Comparing Landing Pages to Landing Pages

Comparing Landing Pages to Landing Pages

Dear Author,

There are two schools of thought when it comes to defining a landing page.

The first one is a page that your visitor comes to onto your site, whether that be from social media or a Google search.

The second one is a page where you’re asking for only one action to be taken.  This is also called a squeeze page.

So let’s

Compare Landing Pages to Landing Pages

The first one to think about is on your website.

Website landing pages

Pic of landing pagesBasically, every page on your site is a landing page.  This means that any page that a reader can land on is a landing page.  If you think about it, this can be any page of your site.

Each page then needs to be written in such a way that when your reader lands on it, they will understand what the page is about.

Let’s identify what needs to be on a landing page.

Headline

Each page should have a strong, compelling headline.  You need to tell your reader exactly what your page is about.  Your headline can be the title of your book.  It can also be something about your book that would excite your readers.

Sales Copy

As an author, you can tell me why your book is so awesome.  You can sell me your book.

This is what sales copy, or copy, or the words on your site are.

You need to convince your readers that your book is the next book they need to read and why.

That means that you have to tell me about your book.

Let me know if I could help.

Book Images

Adding pictures of your books is the best way for the reader to know what it looks like.

Because whether you like it or not, your book will be judged by it cover!!

Reader Reviews

When you add reviews of your books right on the pages of your site, you help new readers to know if your book has been liked by other readers.

You could also have a link to your book pages on Amazon when you have too many to add to your site pages.  That way your new readers will know more about your book before they buy.

An offer

While you can’t set Amazon prices, you can run different marketing campaigns that will benefit your readers.

When you are doing that, make sure it is on the pages in question.

Calls-to-Action

Your calls-to-actions will be your “buy now” buttons to take them to Amazon, Barns & Noble, or wherever.

But you can make them more appealing by changing the wording of the button that is used.  Or you can have such compelling copy that they can do nothing but get your book.

 

 

Squeeze Landing Pages

Pic of landing pagesThe biggest difference with Landing pages that are Squeeze pages is that they are one page, one offer action pages with no distractions anywhere else on the page.

Think back to the last time you signed up for something that was on a page with only a simple statement or question and a “sign up” button.  That is a landing page.

 

What you need to remember is that landing pages are always working for you.  They are up and running 24/7.  If they are formatted properly, they can help you sell more of your books.

You need to have landing pages that will deliver results.  This is essential to growing your following while turning more occasional readers into devoted buyers.

 

You could take this one step further and say that…

what will you say on your website pagesEvery website page must have…

….a purpose.  Ask yourself the question:  How will this page help my reader?

While your books don’t give your readers a tangible benefit, you do give them a benefit nonetheless.

And at times that benefit can be bigger and stronger than anything you can hold in your hand.

….a message.  Each page needs to share what the underlying message is that you are trying to share.  And for some authors, this can be pretty deep.

Let me give you an example.  My fav book of all time is Jude Deveraux’s Knight in Shining Armor.  Loved the book, totally recommend it.  But in the back of the book, there is a blurb from Ms Deveraux telling us that the book is about alcohol addictions.

This is the type of thing I, as a reader, am asking you to add to your site!

….awesome pictures.  Every romance reader out there has pictures in their heads of their favorite characters.  If you provide that picture for your reader, think of how much more appealing your site would be!!!

….an objective.  If your purpose if fulfilled, then what is your reader to do next?  Thought needs to go into what the next step should be for your reader.  Most likely it will be to buy your book, but it might be something else too.

There is, what marketers call, a funnel that you need to lead your readers through.  This funnel will lead them from an occasional buyer to a devoted reader that buys everything that you send out.

….a call-to-action.  This is the words that you use to tell them what to do next.  Usually this in a button or a text link format.  Yes, it could also be the button to send them to Amazon.

 

Take the time to go through your site, page by page, to make sure that each page is defined and formatted accordingly.  I know it takes time.  I am still working on mine!!

Let me know if I can help you make your site awesome.

Your friend in romance,

Shental

3 Essential Parts of your About Page

3 Essential Parts of your About Page

Dear Author,

Writing your About Page is an essential part of your online presence.

Did you know that your About page is the most visited pages on your site?  Why?  Because readers want to know who you are and how you came up with the story that they just read.

So how is your About page doing?

Do you have a well thought out paragraph that tells your readers who you are and why you do what you do?

Why do you need to have a detailed About page?

Because authors can no longer hide behind their books.  Readers want to know more.

 

To help you with what to include, I have found some great articles on About pages.

Here are…

3 essential parts to include on your about page

While there is no wrong way to write an about page, there are definitely some things to include that will help your site be more interesting, more convincing, and more entertaining for your readers.

 

Picture of a hand holding a card with the words About Page on itWhat to include

While you don’t have to divulge every detail of your personal life to feel personal to your readers, you do need to share things that are personal to you.

Here are some ideas:

Pic of you

Include a nice shot of you.  This doesn’t have to be a professional head shot.  Readers would love to see you in whatever environment that shows who you are and what’s important to you.

Share your story

Every reader wants to know more about you.  How you got started?  When you wrote your first story?  What made you start writing romance?

This doesn’t mean that you are giving out very personal details about you or your family and friends.

All this means is that you are sharing more of you and how you came to be.

If you focus on the things that make you human, your reader will feel that and feel more inclined to get your next book.

Describe your values

Almost every writer has a WHY behind why they do what they do.  Sharing this will help your readers feel closer to you.

It’ll endear you to them.  Causing them to want to feel that again.  And they’ll buy your next book, just because they felt that with you.

I know, it sounds weird but try it and see what happens.

Add book reviews

Your About page is a great place to have extra testimonials about your books. (By the way, testimonials can go just about anywhere on your site.)

This gives other readers a thumbs up for your new book coming out next year.

Including a list of what books that you’ve written and a small snippet about the book,  adding links to your book pages.  This is great for your site to have internal links

Additional info about you

I’m sure that you are not just an author.  I’m sure you are involved in some other exciting adventures that you would love to share with your readers.

Adding them to your about page lets readers know that you are well rounded and are actually human!!!

This is also a great place to add external links that are good for your site.  Add the links to the pages of the places that you are involved in.

You could also add a list of your favorite authors (and the links those other author sites).  This is a great way to add external links that are good for your site.

A call-to-action

When your readers are done reading, what do you want them to do?  Make sure to include some sort of action that will bring them further into your site and giving them a better opportunity to engage with you.

 

 

I found a picture of a statue that is thinking and asked Think about this?What to think about when you write your page

While your site is all about you, you need to direct your pages to your readers.  They are they ones that you need to impress upon.  When you do that, they will be more inclined to buy from you again and again.

Consider your audience

I know that this is your site.  But you need to direct your pages to your readers.  What would you say to them if they were standing right in front of you?  Each page should be directed with them in mind.

Forge a connection

Take the time to forge a connection with your readers.  Your readers will feel connected with you by reading your story.  Now you need to connect with them through your site and even through social media or in your newsletter.

Be interesting

Don’t just write the same thing on every about page (across other platforms) that you have.  Take the time to share things that make you YOU!!  Be interesting to your readers.

You want your readers to be interested in you because when they do, they will buy more books from you.  So be interesting!!

Get personal

Your about page is about you.  But is also about them.  You are giving your readers these amazing stories that you have put a lot of yourself into.  So get personal and deep with what it takes to be the writer that you are.

Use different forms of media

Just like in any web content, you need to make it appealing to your readers.  Add pictures, videos, music links.

Anything to make your page more interesting and entertaining.

 

 

A picture of something that is being formatted on a page with the "formatting is important too"How to format

Just typing words onto a page is not the way to send a page out for your readers to see.  Take a moment to format your page for optimal reading.

Lead with best info

If you have a lot to share, make sure your best stuff is “above the fold”.  This means that your best information is right at the top before they even scroll down.

Add headlines and subheads

Break up your text with the appropriate headlines and subheads when you need them.  Don’t have just a clump of words for your readers to read.  They won’t like that.

Add rich media

Make a point to add pictures, videos, charts, or music so your reader will engage with your page.

Add a call-to-action

Make sure your call-to-action is noticeable and easily understood.  This could be in the form of an actual button but it can also be a text link that will send your reader somewhere else.

Add social media buttons

Make sure your social sharing buttons are above the fold and easily seen.  This will give your readers the opportunity to share to the platform of their choice.  Don’t hide your social buttons just on this page though.  Having social sharing on every page gives your reader the ability to share what they want when they want.  They will like that.

Test Test TEST

No page is written in stone.  If you try one way and it doesn’t work, try another way.

Test to see what your readers want and like to hear.

 

So there is a whole list of things that you can do to make your About page all the more exciting.

Also keeping this page up to date and looking fresh will benefit your site and keep the search engine bots happy!!

If you would like my help to fix your page, head on over to my consultation page.  Fill it out and we’ll chat.

Your friend in romance,

Shental

Sources:

http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/remarkable-about-us-page-examples#sm.00004ioq1sfymdpwv7m1h2l1q417r

http://www.copyblogger.com/how-to-write-an-about-page/

http://www.susangreenecopywriter.com/articles/write-killer-about-us-page.html

https://moz.com/blog/9-simple-tips-for-making-an-about-us-page-that-works-for-your-brand

http://diythemes.com/thesis/amazing-blog-about-pages/

http://thestoryoftelling.com/10-rules-for-writing-about-me-page/

8 Key Elements of Your Home Page

8 Key Elements of Your Home Page

Dear Author,

Your home page is a very important page to your website.  It is the most visited page.  Why?  Mostly because you use your home page URL in your marketing.

Anybody you talk to you send to your home page.

Do you have the right things on your home page to convert your readers?

Here are…

8 key elements to add to your home page

Out there in the marketing world, there is only a little debate as to what is needed on a home page.  But for the most part many of the gurus agree on a few basics.

What they all agree on is that your page needs to convert your reader.  Convert your reader into doing something.  What that something is, is up to you.

 

Let’s start with your…

Logo

While many companies spend too much money on developing a logo, you are lucky that you can use your own pic as your logo.

I have found that this is what most authors do.  They don’t have a logo, per se, but they do have a really nice photo of themselves on their home page.

Some have taken some part of their book design and made it into a fancy logo that represented what they were doing.  Some have taken their name or initials and created a creative logo

No matter what you decide, you need to take that same design and use it all across your online presence, so when someone is looking for you, they will know by your logo.

 

Headline

Your headline is likely going to be: “Bestselling Author (your name)”.  And that’s okay.  I would consider adding what type of romance you write.  Such as “Queen of Paranormal Romance”.  This is what Christine Feehan has been dubbed!!

So consider an additional word that you can use to describe yourself.

This will give an added word to be used in search engines that you can be found under.

 

Sub-headline

Not many authors have an actual sub-headline.  But I have seen a few that take a testimonial and added that as their headline!!

This does a double whammy of using social proof and keywords in your subhead to help you in the search engines.

But this could also be a statement about who you are and what you do.

 

Navigation

Your navigation should be easily noticeable and above the fold of your home page.

You want readers to know exactly where they can go to get your books.  So make your navigation easy to use and easy to understand.  Don’t use words that they will have no idea what you plan on doing on that page.

Strive for intuitive navigation.  This is where your site is designed with the user in mind with a flow from page to page.

Use words for each page as close to what you are wanting that page to do.

 

Content Promotion

Do you have a blog that you write for your readers?  If so, having a link to that blog right on your home page will mean that more readers will know where to look for what you have to say.

This can be just a link in your navigation but it can also be a separate text link to your blog page.

This could also be linked to your product page, your book page.  Your readers need to know right away where to go to get your books.

This could also be a place to sign up for your newsletter.

 

Resources

Do you offer any other services other than your novels?  Add this link to your navigation.

 

Social icons

This seems to be the biggest one that is missing on author sites that I have seen.  There are social icons but they are buried on the contact page or the about page.

Having the ability to share on whatever platform your reader’s choose, will enable your readers to share with many others if you make this easy for them to do so.

Having this on every page helps them to do that.  You want them to do that!!

 

A Clear Call-to-Action

Each page has a purpose.  What is the purpose of your home page?  Then you know what your call-to-action should be.  Using keywords will help your reader decide what to do.

 

While there are other things that you can include on your home page, these are the essential elements to include when you are wanting to convert your readers more often.

 

And because I like things to look pretty.

Here’s some

Bonus formatting tips:

  • Keep your most important information above the fold.
  • Choose your fonts wisely.  Don’t have several different ones, pick one or two complimentary ones that work well together.
  • Pay attention to color.  Avoid too many bold colors.
  • Include white space.  This helps the reader be able to scan your page with ease.  Break up the text so they can easily scan your page.
  • Go with simple before you add too many things.
  • Don’t waste the footer.  Put some of these in the footer, the ones that are not as essential but still needed.
  • Set up your analytics so you can keep an idea on who is doing what and for how long.  This helps to develop future marketing plans.

 

One thing that I have learned is that a website is never completely finished.  It is a work in progress.  I know that mine is!!

Let me know if I can help.  Give me a shout if I can help.

Your friend in romance,

Shental

8 Tips to Make your Site More Exciting

Dear Author,

I think one of the biggest reasons why I am doing what I am doing is because whenever I would go onto an author’s site, I wouldn’t enjoy it.

The colors would be waaaayyy off.

The font would be really small, to the point where I couldn’t read it.

There would be no other content on the site other than the back blurb of their book.

To say I didn’t enjoy their sites would be an understatement.

And I wanted more.  I wanted to know more about the characters.  More about the story.  More about the author.

But more often then not, I couldn’t find it.

 

I found a great article about websites and user experience by Hubspot.  It’s called 8 Guidelines for Exceptional Web Design and Usability and User Experience.  I’ll reference it and then point some things out.

 

8 tips to improve your reader’s experience on your site

User experience is a huge thing when it comes to your online success.  If you have a crappy site, you most likely don’t have many visitors to your site.

If you don’t have many visitors to your site, the chances of you selling your book are slimmer and slimmer.

 

Let’s make sure that other readers have a good user experience by implementing some of the following tips.

The first one they talk about is simplicity.

Simplicity

The idea behind simplicity is that when readers come to your site, they enjoy what they see and how your site makes them feel.

How many different colors do you have?  Hubspot recommends a max of 5 different colors.

How many font types do you have?  And what size is your fonts?  They recommend using a font that is legible and only going with 3 different sizes.

How many graphics do you have?  As I reader, I would love more graphics.  More often than not, there is no other graphic other than the book cover.  And while that is not wrong, only having that is kinda boring.

 

They call the next one…

Visual Hierarchy

This is related to the simplicity of the site pages.  But this one is more about the user experience (this is abbreviated to UX) that your reader will have when they are on your site.

On a well formatted page, you, as the reader, are guided from one thing to the next. (I am still learning this one.  Even my own site is a work in progress.)

So the color, position, content, visual elements and calls-to-action are all placed in a certain order to convince your reader to navigate through your site a certain way.

How does your site rank for those kinds of thing?  I can tell you that not many authors actually get this.  Some do but most don’t.

 

The next one should be a given…

Navigability

Having your navigation that ensures that your readers find what they are looking for is called intuitive navigation.

This is when a reader comes to your site and doesn’t have to think too hard about where to find what they are looking for.

This one is actually not a given.  It is amazing how many authors sites have either not enough of a navigation to share their books.  Or they have more than one line of navigation links that leave you confused.  This makes your site have so much information that it gets very confusing.

 

This takes us to….

Consistency

Each page of your site needs to look like the rest.  Don’t have one page completely different with different fonts and colors and backgrounds.  Make a point that you have a consistent feel of who you are and what you stand for.

This actually goes with developing your brand.  Your brand is your visual picture that you present to the world.

That certainly doesn’t mean that each page must look exactly the same.  That is not what I’m saying.  Each page needs to have it’s own purpose.  Be consistent in your color schemes, backgrounds, and fonts.

It’s the layout that is going to change.  Each page is going to have a different layout because it is going to have a different purpose.

 

The next thing to think about is …

Accessibility

The accessibility is all about how well your site is accessed by your readers and how it responds to them.

Is your site mobile responsive?  When your reader is standing in the bookstore and wants to look up your books, is she going to be able to find your books using her smart phone?

I have actually done that.  And guess what, I couldn’t go onto some sites.  They were not mobile friendly.  I didn’t end up buying any books.  A lose-lose situation for sure.

Another thing to think about is the meta data that you can’t even see.  When you make a point to include the alt tags, your readers, that are visually impaired, can enjoy your books too.

 

Next is

Conventionality

This brings a subject that I have found very predominantly in the Romance Industry.  Many authors think that they need to be different and have their sites be different to stand out.

As I have been learning things about marketing and copywriting, there is a proven format to what format sells and what format does not.

I can’t help but wonder if, because they are not selling, is the format of their sites part of the problem?  If they changed their sites to be following standards set out by marketing gurus, would their books sell better.

I don’t have an answer to that one yet.  I’ll get back to you on this one.

Some of the conventions are:

  • the main navigation is at the top or left side of the page
  • the logo is at the top left (or center) of the page
  • is that logo a clickable link to bring your reader back to the home page
  • do links change color when your reader hovers over them

Even you, as an author, know that there are some format conventions that you are familiar with.

 

A big one to consider is …

Credibility

I’m sure there is a credibility factor that you have had to earn to be an author.  I’m sure that you have had to earn your reader’s trust with your books and how well they are received by them.

But there is another type of credibility that needs to be earned online.  And it is going to be largely due to how your site is formatted and what type of user experience your readers will have while on your site.

Your site needs to be clear in it’s message.

You need to be honest about your books that you are trying to sell.

You need to make sure your readers don’t have to dig to find your books or how to find you in social media.

 

The last thing is …

User-Centricity

While I know your site is to showcase the books you have written and to introduce yourself as an author, you need to make sure that your website is designed with the reader in mind.

If you don’t believe me.  Take a moment and send out an email to your email subscribers.  Ask them for an honest opinion of your website.  You might actually be surprised at some of the answers.

c

If you would like help updating your site to be more reader friendly, give me a shout.

Your friend always in romance,

Shental

Priceless copywriting formulas that help you write easier

Dear Author,

At the base of everything that is done online, are the words that you write.

Your words will either convince your reader to buy your book or not.  Your words will convince your reader to sign up for your site or not.

To persuasively write is at the heart of being a copywriter.

To be a successful copywriter, one must master the skill of convincing your ideal reader to buy your book, sign up to your newsletter, or download that freebie.  These skills are found in copywriting courses.  These skills are found in copywriting formulas that enable you to convince your reader to do what you want them to do.

 

Use copywriting formulas when writing website content

 

When I was trying to find more information about the books that I was reading, I found that not many authors had actual written content on their sites.  Some even had little to no content at all.  And I had to ask myself why.  Why do some have a little content?  Why do others have no content?  Why did some have content that was so boring or unrelated that I wondered why it was there?

While I don’t have a complete answer, I do know that the answer lies in what is being written on your site.

 

At the core of everything online, it is words.  The words can make us or break us.  Why?  Because words are the building blocks of everything that we do online.  The words are the keys to being found.

I believe that if you change your online content to be more persuasive, or more entertaining, or more enlightening then more of your readers will want to tell the world what you are up to.

 

Use copywriting formulas in the content ingredients

 

Yes, each page needs to include certain things.  Here’s a quick list:

  • keywords
  • headlines
  • SEO title
  • introduction
  • body copy
  • subheads
  • media
  • bullet points (when needed)
  • conclusion
  • CTAs
  • social share buttons

(source)

But within each of these things, you need to use copywriting formulas to write each.

Here are some examples:

Headline formulas in blog posts

Here are some examples that can be used in your blog posts:

  • The beginner’s guide to ________________________ (identify what new readers should know about your series)?
  • How many times have you read _____________________________ (the name of your book)?
  • Before you read ________________ , read this post! (list your current book)
  • 5 things I wish I had known about ________________________________ (list characteristics of main character)

These are some examples that you could use to make your blog posts more interesting for your reader.

 

Body copy formulas

Because your reader is already attached to you and your book, you have an advantage over other products out there.

You can take this formula and make sure to add the things that your readers already knows.

FAB

Feature – introduce your book again

Advantages – describe why it’s way better than other books

Benefits – describe what it’s benefits are

This formula seems to be a standard for many pages of body copy.  Try it on your book pages of your site.  See how it goes.

 

 

Use copywriting formulas in your content creation

Just slapping a bunch of words on your site for the sake of writing something, is not the way to create the content for your site.

You need to think about what you are going to say and how you are going to say it.

When you use a formula for a particular page, you have a greater chance of convincing your reader that your book is what they need to buy.

Let me give you a couple examples.

Formula:  AIDA

This stands for:

A is Attention:  pull your reader onto your page by getting their attention.

I is Interest:  engage your reader with new, unusual and interesting things about your book

D is Desire:  use strong words so your reader feels compelled to buy.

A is for Action:  Ask your reader to do what you want them to do.

This formula is ideal for an opt-in box to get them to sign up to your site.

This formula would be used when you write about your book on your page.

Formula:  SLAP

Stop your reader

Make them look

Convince them to act

Get the purchase

This one is another example of the order that you write your content on each page.

This one is a simple and easy to use.  Should be really easy to adapt to your author site.

(Source)

 

Headline format

Your headline should not just slapped onto your page.  Yes, you should include your keywords but you should also make sure that it:

  • is your authentic voice.  Your readers know that sound of your voice, so your online content needs to sound similar.
  • is how you sound, naturally.  If you change the “sound” of your voice, your readers will wonder who it is and why there is someone else writing.
  • inspires curiosity.  Capturing your readers attention is a primary objective of your marketing plan, so your headline needs to reflect that.

 

This is not a complete list at all.  In fact, it is only a small part of what is needed for the content on the pages of your site.

But if you don’t have some sort of formula, you are just writing sentences.  Formulas make it possible for your copy to be more than just words on your site.  They give your site structure and purpose.

Call me if you would like help with the content on your site!!

Thanks for listening!!!

Happy Reading

Your friend in romance,

Shental

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