument against using white space is the belief that users don’t scroll down. Of course Nielsen wrote a case study where he showed that people don’t scroll much but that was years ago and habits have changed. New research proves that users do scroll and it’s the easiest thing to do on a webpage.

Designers and marketers who hold “above the fold” theory want as much content as possible and, hence, lobby for decreasing whitespace. However, white space has been proven to work time and again.

3. Typography in Web design

Just look at this site. See the different combinations of types:

Typography in Web Design I would argue that instead of using commonly known fonts like Georgia or Ariel, designers should go with different font types. Each brand is unique and different typesets can convey the emotion and uniqueness of the brand in their own way.

In order to stand out, you need a different voice. Typography lends voice to your creation.

Avoid combining typefaces from the same categories

 The effect of contrast that we wanted while using different fonts will be nullified if we take fonts from the same category. It’s better not to use Wisdom Script, Ecolier,Pacifico, Allura, Sail, etc. together since they all belong to the script category.

Assign distinct roles to typefaces

You can use a certain typeface for the main heading, a different one for the body and another one for the sub heading.

The author slug can be assigned a bold heading with a distinctive type face too. Using 3 or 4 fonts this way creates a rich typographic mix.

In the above example, Akzidenz Grotesk Bold was used for the author slug, Bembo is used as the body typeface, while Akzidenz Grotesk Medium makes for the sub headings.

When using different fonts, you can increase the font sizes of each font to make the difference appear distinctive and give a good contrast. However,  do not mix too many fonts. It creates contrast in a very unpleasant manner.

Combine fonts from the same family to create visual harmony as shown below, where typeface from the same family Arno Pro is used:

Vary Typographic colors

Before we go in-depth to typographic colors, we need to understand a few terms like weight, width, leading and kerning.

Using the general guidelines above, we can experiment with a lot of typefaces with the help of a few tools:

  • Font weight: The font weight refers to how light or bold the font is. The heavier it is the bolder it will appear.
  • Stroke width: It refers to the width of the major lines comprising a letter form. While a wider stroke makes a letter bolder, a narrower stroke makes a letter lighter.
  • Leading: Leading comes from an earlier time when metal lines were used in type to set the space. To make the document legible, the amount of space added to the lines is called leading.
  • Kerning: Kerning is the adjustment of the character spacing in a proportional font to achieve a visually pleasing result.

You can go to Kern Type and try to achieve pleasant and readable text by distributing the space or kerning between the letters.

Kerning in Web Design

You can vary the leading and kerning and experiment with font weights and stroke widths to create a contrast in the text.

Get a feel of the typefaces and break the rules

Combining typefaces is more of an art than a science and we need to approach it in the same manner. While split testing can reveal what works best, only experimentation can effectively help discovering what to split test. You need to know your fonts. Print them out, take a look at those classic fonts, stare at them and you’ll finally know what ticks, which combinations work best.

4. Flat UI

Flat UI is a minimalistic approach to design that gives the illusion of three-dimensions and focuses on using simple elements and typography. Elements like drop shadows, gradients, or textures are the key aspects of Flat UI.

Windows 8 brought it to the mainstream, you can find it on Microsoft Metro used on Windows phones, Apple’s Yosemite Google’s material design and you can see something similar on iOS7 as well.

When Apple does something, we can be sure that the world will follow.

Mobile-ready sites rule the roost

Mobile is dominating the web today and it will continue to do so for the coming years.

For the consumer, mobile is always at hand.

With more people accessing internet on smartphones, the desire for speed has grown. Users are even more impatient on mobile, and the faster the site loads, the better it is for business. Even Google has inculcated site speed as a metric that determines rankings.

As it is, designers need to rethink about the UX in their Web design on mobile and design sites that are easier to grasp on mobile.

5. Video/Moving backgrounds

Video and mobile backgrounds are gaining popularity. Just visit PayPal’s homepage to see a moving video background.

Video content in Web Design

There’s a reason behind this love for videos.

Over 80% of users recall seeing video ads and 52% took some kind of action based on the ad.

51% of the participants in a ReelSEO survey said that they watched a video because someone recommended it to them.

If a site has an excellent explainer or intro video, it’s possible that the site will go viral by word of mouth.

As such sites with videos on the homepage are increasing, even copywriting site Copyblogger’s homepage has an explainer video in action.

6. Richer Web content

Richer content combining text, images, video and interactive functionality are being adopted on different sites. Websites use modular content as different people like to consume content in different ways.

In addition, people generally do not want to read a lot of text when accessing websites from their tablet or phone. Therefore, using video, images and text creates an ideal combination that increases engagement!

The takeaways

As you’ve seen, newer designs are taking over and design elements are brought into focus faster than ever. Video has replaced text on the homepages of sites and is driving even more conversions. And who would have thought that adding a little white space or different fonts could make a difference and mean so many different things.

The world of Web design is changing quickly and is very exciting. Keep watching out for different trends in order to make your designs, blog content or website as exciting as ever.

The 14 A/B Tests that Revolutionized Online Marketing

These online marketing experts thought their design and copy were awesome, but when they did an A/B test, OMG! They found they were leaving money on the table!

A/B testing is a process where two experiments are run simultaneously between an existing design and another version of the design with some changes. It lets you know what would work best for your site; which headline would lead to more conversions, what copywriting suits the visitor’s eyes, and things like that. A/B testing can help you increase revenues and build sites that your customers like. This is possible because with each A/B test you get to know more about them.

Generally while conducting A/B tests, half of your traffic is shown the original design. Let’s call this Version A and the other half is shown the modified design, which we will call Version B. To get optimum results, we test one thing at a time. It would be unwise to change the color of the CTA (Call to Action) button and the copy at the same time. If the conversions increase, we would not know what actually caused it (it can be either the button, the copy or both). Conversely, if conversions went down we would not not know what caused it either — so it simply does not make any sense to test more than one thing at a time.

Here are 14 A/B tests that revolutionized the world of online marketing:

1. The headline that increased sales

AB Testing for AppSumo

The founder of Appsumo released a new course called Monthly1k on helping people set up their own businesses. There are two versions: Version B has the headline that says, “How to make your first dollar?” but Version A’s headline, ‘How To Make A $1,000 A Month Business,’ increased sales of this $300 course by 6.49%.

It’s clear that people are more interested in learning how to have a sustainable career rather than learning the basics of making money.

This split-test shows us the importance of a headline. According to Dave Ogilvy,

On the average, five times as many people read the headline as those who read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.

According to John Caples of ‘Tested Advertising Methods, there are three elements to a successful headline.

  1. Self Interest: Your headline should let the reader know what’s in it for them.
  2. News: People love to be informed; news-like elements gain immediate attention.
  3. Curiosity: The headline should generate curiosity, ask a question, state a fact, and include some numbers in the headline.

The headline can make or break the success of your landing page. Here is the link to the site, so you can see for yourself how headline is the key for successful online marketing.

2. The mobile landing page that increased leads by 166%

AB Testing for Mobile Website

Image Source

Version A, without a background image, increased leads by 166%. Faces are a great addition in most cases. But a general rule when using faces is that they should look at the CTA. In this case, the person looks up, making people gaze towards the “back” button or URL bar, and bounce off the page.  As expected, Version B created confusion for visitors, thus it failed in getting leads.

3. Which form increased sales?

Form AB Testing for Online Marketing

Image Source

Forms are the pinnacle of online marketing. This is where your traffic converts to money (either by buying something or from online leads). However, it is not a secret that people don’t like to fill out forms (as they don’t like filling out forms off-line).

Don’t be blinded by the images or the red CTA button. When it comes to forms, the shorter they are, the better. Shorter forms take less time, so it is no surprise that Version B, which had the shorter form, outperformed Version A.

4. Changing an image brings 3x more conversions

This test was done by hosting company, Hawk.

Online Marketing Version B Image Source

The original homepage contained the image of a globe, which is generally used by hosting companies. However, when it was changed to the image of a padlock, the conversions went up by 3x. It seems that image of the padlock increased the visitor’s confidence and trust in the security of Hawk’s hosting services.

Online Marketing Version B

In fact, this is a great lesson. One of the goals of online marketing is to inspire trust in visitors. The Web is full of hackers, bogus companies and malware, so people want to know that they are in good hands.

5. Changing button color increases conversions

Hubspot designed landing pages for Performable — one with the CTA button in red, while the second one with the CTA button in green. It was observed that the red button had a 21% higher conversion rate.

Preformable AB Test

Image Source

I have a warning, though. When it comes to tests on color, nothing can be generalized. What worked for Performable may or may not work for you.

What would work is this. Find out if the CTA button presents a contrast and stands out in its own right. If the entire page is in blue then a big orange button can work magic, as these two colors provide a lot of contrast. Almost any color would work in a white background.

You won’t find out unless you test.

6. Purple CTA brings in 1.5X more conversions

To illustrate my point, see this A/B test where a purple CTA brought in more conversions than the original CTA color.

AB Test Yellow Button

 

AB Test Orange Button

 

Image Source

While the yellow-button variation converted 32% of visitors, the purple-button CTA had a conversion rate of 48%. The reason it worked was that the original CTA was far too blended in with the site design. Another factor was that a large percentage of the site’s visitors were senior citizens who frequently visited the site. When the CTA changed to purple, that was not something that they could ignore.

7. Adding Security Seal Increases Conversions

When Oriental Furniture added a Buy Safe seal to their website, they found that they had a 7.6% increase in conversions. While security seals do work for some sites, they don’t always increase conversions.

Online Marketing - Security Seal Next to Form 

Source

8. Removing the security seal increases conversions by 400%

Online Marketing - Adding Security Seal

 

Online Marketing - Removing Security Seal

As I said earlier, security badges don’t have a positive impact at all times.

When the security badge was removed from the ICouponBlog, they saw a 400% increase in conversions over 3 days. In two previous case studies, adding a security badge or a padlock to the site increased conversions.  In this case it was the complete opposite. Maybe the people on a coupon blog don’t want to immediately be led to buying and the badge evoked a mental imagery of shopping carts? Who knows? Your guess is as good as mine

9. Maintaining a scent helped conversions

At first look it seems that Version B is the winner with a crisp headline and supporting sub-headers. However, there’s more to it than what meets the eye.

eCommerce AB Test

Image source

Tests revealed that Version A had a higher conversion rate and increased leads by 115%.

The reason was that the PPC ad copy sounded similar to landing page A.

According to online marketing and conversion optimization expert Peep Laja:

Want to know how to deal a serious blow to your landing page conversions? Have the landing page look different from the online advertisement the consumer just viewed and have the landing page contain a different message/keywords.

So, even if a landing page comes with a snappier copy, it may not help the conversions if it doesn’t match the ad copy.

To maintain a scent, you need to do the following:

  1. Match the ad copy to the landing page copy.
  2. Match the ad design to the landing page design; similar color schemes, same imagery, almost a replica of the ad.

10. Explainer video brings $21,000 in additional revenue

Neil Patel found that when he added an explainer video to the CrazyEgg homepage, it led to a $21,000 increase in monthly revenue.

Crazy Egg Explainer Video

Here’s something to be careful about it though. An explainer video may not work if the script is not good.

The goal with the video is to explain your customer’s problems and if you aren’t able to do that, conversions may go down instead of up.

11. Image beats video and brings in an additional revenue of $106,000

Brookdale Living is a site for senior citizens and offers community living solutions for them. The problem was that their community page was lack-luster — a bare-bone structure with minimum graphics and no testimonials.

AB Test for Home

For an established site with huge traffic, there was something that needed to change.

Two variations were developed: one included the image of an elderly woman and the second variation had a video. The image brought in an increase in conversions of 3.92%, while the video fared only 0.85% better than the lack-luster original design.

The increase in conversions meant an additional $106,000 in revenues. All of that money for an image of an old woman. Videos, therefore, may not always bring more money on the table.

My conclusion is that when it comes to explaining the technical nature of a product, videos work like a charm. But the case may reverse if a site doesn’t actually require a video.

12. Social proof decreases conversions

Social proof is big. It may, however, not work in the way you think it would. In Version B, there is an additional rating with community ratings for each of the suppliers. However, the addition of the community rating confused the site’s visitors and this led to lower conversions.

Social Proof AB Test

Source

13. Removing social sharing buttons increases conversions

Taloon, an eCommerce site specializing in plumbing and electrical items, wanted to see the impact of introducing social sharing buttons on their product pages. On most Internet marketing blogs, including social sharing buttons are a norm, but for Talon, the split-test revealed that the variation without sharing buttons increased conversions by 11.9%.

Online Marketing for Social

Image source

The reason may be the negative social proof on product pages. Most of the product pages had no social shares at all which would have led users to not trust the site.

14. Facebook login decreases sales

Facebook Login AB Test Version A

 

Facebook Login AB Test Version B Image Source

I generally prefer a Facebook login option if there is one. However, BliVakker, a leading eCommerce site offering cosmetic products, uses Visual Web Optimizer to optimize their checkout process.

Among the many tests they ran, one was about using Facebook logins. They tested the checkout page with and without Facebook logins. The results were surprising, to say the least. The checkout page without Facebook increased conversions by3%, which led to $10,000 in additional revenue per week.

Concluding thoughts about online marketing and A/B Testing!

While reading this post, you have come across many contradictory case studies. While for one site adding a video increased the revenue, for another site the conversions went down. Facebook logins, which make it easy for customers to complete the checkout, were seen as a negative force in conversions, and security seals, which work in increasing conversions 90% of the time, contributed to bringing them down.

There are also split tests on using different colors. And I believe many of you would swear by your favorite colors. In Conversion Rate Optimization, testing is the key to success in finding out the truth.

The logic behind these results is that we are dealing with humans — versatile, picky, emotional human beings who behave as they choose to and, in many cases, not according to logic.

Split-testing is both an art and a science and it ventures to make sense of the incomprehensible.

Good luck testing and finding what works for you.

The 25 Copywriting Golden-Rules That Boost Traffic 2X

Yes! Copywriting can make or break your marketing. This is how you’ll add explosive, persuasive energy to your writing.

Copywriting increases traffic

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Have you ever been wondering how some great articles written by big copywriting gurus and famous names in the market, like Apple, compel the readers? You are always made to buy the products after reading their emails and articles; how can you also write such great articles that will instantly make your readers want to buy your products? All this is possible if you can master the copywriting tricks suggested here. It is possible to make any human being succumb with the right marketing, especially if you are offering a solution to a problem they have.

1. Identify the customer’s problem.

buyer centric copywriting

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Write very clearly about the customer’s problem that you are addressing in your writing, this will help the targeted audience realize that they have this problem.

2. Agitate on the problem.

Help the prospect understand how their problem is affecting something vital in their lives, like how to get more sales and more revenue; here you must show the customer what counts most to them and its relationship to the problem.

3. Offer real solutions.

Your writing must be geared towards offering a solution to a need the customer has, this is where the talk about the product or service you are writing about will come in handy, in this case the target will be convinced about your copy.

4. Target the right audience.

You will not be able to sell your ideas to every single person, so target a particular group of people. Write clearly about them, their lifestyle, and all that they are interested in to woo them; avoid generalization when copywriting.

5. The Magic of numbers

Try to capitalize on the usage of numbers in your copywriting that are addressed to your readers, write about numbers like 10, 50, 200 according to your target; people love to hear about the figures when reading your copy-writes. Make sure the numbers in your content stick out; human beings love numbers as opposed to general statements.

6. Attractive Headlines

On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.

—David Ogilvy

The headlines used in your writing matters a lot for your audience. A thorough research needs to be done to create very attractive, eye-catching phrases to be used. Many people are often put off by the first words they read about your article. Depending on the type of audience you are addressing, the choice of these magic words will take your copy-writes to places; a catchy and attractive headline will sell the content you have created because almost 80% of your ideas are wrapped in the headline you have used.

Research comparing 150,000 article headlines showed titles with eight words had the highest click-through rates (CTR).

A 9% better CTR was recorded for headlines with a symbol like a colon, a hyphen, etc.

Lists work well. Headlines with odd-numbered lists perform even better, with a 20% higher click-through-rate than even-numbered ones.

7. Copywriting power words

In your writing employ the usage of power words, which always will work in the advertising and marketing world. The choice of words like guarantee, safe, love, new, etc. are like magic to your audience when used appropriately. They always bring a sense of reliability in what you are selling as you write your articles and emails, many of these power words will trigger an urge in your audience to buy, but care has to be taken when using words like bonus or free; make sure that you mean it.

8. Leverage stories.

The usage of stories is another aspect that will do you wonders when it comes to copywriting tips. This will lure your audience and bring them home. When they have wandered far away from your marketing, here they are drawn back, just like you see little children listening in cycles to storytelling, sometimes engaged, sometimes not. It is the same if you present your writings in a metaphorical form to bring more life to your presentation.

9. Take advantage of exclusivity.

Any time you read an advert that states that the product or offer is just for a few, or a privileged group, you always want to be within that special group; it’s just human nature to strive to be among the special category. Eventually you give them the offer anyway; this is one sales point that will always work when used correctly.

10. Add Celebrity Proof to your Copywriting

Celebrity proof to copywriting

Many people will use a product which was endorsed by a social figure. Let me share an example. When I talk to women about Lupita’s lip-balm tube, I always find that they respond positively. What I mean is that when writing for the purpose of marketing a product or a service, the time it is associated with a celebrity will give it a new impetus to really sell; your target will want to be associated with what you are writing about. Once a product is used by a celeb, that will trigger interest in your audience when you mention it.

Now we cannot call Brad Pitt and ask for an endorsement of our blogs, but we can include testimonials from well-known bloggers if we hustle.

11. Talk to the audience as if they already know what you are selling.

Address your audience in your writings as if they have already used the products or are using them already. Try to show them how their lives and lifestyle have improved since they made a decision to change it, this makes them imagine that what you are selling is good and real.

12. Copywriting in conversational tone

Let the copy be very articulate and to the point and relate a conversational tone. Many readers appreciate only what is related to them in a simple and understandable manner, let it be easy to grasp and analyze for your target audience.

13. Simplicity is bliss.

Today’s audiences, owing to many issues in life, are often put off by difficult to understand articles. Use simple words, in a catchy and captivating manner, to convey your message.

14. The 20-second rule

Let your writing be so articulate and appealing that whenever your audience Googles and lands on your page, they will not leave it half-way read, but it will captivate them in that short time. Don’t be boring.

15. Post your contact information.

When your target lands on your page, they will strive to find contact information first. It should be on the left-hand corner or right-hand corner; whichever the case, let there be a link or a contact in the right section for them to connect.

16. Important points first

Visitors to your articles or advertisements will only read the first two lines and the last ones. Make sure that you don’t bother with fluff in your copywriting, but put the important points in those lines of your writing, this is one trick in copywriting that many copywriters don’t know.

17. Add some psychology in your copywriting.

Make sure you use certain words to convince your audience, or would-be audience. The usage of phrases like, “We care a lot for you, that’s why such products are specifically made to offer you comfort,” will play into your audience’s mind to lure them in fast.

Compare it with something dry like, “Consumers can benefit from the wide range of services if they sign-up to this program.”

18. Write in active voice.

It’s difficult to convince an audience with passive voice. Researchers have frequently found that passive voice is associated with lying. If you believe in your product, then you should be enthusiastic when sharing what it does.

Active voice conveys it best.

19. Appreciate your audience.

Write in style words, which will act as a welcoming gesture to your audience. In the old days we have experienced customer-care representatives coming out to give us a handshake for a welcoming gesture; let your writings and articles keep that personal touch too, such copywriting tips will add value to the art.

20. Use the word “You”.

A pronoun of three letters, you doesn’t seem to carry any mysticism around it. However, it’s powerful.

Talking to people in the third voice doesn’t sound great. The word “you” talks directly to your audience and is one of most powerful words in advertising. It makes the audience participants rather than strangers who stay aloof.

The reason it works is that, as humans, we are self-centered.

Dale Carnegie expressed it best in his epic self-help book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, published 78 years ago.

”A person’s toothache means more to that person than a famine in China which kills a million people. A boil on one’s neck interests one more than 40 earthquakes in Africa. Think of that the next time you start a conversation.”

And as marketers, we are in a conversation.

I have an exercise for you. How many times did I use the word you or its variations, like your, in this article?

21. Use perfect typography.

“Typography is the detail and the presentation of a story. It represents the voice of an atmosphere, or historical setting of some kind. It can do a lot of things.” Cyrus Highsmith

A quiz ran in the New York Times, “Are you an optimist or a pessimist?” The text stated that if a one kilometer asteroid had approached the Earth on a collision course before the 21st century it would have killed a substantial proportion of humanity. In that respect we live in an era of unprecedented safety.

Copywriting typography

The readers were then asked if they agreed with the statement and to what degree.

The real agenda behind the quiz was not test whether people were optimists or pessimists but to see the effect of fonts on the rate of disagreement and agreement.

The number of participants used for data was 45,524.

Results?

Baskerville had the second shortest bar in terms of disagreement and the second tallest bar in terms of agreement.

In terms of weighted scores of agreement and disagreement with the above statement on the belief of safety, Comic sans has the lowest rate of agreement and one of the highest rates of disagreement.  But, in weighted scores, Baskerville has both the highest rate of agreement and the lowest rate of disagreement.

22. Use transportation for persuasion.

Researchers have found that when someone reads a novel, it transforms the brain to make the reader feel that he/she is actually doing what the protagonist does.

These changes last, even up to weeks. Stories work so well because they transport you to a make-believe world.

High-quality imagery, suspense, and metaphors are the tools that you can employ to persuade your audience.

Apple does it best. See their new ad which wants you to believe that an iPhone can make you achieve your dreams.

23. Write long-form content.

Analysis of all of the most linked content on Moz.com revealed that the posts with the most word counts got the most links.

It’s only common sense to assume that the more links you get in a natural manner the higher will your rankings be.

Long form copywriting

24. Use pictures

The research by the Guardian mentioned earlier found that pictures work very well. Adding thumbnails on an article can increase clicks by 27%.

We seem to be trained to love pictures.

25. Mild swearing can be good.

Scherer and Sagarin (2006) conducted an experiment where they divided 88 participants into three groups to watch one of three slightly different speeches. The only difference being that one of the speeches contained a mild swear word at the start (“Damn it”).

It was found later that the participants were most influenced by the speeches with the swear word.

The word ‘damn’ increased the audience’s perception of the speaker’s intensity, which was what lead to the increased level of persuasion.

However, it didn’t negatively affect the credibility of the speaker. Hence, mild swearing can be a killer copywriting weapon.

Conclusion

There are many other copywriting tips out there that can enhance your marketing techniques, but these are some of the main ones that, if used appropriately, will make your online marketing a success.

Blog: 5 Secrets of Blogging that the experts never told you

You’ve invested hours in a blog post but nobody reads it? Here are 5 secrets that the experts use when blogging to get more readers, shares and comments for your blog

Blogging is not only about great writing.  In fact, this is where many bloggers fail—they invest the time in creating great content, interesting posts and engaging insights, but then fail to promote their content.  The sad thing is that all of that great investment in blogging just goes unread.

To become a successful blogger, you need to both create great content and invest the time and effort in order to promote it.  Content promotion will deliver the traffic, social shares and even more traffic to your site.  Here is how you should go about promoting your blog content.

1.    Reach out to other bloggers

Many bloggers welcome those who reach out to them asking them to mention your blogging content.  However, your success really depends on how useful and engaging your content is.  Blogging about how-to articles without any real insights or expertise will not get you very far.  Think about topics in which you can blog and show real expertise.

The best way to reach out to bloggers is though reading their content thoroughly, commenting on some of their blog posts and only then reaching out to them via email.  If the blogger knows your name already, it turns from a cold call to a warm call.

When you reach out to a fellow blogger, mention the added value of your article in order to get the most out of it.  In addition, try to explain why the readers of your target blog will find your content interesting.

2.    Leverage social media to promote your blog

Every blog should have social media channels for effective promotion. Many people are exposed to interesting content through shares.  In fact, many blogging experts think that social media is starting to be more important than SEO in many respects in promoting your blog.

How should you start?

  • Twitter: First you need to make a decision whether you would like to communicate as yourself or create a new handle for your blog.  When you make this decision, make sure to create as many tweets with links to your blog and tag them accordingly, to ensure that you lure in as much traffic as possible.
  • Facebook: Create a page for your blog and start sharing your post.  Facebook users “like” posts with lots of interesting and provocative images, so don’t just settle for those lousy stock images.
  • LinkedIn: Bother to use LinkedIn only if you are blogging in the business-to-business arena.  LinkedIn users are looking mainly or professional content, so it’s only worth the time and effort if you have a professional blog.
  • Pinterest: Some blogs do great on Pinterest while others really do a mediocre job. Pinterest members love images and how-to guides on cooking, fashion and lighter topics. If you are blogging on cloud computing, Pinterest may not be the right blogging promotion platform for you.

3.    Boost your blog with SEO

One of the great ways to reach new audiences for your blog is through Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  SEO is the art and science of getting your blog posts visible to search engines in order for them to index your blog posts correctly and bring relevant traffic.

To reach great rankings, you need to write your content in a way that will make it easy for search engines to index it correctly.  Here are a few basic rules of thumb:

  • Have a few keywords in mind when you start writing your content and blogging. As you write your blog post, keep sprinkling those keywords across your blog.
  • Try and get as many people to link to your post.  Send over the post to colleagues and friends and ask them to link to your blog from their posts.
  • Always have a title under 70 characters and a short ‘meta description’ for every blog post.

4.    Advertise your blog

New advertising platforms are offering great possibilities for bloggers in order to promote their blogs.  These platforms take your content and place it strategically on other publishers, making it possible for them to discover your content.  Average cost per click is between $0.1 to $0.3, and the more popular your blog posts get in terms of Click Through Rate (CTR) the lower your price gets.

Content discovery platforms are a great way to get massive amount of traffic instantly and build your blog’s brand.  However, be careful, as it may get expensive.

The top content discovery networks are:

  • Disqus
  • Outbrain
  • Taboola

5. Create an opt-in email list for your blog

One of the best ways to keep loyal readers and let them know whenever you have new content is by creating an email list for your blog.  Most email marketing platforms including MailChimp, Campaign Monitor or A Weber allow you to forward your latest blog to your loyal readers.

The question is, how do you get people to opt-in in the first place.  One great strategy is to offer something in return for opt-in readers.  For example, eBooks are a great way to get people who are interested in the topic that you are blogging about to opt-in.

Conclusion

Just because you write great content, does not mean that you can be a successful blogger.  Blogging also requires the ability to promote your blog posts and get found by people that are interested in your content.  These five methods for bloggers: Reaching out to bloggers, social media, SEO, advertising, and email, should give you a headsstart.