3 Reasons You Need a Landing Page Strategy to Succeed with Online Ads

Posted by Rob Cooper | Posted in Advice, Landing Pages, SEO, Tips and Tricks | Posted on Mar 20, 2013

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Working with clients of all sizes, I’m regularly asked “Why wouldn’t I just point my Google/Facebook/Linkedin ads to my product page?”

My answer is always the same: “You might succeed to a certain level, but ALL the most successful advertisers leverage landing pages, and you should, too.”

There are three main reasons landing pages are necessary to reach your full potential…

Testing and Indexing
The beauty of online advertising combined with landing pages is how easy it is to test different offers, benefits, copy, and images to maximize the response after someone clicks through on your ad. A streamlined landing page makes it a snap to launch and test multiple variations. However, this means that at any given time you might have multiple different versions of a page, most of which will eventually be deleted.

With this in mind, you want to make sure that you set these pages up so that they are not “indexed” by Google. Otherwise, this may lead to a real mess in Google search results. There may also be results which point to pages which no longer exist. Using a simple “no-index” tag (or using the no-index setting in your landing page software) makes this very easily accomplished.

Matching of Features to Visitors
A product page must address all the different facets of your offering. For instance, let’s suppose you have a cloud-based file storage program with 10 or 15 different features, such as uploading to social media accounts, online storage, file conversion, file compression, etc.

There’s typically no way you can have a single product page or section that gives prominence to all of these features.

However, working in tandem with Google Adwords, you can take your visitors to the exact feature that someone is interested in. For instance, if someone is Googling “online file conversion tools” your ad can take them to a landing page where that specific feature is the most prominent thing on the page. Likewise, if someone Googles “online file compression” you’ll take them to a landing page which focuses on exactly that!

It’s not hard to see how using this strategy will dramatically increase the likelihood that a visitor will become a buyer! Plus, there’s no limit to the number of features you can highlight for people searching matching keywords if you use a simple-to-modify landing page template.

Matching of Demographic Interests
Let’s imagine that you have a product that fulfills needs for dramatically different demographic profiles. In this case, it might be something like an affordable waterproof camera that has broad appeal.

Now, let’s see how this might work if you’re advertising the camera on Facebook. You might target (separately) college-aged students, parents with young kids, and adventurous travelers.

It goes without saying that each group will be waaay more responsive to a different experience when they arrive at your site. For instance:

    -The college-aged students might respond well to a high-energy page featuring others their age and would probably react well to some “edgy” messaging.

    -The parents with kids would likely respond well to a page showing how they might capture the memories of their kids learning to swim, at the beach, etc.

    -The adventurous travelers would likely respond better to beach, snorkeling, and diving scenes from exotic locales.

Nobody would argue that you can do a good job appealing to all those three groups on a single product page. In fact, it’s likely, in this case, that the “parents” messaging would actually repel the college-age demographic, and vice versa.

Being “different things to different people” through multiple landing pages is a task that becomes extremely straightforward when you match your demographic targeting with a meaningful landing page strategy.

With the tools now available to make landing pages easily accessible to even the smallest of companies, what’s keeping you from kicking off your own landing page strategy?

About the Author

Rob Cooper is our guest blogger for this post. He lives in Victoria, BC and has been working internationally in Web Marketing for 12 years, the last 6 running PlusROI.com.

The “Beats By Dre.” Facebook Scam

Posted by Graham Henry | Posted in News | Posted on Mar 11, 2013

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Beats Facebook Scam

Last Friday at 9:00am EST, the fake Facebook Page “Beats By Dre.” posted this photo promising everyone who liked or shared a chance to win one of 1,239 Beats Headphones. Now, the fact that people fell for this isn’t surprising. Even I got excited when I started reading the post. Sadly, too few are aware of Facebook’s contest rules. If they were aware, they’d know that Facebook specifically forbids this type of promotion and has a history of banning users for running them. Why? Because it’s literally impossible to follow through. How is “Beats By Dre.” going to contact winners? They don’t have their email address or the means to message them directly. This is a scam.

Beats Scam Likes

So what’s their endgame? Getting a Like on a Facebook post isn’t necessarily a free ticket to spam users. That’s why the Post stipulates that you have to Like the Page as well in order to be eligible. Once users like the Page, they’re susceptible to advertising from that page, and with the weight behind their current posts, their Reach is going to be huge. Whoever’s behind this charade, congrats, and enjoy it before Facebook shuts you down.

Note: Since the publishing of this post, the fake “Beats by Dre.” Page has been taken down, and there appear to be no negative consequences of Liking the post.

The New Facebook Newsfeed

Posted by Graham Henry | Posted in Facebook, News, Small Business | Posted on Mar 07, 2013

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New Facebook Newsfeed

“This Newsfeed… is designed for the way that we’re all sharing today and the trends we see going forward.”Mark Zuckerberg

How will Facebook’s new Newsfeed Affect Businesses?

Following today’s announcement, many have been speculating on the direction Facebook’s new Newsfeed feature will take and how it will affect small businesses. Here, we’ll break down the new format and let you know what you’ll need to be focusing on when the changes take effect later this year.

First, let’s be clear that Facebook has not directly addressed any features other than Newsfeed (there was speculation of Page changes, but no such luck). It’s possible that there will be more changes to come, but there hasn’t been any official confirmation as of yet. The Newsfeed feature will be rolled out on Desktop over the next few days and on Mobile for several weeks after that. For now, we’ll focus on what we know.

Choice of Feeds

In what is probably the most dramatic change made to Newsfeed, users will now be able to filter the feed based on the source of the information and the format of the content. For example, a person could choose to filter their feed based on photos posted by their friends, effectively eliminating status updates, events, videos, and all other irrelevant material from their visible Newsfeed.

How does this affect companies? It doesn’t. Facebook’s revenue depends on businesses advertising with them, so they’ve been sure to include Pages as default sources for all filter types; users will still have access to your posts and updates in all the places that they normally would.

Facebook has also added a special filter for Pages titled “Follow”. According to their official announcement, it’s “a feed with the latest news from the Pages you like and the people you follow.” This is essentially a business-only feed which will group popular entertainment sources like movies, music, and television with posts from commercial businesses. Facebook has also parried the more recent accusations of limiting Post views by assuring that this feed will feature ALL Posts from every page that the user follows. How often this filter gets used is, of course, dependent on the user, but it bodes well for Page exposure and Reach.

Why Now?

This change comes in the wake of a popular theory that the popularity of web services, and especially Social Media, is dependent on ease-of-use. By making the product more accessible and accommodating, Facebook is hoping to ensure that users will continue to favor their product over competitors like Google+, Tumblr, and Myspace* well into the future.

This trend of accessibility is especially evident in Facebook’s approach to the new Newsfeed: During their portion of the announcement, the Facebook Developers revealed that they had designed the new navigation features and layout by starting with a Mobile platform and working backwards to the desktop. There’s nowhere that we need ease-of-access more than on our phones, so this was an excellent strategy, and one that we’ll probably see more of as big-name companies become increasingly dependent on Mobile.

The Future

As usual, this is Facebook’s world, and we’re just living in it. Facebook needs to cater to businesses in order to survive, so we can be sure that they believe this is a good move. Personally, I think they’ve approached both the concern of ease-of-use and the problem of Page exposure quite effectively. I think businesses will start to see more exposure as the format is rolled out over the next few days, and I think both users and advertisers will find utility in the new functions. More than anything, I’m excited to see where Facebook takes it from here.

You can sign up for the Newsfeed waiting list here: https://www.facebook.com/about/newsfeed

Be sure to follow our blog for more Facebook news and analysis, and check out our previous breakdowns, Facebook Announces Graph Search and How to Get the Most out of Your Facebook Advertisements.

*Speaking of Myspace, watch the video of Facebook’s presentation for a shoutout to Justin Timberlake, one of Myspace’s owners. Mentioning how awesome one of your (former) competitors is in your press conference? That’s cold, dude.

Landing Page Best Practices: Part 2 – Lead Generation

Posted by Graham Henry | Posted in Advice, Landing Pages, Tips and Tricks | Posted on Mar 07, 2013

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What are Landing Pages?

Have you ever considered using Landing Pages to generate Leads? It’s not crazy – the branding and design of a customized Page can go a long way toward building your lists. So how can you make sure that your Page is bringing in as many new contacts as possible?

Are you using an online form creator?
Getting your Landing Page to generate Leads hinges on having an easy and effective way to manage the information. A Form will allow you to ask for contact information in a way that’s easy for both the customer and you; Form Builders like the one available in Landing Page Builder automatically notify you of new contacts and allow you to add contact information to lists or send automatic opt-ins. Many platforms also offer third-party integration, so check with your Email Service Provider to see if you can import their forms!

Landing Page Form Editor

Have you assured your leads that their information will never be shared with anyone else and that they can easily unsubscribe at any time?
If you’re familiar at all with Email Marketing, then you’re aware that privacy and opt-in/out options are very tightly regulated. Stay ahead of the game by reinforcing your Leads’ confidence in their privacy with trust symbols, verbiage, and automatic opt-in options like the ones discussed earlier. If your lead feels like they can trust you with their information, they will be much more likely to purchase further down the sales funnel.

Email Follow-up

Are you asking the user to fill in more information than is absolutely required?
Surveys show that each additional required field results in a 15% decline in the completion of the form. For mobile forms the decline is 50%. Asking for your leads’ birthdays might provide some interesting insights, but it could tank your conversions. Identify the facts you absolutely need and limit your Form based on your answers. Try to think like a prospect would think and create a functional form that doesn’t make too many demands.

Bad Web Form

Do you include fields in the form that might require retyping (like requiring dashes in telephone numbers)?
Every time a prospect fails to complete a form, another barrier is added to the Sales funnel. Many Form Builders will allow you to provide examples in individual fields. Some also allow for multiple answer formats. Be sure that the form that you’re providing is clear and easy for your prospects to fill out on the first try.

Example Form

Stuck on ideas for Forms? Check out 5 Ways to Use Web Forms for some tips! And be sure to come back next week for even more Landing Page Best Practices! We’ll be covering A/B Testing and how to get the most out of your Page variations.

Landing Page Best Practices: Part 1

Posted by Graham Henry | Posted in Advice, Landing Pages, Tips and Tricks | Posted on Mar 03, 2013

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What are Landing Pages?

Think that your great landing page could do even better? Follow our week-by-week tips to learn how! Sometimes, just a few small tweaks are all that a page needs to reach its full potential. When reviewing your page, ask yourself these questions:

Are you segmenting your landing pages based on your sources?
Would you click through an ad that didn’t make sense to you? Of course not. But a comprehensive page goes beyond just good writing and an intuitive design; it also needs to be relevant. Leads coming from a Pay-Per-Click Ad like Google AdWords are probably looking for an in-depth product breakdown and/or a good price. Current customers/verified leads, on the other hand, already know at least something about your product and will be looking for short updates and special offers. Always consider who you’re directing to your page and what’s on it, and you’ll be able to hold a tighter grasp on the market and boost conversions without having to increase your distribution.

Leads

Have you made it easy for your visitor to say “Yes!”?
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. An effective landing page must convey, often at a glance, exactly why yours should be the product to buy. How do you make sure of that? By having a plan and making your Page clear and direct.

Say Yes Landing Pages

Have you used a compelling headline and action-oriented benefits?
People don’t respond to bland. Be sure to take the time and write a headline that draws attention and gets the customer excited about your product. Positive action words like “Imagine”, “Create”, and “Inspire” will invigorate your customers and subtly bring them to an “action-ready” state.

Headline

Is your actionable item above the fold?
Your Landing Page wants to give your customers a clear course of action. Let it! Explanation of a product or deal may be necessary, but your Landing Page is not the place! Keep your headlines and subheadings short and let your actionable item stand out.

Above the Fold

Have you conveyed trust and security?
There are so many reasons to distrust a page: losing privacy, the fear of getting scammed, a lack of information; it’s easy to see why people can be hesitant. So what can you do to make sure that your visitors feel safe? A good layout conveys work ethic and strong motivation, but that’s only the first step. Your page will also need excellent copy, guarantees, and, if possible, video and text testimonials from satisfied customers.

Testimonials

Another important element for conveying security is trust symbols. These could be anything from seals of approval from reliable sites to awards won or partners collaborated with. By providing these symbols, you’re showing the customer that you are a trusted partner and an honest business.

Trust Symbols

Note: VERIFY YOUR TRUST PARTNERS. It’s great that Example.com loved your product, but if your link to their site doesn’t reflect that information directly, your trust symbol is suspect. Our advice? Dedicate either a part of your homepage or a special landing page to partners and testimonials. The extra layer of information will satisfy most people’s curiosity.

Join us next week for more Landing Page Best Practices! We’ll be focusing on Web Forms and how to turn your Landing Page into an automatic lead generator!

What Can a Landing Page Do?

Posted by Graham Henry | Posted in Landing Pages, Small Business | Posted on Mar 01, 2013

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What are Landing Pages?

To answer what a Landing Page could do, we first have to define its purpose. In the strictest sense, a Landing Page exists to direct the viewer to complete an action. What that action is and what effects it has are determined by the Page creator and usually depend on the type of business and the desired outcome.

Landing Pages typically fill one of two functions: Direct Sales or Lead Generation. In both cases, customers are driven to complete the action by limiting the distracting factors. Example:

Sale Landing Page

This Landing Page has only one link visible above the fold, intentionally limiting prospects’ options in order to drive the sale. Ideally, this page would direct from a special deal or other direct sale link, focusing the entire stream of that campaign to a single point. This method is extremely effective for direct sales, and studies have shown that, effectively applied, it can increase conversions by as much as 196%. But Sales are not the only function of Landing Pages; they can also be used in a variety of other ways.

One of the most proactive uses of a Landing Page is Lead Generation. Through the use of web forms and incentives, page views can be turned into leads with a simple email box and submit button. Like the sale Page in the previous example, a Lead Generation Page gives the prospect limited options, encouraging them to complete your form and become a lead. With the proper copy and layout, you too can generate lists of contacts without even lifting a finger! In addition, many form services offer automatic email notifications and other organizational services, saving you even more time.

Now that you know what Landing Pages can do, it’s time to figure out what they can do for you. Free Trials of Landing Page Builder, available now, will let you publish and experiment with the Pages that will take your marketing to the next level. Give it a try and let us know what you think!

Learn more here: http://www.highimpactdesigner.com/landing-page-builder.htm

We’ll be updating this blog periodically over the next few weeks with even more Landing Page tips and know-how. Check back soon for Best Practices!

Landing Page Builder is Here!

Posted by Graham Henry | Posted in Landing Pages, News | Posted on Feb 27, 2013

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Landing Page Builder

Landing Page Builder, the newest online marketing innovation from High Impact Designer, has officially launched! Thanks to everyone who helped make this possible, especially our ever-helpful BETA testers!

New Landing Page Builder allows users to easily design, publish, and track conversion-driving Landing Pages for Email, Pay-per-Click, and Display Advertising purposes. It is the first online optimization tool that supports both mobile and desktop requirements from the same URL so that users can create a single campaign and know that any page (mobile or desktop) will be perfectly served.
Landing Page Builder includes the following features:

75 Page Layouts
Tested and Proven to increase conversions over standard webpages.

Clear Calls to Action
Above the fold to get your message across.

Drag-and-Drop
Pick up and move any element of your design with a simple click.

Mobile Optimization
Automatically serves mobile-optimized page variants to smart phones, tablets, etc. from one URL.

Comprehensive A/B Testing
Track Clicks and Conversions in real-time while testing multiple Page variants simultaneously.

Lead Capture and Survey Forms
Send automatic email responses and notifications.

With Landing Page Builder, you can quickly and easily create Landing Pages for your email, pay-per-click, and display advertising with no design experience required. Choose from 75 designs, make simple edits, set conversions, and create both Desktop and Mobile page variants in a single click. With limitless design combinations, you can compare, test, and select the Landing Page that works best for you.

Landing Page Builder in Action

Thought Leaders’ Comments on the Product

“Landing Page Builder is an absolute ‘must’ for any small business hoping to improve their marketing conversions. With its ‘done-for-you’ designs that couldn’t be easier to edit with your own copy, this professional level marketing tool becomes possible for anyone, no experience needed.”
– Karen Talavera President, Synchronicity Marketing

“I immediately saw the value it could provide our clients in improving their PPC conversions. The service is so easy to use that you simply can’t ignore this marketing boost.”
– Rob Cooper President, PlusROI Online Marketing

In Conclusion

Landing Page Builder is available now on High Impact Designer with plans starting as low as $14/month. You can visit the main site to learn more about Landing Page Builder and other High Impact Designer Applications, or check out the official Press Release here.

Remember, all of the High Impact Designer Applications, including Landing Page Builder, can be white-labeled by any companies looking to bring great Marketing services to their customer base!

This isn’t the last you’ll hear of us! We’ll be writing in over the next few weeks with tips on how to get the most out of any Landing Page program. We might even have some special guests! Check back later this week for the first in our series of releases.

Getting the Most out of Your Facebook Advertisements

Posted by Graham Henry | Posted in Advice, Facebook, Tips and Tricks | Posted on Jan 25, 2013

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Facebook Ads

A lot of us use Facebook Advertisements. It makes sense: they’re targeted, cheap, and easy to manage. So how do we make sure we’re getting our money’s worth?

First, we need to make sure our Page looks good. We’ve written a lot about this in the past, so if you need the details you can check out Covers and Apps here. The most important thing is cohesion. If your Page looks like a mismatched quilt of random images, you’re going to have a bad time. Pick a color, style, and theme and stick to it as much as possible (even when posting). An attractive Page will let customers know that you mean business and help them to trust you as a brand.

Once you’ve got your Page looking right, it’s time to give it body. Regular updates are the norm, of course, but a real Facebook presence requires more. Apps, whether custom or imported, give your Page functionality and let the customer see that you can work beyond the superficial to give your projects substance. Try running contests or other engaging functions. Again, this will help you to impress visitors and gain their trust.

Apps

The last step in maximizing your Facebook Ads is to make sure that your Page is populated with engaging, quality content. Since I can’t help by pretending to know what business you’re in or what products you sell, I’ll have to leave that last part up to you. Give people enough reasons to like and trust you, and it will be hard for them not to.

Facebook Announces Graph Search

Posted by Graham Henry | Posted in Facebook, News | Posted on Jan 15, 2013

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Earlier today, Facebook announced a new version of their search bar titled “Graph Search“. According to the official website, “[Users] map out their relationships with the people and things they care about. We call this map the graph.” Hence, the title.

How is this different from the current search bar?

Reportedly, rather than searching based on keywords like the current tool, Graph Search will focus heavily on your relationships and the interests that you share with others. Ideally, this will help users to craft a more insulated and comfortable environment on Facebook while providing trusted paths for seeking out new information. Common interests will be found faster, and recommendations will be gathered through examinations of your social circle.

How will this help businesses?

Mark Zuckerberg really drives the message home at the 2:05 mark. Traditionally, businesses have had a difficult time generating profit from Facebook. Graph Search will make it easier for people to find goods and services through the site, generating a consumption-minded element that was strongly lacking in previous iterations. Recommendations will be based on connections and their Likes, creating an opportunity to grow a brand through groups of connected and mutually interested individuals.

At the moment, there is no launch date set for Graph Search, but you can sign up to a waitlist for the Beta here: https://www.facebook.com/about/graphsearch

MySpace has Suited Up (and Sold Out?)

Posted by Graham Henry | Posted in Advice, Content Marketing, Landing Pages, News | Posted on Jan 15, 2013

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Myspace Landing Page

Myspace.com has been getting a lot of flack today for replacing their normal landing page with this promotion for Justin Timberlake’s new single, Suit & Tie. While not unprecedented (Justin owns Myspace jointly with Specific Media Group), this move has struck a lot of people as crass and alienating, linking the usage of Myspace so closely with liking Timberlake that many may bounce simply to avoid the association. Writing as someone who actually enjoys Justin’s music and acting, this still comes across as a little presumptuous, and it doesn’t make me like Myspace any more than I already did.

So what can this teach us?

First of all, this is a great example of how your approach to cross-promotion can affect the way both you and your campaign are perceived. Had Suit & Tie been promoted separate from the login options with a large image or video, this move wouldn’t have irked so many people; they could have clicked through to Myspace and been no worse off. By forcing customers to interact with the music to use Myspace, Timberlake and Specific Media are imposing themselves on their audience, forcing them to do something that they don’t necessarily want to do, and making them subtly uncomfortable in the process.*

So let that be a lesson: next time you want to cross-promote, make it optional, not obligatory.

What do you think of Myspace’s recent decisions? Is the site headed in the right direction? Leave a comment below or check out Myspace is Back for more info.

*There is an option at the top of the landing page to continue to Myspace normally. It’s white text on gray background and so small I missed it my first time on the page.