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Kick-Ass Landing Page 101 – 3 Steps to Amp Up Your Website Traffic AND Your Conversions

Convert visitors to leads to customers — guide them down the funnel. It all begins with a great landing page.

For most of us, the entire purpose of a website is to bring people to our business, provide us with interested leads, and ideally, make sales. But, of course, it’s not that easy. The “build it and they will come” model is beyond past its sell-by date.

Enter the landing page – the key to converting visitors into leads. Your landing page, that page on your website dedicated exclusively to sales, is the first integral step to develop that valuable relationship between your business and a potential customer. It’s also the page you will most often link to for all of your digital advertising (NOT YOUR HOME PAGE!).

Your landing page is designed for sales – to convert visitors into leads

Unlike the rest of your website, a good landing page is designed specifically to pitch and sell — and to appeal to visitors’ to sign up and leave their email address.

It’s different from the other pages on your website in a variety of ways:

  1. It includes a signup form so you can capture a visitor’s information in exchange for some kind of perk or offer

  2. The singular objective of the landing page is to convert visitors into leads (a website home page with a form doesn’t cut it – the page has multiple purposes and doesn’t multitask effectively!).

  3. Your landing page has no navigation. It is simple and free of distractions. It merely contains a bit of engaging, compelling sales copy and a form used to gather visitor information.
  4. Every business and website that engages in sales should have at least one.

3 Steps to create a great landing page

  1. Write a compelling headline – take your time! It’s been said that 80 cents of every marketing dollar should be spent on creating an ass-kicking headline. Keep this in mind as your brainstorming. The headline is the one element of content you don’t want to underestimate – it’s the first thing visitors see when they click through and land on your page. A great headline will keep people on the page and encourage them to seriously consider your offer. To help guide your brainstorming here are three essential headline components to keep in mind:
    • Clarity: Be direct and get to the point. Clearly identify what it is you make, sell, or do so there is no ambiguity about what you are offering.
    • Relevancy: You have to fulfill what you claimed or promised in the ad. Be sure that the information between your ad and your landing page corresponds —  message match so that you meet (or exceed) your visitors’ expectations. You don’t want them to be disappointed!
    • Empathy: You are solving a problem for your visitor. Connect with them on that level — let them know that you understand how they feel.
    • TIP: There are four ways to create a strong, compelling headline: start with a “how-to” the solution to a problem your business offers; ask a question in the headline – answer it in the subheading that immediately follows; use humour; include your unique value proposition (UVP) – provide an irresistible reason to read on, signup, and want to know more (and why you’re distinct from your competitors).  
  2. Great copy and engaging media. It’s going to be all about the language and visuals. Solid, quality, persuasive copy is critical. This could be your one chance to make your point and entice your visitor to start down the funnel – and convince them to convert. Include the benefits of your product or service, your UVP, etc. You might as well face it, despite all the work you will put into your landing page copy, the sad fact is, most Internet users simply don’t like to read web page copy – so use media! There are three primary types available to most of us: images, video, and gifs (animated, interactive images terrific for presenting offers – a wonderful substitute for videos!
  3. Lead capture form. This is why you’ve set up the page! Your lead capture form will collect your visitor’s information – what you’re after to build a comprehensive email list (arguably, still the most effective digital marketing tactic). A few tips for designing an effective form:
    • Only ask for basic information from your prospects – you don’t want to intimidate them!
    • Ensure your page copy and media are well organized to encourage visitors to complete and submit the form.
    • Your form MUST be strategically placed on the landing page.

There is certainly more to take into consideration when it comes to creating an effective landing page. But this should be enough to develop a solid page in which to link in your advertising.

If you’d like to learn more about landing pages, developing optimized web and blog content, or your larger content marketing strategy, upended creative would love to help — LET’S CHAT


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Is Facebook Still Relevant For My Business?

Yes, yes, and YES!

No question, with all that’s befallen the social media behemoth in recent months, it’s certainly fair to ponder whether or not Facebook is still relevant – to average, everyday users as well as your business.

Enjoy the Best of Both: Photos of Your Granny’s New Boyfriend AND Effective, Targeted Marketing

And, no matter how you might feel about Facebook with regards to your personal social media practices, the fact is, it’s still a gigantic boon for any business, big or small, for growing following, increasing engagement, and driving more web traffic and leads your way.

The fact remains, that with more than 2 billion active users, Facebook is still the go-to for all of us, regardless recent news alerting us to data breaches, compromised security, and Zuckerburg frigging around with algorithms.

It’s also a cheap and effective way to market your business.

Admittedly, given the algorithm changes implemented earlier this year, using Facebook for business purposes has become more a little more challenging, but it’s still, hands down, one of the best tools for communicating with your target audience.

Organic, original content is terrific and posting aggressively is encouraged.  But where Facebook shines for business, is through the specific targeting of paid advertising campaigns.

Regardless how you may feel about it personally, Facebook knows a sh*t-ton about its users (more than you may actually be comfortable with!) and this information is used to your significant advantage when you work with their advert program.

facebook advertising

Leverage the social media giant, as well as your content, to drive traffic and grow your following, and ultimately, your business:

  1. Promoting blog content.  You really should have a blog and here’s why: we can’t say enough about sharing and “boosting” a solid blog post on your Facebook business page that succinctly – and entertainingly – identifies your product or service, or a particular element thereof, providing value to readers and potential followers/leads. It’s super effective at driving traffic to your website, as well as establishing your authority in your space.
  2. Call to Action. Facebook offers you really convenient ways to get click throughs to your product, service or website for either purchase or more information.  You can add a call-to-action button to the top of your page to encourage visitors to interact. Things you can have customers do include get in touch, shop, sign up, or download an app or game. Facebook recently rolled out some new call-to-action options to give you a wider selection of buttons to display for your page visitors.
  3. Allow for Reviews. A terrific trust-builder!  On the left-hand side of your page, you can add a link for reviews. Here, customers can leave a star rating and write a review on your business. Reviews and ratings show up at the top of your page. These reviews help verify your business and make it easy for satisfied customers to recommend your product.
  4. Community Page. This page is where posts, photos and videos from customers can be posted. Customers can also check in to your store here. The Community Page is a great place for your audience to interact and share, while learning more about your company.

Techniques to Make Facebook Work for Your Business… Effectively & Inexpensively

  1. Know Your Audience. Take advantage of the great targeting tools provided by Facebook. As already mentioned, they know who they’re users are and, by default, can target your audience based on parameters you set. Of course, you need to know who you’re trying to sell to first, but with Facebook’s help you are able to target specific demographics, locations and interest groups.
  2. Be Conversational NOT Sales Pitch-y!  You want to connect with your audience not merely sell to them.  While you may have created a Facebook business page to grow your customers, your audience won’t respond well if they feel as though you’re always trying to sell them your product or service with every post. Try to be personable in your Facebook posts. Help your audience feel comfortable with you by sharing more than just marketing and promotional content.
  3. Contests & Giveaways! Everybody loves the opportunity to get something for free! Take advantage of this and offer a great prize in exchange for post or page likes, comments, and shares.  Contests and giveaways are a terrific way to encourage engagement and following. Just be sure that they’re relevant to your product or service. As you’re wanting to attract the ideal audience for your business, give away something they value, not simply a random something or other.
  4. Share Great Content from Other Sources. Relying on your own original content all the time can be onerous and, really, isn’t always practical.  Rather, consider building your authority an open source affair. If another source is talking about something relevant, interesting, entertaining, informative, or beneficial to your target audience in any way, go ahead and share it!
  5. Engage With Your Engagement – no drive-by posting!  If you’ve gone to the time and effort to create and share valuable posts, go ahead and respond to any comments, questions and concerns. If you’re having conversations with your audience, they’re more likely to become your customers.It’s important to note that this past January 2018, Facebook announced it was making major changes to its newsfeed algorithm. With this change, Facebook now prioritizes personal connections and engagement. Bottom line: your posts won’t be seen unless they generate a conversation.
  6. Use Video! Nothing stops the eyeball quite like a moving picture! Video is super effective at drawing in those precious eyeballs in this era of shortening attention spans. It doesn’t have to be long and involved – short and sweet works!  Take advantage of video tools such as Facebook Live and Boomerang to attract viewers to your post as they scroll their feeds.
  7. Facebook Adverts! Really, THE best way to reach your desired audience is to run Facebook ads. Yes, they’ll cost you money, but it’s so reasonable compared to the other means of advertising you might be used to paying for.  Facebook ads are so worth what you’ll spend and they’re so darned effective because you can choose your targeted audience based on demographics, behaviors or contact information. Choose a daily or overall budget for ads, select the amount of time an ad runs, and adjust your desired audience, based on who you know your potential customer to be. Even more helpful, Facebook tracks the interactions on each promotion you run, which can help you develop highly successful campaigns in future.



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The Power of Content: Shaping a Culture Around Your Business

When it comes to approaching social media and the other communications deployed to build a brand or business it’s important to understand the significance of content and how it can be instrumental in developing and shaping the culture around your business.

Have you ever thought about your business in terms of culture?  Have you thought about the experience you’re providing to prospective clientele when they encounter or engage with your business?

These terms, when it comes to building a business are not typically given much consideration.  Marketing tends towards active advertising, promotion and selling rather than building an experience.

How do you feel when you’re being sold to?

We eagerly develop pitches and work to employ recommended techniques all geared to the end-game of generating leads, and ideally, sales; but how have we engaged our mission, values and personality to ensure that our communications represent the full picture of our business and ourselves, as entrepreneurs?Connect rather than simply sell.

UX, or User Experience, is often referenced when we talk about the performance of websites and apps,  but rarely do we explore the concept when it comes to the promotion of products and/or services – the business, itself.

Developing and shaping the culture, the experience, digitally – providing for the UX – is essential for growing a brand and business that looks to build trust as well as a sense of authority in the space.  Where, because of the type and quality of information you consistently provide, prospective clients feel compelled to engage with your business.

Look at your digital presence.  Explore your website and other communications, as well as digital assets, and see what they’re providing in UX. Try to evaluate the experience visitors might be having with your brand and whether or not there’s a culture developing that they might connect to.

What are you offering your audience before you try to sell them?














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How’s Your Elevator Pitch? 9 Tips to Make It More Effective

You have an unexpected opportunity to sell your big idea or new business venture to a potential new client or investor.  The research shows that you’ll have NO MORE than 30 seconds to deliver your best pitch.  Are you ready?!

If you own a business or are developing a product or service looking for clients or possibly investors, you should have an effective elevator pitch in your hip-pocket, ready to deliver at a moment’s notice.

Your business or idea is great.  An elevator pitch identifies and delivers all that greatness in as little time as possible.

Too often we get excited and caught up in the details of our business, and want to share the all of the intricacies about why it’s so amazing when we have the opportunity.  Consequently, your elevator pitch can lean more towards a lengthy preamble evolving into an even longer monologue of endless details describing not only your company but each of your products and services.

The result:  a bored, uncomfortable and, ultimately, disinclined listener eagerly anticipating his, or her, escape.

Tips to developing an effective elevator pitch

Here are some easy tips to help you deliver the pitch that grabs attention rather than loses it:

Keep it short – say as little as possible.  This is a fast-moving social media culture we’re living and working in.  As stated earlier, your time will be limited, plan for as little as 30 seconds.  The points to follow will help you refine exactly what you’ll say in such a limited amount of time.

Identify, define and REMEMBER your vision.  Get in touch with why you started your business and what’s exciting about it… to you! You don’t want to sound like a sales pitch, you want your listener to connect with what’s exciting about your product or service.  If you aren’t connected to the vision behind your business you can’t expect your listener to connect with what your selling.

Know intimately your value proposition.  Know exactly, intimately and in precise detail, what makes your business, product, service, unique and of value.  This is what you’re selling.  Understand it. Own it.

Authenticity wins.  Don’t waste valuable time trying to impress with industry jargon.  Get straight to the point with real language to share what you’re doing, why it’s exciting for you and what’s in it for them.

Who is your ideal subject:  Investor?  Client?  Employer?  Make yourself familiar. One size DOES NOT fit all.  Take a long think, and imagine who it is you want to be pitching to. Who are they?  What do they care about? What do they need – what is their problem (‘pain point’) – and how can you provide for, or solve, it?

An understanding of whom you want to target and what drives them will provide you with the insight you need to help draft your 30 second pitch. If you can identify your subject: the ideal investor, client, employer; you can refine your pitch so it feels the perfect fit for that special listener.

Your pitch is simply the the start of what will be an actual conversation. Is your listener nodding attentively.  Is she interested asking questions. Connection!  Now’s the opportunity to delve further into the details.

Ask a great question.  Don’t forget a simple and fairly universal human fact: what we all love to talk about most is ourselves. So, it can’t be all about you.   Get them talking about something that is meaningful, important, significant and compelling to them.  If you can get your subject talking about himself in a meaningful way, establishing a connection with you, you’re increasing your chances for real memorability. Also, they might just be that much more receptive to your offer to continue the conversation and, eventually, to your offer to take the next step in the journey of becoming your next ideal client or giving you money.

Depending on the company, you might find this tip gets immediately catapulted to the top of the list. Read your room!

Denied?  Don’t get caught up in the rejection. The entire process from concept to draft to delivery, offers you the opportunity to better identify your vision, your ideal listener and better hone your spiel.  If it doesn’t connect, so be it.

Lastly, practice! It’s natural for a new pitch to feel awkward at first so the key is to practice it until it feels natural and meaningful to you. Then breathe and smile. Your elevator pitch will come across much better when you’re relaxed.



New Branding & Web Design!

So very proud of this launch!

This was a branding and web design project that strived to balance the corporate with the more progressive, forward thinking.  It’s a new business and the design concepts are geared to reflect the professionalism and values of the client while taking into consideration the expectations and needs of the intended market.

I knew we were looking at a more corporate sensibility in the development of the logo.  I didn’t want it too stuffy and, in close consult with the client, figured we would be able to undo some of the overtly corporate with the colour palette.  Purple provide our pop, the foundation, and our departure from the usual lawyer-liness typically drawn from the monochrome of a suit!

The result is simple: a graphic that pops with colour while quietly alluding to the client’s specialty of negotiation.  It sets the tone for a clean new establishment identity, but allowing for some departure from a corporate sensibility in the supporting collateral – web and print.

The goal when putting together the web design was to come up with something clean and easy to navigate but also feel very different to almost ALL legal industry websites.  Here’s the thing… any sites related to lawyers trend towards:

1. grey or blue
2. overwhelmingly corporate
3. same, same, SAME!!

Yes, this is a lawyer, and soon to be collection of lawyers, but, given the target market – Seattle area startups and entrepreneurs – this lawyer’s site needed to feel fresh and forward-thinking.  It needed to stand out from the sea of grey and blue.  It needed to balance the solid corporate experience and expertise with the progressive nature of my client, while appealing to the progressive, innovative nature of my client’s client.

So, in keeping with this vision, along with the aesthetics of the site, a single page, dynamic scroll was the ticket.  This allowed the message and services to be clearly identified and the information easy to find.  The site is intended to give an overview while taking every opportunity to encourage contact.

You can see it HERE!