A Few Benefits Of Landing Pages

There are many benefits landing pages provide to businesses, but their main aim is to encourage conversions. Any action completed by a current or potential customer that encourages the growth of your business is a conversion, like joining your email list, buying your products or services or downloading some kind of content material. However, in most cases, people don’t engage instantly when they are presented with a conversion action, particularly if they need to provide their contact details or make a purchase.

Landing pages provide extra details and focused direction that encourage conversions, which will usually convert visitors into customers. In this post, we will look at the best way to use landing pages on your blogs, in email marketing and on social media.

The Best Way to Use Landing Pages on Your Business Blog

Increase Blog Subscribers

A subscription list is a great way to promote your business blog, which allows readers to stay updated on your most recent posts. A landing page is useful in this situation to encourage more sign-ups. When visitors click on a call to action to enroll, send them to a landing page that will make it clear what they will be getting when they sign up and give them more details on the purpose of the blog and how they will benefit from signing up.

Collect Data on Your Target Market

Once people sign up on your blog’s landing page, now is a good time to ask them what they are looking for or are interested in. That way, you can custom make your content to your audience. Some questions you might ask, “What is your biggest hurdle right now?” or “Is there a topic you want to learn more about?” Minimizing the number of actions visitors have to take on a landing page is a good practice; however, this one extra form field provides very valuable data to your business.

Be as User-Friendly as Possible

An additional great use of landing pages for a small business blog is to make your visitors feel welcome. Always welcome subscribers and first-time visitors and let them know exactly how to take advantage of your blog, the best way to give feedback and how they can have their input on new topic ideas. This shows that you are focused on serving their needs, produce a user experience that is positive and to give your business a more personal touch. Give them the option to share your blog on social media networks, which gets your business blog in front of even more potential customers.

The Best Way to Use Landing Pages for Email Marketing

Minimize the Concern for Visitors to Enroll

There are a number of way and places where you could encourage visitors to enroll in your email list. It could be on the homepage of your business website, on your blog or perhaps in posts on social media. Your landing page should let people know exactly what they will get for enrolling.

The landing page should outline the content of your emails. Businesses offer a variety of content combinations in their email like company news, marketplace reports, blog post and content links, customer features, social media highlights and announcements of events.

Give the visitor a reason to enroll in your email list like offers only available to email subscribers, a peek behind the scenes and being the first to get access to new promotions. Also, on your landing page, let your subscribers know they won’t be bombarded with emails once they subscribe. Let them know they can change their preferences or opt out anytime.

Your subscribers will increase and you will minimize your unsubscribes when you use your landing page to eliminate doubt when enrolling on your email list and when subscribers know exactly what they will be getting and how often.

Take Advantage of Email Unsubscribes

You never want to see people unsubscribe from your email list, just know it will happen, and for a variety of reasons. Use another landing page when users unsubscribe to bid them a friendly goodbye and to find out the reason for them unsubscribing. This gives your business a personal touch and shows you respect their decision. This is also a great time to understand your target audience and exactly why they are opting out of your email list. Give them a link to opt back in if they happen to change their mind down the line.

Then again, unsubscribing might not mean that the user isn’t interested in your business anymore. Some people might not use email that often while others get too many emails and other people might only want bite-sized pieces of content. In those scenarios, use your landing page to let them know of other ways to stay in touch, like via social media.

Using Landing Pages for Social Media

From Your Profile, Link to a Landing Page

Virtually every social media business provides an area to input a link. While most businesses will send people to their homepage, it might be better to use a landing page here. The landing page could highlight new campaigns such as a new eBook or webinar. It could encourage visitors to enroll in your email list or to subscribe to your blog. Facebook business pages provide an option at the top of the page to include a call to action button, like sign-up. Clicking this button should send the user to the most appropriate landing page.

Include Landing Page Links In Lead Generating Content

Social media networks are the perfect place to promote offers and generate leads from people who input their contact details. Social media posts or ads are the usual forms of promotion. The user should be sent to a landing page for more details about the offer once they click the link in the post or the ad. This provides warm leads and increases the odds of them inputting their email address to get the offer. The language and tone of the content should be consistent with the platform the visitor is coming from or to the content you usually post on that social media platform.

Promote Products on Pinterest

If your business is product based, you might want to set up a landing page on Pinterest. On the boards there, you can post images of your products and direct the link to a landing page for that specific product. You can provide more details about the features and advantages of the product and how to buy it.

Once your landing page is used in combination with your email, blog and social media marketing campaigns, you give people to change to make an informed decision regarding your business. This results in subscribers, leads and the customers you get will be of a higher quality since they know precisely what they are getting, and you are guaranteed it is exactly what they are looking for.

 

Landing page design is about the user experience

Designing a landing page or website involves many elements, but one thing to always consider is user experience. From the layout of the page, to the colors, all these are things you need to think about when thinking about user experience. This is because at the end of the day, if the user does not have a fluid journey from start to finish, they will likely leave or not complete an action.

As user experience is important from the very beginning, it is important to make sure they get a great first impression of the website. This is why it is important to consider your website’s landing pages.

You’re probably wondering what a landing page is?

Well, basically, a landing page is a page the visitor ‘lands’ on when clicking on a link from an external source, such as from social media, search engines or from another website.

For the most part, the homepage is usually the most landed on page, however other pages can serve as landing pages. It is easy to find out which pages people are landing on as well. All you have to do is go to Google Analytics, click ‘Behaviour’ and then ‘Site Content’ and then ‘Landing Page’. There you will have a full list of the top landing pages.

Once you have identified your landing pages, the next thing you need to do then is make sure each landing page is designed right to give the visitor the best impression and best chances of clicking through to the next part of their eCommece journey.

Before you change every page on your website, you need to understand that there are two different types of landing pages; click through, which encourages user to click through to other parts of the website, and lead generating, capturing information.

Click Through Landing Page

  1. Homepage – this is probably the most common landing page for any website, it is the one that you include in most of your social media profiles and if you feature on another website, the homepage is probably where they will be directed.

The homepage is where users will get a feel to who you are and what you do, and should have different points where visitors can click to other parts of the website.

A good homepage should give visitors a good snapshot of your business and include things such as products, search bar, brief information about your business, links to contact details, and links and CTAs to other parts of your website.

It may seem like a lot, but if you design it right it can be really effective. Using a grid layout helps, as it keeps things clean. Highlight what is the main focus is and remember, you don’t need to include everything. Just the important things. The beauty of a homepage is you can update and change it every now and again to keep it fresh.

  1. Product Category – while the homepage is an important page, it is definitely not one we would suggest to use when you are sharing your website or using it for campaigns, such as social media advertising campaigns or adwords.

If you are an ecommerce website, then the product pages are super important. They are the pages that generate sales and business, which is why they should be the landing page you use the most. It makes sense to use them, especially for campaigns, as when you advertise a product and someone clicks on it, they would expect to click through to that product.

Lead Generation Landing Pages

Lead generation websites are slightly different in the fact they are for businesses that offer a service rather than products. So the website would be an information hub and there should be a place to capture contact information.

Much like a eCommerce website, the landing page should have information about the service the business provides and include a data capture form. The form should be kept simple and only ask for information that is needed. The more field there are, the less likely people are to fill it in, so keep it short and simple.

Here is one of our blogs that goes through some handy steps towards designing a lead generating website.

Content Landing Page

Another type of landing page, which could be classed as either a lead generating or click through landing page, is content pages, such as blogs, videos or infographics. Information driven pages can be shared a lot via social media or other blogs, as it is a source of good information.

The reason they serve as both click through and lead generating is they can be both. You can include links or CTAS within the blog or infographic to click through to other parts of the website (if the blog is an extension to your website), which is usually advised to help reduce bounce rate. For lead generating, you could include a subscribe/newsletter sign-up to capture data. The sign-up form is usually at the end of the post or in the side bar, it is less intrusive than a lead generating, so if you have good content then they are more likely to sign-up.

 

 

Digital marketing and direct marketing

What do direct marketing and digital marketing have in common? As it turns out, a great deal.

first and foremost, they are both marketing systems. That means that they are subject to the same checks and balances. Do they provide a reasonable return on investment? Can they be scaled? What are their time frames? And so on.

Looking past the analysis similarities, do they have any functional aspects in common? The answer again, is yes.

Decisive communication

Direct marketing or digital marketing are designed to motivate action. Their purpose is not to explain services or details benefits. While it may be necessary to do so at times, the goal of these two systems is to get the reader to do something.

Both rely on calls-to-action placed through out the sales page. But the action desired is quite different.

Digital marketing uses an inbound approach. The device is usually an email subscription form, and possibly a free e-book download. In exchange for an email address, they provide something of value.

The email address is the digital marketers goal from most calls-to-action. With the email address, the marketer can send periodic announcements, sales messages and promotions.

With a long time frame required for many sales, an email address is a high effective way to market. Most digital professionals believe that email  marketing is the most effective use of their time and resources.

Direct marketing also utilizes calls-to-action, but generally in a more aggressive manner. Rather than an e-book or a newsletter subscription, their offerings are typically free merchandise or heavy discounts.

Direct marketers cannot rely on a long term sales cycle to close a sale. The cost of direct marketing is very high; each campaign must have a positive return.

It is not uncommon for a direct marketing campaign to cost as much as $1.00 per recipient. That adds up quickly.

Where digital marketing attempts to build and cultivate relationships, direct marketing attempts to focus on the sale at hand. Even though the end result is the same, very different skills are required for each.

Digital designers focus on brand and image building. Landing pages build credibility and a sense of trustworthiness. Copy is written as a narrative. The intent is to give the reader a sense of the company.

Direct mail copy is hard hitting. Strong headlines are used to create a sense of urgency. The idea is to generate a need in the reader to take immediate action.

The graphics and uses of color vary as well. Digital design seeks to be contemporary and inviting. Colors that portray harmony and confidence are typical. Type fonts that blend into the design are chosen. There is no attempt to jolt the reader.

Direct marketing takes the opposite approach. Strong images and emotion producing colors are the tools of the designer. Whatever is needed to jar the reader into action is taken.

These are just a few of the similarities and differences between these two marketing forms.  If the topic is of interest, let me know.

Digital marketing and blogging

If you want to grow your business via digital marketing, get ready to blog. Or, plan on hiring someone to do it for you.

At the end of the day, blogging is what counts. The reason is simple: because that’s what Google wants.

But they want more than just words on a page. They want the words to mean something, because strong content is how they get people to use their search engine.

If you turn back the clock a few years, you will remember the days of ezines and other poor-quality content offerings that filled up the Google search results.

To say they degraded the search experience would be an understatement. Searching for information in those days was pretty much a total waste of time.

A less than pleasing experience to be sure.

Seeking to improve that experience, and make their search engine a viable place to learn and discover, Google made publishing strong content a powerful incentive.

The deal was, and is, that strong and relevant and fresh content would be rewarded with better search position. In other words, publish something of value and get rewarded.

That has proven to be the case to a certain extent, but more is required to achieve those great page results. Notably, in-bound links from other websites.

When other websites link to yours, that shows credibility in the eyes of Google. They compare it to a vote of confidence.

Naturally, that vote has more meaning if it comes from a website of stature. For example, if you have a medical information website, and webmd.com links to it – then you have something.

The combination of strong content and in-bound links is the essence of modern internet marketing. Both areas require a lot of effort and time.

Developing strong content for a niche that may be overwhelmed with material is no easy task. It seems that whatever topic one tries to write about has already been well covered.

Take web design for example. If there’s one, there must be a thousand articles on ‘best tips for a great website’. Any ‘how to’ topic has been written about by an endless stream of design and development blogs.

Even more difficult than finding new material is finding websites interested in providing those valuable links.

With all the obstacles and difficulties, is it worth the effort? Hard to really say.

In my opinion, it comes down to time frame. If you have a long-range view of your business, then a plan of gradual, but continuous content development make sense.

Figure the process of achieving any meaningful visibility will take years. That’s fine if you have years. Take it slow, and probably you will achieve some success.

 

If you don’t have years, than perhaps it’s better to not even try traditional organic online marketing.

 

 

Other options that will be far quicker included pay for click (PPC) with either Google, Facebook, Linkedin or twitter.

 

While no easy road to be sure, the advertising approach offers a much quicker solution that the organic one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blogging

Blogging may not be the activity you most look forward to. But if you want your blog, or website to be seen by Google, it really is necessary.

I’ve learned this from experience with my blog, richardweisskopf.com. You would think that ranking first for a name search would be easy with an exact match blog,  but that has not proven to be the case.

During times that I actively post articles or information pertaining to my niche, my website has consistently ranked at the top for an exact name search for Richard Weisskopf.

During times that I have not posted content, the site ranks as low as 3rd or 4th on the page. The reason why is simple: social media sites, like Linkedin and Facebook and Twitter, with profiles of other people named Richard Weisskopf rank higher.

The only way for me to keep my blog at the top of the Google search page results for my name is to continuously blog.

The next question is how long the blogs need to be – and how often they need to be created and published.

There are different opinions regarding the optimum length of a blog. But most industry experts agree that very long posts – 2500 words and more – are needed for difficult and competitive keywords.

If the keywords are less competitive, as a name might be, the feeling is that shorter posts will do the trick. In either scenario, frequency is essential. Once or twice a week is needed.

Not all posts are created equal

This means that not every post has to be written for publication. In other words, write the post and simply do not make it available to viewers of your website.

If the post is not show on a menu, or a widget display, it is essentially invisible to anyone other than the search engine. So, as long as the material is original and reasonably well-written, it will have the desired effect.

I’ve worked on large websites where hundreds of articles never say the light of day. At least as far as actual readers are concerned. The articles were the infrastructure of the web marketing strategy employed my the web masters.

If you are not a writer, consider paying for articles that will accomplish this goal. But, be really careful that whatever you publish meets certain basic quality standards.

Google is clever when it comes to detecting poorly written content. That includes content that is automatically generated by word spinning programs.

If you do purchase content or articles, take a minute to read them over and be sure they sound as if they are written by a native US writer. Check for spelling and vocabulary usage errors. Make sure that the material has some relevance to the topic of your website.

If possible, include an image. If you can, optimize the content by including back links and inter page linking. Provide authority quotes when possible.

Treat the invisible content as if someone were actually going to read it – that’s the safest approach.

 

 

Internet marketing and web design

My time is pretty much divided into two areas: web design and internet marketing. I’ve noticed some interesting aspects of each that in many ways, really make very little sense.

Clients, with very rare exception, see web design as an expense. As with any expense, the inclination is to negotiate the lowest price. For some reason, they do not acknowledge the inherent importance of something that says so much about their business.

If ever something was an investment and not an expense, it is web design. Prospects, and current clients, make numerous decisions about your business strictly based upon the appearance of your website.

Are the images strong and crisp? Is the design minimalist and professional? Is the layout contemporary and compelling?

The answers to questions like these determine the way your business is perceived.

I’ve often pointed this out to clients without much success. A typical response goes something like “it’s the information in the site that counts’.

While I don’t disagree about the importance of content, the fact is that visuals are not rational. They create a response that is not logical. Visuals are emotional.

This is why web design is an investment, not an expense. Spending the money to create a visual image that connotes whatever it is you want to express is the best money you can spend.

The other side of the coin is marketing. Where a client can resist even a modest charge for web design, the sky’s the limit when it comes to marketing.

A recent example: a client embarked upon a very heavy Adwords campaign. These campaigns, if you are not familiar with them, are based upon Google clicks.

An advertiser bids for page position for a certain search term. For example, If I were running an Adwords campaign for Webfour, one of my main search terms would be ‘web design’.

As you can imagine, there are many web designers interested in being found under this search term. To secure one of the top spots, my bid would have to $7 or $8.

So, every time someone clicked on my ad, Google would charge me $7 or $8. That adds up to serious money very quickly.

Getting back to my client: her ad budget for Google AdWords was set at $10,000 a month. For a small business – a sizable amount.

I spent a lot of time creating the ad campaign. I had to determine key words, negative keywords, ad groups, and more. I also had to write the ad copy, with multiple variations for the purpose of testing.

In additional to all of that, a way to track of all the clicks had to be implemented. What ad did a click come from? What happened after it was clicked?

This required installing Google Analytics, and tracking pixels in the client’s website. It also meant substantial training for the person monitoring the campaign on a day by day basis.

There was more of course, but this gives a general idea of the time just to setup the campaign. As a result, my hours added up, and the bill was substantial.

Just to recap, my client committed to a $10,000 monthly ad budget and paid me a substantial sum to do the setup. All of this without a word of complaint.

Then it came time to create the landing page. This is the page that visitors come to after clicking the ad and creating the charge.

Web designers, advertising and marketing experts, and just about everyone else with any experience in business or psychology, will attest to the importance of a landing page.

Not only must the page describe the service or product being offered, it must convince the reader to take action – to move to the next step in the sales cycle.

This might be completing an email form, receiving an e-book, requesting a quote via an online form, or making a phone call. Accomplishing this is no easy task.

You might even say, as many do, that the landing page is the most important component of the entire advertising promotion. And, it’s hard to argue with this logic.

What good is all the keyword research, ad writing and tracking, if the landing page fails to move the prospect to the next stage of the sales cycle?

Obviously, all of that effort is completely wasted if the landing page fails to do its job. With as obvious as this is, you would think the budget for the landing page would be ‘whatever it needs to be’.

Unfortunately, in this particular example, the client simply could not understand that the final, key component of the campaign was as much of an investment as was my time.

She simply could not get past the notion that design is an expense to be minimized at every juncture.

The story does have a happy ending. The campaign was a success – and that’s what counts. But with a greater understanding of the importance of design on human behavior, it could have done far better.