Stop Paying for Accidental Mobile Clicks! 3 Ways Google Has Improved Click Quality

Just this morning I was in a photo editing app when I accidently clicked on an ad. What was the ad about? I couldn’t even tell you because I rolled my eyes and killed the web page immediately to get back to the task at hand.

Mobile clicks funny gif saying "No you didn't interrupt my instagramming" 

This happens all the time, and no, it’s not just a case of the “fat finger syndrome.” As frustrating as this is for the user, it’s even more frustrating for the advertiser that’s paying for each and every one of those accidental clicks. As many as 50% of mobile ad clicks are accidental, according to Google. Many advertisers don’t even realize that their ads are accidently being clicked on, and look at their high click-through-rates thinking, “Wow! We’re driving a lot of mobile traffic with these ads,” when in reality clicks could be drastically inflated.

While many advertisers are unaware, others are aware, and I’d assume that Google does not want a reputation of misleading the advertiser, which is why they’ve recently taken measures to improve the click quality on display ads.

“It’s easy to click when you mean to swipe or to tap on a link or ad you didn’t mean to,” says Google. “Now, to make the experience even more seamless, we’re automatically blocking ad clicks in several instances that frequently lead to accidental clicks.”

Google is focusing on three instances in particular where they’ve found accidental clicks occur most often.

#1: Clicks That Occur on the Edge of an Image

Google has identified that the accidental click problem frequently occurs when a user is attempting to scroll or navigate to adjacent content, but then clicks on the border of the image. Google has made an update in hopes of reducing these accidental clicks to ensure the user is only directed to the content of the ad if they click on the center of the image.

Mobile clicks example of the border of the image where now you won't be able to click 

#2: App-Icons Will No Longer be Clickable

Ah! Thank you Google! We’ve all done this. When you’re browsing a webpage, and then wait, huh? You’re being directed to the app store, and you can’t even recall clicking on an ad. It’s because of those darn app icon ads that are hidden with the image that you wouldn’t imagine to be clickable since the install button is located in close proximity. Google has now eliminated the ability to click on an app icon.

Mobile clicks example of the app icon image 

#3: Clickability Delay

No one sees an ad and clicks it immediately unless it’s by accident. Google gets this which is why they’ve added a function that only allows ads to be clickable after they’ve been on the user’s screen for a short period of time (a length of that time Google has not revealed). This will allow users the time to actually browse the content of the ad, and decide if they want to click.

I’m thrilled that Google is keeping both the advertiser and user in mind by adding these improvements to prevent accidental clicks. Reportedly Google has seen a 15% average lift in conversion rate on display ads since these updates have driven more qualified clicks and less accidental clicks. “Advertisers can further improve performance by re-investing spend saved from accidental clicks back into their display campaigns,” says Google. “These latest click quality enhancements improve the user experience by keeping them within their desired website or app and not involuntarily taking them to another page.”

About the Author:

Margot is a Content Marketing Specialist at WordStream with a background in PPC, SEM, content and digital marketing. Margot is passionate about writing and is also a regular contributor to Search Engine Journal and She enjoys running and eating ice cream during her free time (not simultaneous although that would be impressive). Follow her on:

Twitter: @ChappyMargot

Google+: +Margot da Cunha



grade your adwords account


13 Important Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Before Blogging


What’s the most important factor of every blog post?


But sometimes, it’s easy to find yourself in a grind, cranking out content because you think you’re supposed to.

That’s when quality suffers.

When it comes to blog posts, it’s really all or nothing. A “good” post will get the same engagement and traffic as a “bad” post.

You have to create outstanding posts on a regular basis for your content to make a real difference.

Willpower can help you create these posts, but studies have shown that people have limited willpower.

Did you know that of 86% of marketers who use content marketing, only 30% have a consistent content strategy?

These marketers don’t have the systems in place to maximize the return on their efforts.

If you are one of the 70% of marketers creating more content this year than last year, you need to ensure you maintain a high quality writing standard throughout your content creation.

To help you maintain that quality, I’m giving you 13 questions you should ask yourself before and after writing a blog post.

Not all of these will apply to your specific business, but most will. Once you read through this article, download this simple checklist of questions to keep you accountable. Go through them for every post to ensure your continuous success. 

1. “Who is this post for?”

Have you heard that when you write a post, you should do it as if you’re writing to one specific person?

It’s true. That’s how you craft an article that really resonates with someone.

If you run a new or small blog, this is a fairly easy question to answer: write to your target audience. Before each post, think of your customer avatar, and write to him/her.


But what about once you grow?

All of a sudden, you’ve attracted different types of people with one or more shared interests.

For example, Quick Sprout readers are made up of many types of people. Some are beginners trying to learn about marketing; others are employed professional marketers; and yet others are trying to market their own small businesses. And there are a few more distinct types of readers on top of that.

When I write a post, I know that it’s likely not going to resonate with everyone—that only happens once in a blue moon. But that’s okay.

Most often, a piece of content will speak to one or two segments of my audience. As long as I change it up, they all will find at least a few articles per month they will enjoy. This is another reason why consistent content creation is important.


Let’s look at some examples from Quick Sprout…

How to Make Custom Images for Your Blog Posts Without Hiring a Designer

Many beginner marketers don’t have the budget to hire a designer. This post was for them. Some small business owners might also find this article useful.

How to Come Up with Winning A/B Tests Using Data

This post was not meant for newbie marketers. While they will learn a few things, they won’t be able to apply them right away. This post was for marketers working with a significant amount of traffic and looking to increase already substantial profits.

Is It Worth Speaking at Conferences? 

There is a very small portion of marketers who have the opportunity or desire to speak at conferences, and yet I wrote this post—for them. Some beginner marketers might find it interesting and consider speaking at conferences in the future, but it’s unlikely they’ll be able to apply any of the insights right away.

If you happen to run a blog with decent traffic, make sure you create detailed reader personas you can target with each post. Don’t let any important segment feel neglected as you plan your content schedule.

2. “What is the purpose of this post?”

Now that you know who you’re writing the post for, you need to decide what you want the post to accomplish.

In general, a post has 4 purposes:

  • to entertain
  • to solve a problem
  • to encourage discussion
  • to teach (not always the same as solving a problem)

Purpose #1: Entertain

Almost all posts contain entertaining parts, but their main goal is not entertainment. Conversely, some posts have a main goal of being interesting and entertaining, with only a small educational part.

Example: The $100,000 Challenge: May Update

You might learn a few things from each challenge update, but more than anything, they are entertaining. A large portion of Quick Sprout readers have never built a site that’s profitable, and they have a great interest in trying or seeing how it’s done. This post serves as an inspiration to help them move towards their own blogging goals.

Purpose #2: Solve a problem

The fundamental reason why most blogs are created in the first place is to solve a problem for a specific type of reader. That problem is typically large and complex. Each blog post has the opportunity to solve a smaller problem within that overall problem.

Example: How to Engage and Persuade People Through Storytelling

Most marketers know the power of storytelling but struggle to implement it. This is a problem. This particular blog post shows them how to solve this specific problem.

Purpose #3: Encourage discussion

In order to build a community, you need to get your readers to talk. There are many ways to do so, but the main ones are to pose a question or make an outrageous claim or observation.

Example: How to Make $100,000 a Month Within 1 Year

This is a very short post where I laid out the challenge. Not only did I claim the ability to reach a huge goal, but I also asked for your opinions to decide which site I should create. This post is one of the most commented on Quick Sprout with over 2,300 comments.

Purpose #4: Teach

Solving problems and teaching are closely related and often represented in the same blog post. I’d classify teaching as sharing general knowledge your readers need to possess before they can address specific problems. Both are important if your readers are to reach their overall goals (the reason you started your blog).

Example: How to Avoid a Google Penalty

In this article, my readers learn both what causes Google penalties and what precautions they need to take to avoid them. Technically, the reader doesn’t have a problem yet as they don’t have a penalty. In this instance, you could think of teaching as problem prevention.

Multiple Purposes

Some posts combine multiple purposes. For example, the post How Spending $162,301.42 on Clothes Made Me $692,500 is both entertaining and educational as it teaches how much looking your best really means (that sounds more shallow than it is!).

3. “Why will my readers care?”

There is a small but important difference between this question and the previous—“what is the purpose of this post?”—question.

The previous question is about the purpose of the post from your perspective.

This question, however, addresses your readers’ point of view. It will help you frame the blog post.

For example, you may solve a problem with a post, but the reader doesn’t care about the problem. They care about the pain the problem causes.

Why does that matter?

Because there are 2 types of pain points, and both need to be approached differently when writing a blog post.

Type 1: Acute

Acute pains are those that hurt now. You will go to great lengths to solve them. If you find a blog post that tells you how to solve those hurts now, you’re happy to read it. These types of pains (like fixing a Google penalty) are straightforward to write about.

Type 2: Chronic

We often live with a minor pain that comes and goes. It’s not always severe enough to seek out a solution. From a marketing point of view, for example, such a pain might be the stress that comes with a hectic publishing schedule and subpar results.

The problem with trying to solve these pains for people is that almost everyone underestimates how important they are (because they don’t hurt that much right now). Furthermore, we feel that we can live with these pains.

When your blog post solves a chronic pain, you must first focus on making your reader feel the pain before you show them the solution.

If I’m writing about creating a content schedule, for instance, I’m not going to start the post with jumping right into the step-by-step process. I might not even include it in the headline as some people might dismiss it, thinking “I don’t really need that right now.”

Instead, I’d start by illustrating the pain. I’d cite credible statistics about how the lack of a content schedule is the number one reason for failed blogs. I’d describe in detail that without a content schedule, you will never achieve the results of the blogs you admire.

Once a reader relives the pain they’ve felt before, then they are receptive to a solution you present. Then it’s your job to present a solution that actually solves the problem for them.

4. “What is my unique angle?”

Over 7 billion people live on this planet. Most are with reasonably similar points of view.

An original thought is rare.

Type in almost any topic in Google, and you will find hundreds of thousands of relevant articles.

Does that mean you shouldn’t bother blogging at all? No.

Just because a topic has been written about thousands of times doesn’t mean it’s been written in a way that can help your audience in the best way.

You may be able to connect personal experience, opinion, or other seemingly unrelated topics to offer a new perspective. And this perspective is valuable.

When I search for “How to write a good blog post,” I get 270,000 results. But even in the first few results, I can see different angles presented by different authors:

  • how to do it when you lack motivation
  • how to do it fast
  • how to write so that people don’t just skim


In fact, I’ve written my own take on this topic in my guide to writing a data-driven post.

So, how do you find an angle that no one else has written on?

It starts with research

Before writing any post, read through as many of the best articles on the subject as possible. If you don’t, you might be repeating one of them without even knowing it.

This happens all the time in the startup community. Someone believes they have a novel idea—all because they didn’t research enough to see they already have competition.

Once you know what’s out there, you can put your own perspective on the subject in a number of ways:

  • improve upon an existing angle – e.g., “write a good blog post as fast as a professional typist”
  • add personal stories – all personal experience is unique
  • add your opinion – while it shouldn’t be all about your opinion, your readers follow you because they value what you think
  • combine two topics – e.g., What Einstein Taught Me About Death

Whichever you choose, find a way to present an original angle. The simplest, although not most comprehensive, way to double-check you’ve found a unique angle is to simply search for your headline in quotations. You have a unique angle if you can’t find any other results.


5. “What’s the best way to present my point?”

Throughout history, authors have expressed themselves through many different forms:

  • poetry
  • song
  • plays
  • books
  • journals
  • stone tablets…

Each form has its own advantages and disadvantages as a means of expressing a message. Some are more entertaining than others, while others are more informative. Some are great for long messages, and others are great for short ones.

When it comes to a blog post, you have a variety of formats to incorporate into your post:

  • text
  • images/gifs
  • video
  • infographics
  • audio
  • embedded social media (tweets, slideshows, etc.)
  • formatting (bullets, bold, font size, etc.)

They each have a specific purpose, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses.


Almost all blogs are built on text. It’s by far the simplest, fastest, and cheapest way to convey a message. But it’s also often not very effective at getting messages across. Reading takes a lot of time, and people can process images up to 60,000 times faster than words.


You can’t create a blog post with just standalone images, but they can be used to enhance your content. Images can quickly convey data in a clear way or provide simple instructions that would otherwise require complex text descriptions. There are many types of images you can use in your posts: charts, screenshots, animations, and more.

Sites, such as Buzzfeed, often base entire articles on images or gifs illustrating their points:



Some things need to be learned visually, and images may not be enough to help with that. If you’re giving an overview of a tool, it can take several images to show what you need to show. In contrast, a video that’s 30 seconds to 2 minutes long can often show the features in an easier-to-understand way.



If you know me at all, you know I love infographics. Not only do infographics generate more shares than regular posts, they also allow you to quickly highlight the most important aspects of a topic.


As a bonus, it’s very easy to write a post about a topic and then create an infographic with the key takeaways that can be used for another post.


Podcasting has exploded in the past few years. There were over 1 billion podcast episode downloads in 2014. But that doesn’t mean you need to create a traditional podcast if your readers like audio. On some posts on the Crazy Egg blog, we embed a short “podcast” that summarizes the content in the article. Anyone who doesn’t like to read can listen instead.


Interactive content

Interactive content is still fairly underutilized, but it’s a great way to get readers to engage with your blog post. If you can find a way to get a reader to take action on something you mention, it can help illustrate a point you’re trying to make.

Quizzes and calculators help readers learn and apply something immediately. For example, SilkRoad built a truly ugly calculator for their homepage to show prospects how much money they could save on their hiring and training procedures.



Decide which points are most important and need to be emphasized. Format the post so that these are the biggest and bolded on the page. In addition, you can (and should) use formatting to make your article more readable to lower your bounce rate.

Overall, you can prove your point in many ways. Think about which ones you can create and which ones will get your message across more effectively. Don’t be afraid to combine them if you believe it will be most effective.

6. “Does any research need to be done ahead of time?”

The reason that most marketers “get away” with not having a content schedule is because most of the time, they can write a post last minute.

I still don’t think that’s a good idea for a number of reasons, but aside from that, you can’t always write at the last minute.

This means you’ll either have to publish a subpar post (useless) or postpone posting altogether, which can have consequences of its own.

The reason why you can’t always write a post at the last minute is because some of them require work before you even start writing.

Most posts don’t require too much work. I typically spend about an hour researching my topic and finding useful statistics that support my points.

But not all research is like that.

If you need to interview someone, especially someone busy, it can take weeks to schedule a time when you’re both available.

If you need to collect specific data for a post, such as the results of a split test, that also can take weeks or months. For example, Bryan Harris split-tested the effects of removing his sidebar on VideoFruit. He couldn’t have done that overnight.

What if you need to analyze that data? That can take even longer. For example, HubSpot, among other companies, frequently publishes massive reports of benchmarks. The team needs to spend weeks or months collecting the data and finding important trends that can be presented as statistics.


Ideally, you should ask this question when you first come up with the post idea. At the very least, ask it before you start writing so that you can complete all background work as soon as possible.

7. “Is my deadline reasonable?”

Before you start writing, you should always have a deadline—and a reasonable one at that.

If your deadline is too short, you’ll end up rushing the post and producing mediocre content. We all know how that goes: less traffic, less engagement, and fewer subscribers.

But having a deadline that’s too long isn’t good either.

Work fills the time allotted for it; that’s Parkinson’s law. Extra time gives you an excuse to slack off.

So what you really need is a reasonable deadline.

This means that this particular question has to be asked before you even start writing. It needs to be asked when you’re planning your content schedule.

Don’t have a content schedule? Make one. That’s the only way you’ll be able to produce great posts on a regular basis. It allows you to have a little buffer room in case a post takes longer than expected.

8. “Can I go the extra mile?”

To really stand out in the flood of content online, you need to write exceptional content.

Amazing content has to be many things:

  • interesting
  • useful
  • actionable
  • fun to read

Creating a great blog post is more like crafting a piece of art than simply producing a manual on how to solve a problem.

There are many ways to go the extra mile, but I’d like to highlight a few of my favorites.

a) Custom images

As discussed before, images can help you highlight and reinforce concepts. On top of that, they can be entertaining. Some blogs regularly use comics and images to illustrate key points:


b) Spreadsheets

If you’re writing a blog post that advocates using a spreadsheet to solve a problem, give your readers a sample or template. This will increase the chances of them taking action. You can even use this as a content upgrade.


c) Checklists

If you write a step-by-step guide, what’s more useful than a checklist? Create a simple checklist, and let your readers download it. Again, they will be more likely to use it and to associate any positive result that comes from its use with you.

d) Back up claims

When I write, I try to back up all statements with credible references. It’s the main principle of writing data-driven posts. References help readers trust you and your posts more than a simple opinion.

9. “How does this lead into my next post?”

At some point during the planning, writing, or editing process, ask yourself this question.

When you consider your next post, you have the opportunity to create cliffhangers. Make a note somewhere in the post about a related topic that you’ll be covering shortly in the future.

Additionally, knowing what you’ll be posting about next is extremely important if you’re about to launch a product. You need to write your post while keeping in mind what role it will play in your launch. It may be a case study, an educational post, or a post that highlights a chronic pain.

During the launch, you’ll email your subscribers a mixture of content and information about your product. It often makes sense to include links to recent blog posts to support your case studies or to educate subscribers—but only if you’ve planned relevant posts.


10. “How will I promote this post?”

Just like it’s a good idea to plan your content in advance, it’s also a good idea to plan your promotion.

Not all forms of content promotion need to be considered during the writing of your blog post, but some do.

One of my favorite tactics is to simply email everyone I mention in a post, letting them know that I enjoyed their particular post and that I linked to it in my article. Most of them will be happy to read it and share it with their audiences if they liked my post.

Before you publish your post, carefully go through it to see if you missed any opportunity to mention someone’s work.

Note that while you could mention someone for the sake of getting a bit of extra traffic, I do recommend linking only to posts and resources that add value to your post.

11. “Will I repurpose this post?”

Repurposing content is one of the best ways to bring down the cost of each individual piece of content you produce.

If you have a limited budget, this is how you can consistently publish high quality posts.

If you ask yourself this question before you start writing, it will make your life a lot easier.


Imagine if you’re writing a blog post and also plan to turn it into an infographic. Instead of having to pull out all your stats and main points later, you can put them into a secondary text file as you’re writing the post.

In addition, you can paste the URLs that you’ll put at the bottom as your sources in that document instead of going through your blog post later to get them one by one.


12. “What do I want readers to do after reading this?”

Blogs can have many purposes, but each blog post should help you accomplish each one.

Let’s hope that by the end of a blog post, you’ve imparted some wisdom to your readers or discussed an important problem or topic.

There are two things you should include at the end of each post.

First, while you may think it’s obvious what your readers should do next, it usually isn’t that obvious to them.

You need to spell it out. Tell them exactly what they should do with the information in the post.

Secondly, include some sort of call to action (CTA). At this point, they’ve taken the time to read your whole post, so they obviously found it useful. This is your chance to ask for a small “payment” for the post.

Common CTAs include asking your readers to comment by answering a question (my favorite), asking them to share on social media, or asking them to sign up to your list.


You might find that one type of CTA is more important to your business than another, so focus on that, and mix in the others when appropriate.

13. “How will I measure success?”

One of the hardest things about blogging for a business is tracking the results.

Not all posts are created equal. Some take weeks to write, others take hours. Some have custom images, some don’t. And almost all posts address different topics, which makes them hard to compare.

While we generally look to see whether we increased the number of backlinks, comments, or shares over a long period of time, these metrics aren’t very useful when determining if a single post is successful or not.

But we also know that the vast majority of engagement or results come within the first week or two of publishing a post. That gives us a time frame we can use to evaluate the results of each post individually.

Before you write the post, and while you are editing the post, ask yourself how you will measure its success.

Some posts are made to generate links and social shares, e.g., roundup posts.

Others are made to generate discussion, e.g., my earlier example of my $100,000 per month challenge introduction.


Yet others are written to build relationships with influencers. A post can give you a reason to reach out and give them something of value.

You should regularly review the results of your past posts. The idea isn’t to deem each one a failure or success but to learn what does and doesn’t work for your business and your audience.


Nothing in this article is particularly complicated to apply—that’s the point.

These are simple questions you should ask yourself through your content creation process to make sure you don’t forget anything important.

I’ve put together a basic checklist you can print out and keep at your desk if you’d like: download it here.

I’ve said it before: consistency leads to success. Get in the habit of answering these questions for every post, and you will produce better content on a regular basis.

Now I have a question for you, which I’d like you to answer by leaving a comment below.

Which of the questions in this article is most important for your blog?

Join WordStream for Marketing Festival Keynote & Conference in Brno #mktfest

The world of marketing doesn’t have to be dry, stuffy or corporate. This November, get your dose of top quality marketing education alongside incredible live band performances, plenty of networking and meetups, and a different party every night throughout the three-day Marketing Festival in Brno, Czech Republic.

This year, I’ll be opening the international marketing conference with a keynote on the most impactful trends in PPC marketing, today and in the future.

 Image of the crowd at Marketing Festival in Brno

Marketing Festival takes place November 26th to 28th in Brno, the second most populous city in the Czech Republic and the historical capital city of the Margraviate of Moravia. In this vibrant, authentic Czech setting, over 1000 marketers from around the world will have the opportunity to listen in on specialized lectures, hear about unique marketing case studies, and take part in a number of useful workshops.

Other speakers at Marketing Festival this year include:

  • Marty Neumeier, author of The Brand Gap and The Brand Flip;
  • analytics advocate Daniel Waisberg from Google London;
  • European SEO consultant extraordinaire Aleyda Solis;
  • Bart Schutz, customer psychology and neuropsychology expert;
  • Filipino SEO expert Jason Acidre, author of the Kaiser the Sage blog;
  • SEO expert and director of audience from Moz, Cyrus Shepard;
  • CRM and email expert Bjoern Sjut.

With its sessions, workshops and lectures on SEO, link building, PPC advertising, web analytics, content marketing and social media marketing, Marketing Festival in Brno is a comprehensive, must-attend conference. Those working in international markets or looking for the latest strategies and tactics in various global markets will especially appreciate the diverse speaker line up and content! Owner of Marketing Festival, Jindrich Faborsky, has even conducted thorough research to ensure the conference provides what attendees want.

Brno is a quick flight from London or a 30-minute train ride from Vienna. Join me in Brno this November for Marketing Festival – tickets are on sale now and with only 132 tickets left (out of a total of 1200!), they’re sure to sell out – get yours today!


Co-Working, Mastermind Group Tips & Excellent Headlines from The Onion (FS117)

On this week’s episode we explore a handful of current events, sharing some news of our own along the way.

  • Co-working experiences evaluated
  • Barrett’s Elon Musk (+ Peter Thiel) obsession
  • Ideas for telling others’ stories (instead of your own)
  • A quick lil’ mastermind trick.

That’s a few of the goodies we dive into in this episode. Enjoy!

It’s better to listen on the go!
Subscribe on iTunes

A current events episode from entrepreneurs who know their stuff!

Show Notes

Gumroad Affiliate Program Beta: email to join.

Supreme Court On Gay Marriage: ‘Sure, Who Cares’ – The Onion – America’s Finest News Source

Soho House Chicago | Home

Build A Better Network: The Third Tier Theory

Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014) – IMDb

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel

Buyable Pins | Pinterest for Business

Amazon Echo: Always Ready, Connected, and Fast.

One Entrepreneur’s Story: Joseph Michael / Learn Scrivener Fast

How To Design A Great Ebook Without Design Skills (+ 10 Ebook Page Templates For Your Book)

A ROADMAP for the 6 Stages of Small Business (FS100)


The Top Five Kissmetrics Reports Every Ecommerce Marketer Needs

Today’s ecommerce marketers have a tough job. Their main objective: get the messaging out about the store and deliver sales. You have the website at your disposal and a mediocre advertising budget.

The challenge for you, as an ecommerce marketer, is how do you compete against a service like Amazon? They’re big, they can undercut your prices, and they can handle low margins while you cannot.

You need to optimize everywhere you can, including your funnel and your marketing channels, and you need to build a loyal customer base. Fortunately, Kissmetrics is here to help. Our software provides insights that can help visitors into customers. And once you get those customers, we provide data that can help you acquire more of the loyal ones.

Let’s see how.

1) Purchase Funnel – See Where You’re Losing Customers

Every website has a set of steps visitors need to go through before they can purchase. The Kissmetrics Funnel Report is used to help marketers identify the areas of their website where visitors depart. Once they identify those areas, they can then A/B test their way to growth.

Here’s how a funnel for an ecommerce site might look:


What we know from viewing this graph is that visitors have two big roadblocks to becoming customers. Of those who view the product page, only 33% convert to adding a product to their cart. And once they do add a product to their cart, only 13% of them end up purchasing. If you’re a marketer and this is your data, you know you can do better than a 13% conversion from cart to purchase. And if you do improve, you’ll end up getting more purchases for your company. Cha-ching!

To get you on your path to increased purchases, you’ll need to run A/B tests on the product pages and throughout the shopping cart checkout process (more on that later). You can create your A/B tests in whichever tool you use – Optimizely, VWO, etc. – and then track the results with the Kissmetrics A/B Test Report.

The cool thing about this report is that you can see how an A/B test impacts your entire funnel. So if you run a test on the product page, you can see how it impacts further on down the funnel, all the way to the purchase! You aren’t limited to testing only to the next conversion step.

You can also set up a funnel to view how people move through the checkout process. Let’s get into that now.

2) Funnel Report – See Where Customers Drop Off in the Checkout Funnel

You can break funnels into two categories – macro and micro. The macro funnels take a bird’s-eye view of your site, often viewing your whole site. The purchase funnel is a lot like that. It goes from the start of the funnel all the way to the end. A micro funnel allows marketers to zoom in and see a specific flow within their site. A funnel report on the checkout funnel is one example.

Here’s how it might look:


Looking at this graph, where would you say drop-off is occurring?

Without question, most people who end up putting a product in their cart don’t even advance to the next step in the funnel (the Payment Page). If we can increase the people who convert from the Added Product to Cart page to Payment Page, we’ll have a pretty linear increase in purchases.

So if you’re a marketer and you want to increase conversions (who doesn’t), here’s what you do:

  • Use the Kissmetrics Funnel Report to see where visitors are dropping off.
  • Run A/B tests on those pages. Track the tests in the Kissmetrics A/B Test Report. The more tests you run, the more winners you’ll find, and the more purchases you’ll bring.

With Engage from Kissmetrics, you’ll be able to put modals on your site that can increase conversions. A lot of our customers have experienced a conversion boost by using Engage.

The best marketers are able to drive loyal customers. Lucky for marketers, Kissmetrics has a report that shows marketers where their most loyal customers come from.

Click here to watch a short demo of the Kissmetrics Funnel Report.

3) Cohort Report – Find Customers Who Repurchase

Businesses live and die on their ability to attract and retain customers. To track customer retention, marketers can create a cohort report that shows them how often customers come back and repurchase products. They can even group them together and see which products or product lines have people coming back for more.

A cohort is a group of people who share a common characteristic or experience within a defined period. For example, people who purchased from your site during April are in a cohort because they all did one thing (purchase) during a defined period (April).

Taking this a step further, the Kissmetrics Cohort Report allows you to group people by any characteristic and then segment them by any property. Let’s see this in action.

We want to track repurchase rates (i.e., people who purchase, then purchase again). We can find those people, but what do we group them by? Time? Marketing channel? Product? Product category? As long as you’re tracking the property in Kissmetrics, you can segment people by it.

Let’s use marketing channel as our example. This segments people by the channel they came from. The higher the percentages (darker shade of blue), the better.


On the left side we get the number of people from each channel who have purchased. This is not a traffic report. We’re looking at purchases. We see that most of our purchases are from people in the Social channel. The right side (all the blue shaded cells with percentages in them) shows us how many of those people came back and purchased again, by month.

Social looks like it delivers a lot of purchases and repurchases. If we can acquire more people from this channel, chances are we’ll be acquiring loyal customers. The more targeted we can make our marketing, the more loyal customers we’ll attract. And businesses that win have loyal customers.

As mentioned above, we aren’t limited to grouping people only by channel. We can group them by product (see which products get the most repurchases), product line, any UTM parameter, time, etc. As long as you track it, you can get the data that matters to you.

Click here to watch a short demo of the Kissmetrics Cohort Report.

4) Revenue Report – See Which Products Bring the Most Valuable Customers

Your revenue is probably coming from dozens (hundreds) of sources. Maybe a feature on CNN got you a ton of orders, or you get a lot of purchasers coming from Google searches.

The Kissmetrics Revenue Report is used to segment your revenue and see which sources are bringing you the most valuable customers. Here is how it could look for a company selling clothes:


We’re segmenting revenue by collection (aka product category). The In-House Generic Tees bring tons of revenue (over $630k) and customers (over 9,700). The other metrics (average revenue/person, lifetime value, and churn) tell us how valuable these collections are for our business. We want high numbers on average revenue/person and lifetime value, but low percentages for churn. (Churn represents the percentage of people who ordered from that collection but did not order again within a defined time period.)

Just like the Cohort Report in the above section, we aren’t limited to segmenting only by collection. We can also segment by marketing channel, so we can see which channels bring us the most valuable customers. By the way, the channels property works automatically in Kissmetrics. There are no custom rules or custom code needed.

Click here to watch a short demo of the Kissmetrics Revenue Report.

5) People Search – Find People Who Have Abandoned Their Cart

The biggest problem for a lot of ecommerce companies is customers who abandon their cart. They view a product, add it to their cart, but never return again. They’re missing out on a big opportunity if they don’t make an effort to re-engage these people. If marketers can get them re-engaged (through cart abandonment emails) they are giving themselves a better shot at recapturing these lost orders.

The problem for many marketers is they don’t know where to start to get a list of these people. The Kissmetrics People Search makes this process easy. All you have to do is set your criteria to get a list of people you are looking for. There is no need to bug engineers to run a SQL query.

Here’s what our criteria looks like. We’re looking for people who have added a product to their cart but have not purchased. We want to see all the people who fit this criteria in the past 7 days.


We click Search and get our list of people:


There are a few things we can do with this list:

  • We can click on each person and get a Person Details report. This will show us all the events and properties the person triggered (i.e., what they’ve done on the site) as well as tell us the last time they were seen.
  • We can export the list to a CSV file and then upload it into an email service provider like MailChimp and send an email to each person to get them re-engaged and hopefully recover some lost sales.

Important note: You’ll get a list of email addresses only under certain circumstances:

Click here to watch a short demo of the Kissmetrics People Search.

Optimize Your Marketing with Kissmetrics

These are just a few examples of what Kissmetrics can do for ecommerce companies. Our reports are more than useless metrics – they provide insights into how users are behaving on your site. Once you see this data, you’ll know what needs to be improved. Once you see this data, you’ll know what needs to be improved.

Head on over to the Demo site and see how Kissmetrics works for ecommerce sites. Or better yet, schedule a personalized demo.

Ready to get straight into the action? Just click the button below to sign up for a free 2-week trial of Kissmetrics.


About the Author: Zach Bulygo (Twitter) is a Content Writer for Kissmetrics.


How To Save Up To 70% On Your Usability Testing

Posted by Gab-Goldenberg

You likely recognize the value of usability testing services, but the pricing of the most popular services is holding you back. However, there’s a way to do such testing at a reasonable cost without compromising on quality.

For the sake of comparison, I’m going to look at two tool different usability testing tools in this post: and Both tools currently offer remote usability testing with screen and audio recording. During a test, the user is instructed to think out loud as they try to accomplish the tasks you assign them. There are other usability testing tools on the market, but they are priced for the enterprise-level customer, with more complex offerings that cost thousands (or tens of thousands) of dollars a year.

  • UserTesting charges $49 per test. You can also order credits in bulk (20 at a time for $900) to bring the cost down to about $45 per test.
  • TryMyUI charges $35 per test. You can also pay $300 per month for 10 testing credits, bringing the cost down to $30 per test. However, you would have to test and iterate two to three times per month to make this valuable, a scenario that usually only occurs in big organizations with incredible traffic.

Typically, you need three to five tests for each round of testing (enough to observe patterns in your site’s biggest problems. Supposing you want to continuously improve your site’s quality and conversion rates, then you might do a round a month, or a round every two to three months. If you only order three tests at $35 each fours times in a year, then that’s $420 per year. At the other extreme, testing five users per month, you’re spending up to $2,700/year. (5 x $45 x 12 = $2,700.)

What if you could perform usability testing at a fixed cost of $15 per year, plus $5 to $10 per test? You’d then spend $135 per year perhaps (3 testers x $10 x 4 rounds + $15 flat fee). At most, it would cost you $615 (5 x $10 x 12 months + $15).

Depending on the volume of your testing needs, that’s an annual savings of $285 to $2085.

Smart, affordable usability testing

Here’s how to reduce your usability testing costs and justify to your boss why you should get a juicy, paid holiday.

First, to know how to reduce our costs, we have to know what we’re getting with the above services. What are you paying for?

You get mainly two things from existing testing tools:

Screen and audio recording software that will result in your usability testing videos hosted on the tool’s server (at least temporarily)

Recruitment of users to do your tests

Until recently, the second point was an especially big hassle because recruiting people was difficult to arrange.

Enter Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, or MTurk for short.


MTurk is a crowdsourcing tool that allows you to farm out various tasks to members of their user testing panel known as “Turkers”. You make an account, deposit money, and then type out exactly what you want the Turkers to do. MTurk is the middleman that provides you with access to a humongous array of people. In exchange, MTurk takes a 10% cut on any work that’s completed and approved.

MTurk makes recruiting dramatically easier

A large part of the savings comes from your being able to pay $10 per test. (And if your tests are shorter than the standard 10 to 15 minutes, you can offer even less compensation.)

What about recording the screens and audio?

Screencast-o-Matic (SOM) offers recording for $15 per year, or $30 for three years. Similar to existing remote usability testing tools, SOM will host your videos on their server and/or allow you to download them.

What about screening to get representative users for the test?

It’s true, both UserTesting and TryMYUI offer to screen your testers. You want representative testers, don’t you? So perhaps there’s still a reason to pay them a premium for recruiting?

However, the screening process offered by those tools is just based on a simple form. You can get equivalent results by having Turkers fill in a demographics questionnaire, and assigning what’s known as a “qualification” to those that meet your demographic criteria. Then you post your testing task with the qualification requirement.

If you want to get more into the details of screening Turkers, I shared some tips on it in this Give It Up presentation to SMX Israel last year (where I first shared my ideas on getting cheaper usability testing):

Here are the slides I used, so you don’t need to squint at them in the video—especially the ones with tips on screening Turkers.

[Note: I no longer work for Internet Marketing Ninjas.]

Going back to the question of representative users, usability pioneer Steve Krug says to “recruit loosely, and grade on a curve”. Is domain knowledge relevant to every single task? Probably not—it’s most certainly not necessary for uncovering usability problems with your site.

Other details

The above advice regards website or desktop app testing.

If you want to do usability testing on mobile apps, I don’t know whether or not Screencast-o-Matic can record app use on a phone or tablet if the app is running on the the operating system rather than the browser. (Incidentally, if this is what you need to do usability testing on, check out this post on mobile usability issues.)

TryMyUI, however, does have nifty features that work within Apple’s limiting terms on third-party apps collecting user data from another app.

I haven’t discussed post-testing surveys because they’re kind of secondary. If you want these, include them in your MTurk task description for testers to do after using your site, and of course pay accordingly.

A neat feature that both sites offer in various formats is customer experience analytics. These allow you to gain insight into customer experience without watching all of the recorded footage. If you’re testing three to five users per round, that will save you from 45 minutes to more than an hour of video watching time. An even better option is to hire two to three Turkers to watch the videos and find the patterns.

I’ve also done data analysis on Excel spreadsheets with Turkers, and it’s been great. Plus, you’re getting fresh eyes to look at the videos.

The testing described above is basically what you see described in Steve Krug’s guide to usability testing, Rocket Surgery Made Easy.

If you’d like to download sample usability testing task descriptions to use on MTurk, you can get them at

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Apple Music Is For People With No Clue What To Stream

Cat Djs You’re no DJ. That’s the biggest problem with streaming services. A search box connected to the history of recorded music can be discouraging. You constantly have to know what to play next. That’s why Apple was so smart to make Apple Music all about telling you what to play next. Apple is the king of making complicated technology accessible to the masses. It turned clunky… Read More