Tell people what to do on your website

There is a really simple rule in all advertising where you want a response from the reader, whether that’s a print ad, classified, Yellow Page ad or even your website. The rule is this…

Ask the reader to do something

In marketing books they call it a “call to action”. Whatever you want to call it, research says loud and clear that when you tell someone what to do they are much more likely to do it.

When it comes to your website, the conventional wisdom is to put this call to action at the top of the page or “above the fold” where it’s clearly visible without them having to scroll down the page. However, I’m an advocate for putting my call to action at the bottom of every page.

Why?

Because people need to find out a little about you and what you offer before they’ll take action. To do that they typically scroll down the page and read (or at least look at the pictures). Hopefully by the time they’ve reached the bottom they appreciate your expertise and understand how you can help them.

So what’s the next logical thing that they should see?

Instructions for the action they need to take to benefit from your product or service. So that’s the logical place to put a call to action. In a world where your competitor is only a mouse click away, if you make them work to get back up to the top of the page, they’ll likely forget why they are scrolling to the top of the page before they click anything.

Here’s what one experienced web developer found out with a little testing…

For a lead generation site we had a nice tight form with benefit statements alongside and it was doing quite well. After some debate, the media was added to a test page which forced the conversion actions to below the fold. After over a dozen rounds of testing, a very clear pattern emerged: conversion rates were higher when the call to action was below the fold.

No one could believe the findings. So another dozen rounds of tests were implemented. The results did not change.

What’s the takeaway?

Forget about what the experts say. Think like a customer. Put yourself in their shoes and go through your site like they would and do what makes sense.

In the case of your website, it just makes sense to put a call to action at the bottom of every page.

Sidenote: If you liked this blog post you’re mostly likely to share it after you’ve just finished reading it; not before. Notice how I’ve put my “Like” and “Share” buttons below. See them? It makes sense to have them here, doesn’t it? Implement this on your site and please share this post with your colleagues using the buttons below. (That’s my call to action.)

Email Beats Social Media

Email beats social mediaIf I were asked at gunpoint to give up either my website or my email list of contacts, I wouldn’t hesitate to give away my website. My network is much more valuable to me. Email allows me to reach out to people proactively instead of waiting until they become so desperate that they come searching for help.

Email remains one of the keystones of successful web marketing. Yes, I know the “gurus” are saying email is dead, but they are wrong. Despite all the hype around social media, people still use the Internet primarily for the job of sending and receiving emails. The Internet is still largely a utilitarian medium to exchange information, just like postal mail was 20 years ago. And email is still the medium of choice. It’s not as sexy as social media, but it gets the job done.

So it’s no surprise that an Ipsos survey last week found that email use far outweighs social media. A survey of 19,216 adults found that 85% used email while only 61% used social media sites.

So if you are not collecting email addresses from your clients and using email to communicate with them regularly, what are you waiting for? If you need help, check out the resources at BodyworkBiz, in particular the “Web Marketing MBA” program, a series of ten video lessons that will lead you step by step through the fundamentals of web marketing, including a segment devoted on email marketing and an overview of two free services that help you get the job done quickly and efficiently.  The live broadcasts are done, but the recordings are available for you watch whenever it’s convenient for you.

Can Google Adwords Triple the Visits to Your Massage Website?

If you’re website isn’t showing up on the first page of Google, then you might want to consider using Google Adwords. A meta-analysis of 390 “Search Ads Pause” studies showed that on average, sites tripled their traffic coming from the Google search engine if their site did not appear on the first page in organic search results by using Google Adwords.

A meta-analysis takes a look a all studies around a particular topic and combines the results from all to get a more accurate picture than by looking at any one study in isolation. Like this meta-analysis of massage studies.

The study goes on to show that even with a top number one or two organic search result, 50% of the clicks to your site will disappear if you remove your ad.

Online pay per click (PPC) advertising, like Google Adwords or Facebook Ads, is seldom used by massage therapists. Given the results of this meta-analysis, maybe it’s time to make use of this type of advertising.

Can chair massage replace psychotherapy?

Stand aside, Dr Freud…

It looks like the massage chair will be replacing the psychotherapist’s couch.

One of the most significant massage studies conducted in the past decade has been a meta-analysis of existing research to determine the true benefits of massage.

They broadly defined massage therapy as the “the manual manipulation of soft tissue intended to promote health and well-being.”

For this meta-analysis, the researchers did and exhaustive review of the research literature and found 144 studies that used massage therapy and that involved adult humans (i.e. no animal or infant massage). They further filtered their results to include only those studies that

  • had a control group,
  • used random assignment to groups, and
  • reported sufficient data on at least one “dependent variable of interest” (i.e. state and trait anxiety, depression, immediate and delayed pain perception, cortisol levels, heart rate, blood pressure, negative mood)

In the end, only 37 studies met their strict criteria and these were used for the meta-analysis.

In simple terms, doing a meta-analysis of data involves combining all the studies together, which results in a larger sampling of subjects, in this case 1,802 participants. By doing this you get a more accurate indication of results than you would get from any one particular study. They looked at the results of a single massage (called “single dose” in the study) distinctly from multiple sessions of massage (“multiple dose”).

The results

Participants in studies who received just one massage were more likely to experience a reduction in state anxiety, blood pressure and heart rate, than participants in the control groups. Cortisol levels, immediate assessment of pain, and negative mood showed no significant improvements. Multiple applications of massage had greater benefits in reducing pain for the long term.

A series of massages brought about reductions of trait anxiety and depression and provided benefits similar in magnitude to those of psychotherapy

What is undoubtedly the most notable finding is that a series of massages brought about reductions of trait anxiety and depression and provided benefits similar in magnitude to those of psychotherapy.

Researchers have known for ages that stress is a key predisposing factor for anxiety and depression have very strong links and biological mechanisms have been recently established (Magalhaes, Holmes, et als. Nature Neuroscience 13, 622–629 (2010)).
Depression is no small problem. The World Health Organization states that in Western cultures, depression has the distinction of placing a greater burden on society than any other disease. In the USA, more than 21 million people suffer from depression.

Given the prevalence of anxiety and depression and considering the fact that massage may be just as beneficial as psychotherapy in treating these disorders, chair massage can have a powerful role in improving people’s lives.

The researchers found that the length of the massage had no significant impact on its effectiveness

The researchers found that the length of the massage had no significant impact on its effectiveness. So there is really no difference in terms of the impact of massage on anxiety and depression between a 15 minute chair massage or a one hour long table massage.

However, getting multiple or frequent massages did seem to be very important. Because the shorter timeframes used for chair massage mean a lower per treatment cost, chair massage can be an affordable solution to those suffering depression and anxiety.

Step aside, Dr Freud: Chair massage is coming.

SourceMoyer, C., Rounds, J., & Hannum, J. (2004). A Meta-Analysis of Massage Therapy Research. Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 130, No. 1, 3-18.