Posts Categorized: Inbound Marketing

what is a landing page

What is a Landing Page?

You hear the term all the time, but what is a landing page anyway!?

A landing page is a designated page on your website that is designed to capture leads. It must contain a form for contact information submission and should offer something for free in return.  It’s sole purpose is to convert website visitors into leads, so its unlike your other static webpages on your site that simply give information.

A good example of a landing page is this one giving away a free eBook about Online Lead Generation tips.

Elements of a Perfect Landing Page

A Giveaway

The most important aspect of a landing page (by far) is that you offer something for nothing.  Offer a free eBook, whitepaper, checklist, template of some sort, free trial or a free consultation in exchange for minimally a name and an email address.  Without your giveaway, you aren’t giving visitors any incentive to hand over their info.

A Form

So, you got the lead to your landing page, but that doesn’t mean squat if they can’t give you their contact information!  You should have a form with fields for minimally the visitor’s name and email address.

Add more fields requesting more info as the value of your giveaway increases.  For instance, a free eBook would warrant a name and email request and maybe one more piece of info.  But, a free consultation or trial with a $50 value would allow you to ask for name, email, website, phone number, etc.  People give more when they get more.

Cory Eridon over at Hubspot goes a little more into detail with the explanation of a form and how important it is.

No Navigation

You know all the navigation links you have at the top of your webpages to get around your site?  Get rid of ’em.

What is a landing page?

You want people focused on one thing and one thing only when they hit your landing page…….downloading or getting your offer.  If you give them the option to click around your site, there’s no telling where they’ll end up.  People get distracted because they have 100 things going on in the room behind them. Don’t make it easy for them to jump ship before becoming a lead.

Clear Title

This kind of goes without saying, but don’t try to trick people or be intentionally vague.  If you’re giving away an eBook, the title should say “FREE eBook on …” or even “Grab this Free eBook on …”.  Don’t be afraid to tell them what you want them to do right in the title. Grab it! Download it! Get it!

Short and Sweet Description

Less is more here.  Use bullet points and short sentences to give a brief description of your offer and list the ways they will benefit from it.

Try to leave as much white space as possible because it throws off that “clean and simple” look.  It screams, “This will only take a sec!” The idea is not to scare people off with 4 paragraphs of boring text, but instead to give them the option to skim if they need to.

Your time is valuable and so is their’s.  So, earn respect by not wasting it.

To take it one step further, a short, direct description just may spark a few questions that make them download the offer in an effort to find out!

A Call-to-Action

Your title and description let your visitor know exactly what you are offering. Now what?

Include a Call-to-Action (CTA)!  That’s what!

A CTA tells visitors what you want them to do next. “Try it free for 30 days!” “Download your copy today!” “Get your free checklist now and get organized!” You get the point.  Don’t leave it up to the visitor.  The best way to get anyone to do anything is simply by asking.

Thank You Page

Lastly, every landing page form should link to a thank you page where you deliver the offer. This thank you page should have clear instructions on how to get the offer as well as a secondary offer that will continue to move your new lead through your sales funnel.

If you’re not very tech-savvy and are concerned that these landing pages will cost you an arm and a leg with a web developer, don’t worry. There are many Do-It-Yourself (DIY) sites out there that do all the coding behind the scenes and allow you to visually build the pages with templates. But, our favorite so far is Lead Pages if you’re looking for an affordable option. They have tons of templates to choose from as well as video tutorials for just about everything.

We personally use Hubspot to build our pages and LOVE it.  Hubspot’s landing page builder is just one element of a larger marketing suite, so it costs more, but is well worth it.

Over to you!  If you have any other suggestions for killer landing pages, tell me in the comments below or tweet at us @scuttlebuttsm!

By Kelly Gretzinger

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Inbound Marketing Process

Need help with your inbound marketing process [infographic]?

“The inbound marketing process is just a bunch of “fluff” for internet based businesses.”

“Why do I need to change my marketing style – it’s worked for years!”

“My business is just fine the way it is.”

If there’s an excuse out there, people will use it.  Truth is, the inbound marketing process isn’t a fad, tailored to a certain industry, nor is it to be considered a secondary approach.  Inbound marketing defies the laws of traditional marketing and seeks to attract and then convert visitors into paying customers.  The main difference, as you may have heard by now, is that inbound marketing works as a magnet to pull people into your website via useful & attractive information whereas outbound, or traditional marketing, takes the opposite approach to push products and services on people – through advertisements, direct mail, etc.

Check out this article to learn more about the differences between the two.

If you’re looking to start an inbound marketing campaign OR just need more direction on where to go from here, check out the infographic below from Sons of Thunder marketing – it gives a lot of great stats as well as a chain-of-events look at the inbound marketing sequence.

By Nikki Blews

Inbound Marketing Process

Inbound Marketing Process

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How long does my blog post need to be?

How long does my blog post need to be?

There are many answers to this popular, yet frustrating, question – How long does my blog post need to be?  The first is around 1,000 words or more, the second is about 300 words and my personal favorite is “however long it needs to be to offer value to your readers” – or some variation of that response. The last is my favorite because it’s the only response that directly correlates to the reason you are writing a blog post to begin with – for your readers’ benefit! Although it’s tempting, you should not be writing a blog post for the Google machine or for aesthetics, it should be to educate your readers.  If you’re not addressing your readers’ concerns or giving them valuable information in your blog post, then it’s useless to them, won’t be shared or viewed and in turn won’t be the big SEO cheerleader you anticipated.

Answer #1: 1,000 words or more

The longer-blog-post theory usually lends itself to great SEO value…greater keyword density, increased chance of linkbacks, more information, etc.  But before you go slapping thousands of words down on a blog post thinking Google will increase your ranking, understand that Google is smarter than you think (and getting smarter each day) and they actually crawl your post for relevancy. One thing that may surprise you about a long post is that, according to John Rampton at Forbes, “posts which contain more then 1,500 words gained 68.1% more tweets and 22.6% more facebook likes”.  Maybe it’s because they appear more “meaty” or because all things seem more legit when cumbersome – who knows – but that’s a fact, Jack.

Answer #2: About 300 Words

Again, Rampton points out that shorter blog posts are great for converting on product or service offerings.  This is because you’re giving the reader a short, but exciting, snippet of information about the product or service and then leaving them wanting more, thus prompting them to engage your call-to-action.  Short blog posts are also argued to be more attractive to today’s reader – who are usually short on time, hungry for information and not willing to invest 30 minutes to find what they hope is an easy answer.

 Answer #3: Whatever amount you need

So, that brings us to the last option which states a blog post should be however long you need it to be in order to achieve your goal.  Your goal may be to write about the inner workings of a wind turbine – aimed to educate your readers about wind energy, looking to entice them to join your mailing list for all things wind turbine related.  Or, you may want to write a blog post about the best local hotels for holiday weekend stays – with a goal of increasing holiday reservations.  Point is, if you need 2500 words to achieve your goal AND offer value to your readers, you type your little heart out.  If you only need 125 words to offer value and convert leads – kudos! Just make the words count! No matter the length of your blog post, MAKE SURE IT’S RELEVANT, VALUABLE, and INSIGHTFUL.  The SEO, shareability, and conversion rate will speak for itself.

This blog post is 483 words – just in case you were counting! :)

Need more tips on blogging? – check out the secret sauce here!

By Nikki Blews

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convert website traffic into leads

5 Tips to Convert Website Traffic Into Leads

Your website is a prime piece of real estate when it comes to marketing your product or service.  It’s the mothership.  It’s your foundation.  It’s the first (and sometimes last) impression you make on potential customers.  So, you’d better make it good and treat every website visit as a possible sales lead.

So, how exactly do you convert website traffic into leads?

Keep reading to find out 5 ways to make the most of every single hit you get on your site…

Know Your Audience and Focus on THEM

This kind of goes without saying, yet so many websites miss the mark on this one.  People are simply more receptive to your message when you’re telling them how you are going to help THEM instead of how great your product or service is.  Tell me what’s in it for me and you’ve got my attention.  Start babbling about product features and my eyes glaze over. That’s not to say the product info isn’t important…because it is.  But, make that a secondary goal of each page and put solving your reader’s problems at the top of the list.

Let’s take an example right out of the movie “The Wolf of Wallstreet”….”Sell me this pen,” Leonardo diCapprio said to one of his sales guys.  The salesman proceeded to tell him it was the best pen ever made…another one said it might be the last pen he’d ever have to buy….bla bla bla.  Then, finally, one guy says, “Write your name on this piece of paper.”

Boom….the pen is sold not because of how smooth the ball point glides over the paper or how how comfortable the grip is, but because it solves my problem and the salesman put it in terms that matter to ME.

While this is more of a “sales lesson”, it also doubles as a lesson on how to grab attention and keep visitors on your site.

Offer FREE Value in Exchange for an Email Address

“Enter your email to subscribe to our monthly mailing list.” OR “Get a FREE eBook on How to Master XYZ when you enter your email below.”  Hmmmmm, which one is more likely to make you hand your email address over?  People love FREE and businesses love email addresses….it’s a win-win all the way around.

So, come up with something of value that you can offer like a free eBook, a checklist, an assessment, a consultation or even a free trial.  Then either plaster it all over your website coupled with an email signup box (ie the sidebar, at the bottom of blog posts, on the home page, etc.) OR place the offers on landing pages.  Keep reading…

Create Landing Pages

So, you’re talking the talk and you have a free offer and you are just asking for a teeny, tiny email address in return.  Sometimes the title of the giveaway is enough, but sometimes it isn’t! You normally need an opportunity to explain why the visitor needs this offer and how it will benefit them — not 5 paragraphs worth of an explanation, but just a few bullet points that really make the visitor understand that they are missing out if they don’t get the offer.  

These pages that contain the offer, email signup box and explanation are called Landing Pages.  You can see an example here.  The sole purpose of them is to capture leads.  Your visitors “land” on a specific page of your website (due to a little strategic marketing on your part) where they get something of value for free in exchange for some contact info.

Tip: On these pages, you will want to remove all navigation from the top of the page so the visitor is not distracted and tempted to click anywhere else on your site before entering that email address.  

Link to Relevant Landing Pages Throughout

Once you’ve got those golden landing pages live on your site, give people every opportunity to find them. You should be linking to them on static pages of your site as well as in blog posts wherever it is relevant and can add value to your page.

For example, if you are finding this blog post helpful, you’ll probably love our eBook about Online Lead Generation Tips and Tricks.

See the way I just plugged that landing page in there?  The eBook is relevant to this blog post and I think it will be uber useful to you if you are enjoying this blog post, so I let you know about it!

Place a Call-To-Action (CTA) on every single page

A cardinal rule of marketing, especially inbound marketing, is to be crystal clear as to what you’d like your reader to do next.  What steps do you want them to take after reading a web page or a blog post? Don’t leave it to question….tell them what actions you’d like them to take!

Click here….Call (555) 555-5555 now!….Get XYZ….Download this….Check out that.  Whatever it is….tell them.  You need to do this minimally at the bottom of every single web page and blog post…..every single one. And if you don’t have a specific, logical next step, minimally ask for their email address so you can continue to nurture the lead via email.

And it doesn’t hurt to make it look pretty!  A CTA doesn’t always have to be a boring line of text hyperlinked to another page.  You’ll notice the CTA at the bottom of this blog post is a simple, yet eye-catching graphic prompting you to download a free ebook about Online Lead Generation.  And then I also follow it up with an email signup box in the event my readers aren’t quite ready to download anything from me.

What about you?  Do you practice any of these methods on your website to convert more site visitors to leads?  I’d love to hear how they work for you or about any tactics that work better in the comments below!

By Kelly Gretzinger

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