How to Build Pages that Convert

November 19, 2020

Why aren’t more of your website visitors converting?

In this session, our panelists will walk through how to turn your website visitors into REAL leads. We’ve taken well-known UX principles, visitor psychology, and copywriting hacks and turned them into simple steps you can take today. 

You’re on the way to higher-converting landing pages (WITHOUT a website redesign).

The good news:

  • Many of the fixes you will see are simple changes.
  • You don’t need to redesign your website.
  • You’ll leave with new ideas for maximizing the value of every visit and every one of your digital marketing efforts.

Watch the full conversation below!

View the slides below ↓

Want to learn more ways to improve conversions?



Hey everybody, welcome to our webinar. I’m Kathleen from SharpSpring Ads’s marketing team and we’re super excited to be here today. We’re going through our webinar on how to build pages that convert, how to turn your website visitors into leads. So before we get started, I just want to remind everybody that we will do a Q and A at the end, and then afterwards if we have more questions than we can get to, we will do a follow-up video the following week. So if you have questions now or at any point through the webinar, go ahead and throw those in the box at the bottom of the screen and we’ll go ahead and get started.


So our speakers today, we’re super excited about. First up we have joining us Andy Crestodina. He is the CMO and co-founder of Orbit Media Studios in Chicago and he has spent 20 years in SEO and analytics. He’s done tons of presentations every year on SEO and he’s even been a host for SEMrush and he has a handbook on content marketing. So pretty much all around just an awesome guy. We’re excited for you to be here Andy.


Thanks Kathleen, I’m glad to be here myself. This will be fun.


Awesome. And then we have Todd Libo joining us as well. He’s the CEO of Ascend2. For those of you who don’t know Ascend2 is a research-based marketing company that works with marketing technology and data companies and conducts original research. But Todd has also worked with companies like Oracle, Dun and Bradstreet and Adobe. And so he will be also bringing tons of insights today. Welcome Todd.


I’m looking forward to it. Thank you guys for having me.


Yeah of course. And then of course we have Eric Stockton. He is our General Manager here at SharpSpring Ads, but he’s really known for his knack for growing businesses. He’s managed huge ad budgets and overseen a variety of sales organizations throughout the years, as well as speaking at Marketing Sherpa events, Email Summit, and Demand Gens Summit just to name a few of those. So welcome everybody. And I should’ve got the memo to wear mine. I know it’s, we’re working from home. This is what we do, for those of you who don’t know or who haven’t seen one of our previous webinars, Eric’s classic outfit is his hat, so we couldn’t be here without that. But so for today we’re going to be talking about how to build pages that convert. And we’re going to start out talking about, what if you could convert more of your website visitors and improve your ad performance without it causing a huge redesign of your website. So Eric, would you start us off a little bit with kind of your theory on our holistic marketing strategy and how that plays into what we’re talking about today?


Yeah sure. So we have had lots of conversations over the last several weeks about like how do you come up with a way to be able to, or an approach to be able to know that you’re putting your dollars to work right? If you put a dollar in, you’re getting two dollars out. And how do you really understand that and get your arms wrapped around it as a marketer. And I sort of, I don’t know, that I don’t, maybe you want to call it a rant, I’m not sure, but there’s just been this sort of epiphany for me over the last I don’t know, couple of weeks where there’s so many marketers that sort of optimize or work based on job title right? And so what you’ll see is the design person has their certain way that they’re measured and then you’ve got your Demand Gen person, and they’ve got the way that they’re measured. And they’ve got a certain set of KPIs. And then you know, you’ve got your certain KPIs for email marketing specialist and you can sort of just go down the list. And you know, the challenge for that is it’s really difficult to optimize in a vacuum right? You can’t do it. You have to look at things like it’s a holistic approach from beginning to end. And I think that comes in the form of both your thinking and in the way that you attack the problem in your team and how they organize around it.


And then also, in the tech stack or the marketing stack, that you use that sort of serves you and serves the goal. So you know, at the end of the day we really, as marketers, we really have to focus in on sort of a holistic view. And understand how all of the team works together to sort of lead up to the KPI, which is revenue right? And that’s the key right? That’s what really solves problems and what really grows businesses and drives revenue.


Awesome no, thanks Eric. And just kind of go from that and kick us into what specific things you can do to improve your landing pages as part of the marketing strategy. I am going to turn it over to Andy now and he’s going to take us through a quick exercise on some copywriting hacks that will be super relevant for your landing pages.


Sure. Anyone recognize that guy? Jacob Nielsen. Nielsen Normal Group, famous usability researcher. He did a study in 2004 where he gave a bunch of users a bunch of tasks and a bunch of websites to measure the success rate for websites in general. Kind of ambitious. Todd’s getting ideas how we could like see if the internet is good and then he did it again in 2016 to see if the internet had improved. And basically, not just concluded that yes, usability and conversion and you know, the web has gotten a bit better, but why things fail, why people don’t convert, why people can’t complete a given task. And the main answer was findability. It’s the number one reason why you and me and Kathleen and Eric and Todd and everyone else watching this has trouble performing a task on a website is that there’s missing information. It’s not that the design isn’t fancy enough. In fact, fancy design is one of the reasons why things fail according to Jacob Nielsen. So if you break down to Todd’s, Eric’s point just now about the ultimate KPI right, getting the person to act revenue, this little person, this visitor doesn’t get over here to the goal and convert unless the answers in this first arrow is bigger and stronger than uncertainty, which is like vector geometry right? You want to get that person to get over to that goal. So our job as marketers and to the first point about, this isn’t going to be an expensive effort. Probably this doesn’t require an invoice or a budget or a statement of work or a designer or a programmer. It’s just content. You can log into WordPress or whichever you’re using, whatever system you’re using and improve your site right now from the findability perspective without a big investment right?


It’s just a matter of knowing your audience and what their information needs are. So what we do when we build sites and, this is almost not even believable we launched three sites yesterday, we do 60 sites a year, we’ve done more than a thousand since the beginning. Our approach to building websites is to start with this big bit of qualitative research. Interviewing our clients. If you’ve ever been to any conversion conferences and they talk about what works and how to get better results sort of weirdly, like if you know a more junior marketer might expect to hear tips about button color or something like visual hierarchies, that’s all relevant, potentially relevant. But what really matters is the information needs. The audience find ability to solve for x. Solving for x answers people’s questions. So I’ve collected questions over many years that I’ve heard conversion optimizers bring up in these conferences. And I’m going to show a bunch to you now. Talk to a prospect before I jump in. Eric, your point about holistic marketing was perfect because rather than sales people judging themselves based on sales and marketers judging themselves on marketing, and what we have to jump over that silo. And if the marketer understands the audience if they’re like a market expert, not just marketing but an expert on the market and they know what this, what people, why people buy and don’t buy, to do that now you can make a great page to do that. You’ve got to ask questions like this.


Take me back to that moment when you first realized you needed help. This is me talking to my target audience, my current customers. What else did you try and what didn’t you love about it? What almost kept you from buying from us? Anyone out there? Does something, does an answer jump to mind? Why don’t people hire you? Very important information. What made you confident enough to give us a try right? This is messaging prioritization, right? I’m going to make a better page if I get these answers. What made this our company the best option for you? Messaging prioritization. I can go make a better page. What can you do now or better than you couldn’t do before? You’re going to hear that your value proposition in their words, not just so you can go right, but you can actually use their words. You let your audience write your copy for you. Can you give me an example of when this made a difference for you? You know, we do a, Todd does original research for people, talk to 50 clients, ask them how that helped them and then use that language on those pages. If you couldn’t work with us ever again, what would you miss the most? What’s the number one thing you would tell a friend if you wanted to convince them to hire us? You’re getting these slides of course. Go, rewind, watch this, you know, you get the recording, happy to share all of this.


You can also ask questions just to your top sales associates and get even more insights. For example, what questions are you just sick and tired of answering? In my experience, if you ask salespeople what question do people ask you a lot, they look kind of like hem and hog, they’re not sure. But if you ask them in a different way, what are you just tired of explaining to people? They’ll have a good answer. Yeah, people like to complain right? They tell you everything you want to know. Yep. If you trigger the rant, they’re going to go on and on instead of you having to pull it out of them. Bug difference. Some of these are redundant by design. What should people ask you but they don’t? That’s if you’ve read The Challenger Sale. Again, to Eric’s point, holistic marketing, good marketers read sales books. That’s an awesome book for a marketer to read. It’s basically about content marketing, but it doesn’t call it that. Calls it just like educational content or something. But, answering the unknown, solving for the unknown need, bringing up, you know, there’s, they talked to five people but you didn’t just answer the questions you raised. This other thing that they didn’t know, they needed to think about, what was the aha moment that prospects have during a sales call? What analogies do you use to explain what we do? If people can work with us, even if what my web page needs to do some objection handling, what objections need to be handled?


This question elicits that. So now I’m going to combine that with Joanna Webb, who is credited with kicking off the conversion copywriting industry. She’s from Copy Hackers, she does a presentation called Money Words where she breaks down the grammatical forms that tend to correlate with success. They write landing pages and emails because actually she left this offer list because everyone talks about it. Use the word because it’s going to force you to get the why. This is an example a technology buyer, we offer on-site installations because not everyone wants their data in the cloud. Should you have access to your data from anytime, from anywhere? Already, and still use this in your next sales page right? In your next email You’ve already upgraded your network, but you’re still having performance issues. It’s going to be awesome. Copy. This is going to work well. The fact is, the truth is, because everyone wants to feel like they’re a logical decision maker. The truth is that cloud-based applications still crash no matter what they promise, even if you can. This is the objection handling. You still have 100% access to anywhere even if your services are on site or whatever the case. I’m kind of making this up.


Now watch, I’m going to put it together guys, watch this, I’m going to take the question, use the answer, and build a web page. For example, I’m interviewing a client. I asked them when evaluating options, what was the most important thing? Oh, security was number one. Scalability was number two. Now I know how to make my page question/answer content. Give me an example of when this helped you. Oh you guys really saved my bacon that one time, testimonial quotes, you guys really saved my bacon, I can’t write copy that good right? Only the audience can write copy that good. Everything I write is automatically marketing. Everything they write is social proof. You see that. You can’t write copy as good as they can. What was the biggest challenge you were hoping to solve? I wanted better insights. Not just dashboards. Already, and still you already have dashboards but you’re still not getting insights. Wow the visitor is going to say wow this page is like reading. my mind. What can you do now that you couldn’t do before now? I don’t have to run that damn report every time. Stop running the same reports again and again. What analogies do you use to, I’m talking to the sales team now, what analogies do you use to explain what we do? On-site installation is like owning your own home. It’s like your house. You should own your own home. See how that’s gunna, we know that like a market-tested chunk of language that is used in sales meetings all the time. But the sales people don’t think holistic marketing gap to push sales messaging up into the marketing funnel. That’s what the marketer can do.


What questions are you tired of answering? Oh people keep asking me what if we want to cancel my contract? They can cancel their contract any time. It’s not even a contract, it’s month to month. Hey have we even said that in our marketing yet? Oops. We missed an important objection address, it cancels anytime. What questions should people ask you but they don’t? People never ask us about how well we test, how good we are at documentation. Now look, I’m going to use the fact is right, people want to feel like they’re logical decision makers. The fact is, 80% of software installations are never fully tested or documented. i got data if you don’t have data to support your assertions. Talk to Todd. Put these things together and you’ve got what I called the perfect B2B service page. Not just for B2B, this works for anybody. This, the psychology of a person with information needs is not so different, B2B, B2C, this is from an article. Sorry that’s hard to read. I actually pulled out these, this list. So you’ve got it here in this last slide, but fundamentally what is a web page? It needs to guide the visitors thinking by using a visual hierarchy to align with messaging priority. Taking them from answer to evidence, answer evidence, answer evidence, call to action. That’s the structure of a high converting page. Solve for x, satisfy people’s information needs. Don’t miss. Jacob Nielsen was warning us, findability is the big problem. So high converting pages are pages that answer the visitors questions and satisfy their information needs on the topic of the product or service. That’s what I got for you guys. I’m going to quit sharing and we’ll come back.


Thank you that was amazing. So many thing to digest there Andy. I mean, we definitely don’t ask enough questions do we? I mean, I think it’s marketers, I mean, it’s not, we don’t, I was just going to say like when can Andy do our web page? [laughter] I love that right? I mean, so here’s the thing. You know, if you sort of like put it all together you know, I love your approach Andy because what ends up happening is you pre-answer the questions that you know are top of mind for your perfect ICP, your perfect customer right? And so you know, now I think of course naturally, for with SharpSpring Ads, i think sort of funnel, I think okay, well now let’s go to the ads. Like how do you test messaging and what is it that your prospects are responsive, you know, are responding to in the ad right? So this can be very useful, just for the ad right? There’s the core question that’s burning on somebody’s mind. You are triggering that right there in the ad. It’s going to give you better click-through rates, gives you lots and here’s the thing too, is you just laid out, I don’t know how many questions, like six or eight, something like core questions that a prospect would have as sort of defined by your sales guy. But the, just working out funnel like everyone one of those could be a set of ad creatives you right? You could test every single one of them, figure out which one’s pulling more. You can sort of get real-time data on what it is, what your pain points are that your prospects are having. I love that.


This is great, yeah. From the visitors perspective I mean, if you, as someone once asked me, it’s like in one word what must our website do, my word was answer. Because that’s why the visitor, go look at your own browsing history. Why didn’t you go back to all those websites? It’s like you wanted to get information. Marcus Sheridan, the popular marketing speaker, talks about FAQ content that he just wrote a book, like they ask you answer. Yeah. But what you just said is interesting and works well with this framework because I’m an analytics guy from way back but the problem with analytics is, it only shows you what works out of the things that you’ve tried. If you start, if you go back and do some qualitative research and you talk to your audience, you’ll get new ideas for things to try. You can test different messages, you can create different ads, and get more data that I clicked away from this message. Cool. Let’s include that on the page or let’s build that into our content. Hey this page is you know, I’m getting this question a lot from this audience. Let’s put that message into the ad so you can see how that’d be a nice feedback loop as long as they’re not these groups aren’t too siloed within the org right?


Right right yeah. I think that’s right. I mean I think also, if maybe you’re an earlier stage company right? You’re a startup and you are the sales team right? As an individual and as you’re talking to people and you’re developing who your perfect customer is or perfect prospect is, many times you don’t know what it is, you know your final pitch. Value proposition really is, and so you know it’s been, it takes a lot of time and time equals money right? So if you could sort of accelerate that, which is what some people use our platform for. And this is by the way, is not a pitch or anything. It’s just we see people that are testing ads all the time and I never, it’s funny, when I first started with SharpSpring Ads I didn’t realize that’s what they were going. I was like man, why are they spinning up a bunch of campaigns and then pausing them and then spinning up a different set of campaigns or testing different types of campaigns against each other. And the reason why was because they were trying to hone in on their own value proposition, their own messaging right? And this is how they were doing, they were using, they knew who their audience was right? It wasn’t huge. They hadn’t gotten to scale yet but they had enough traffic to be able to sort of work against and they knew who they needed to be in front of. They just didn’t know exactly what their key pain points were and these ads, every one of them were geared towards different types of pain points. And they were able to get to the answer that your CMO or whoever really wants to know. Which is how do we get in front of the right customer and how do we scale?


Yeah I love that. There’s, oh Todd you were saying, well I’m just, you had mentioned Marcus Sheridan and when I was at Marketing Sherpa we had him speak, that’s probably about 10 or 12 years ago and literally it was right when he had made this transition and really did the exact, the blueprint you’re discussing where he went and just started asking questions of the sales people and converted his business from an outbound to an inbound process. And he used that information to create this incredible content that ranked highly because he listened to his audience. He listened to his sales people and he converted all those questions to content pieces that answered it. And he got to a point where he would not even go and have a meeting with somebody unless they read a certain amount of content that prepared them. So a lot of it’s that and the sequencing of how you sequence the process. Don’t ask somebody for a sale before they know enough information because they may say no before they’re ready to say no. They might have a yes inside them they just have not understood the product and the process enough to say yes.


Yes yeah, Marcus points out just how effective that content can be when used in the marketing funnel to create leads that are so warm that by the time the associates talk to them they’re just trying to, they just basically take the order. It’s like, he tells stories about how he’d go to meetings and these people who he knew from his automation system that had been to the site 11 times. And he’d start with this little spiel and they’d stop him and say no I already know all of this from your site. I’m ready to buy. So this is the trend in digital. This is the trend and this is the big picture. Like what the internet did is it made all of us so capable of doing so much research, going back to the previous eras like the 80s and before, you had to talk to an associate just to get information. Nobody wants to talk to an associate. We all expect to get all the information we need online. So that was one of the benefits. The other thought to your point, he now calls it assignment selling. I talked to Marcus recently, he won’t exactly, as you just said Todd, they won’t even take the next call until the prospect has clicked and read these articles. So marketers think about marketing and generating marketing qualified leads. But sales people turn marketing qualified leads into deals. Actually, that’s pretty inefficient right? And that’s what Eric said up front. If the marketers give bottom of funnel content sales enablement content to the sales team. They’re going to do a much better job of following up of helping people disqualify themselves.


Yes so those emails sound like this, it’s like thanks, a great meeting, ready to set up the next meeting anytime. Before we talk again please take a look at these two things here. I saw a presentation where they show those emails, I couldn’t even find it. Take a look at these two things because it’ll make it a better conversation. So all the people that they talk to, they know that they’ve given them an assignment and they know that that person is going to be a warmer lead because of it or they’re not a lead. If they’re not, if a lot of your prospects shouldn’t be in your funnel, you want them to get out, they don’t want to be an unqualified lead. So help them disqualify themselves, that’s another benefit. I don’t even know, that’s a great point. You’re just assigning them. Yeah no, all of those things are great. I’m just gunna try to get rid of the sun that’s flaring into my face. No problem. Yeah no worries. All of those were super relevant and great points and kind of our first step in what we wanted to talk about today is content and calls to action which Andy has already covered basically in that awesome little walk through that we went through at the beginning.


So we’re just gunna kind of move on and keep going. So our next, and this one as well, using questions to discover psychological triggers. I think that this is exactly what Andy was just talking about but can we talk a little bit more about maybe the, what is a psychological trigger for everybody watching. Like explain that a little bit more. Well there are reasons why we all do and don’t do things right? Why we take action, why we don’t. Why we hit the back button, why we close the browser tab, and the things that marketers do to discourage those actions and incentivize the more profitable actions for the brand are often called psychological triggers. Technically they may be leveraging a cognitive bias or they might not be lots of things that we do as marketers trigger are basically leveraging a cognitive bias. For example, a testimonial leverages the conformity bias, you know, the pattern interrupters and color and white space leveraged the Van Restorf effect. Like you can actually break down another day, we’ll do this, we’ll break, we’ll look at a page and break down like, how many, I once did this in a presentation like let’s pull up one Amazon page. I’m going to count the number of cognitive biases that they’re using on you. And there’s a lot, there’s a whole bunch of them so are they you know, are they triggers? Basically the page needs to align with the motivations of this visitor to help them make a good decision for themselves. They’re not, you don’t want a bad customer. You don’t want a returned product. You don’t want someone to buy if they don’t want to or become a lead if they’re not qualified. So what we want is to raise the information level of the visitor on their terms. Yes. Give them what we want them to have. Answer unknown questions, provide evidence to support answers. Nobody goes to websites to read testimonials but if you put testimonials next to the answers, quick tip, please don’t make a testimonials page. Your visitors don’t want to go to a testimonials page. I’ve never seen testimonial pages as popular pages. And analytics. It’s like serving someone a dish of like all parsley. It’s like that’s a garnish, that’s not a dish. That’s not the main thing. Nobody orders a glass of cherries as a cocktail. It’s like, it’s supportive and it belongs next to the answer it supports right? The answer, 100% on time service, every time evidence, thanks you guys rocked it, you were on right on the dot, like so yeah these are, that’s an example of a psychological trigger. But you don’t get that unless you reach out to the audience.


But, and in my experience another super quick tip, the best way to get testimonials is to simply build into your business process a mechanism for getting feedback. How’d that work for you? Did that help? Tell me what it was like to work with my team. What would you give and send if you have any PR, any net promoter score plans to get feedback from your audience. You are also going to get testimonials because you’re going to talk to some raving fans and all you got to do is take that one extra step to say, wow that was awesome. Would you mind please, if I could use, would it be okay if I use that as a testimonial on our site? It would mean the world to us. Almost always say yes. So gathering social proof and learning how to be a better company from feedback from your clients, same thing.


Yeah I like what you mentioned as far as also, it’s the sequencing of where you have it you know, so if you have a guarantee at the top of your page before somebody even doesn’t know if they want your product and all of a sudden you’re saying, well it’s guaranteed 100%. It’s zero effect as a matter of fact, it’s a negative psychological trigger. And so really thinking about that sequence of the user is extremely important.


Yeah I saw someone had me review an ad for them yesterday and it said like webinar free, Thursday December 15th, whatever like and then below that it had the content, like the topic. Like why does anyone care what format it is like what, you know, no one cares. People care about themselves a lot. people care about their problems a lot. People care about brands very little. People don’t care. Nobody wakes up and says I’m looking for a good webinar, any topic will do. Nobody ever says I’m looking for something to do on September 15th, no one ever does that. I think there’s, they also see the world in which they see the world right. So when they, when they view content or they view something on you know, an ad right, you have to yeah, just like you said Andy, yeah you got to talk to them in their language right? if you use their words back on them, that’s the thing about copywriting that cracks me up right? It’s not as complicated as we like to make it. It’s an art, no question. But there is like real fun. It’s all grounded in real fundamental sort of like logical things if you really sit down and think about it and you know if you talk to people in the words that they use, and you know use it in the cadence in which they use it, and you know it’s just, it’s the most powerful tool you have in your tool bag. You can’t write copy as good as they can. There’s no, you can’t come close.


Absolutely. It’s cool yeah. I love what you said earlier Andy about how everything that we write as marketers is marketing and what they write is social proof that was really cool. That was exactly true. There’s another quote that’s not mine. It’s Eugene Schwartz, the copywriting legend, he wrote scientific breakthrough advertising here. Let’s see there’s my bookshelf over there, it’s this black book right down there. He said great copy isn’t written, it’s assembled. That makes so much sense to me. He wrote that like 50 years ago. But it really is a matter of construction. It’s like, what are the elements, what are the supportive visuals you know, who are the, who are the strongest voices? What is best data point you know? If we recently relaunched our site, I don’t have it it’s over there, my process was to just take a bunch of questions that people ask me during sales. I still do tons of sales and then just write answers and then create page blocks and then I cut them all up and it became like a card sword exercise. The pages are assembled after I built each lego, it’s an effective way to build high converting pages is to start with that FAQ content. What’s the supportive evidence answer? Call to action.


Yep nope that’s exactly right. So then moving on a little bit, our next piece in the puzzle kind of just as you were saying, is to use analytics to look for leaks in the bucket and Eric, I know that we’ve been doing tons of I mean, most companies are looking at their analytics closely. Especially right now. But I wonder if you can speak to this a little bit. yeah I think you know, it’s funny Andy you just, you’d said you know, like nobody creates it or nobody should be creating a testimonial page you know. And your answer would be the opposite of that. If you saw it in the analytics and people were right for some reason searching that out and you saw that that was leading to a conversion, you know downstream, but it’s not right and that’s in this particular case and so I think that’s the case across the board right. So there’s you know, there so many markers have questions around like, especially if you’re redesigning a website or you’re building a site for the first time, you know, like what do I do with my pricing page you know. How do I build credibility you know, how do I sell them up front with a free trial or do I push them downstream to like a click to call a schedule a demo you know with a sales person. What you know, they’re having like fundamental business model questions right? That ultimately lead to you know, whatever the site ends up becoming. And so analytics, especially in a redesign, obviously for first time, you’re going to be testing and you’re going to be gathering data, but in a redesign that’s like the best thing ever right? You have like all the data. It’s telling you like, these people are telling you what they want to see right? And what they find most important and what they find secondly important, so analytics from a numbers perspective you know, also like tools you know, no particular ones in general. You know, but heat mapping tools, things like that are super helpful when it comes to your checkout pages or your lead capture pages that are really like your money pages you know? So I think those things are just you know, it’s like it’s sometimes it’s scary when you start with a white piece of paper right? And you’re like where do I start?


So Andy I like how you were just saying that it’s like you know, well that’s true. Do you start with a white piece of paper, but you’ve got some building blocks that you start working on that, fill in the gaps and by then the time you’re done filling those things out, you’ve got a page right? And I think that really sort of struck home with me. Well if you don’t spell it with a capital A, and you just say use any analytics or any data to find leaks in the bucket, your point earlier about using about testing messages in ads, this reminds me of not technically conversion optimization but some channels are high stakes and low information. Other channels are, lots of information but low sakes. so if you make, it’s like social media. You get all this data, you post something in social media. There’s like, there’s comments, there’s shares, there are impressions, there’s click-throughs and everything, and who cares. It’s your social media, your organic reach is like 2% anyway. Why not share that thing ten times and get as much data as you can or make a group of ads and see if it worked. You’ve got a low stakes high data channel. Use that to inform your high stakes low data like email marketing, email subject lines. That kills me. I never know how to write an email subject line. It’s murder. Like how do you come up with, like you only have one chance. You send it, you can’t unsend it. It’s like, was that, I wish I could have maybe tried testing it first, can test it, you can test it with an ad. You can test it in social media. You can, there’s you can next time you write an email subject line, if you’re really concerned about it, if it’s a high, if it’s a big content project that you’re got a lot riding on, maybe give it, give yourself a couple of days and share it five or eight times on social media and see which of those got the most engagement.


Yeah, or your point about ads. Yeah yeah, you’re home online you know, we find with our original research when we do surveys we ask, you know, it could be email marketing or content marketing and we ask marketers like, what’s your greatest barrier to success or your greatest challenge? And it’s just like, it’s amazing like what you get and how it tells so many different stories when you get that information. I mean, i think people, when. you’re looking at your analytics, you’re finding leaks. When you’re asking questions or doing research, I mean it’s incredible for just I think your overall knowledge. but also just, you learn so much. Yup. I used to have a lot of people, still have these, it was like a little carousel part way down a page where you could read a testimonial and then click next to read the next one, click next and read the next one, so it’s basically like a little slideshow of social proof.


Yeah I put HotJar on the page so I could see click heat maps. Oh wow only 5% of people click to see the next one. I switched to a scroll heat map to see how far down people are going. Wow 25% of people are scrolling past that depth. All I did was change them so they were stacked instead of being in a slider and I got five times the visibility on the second testimonial. I went from 5% to 25%. It was an obvious choice. Any way, it’s rare for insights to really jump out at you and hit you in the face like that. This one did. It’s, no one could deny it. Any meeting with any person you were in, would look at those two charts side by side and say, heck yeah, stack those babies, don’t you get rid of that slideshow. And for that reason, you know, we’ve kind of included, we almost never use carousels or shows at all anymore because the percentage of people who see the subsequent slides is pretty low. Data driven decision making, data driven empathy, yes. Eric I think you remember working on those Ann Holland landing page handbooks with the heat maps back in like, 15 years ago. Boy that was the rage. It was amazing when you actually finally started having that data to be able to visualize it.


I mean yeah, what cracks me up is you know, in general, like as a general rule, you know the makeup of a page is primarily the same over the last 10 years or whatever, what is sort of the optimal layout. And things is really hasn’t changed dramatically. You can do radical redesigns and different types of tests that do end up surprising you and that’s why you test. But in general, if you don’t have anywhere to start, there are plenty of places that show you, like here’s the structure that you want to lay out sort of like, what Andy was saying earlier, I think too, you know it shouldn’t matter, like I was just thinking about this, so copy is used in so many different places right? The question answer sort of approach that you’re saying Andy or have been teaching us over the last several minutes is has been, you know, it’s employable everywhere right? It’s employable in your sales, you know, presentations, and then in the deck. It’s funny, I did a linkedIn post about this a while back where I said something like, if I’m parachuting into a business for the first time, one of the things that I’ve always sort of looked at has been like, you know let’s figure, let’s spend a couple of days just answering support tickets like of customers right? Let’s come in and you know, talk to, spend a week with just your sales people and just listen in on those calls and just hear. That’s why I love tools like you Gong and different types of tools that look like, really allow you to be able to understand things. You know, Sharpspring has a sales dialer and there’s some transcription capabilities in that and there’s just all these different kinds of tools that are at your disposal that allow you to be able to see what your customers are saying. And then you can turn around and use that and slice and dice in so many different ways.


So landing pages, yes absolutely sales documentation and whatever the next slide deck is that marketing is preparing, absolutely you need it there too in your chat bot that you’re putting together. Right, yeah. I mean you know what the questions are already right? And you’re able to sort of insert that into the discussion as a prospect that you come to a well optimized site like that and its like oh my gosh. You know me right? You know exactly what I’m thinking. And there’s a subconscious sort of connection that even without talking to a person that you are building a relationship with. Yeah I in the same way that I don’t love testimonials pages because it’s like important evidence out of the flow, out of context, I don’t love FAQ pages because they’re like important answers out of context, but there’s some, there’s a couple things that are amazing about them for analytics. if you have an FAQ page that has expandable content areas where you click to expand, if you put a Hot Jar on that page, you’ll see exactly which ones get expanded and which ones never get expanded. So at a glance you can see what questions are truly frequently asked by your audience. Similarly, if you go to the, if you have an FAQ page and in analytics, you go to the navigation summary for that page you can see what pages people were on right before they went there. Pages that sent your visitors to your FAQ are almost always pages with information gaps. Why did the visitor leave this page and go to FAQ?


They didn’t want to have to click that. They didn’t want to have to aim and tap you know. They would rather have scrolled and found the answer right? Aiming and tapping is way too much work. So if you can I would look at the FAQ pages navigation summary in analytics and look closely at those pages and ask yourself, why would this visitor leave this page to go to FAQ. So there’s, i think the perfect website doesn’t need an FAQ page. But if. you have one, you’ve got some awesome opportunities to do some kick-ass analysis.


Yeah exactly, and I love that you guys are mentioning some tools like HotJar and ChatBot. Eric, you just talked about that because our last point for this webinar is you know, how can you use Legion tools to engage with your visitors once you get them there. So Chatbot is one example of that. And I know that we at SharpSpring Ads had some good experience with Exit Pops and some things like that, Eric do you want to talk a little bit more about some other tools that would be good for these, for our viewers?


Well so we yeah, we talked about Chat Bots you know, we’re talked about Exit Pops, I think that’s actually a really good point Kathleen. I didn’t really think about that until now, but you know, understanding why people are leaving is just as important as you know, is or the most important thing that you can sort of like spends your time on right, I mean there’s a saying that says, it’s basically make sure that before your climb the ladder you’re painting the right house. That was a Stephen Covey right, and I probably completely butchered that statement but you guys know what I mean. And I think yeah, make sure you’re painting the right house right? So there’s a strategy around it and then the tools and the marketing stack that you use is really just set up to be an enabler right? To be able to serve you, not the other way around. I think we get stuck in this. I need to have this big, like I sort of envision like every marketer I mean, if they’re like, if it’s like my credit card like every marketer has the same kind of tool set. I mean maybe different brand names or whatever that they’re subscribing to, but they’re all sort of using the same marketing stack right? They’ve got a Chat Bot, they’ve got email, they’ve got CMS’s and plugins and they’ve got I don’t know, what did I miss, pop-ups, you know whatever they’re advertising. Like everybody can look at their credit card statement right now and see all of those things, those line items on their credit card and the last thing, and then they sort of like take this, hey let me go. And like try to stitch all of that together with like Zapier right, or the integration whatever right. That doesn’t, that’s like it is such a hard thing to do when you do that right? Because what ends up happening is the data doesn’t like you know, different types of platforms, they don’t talk well with each other. They don’t play nicely in some cases. And Zapier sort of like a band-aid, you know, I mean nothing against them I think it’s great, we use it. Yeah yeah yeah. But my point is like, if the data isn’t in one place and those pieces aren’t talking to each other in a holistic way, and again I’m on the soapbox of the holistic marketing approach. But you know, like from that you want to know as a marketer from the ad click or ad impression all the way through to conversion even afterwards right? Because you want repeat sales and everything else you need to know through the entire life of the lead how these steps are affecting a conversion or a new lead or what have you. And if you don’t have that you’re missing out because you’ve got your budget and you know, there isn’t a marketer that I know you know that I just, I haven’t met a marketer yet that has a decent sized budget that doesn’t wake up sort of in the middle of the night and say oh my gosh, like how am I going to hit my number for next month or how am I gunna do these things and it’s not, I need to sign up for another thing right? What it is, I need to have an approach that says here’s where my dollars are being spent on the front end. I’m putting a dollar in and I’m getting two dollars out right? And it’s all like, it’s all shown and captured sort of in that life of the lead.


And what makes this sort of you know, makes your life easier as a marketer is you get to have a conversation in the CEO or the CFO’s language right at the end of the day, they don’t care. Really like yeah maybe there’s lead KPIs and you know, like you’ve got all your different KPIs or whatever at the end of the day, they don’t care right? What they care about it one thing, and that’s how much revenue are we driving from our idea customers. That’s what they want to know right? And if you can talk to them in their language in that way, it makes you a rock star. And so. you know, when you have that kind of approach I think that’s the thing that really sets you apart as sort of a marketer or an entrepreneur is you got to be able to take all of these different things and see it all in one sort of stream or the life of the lead. It’s such a challenge. It’s really overwhelming for so many people. It’s like where do I begin digital marketing. There’s so many actions you can take, like which of these would have the best impact? There’s so many tools you can use, so many topics, so many formats, so many channels, so many influencers, so many, and I think marketing technology people tend to over buy you know? They buy a giant tool that does millions of things and they’re never going to use them all.


So yeah, it’s what the world needs and there’s a shortage of this skill I think in the market. It’s just the legit strategist who can look at a set of, at an audience, look at the messaging, look at the pages, look at the traffic drivers and then prioritize what should be done. Yeah I love where this all started because we said what can you do without spending money. Like what are content changes you could make so everything that you do has a high or low R and a high or low I right? So ROI, so the things that have the lower I, I’m very biased toward things that are at the bottom of the marketing or sales funnel. I’m very biased towards things that can be done quickly you know. It’s a sport and you got to love it. It’s like my job today is to find low-hanging fruit that will make a difference for this brand. Something I can see in analytics if it doesn’t affect traffic or conversions, what am I doing? So yeah, it doesn’t, if it doesn’t connect to revenue and that can be even in the form of content right, I mean if you can’t tie content to ROI then you know you’re just asking for trouble right? You’ve gotta, in your budget you have to be able to do that and I think there is a huge opportunity for marketers who sort of understand that. And can like bring all of their data and their different tools and everything, you know under sort of you know a single roof that sort of answers those questions. Those questions where those things are talking to each other, I’m a firm believer that marketing tools, you know platforms things like that. If they’re used properly I mean, that’s the, it’s like a game changer for you as a marketer, the problem I have is when you try to like solve a problem with a thing instead of actually understanding what the core issue is right? And then finding the right platform you know that solves that problem. And I think that’s honestly, this is by the way I’m not pitching or anything or whatever, but that’s what I’m excited about with SharpSpring Ads and with Sharpspring, is because that’s our goal right? Is to make sure that you as an agency or you as a marketer. You’re like trying to drive revenue, you’re trying to generate leads, you’re looking at ways to be able to bring in more dollars into the organization through your marketing efforts. And you need to know how to measure those. And you need to know how to drive revenue and you need platforms they they sort of enable you to do that. But those are tools that I have a bias toward also. Because remmarketing creates more value from every visitor you have. Yeah. And a tool like Sharpspring connects that final dot. You need to know really the bottom of the funnel. You need data and insights into where this person came from. How many times they visited. Is it, you can basically see like this is a warm or cold lead? Is it at the core of everyone’s martech stack should be a database. It’s all the people, so those things, you can’t do marketing without them. You brought up a great point too Andy, on just that aspect of strategy and just how important that is. And we see that repeatedly in our research that lack of an effective strategy, whether it be tactical content marketing or lead generation or you know, a data topic, or a technology topic, lack of an effective strategy and I think, just like how everything fits together is definitely a pain point for marketers.


You know, we’ve never had marketers say that a paint point is, they’re not doing enough. That there’s not enough tactics to keep the day busy. But you know kind of how everything fits together and maybe a good illustration is like, when we work with companies on a research project, a lot of times it’s challenging sometimes because we have to kind of go back and reinforce, like did you use your research to do this, then this, like did you squeeze enough juice out of it? There’s probably a lot of other things you could use it for and many times marketers go on to the next tactic. And you know so we’re also kind of encouraging. I think it goes back to that low-hanging fruit or are there things you can do. That there are free or low cost, well a lot of times you have it there. It’s just a matter of, can you use it in different formats? Can you take that really good blog post you wrote and create a vide out of it? Can you create an infographic from the research you have or whatever the case may be? But I think there’s a lot there. And that pain point of strategy and how it all fits together is definitely a real issue.


Yeah I think people make stuff and then plan to promote it. But the plan to promote it should be done before you start making it. Everyone’s like oh content promotion is more important than content creation or you should spend if you you hear this at conferences you should spend 80% of your time promoting content and only 20% creating it. It’s like people come up with numbers like this. I think it’s impossible. Have you ever tried tracking your time and number of minutes you spent like, I can’t ever tell keyword research is that creating content or promoting content. I’m confused. Anyway, build content that’s easy to promote or plan the promotion prior to making the thing. I can’t imagine someone actually doing a research project without knowing how they’re going to get the word out there. That would be, that it’s crazy I know that people do understand the importance of content promotion, but it’s that thinking should be built into the content. Content should be built to rank or to be shared or with in collaboration with an influencer or with the visuals in mind you know, or with the idea of repurposing planned out in advance right? So we are definitely getting close to our time here. So I do want to take a couple questions since we’ve covered up so many things in this webinar. And lots of insights, a little bit like drinking from a fire hose for some people who are viewing. So we’re just gunna cover, grab two of these questions and cover these before we end today.


So one question, our first question is, how would you suggest going about getting the answers for the questions that you shared? So if it’s your sales person, obviously that might be easy enough. And you shared some good strategies for that, but outside of that, when it’s your prospects, how do you go about getting that data? Maybe Todd, this is a great question for you.


I mean, talking to your sales people, observing, and it said information on your website doing original research, obviously we like to do that. But I would say, as marketers just get in the habit of listening. Sometimes we just talk way too much and we need to listen. Awesome. Cool. Well then our second question is, can building a bunch of separate landing pages hurt my site’s CEO? That’s fine, I’ll take that real quick. I’m not sure how other people define it, but in my mind a landing page is a page designed for one specific source of traffic with one very specific goal. So a landing page might be the page that you arrive at after clicking on an email or clicking on an ad. And that page has really just one purpose. That page is trying to get you to convert. Maybe right on the page like a classic unbounce style landing page. So in that case, it’s SEOs are relevant. Don’t worry about, at all about SEO. You have a different plan to get traffic. We just said create content with a plan for promotion. And as one of those, a PPC or email landing page has nothing at all to do with SEO. It’s not, you could make it no index and keep it out of Google if you want. If you could make 10 million of them, if you make an extraordinary number, you might want to index them or set your, put them in a folder where your robots.txt file excludes them from the crawl because you don’t want to waste Google’s time. If the landing page is just like the analytics site content landing pages report, in other words it’s just the first page that the person visits, is there a disadvantage to having a larger site? Not that I know of. No I don’t think so. I’ve, there are weird things that happen at very large scale websites where you need to create multiple sitemap.xml files or very carefully manage Google’s crawl budget. But there are sites with tens of thousands of pages not relevant to almost anyone that I talk to day to day.


Awesome. Well those are great answers. Thank you. And if there’s follow-up questions to that, like I said earlier, go ahead and throw your questions in the box at the bottom of this page and we will absolutely get to those when we do a follow-up video. But I just wanna put a little plug in here for our next upcoming webinar. If you liked what you saw today and you wanna come back and learn about the evolution of performance marketing, you can go to and go ahead and register for that. That’ll be on December 3rd. But other than that, we have had a great webinar today, and like Andy said at the beginning, you will get a follow-up recording and all of the slides you’ve seen today coming in an email after this. So thank you everyone for joining. Andy, Todd and Eric, this has been wonderful. Thank you Kathleen. And I had one real quick question, and so how do we learn a little bit more about you and your services and what you’re doing over at orbit, Andy? Orbit is actually just a web design company, but there’s a lot of part of this was about web design. So you can see our recent redesign, which incorporates everything we just discussed. I write an article on our blog every two weeks. So and everyone is welcome to connect with me on LinkedIn or Twitter. Those are my two best networks. I never use the other one, the face world one with the blue F, that’s the other thing that’s b2c or something I don’t know what that it. Sure it’s awesome, cool, great, well thank you all. Yeah so. Go ahead and connect with Andy on LinkedIn. The same for Todd and Eric. And we will see you next time, thank you it was a lot of fun everyone.

Kathleen Davis

Kathleen Davis

Marketing Manager - SharpSpring Ads: Kathleen is an enthusiastic marketer experienced in marketing automation, campaign management, and digital analytics. She's previously worked on direct mail campaigns, spear-headed lead generation efforts, and managed the marketing intern program at SharpSpring.
Post categories: Webinars
Post tagged with: A.I., Eric Stockton, Jalali Hartman, Webinars

Resource Categories

Want to get the latest in online advertising original research?

Web Retargeting

Retarget lost customers across all major display exchanges with ease.

Facebook Retargeting

The easiest way to retarget lost customers across Facebook.

Shopify Retargeting

Set up dynamic retargeting for your Shopify store in minutes.

Dynamic Retargeting

Get more sales for your online store. Bring browsers back with a product-specific ad.

Cross-Device Retargeting

Retarget lost web site visitors across mobile phones and tablet devices.

Mobile Retargeting

Discover the effortless way to re-engage lost mobile users across smartphones and tablets.

Twitter Retargeting

Harnessing the power of Twitter ads with your existing audiences.


Team up with marketers to retarget each other’s visitors and acquire new customers.

What is Retargeting?

Retargeting keeps them coming back for more.

Product Tour

Take a product tour of SharpSpring Ads, the easy retargeting platform for advertisers.


Set your own campaign budgets and spend as much or as little as you like!

Getting Started

Design precise, effective campaigns in minutes.

Get a Demo

Learn how to optimize and scale programs with a cross-channel, multi-device approach.

Success Stories

Helping our customers run a better business every day, our success is directly linked to our customers’ success.

Success Stories

American Apparel

Clothing retailer increases ROI by 400% with Facebook retargeting. Read Success Story ›


Design platform gets a 134% boost in incremental revenue. Read Success Story ›


Online educator sees a 20% drop in facebook retargeting CPA. Read Success Story ›