Chris Dayley Background:
-VP of site testing and optimization at Disruptive Advertising
-Started his agency, Dayley Conversion in 2014 that merged with Disruptive Advertising
-Helps businesses learn what users want on their website, through psychology based testing, and analytics
-Based in Provo, Utah
-Say hi to him at www.disruptiveadvertising.com/
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Joe Fairless: Best Ever listeners, welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Joe Fairless and this is the world’s longest-running daily real estate investing podcast. We only talk about the best advice ever, we don’t get into any fluffy stuff. I hope you’re having a best ever weekend. Because it is Sunday, we’ve got a special segment for you called Skillset Sunday, where we talk about a specific skill that you can implement in your business and make more money.
With us today we’ve got Chris Dayley. How are you doing, Chris?
Chris Dayley: I’m doing good, how are you doing, Joe?
Joe Fairless: I am doing very well, my friend. I’m gonna talk a little bit about Chris’ background. Best Ever listeners, you’re gonna know exactly what we’re gonna be talking about… Chris is the vice-president of site testing and optimization for Disruptive Advertising. He started his agency in 2014 and merged with the current agency, Disruptive Advertising. He helps businesses learn what users want on their website through psychology-based testing and analytics. Today we’re gonna be talking about, well, digital marketing and how to drive more leads, and also perhaps we’ll get into some testing metrics and how he approaches that. Based in Provo, Utah, and you can say hi to him at his website and his company’s website, DisruptiveAdvertising.com.
With that being said, Chris, do you wanna give the Best Ever listeners a little bit more about your background and your focus?
Chris Dayley: I’ve been in the digital marketing space for about eight years now. When I very first got into the digital marketing industry I was doing search engine optimization, which is in essence trying to get your website to rank for terms on Google. So it was all about driving traffic to websites.
One day I was sitting down and I was feeling down because most of the traffic I was driving wasn’t converting; they weren’t doing the things I wanted them to do on the website, so I took kind of a step back to figure out why aren’t people converting. What’s happening? Am I driving the wrong people to the site, or does my website suck? No one could really help me answer that question, no one could help me figure out what’s going on here, so I ended up searching around on Google for a little while, I stumbled around this concept of A/B testing on your website, which in essence is you take anything on your website – it could be a popup, it could be your e-mail subscription widget, it could be a forum, and you create duplicate versions of it and you change things, and you see how people respond to those changes.
So I created a test on the site that I was running traffic to at the time, I sent them to a lead generation page, and form completions increased. I had no idea what I was doing at the time, I just changed some design elements, switched some things up to see if they would move the needle, and it did. That’s kind of where I fell in love with what I do now, which is finding out what is it that users want in order to convert, in order to sign up, in order to reach out. I guess that’s a quick background on me.
Joe Fairless: That is a quick background, and very relevant to what we’re gonna dive into, so thanks for that. Let’s talk about site testing first… I know I mentioned the digital marketing thing before site testing, but I’m curious about site testing in particular. If a Best Ever listener has a website and they reach out to you and they say “I’d like to make sure I’m converting the most amount of people who arrive at my website”, how do you approach it? What’s the engagement look like and what do you do?
Chris Dayley: Well, so there’s a couple things that I do, and there are some things that your Best Ever listeners could go in and do themselves to get a sense for where there may be opportunities to do a better job converting people. I go through a very methodical process and analysis of a website, and in this analysis what I’m really trying to do is I’m trying to uncover the good and the bad about the site.
I look at things like content – what content do you have on your site, how much of that content is there? Is it relevant? Those types of things. At this point we’re not talking about testing at all, we’re just saying “Okay, we’ve got content; on a specific page we’ve got three paragraphs of content, or we’ve got two sentences of content”, or whatever. You’re trying to just identify what’s on your site right now.
So we look at content, we look at the value proposition – what value do you have for your audience? For realtors this is gonna be you’ve got a home; people are looking for a home, and you’ve got a home. Then it may be certain aspects of the home that you wanna highlight. You’ve got a home that has a pool, you’ve got a home that has a great location, you’ve got a home that has a great view – whatever it may be, that’s your value proposition… Whatever value you have for the audience.
Again, we’re identifying what’s our value proposition; can you find it? Is it easily identified by somebody who’s coming on the site for the first time? You’ve got the content, the value proposition, and the call to action, which is tell your users what you want them to do. I call those three things the motivation factors. Those are the things that are going to motivate people to take action, and the call to action is a critically important one, because if you want someone to reach out to you, if you want them to give you a call, that needs to be the thing that stands out on your site more than anything else. If you want people to just click through check out pictures of the property, then that needs to be obvious to the users. If you want them to fill out a form on your site, fill out an e-mail newsletter etc. it needs to be very obvious; it needs to be colorful, color contrast on the page, it just needs to be very obvious. So those are the motivation factors.
Then we look at things that I call resistance factors. Those are things like distractions. I’ll usually sit down with my clients and I’ll say “What are things that could potentially be distracting to your users from the thing you want them to do, from your value proposition, from your call to action?” A lot of times distractions are things that people think are really valuable, but what it’s actually doing is just putting extra stuff on the page.
Things that can be distracting are other offers; you might have a ton of other homes that people wanna check out. Or if you’ve got them to a relevant page that has a value proposition that will be valuable to them, you don’t wanna take them to other homes, you don’t wanna take them to other pages on your site; you want them to sign up or to reach out and contact you now. So we try to identify anything that could potentially be distracting, we look at things that could potentially cause anxiety… The things that cause anxiety a lot of times are if I can’t figure out what to do, if I have to take multiple steps in order to actually do what you want… So if there’s a button that says “Click here to contact us” and then I click there and then it takes me to another page and I have to click another button in order to get a form, that’s a high anxiety process. We identify things that could potentially be causing anxiety.
Then we look at — the very last thing is how responsive is your web experience. If I come to your site on a mobile device, is it super mobile-friendly? Is it customized for mobile? Or is everything just shrunken down? Are all the pictures super small and I can’t figure out how to flip through the pictures? Or if you want me to call you, is there a Click To Call button? Because it’s super easy for me to do that on a mobile device.
That’s the process I take my clients through when we very first start, and that is just to identify potential opportunities. Again, if you have a weak value proposition, we might wanna run some tests to strengthen that value proposition. If there’s a ton of distractions, we might wanna run some tests to remove or lessen those distractions, and so on. Hopefully, I didn’t go through that too quickly, and hopefully that’ helpful.
Joe Fairless: Yeah, that’s very helpful. How much does it cost to do that exercise with you?
Chris Dayley: In terms of the actual analysis, we have a small $500 one-time analysis fee; they go through and do kind of a full website analysis. Then from there you can go one of two ways – either you can go [unintelligible [00:10:51].28] there’s a lot of testing opportunities on my site; I’m gonna go ahead and do that myself… Or, most of our clients will just have us run the process for them, and I’m assuming the [unintelligible [00:11:03].03] but most of our clients don’t have a ton of additional time to do these kinds of things, and when you sit down, you go “Oh, I need to create some other versions of my site?” That’s scary to a lot of people, so it can be helpful to have someone help you.
Joe Fairless: How much of what you do in the testing is copywriting?
Chris Dayley: It is a phase of the process, and I mentioned it’s one of the six factors we look at. It really depends on how, as we start testing the content, how big of an impact that has on conversion rates. I’ll say this – sometimes content is the biggest influencer of conversion rates; sometimes it doesn’t matter at all.
When we’re working with e-commerce sites, for example… A lot of times when people are buying a product they’re not gonna read any of the content you have on there, so you can spend a ton of time copywriting, and it doesn’t make any difference at all.
For the real estate market it can make a big impact. It really depends on who you’re bringing to your site, because certain types of people are a lot more likely to read than other types of people.
Joe Fairless: Knowing that’s the case, that really who we wanna attract is an important component to this, do you have a questionnaire that you ask your client to fill out prior to you doing the one-time analysis?
Chris Dayley: Not necessarily a questionnaire, but I do go through what I call building a customer profile. We’ll try to identify who are you targeting, and if they’re running ads to their site, we’ll take a look at those sites and take a look at who those ads are targeting. If they’re AdWords, we look at keywords that people are targeting; if it’s Facebook ads, we look at the kind of audiences they’re targeting, what are the demographics, what are the interests they’re targeting, that type of thing.
Joe Fairless: What are some typical solutions that you’ve implemented that have generated big results?
Chris Dayley: There’s a few things that I call kind of low-hanging fruit tests; they don’t always work, and that’s one of the things that people need to understand when they start testing – there’s not a guaranteed one-size-fits-all approach for testing. It’s not something that you can just do and automatically get better conversion rates; it’s a process of learning about your audience, of asking questions and saying “Okay, we’ve identified that there’s a lot of content on our site. Maybe our audience wants a lot of content, maybe they don’t, so let’s ask a question – how much content do they want?” And then let’s test three different versions of our site – one that has a lot of content, one that has a medium amount, and one that has hardly any. When we get those results back, let’s ask a follow-up question.
Let’s say that having a medium amount of content works best. Well, if that medium amount of content works best, the follow-up question is gonna be “What content should it be?” If you’re showing a property that’s listed, what is the stuff that’s really gonna drive people to reach out? What is the stuff that people really care about? Do they care how many bathrooms the location has? What is exactly the stuff that’s gonna compel people to reach out?
So the things that I found that typically have the biggest impact – number one is just general design. We’ll usually include this as one of our rounds of testing, but we will create three or four different layouts for a page, or if you’ve got like a pop-up that comes up to try to get people’s e-mail addresses… And I’ll say this – every person who has a site should have some kind of a pop-up to gather information, to gather e-mail addresses, so that you can start remarketing to those people.
So if you have one of those, you wanna test a bunch of different designs, because the way that that pop-up works, the way that it first grabs people’s attention is either going to alarm people and cause anxiety, or it may capture attention and people will go “Huh, what’s this?” Design can be a really important element, and I’ve seen testing different designs have as much as 100% increase in conversion rate, without changing any of the content at all. So design is a major thing that I look at, and that’s obviously something that’s a little bit more involved in order to test.
I think the second most impactful thing is the call to action. This is a very easy thing to test usually, if you can identify what your call to action is. Again, if you’ve got a pop-up that comes up, either maybe right when you get to the site, or maybe it’s an exit pop-up that you try and get some information from people before they leave your site, the way that you tell people to give you their information can be hugely influential on whether or not they actually do it.
I ran a test for a client of mine, a social media examiner – they’re the largest social media information website on the planet… It’s just a content site, so they want people to come and read content, read articles, engage with things, so they obviously want e-mail subscribers; that’s a big deal to them. We were testing for what is gonna prompt people to actually give us their e-mail address. Will they just give it if we say “Get regular updates from us”? Or do we need to have some kind of an offer?
I’m gonna suggest that you should always have an offer on your e-mail pop-ups. It could be something like Five Things That Every Person Should Know Before Buying a Home, or an e-book, or some kind of free content that you can offer people and say “Sign up now to get our free e-book on…”, whatever. That can be hugely beneficial to figure out what kind of content do people want there. That’s your call to action AND your value proposition.
I will sometimes have my clients test three or four different e-books and say “Okay, well you’ve got this e-book and you’ve been running it for years and years and years… How do you know that it worked? Why don’t you write one page of four different types of e-books, find out the one that people want, and then you can flesh it out, you can write the rest of the content for that e-book that people actually want?”
Those are some things that I would really suggest people think about: design and call to action, and then the actual value proposition, what you’re giving people… Those can really impact conversion rates.
Joe Fairless: Yeah, I’m on SocialMediaExaminer.com right now, and when I went there there was a pop-up. After I clicked through, then the first thing I see is “Get a Free Social Media Marketing Industry Report” and “Enter your first name and your e-mail.” So you’ve got two ways of gathering that information right out of the gate.
Chris Dayley: They actually hit you about four times. They’ve got an entrance pop-up that comes up after you’ve been on the site for like 10 seconds, they’ve got a slider that comes up from the bottom of the page once you clicked to an article, they’ve got an exit pop-up (something that pops up when you’re gonna leave the site), and then they gave something that’s on the side of the page that tries to capture information. So they’ve got four different ways, and I’ll tell you, they get sign-ups from all four of those different pop-ups. If you have one pop-up, if you’ve got something like an exit pop-up, to capture people’s information before they leave, don’t think that you can’t also have an entrance pop-up or something that slides in as people are progressing through the site.
A lot of times when you get a pop-up on a site you just immediately look for a way to get rid of it. And the more times you keep getting hit with it, the more likely you are to take a step back and say “Well, what is this? What am I saying no to?” and that’s when if you have some really valuable content you’re offering, that’s when people will go “Oh, I actually might want this book. I actually may wanna know what are the five things that every person should know”, whatever it is.
Joe Fairless: We don’t have much time, but I do want to address the digital marketing and ways to drive more traffic via targeted Facebook ads and retargeting… So in a couple minutes – I’m sorry for compressing this – what can you tell us about the main things we need to know regarding those strategies?
Chris Dayley: Okay, so the first thing that everyone should probably know is when you’re targeting people on Facebook, finding buyers is easy, finding sellers is very difficult. So probably the best place to start is to be looking for buyers; now, that’s probably what people are gonna wanna target anyways, but just as kind of a heads up… So when you start targeting people, there’s a couple things that you wanna make sure. 1) You’ve gotta make sure that you have a conversion metric. Just driving traffic is not good enough, because if you don’t have some kind of conversion metric, whether it’s “Did I capture their e-mail address? Did I get a phone call? Did I get something?”, if you don’t have a conversion metric, you’re gonna waste a lot of time just driving traffic blindly, not knowing if it’s valuable or not, and people will spend tens of thousands, millions of dollars on traffic like this, where you just get some traffic and hope that some business comes from it. So you need to have some kind of a digital conversion that you can gauge, that you can tie your ads back to and you can say “Okay, when we targeted these people, we got 2% conversion rate on e-mail sign-ups. When we targeted these other people, we got nothing out of it… So we need to turn those off because they’re not effective.”
So you need to have a good conversion metric that you can track, and again, I would suggest that that’s some kind of an e-mail sign-up… Because you get two things when you get someone to sign up to your e-mail. 1) Obviously, you get their e-mail address, so you can send them e-mails. 2) Because you sent them to your site, you can cookie them and then you can use Facebook and Google to retarget them and to remarket to them so that whatever house they came and looked at or whatever offer they responded to initially, you keep hitting them with that again and again everywhere they go on the web. That is one of the best ways to be efficient with your spend, so that you don’t have to spend money twice to get the same person to engage with one of your ads.
Usually, remarketing ads are much cheaper to get clicked with, so that’s one of the best ways — I mean, again, you’ve got someone on your site already, you’ve got their e-mail address, so you’re gonna start sending them e-mails, and then they’re gonna start seeing your ads all over the place, and it’s just gonna be in their mind constantly. As soon as they are ready to engage, boom, you’re right there. I think that’s kind of the general strategy that I would suggest people start with.
Joe Fairless: This has been such an informative conversation, Chris… I’m really grateful that we were able to jump on a call and interview on the show. Where can the Best Ever listeners get in touch with you?
Chris Dayley: Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter, @ChrisDayley. Then we’ve also got an e-book if people are interested in how to get started with A/B testing. If people go to DisruptiveAdvertising.com/guide, we’ve got an excellent guide with all the tools that you need and strategies that you should consider, and a lot of other really good stuff that people can use to get started.
Joe Fairless: Outstanding. Chris, from how you approach testing website, the ways we can optimize the websites, from call to action, to value proposition, how the content looks, to some practical tips on targeting Facebook ads – valuable stuff… Thanks for being on the show. I hope you have a best ever day, and we’ll talk to you soon.
Chris Dayley: Thanks, Joe.
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