The Purpose Of A Landing Page And The Key Elements Of Landing Pages

The Purpose Of A Landing Page And The Key Elements Of Landing Pages

Have you ever created a landing page for your business and the result was no where near where you expected? The reality is a good landing page comes as a result of lining up a number of critical components which would be best described as putting all of the pieces of a puzzle in the right place.

We talk about the importance of landing page (especially if you’re using paid advertising), and demonstrate live examples of landing pages that WORK and the Why’s.


Supporting Content and how it fits within the Quality Content Model

Supporting Content and how it fits within the Quality Content Model

In this video we delve deeper into the idea of Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness and explore the idea of supporting content.

If you want to gain more search engine visibility then this video is a MUST!

Why You Don’t Want a Picture That Tells a Thousand Words

Over 65% of the world’s population are visual learners. Whether it’s in a classroom or out in the big wide world we are bombarded with visual queues that stimulate our senses. If I mention your favourite colour or food, 65% of you are visualising it right now.

Where it gets interesting is how I visualise that food may be very different to how you visualise that exact same meal. Components of that meal may appeal to me and at the same time you may totally disregard them in preference to another part that draws your attention.

So this raises the question… if I wanted you to focus on the key elements of an image and to link those images to the message I’m trying to get across, what other supporting methods could I use?

Furthermore, if you’re looking at achieving this online what steps do you need to take to capture your visitors.

What animal do you see?

A Picture Can Tell a Thousand Words

Let’s be honest… most people seem to have attention deficit when they’re surfing the web. There are simply too many distractions and in the online world it’s easy to get hit with information overload.

Using images can help catch the attention of visitors, but when it comes to a website it’s important to focus on the type and use of those images. Your website is your representation on the web. Everything that you put on there must be representative of you whilst ensuring you’re not confusing and befuddling your visitor.

To better understand this we first need to look at the concept of above and below the fold.

Above the Fold Design

Steve Thompson coined the term ‘Above The Fold’ (in 2000) for web development, to refer to that portion of the webpage that you see without scrolling down. This portion changes from one screen resolution to the next with 90% of screens with a resolution higher than 1024 x 768 (as of 2013).

In earlier days of the internet, it has been suggested as a standard to put everything above the fold to save people from scrolling down. This still holds true today, with the average internet user clicking making their decisions based on the information instantly presented too them above the fold.

As this is the first thing that a first-time visitor sees it’s important to consider how a visitor to your site would react when they first visit your site and whether you present the most important points ‘above the fold’ to make it easy as possible for them to navigate your site.

Above and below the fold of a website

You Only Have One Chance To Make A First Impression

A common issue we come across (which is now improving – thank goodness) is the use of a massive image above the fold (this was very common in Real Estate). No explanation, just a dirty big image that shows a picture of local scenery. What does it mean? Who Knows?

Sure there are a few sites this idea works on (like photographers and clothing shopping carts) but on the whole it’s simply a waste of space and opportunity.

A Little Research

To gain a better understanding, I started doing a little of my own research by asking website owners their reason behind adding a big non-descriptive image that takes up most of their space above the fold.
I asked 27 business owners why they used big images with no real message attached to them and the most common response.

Not surprisingly, one of the most common answers I received is the ‘a picture tells a thousand words’.

It seems almost as if someone at the top passed this concept down and so many people not understanding how to fill the space effectively used the term ‘a picture tells a thousand words’ as they simply did not know how else to respond.

Let me share another example.

I recently spoke with a lawyer that had a massive stock image of a happy family on the homepage of his site. I always had a perception of a lawyer as someone professional, older, well-read, etc. Yet to the business owner this image represented freedom, a stress free environment, family, love and so on.

See how the gap could easily be formed?

What the business owner perceived or what they’re trying to project is not always what the user or the viewer will get.

David Hasselhoff - misunderstood?

Proper Use of Images

When designing a web page, it’s important to think about your user (the person that visits the site). Understand that you are dealing with different types of people, coming from different backgrounds and exposed to different experiences that are not the same as yours. It would be dangerous to assume that they think the same way you do.

If you are going to use images on your site, you need to remember some important points:

• Don’t let the image take over the site. Whilst your site may look fancy and pretty, make sure that it’s also functional. Avoid using extremely large images that takes all the attention of the user. Can you use large images on your website? Yes, as long as it’s a supportive image that displays a clear message about your products and services (like a gallery).

• Overlay text on your images. There is nothing wrong with using images, but make sure that your message is clear. You can do this by overlaying text on the image. This will direct the thought of the viewer.

• If the page, particularly the homepage, is carrying a big image, it has to be clear and direct to the point. Avoid using images that can confusing or send varying messages to the user. Also ensure that big image isn’t negatively affecting the load times of your site as your visitor could leave your page due to their lack of patience.

• Whilst you can add images with text overlay avoid replacing paragraphs of text with text in images. Remember, we have to consider the Search Engines too and they need text to understand your sites theme.

• Every image ‘above the fold’ should be an opportunity to lead a person through your sales funnel or to re-enforce your product or service. Make sure you use that space wisely as it’s your chance to show people that your business is all about.

• Your banner should clearly display the main method you would like people to use to get in contact with you. If it’s your phone number it would mean anyone visiting any page on your site could pick up the phone and immediately give you a call. This makes it as easy as possible for people to deal with you.

A scientist conducting an experiment

Creating a successful website involves real science combined with testing and measuring. By following a few simple elements within your images you can dramatically increase conversions from your site (and lead people down a funnel to whatever goal you would like to achieve).

Consider the most successful websites (for example Ebay or Amazon). Notice their pages are not dominated by huge images and every image contains a description as opposed to leaving it up to the end user to figure it out.

A picture tells a thousand words. Why not invest a little time to narrow it down from those thousand words to offer a clear, concise message that explains exactly what those images are all about?


Quality Content V’s Keyword Stuffing

Content is King!!!

This is a common term that is thrown around in the world of SEO.

It does lack one small element… Quality!

Although Google have always encouraged quality from the very beginning, due to Google’s more recent Algorithm updates (over the last 12 months) this focus is coming into the foreground as SEO’ers, and content creators alike are feeling the squeeze.

Why Does The King Feel So Content

Basically; when it comes to content creation, there a few different mythologies that used to work in the past which are being fazed out with the intention of supplying the end user with the most relevant piece of information as quickly as possible.

What is this older school technique called? Keyword Stuffing

Let’s be honest… Keyword stuffing did work in the past. The issue though is when the end user was searching for content they were getting low quality information filled with keyword stuffed content. Google understood if they were to stay on top they would need to continue to develop their algorithm. Because of this, Google have invested a lot of time (and continue to) enhancing their algorithm to weed out the bad content from the good content.

What is Keyword Stuffing?

Keyword stuffing can be defined using several different methods. My take on it would be to say:

The excessive use of keywords and fluff in content designed to influence the search engines, rather than to provide compelling, interesting content that end users would like to read and share.

Like any heavily saturated industry, there are a number of SEO’s who are not updated with the times and believe that a certain percentage of the content should be keyword stuffed.

The main problem with keyword stuffed content is in the creation. It is usually fluff with little or no meaning, where an end user would not a gain any real value.

Though the overall theme should flow through your content (in synonyms, etc.) content should be created with the main focus of your end user wanting to read and share it!

Want to see this in action? Take a look at any popular news site and you’ll see they create content for their visitors to share and discuss.


What are the Key Elements of Quality Content?

While quality content is important, it’s also important to understand the purpose and the use of that content.

A couple of important pointers:
– Make sure your content is ‘More Than’ a couple of words strung together and includes other elements to make it ENGAGING
– Create content your visitors would like to know about (you can understand this by looking at Google Analytics data)
– Create NEW content that is relevant to your end user
– Constantly keep your finger on the pulse, searching for new topics
– Use engagement to spread the word
– Create content with consistency

Let’s look at each of these in more detail:

Defining Content

Before generating content, it is best to know first what constitutes “content.” Content is not limited to written text as many people would think. Content can also be videos, images and sounds.

When delivering a message to your readers and target customers, it will be more interesting if you could include videos from your YouTube channel or share beautiful images of products you distribute.

Visuals can make a big difference. They can bring substantial traffic to your site. A lot of people look for videos and images online. In some cases videos and images are the first thing they want to see. Take for example, how-to’s and instruction content. Many people will prefer seeing a demo video to understand the instructions better.

Define Your Niche

Think of ways to distinguish yourself from the competition. Find a niche so that people will look for you when they think of that niche.

If you are an online store for dresses, for example, you may have to say you’re featuring a certain set of designers. What about if you are offering repair and maintenance services? You can focus on the repair of a certain type of vehicle, like Saab.

Highlight what makes your business different in the content that you are producing so people will know the benefits of your products and services.


Contribute Something New

To be noticed on the big maze of the internet, you should stand out.

Bring something new to your audience and offer your opinion on that new piece of news. It could be a piece of existing information available on the web, but make sure you expand on that information with more detail.

If you sell smart phones and there’s a new model on the market then review it. Share the specs, but also let them know what you do and don’t like about it. You can even have that video transcribed and added to your site for people to read.

Delivering original content with your ‘take’ on that subject will help build your online reputation and increase your chance of getting referral links from other sites.

Finding Topics – Keeping Your Finger on the Pulse

Research what people are asking. If you’re only starting to develop content for your business website or blog, then you shouldn’t be having problems thinking up topics.

If you start to find it hard to come up with topics, check out other sources. A few that comes to mind are-
– Google News – Where you can see the latest trending news for your industry
– Search for people in your industry and follow them. You can do this with Google Reader (or other services like Feedly as Reader is going to be discontinued in July 2013)
– Google Trends – Google share trending subjects within a specific niche
– Surveys – Where you ask your existing clients their biggest ‘Problem’ within your industry

Discussing what’s actually going on in the industry through the data you gathered will show your customers and prospects that you are a market leader in your industry.

Understand What Really Drives Traffic

So you’ve written a really good quality post, but what’s driving people to your site? Work on gaining solid followers to build your reputation online using social media. Along with components of existing SEO techniques, the use of social media will assist with ‘User Engagement’.

If you stick to creating really good quality content for users, eventually your site will gain traction. Don’t depend on short-term successes. With certain techniques, you may get yourself at the top of search results, but if the content is lacking in quality, then it will lack CONVERSIONS.


Just Do It

There are many reasons that turn up when you focus on consistent quality content. It could be procrastination, you’re too busy, you don’t think your opinion matters, or a number of other reasons.

In reality, whatever you have to say counts but like any skill, it does take practice. The more you practice the more you improve and the more people will get to know you.

As my grade 3 piano teacher taught me: ‘the key to learning piano begins with the 3p’s. Practice, Practice, Practice’.

By investing the time, creating with consistency and ‘Just Doing It’ you’ll be on the path to creating quality content opposed to keyword stuffed fluff content. This will encourage your reader to share your content (which will increase distribution) and will position you as a leader in your industry.


Why Content is King!

If you are a business owner, you or your team may have heard of the phrase ‘GP is King’ (GP standing for Gross Profit). While for many traditional retail businesses this is true, in the world of online marketing that term in most cases has been superseded by another: Content is King.

Why is Good Content Important?

There are a number of reasons why quality content is vital to the success of any website. Whilst access to quality information is important to the end user, it is also equally important in the search engine optimisation process of your website. Let’s take a closer look at why these two factors can contribute to the success of your online marketing strategy.

End User Experience

Without good content, a website is simply a bunch of words on an Internet page. Although the website may be able to generate a nominal amount of traffic, it may serve very little purpose to the business unless the content is captivating. By displaying quality content, the end user needs to feel comfortable to either make an online purchase or to contact the business. In other words, content builds credibility and trustworthiness.

How Quality Content Can Have a Positive Effect on Your Rankings

Many websites were affected by the recent updates of Google Algorithms. These recent changes were designed to target sites containing minimal or poor quality content.

If used effectively, quality content can easily affect the performance of your website on the Internet. The main reason why quality content is necessary simply comes back to Google’s principle philosophy, which is ‘To create a perfect search engine’. More specifically, Google’s goal is to understand what the end user needs, and to provide them with what they want. This again falls back to the theory that Content is King.

By regularly updating your website, you are demonstrating to Google that you are striving to align yourself with their ultimate goal. The more often you update your site, the more often Google re-analyses your site (caches), which often results with positive movement in rankings. If you are updating your site in the form of adding new pages such as articles or blog posts you are also expanding your website in depth. Again, if this is done using original and quality content, this is again something that you can be rewarded for by the search engines.

Finally, writing quality content in the forms of articles, blogs or press releases helps your business to expand its online presence.  These pieces of content can be submitted to various article directories, news sites and so on. Additionally they can be set up as a marketing pieces bringing in additional traffic. For example, if you are reading this article on our website, you may find that another version of this article has been posted somewhere else on the Internet. Or if you are reading this article on someone else’s blog or website, you will most likely find that it links back to my site, that is unless someone has stolen my content for their own gain… if that is you, please at least acknowledge me as the writer by providing me with a link ;).

Although content is not the only factor when it comes to the optimisation process, it certainly heavily contributes towards the credibility factor of your website. This credibility is not only vital from an optimisation perspective, it is also something that will contribute towards the conversion of your sites visitors to customers. Taking that into consideration, how do you think visitors and Google view your website in it’s current state?