Posts tagged "Featured"

Landing Pages for Dummies – 2 Minute Version

Landing Pages for DummiesThere are a few things that can be your best friend or biggest nemesis in about 3.8 seconds and one of those thingamajigs is… well, landing pages.

Welcome to my quick 2 minute version of “Landing Pages for Dummies.”

Landing pages play a huge role in the success of your online marketing efforts. Specifically your paid search campaigns.

I’ve had several clients or business owners seeking advice on whether they should close down their paid search accounts because their campaigns aren’t performing.

My first question is usually:

What’s your current conversion rate?

The answer back is usually:

“I don’t know”.

Whether your spending money via paid search or putting in hours of time writing quality content to get traffic to your site, you should know this simple metric. Rather than investing more money into your paid search budget, why not invest in your landing page instead?

Let’s start off by having me show you the “world’s greatest landing page”. Anyone want to take a guess? Well if you cheated and looked, which I’m sure you did, it’s Google.

Google's Landing Page

All joking aside, Googles landing page is fantastic. It’s straight to the point, clean and it’s gotten the job done for the past 10+ years.

What’s makes a landing page convert?

When you ask it that way there are so many elements that come into play. Here are just a few to consider:

  • Design – Is your site design user-friendly?
  • Copy – Does your copy do a good job of promoting your offer to your visitors?
  • Layout – When I get to your landing page is the layout clean and concise?
  • CTA (Call to Action) – Are you telling your visitors what to do?
  • Leaks – Do you have extra links that will leak out your visitors?

If you have a current landing page, are you covering these areas? If so, where do you see improvement?

TIP: Rather than guessing what areas to improve on or to test, use your site analytics to determine where the bottlenecks are.

In my opinion, it’s not JUST having the sexiest design or the most persuasive copy. Remember to tie every element together. Also, having consistency from your paid search ad to your even your thank you page will never leave a bad taste in your customers mouth.

How hard is your current landing page working for you?

Ultimately, it also depends on what the goal of your landing page is.

  • Are generating leads or selling a products?
  • Is your lead gen page a simple lead form or do you require a credit card?
  • If you’re selling products, do you have a low price point or high price point?

When you consider these types of things, you begin to understand your potential customer. Put yourself in their shoes. Would you fill out your lead form? What differentiates yourself from your competitors?

My Formula to Highly Converting Landing Page

Here’s a quick landing page “check list” of things you should consider with your landing page.

1. Competitive Analysis — Research your competition. See if there are any gaps currently not being filled. Find out what they’re offering.  Bottom line though, research your competitors BUT don’t let your competition dictate what you do.

2. What’s your Offer? — From FREE Trials, FREE Shipping to Buy 1 Get 1 FREE, know what your offer is and stick to it. Don’t have a landing page that has multiple offers. It’s just straight up confusing.

3. Design/Creative — Let’s face it, we’re all not as talented as we’d like to think when it comes to pushing pixels. Just accept it and hire a freelancer to do it. Or if you have your in-house creative team let them tell you what looks best. There are 101 different landing page layouts. Avoid the design by committee and let the designer lay it out with what they think looks best. After you start collecting enough data you can test new layouts.

4. Development — Keep it simple stupid… for the user of course. Quick example, if you’re selling a product, be clear & concise. Your product should be displayed professionally with high-res images, wth a clear description and smooth checkout process.

5. Testing — Yes of course test your page for any bugs, but the testing I’m referring to is conversion testing. Consistent testing is crucial. From an entirely different layout to the color of your call to action button, testing will help you achieve a highr converting page.

[download]I want to put an emphasis on testing because I feel like conversion testing is just an after-thought to most. It’s completely under-utilized by most companies. C’mon people this is 2010 (close enough) and with all of the conversion testing tools at our fingertips, what are you doing?[/download]

6. Consistency — From start to finish. Same message. Same look and feel. Same offer. You get the point.

7. Miscellaneous Items — Here’s a few other random things in no particular order.

  • Privacy Policy: You’d be surprised how many landing pages don’t let their visitors know what they do with their information and if it’s safe.
  • Phone Number: I understand this can sometimes be a leak or you don’t have the luxury of a phone number but this allows your visitors the option of filling out your form or picking up the phone.
  • Guarantee: 30 Day or Money-Back. Can you give your visitors a guarantee with your offer?

So there you have it. Short and sweet. If you’ve read this far I’m hoping it was valuable. If you have any additional ways to improve landings or anything worthy I can add to this post, let me know by leaving a comment.

As always, be sure to Subscribe to my RSS Feed or Follow @jrfarr on Twitter and I’ll catch you on the flip side.

Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 33554432 bytes exhausted

Epic WordPress Fail

If you’re seeing this error, I’ve hopefully got a solution for you!

Over the last 4-5 days, I’ve been literally locked out of my WordPress admin because of this “fatal error”.

After launching my Rockstar Marketing Series, this of course would need happen. If you’ve been following my series on SEO & now PPC, I’m sorry I haven’t posted in bit but I have a good reason!

When I upgraded my version of WordPress to 2.8.2 I received this fatal error message. I was able to see the frontend homepage, posts & pages but whenever I tried to login to dashboard or to even edit a post I got an error like this:

Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 33554432 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 71 bytes) in /home/theblogb/public_html/jrfarr/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 824

I of course started Googling on how to fix the error. I tried and tried to get into the database and find the bug. Based of other peoples experiences there were a few solutions but nothing was working for me.

What’s the Solution?

Step 1: Find wp-settings.php and at line 13, increase the memory limit from 32M to 96M. Or whatever number suits your fancy. You’ll be looking for the memory limit section of this file like this:

if ( !defined('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT') )
 define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '32M');

Again on line 13, change it from 32M to 64M or 96M, etc.

Immediately after increasing the memory limit I was able to login without any errors. You can of course, leave your memory limit that high and you most likely won’t have anymore issues. But then you’ll find that  your site will start chugging pretty slow as it’s trying to allow too much memory at once.

Step 2: Deactive ALL plugins  & Re-Activate.

As you begin re-activating each plugin, change the memory limit back to the original 32M and see if the error comes back. Eventually, I found that the “Lifestream” plugin was causing the error after I had upgraded to WordPress 2.8.2.

After deleting the Lifesream plugin and setting my memory back to 32M, I was good to go.

Now what?

One thing to always remember with WordPress, is you can’t trust all the plugins that are available. Use them at your own risk.

And Finally, I can get back to the new Rockstar PPC Series and the rest of the Rockstar Marketing installments. Hopefully, if anyone else has the same problem, they’ll find my solution useful.

Stay tuned as I get back on track with the Rockstar PPC Series.

How to Optimize your Images for Image Search – Rockstar SEO

How to Optimize your images for image search

What up Rockstars!? I took a few days off with my Rockstar SEO Series so just in case you missed it, my last post was an Intro to Universal Search. Be sure to check that out first if you’re unfamiliar with Universal Search.

As I’m sure most of you already know, it’s ridiculously competitive within the search engines. There are plenty of verticals that almost seem impossible to show up on the first page for certain keywords. Well now with universal search, there are a few ways to gain some competitive advantage. Image search is still relatively under-utilized. So… by utilizing image searches you can now get a piece of that massive traffic.

Getting down to the Nitty Gritty

Today I’m going to show you the “recommended” ways to optimize your images for image search.

Ready. Set. Go!

Essentially, all the search engines are looking for are a few references about the image on your site. They can define your image based off your use of proper XHTML attributes.

Let me explain.

  • Description — The search engines put a big emphasis on the alt attribute. Be sure to give your image a useful description rather then stuffing it full of keywords.
  • Where is the image located? A src attribute or the URL of the image. (e.g. image-file-name.jpg)
  • What’s the size of the image? It needs the  width & height of the image specified in pixels. (e.g. 250 x 250)
  • Mouse Hover All of your images need to have a title attribute. As users roll over the image with their mouse, they’ll see the title of the image “pop-up”.

TIP: Whenever you name an image file always be sure to use hyphens. NEVER use underscores.

Good Example: this-is-my-image.jpg

Bad Example: this_is_my_image.jpg

Now I know what they want, now how do I optimize for it?

Ok cool, so you know what the spiders are looking for. Let’s look at a few examples to show you how to do it.

Just like we talked about creating content the search engines love, the spiders are also pretty particular with how they scan images. First of all, search engines can’t read text inside images. If you want search engines to understand your content, keep it in regular HTML.

Honeymoon Snorkeling Trip in St. Thomas - U.S. Virgin Islands

Rather than the spiders reading the embedded text on the image above, they use the image file name. The file name is where the image is located. For all you WordPress users out there, after you upload an image you can click on “File URL” and that will show you where your image is located. Be sure you’ve used hyphens and described it appropriately.

The image src attribute

http://www.jrfarr.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/snorkeling-trip-st-thomas.jpg

Which is much more descriptive than DSC00856.jpg

The alt attribute

This describes the contents of the image file. It is the KEY attribute for the spiders.

  • Search engines use this information to determine the best image to return for a the given search query.
  • If for some reason the file doesn’t load it will show that text to the user. So rather then it saying “DSC00856.jpg” it displays your alt attribute.

Stay away from “Keyword Stuffing” the alt attribute:

<img src="snorkeling-trip-st-thomas.jpg" alt="snorkeling ocean scuba diving fish goggles with snorkel virgin islands snorkeling ocean scuba snorkeling"/>

The End Result – “Best Practice”

<img src="http://www.jrfarr.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/snorkeling-trip-st-thomas.jpg"
title="Honeymoon Snorkeling Trip in St. Thomas"
alt="Honeymoon Snorkeling Trip in St. Thomas"
width="500" height="338" /></a>

That’s a wrap.

Well… if you really read through this you should be ready to rock and/or roll. Start taking advantage of this right away and test this out in different niche’s and see what results you get.

Often times people complain about the quality of traffic received from image search. Of course this isn’t paid search so yeah the quality is down but here’s my advice. Try doing some CPM advertising or throw up some Adsense and see how you do. You may be surprised!

I’m guessing you guys are liking this Rockstar SEO Series because I’m getting more & more followers and subscribers. Thanks! Follow JR Farr on Twitter or Subscribe to my RSS Feed so you don’t miss a post!

Previously in the Rockstar SEO Series

Intro to Universal Search