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The Anatomy of An Effective Landing Page

Landing pages (or minisites) are one of the most effective ways to sell a single product. You might use social media, pay-per-click advertising, and content marketing to drive traffic to your landing page, but the landing page itself is where the conversion happens… or doesn’t, depending on how effectively you’ve designed it to be.

The Anatomy of An Effective Landing PageI wanted to take the landing page of a great product, Build a Successful Blog Business, and examine it piece by piece to see why it’s such an effective weapon in the hands of a marketer. You could say that this particular product’s page has an unfair advantage in that it’s produced by such a large and established company, but I don’t see anything about their marketing tactics that can’t be emulated by the lone ranger marketer. So what makes this landing page so effective? Here are my observations.

Awesome Design

Yep, Collis Ta’eed has done a pretty great job building an entire company of people obsessed with good, clean design. The typography fits in a modern context well. The images pop. The color choices are right on target, especially for the difficult-to-do-well light on dark look. But design is always more than graphics. So it isn’t just that it looks slick, it’s that certain principles of information design have been respected, namely the principle of using whitespace to separate pieces of content in the reader’s eyes.

Whitespace? On a dark background design? If you think whitespace is white space, think again. Whitespace refers to the area where nothing exists except empty space so that visual padding gets created between elements. In short, don’t cram things together – give the eyes plenty of room to roam.

Clear Explanation of Content

If you have any questions about what Build a Successful Blog Business is about, you didn’t read the page. The description is quite thorough, unlike plenty of mystery-shopper deals spread around the net:

You know from the description that the book includes stats, graphs, tips, case studies, and a wealth of wisdom from someone who has been very successful at the subject material of the book.

Credible Testimonials

If you’ve been around the blogosphere at all, you know who Darren Rowse, Yaro Starak, and Daniel Scocco are. They have all been successful bloggers themselves and are hailing the book as a “yep, that’s how I did it” kind of endorsement. That’s powerful.

About the Author

Collis Ta’eed is a strong personal brand. His name is known quite well among business bloggers, but even if it weren’t, having his face and biography on the site would go a long way in selling the product. We trust faces more than logos, stories more than details, and testimonials more than promises. People follow people and they buy from people.

Clear Calls to Action

The reader is invited twice during the scrolling pitch to make a purchase. Many people will be convinced after the first couple of sections and others will read all the way to the bottom. Either way, a purchase can be initiated without scrolling back up. And the call to action (to purchase) is big, bold, and clear without any other distracting, clickable objects nearby.

Open to Critique

This product is wide open to the critique of the social web. Anyone on Facebook can leave a comment. This is a bit scary and risky, but it further contributes to the authenticity and trust out of which the product is being sold.

There are several ways in which this particular landing page is atypical and set apart from the norm. The call to action is below the fold, there are clickable links to the people who offered testimonies, and there are no scare tactics employed (only 300 124 3 spots left!). Further, if you close the window, it closes without an exit popup. Collis must understand that trust matters more than anything else and that you might just want to think about the purchase before signing the dotted line.

There are plenty of other approaches that also work for effective landing pages, but these six tips are vitally important. What did I miss? What have you found to be an effective tactic to employ on a landing page?

Optimize Press Landing Page Theme

Content Marketing Is the Marketing That Matters

Content MarketingRemember when Bubba was running through the list of potential shrimp dishes with Forest? Marketing could be handled the same way. Let’s see, there’s email marketing, attention marketing, social media marketing, word-of-mouth marketing, print marketing, traditional marketing, new media marketing, permission marketing… and on and on we go. Which one matters most for we who are blogging for income? Ultimately, content marketing matters the most.

We need reliable hosting, a uniquely branded design and identity, and robust publishing features. We should be building a mailing list and distributing our content in all the right directions. But at the end of it all, we’re ultimately leading people back to a destination that ought to be worth their time. We’re always concerned with getting people to spend their money on something so that we can profit from our blogging efforts, but where our concern should really lie is with motivating readers to spend their time interacting with our content.

So building a great blog begins with producing great content. It continues as people read, consume, and share that great content, and it ends when decisions are influenced by that great content. The question remaining is, what kind of content is best for content marketing?

Great Content Grabs a Reader’s Interest

Effective content marketing starts with the title, and the style of your title will depend on the personality of your blog. I’m annoyed by article titles that use all lowercase letters (that’s why it’s called “Title Case” after all), but I recognize that one or two words in all lowercase letters sometimes fits the artsy and poetic nature of some blogs. More common perhaps is the approach of giving emphasis to keywords. A well-crafted article title ultimately says “HEY! I’m what you’re looking for! You need to read me!”

Great content entertains. That is not to say it doesn’t have a much deeper purpose, but it entertains in that it attracts and holds the attention of the reader.

Great Content Meets a Reader’s Need

Why is it that “how to” posts always skyrocket in popularity? Why are tutorial sites so successful? It’s because they position their content near the point of pain or need in the minds of their readers.

This is not true only of “how to” articles though. It’s also true of articles that encourage the discouraged, connect the disconnected, and inform the uninformed. It’s true of articles that report news people are eager to learn about and articles that honestly review products and services the reader is on the fence over purchasing.

Having solutions goes a long way when it comes to popularity.

Great Content Moves a Reader’s Will

I’m not referring to playing Jedi mind tricks on anyone or using shady marketing tactics. I’m simply saying that the content of a great blog post (as opposed to that of a great short story or novel) should be designed with the resulting action in mind. What should the reader do next? Great content not only answers that question, but spells it out and makes the action apparent and easy to take.

If you want the reader to comment, to share the article, to check out a related post, or even to look at a product for a potential purchase, you should use the content to move the reader’s will toward that decision.

Great Content Motivates a Reader to Share

It’s the social web. We have a thousand sharing options when it comes to content. We can distribute articles through RSS feeds, email lists, content aggregation services, social networks, and microblogs. The issue isn’t having the space in which to share great content, it’s having the content ready to share when the time comes.

I often find myself giving advice to organizations who are launching blogs or online publications for various purposes. Most of the questions tend to revolve around platforms, costs, and editorial calendars. But I always interject these basic thoughts that often get overlooked: Make it simple. Make it social. Make it sharable.

How would you complete my list? What else goes into the making of great content?

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Your Guide to Great Copywriting and Content