aimClear To Present Sydney .AUs XTreme Social Marketing Conference! Register & Dominate!

Here is a great blog post by the guys over at Aimclear who will be running our Social Media Worklshop on April 5th in Sydny at the Hilton Hotel.

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Revealed: Which Video Platforms Get Results in Universal SERPs

By Manny Rivas

You may think that YouTube is the only game in town, but it is not. Google, and to a greater extent Bing, source hundreds of channels to populate organic universal  SERPs. This post shares data from our study to reveal the extent that platforms (YouTube, MetaCafe, DailyMotion, etc…) comprise unversal SERPs.   The second installment will be offered as a white paper download next month. It’s a blockbuster featuring a correlation study of query intent, tagging, and how the combination effects a video’s chances in Google and Bing SERPs. We’ll announce the white paper’s release in a SearchEngineLand article in early April.

Which Platforms Get Results
All over the globe, marketers long to see their videos display in key search engines for important keyword searches. The objective of this portion of the study was to understand what video platforms are sourced the most by Google and Bing in universal SERPs and in what percentage. We understood YouTube would play a significant role, but how big of a role and do other platforms even matter for ranking in universal SERPs?

To begin we identified 978 keywords using the YouTube keyword research tool. These keywords were selected based on their search frequency under 24 pre-defined categories.

We then ran the keyword bucket in both Google and Bing and documented every instance of video thumbnails and associated data in the SERPs. The same keyword set was put through a number of video sharing platforms and 1st page SERP ranking for each video was recorded.

Tested platforms:

It’s important to understand video is displayed in very different ways between Google and Bing universal SERPs. Within Google results we saw video thumbnails in 11 different formats or video “packs” being displayed. Below are a few of the variations we came across in Google.

Google Packs

Bing on the other hand only showed one formation, a pack of four.

What Were The Results?

We understood coming into the study YouTube would play a significant role in both Bing and Google and the data confirmed our beliefs. What’s interesting to note here is the percentage breakout difference between search engines. Not only that, but in general video was returned far less in Bing than in Google. The keyword set used here brought back a total of 2051 videos in Google and 156 in Bing.

Google Universal Video SERPs Platform Allocation

The ‘other 10%’ consisted of over 100 different video sites as well as sites internally hosting their video. These sites ranged from Vimeo, Howcast, Hulu, College Humor, IGN, to name a few.

Bing Universal Video SERPs Platform Allocation

 

 

Originally posted on the Aimclear Blog.

10 Form Optimization Tips For Landing Pages

By Mona Ellesaily over at SMX Sydney’s partner site – Searchengineland.com

Over the years, I’ve done a lot of work with form optimization. In this article, I’ll cover some tried and true form optimization tips. I’ve done most of my testing on the PPC side, but obviously, the information can also be used effectively to improve overall form conversions on websites.

1. Include A Privacy Line

In general, a privacy line below the form helps with overall conversions. Try something like “we respect your privacy” or “we do not provide information to third parties”. Other variables we’ve tested around the lead form do not increase conversions as much as this one does. Here, it’s the trust factor that tends to increase form conversion rates.

2. Go For Fewer Form Elements

Think of gathering information from a client not as an event but as process. The idea is to ease into a relationship with your prospects — you do not want to startle or put buyers on edge by asking too many questions.

For example, with a client who sells windows that block out loud city noises, we obtain basic information like name, email and phone number and follow up with an automated email that requests more information like the size and shape of windows (we provide easy diagrams in a follow up email).

Note: it’s best to send follow up emails sooner rather than later as a hot prospect is better than a cold one. In my testing, the sweet spot is between 3 to 5 fields.

3. Take Up Less Space With Form Fields

Don’t leave a lot of space in between form fields. The game is to have fewer elements on the page (as I mentioned in #2) and to try to incorporate more elements into a smaller space. Here are a couple ideas:

Try 2 elements per line to take up less space. For example, ask for first/last name in one field rather than asking for the information in two separate fields.

Reduce the amount of space between each form field.

Take a look at the Criteo.com screenshot below as an example:

4. Use Optional Form Fields

Use optional fields on your form to decrease the amount of information requested from the get-go from prospects. Prospects are able to provide more information if they’d like but they are not forced to.

One of my favorite “formulas” is the five-field form with 3 required fields and 2 optional ones. Take a look at suggestions below for some ideas:

Name – required

Email – required

Phone number – required

City – optional

State – optional

 

5. Try A Two-Page Lead Form

Another great option is to use a two-page strategy. Again, encompasses the idea of not moving too fast.

A good analogy to think of here is dating. If you ask your date 100 questions right off the bat, you’re likely to freak out them out and not get a second date. It’s a far more effective to ask questions over a longer period of time (like over a second or third date) than to pounce all over your poor date the second you meet.

Criteo.com uses this strategy effectively. Take a look at the screenshots below:

Page 1 of form:

screen1

Page 2 of form:

screen 2

Note: Two and even three page forms can convert better than one page ones.

6. Include A Lead Form Above The Fold

In our testing, the best place lead forms convert is in the upper right hand corner of page. I like to include a form at the bottom of the page even if it’s below the fold as it emphasizes the call to action and doesn’t hurt overall conversion figures.

7. Use Compelling Words On Submit Buttons

Specific and benefit-oriented wording like “get a free obligation quote now” and “get a quote now” tends to convert better than “click here” or a “submit” buttons.

Weaving benefits into the buttons is also an excellent way to reiterate benefits. You’ll likely have many wording ideas so the key idea is to test different ones.

8. Design Buttons That Convert

My absolute favorite button colors are orange and blue, as they tend to provide the best conversions. To determine appropriate button size/wording on buttons, step away from your computer and glance at your screen.

If size is appropriate, you should be able to see both buttons and wording on buttons if you’re walking by the computer. Optimizing for a smaller screen is best to ensure both laptop and desktop users can see buttons.

As I was writing this article, I attended a session on Form Optimization session at PubCon Las Vegas 2011. The final two quick form optimization tips are from Brad Geddes’s presentation:

9. Sentence casing is better than phrase casing

10. Don’t ever use CAPTCHA on forms