January 2011

Creating an Effective Landing Page

by YC Ng on January 27, 2011

A landing page is also referred to as a microsite.  It is a page specially created on a website especially for specific marketing campaigns, with the intention of generating a marketing lead when visitors see the page.  The goal sounds simple enough, but it is easier said than done.

P1 Landing Page

P1 Landing Page for Their SEM Campaign

Very often, there is a misinterpretation that this is supposed to be a page where hard selling is involved.  However, many hard sell techniques and writings may put off visitors and potential customers because a bad copy will actually rub your site visitor the wrong way. Just as any successful advertisement copy, there are steps to follow to create the ultimate landing page.

What is the Goal of your Landing Page?

It is important to identify what is the desired objective of the landing page, and possibly, what the visitor should do if purchase is not yet done immediately.  A landing page may include contact details for a shy visitor to contact later on when he or she feels more comfortable with the idea of the product that you try to sell, at a convenient time. To make the landing page memorable, it is vital that the page communicates the brand values of the company running the campaign, otherwise it will be a wasted effort.

Important Elements for Effective Landing Page

There are several key points that should be included in your landing page.  First of all, of course your company logo and tagline, one that the public recognizes as being exclusively yours.

Secondly, you need to give your page visitors a way to contact you, and it could be your hotline or your customer service number. It has to be a number where the public is able to speak to or ask about the item you are promoting in your marketing campaign.  It makes no sense if your customer service is not aware of it.

The third important thing that you may add in is satisfied customers testimonials. Testimonials give credibility and adds weight to your company products and services, and it helps to build an instant trust to your company, which will trigger an action by the potential customer to contact your company.

Since customers are ready to trust you, you should guide them on ways to get started.  This is the fourth factor that has to be built in with your landing page, let them know how to start getting in touch with you.  Sure, the telephone number is already there, but remember that this is the world wide web.  A telephone number is great if your potential client is near you.  What about those who are not? Guide them by the hand, with perhaps an online form that they may fill in with the most basic information about themselves such as their name and contact information, so that your company may contact them instead.  It may be by phone or by email, let the potential customer decide which is more comfortable for them.

Getting their information is your fifth factor that you should have in your landing page as it helps you lock in a sales lead.

The sixth factor is an offer that will lead them to the next level to understand your product more.  Usually, a freebie will help, and once your potential customer signs up the form with basic information, it will be nice to have your click button for submission termed in such a way to qualify them immediately for a free trial or some offer that they cannot resist.

It is important to remember that your landing page is a one-way sales pitch, and you are not able to see the reactions of your visitors immediately, not until you check your online statistics to find that they click away from the page, uninterested. So, it is important that your copy is written by a professional copywriter who will create a strong headline and a powerful copy that will engage readers and bring them to the next level. A common mistake especially for Asian companies is to have fantastic designers working without an expert copywriter, creating a beautifully designed landing page full of grammatical errors that will put your business to shame. This mistake can be avoidable if you remember that only the right words will bring you business.

A next factor for consideration is the search-ability of this landing page.  Ultimately, this page is competing with the millions of pages on the Internet, and you may not have all the time in the world to wait for your page to rank number one in Google.  You will need more than just your typical SEO techniques.  Tell the people about the existence of your page through emails, offline advertisements and other media. Follow all the other steps you will employ on your website such as keywords and whatever else, but make it stronger through other media as well. After all, a marketing campaign which warrants the creation of your landing page is intended for immediate results.

Once you create your landing page, it is not supposed to be the end of it all.  You should always monitor and tweak your landing page so that it will bring more traffic and convert more sales. This practical theory has been employed for decades in traditional advertisements in other media, which is applicable on the Internet too.

Since your landing page is supposed to be used for a short-term marketing campaign, it makes sense to ensure that visitors are still able to contact you after your campaign ends.  The world wide web is full of old news and it is not surprising for potential customers to visit you months after your campaign expires. You may wish to consider updating the page with a redirect to your website with a note to inform the late visitor that the offer had expired, and to lead them towards the next offer or to your home page where you can still let them see the lovely products and services that you have.

If you care enough to create a landing page for your business, you do care enough to put in the efforts to make your business grow.  There is always room for improvements in any marketing campaign, and a landing page is one of the important tools in your business, just like your other advertisements. Invest in it wisely, just like you will invest in advertisements of other media. It should carry your brand and image with a well-planned copy to complement your other marketing mix.

Effective Landing Page

Source: KISSMetrics

Search engine optimization has become harder by the day as Google change its ranking criteria. Local SEO managers are facing an especially tough time trying to figure out ways to get the biggest hits for their companies and clients.

It used to be a lot easier. Define the correct keywords is just one focus to get your website ranked high in the search engines. Now, you have to localize your efforts to the region you wish to target on. If you ask for the most important factors for local search ranking, it is going to be dependent on many things…

1. Business Address in City of Search. The first consideration when it comes to local search ranking is the address of the company. Having an address located in the city being searched largely affects local rankings. Google Places has become an intelligent inspector of addresses, and a business website will rank higher in a local search if the address provided in the city being searched.

2. Proper Business Categories. The category of business matters and it is important to categorize your business correctly so that it does not get listed in other unrelated searches. This is a very important factor! Use proper keywords in custom categories.

3. Keyword in Business Title.

However, if you would like to strengthen your ranking in Google, it will be fantastic if your business name includes your keyword. If you are in a bakery business, it will be good to include the word ‘bakery’ in your business name as it will help with your Google ranking. But then again, your business name is a very commercial choice which should not only take into consideration search engine ranking. It is necessary to ensure that the business name that you choose is one that will give you the creativity and flexibility to thrive.

4. Volume of Citations.

One of the most time-consuming but rewarding SEO methodology is having other sites mention your products & services, giving the site more credibility. Google relies heavily on such mentions and has gone a step further by determining whether the mentions are positive or negative remarks about a business. Apparently, Google decided to take into consideration businesses with good customer service and high customer satisfaction when it comes to ranking a business website. This means companies must find ways to improve on customer service so that the money they spend on SEO services will not go down the drain because of any bad mention from unhappy customers.

5. Complete Google Places Profile. Making sure your listings are claimed with complete information and verified is crucial. This will put your business on Google Map, and only valid companies will be able to do this. Google has a way to verify your business existence, by phone or by postcard. This is probably Google’s way to prevent spamming and false businesses from cheating the general public.

6. Consistent Business Info. Your business information should be consistent across the board. If there are mentions about your company on other sites, it should carry the same contact information as your own site instead of having different information which may seem, to Google, a spam and derogatory information about your business.

7. Reviews and Rating.

Again, Google reminds us about the quality of our business, especially in customer satisfaction, when it comes to ranking high in the search engine. Google Maps is not just a search engine, but a recommendation engine. It recommends the most interesting places to visit, the best restaurants to dine in and a lot of other businesses for the convenience of the public, especially for a tourist. For this simple reason, Google will wish to highlight the best venues on its map so that web users will trust the convenience that Google tries to deliver with its map function. Hence, it also checks on the credibility of the business and follows reviewers recommendations closely.

8. Quality of Incoming Links to Website. Incoming links are the important factors in SEO. Quality is always important than quantity. If inbound links are local in nature, they can have a positive effect on local rankings.

9. My Map.

Those who have a Google account and familiar with its customized “My Map” function will probably know that users may tag a particular business on the Google Map for a familiar and repetitive reference of the venue. It is probably out of your control, but it does help if more people are tagging your company location especially if you are in a retail business. There may also be other geotagging ways, such as some tours and travels sites that may include a map that can be indexed by Google. This is, again, Google’s interest in the public sentiments to consider a site for higher ranking in its search engine.

10. Other SEO Factors. While all the “new” Google search engine ranking criteria are useful to help a site rank higher in this search engine, one must never neglect some of the traditional SEO factors such as age of the Place page, age of the website domain and PR of the website. These factors still play vital importance to the ranking of a page.

Based on the 10 factors above, it is obvious that Google is putting pressure on businesses so that it may keep its customers coming back to the search engine. The shocking revelation that Facebook has become the King of the web may have triggered Google’s intention to further improve on its users’ experience. Such improvements will also be beneficial to the public, and to businesses who are playing fairly in the World Wide Web.

comScore Malaysia Segmentation: Which areas have the most Internet users?

January 19, 2011

While advertisers take the trouble to use all types of analysis tools searching for the right keywords to ensure that their sites get a high ranking in Google, another customer-oriented product has been created to measure the number of Internet users based on geographical region. The idea came directly from a market leader in measuring […]

Read the full article →