The 6 Styles of Landing Pages…and when to use them

Posted by Chuck Bankoff On October - 24 - 2013

6-Styles-Landing-Page-Design
You can drive as much traffic as you want to your website but if you don’t convert that traffic into phone calls, emails, submitted forms or transactions, you’re just wasting time and money.

 

There are essentially 3 categories of landing pages. The choice of which is largely dependent on the specific strategies and goals of the campaign.

- Standalone Landing Pages: These are typical of specific promotions or specific products or services.

- On-Site Landing Pages: These often include the homepage or service or product pages.

- Microsites: These are typically small, multi-page websites with a single focus and a built in sales funnel.

 

 

Each of those categories come in multiple flavors (the 6 Styles)

1 – Squeeze Pages: The objective of a “squeeze” page is to capture the contact information of the visitor to harvest the lead at a later time or as part of a scheduled lead nurturing strategy. An example of lead nurturing might be setting up a series of pre-written emails that would be automatically sent to the consumer over a period of weeks, building up interest and culminating in a sales pitch or special offer.

 

2 – Infomercial Landing Pages: These come in a couple of different flavors, but you’ve probably seen the ones that resemble the old style sales letter that is mostly text and sensationalism. Just like the classic late night infomercials on TV, they try to verbally make their case as to why you can’t live without their product or service. They typically scroll in perpetuity punctuated only by periodic offers you can opt-in to and thus put yourself out of your pain by succumbing to their offer.

 

3 – Viral Landing Pages: The goal extends past merely converting your visitors into customers, but to enlist them to tell their friends as well. It might be a funny video or a game that is somehow branded to your company via a subtle logo or product placement as part of a greater branding campaign.

 

4 – Microsites: Yes, the Cadillac of landing pages because it requires a bit more commitment. This is essentially a mini website with its own URL and custom design. These are often the destination of choice for larger investments in the form of paid advertising such as Pay-Per-Click, print and TV ads.

 

5 – Product Specific Landing Pages: This is a very common, but useful type of landing page because it probably already exists. Typically just an existing page on your website that contains all the information on a specific product or service.

 

6 – Homepage: Typically has the lowest conversion rate because the home page is like the index in a book. It’s the jump-off point for the entire contents of the rest of the site. As such, it is unfocused by nature.

 

Suggested Reading: Digital Minds: 12 Things Every Business Needs to Know About Digital Marketing

http://amzn.to/17uSp0x

The book not only covers Landing Page Design, but 11 other essential aspects of Digital Marketing. Visit our website at: www.KreativeWebworks.com

 

Kreative Webworks Inc. Orange County CA Internet Marketing
Kreative Webworks
is a full service Digital Marketing Agency serving Orange County California since 1999.

 

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Digital Marketing Explained

Posted by Chuck Bankoff On January - 21 - 2013

digitallandscape

It used to be about websites and search engine optimization. Now it’s about total web presence optimization. The digital landscape comprises of a mix of different channels such as social networks, websites, email; mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets; videos, widgets, kiosks, and gaming consoles. These mediums help marketers to build relationships with consumers, publicize their brands, and also sell their products or services.

Digital marketing arrived on the scene more than 15 years ago but has evolved rapidly in the last couple of years. Social media has significantly transformed consumer behavior. It has facilitated sharing of information with prospective buyers like never before through online advertisements, videos, blogs, tweets, and more. The digital space has clearly caught the fancy of savvy marketers thanks to factors such as its:

  • Huge impact on brand reputation
  • Potential to quickly launch online campaigns
  • Interesting mix of marketing technologies
  • Ability to engage prospects in dynamic exchanges that influence buying decisions
  • Measurability and cost-efficiency
  • Creative potential of platforms such as rich media, gaming, and mobile applications

Let’s take an in-depth look at how digital marketing has evolved over the years and how understanding it can help you influence consumer behavior.

The Evolution of Digital: A Convergence Story

Digital media has progressed rapidly due to the convergence of technology and easy availability of consumer technologies. This has paved the way for interactive mediums that engages the audience, something that traditional media did not provide.

It commenced with advancements in Internet technology that led to the launch of thousands of websites. This was still a passive communication medium since sites were not interactive. Then came email, the first dynamic medium that enabled direct communication between consumers and businesses in a cost-effective and meaningful manner. The revolution finally took off when ‘search’ became a part of the user experience. It was the arrival of social media, however, that made the digital landscape ‘interactive’ forever.

The success of social media sites such as Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter indicate how well connected today’s users are across multiple geographies. The digital experience has switched the role of users from a passive receiver to an active participant, circulating relevant, useful information and influencing buying decisions.

The convergence of mobile technologies with location-based services and smart devices has now made real-time interactions a reality. Consumers are spending more time and money on these devices for their personal and business consumption. This means an increased opportunity for sellers to create interesting mobile applications that engage users.

Marketers can now gain insight into the nature of information being accessed and shared. Since consumers are interacting through various digital channels, they play a critical role in building or demolishing a brand’s reputation. This makes it imperative to identify the most relevant consumers and understand their behavior in order to target the right audience and deliver the intended message.

The Reality of the New Digital Landscape

Digital media has emerged as a reality that is continuously challenging marketers. Adopting and promoting an apt digital strategy is easier said than done. It requires a shift in the way marketing functions approach digital media.

Here are some guidelines to help you successfully navigate the digital landscape:

  • Clearly define your business goal – is your focus brand building or lead generation or both?
  • Identify the channels that will help you achieve your goals
  • Define your target audience
  • Set the right expectations with stakeholders about what a digital strategy can achieve
  • Integrate your offline and online strategy
  • Provide engaging and consistently valuable content
  • Engage with the right agency that can tailor digital solutions to suit your customers’ needs—and it is okay to start small!
  • Implement the right analytics and automation tools to understand your target audience behavior
  • Review your plans over a defined period to measure progress and results
  • Have a backup plan: the biggest boon of digital media could be its biggest bane as well. On one hand your customers can be your brand ambassadors, but on the other they can damage it irreversibly. Ensure that you have a backup plan or team to respond to crisis situations.

Since the digital landscape is vast, success lies in having a consumer focused strategy and clear business goals. An effective integration of both with an overall marketing strategy can help organizations reap benefits and develop strong relationships with the consumers.

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When Google sneezes…I catch a cold

Posted by Chuck Bankoff On December - 12 - 2012

There’s probably about a dozen other clichés marketing agencies can use to describe how the search engine giant plays the tune and we just dance to it (see, there’s another one).

For years digital marketing firms have been playing cat and mouse games with Google. The factors that the search engines use to determine where a website should be ranked in the search results were just too easy to be manipulated by those of us who made a career of it. Some of us played by the rules (white hat SEO) and some of us “bent” the rules (black hate SEO).

Search engine marketing is no longer about Websites; it’s about “Web Presence”. Search engines have decentralized the criterion they use to decide which Web pages rank where for what keywords.

In my opinion you can no longer rely on classic SEO techniques alone to get your Google love. I recommend a total 360° multi-dimensional approach that addresses all of the elements that the search engines currently factor into their algorithms. Below is an overview of the various components that typically go into our strategy:

 

Components:

Content:
At the end of the day, search engines look for the same thing that people look for…content that is related to what people are searching for at any given time. You have to optimize, produce and manage content that is not only designed for search engines, but is relevant to your target market.

Keywords:
You will have to do extensive keyword analysis to determine the optimum keywords to ensure success. The most popular keywords are not necessarily the best. We prefer to target “niche” keyword phrases that relate directly to your target market. Targeting multiple highly relevant phrases will allow you a better opportunity to obtain higher rankings across more keywords that are directed to people farther down the buying cycle. (As opposed to targeting fewer harder to obtain “general” phrases).

HTML:
The output of almost all Website platforms is HTML code. It is the basic building block of the Internet. Other code such as Java script or Flash is a barrier to search engines indexing your Website. You will need to ensure that your Website is built on a search engine friendly platform. Adobe’s Business Catalyst platform, WordPress, and basic HTML are always good choices. There are plenty of others as well.

Usability:
A search engines’ goal is to display the best “user experience” they can find. That means that the actual structure of the website is a major factor in determining where your website will be placed on the search result pages. Also consider how many clicks it takes for a visitor to get to any of your pages on your site. If it is more than 3…it’s too many. It’s annoying to your visitors, and search engines recognize that.

Speed:
People don’t wait more than a few seconds for your Website to render before leaving, and neither do search engines. Make sure that you use high-speed hosting and a site design that is not heavy with extraneous code which slows down the Website.

Links:
Search engines factor both internal and external links. Each Website, directory or social property that links to your site is considered a “vote” for your Website. Why else would someone link to your site unless you provided valuable information?  It is important to note, that not all links are created equal. Some incoming links are more valuable than others.

Search engines also factor “Internal Linking Structure’ (pages on your site that link to each other). Linking unrelated pages can be detrimental to your efforts. However linking relevant pages strategically in a “silo” structure will increase what we call “link juice” and consolidate the relevancy of your keyword themes.

Blog:
Search engines love blogs because by their very nature blogs are updated frequently…and search engines like fresh relevant and original content. Blog posts are indexed relatively quickly and are treated as a Web page of information by the search engines. Search engines rank Web pages… not Websites. You will want to ensure that your blog posts are designed to rank for specific keywords, but not at the expense of your human visitors.

Social Media:
No longer just a buzzword, search engines factor what they call “Social Signals” that indicate that you are interacting with your target market (thus indicating that you are relevant). Aside from the obvious advantages of interacting directly with your consumers and driving traffic back to Your Website, best industry estimates are that Google factors between 9% – 14% of their search ranking algorithm based on social signals.

Analytics:
In order to make incremental improvements we must monitor and make incremental adjustments to certain KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) such as:

  • Bounce Rate
  • Average Time on site
  • Top entry pages
  • Top exit pages
  • Traffic by keyword
  • Etc.

Reporting:
Analytics must be distilled into a meaningful report that can be analyzed to show trends and progress without all the noise of the raw data.

Design:
Search engines are concerned with the structural aspect of design, not necessary the aesthetic aspect. It is imperative to design the website around both usability standards and search engine preferences (which typically mimic human usability factors). Remember usability…

These 11 factors are just the main ingredients that go into search engine optimization. They don’t even address other aspects of an entire Web Presence Optimization program that includes profiles and pages from LinkedIn, Facebook, twitter, and reviews on Google+, and Yelp and Citysearch, etc….

At the end of the day, its Google’s world, I just live in it.

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Digital Marketing is hard enough, don’t squander your Traffic

Posted by Chuck Bankoff On September - 8 - 2012

It’s hard enough to drive traffic to your website, but it’s a shame to waste it by driving your visitors away within moments of arriving. Below is a list of what NOT to do.

Poor Navigation: Nothing frustrates a consumer more than not being able to find what they want quickly and intuitively.

Too Many Ads: Aside for the negative effect excessive ads have on search engine rankings, smothering your visitors with distractions won’t engage them, but it might enrage them.

Bad Site Structure: Simple is better. The “Rule of Thirds” says that every time you ask a visitor to do something or click to another page you lose about a third of them. Make it easy for them to find what they’re looking for without having to go too deep into the website.

Invasive Audio & Video: People want to consume content at their own pace and at their own discretion. Force feeding sounds and motions on them is a sure way to cut short their visit.

Registration Requirements: Forcing a visitor to register before they can view content is like asking them to pay for something before they know what they are buying. Think of your content as the product, and their contact info as the currency. Don’t ask them to register until you give them a taste of what they are paying for with their personal information.

Boring Content and Design: Your website is a statement about your company. Minimalistic is OK, but boring just won’t cut it. People don’t read on the Internet… they scan. They see Headlines, Graphics and bullet points. Create the image that is appropriate for you target market and present the information in the most concise and interesting way possible.

Poor Legibility: Don’t get cutsie with italic designer fonts or use red text over a black background. In other words, function over form when it comes to the actual reason why someone took the time to visit your site. We were all conditioned to read dark print on a light background with proven legible fonts. Stick to the program.

Stale Content: You wouldn’t watch the same episode of a television show over and over again would you? Why would anyone return to a website that is not updated with current relevant information? And by the way…. Search engines love fresh content and have little use for stale websites. “Last updated in 2004” and “Under Construction” pages will impress no one.

Here are Six Simple Tips you should consider when creating a website page layout.

Chuck Bankoff is Director of Web Services for Kreative Webworks, Inc. A Digital Media Marketing firm in Orange County CA.

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Digital Marketing on the Cheap

Posted by Chuck Bankoff On September - 2 - 2012

Maybe this just seems hysterical to me and my staff, but if you ever tried your hand at any sort of digital marketing for your business you’ll understand why this still cracks us up. If you have about two and a half minutes to kill, take a look at this short video and let me know what you think.

By the way, if you have any ideas for new videos we can make, hit me up!

 

Kreative Webworks is an online lead generation firm in Orange County CA since 1999 -www.kreativewebworks.com

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Don’t worry about your rutabagas, your garden is safe. That isn’t the type of farmer I’m talking about. The ones that are in trouble with Google are “content farms” that flood the Internet with a never ending stream of low quality content.

Why? Well one of the major components of search engine optimization is content. So like everything else in the SEO industry the “black hat” optimizers immediately started flooding the internet with hastily produced, keyword laden, recycled content in an effort to drive up the page count for their clients.

Did it work? Well sort of….  The techniques for writing search engine friendly copy are the same whether the copy is redundant and valueless to the human reader, or if it provides insight and original thought or news or any number of virtues to people seeking information.

Unfortunately this prompted the rise of the “content farming” industry. Companies and individuals who “scraped” content from other websites, rearranged it a little and spit it out as though it was new. If done cleverly the search engines would treat it as original content and reward the website with higher search rankings.

Google counters Bad SEO tactics

Google actually makes hundreds of changes to its search results ranking algorithm each year in an effort to stay a step ahead of black-hat optimizers who use dubious tactics in an effort to “game” the system rather than produce useful content. We knew this change was coming… we just didn’t know when.

Google’s’ “Farmer” algorithm went into effect towards the end of February and affected some 11.8 percent of Google search queries in the United States. The update was presumably aimed at content farms that produce low-quality or recycled content for the purpose of achieving higher search results.

Caught in the fallout?

Certainly anyone who employed an optimizer who relied on dubious shortcuts took a hit. Unfortunately that includes legitimate well intentioned business people who were simply trying to market their services on the Internet like everyone else. They trusted SEO companies that relied on dubious tactics, or off-shore optimizers with a poor command of the English language who simple scraped and assembled content for other websites.

It will probably also affect distributers of products that rely on manufacturers descriptions to advertise the products in their catalogues and in their shopping carts. In many cases there are hundreds of the same descriptions across hundreds of different websites. Google is not going to rank them all for the same thing. Did they do anything wrong? No, but now they are going to have to do it right.

There are no short cuts. There never have been…

Gamming the system has never worked for any length of time. Trying to circumvent Google’s algorithm is short sited and ultimately builds your web presence on a house of cards that collapses the moment Google makes a change.

There are certain things that work, and will always work. A Professional Digital Marketing Firm knows that Google is happy to reward optimizers that play by the rules and consider that the end game is to serve up the most accurate, meaningful and varied results to the person searching for information.

What’s the upside?

Well if you are just a person searching for something on Google, your chances of finding good quality results just increased. If you are a business who employed a skilled “white hat” Search Engine Optimization Company then a lot of the noise on the Internet just cleared out of your way to the top of the results.

And by the way, good quality content is not only original, well optimized by search engine guidelines, but is actually meaningful to the human audience. What good is it to rank high in the search engines for something that reflects well on your company?

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Investing in America – Spotlight on WSI Consultant, Andrew Nguyen

Posted by Chuck Bankoff On October - 29 - 2010

Right now, I’d like to call attention to an exceptional young man, Andrew Nguyen, who has already served in the USA Marine Corps and then went on to establish himself as an outstanding business owner through acquiring a WSI Franchise. And this was accomplished all before he turned 30!

It is this very appetite for personal excellence and the entrepreneurial mindset that can be attributed to WSI’s new “Investing in America” Program. It’s the first time ever we’ve launched a program this unique. Its primary objectives are threefold: to help rebuild the US economy, to “pay it forward” with various charitable acts, and to open up our tremendous franchise opportunity to individuals who might not have otherwise had the chance to own their own business.

Notably, our Investing in America Program is only available to an exclusive few: young entrepreneurs and to American military veterans. And perhaps Andrew Nguyen’s personal and professional successes are a preview of the promising results we hope new WSI franchisees will accomplish through the Investing in America Program.

As mentioned, Andrew has an admirable history in the Marine Reserves that started post 9/11.  And in many ways, it’s his military experience that conditioned and prepared him for the demands of owning his own franchise. Importantly, serving in the US Marine Corps gave him a level of confidence that is fundamental when starting a business.

“As a WSI owner, I follow a proven system and model like I did in the Marine Corps. I adapt to change and adversity. Owning and operating a business is full of surprises, but it is all about reacting.”

Andrew Nguyen

A Perfect Recruit for WSI

As a WSI Franchise owner, Andrew works to help businesses grow by leveraging the Internet. He’s become a first rate expert in WSI’s leading edge digital marketing technologies, some which focus on SEO, SEM, Email Marketing and Social Media.

What’s more, Andrew’s first month in business was September 2008, right in the middle of the recession! But despite the naysayers around him, Andrew was motivated enough to forge ahead. Nearly two years later, I’m proud to report that his business isn’t showing signs of slowing down. His first year revenue of $100,000 has skyrocketed to nearly $500,000 in his second year!

Lastly, one of the prime factors that Andrew found so appealing in the WSI Franchise Opportunity were the constant innovations made available to the franchise network. We are fortunate to have a wealth of knowledge and resources, and WSI’s head office is dedicated to providing continuous learning, as well as weekly Power Points and Webinars. Essentially, franchisees like Andrew recognize WSI’s commitment to the profitability of our franchise network.

We’re extremely excited about the Investing in America Program. Through it, we’re able to support the restoration of the economy, as well as focus on social responsibility. Particularly, we’re looking forward to welcoming other military veterans and young entrepreneurs to the world class WSI Franchise Opportunity. Take if from Andrew, who has excelled at both ends of the spectrum.

“As a marine, we always strive for excellence within ourselves and will accept nothing less. We look for ways to sustain a competitive advantage at all times. The continuous education provided by WSI is the perfect example.”

Andrew Nguyen

If you are a young entrepreneur or a military veteran and are interested in receiving more information regarding the Investing in America Program, please visit our site.

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