Category Archives: Blog

The Two Bare Essentials for Successful Landing Pages

Someone recently asked me what a great landing page consisted of.
Before I began to rattle through my list of essential checkpoints, they
modified the question and said, “Answer in two words.” I thought for a
split second and then responded, “Content and Images.” Okay, that was
three, sue me.

Still, my point remains. In order to have a really successful landing
page, you really only need two things (aside from the obvious i.e. call
to action, hosting site, URL, the ability to exist, etc.). When it
really comes down to it, content is going to drive the traffic and then
the sales and images are going to keep the viewer invested in the
landing page. Done deal, right?

Doing Content Right on Landing Pages

Not so fast. It should be obvious by now that you can’t just slap up
any old content up on a landing page and expect it to work. The content
has to be done correctly. This means a few things:

– Content Focus. For starters, the content has to be very specific.
Landing pages aren’t the place to write novels or go off on tangents.
Tell the viewer where they are, what they can do here and what you want
them to do. Get them in, get them informed, get their order/email/etc.

– Keywords. Of course you’re going to need keywords to rank on the
SERPs, but don’t just keyword stuff. Use LSIs to trigger that oh-so
important semantic search algorithm.

– Digestible Chunks. Don’t write huge paragraphs or walls of text.
Keep it short and to the point, creating a lot of white space and
nothing that will swallow your viewer whole.

– Pleasing Font. No comic sans, no 20 pt bold, no Times Roman—stick to
Verdana if you want to be safe, but don’t be obnoxious or boring with
your font choice, color or size as a general rule.

– Proper English (or whatever language you’re writing in). If there are
spelling mistakes, grammatical mistakes, punctuation mistakes or
anything of the sort, I’m leaving and I’m taking your viewers with me.
These types of errors scream “amateur” and “scam artist” and will drive
your leads to a better landing page (probably not owned by you!).

Don’t Forget to Optimize Images

And if content has to be done right, it follows that images can’t just
be slapped up there either in order for landing pages to have the “bare
essentials” for success. Here are some pointers to make sure your
images are being all that they can be:

– Properly Sized. Images can’t be too big or too small. They should be
scaled to fit on any device screen (responsive websites are the best way
to do this).

– Alt Text. While not exactly essential, it is important to your
keyword ranking and ultimate ability for your landing page to be found
through a Google image search. Make your alt txt on images the keywords
for your landing page.

– Content Appropriate. Make sure the pictures not only match what you
are talking about, but are also situated in the right area on the page.
For example, don’t talk about blue elephants at the top of the page and
then post a blue elephant picture at the bottom.

As you can see, it doesn’t take many elements to have a killer landing
page, but what it does take has to be done properly.

Google’s Latest War on Guest Blogging

Are you guest blogging? If so, stop! Despite what everyone has told
you, it’s horrible! Well, okay, now it’s horrible. In Google’s
never-ending quest to drive internet marketers crazy, as it turns out
the once widely touted practice of guest blogging for link building
purposes is now considered taboo. In Google’s own words, guest blogging
now falls under the “little or no original content” section.

What Caused this Change?

Exactly what brought this change about is still officially a mystery,
but most signs point to the fact that Google has been going after
webscrapers and other duplicate copy for quite some time now. Guest
blogging should have seen this coming, but then again, who knows what
evil lurks in the heart of Google!

The bottom line is that Google is on a quest for completely original
content, even if the links are canonical. Just try to stay away from
anything that can be considered “little or no original content.”
Article spinners, beware! Your days are numbered as well!

What Does this Mean for Guest Blogging?

As of right now, Google is penalizing guest blogging networks pretty
heavily. This seems to be where the brunt of Google’s ire is falling
right now, but the “weak guest blogs” by lone guest bloggers are also
feeling the heat. Just like a fire starts at the bottom and burns
upwards, you can expect this heat to rise closer and closer to the top,
so if you are in any way, shape or form guilty of weak guest blogs, we
suggest cutting some ties pretty quickly if Google’s penalization
worries you.

Of course, some people will still guest blog and some might get away
with it, but risking a Google manual penalty isn’t worth it in our
opinion. That’s up to you but let us just remind you what happens when
Google gets you in its sights: you show up on page four of the search
engine result pages even if someone types in your exact website. So,
what can you do instead of guest blogging?

What Can I Do Instead of Guest Blog?

Instead of guest blogging, fall back on the timeless classics of
internet marketing. Content marketing is still the big dog, just think
of guest blogging as a flea on that dog that’s been removed. There are
still plenty of hairs for you to scratch off including:

– Creating extra-awesome content for your own blogs. Why do you need to
be on other people’s blogs in the first place (yes, we know, for
traffic). But still, the point remains: if your content is that good
and interesting, people will come to your blog. Focus on making your
blog the best it can be and make your site a place where people say,
“Man, if only we could still guest blog, I’d want to guest blog there!”

– Community and niche participation. If you still feel that the best
way for you to move forward with your marketing efforts is to branch out
laterally into the bigger communities and sites in your niche, instead
of guest blogging, start becoming active in the forums and on the
posting boards. You can always leave links to your own blog on a topic
in the commentary section. Just because guest blogging is gone doesn’t
mean your presence outside of your website has to disappear.

The bottom line here is that if you have been guest blogging, sorry.
You’re going to need to find some more creative ways to market yourself
into an existing audience. If you haven’t been guest blogging, great,
don’t start.