Whether you are planning to sell a product, promote a service or simply get people to subscribe to your email newsletter one of the best tools you have available is a landing page.
Creating an effective landing page is not always easy, though, and if you have been struggling with it I recommend you to read an article that was published on Copyblogger last week, titled The 10 Commandments of Landing Pages That Work.
Here’s a quote from the first commandment:
1. Thy landing page shalt have but one goal
Thy landing page shalt have but one goal, and the number of the goals shall be one. Not two, not zero, but one.
If thy landing page hath zero goals, it is a “branding” page, and such vanities shall bear no fruit.
If thy landing page hath more than one goal, thou shalt confuse thy visitor, who shall leave thy site in disgust and anger.
Thy copy shalt not be divided amongst more than one goal, for such shall surely drive thy visitor to lamentation and thy copywriter to madness.
Make sure to check the article for the other 9 points.
Original Post: 10 Tips for Building Great Landing Pages
Sometime ago I started trying to optimize the performance of DailyBlogTips, and during certain times of the day (i.e., peak hours) traffic was high and the responsive time was pretty awful.
I started by changing my cache plugin, removed unnecessary plugins and optimized the options table, and then I closed comments on older posts.
Despite that the site was not loading as fast as it could, so I started exploring what could be the issue.
By checking the CPU usage I realized that my 404 pages, which I happen to serve a lot for some reason, were consuming a lot of resources.
When I went to see what I was displaying there sure enough I found the problem: many years ago (i.e., 3 or 4) I had this idea that it would be cool to display my whole archive of posts in the 404 pages, so that a lost user could easily browse around. By that time I had 400 or so posts, and the site was smaller, so this didn’t wasn’t causing any server problems.
But these days I have close to 2,000 posts, and the traffic increase as well, so serving all those links every time a 404 page needed to be served was killing my server. I changed that to a simpler 404 page containing just an error message and the difference was noticeable.
I know you are probably not loading 2,000 links on your 404 pages, but even small script or plugin calls could cause a problem, especially if you get many 404 errors (this tends to happen if you have a lot of backlinks, as people often link to the wrong URL).
So double check to make sure your 404 is lean and mean.
Original Post: Optimization Tip: Careful with What You Are Loading on Your 404 Pages
Inner page optimization is as important as home page optimization. Here are the points that can help you for to rank site inner pages in search engines,
- Inner pages rank better if you have unique quality content with keywords around. Do not stuff keywords in content.
- Make sure you write for users and then for search engines. This works best for conversion.
- Have unique meaningful page title, Meta tags & body titles with H tags.
- Improve your internal linking strategy by having breadcrumb, anchor text & sitemap.
- Also get quality backlinks through natural links, directory links & social sites links.
This guest post is by The Blog Tyrant.
One of the hardest tasks a blogger can face is getting readers to stick around. In actual fact, its one of the most important things you’ll ever learn to do. Why? Because unless those visitors delve deeper into your site you are essentially wasting your time with all that amazing content, social media effort, and SEO work.
Bloggers often forget that we need to use things like design, layout, colors, format, and so on to help visitors delve further in to our sites.
In this post I’m going to show you eight blog home pages that make readers click deeper. Hopefully it will give you some ideas for your own.
8 Home pages that draw readers deeper
I wanted to start off by letting you know that each of these pages was chosen for a different reason. Now, I’m not saying that these are the best blog home pages in the world. What I am saying is that each one does something extremely well that encourages new visitors to become more loyal readers.
Mashable is one of the world’s biggest blogs and has a massively high page views. The main reason they are able to do this is through social proofed elements of their layout. Let me explain.
Social proof is where you provide some kind of assurance that other people have used your service. Testimonials, for example, are a common form of social proof. These things reduce anxiety in the reader but also serve to encourage a group mentality whereby people want to be involved in what other people are doing. It’s just human nature.
Mashable is all about social media and you see items like the “most shared this week” and the number of Facebook “likes” featuring prominently. The “buzz” this creates gets people to go deeper in to the site—people want to read articles that hundreds of others found interesting.
2. Digital Photography School
Digital Photography School is Old Man Rowse’s biggest blog. It has hundreds of thousands of subscribers and is one of the most heavily community-based blogs you’ll ever read. The activity in the comments and the forums is really quite wonderful.
I remember when Darren first released the new DPS design; I was blown away by how efficient and enticing it was. The old site was a straight up one column blog but this is a multi-level blog that divides the areas up by different sections of interest. Want to read about photography? Just go to that section. Want to read about equipment? Go over there.
This is a fantastic way to ensure photographers find areas of interest at the home page. It gives very little room for people to get bored and move on.
3. Huffington Post
Huffington Post. The blog turned worldwide news source. Sigh. Whatever you might say about the quality of the news that comes out of the site, the layout is extremely captivating. And it’s not because it’s pretty. Here is an example of a site on which the visuals aren’t necessarily pleasing, but they are very effective.
The area of the home page above the fold is dedicated to the most shocking current story as well as a pop up bar that asks you to get involved. It also uses a series of highly placed headers to show you what news is trending at the moment. Again, this is done to capitalize on people’s need to know what other people are interested in.
Scroll further down the home page and you see more engaging items like author profile photos to build loyalty, huge comment counts on featured articles and a mix of featured articles from different topics.
4. Zen Habits
Leo from Zen Habits is one of the nicest guys in the world. A few years ago he gave me some free advertising space and helped me launch a new blog. His new design is totally minimal and fits in extremely well with the branding of the site. Lots of space.
This type of strategy works extremely well for a blog with amazing content. Why? Because it is entirely focused on that content. You read that first amazing article and you feel compelled to delve deeper.
This is a brave design that takes a lot of courage because if each and every post that appears on the homepage is not amazing, you will see a lot of people drop off.
5. Smart Passive Income
Speaking of nice guys, Pat from Smart Passive Income is one of the nicest. Recently when I was setting up my podcasts he gave me a lot of time-saving tips. And that is a big theme in Pat’s design: help.
See the top level of menu items? Each one has a sub heading that gives you more information about what to expect inside. I remember the first time I visited Pat’s site, I spent ages clicking through each menu item to browse the contents. That is something I don’t normally do. The navigation is extremely “sticky”.
Similarly, there is a little space below the menu where Pat gives little random messages or tips. This takes the “tutorial” vibe of his site even further and definitely makes the experience feel more personal and intimate.
The guys at Tumblr are extremely good at design. In my article on the 12 Best About Us Pages I confessed that I thought theirs was the best one of the lot. And while the blog homepage isn’t right up to that standard, it is still worth a look.
The reason I included Tumblr in this list is because they use simple graphical elements to draw the eye down. Each post is very simple and usually only includes a picture or a bit of text. And each alternating post has a different background. Mixed with the fact that the emphasis is on showing which staff member wrote each post and you have an extremely addictive blog home page.
7. Fail Blog
Fail Blog, in case you have been living under a rock, is part of the LOL Cat empire. These guys build sites with funny pictures of cats and dogs and people getting hurt and make a small (read: large) fortune out of it.
Again, the homepage design is not beautiful, but it is extremely addictive. You can navigate through all their sites from the top as well as getting in on the action by voting for the best fails. They also have a little “random fail” generator, which is the kind of gimmick people on this site love to use to waste more of their day.
One of the cleverest ideas here is the fact that every can have a go at re-captioning the fails. This builds on the community in a massive way by getting everyone interacting with each fail multiple times. People write new captions and then come back to see what other people are saying about it.
8. The Onion
The Onion is quite literally one of the funniest websites on the Internet. And aside from hilarious content, great titles, and a home page that lets you see a plethora of content all at once, one thing they do really well is have an interactive and changing header that gives you access to new information.
Normally blogs just have a static header but this one moves and changes based on what’s going on at the blog. Sure, they still have the same logo and colors to keep the branding recognizable but they also use the variation to get people involved in new areas. Very clever.
Lessons to apply to your own blog
So what are the take-aways from these eight blogs home pages? What are some concrete things you can apply to your own blog today to increase the amount of pages people view?
- Focus on social proof.
Make sure your homepage always has elements that relate to social proof. Use testimonials, popular articles, high comment counts, and social media followers to show that your blog is busy. This is something that you should never underestimate.
- Know your audience.
It is really important to know who is coming to your home page and why. Are they coming for this topic or that topic? Do they want to read articles or listen to podcasts? Make sure your navigation allows them to find what they want instantly.
- Let your story show.
Make sure you use photos or text to tell your story. Let people become loyal to you and your message. Tumblr does this with staff profiles, Pat does this by showing himself with his baby, etc. You want to make sure people feel like you are different from everyone else they’ve seen today.
As I mentioned in the post about the best about us pages, it is a really good idea to occasionally take a look at what the big guys in the industry are doing. Quite often they are doing it for a reason. The most important thing, however, is to make sure you don’t leave it as an idea but apply it to your own blog right away.
What draws you in?
I’d like to open up the floor now and find out what parts of a website’s home page draw you in deeper? Is it something to do with the layout, the content, the colors—or something totally different? Please leave a comment and let me know.
The Blog Tyrant hasn’t revealed his name yet but we know that he is a 25-year-old guy from Australia who works from home and has sold several blogs for around the ,000 mark. Now he’s teaching you how to dominate your blog. Subscribe by email to get his free eBook on capturing 120% more email subscribers overnight or follow him on Facebook.
Post from: ProBlogger Blog Tips
It’s really a shame, but there’s no end to the people who are looking for an easier softer way to get the results they need through seo. Here’s some of the things that unscrupulous people do that reflects badly on them in the end.
Cloaking is one of the techniques that Google hunts down and spares no mercy on. It’s all about having two pages—one stuffed full with keywords and the other a much easier to read page that the user is directed to when the link is clicked. These are very close to what’s called doorway pages and I always fund these practices fascinating for one simple reason. If you’re tying to deceive Google and throwing a smokescreen at your readers or prospects in the first place, what right would they have to expect that you’d be reputable when it came to whatever you’re trying to sell them?
Some of these rubes even have multiple identical sites with the same content. Again, this practice is looked down on by Google. It seems that there’s no end to what people will do to try to get a better page ranking and that even includes hidden text where the keywords are disguised as the same color as the background to get a better PR.
Simple and Honest Is Better
It’s not that hard to get the kind of page ranking that promotes you and drives traffic to your site by using just a few honest simple techniques like good content and well-placed keywords and links.
In all the rush to get the seo part of the equation down many businesses forget about how important it is to have a good content writer working for them. It’s always fascinated me that some companies who wouldn’t dare skimp on a print ad or a brochure will cut corners on a website’s content because they think getting a page ranking is more important than having quality words on the site.
I wonder if these same people would have not scoured over their print advertising thinking that only getting the pamphlets out or the message in the newspaper was good enough to drive people to their goods and service. It seems some people in the business world are still unwilling to accept the fact that times have changed and now the preferred way to get the word out about your goods and services is with the combination of seo and quality content.
For some reason this group tries to cut corners at every turn and as a result of Google is often quite hot on their trail handing out penalties along the way for black hat seo infractions. A friend of mine in the business once told me he scratches his head over the fact that people will go out of their way to drive traffic to their site and then have nothing worthy for new clients to read about pertaining to their goods and services when they arrive.
Remember if you’re shopping around on the web one of the good tests that you can use for a quality upstanding company is that professional combination of good page ranking and quality content.
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