Study Shows These 6 Practices Will Increase your Twitter Clickthrough Rates

Wondering how to get your followers to respond to your tweets? It may not be as hard as you think. With a few tweaks, you can increase your click-through rates substantially.
The clickthrough rate (CTR) equates to the number of clicks on a link divided by the number of followers. The higher the clicks, the higher your CTR.

As a former chemist, I like to see the results of scientific data instead of relying on word of mouth predictions that are shaky at best. Since entering the world of internet marketing and content writing, while I appreciate the myriad of opinions, I value some scientific data to back them up. You can take the scientist out of the lab, but you can’t take the lab out of the scientist.

Dan Zarrella, cleverly named “The Social Media Scientist”, has taken the guesswork out of social media and applied the scientific method to his testing. He tests metrics and releases the results via colorful infographics.
His recent test measured tweet CTRs which revealed some interesting trends. He analyzed more than 200,000 tweets and presented the information graphically. Here is a summary of what he found:

Length of Tweets

While Twitter allows140 characters per tweet, the ideal tweet will contain fewer characters. Dan found that the highest CTRs occurred with tweets containing between 120 – 130 characters.

It can be hard to compose sound bytes of valuable information in 140 characters, never mind 120. Thankfully, the short tweets (<100 characters) were less successful so you can hold off on chopping your tweets for now.
Don’t use this as a hard-fast rule. If you have something groundbreaking to say in less than 120 tweets, then by all means do it. Use these points as guidelines.


Dan analyzed whether link placement affected CTRs. His data shows the highest impact when links are placed 25% of the way through the tweet.


This data seems to coincide with normal internet user habits. Attention spans are nonexistent for internet users and links placed at the end may not make the grade.
Does this mean that a link should accompany every tweet? Definitely not. In fact, Dan tested this (see next image). Play around with the links in your tweets and notice your CTRs when you change their position.
Dan also found that the number of links can affect CTRs.

Word Use

Tweets containing the words or symbols “via”, “@”, “RT”, “please”, and “check” enjoyed higher CTRs than tweets void of the same words. Tweets containing the words “@AddThis”, “@GetGlue”, and “Marketing” performed worse than tweets void of the same words.
Amazingly, some words increased CTRs by more than double and triple.


The new automatic “re-tweet” button makes it easier to re-tweet, but it excludes the letters “RT”. Re-tweet the traditional way or share the content with @via and the originator’s name and see if you notice any increase in engagement. is an online content aggregation system. Daily posts include the words, “daily is out.” Dan found these words to have the greatest positive effect on CTR—more than all of the other words he tested.


I have not used but would be interested to hear if anyone has noticed an increase in CTR as a result. Please post in the comments below if you are using it.

Verbs and Adverbs

Time to dust off the cobwebs and go back to 3rd grade English. Tweets with adverbs and verbs garnered higher CTRs.

What is an adverb? Remember when your teacher told you that any word ending in”ly” is an adverb? Use colorful adverbs before your verbs to give them emphasis. Consider these two statements:
#1 – Businesses are becoming more aware of the benefits of internet marketing
#2 – Businesses are progressively becoming more aware of the benefits of internet marketing
Statement #2 adds a little more personality and intrigue. Try it and see how it works for you.
Tip: Tell your audience what to do with your verbs…”Take a look” at this article, or “Check out” this article.

Tweet Times

When is the ideal time to tweet? Dan found Friday, Saturday and Sunday to be the ideal times to tweet. Also, tweets posted later in the day enjoyed higher CTRs than tweets posted earlier.

This data is a general guideline. Test your tweets to determine the best time for your specific target audience. This data may work for the masses, but if your audience is stay-at-home mothers or night shift workers, you can see where this may need to be altered.

The Bottom Line

This data is certainly helpful, but each business will need to discover its own unique formula. CTRs are not the only measurable data points. Some stats cannot be measured, like what tweet caused someone to search for your name in Google or what post struck a chord with a potential lead who did not click a link. Not every tweet will contain a link and some may move a lead one step closer to working with you regardless of whether he/she took a measurable action.

Can you think of any more data points that would be helpful to measure?

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Ten Ways to Enhance Your Facebook Timeline Experience

Facebook Timeline 

When Facebook offered a glimpse at its new Timeline user interface back in September of 2011 during its fourth annual F8 Convention, many attendees were struck with awe. Developers and entrepreneurs at the conference welcomed the radical makeover, and tech journalists raved about it in the days to come. The official launch of Timeline for all Facebook users began in earnest just before the end of 2011, and about a month later the prominent online social network warn its members that Timeline would be the new de facto layout and user interface.

The initial enthusiasm surrounding Timeline last year began to fade in opinion polls as soon as Facebook announced that the change was non-negotiable. Early adopters weren’t fazed by the seemingly stern notice on January 24th advising members that once the mandatory Timeline is activated as part of their profile, they will have seven days to preview it. It is within this window that members will be able to add, hide or modify information and media before anyone else visits their profile and sees it.
Once the mandatory announcement was made, the original love given to Timeline quickly began to fade among the 800 million Facebook members. Tech media sites that conducted online polls and surveys to gauge the sentiment just a week after the announcement found that only about half of those surveyed had adopted Timeline, most weren’t thrilled with it and in fact wished that it remained optional. Some members cited privacy concerns, while others simply did not enjoy the way old information is organized and displayed by Timeline.

As Facebook gets ready for its debut on Wall Street, the company is moving forward with Timeline as its new user interface. For those of you who feel uncomfortable with this paradigm change, there is solace to be found in the following ten tips that help users manage how their profile and information will appear to the rest of the world:

1 – Privacy:

If you are concerned about strangers and other people outside your social network looking into our Timeline, you should click on the “Limit Audience for Old Posts” option located in the privacy settings page and follow the steps to manage and limit the visibility of past posts.

2 – Subscribers Instead of Friends:

You don’t have to be Facebook friends with everyone, and you don’t need to be buried underneath a deluge of friend requests. You can now allow people to subscribe to your activity feed and you can determine just how much they can see on the subscriber tab of Timeline settings.

3 – Hide Information:

Timeline organizes your information in a way that’s intuitive and efficient, meaning that it’s now easier than ever for someone to dig into your past and find embarrassing or incriminating information to share across different social media platforms. You can prevent this from happening by simply clicking on the pencil icon that appears next to each Timeline item and hide it.

4 – Highlight Your Photos:

In an era when even cheap cell phones have high resolution cameras and free photo editing applications are easy to obtain, it is almost inexcusable to have a poor picture as the main Timeline photo. If you can’t spend too much time with your photos, check out the different Facebook apps available for Timeline customization.

5 – Geotagging:

The Timeline world map does not only show where you are at any given time, it also lets you tag photos geographically in retrospect. If you have pictures of different places you have visited over the years, Timeline allows you to organize them chronologically on the map.

6 – Isolate Your Timeline:

This is by far the most stringent privacy feature of Timeline. It is found within the privacy settings and it allows members to selectively block their profiles by simply entering the names specific members.

7 – Control Your Activity Log:

Since Timeline makes it easy for the world to know what you are up to at any given time, it is important to control the items that can be displayed and shared across the Timelines of your friends. The new activity log options allows you to label items that are spam, remove them entirely, or even disassociating yourself from any discussions, photos, posts, or videos in which you have been tagged.

8 – New Full Size Video Option:

Videos can be highlighted in the new Timeline whether they have been uploaded or shared by others; all it takes is a simple click of the star that appears next to video to bring up the resizing options. Once the size of the video has been adjusted, it will remain that way until changed again. This is a great option for brick-and-mortar businesses that wish to play up their goods, services or their storefront.

9 – Change Cover Photos Anytime:

If you are a person on the go for reasons of travel or leisure, it is always a great idea to visually update your status with a photo. The new Timeline allows you to easily change your photo from a mobile device by loading the Facebook app and clicking on the cover photo icon. This will in turn activate your device’s camera and allow you to take the desired cover photo for immediate upload.

10 – Eliminate Clutter:

The new Timeline is very keen on sharing and displaying real-time feeds anywhere you may be within the site. The ticker on the upper right and the chat window on the lower right form a sidebar that can be distracting, but it can be easily hidden by clicking the button located near the bottom right corner of the web page.
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10 Social Networks for Business


Social networks for business are now essential for companies to stay competitive. As the use of the mobile Internet grows, people are online more than ever as they can connect from any location with Wi-Fi, or 3G/4G access.

Business social networks can help companies reach out to new customers and to keep in contact with existing ones. Many companies use social media for customer support and for gauging reaction to newly introduced products.
Here is our list of the 10 best social business networks.

1. Facebook

Although not specifically focused on business users, Facebook is the world’s largest social website. Almost all large corporations have a presence on Facebook and many companies have multiple pages on this platform. The idea on Facebook is to interact regularly with your community of friends to include existing customers and people interested in your company.

2. Twitter

Twitter is also not specific for business use, but it is too big for companies to ignore. Twitter differs from Facebook in that the format only allows short status updates similar to those used for texting. For this reason, Twitter is popular with young people that grew up with texting. Many celebrities use Twitter to reach out to fans and companies are increasingly turning to the site for customer and technical support.

3. LinkedIn

This site is specifically for business people and professionals. LinkedIn is a perfect platform for companies looking to hire new employees and contractors or to find partners and investors. The platform is less appropriate for outreach to customers or potential customers unless you have a business-to-business organization.

4. YouTube

The video hosting website offers companies a great vehicle for offering multimedia productions in video format. For example, you could produce videos that highlight products or that demonstrate how to use products. YouTube provides businesses with a free platform for publishing TV-like advertisements. However, for your videos to get watched, you will need to expand your social network so people can find your links.

5. Flickr

Flickr is a photo hosting website that allows you to upload pictures of your products, business property, employees, events, etc. You can best employ this website together with other platforms on your business social network list like Twitter.

6. StartupNation

Startups can use this website to connect with other entrepreneurs that are launching new businesses. The site offers many services including seminars, podcasts, blogs, forums and articles focused on the subject of starting up a business. The site also offers competitions that act as incubators for new business ideas.

7. PartnerUp

As the name implies, this platform is for the business social network list of those looking for new partners. Whether you are seeking new investors or contractors to help with specific jobs, this network allows you to specifically ask others for the services or resources that you need. Users can also offer advice on how to find new partners and investors. PartnerUp is more for small and medium-sized businesses and they have a Resource Directory for placing ads and RFPs.

8. Klout

The Klout website is more about measuring your social influence online, but it also has direct social networking functions. As a Klout member, you can discover the reach of your social marketing campaigns along with the influence of your social community. This is a great way to see whether your efforts are working although it does not offer any method for measuring ROI in dollar terms. You can increase your social clout by interacting with other Klout users including providing recommendations for others based on their fields of expertise. The idea is to get friends in your network to reciprocate and recommend you as well.

9. Amazon’s Mechanical Turk

Mechanical Turk is a crowd-sourcing social platform. Many business social networks cater specifically to other businesses and professionals looking for services. At Mechanical Turk, you can find people offering to perform a wide range of tasks for a fee. Amazon takes a 10 percent commission on all transactions.

10. Google+

In the future, Google+ may rank higher on the list of the best social business networks, but for now, people are still watching the new platform. Google has tried many times before to break into social media in a big way, but with limited success. The new site is very much like Facebook, but it offers ways to group friends into different “Circles” for easier management and interaction.

With this list of social networks for business, you will be well on your way to establishing a strong social presence on the Internet. Remember that effective social networking requires that you interact with your online community on a regular basis. Stale social media pages become practically useless. By providing your friends, fans and other community members with regular updates and content they will come to look for news from you consistently.

Learn how to post information on your products or services, or just any news that pertains to your business. For example, a sporting goods store could post interesting news articles from the sports world so that friends come to expect such stories.
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Joomla Shopping Cart Extensions Compared and Reviewed


Several shopping cart extensions are available to turn a Joomla site into an ecommerce site. No need to use a shopping cart package that is not integrated with the Joomla platform. Many of these shopping cart extensions are available as open source software, and most are easily deployed to the Joomla Site. This Joomla shopping cart comparison will take a look at five of the most popular Joomla shopping cart extensions and provide the potential user with enough information to make an informed decision regarding the shopping cart that best suits their needs.
A Joomla shopping cart package provides a Joomla shopping cart template that is styled with the existing Joomla theme. To perform a Joomla shopping cart review, the five popular shopping carts are examined to determine their best features, as well as those factors that may be lacking in the Joomla shopping cart package. The best Joomla shopping cart is really determined by the needs of the site. With enough information, however, the site administrator may be able to select the best Joomla shopping cart for their particular site and customer base.

Joomla Shopping Cart Review

Simple Caddy (link)

Simple Caddy is perhaps the most popular open source Joomla shopping cart. This very powerful extension allows the administrator to easily deploy the extension and create an online store within minutes. Simple to use and understand, Simple Caddy utilizes the theme and format of the existing Joomla platform. No need to re-apply the theme to the shopping cart pages. This extension is very straightforward to use and easy to administer, and the administrator is able to set up the extension to automatically deposit funds generated from the store directly into a Paypal account. The main advantage of Simple Caddy is that this is the extension that is optimal for Joomla site administrators that want to sell only a few products on their site. Simple Caddy provides ecommerce functionality for selling a few items, without the need to deploy a full featured ecommerce extension and setting up an entire store.

Tienda (link)

Tienda is another popular open source Joomla shopping cart template. Tienda is also easy to deploy and use. However, Tienda must be themed to match the current Joomla site design. Theming is simple, though. Built on the MVC framework, the administrator themes the Tienda shopping cart extension in the same simple way that the Joomla site is themed. One of the major advantages to the Tienda extension is that it provides full online store functionality. Tienda is a complete shopping cart solution with all the features of a complete shopping cart system, such as Zen Cart or OpenCart.

iJoomla DigiStore (link)

The iJoomla DigiStore is not open source software. However, for the $79.95 price, this extension is well worth the money. If selling digital or downloadable goods on the Joomla site, this Joomla shopping cart extension is the optimal choice. This extension is a fully functional ecommerce platform that supports all popular methods of payment and provides easy access once a customer has purchased a digital product. Deliver digital music, documents and other downloadable content easily through this extension. This extension deploys in minutes and does not require a merchant account for processing payments.

AyelShop (link)

AyelShop is yet another popular open source Joomla shopping cart extension that is easy to deploy and use. AyelShop integrates OpenCart with Joomla features to create a complete ecommerce platform. If the Joomla administrator is experienced with OpenCart, this package is the best choice. AyelShop is a full featured, complete online store. The developers of the software literally rewrote the OpenCart package as a Joomla extension to create this shopping cart.

VirtueMart (link)

VirtueMart is another popular and widely used open source Joomla shopping cart template. This extension provides several plug-ins for shipping, payment, custom product fields, payment and rules for calculation. Perhaps the most developed and widely used shopping cart extension for Joomla, VirtueMart is great for site administrators that seek all of the functionality of an ecommerce system, such as Zen Cart, with the integration capabilities of a Joomla extension. Deploying VirtueMart may take some time. As with configuring a fully featured shopping cart package, such as Zen Cart, each category, item, price, shipping rule and custom field must be set up prior to use. Though the administrator will spend a significant amount of time with the initial setup of VirtueMart, this extension provides the widest range of options for those who seek to deploy a complete ecommerce solution that integrates with the Joomla platform.

Joomla Shopping Cart Comparison

Each of the Joomla shopping carts reviewed has its own features that will make each package optimal for just about every given need of the site administrator. For selling digital products, iJoomla DigiStore is the best choice. If the Joomla site administrator seeks to sell one or two ebooks on the site, Simple Caddy would be the best choice. If the site administrator is experienced in working with the OpenCart package, AyelShop would most likely be the best choice. Tienda and VirtueMart provide full featured ecommerce store functionality, but both require significant setup and configuration time.

To select the best Joomla shopping cart for your needs, think about how many items, as well as the type of items that will be sold on the site. Consider the learning curve of the site administrator, should they be required to learn an unfamiliar package. Finally, think about the time required to set up the shopping cart extension, add inventory, configure payment and shipping methods, and creating specials and coupons to offer customers. Once you have examined your specific needs, the Joomla shopping cart best suited for your needs should become apparent.
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A/B Split Testing and Multivariate Testing – Tips, Tools, and Software

Stop trying to get more TO your website, start getting more FROM your website 

Raise your hand if you get excited when you hear the words “Multivariate testing”?  How about “A/B Split Testing”? Do these phrases ring true with excitement for you?
Probably not.
But do not worry, my guess is that by the end of this article you will be excited about the possibility of what these terms mean.  First and foremost, these words spell a certain relief for most website owners.  This article, unlike so many other articles that focus on bringing more and more traffic to your website from new and various sources, will focus on something quite simple. This article will ask the question: don’t you have enough already?
Let’s take a step back for a minute.  Most website owner’s share a common goal: to get more conversions.  A conversion may be a sale, it may be a newsletter signup, it may be lead, it may be a phone call, it may be a download, etc.  We put websites up to achieve a certain end, and when that end is achieved, a goal is reached.  So with that in mind, how do we increase the number of times our goals are reached? How do we increase our conversions?
There are two ways: 1) we can get more traffic, and 2) we can do more with the traffic we have.  Guess which one of these is usually ignored?
So this is where this article comes in: to discuss doing more with what we have.

A/B Split Testing – Even My Kids Can Do It

My kids do A/B split testing every day.  In fact, if you have kids, my guess is that they split test as well.  This morning my son came up to me and asked if he could have chocolate candy (I hadn’t fed him breakfast yet). Upon hearing my very tired “no”, he then went into the other room and asked his mother if he could have chocolate.  At just 2 years old, he is practicing the simple science of split testing. Unfortunately for him, he started with a losing proposition, so the result was the same.
Split testing is taking one element, creating a variation of it, and then testing the two variations against each other.  My son chose me as the element he would split test, chose my wife as the variation, then tested both parents to see if one created a better result than the other. For your website, you may not want to test your parents, but you may want to test your page titles, a picture, or a disclaimer.

Multivariate Testing – I’m Not So Sure My Kids Can Do It…

…but you can! Multivariate testing takes A/B split testing and puts it on steroids.  Rather than isolate just one element, multivariate testing encourages you to test multiple elements and multiple variations of those elements.  The reasoning here is important: multivariate testing recognizes that it is more than just a title or a picture or a disclaimer that drives conversions, rather, it is a combination of how all things work together on your pages that drive conversions.  Whereas a disclaimer on one page may reduce conversions, a disclaimer on a different page may actually increase conversions.

So how do you go about doing multivariate testing? Well, you don’t do it on your own – you need the help of software and tools.  Multivariate testing creates combinations which will all be tested against each other.  When testing multiple elements and multiple variations, the result is that you can generate a large number of variations rather quickly.  Keeping track of these variations, knowing when to stop testing one, etc, would be too much to realistically handle.

Knowing that multivariate testing is more complex and requires a bit more thought, it may be tempting to avoid it all together.  But to do so would be, in my opinion, a significant mistake.  Multivariate testing can uncover combinations of elements that you would never think to try on your own. When you are trying to get more out of what you already have, it is worthwhile to take the time to test, test, test.

Multivariate Testing Tools and A/B Split Testing Tools

Most multivariate testing tools are built for large organizations that have a staff of statisticians who throw around words like “standard deviation” and “multiple permutations” in their break room as if they were “normal” words (then again, they have a different definition of “normal” as that too is one of a statistician’s favorite terms).  My guess is that most website owner’s do not have the time to break out their statistician hats and start crunching numbers – most website owner’s want to know what works and then move on with their lives.
With that in mind, here are a few tools that you may want to look at to help you start a multivariate test:
  • Google Website Optimizer.  No list on multivariate testing would be complete without including Google Website Optimizer.  Why? Because its free, its useful, and its fairly thorough.  Google added its website optimizer in their Adwords center to help advertisers get more from their advertising spend.  However, you do not need to be spending money with Adwords to use this fantastic tool.Google multivariate testing can be a bit tricky to setup and you may want the help of a developer when it comes to integrating the code into your website.  If you use WordPress, you may want to check out this plugin.
  • WordPress Split Testing Plugin. Speaking of WordPress, if you would like to run simple A/B Split tests, take a look at this plugin.
  • Visual Website Optimizer.  This tool has received plenty of good reviews.  Unlike Google Website Optimizer, it is not free, but unlike Google, it is easy to setup and allows quick changes of tests on your site.  In addition, because it is a paid version, you will get very good support if you need it.
  • Unbounce.  For those of you who just want to create and manage landing pages, Unbounce is a nice solution. Unbounce is limited to A/B testing only, however, it is extremely easy to use and perfect for anyone who runs PPC campaigns for lead generation campaigns.
Finding a good tool for your Internet business and needs can take some time, but once you settle in with a tool, you will likely grow addicted to testing.

Don’t Limit Yourself – What Can Be Tested

Testing isn’t just about headlines.  Testing can be anything at all on your website!  Try testing the following:
  • Test multipage checkout forms against a single page checkout form
  • Test including privacy notices vs. no privacy notices
  • Test email subject titles
  • Test showing one set of products on your front page vs. no products
  • Test having a large “slider” on your front page vs. no slider
  • Test signing your name personally to your site against not including it
  • Test colors
  • Test fonts
You may be surprised at what causes people to continue looking at your site and what causes people to leave.  Being successful on the Internet is not about having good instincts, its about learning to trust metrics and hard data.

I’m Not Excited Yet…In Fact, I’m Kind of Sleepy

At the beginning of this article I promised that talking about A/B Split Testing and Multivariate testing would get you excited about your website.  If you have read this far and are thinking I am a liar, then I would ask that you give me just one more chance.

Let’s talk about results.  Just how effective is testing and what can it do for your business?
To answer this, let’s take a look at a real life example.  At Quiet Light Brokerage, we invite website owner’s like yourself to submit their web businesses for a complimentary valuation.  Our form is simple and straightforward, but our goal is to start conversations with as many qualified people as possible.  As such, we setup Google Optimizer to run a multivariate test on our valuation form to see just how much we could improve our conversion rate.

What would you do if you could double your sales after just one month? What would be willing to do in order to triple your sales after one month?  Would you consider it worth your time?  Most people would agree that it is worthwhile.

Most website owner’s are overworked and are not specialists in enough areas to take the time to track and test conversion rates.  This is rather unfortunate.  While most of us go around chasing more traffic, new social networks, and the like, well organized and successful marketers make sure that their websites are functioning at their top levels.
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