Perhaps the largest difference between business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) pay-per-click is that the post-click goal for most B2B marketers is to capture a lead, not make a sale. This means that B2B companies must focus on converting clicks into leads as much as they focus on getting clicks in the first place.

Landing pages are critical to making this happen. From the prospect’s perspective, clicking on your link is easy and doesn’t cost (them) anything. In contrast, converting and becoming a lead requires them to invest their time and energy to understand your offer and fill out your form — not to mention risk unwanted marketing since you require they share their contact information.

Accordings Landing Page Handbook, improving your landing pages can increase your conversions by 40% or more. In our experience at, optimized landing pages work even better — as high as 200% improvements in conversion rates.

So how do you do it? Here are ten tested and proven tips you can use to improve and optimize your landing pages.

1. First Impressions Matter

When a prospect scans your landing page, they decide in just a few seconds whether to bail or stick around. When making this decision, they consider two things: “Does this page look hard or complicated?” and (2) “Is this page relevant to my search query?”. Design, copy, font size, and form length all influence the former. To influence the latter, make sure your page (especially the headline) directly connects to the search term. This means having dozens or hundreds of landing pages — at least one per ad group and ideally one for your each of your top keywords.

2. Have an Offer

Your landing page doesn’t need to sell your product, service, or company. It just needs to sell your offer. Focus your page around a single call to action, such as a free whitepaper or demo. Avoid the temptation to include extraneous company information.

3. Remove The Navigation

This isn’t your home page, so remove your main navigation. Simpler pages almost always work better for lead generation. In eye tracking studies, the navigation draws attention away from your offer and conversion action. Worse, each link is an invitation for the visitor (which you paid for) to click away instead of converting. As Marketing Sherpa points out, it’s tempting to leave those links just in case the visitor wants to dig through your site and learn more. Drop this fantasy. Your goal is to sell your offer, and the only thing those links can do is reduce your conversions. You can always share additional information after they convert, on the thank you page or via your lead nurturing. (Note: You can make your logo link to your home page, and you can include your footer navigation since it draws the eye less than your main navigation. These links help the page appear to visitors and to Google as part of a larger site.)

4. Use Graphics Wisely

Graphics are the #1 thing that draws the eye. Use them carefully since the wrong graphic can distract from the offer and conversion. Include a hero shot, e.g. a mock up of the white paper cover with the title blown up to be readable. Two other tips: Let people click the graphics to get more info (visitors often click on graphics) and be sure to have a caption (besides the headline, captions are the most read copy on the page).

5. Make Your Content Scan-able

People don’t read landing pages, they scan them. Write in bullets, if you can. Be sure your copy sells your offer when someone scans just the first three words of each bullet or paragraph. Bold key words. Consider using interactive elements, such as an audio clip or short video / demo, on your landing page. This can engage buyers who want more info without making the page look overwhelming.

6. Only Ask What You Really Need

If you met someone interesting at a bar, you wouldn’t ask for a ton of information like their annual income —you’d simply get his or her contact information so you could build the relationship over time. The same is true for landing pages. Every field you ask reduces your conversion rate, so collect as little information as you really need to route the lead and stay in touch. You can always collect more during your nurturing process.

7. Capture Implicit Information

Use hidden fields to capture additional information about your leads, such as the keyword used, the search engine they came from, and the ad they clicked. You can also use “click paths” to capture implicit information. For example, if you want to know the prospect’s industry, add some navigation on the left that lists your top industries. This is different than your site navigation. Prospects are likely to click on the link for their industry, so take them to an even more targeted landing page —and capture their industry as a hidden field.

8. Have Reasons to Give Valid Info

After conversion, don’t just hand the offer to the prospect – email it to them. This is a great trick to ensure that you get a valid email address. Also, be sure to place a link to your privacy statement near to where you ask for their info.

9. Say Thank You

After a customer converts, take them to a thank you page. This is important to track the conversion. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to deepen the relationship by making another offer, promoting your blog, asking for feedback, or running a poll. Up to 40% of prospects say they are willing to share additional information after they convert.

10. Test… But Don’t Over Test

Testing lets visitors vote with their actions, removing any debate about what works and what doesn’t. The most valuable things to test are the headline, graphic captions, the submit button, form length, and graphical elements. However, be careful not to over-test. A good rule of thumb is to take the number of conversions you get per day and divide it by 10. Then take your testing period in weeks and divide that by 2. Multiply the two results together to get the number of versions you can confidently test in your testing period.

Landing Pages Don’t Need To Be Hard

Given the dramatic ROI of having multiple targeted landing pages, why do three out of four B2B companies still send clicks to the home page? The main reason is a lack of resources —and getting time from web developers is the most difficult resource to get. As a solution, companies can leverage products like those offerlow marketers to create landing pages with no IT.


So what is the coolest new viral campaign online and why? Check out and then come back here.

There isn’t anything on the page, is there?

Certainly not that photo of Aaron Eckhart that can be found by removing “too” from the URL:

There’s simply a message saying “Page Not Found”.

Do you feel like me the first time you viewed this site, thinking that you must have missed part of an exciting new campaign for the upcoming Batman epic “The Dark Knight”, of which Harvey Dent, Gotham’s DA and future criminal mastermind “Two Face” would, surely play an integral role? Do you feel compelled, like I did, to search out a forum for more?

No need for that – I’ll tell you everything you need to know here.

First, while viewing the site, go to the “Edit” option in your browser and select “Select All”. Without spoiling anyone’s surprise, it seems clear that the Joker will play an overwhelmingly welcome role in this film.

Ah, but that’s not all.

Copy the text from the page into a standard word document.

Do a find/replace for “ha” and replace it with a blank space, to discover a secret message indicating when we may see our first glimpse of Heath Ledger in character as The Joker.

[Lee: With a little checking, there’s this strange image of what might be the joker and this site: Rent a Clown. The marketers of this viral site have even stimulated discussion (and links) on Wikipedia “Viral Dent/Joker Page” and an entry on DMOZ]

What makes this a great viral ad?

  • It’s intuitively geared towards fans by ensuring a prominent character’s name appears in the URL of the page.
  • It’s designed to create discussion. Even I, as one of the bigger Batman fans, had to do more searching to discover other users who have found all the little tricks and secrets within this campaign. In that sense, the ad can be passed along from user to user infinitely as each one discovers a new little secret.
  • Ultimately, this ad shows extremely little. Just enough to excite us for next summer, when…
  • There’s a new Batman movie releasing on May 28th!

Any campaign that can achieve an objective of turning a film into an event, complete with a fully engaged online community nearly a full year in advance, is the very definition of an effective viral campaign.


Dec 23, 2007 – 1:07 PM PDT


googlestock2007.gifLooking back at 2007, we will remember it as a year Google finally grew up and showed its true colors. Sure there was Facebook and all the hoopla around its platform and privacy, but the big story of year was still Google. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company that still gets a majority of its revenues from advertising made moves that would help expand its reach into new markets.

Wireless, Voice and Applications were three areas of major push – and if that meant taking on the telcos, the FCC, Microsoft, Wikipedia and even Facebook, so be it. And along the way it is estimated to add $1.7 billion to its $10 billion or so sales in 2006. No wonder it commands a market capitalization of $217 billion. Here are some of the major developments of a very Google-y 2007.

  • January 2007: Crosses $10 billion in sales.
  • February 2007: Google Office, ready for business. Microsoft beware.
  • March 2007: Announces its 700 MHz spectrum plans, taken on Verizon, AT&T.
  • March 2007: Viacom sues Google for $1 Billion.
  • April 2007: Buys Doubleclick for $3.1 billion.
  • May 2007: Launches Streetside View for Maps.
  • June 2007: Buys Grandcentral.
  • June 2007: Buys Feedburner
  • July 2007: Buys Postini.
  • August 2007: CFO Greg Reyes retires.
  • August 2007: YouTube launches embedded inline advertising.
  • September 2007: GoogleNet is going global
  • October 2007: Buys Jaiku
  • October 2007: Launches OpenSocial, takes on Facebook
  • November 2007: Launches Android, Mobile Platform, taken on Microsoft, Nokia, Others
  • November 2007: Announces plans to produce GigaWatt of clean energy.
  • December 2007: Launches Knol, takes on Wikipedia



In a previous post on MyBlogLog tips, I had mentioned a series of social media marketing posts Online Marketing Blog will be publishing where many of the tips will actually come from the community they’re about. Our next post in that series is about micro blogging phenomenon, Twitter.

At first I balked at the idea of Twittering like many others but eventually signed up (leeodden) and have been tuned in ever since. Like blogging, there are many mis perceptions about the productivity potential for Twitter. Those unfamiliar will often say, What’s up with: “My flight is leaving”. “We landed”. “Getting in cab. Etc?”. Trust me, there is a method to the MicroMedia madness as both an individual and a commercial communications tool.

There’s both a social/play and a social/communicate aspect to Twitter that makes it productive as a promotional tool for pointing to interesting things you’ve found on the web as well as a tool for building credibility and influence. On their own, such updates can be blasé and uninteresting. However, followed over time, you can gain insight into people you may end up hiring, getting hired by, working for, partnering with or simply socializing with.

It’s true that some people do use Twitter as if they’re trying to copy the most boring blog on the web. However, many others are sharing links to timely resources or things they’ve found on the web that they’d like to share/promote immediately as well as tidbits of personal/business information.

A variety of commercial applications for Twitter have begun popping up including political candidates posting updates from the road as has happened with Barack Obama & John Edwards. Other commercial and marketing use examples of Twitter include JetBlue promoting special offers, the BBC posting news items, Apple posts it’s own news (bypassing the media – hmmm) and online retailer Woot posting deals throughout the day.

From a personal brand building and networking standpoint, the key is not to look at microblogging as individual posts, but think of the overall impressions and value that can be created over time. Each 140 character or less entry serves as a seed of an idea for an overall objective. It’s tempting to post something to get it off your chest as I did when a bike was stolen outside my office window and I pulled it out of the truck as the thieves drove away – all during a conference call. I felt I had to tell someone and I certainly couldn’t interrupt the guys from Intel, Ogilvy and iProspect I was on the call with.

Rather, consider an overall objective and keep that in mind as decisions are made about what kinds of personal info, links to useful resources and promotional items are posted. Over time, you’ll build a footprint and identify within the Twitter community. Building that footprint will be far more effective if you keep overall objectives in mind, rather than random information. Unless of course, your objective is to build an identity as a scatterbox. :)

Now for the Twitter tips.

Biz Stone via the Twitter Email Newsletter:
Jott, has created a way to send a Twitter update by speaking into your phone–your voice gets converted to text and sent out to all your followers. This is a
much safer solution for people who insist on updating Twitter when their attention is required elsewhere–like driving!
Twitter by Voice and more Twitter Apps.

Rhea” – Skim for links. They are often only used for passing news, as an action alert or resource grabber. It’s worth 5 seconds. Rhea Drysdale

andybeal” – I tweeted that I was looking to hire a new blogger and found Janet – so I guess Twitter followers are a good job pool :) Andy Beal

TDefren” – Mix it up: share news, pontifications, reaction, blog posts. Aid in others’ discovery & contribute to the conversation. Todd Defren

SebastianX Often Twitter sends folks to new stuff way faster than RSS, and it’s a persistent link, valuable despite the tinyurl/nofollow crap, as long as you promote your profile a little. Sebastian

graywolf” – Use the twittertools plugin to automagically post new blog entries to Twitter. Michael Gray

trishussey” – Connecting your blog feed to Twitter and posting events and breaking news. Twitter is a great way to announced time-sensitive events like radio shows, etc. Combine with Twitterbar for Firefox and you can post right from your address bar. Tris Hussey

bhartzer” – Like a lot of other services, it’s important to add or follow other people first and then most likely they will reciprocate. Find your favorite twitter profile and view who they’re following…and follow them. Follow people and they’ll (hopefully) follow you. Also, when editing your profile on twitter, you can add more than one link in your profile. Turns out that http: link URLs are treated as links. Bill Hartzer

PeterHimler” – Fun to follow thought-leaders and journalists who often tweet their forthcoming thoughts on the site. Peter Himler

Additional resources on using Twitter as a networking, PR and communications tool can be found at:

  • Rafe Needleman: Newbies Guide to Twitter
  • Caroline Middlebrook: The Big Juicy Twitter Guide
  • Jeremiah Owyang – What The Web Strategist Should Know About Twitter
  • B.L. Ochman’s What’s Next Blog: How to Write Kickass Twitter Posts
  • PR Squared: Using Twitter To Create & Inform Communities
  • WebProNews: Microblogging What’s it Good For?
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County: Why We Twitter: Understanding Microblogging Usage and Communities
  • Red66 – Using Twitter as a Marketing Tool
  • Eleven Marketing– Add Twitter to Your Internet Marketing Toolbox

Tools to make your “twittering” more productive:

  • Twitter Groups – Allows you to tag your followers into different groups. Then you can send a message to those groups without needing to send the message to each person one at a time.
  • TweetVolume – A frequency search tool to see how often a unique name (person, brand, etc) is mentioned on Twitter.
  • Twitter Tools – A huge collection of Twitter tools by platform as well as plugins, web services and widgets.
  • All Twitter Tools and Mashups in One Place – Maybe not all, but a very large list of desktop clients, mobile apps, mashups, plugins, tools and widgets.
  • Twittown Unofficial Twitter Community which includes Twitter Forge, a listing of Twitter plugins, Ttools, mashups and services.

Thank you to everyone that contributed! BTW, you can get our BIGLIST updates of SEO blog reviews on Twitter every Friday.

Do you have a great Twitter use or marketing tip to share? Please share in the comments.



In the past I’ve written about the content versus links debate where SEOs seem to fall on one side or the other when assigning the majority of importance for search engine rankings. What’s missing from that conversation is the need for a distribution network.

There are many that believe the key to a successful link building campaign is to create content worth linking to. However, if you create great content and no one knows about it to send a link, then there’s a lot lost on the effort. “Build it and they will come” is not the reality with search marketing despite the hype from SEO nay-sayers.

The key to realizing the linking benefit from creating useful, engaging and unique content is to create channels of distribution. As the network of people paying attention to your web site or blog grows, the greater the number of unsolicited links will occur. The more links, the more traffic and link popularity for rankings on search engines.

So if you have a great distribution network, producing new and useful content will attract a substantial number of links on it’s own. This beats the grunt work of back-link analysis and other tedious link building activities by a long shot.

So, how can you build your network of distribution? Here are 5 tips:

Blogging – Blogs can serve as an excellent platform for distributing content because of RSS and the tendency blogs have to freely link to each other.

  • RSS Subscribers
  • Network with other bloggers
  • Get on other blogger blogrolls
  • Syndicate content to other web sites/blogs

Media Relations – News organizations be they online or offline, mainstream or blog networks, are always looking for good content and story ideas.

  • Develop a “go to†media list to announce company news and story ideas to
  • Establish newsworthiness by producing consistently high quality editorial that meets the needs of the publications you’re pitching to
  • Press release distribution via online wire services bring exposure via email and news search engines
  • Be a trusted news source by creating relationships with the media

Email – Email newsletters offer an excellent channel of distribution as the publisher or in an advertising capacity.

  • Start an email newsletter to communicate with clients, prospects and your target market at large
  • Advertising & sponsorship opportunities exist on others’ newsletters
  • Provide guest articles to other newsletters with a desirable readership profile

Social Networking/Media – Networking and word of mouth is the oldest kind of marketing there is and in many cases, still the most effective. Online tools for networking and sharing of information can be leveraged in concert with real-world networking to build an impressive level of connections.

  • LinkedIn is growing into a very worthwhile business networking platform
  • MySpace tends to be more personal, but offers topical networking opportunites
  • Facebook also offers benefits similar to MySpace in terms of topical networking
  • Real world events are often overlooked and in-person relationships are far more powerful
  •, Flickr, YouTube, digg, etc can serve as channels of distribution and networking

Forums & Discussion Threads – Whether you start a forum yourself, moderate, advertise or simply participate, the exchanges that occur within forums and discussion threads can build credibility that can be leveraged into building blog and newsletter subscribers.

  • Owner
  • Moderator
  • Sponsor
  • Participant

Most companies are already engaged with many of these channels but do they consider the impact on search marketing? Each channel offers stand alone marketing benefits, which should still be the primary reason to engage them. But many marketers do not consider the effect such connections can have on building an organized content distribution network and the corresponding effect on search engine visibility.

In the same way that organizations should incorporate keyword messaging across corporate communications, they should also make organized efforts at prospecting, developing and measuring the effects of distributing content through relevant channels with search marketing in mind.

The concepts here are nothing more than fundamental marketing, but realizing the effect networks of distribution can have on search can help marketers leverage existing marketing activities in a way that provides a distinct advantage and would make it difficult to competitors to catch up.