How to Create Your First Website Like a Pro

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You’ve decided to create your first website—great! I’m going to teach you to set up your site like you’ve done this thousands of times before.

What You Should Know About Starting a Website

In order to get your website online, you will need a domain name and a web host

  • A domain name is where people access your website. For QuickSprout, that would be www.quicksprout.com (also called a URL, the technical component of a domain name).
  • A web host is a business that you pay to provide storage for all of your crucial website data.

Bluehost allows you to buy and register both a domain name and hosting plan. 

What If I Want a Free Website?

You can start for free at WordPress.com.

To use the free plan, you will not need to register a domain name or choose a web hosting provider since your website will automatically be generated as a sub-domain of WordPress.com. For example, if you wanted to start a blog about vintage teacups, your URL could be www.vintageteacups.wordpress.com.

If you’re in this for the long haul, keep in mind that your audience will be much more likely to trust your brand if you own your domain name (i.e. www.vintageteacups.com). Investing in domain registration and hosting is the first step towards growing an independent business.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your First Website

Ready to get started? These 8 steps will walk you seamlessly through the process from sign-up to beginner content building so you won’t have to worry you’ve left anything out.

Step 1: Consider your website goals 

Do you intend your website to be a portfolio of your work? A niche blog? An eCommerce site? You can do all of this and more via WordPress, which opens up the world wide web of possibility with its full-powered CMS.

How do you want to be known by your audience? That’s your business name. 

And how do you want them to reach you? That’s your domain name. 

Since your domain name will be a major face of your business, you’ll want to put some good thought into it. 

A strong domain name serves your business goals by referencing your product or service. It should be catchy, memorable, and easy to type. Try for shorter rather than longer names where possible.

How can you come up with the right name?

Let’s take the two businesses we’re working with in this guide as an example. 

WordPress is short, iconic, and evokes images of text (“word”) and potentially a printing press (“press”). It’s clear that their business model is based on sharing content. 

Similarly, Bluehost includes the word “host,” suggesting they are a web host provider. The combination of “blue” and “host” is simple and catchy. 

Both names are highly brandable and easy to remember.

Step 2: Choose your Bluehost plan

The benefit of hosting on Bluehost rather than just WordPress.com is that Bluehost takes care of your site’s security, speed, performance, and updates for you.

We recommend shared WordPress hosting, which gives you access to a server specifically attuned to the WordPress software package. This means that safety, security, and speed are all built in—put another way, managed for you. 

To choose a plan, go to Bluehost’s pricing page. You’ll see this:

Bluehost offers four hosting plans: Basic, Plus, Choice Plus, and Pro. At every tier, the plans include a free SSL certificate (adding an extra layer of security to your site), unlimited bandwidth, and plenty of storage. For most sites, the performance of the hosting will be more than good enough. 

Select the plan and that’s right for your budget. You can always upgrade later.

Step 3: Register your domain name

After selecting a plan, you’ll be prompted to register your domain name. 

If you already own a domain name, enter it on the right. You may need to change your DNS records to make sure your domain name servers point to Bluehost, allowing people to access your website. 

If you are registering your domain name with Bluehost, enter it on the left. Domain registration is free for one year with a managed WordPress hosting account. Always be sure to note when your domain must be renewed so it doesn’t expire without your notice, leaving your website inaccessible. 

You’ll be asked to fill in personal information before finalizing your purchase. 

Be sure to choose a strong password for your Bluehost account (preferably not the same one you use to log into any other site). You’ll then be ready to install WordPress.

Step 4: Install WordPress with one click

Connecting Bluehost with WordPress is incredibly easy. In your Bluehost account control panel, navigate to “MOJO Marketplace” and choose “One-Click Installs.” 

This will bring you to the Scripts and Platforms page. After you click the WordPress icon—found under “Blogs” at the top of the page—an installation window will open. Click “Start” to begin installation.

  • Choose the domain name on your account where you want to install.
  • In “Check Domain,” you’ll make sure your domain name is pointing to your account. This is especially important if you bought your domain name before signing up for Bluehost. If you get a warning that you are overwriting files, you can check the box without worry—since this is your first website, there’s nothing to overwrite. 
  • In “Show Advanced Options,” you can choose your WordPress username along with a strong password—or log in if you already have a WordPress account. Check “Automatically create a new database for this installation.” 
  • Read the terms and conditions and check the box.
  • Almost there! Click “Install Now.”

You’ll now be taken to the progress page. After installation is complete, you will see your site URL, admin login URL, your username and password. Print and store this master list in a safe place.

Time to log in to WordPress! Log in at your admin URL and you’ll find yourself at the Dashboard, where you can begin on the visual design for your site.

Step 5: Try on some themes for size

Also called “skins,” your site theme is like an outfit for your website. The theme you choose will affect your site visuals, content layout, and some of the customizable design features you have access to. 

WordPress has a number of both free and premium (paid) themes.

When choosing a theme, pay special attention to:

  • Good design: Is the design clean and organized? Is it responsive to optimize for the roughly 50% of people who prefer mobile viewing? How easy is it to navigate?
  • Compatibility: Is the theme compatible with the latest version of WordPress and with popular plugins?
  • Back-end: Is there active development on the design? How easy is it to access support and documentation? 

Most themes allow you to try a Live Demo so you can see how it will look and compare its appearance to your design and content goals for the site.

When you’re ready, click “Activate theme” to install. You can always add plugins for additional functionalities or switch themes when you are better accustomed to WordPress.

Step 6: Add some helpful plugins

If your website theme is like a “skin” or outfit that gives the website substance, design, and form, your plugins are the accessories that pull the outfit together. 

Plugins work alongside your theme to provide desirable functionalities, like a comment filter, contact form, or search engine optimization (SEO) toolbox, and are built to work seamlessly with WordPress’s back-end operations. While some are best-suited to a particular type of site, like eCommerce or blog, many are all-purpose. Plugins can be free or paid.

In most cases, you will need a WordPress Business plan or higher to use plugins. Aspects of Jetpack and Akismet (see below) are included with your blog.

Popular plugins:

  • Jetpack: This integral plugin enhances your site security, performance, marketing, and design capacity. Site speed, image serving, and SEO are just a few things it can help you with. 
  • Akismet:  A “spam-fighting service” that protects your posts, trackbacks, and messages from spam.
  • All-in-One SEO pack or Yoast SEO: These SEO plugins help you optimize your site to be found organically in search results when people search for similar products, services, or content.
  • WP Forms or Ninja Forms: You can use either of these plugins to build professional contact forms within minutes, without any coding experience required. 

Be sure to vet your plugins before installing: A large number of positive user reviews alongside information about the developer, functionalities, and latest release date can all help you make the best decisions for your site. 

Step 7: Begin building your site content

On WordPress, there are two meaningful distinctions when it comes to organizing your site content, pages and posts.

  • Pages make up the main framework of your website, and generally appear in the navigation bar for easy access. There are a number of essential pages you’ll want to add, including your Homepage, About page, and Contact page.
  • Posts are individual pieces of content, each with a unique URL, that make up a blog. Many people choose to make their blog a central focus of their website, but you don’t have to. Many businesses keep blogs as a tool in their content marketing toolbox, and WordPress makes it possible to designate as a secondary page (see Step 8).

When you start adding content to your website, it may be helpful to get inspiration from existing websites, both those where you spend a lot of time and sites that have a similar function to yours. Ask yourself:

  • How is the content of these websites organized? 
  • What are the major pages? 
  • How prominent is the blog? 
  • Does the site include subpages, and what are they? 
  • Where is the contact form located? 
  • How do they use media to create an engaging experience?

Here’s how to create your first page (ideally, the homepage):

After creating the essential pages, consider your website’s functionality from the point of view of your future site visitors. Although it may be tough in the beginning to put yourself in their shoes, successful site content is laser-focused on the audience. Ask yourself: 

  • What will my visitors want to do on my site? What will be less useful to them?
  • How can I structure my pages, content, and media to create a positive User Experience (UX)?
  • How can I set up site navigation so that important information and features are easy to find?
  • What information do my visitors need to understand my offering?
  • What information do my visitors need to trust me? 

Don’t feel pressure to include all possible content at once; less is often more for a new website. Your site will likely change over time based on your evolving business model as well as the needs of your audience. You can always add more content as you go. 

Additional pages

On the one hand, the beauty of website creation is that your site design is completely up to you. Depending on the purpose of your website, however, you may be required by law to include certain content, like:

  • Contact details
  • Cookie handling
  • eCommerce: terms of service, refund policy, privacy policy

Be sure to check the relevant law in your area and update your website regularly.

Step 8: Finalize your homepage and navigation

Do you want your homepage to appear as a traditional homepage or a blog?

WordPress allows you to choose whether you want a static (unchanging) or dynamic homepage (shows your ten latest blogs). The dynamic version is the default.

To designate a static homepage, find the “Site” category in the left-hand sidebar and click “Pages,” then “Add new page.” You can choose a premade layout or click “Use Blank Layout,” as in the photo just above. Then name your page and click “Publish.” For example:

Now, navigate to the “Design” category in the left-hand sidebar of your Dashboard and click “Customize.” 

There are many things for you to play around with here, including adding your Site Title, Tagline, and Icon, adding a header or footer, and changing the site colors. For now, click on “Homepage Settings” and toggle the option for “A static page.” Beneath, you can choose the page you just created.

It’s time to start adding content to your homepage!

Once you add more pages, like About or Contact, they will show up as part of a navigation bar that is designated by your theme. In “Customize,” click on “Menus” to change the page order and location. 

What’s Next?

You’ve just created your first website. Congratulations on this exciting new step!

Now you can start familiarizing yourself with the WordPress interface. While creating Pages and Posts, you’ll be using the Block Editor, which uses Gutenberg blocks to help you add content and make your site engaging and interactive.

Since your website is a representation of your brand, I recommend building your content with a critical eye. At the same time, learning as you go is part of the experience. You can always delete or click the back button—no change is permanent, so feel free to play around.

The post How to Create Your First Website Like a Pro appeared first on Neil Patel.


Source: New feed 2

How to Find Specialized Marketing Agencies

You’re experiencing slight pain in your chest.

So you visit a general care physician who performs a series of quick tests. 

Based on the results, they offer you general advice, but in the end, they refer you to a cardiologist to look into the issue in more detail.

This is a fairly common practice in medicine.

You start seeing a general practitioner, and when things go beyond their expertise, you go to a specialist who has the knowledge as well as equipment to handle your situation better.

Business is no different. More so, marketing.

While you’ll find several end-to-end marketing agencies, it’s nearly impossible to get results without specialized knowledge – something that specialized or “niche“ marketing agencies offer.

Not only are they able to identify and address your unique pain points, but they can also make your business operations more effective.

In this guide, our team at Neil Patel Digital has outlined some vital tips to identify and hire specialized marketing agencies, as well as help you understand how these agencies fare when compared to an end-to-end agency.

How Specialized Marketing Agencies Guarantee Success?

Specialized agencies, with their high skill set in a specific niche, can identify opportunities for success and analyze problems with great precision and detail within any given marketing campaign.

They bring specialized depth and focus into the service offering, which allows them to see potential issues that can be missed by others as well as provide creative ways to implement solutions.

An important thing to note here is that specialized marketing agencies go beyond their deliverables. You can enhance your marketing efforts by correctly leveraging the strategic insights, experiences, and partnerships offered by them.

Due to the greater level of detail and expertise, there is a higher possibility for you to maximize your company’s marketing ROI.

Precisely why you need to think of ways to strategically align your agency partnership that brings your company maximum value.

How to Identify and Hire the Best Specialized Marketing Agency for Your Company?

Before signing up for an agency, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is your company generating sufficient marketing leads?
  • Are all your marketing plan elements being carried out efficiently? 
  • Is it possible for you to employ new staff to improve your marketing activities? Does your current budget allow it?

If even one of these questions raises concerns, you should go ahead and consider working with a specialist marketing agency.

But… hiring the right agency isn’t going to be easy.

It needs patience, along with practice and some good ol’ trial and error.

Here are a few tips to help you find your next marketing mastermind:

Determine Your Business Objectives and Desired Outcomes

Specialized agencies cater to the specific needs of businesses.

These agencies generally specialize in one or two areas. Hence, the first step of choosing the right specialized marketing agency is to know your business goals and what you want to achieve by working with the agency.

Let’s consider an example to help you understand this better: creating a series of marketing videos.

You want to improve your social media presence and boost engagement on your website. You decide to create a series of marketing videos to achieve this, but you aren’t sure where to start.

In this case:

  • Goal: Greater social media presence and increased website engagement.
  • Deliverable: Make engaging videos and similar visual assets that communicate your new offer in a creative and fun way to capture your audience’s attention.
  • Result: A set of finished videos, along with supplying you with the knowledge to walk you through the process.

You can enlist the services of a marketing agency that specializes in video marketing or maybe graphic designing to achieve this goal.

Similarly, you can choose your agency based on the other types of services you want. Here are a few other examples:

Market Research

These agencies help you make better-informed decisions and avoid costly mistakes by carrying out primary market research, such as surveys, interviews, and experiments, and secondary market research.

Marketing Strategy

These agencies understand the art of creating strategies backed by research, experience, knowledge, and wisdom. They can help you formulate a well-aligned marketing strategy that supports your unique business goals and objectives.

Content Writing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Content writing agencies can create excellent content that is optimized according to SEO principles to boost engagement and conversion. This can include posts on social media networks, company blogs, or creating gated assets like PDFs and whitepapers.

You’ll also find agencies that specialize in optimization, which offer well-written and formatted content to drive traffic through a search engine results page or SERP.

Email Marketing

Email marketing agencies can help you move your prospects down your sales funnel. They send emails that motivate people to buy products and services while keeping your past and potential customers in the loop.

Advertising

Advertising agencies can enhance your audience targeting efforts and amplify your reach by creating attention-grabbing advertisements that force the customer to take action, such as visiting your website, viewing your products and services, etc.

Ultimately, you should choose a specialized agency based on your requirements and end goals.

Skills and Experience

It’s no secret that specialists should have technical skills and experience that actually make them experts at a specific niche.

To help you find the right agency, we have two lists below: Must-haves and Nice-to-haves.

These are the skill sets that are a must for your agency:

Specialized Knowledge

What’s the point of calling themselves an expert if the agency doesn’t possess the necessary business growth and inbound marketing knowledge for a specific niche?

The agency should be able to demonstrate their ability to apply marketing techniques and up-to-date inbound marketing tactics and strategy that can promote business growth.

Tech Savvy-Ness

Agencies should have the expertise to navigate and use a variety of modern tech tools and platforms. After all, it’s the only way that your brand can have a competitive edge over its competitors.

Job Functional Skills

Job functional skills have a broader concept as it goes deeper into the actual role for which the agency is being hired.

For instance, if you want to hire a digital marketing agency, you should take a look at past digital campaigns created by the agency. Ask them to explain the campaigns and how they will apply their knowledge to help you achieve your business goals.

Effective Communication Skills

The agency should comprise members that have excellent written and verbal skills to drive meaningful conversations.

Nice-to-Have Skills

These skills aren’t deal-breakers if a prospective agency doesn’t have them, but if they do, you should give them brownie points.

The following are a few nice-to-have skills:

  • Certifications that prove their expertise and ability to implement effective marketing tactics and strategies.
  • Previous experience working with clients that operate in your niche.
  • Their passion for your target mission.

Partnership Capabilities

Specialized agencies should have strategic partnerships as a means to expand their offerings – one that goes beyond complimentary deliverables.

You see, buying marketing services goes beyond à la carte for clients, which is why specialized agencies have to take the time to foster strong relationships with their partners to create value and efficiencies from the client’s viewpoint.

If you hire an agency that boasts of this synergy, it can be very beneficial for you.

You might have to add another vendor to your list, yes. But the fact that you get excellent content, along with the SEO, rather than subpar work does seem like the better option, no?

Take a Look at the Pricing

There’s a reason why Versace costs 20 times more than Fashion Nova, and in most cases, you get exactly what you pay for.

It’s really that simple.

If your prospective agency is charging unrealistically low rates, it’s probably because they are inexperienced or they just… suck.

And yes, before you ask, many specialized agencies claim to have “expert knowledge” but don’t.

You‘ll also find agencies that charge you an arm, a leg, and a kidney to work with them, which isn’t right too. 

While many can justify their pricing, hundreds can’t.

Treat the Agency Just Like You Would a Potential Employee

When hiring a specialized marketing agency, conduct the interview in the same way you would when hiring a potential employee.

So in addition to going through their merits, make sure they are a solid cultural fit for your company.

The agency partnership won’t be a success if you don’t share similar values or have completely opposite mindsets.

Why Choosing a Specialized Agency is better than an End-to-End Agency?

According to a 2016 Statista study, 24% of US-based companies had hired roughly three marketing/advertising agencies, while 23% were working with two agencies.

That said, the following are the main reasons why you should go with a specialized agency over an end-to-end agency:

Lots of Flexibility

Niche agencies don’t provide a one-size-fits-all focus. Instead, they believe in creating a more personalized and unique marketing plan that can help you stand out from your rivals.

Additionally, they have the resources and methodologies that equip them with expert knowledge about the specific niche, allowing them to be more in tune with your pain points. This, in turn, enables them to deliver a much more effective strategy as well.

It’s this flexibility that helps them adapt to your needs and requirements constantly, and offer dynamic solutions through their relationship with you.

More Personal Attention

As mentioned before, working with a specialized agency will make your experience more personable.

You’ll be in direct contact with specialists who are fully dedicated to your brand. Moreover, you‘ll have direct oversight interactions with people who are working on your marketing campaign, irrespective of their position.

Such agencies work on various campaigns, which makes them proficient in offering a completely different perspective to yours. You can also expect new insights and opportunities that can generate fresh ideas.

In addition to this, the overall flow of information and communication is also much better. With the questions delegated more efficiently, you get your answers faster too.

Greater Suitability for SMBs

Specialized marketing agencies and small- to medium-sized businesses can have an excellent working relationship built upon commonality. 

Both the agency and company are trying to grow and expand, which makes them more invested in each other. Having overlapping roles is another motivating factor that ensures successful outcomes for both parties.

Most of the time, these agencies monitor their growth based on your success since they aren’t only in it for money. They genuinely want to build meaningful relationships for a sustainable business.

Unlikely to Outsource Tasks

Multiple end-to-end marketing agencies outsource their work. 

We don’t claim it – Hubshout stats do. For instance:

  • 48% of full-service agencies outsourced PPC services
  • 28% of full-services agencies outsourced content marketing services.
  • 68% of full-service agencies outsourced SEO to a white label SEO provider

These agencies focus on a few single areas of marketing expertise and then outsource the work from white label partners. In short, there is no guarantee that the agency will actually be doing the work for you.

Specialists, on the other hand, do not outsource. 

Why? Because you don’t have to.

They have all the specialists they need right there in the organization. When you work with a specialist marketing agency, you get access to a specific set of services that are usually absent from general marketing and communication teams.

Consequently, you know exactly what you‘re getting into and who will be working on your project. 

You can focus on your areas of expertise, while the agency can focus on those specialized services to help you achieve your business goals.

More Creative and Innovative Ideas

This is honestly the best part of working with a specialized agency.

End-to-end agencies use the same strategies and methods for each of their clients. 

Time is naturally very crucial for them, which is why if they see one marketing test working well, they tend to use it for every customer they take on.

Contrarily, specialized agencies don’t take advantage of time trials. They build a customized strategy that is adjusted according to your suggestions and demands – all aimed at establishing your brand reputation.

Still, End-to-End Marketing Agencies Aren’t a Bad Choice Either

An end-to-end agency or a fully integrated marketing and advertising company that can provide you with a complete list of services, including:

  • SEO
  • Systematic planning
  • Social media
  • Digital marketing
  • Paid advertising 
  • Interactive marketing services

They are larger in size and can easily handle all your advertising and marketing requirements, helping you make the most out of marketing. 

Here are a few reasons that your company may want to pursue an end-to-end agency instead:

Knowledge of Latest Trends, Systems, and Software

End-to-end agencies, also known as full-service agencies, are well accustomed to the latest trends and technology

They know how to target the right offers, use analytical reports and data correctly, and the right tools that can help you target your audience at the right time.

Cost-Effectiveness

Agencies are hands down way more cost-effective, and sometimes the only way that companies with smaller budgets can afford professional services.

Usually, specialists charge a higher amount for their expertise and knowledge, which can be way out of budget for most brands.

Scalability on Demand

You can scale your marketing activities up and down according to new products, seasonalities, and so on.

When you have an in-house team, you have to hire and train to scale up or layoff staff to scale down; with an end-to-end agency, you simply pick the phone.

Expertise and Experience

Working with full-service marketing agencies lets you work with a pool of talent who have experience working with various clients, technologies, and industries. They have broader skills that can help build and launch a comprehensive marketing campaign to drive results.

Think of the agency as a deep pool of specialists.

There is also no secret that today marketing involves content, branding, social media, paid ads, and SEO. Handling this requires bandwidth and the right know-how – something that end-to-marketing agencies can offer.

Time-Saving

Irrespective of your business size, you do need an effective marketing strategy.

This needs a strong team, and when you choose to work with a full-service agency, you have a team that can focus 100% of their knowledge and expertise in developing your campaign as efficiently as possible.

Indeed, end-to-end marketing agencies may not provide you with the same level of expertise as specialist marketing agencies. But if you opt for a major marketing company that offers full service, you do get the best of both worlds.

At Neil Patel Digital, we have the expertise and experience to provide comprehensive marketing and advertising strategies tailor-made according to your needs. We offer:

  • SEO
  • Paid search marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Data, analytics, and insights
  • Programmatic advertising

Whatever You Do, Don’t Forget to Ask Questions

Regardless of the marketing agency you choose – whether generalists or specialists – make sure you ask the right questions.

Who is working on your account? What are the specialties? How will you clear your doubts? What results can you expect? What are the KPIs? – ask everything.

If you really want to take your business to the next level and are ready to think big, contact us here and let us help you disrupt your industry.

The post How to Find Specialized Marketing Agencies appeared first on Neil Patel.


Source: New feed 2

12 Best Landing Page Examples

Let me ask you a question…

Would you rather have a beautiful website or a website your customers love?

From a business perspective, you shouldn’t go for either.

Your answer must be 100% I want a high-converting website.

Because if people buy, then they both like it and you can safely and predictably scale your business.

Many people get in the trap of creating designs they like while their perfect client avatar is so much different than what they would imagine.

And that can be easily noticed when you click on ads you see on social media.

You might like the ad itself but most times the landing page on the other side is not what you want to see.

The connection between your traffic and your landing page is called an accurate message to market fit.

You want your message to perfectly fit your market so you can start with a winning funnel that’s only bound to go up from there.

Because if you mess up there, you would be optimizing and tweaking little components that will barely get you to break even.

But if you nail your message you would be getting customers left and right without even knowing why or how they came to you.

It’s your most powerful weapon and most businesses do it completely wrong.

So to help you out and guarantee your immediate success, we’ll be going over the best 12 landing page examples that you should use to scale your business.

We’ll go over each one’s strengths and weaknesses while making sure you find one that fits your exact business.

After this post, you’ll be able to come up with high-converting landing pages like magic.

But before we do that, we must go over…

What Makes a Great Landing Page

That question solely depends on your needs.

So let me ask you a couple of questions that will help you clear your mind and think in the right direction.

#1 What do you want to accomplish with your landing page?

Your most common options are:

  • Getting people to opt-in in exchange for Free value on a subject
  • Directly selling a low-ticket product like a book or a mini-course
  • Free Trial offer for a monthly service or software
  • Free + Shipping offer where you count on upsells to make a profit

You’ve got to know exactly what offer you want to present in your landing page before creating it.

And of course, there are other offers you can make but the idea here is to clarify what is the one that you want to use for your business.

If you’re not sure, there would be multiple examples further down the post.

Now for the next question, you need to ask yourself…

#2 Are you committed to this project or are you just trying out an offer?

Building a high-converting landing page is not an overnight hustle.

You might find yourself optimizing a non-profitable landing page for months before it starts generating real returns.

And if you’re not ready for that, then I recommend you quit before you even start.

Yes, you can get a lucky shot and hit a homerun from your first try but counting on it is delusional.

Be ready for the long game so you catch the long-term gains that are so much sweeter than the momentary satisfaction.

And for the final question…

#3 What’s your budget?

Before you begin designing your high-converting landing page, you need to prepare a solid budget.

You can’t expect everything to go smoothly throughout the process.

Problems are going to occur and most times the easiest and fastest way to solve them is to pay someone who is an expert in the field.

That can be a developer, a Funnel designer/builder, an Ad specialist, or a CRO consultant.

Either way, you should be ready to pay someone to do it right so you don’t face the same problems over and over.

In marketing and life, there’s a rule of thumb that suggests you should finish your work and then let someone else judge it.

Obviously, for landing pages, the way is to run some ads and see if the traffic converts.

If it does, you raise your ad budget and try to scale.

If it doesn’t convert initially then you should let a professional take a look at it.

And even if you already hired someone to build it for you, don’t expect him to help you here.

Yes, he can optimize your page but you’ve got to keep in mind that people have an emotional attachment to their work.

That’s why you need a third party to help you out.

And especially when it comes to optimizing a landing page for conversions, you must consider the idea of hiring an agency.

Big marketing agencies nowadays have had hundreds if not thousands of clients who had been in your exact situation.

That’s why hiring a marketing agency to help you increase your conversion is the best bet.

And talking about CRO (conversion rate optimization) there’s no better choice than NP Digital.

It is simply the best marketing agency for both SEO and CRO.

If you’re at the stage where you want to optimize your existing landing page but you don’t know exactly how to do it…

Then you should book a quick call with a professional where you’ll unravel the secret conversion optimization methods your business needs.

And now for the main event…

The Best 12 Landing Page Examples

These are the 12 Best Landing Page Examples we could find.

We’ll be judging them for conversions, offer, design, and customer experience.

#1 Get Response

Get Response is an example of a simple yet interactive landing page example.

You can see the Get Response team are bold as they’re the only software in the industry that uses an interactive headline.

The yellow sign you see on the image below changes between the words growing, leads, and sales.

That makes it for a great attention-grabbing headline that just makes you read on.

Also, they use a friendly, positive face which is something we don’t see very often in business that is not centered around a personal brand.

That of course is not a bad thing. It automatically builds trust and makes it easier for people to sign up for their software.

#2 Slack

Slack is always on the top of its game when it comes to landing pages.

They are constantly optimizing for conversions and that’s the best way to find your winning landing page.

Their current one is once again, extremely interactive, has a big eye-popping headline, and also shows how easy it is to use the software with a quick 5-second giff.

Straight from the get-go, you can see they value customer satisfaction and if you’re still not sure, scrolling down will lead to non-stop credibility and results that prove their authority in the marketplace.

#3 Intercom

Intercom’s main objective on this landing page is to get you to opt-in with your email.

Keeping it to email only is a great way to increase your opt-in rate.

A big, positive headline that puts you in the right state of mind to act now.

The images they use perfectly represent the headline’s main USP.

You can see an overall friendly environment and you just have to opt-in if you got to this page.

#4 Lyft

Lyft has been riding up the charts in the past years and their website, landing page, and their overall online funnel is not lacking behind.

They focus on attracting new drivers that want to control their own life.

And promising your employees freedom while working for you is the best way to snap the best candidates from your competitors.

We know Lyft has used multiple landing pages in the past but their current one shows real professionalism.

Once again, we see a giant, attention-grabbing headline. This time with a question to anticipate curiosity and thought process in their prospects.

And check out the button “APPLY TO DRIVE”. It implies that it’s not 100% sure you’ll be able to get the position.

Making it so your clients have to compete to get a hold of your attention makes it so they try harder in the job itself.

#5 Zoho

Zoho’s landing page is a great example of a more complicated but still extremely powerful messaging.

They use more text than the average software in the industry but that’s not necessarily bad.

For their specific case, they need to convert the prospect to begin a free trial which automatically builds tension in a prospect because he knows it will come a time he’d have to pay.

And converting someone to pay is way harder than just getting their email.

That’s why using more text in their messaging makes it for a powerful copywriting punch that maximizes free-trial registrations.

#6 Squarespace

Squarespace tops the list for the least amount of text in their landing page design.

At first, you may think that is not enough to convert someone.

But once you see that they’re a website builder you can see how the design and the quick and powerful messaging are all you need to sign-up.

They know their prospects mainly struggle with complicated codes and want to show a safe space where they can relax and drag and drop their winning website design.

#7 ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign solely focuses on showing you how their software brings the best customer experience possible.

And if you’re a business owner, you both want to be treated well and want to help your customers in tough times.

Their headline hits 2 birds with one stone and once again there’s no useless text or design.

Everything leads to the big green button and you starting your free trial.

#8 Hubspot

Hubspot is one more CRM that tops out the list today.

They, just like ActiveCampaign, show you that using their software will both help you and your customers feel better throughout the process.

Knowing that their ideal customer’s main objection is that learning a whole new CRM from scratch might be hard, tedious, and maybe even impossible, helps them narrow their message straight to the point.

#9 Shopify Plus

Shopify is one of the most well-known platforms in today’s online space and they know it.

As they’ve been rapidly growing throughout the years, they’ve been able to test out multiple landing page designs to find one that converts.

And the Shopify Plus’s landing page shows for it. 

Their main goal is to book a consultation call with their prospects which takes more than just a couple of words.

They have the budget to shoot professional videos for all of their products and services which helps transfer valuable information to their prospects in the fastest possible way — video.

Down below you see powerful credibility and if you take the time to watch the video, you’re most likely going to book a call with them.

Videos are a deadly weapon in the right business’s hands and Shopify proves that here and pretty much with anything they do.

#10 Webflow

Webflow shows the insights of the software immediately when you land on their landing page.

You can see instant credibility from big websites that have used their services and also you can begin for free.

That breaks any tension the prospect might have.

On top of that, you can see that their software is similar to Photoshop.

So if you’ve ever used Adobe’s products, you immediately know this work will be a piece of cake for you.

#11 ClickFunnels

ClickFunnels uses its software to convert you for a free trial.

And even if you have any skepticism you can play around with the funnel pages and buttons to see the responsiveness of nowadays funnels.

You can see that they use more text than the average website/funnel builder.

But once again they’re trying to convert people to start a 14-day free trial which is not an easy task.

They also use powerful videos that sell directly to their ideal customers.

And the best part is the analytics they’ve slapped on their landing page.

It’s a bold and powerful move if done correctly.

The way these analytics are crafted makes it so they are constantly being updated and it’s not just 100K+ users as you might see on other platforms.

ClickFunnels values its customer’s success stories and is always there to record each result.

It’s one of the harder landing page designs to pull off but if you do it, your conversions will skyrocket.

#12 Conversion Lab

Conversion Lab has been using this landing page design for years now.

We’ve noticed they split test different button CTA-s like book a call, get a free consult, and many more.

Keeping their Founder on the main page of the website builds a long-term relationship many businesses nowadays miss out on.

They clearly state their services through their persuasive headline and even if you’re not ready to book a consultation call with them, a pop-up will appear collecting your email.

Email follow-up is a great way to ensure that a high percentage of prospects that land on your website will end up booking a call with you.

That is all for our list today.

To conclude what you need to know when building your landing page…

  • Find what your best customers struggle the most with and then directly destroy this objection with a short and punchy headline.
  • Use credibility and videos if possible.
  • Know your goals — Is it to get their email, phone, ook a call, start a free/paid trial, or something else?
  • Clear and easy to follow Call to Action

And always, always optimize in the process.

You can NOT be perfect from day one. Every business on this list tests their pages dozens if not hundreds of times before concluding a winner.

And even then, they still optimize.

Have you tried building a landing page before? How’d it go — did it convert well and what were your biggest breakthroughs when doing it?

The post 12 Best Landing Page Examples appeared first on Neil Patel.


Source: New feed 2

How to Get More YouTube Views

how to get more youtube views

Marketers who use YouTube are often in search of tactics for generating more views for their videos.

While not the only metric that determines the success of a YouTube marketing campaign, generating a decent number of views for your videos is something that you should definitely try to achieve on this social media platform.

After all, what’s the point of uploading a video, if nobody is going to watch it, right? Especially your target audience.

Nevertheless, only 9% of small businesses use YouTube, even though it has over a billion users.

So, if your videos aren’t getting enough views, there’s a good chance that you’re missing something, as competition isn’t at peak levels on this media platform just yet.

In this post, we’re going to take a look at tactics that you can use in order to generate more views for your YouTube videos.

We’ll cover some of the fundamentals that will help you over the long term, but also some unique tactics that you can put into action that will help generate quicker results with your target audience.

By the end of this post, you’ll have a high level of confidence, when it comes to knowing what needs to be done in order to generate more views for your YouTube videos.

Let’s begin!

Great Video Content Gets More YouTube Views 

This might sound obvious, but it’s something a lot of people ignore in social media.

If you want your videos to get more views and greater search results, you first and foremost absolutely must create great content.

If you can do that, generating more views for your videos will be a heck of a lot easier.

Go over to InVideo and check out all of the different solutions they offer for people looking to quickly and easily edit amazing videos. You don’t need to have experience as a video editor in order to leverage their tool. It’s easy to use and should be part of any marketer’s arsenal of tools.

People will share your video content on social networks if it is good, so your viewers will end up doing a lot of the promotional work for you.

Since I don’t know your business or your audience – I can’t tell you exactly what you should be doing, in order to create great content.

What I can tell you is this – great content is often content that provides exceptional levels of value.

It’s important that you don’t get caught up in the wrong things, when looking to create great content in getting more YouTube views.

People often worry about content length and production quality.

Sure, content length might matter, to a certain extent. But, are you really going to stop watching a 1-hour video, if it’s providing immense value?

In fact, it’s worth remembering that the average viewing session on mobile is 40 minutes.

Value trumps everything for search results, especially high production quality.

I’m sure that you’ve experienced this for yourself – where you’ve watched a long YouTube video that wasn’t overly produced, right to the end, because it was so informative.

You may have even done that for a webinar – which, in a sense, is similar.

In fact, the video below ranks near the top in YouTube search results for ‘how to make a website.’

It is highly rated, and get this… it’s over 2 hours and 30 minutes long!

youtube views

It’s not overly produced, it’s just high value that meets the need of its target audience.

Here is its ranking.

youtube views screenshot

If you look above it, you’ll notice that the other video is also very long.

So remember, content length isn’t something that you should obsess over on this social network.

The same goes for the production value of a video.

YouTube Views Don’t Depend on Video Production 

More and more marketing companies are investing in YouTube, which means that there are many highly produced videos out there, but you don’t necessarily have to join that pack just yet.

YouTube is a forgiving media site if your content is good.

When your videos start to get some traction, then think about investing in fancy production and camera equipment to help you get more YouTube views.

To begin with, just make sure that you cover the basics with this social media platform.

If you’re creating a ‘talking head’ video – make sure that everything is well lit and that the audio is clear.

If you’re creating a screen capture video, ensure that the resolution is high and the audio is easy to hear.

If you’re creating a slideshow, create something simple and visually engaging. Use strong images and minimal text on your slides. You can use a tool, like Haiku Deck, for this. A custom thumbnail also helps people remember your brand.

For More YouTube Views, Focus on Value Above All Else 

Remember – providing value should be your guiding principle.

If you want to learn how to provide value, you have to learn more about your audience – and, more specifically, what they like.

If you want to learn what content your audience likes, then take a look at the existing content that belongs to your niche.

There are two approaches you can take.

The first is to take a look at blog posts that have done well in your niche.Then, create incredibly informative videos, based on those blog post topics.

You can find such blog posts, using Buzzsumo.

Or, you can just take a look at other YouTube videos that have done well in your niche and create better videos that provide more value and deeper levels of insight.

If you’re an expert in your niche, then it shouldn’t be hard to create better videos, when using other videos as inspiration.

If you find yourself struggling, however, just take a moment to assess what could have been done to improve the other video.

  • Did it ignore something that was actually important?
  • Did the video fail to fully explain certain sections?
  • Did the video fail to provide actual results/case study information?
  • Was the pace too slow –or was it too fast?
  • Was there too much information on the screen – or not enough?
  • Could diagrams have been used to better illustrate a point?
  • Maybe some data could have been used?

You may even want to review the comments about that video.  See if there’s anything that the audience felt was missing.

You can also use the YouTube Search engine to help you come up with content ideas.

Say I’m in the business of teaching people ‘how to build a pond,’ or building it for them and I’m looking to do some content marketing.

I can just type ‘how to build a pond,’ into the ‘YouTube Search box.’  Then. I’m presented with content ideas.

get more youtube views by finding unique content ideas

Not all of the ideas are relevant, so I might select the first option and see what else comes up as a result of ‘Autosuggest.’

If I go with the option of ‘how to build a pond in your backyard,’ I’m presented with some helpful ideas.

increase youtube views

I can then repeat that process, using other keywords, if I want to come up with even more video ideas.

It might also be a good idea to cycle through the alphabet, after having chosen a ‘base’ keyword.

So, this time, I type in ‘how to build a pond a

increase youtube views

And, as you can see, there are plenty of video ideas here that look relevant. I can use those to create super niche video content that will resonate with a certain demographic in the social media platform.

If you have an existing audience on YouTube, consider asking your audience what they’d like you to cover next.

More often than not, your audience will provide you with ideas that you can use.

The great thing about these video ideas is that by acting on them, you can be sure that there will be an audience for them.

If you have done a good job with creating great content that meets people’s needs, you’ll find that organic views will be easier to come by.

Remember, YouTube is a media site that wants to improve the user experience.

The best way that they can do that is by presenting their audience with content that is great.

If your content is great, it will achieve an increased number of comments, shares and positive ratings.

Following all of that, there’s a good chance it will rank higher in search results. There’s no official word on this, but it’s definitely part of the mix.

After all, as mentioned by Brian Dean, YouTube doesn’t have to rely entirely on Backlinks to rank videos in the YouTube Search engine – they also have a ton of detailed user experience data to help them.

This user experience data is arguably much more powerful in letting YouTube know where it should be ranking content.

So, if your videos produce a great user experience, there’s a good chance that they will perform better in the rankings, too.

Optimize Your YouTube Video to Get More YouTube Views 

Optimizing your video can help make it so that your video appears when it should and where it should. This includes the search listings and the ‘related video’ suggestions.

If you want to optimize your video, there are four things that you must take care of.

  • Title
  • Tags
  • Description
  • Thumbnail

It’s easy to over-complicate this and over analyze everything.  Try to keep it simple.

Write Better YouTube Titles 

For the title, it’s important that you don’t try and make it like ‘clickbait.’

If you’ve created your video around a keyword, make sure that your title clearly explains that your video covers the keyword in question.

So, if I created a video, based on the keyword ‘how to bake a chocolate cake for beginners,’ my title might be…

How to Bake a Chocolate Cake for Beginners – Spent $5 and 5 Minutes cleanup

Note: If you want to write great titles, you might want to work out what it is that your audience doesn’t like or fears, in relation to the topic in question.

In the example above, people might worry that it costs a lot to bake a cake and that cleaning up is a pain. If I address that in the title, the video then becomes that much more enticing.

Use YouTube Tags

For the tags, provide some keywords that relate to the topic of your video.

image14

Try not to use more than 10-12 tags with this media site. You’ll lose your target audience and dilute search results data.

Picking the right tags will help your video appear in the ‘suggested videos’ section when someone is watching a related video.

Now, let’s take a look at the description.

Create an Accurate, Optimized YouTube Description 

When writing the description, it’s important that you don’t try to ‘outsmart’ Google. Don’t keyword stuff and don’t rely on any ‘tricks,’ that you might come across.

You could end up over-optimizing your video, which can have the opposite effect. 

Your aim with the description is to clearly describe what the video is about and what people will learn as a result of watching it.

If you look at the top results returned for a YouTube video search, you’ll notice that there will be a wide variation, in terms of what the descriptions look like.

That’s because, as mentioned above, user experience also plays a big role in ranking the video. So, while your description is important, don’t get too stressed out about getting it ‘right.’

That being said, if you absolutely need a checklist for writing your descriptions, here’s one that you can use, courtesy of Brian Dean.

optimize your video for more  youtube views

Here’s what an example description looks like.

youtube description example for more Youtube views

But, as I said, the top-ranking videos all tend to have varying styles that they use for their description.  You don’t necessarily have to follow what is above.

Just provide the story behind your video, what it covers, and what people will learn as a result of watching.

Note: If you want to do something that will improve user experience, consider providing ‘timestamps’ in your description, so that people can quickly get to interesting sections of a video.

YouTube Thumbnail Optimization 

For the thumbnail, there are a number of approaches that you can take. I’ve covered how you can create engaging YouTube thumbnails in this post. A custom thumbnail becomes part of your media platform branding.

For the most part, you can experiment with the following.

  1. Use images of people in your custom thumbnail
  2. Edit your thumbnail to include text overlay, using a keyword, based on the topic your video covers
  3. Include an image that reveals an interesting section of the video – for example, the end result of a ‘how-to video.’

You will tend to find that you’re able to generate the best results when you combine some of the above.

Here’s an example of how you can use an interesting image and relevant text overlay.

improve youtube views

As you can see, the custom thumbnail isn’t overly dramatic. It includes some text, related to the video keyword and an image of an interesting section of the video.

Here’s an example of using the image of a person, with text overlay and even possibly the ‘end result’ that is to be achieved, too.

youtube views thumbnail example

You’ll want to experiment here, of course.  But, those two examples and the tips provided should be enough to let you know what tends to work well.

Experiment With Ads to Drive YouTube Views 

Ads might sound like a little bit of a cop-out here. I get it; you might not want to pay to play the YouTube view game.

Running YouTube Ads is definitely one of the best ways to generate the right kind of views for your videos.

YouTube Ads lets you target your ideal audience and make sure they find out about your video.

It takes a lot of the guesswork out of the whole process on this social media platform.

Running ads allows you to get some real-time feedback, in terms of how good your video is, speeding the process of working out whether or not you have an engaging video on your hands.

If you find that people are watching your video to the end and sharing it a lot, then you know you’re on the right track, in terms of the strategy that you’re using to actually create videos.

So, where to begin?

Note: I’ve covered in detail here, how you can create YouTube Ads.

When it comes to YouTube, there are essentially two kinds of ads that you can run.

  1. Ads that appear before, or while people are watching YouTube videos – ’Instream Ads.’
  2. Ads that appear in the YouTube Search listings – Search listing Ads.

I recommend that you experiment with both.

Using YouTube Search, find videos in your niche that are related to your specific video topic and jot down their URLs.

Then, target those videos, using the placements option.

So, let’s say that I was starting a business that taught people ‘how to bake’ and I’ve just created a video, based on ‘how to bake a cake.’

I head over to YouTube and type in ‘how to bake a cake.’

image03

I then note down the URLs of these videos, in a Google doc.

I then enter in these URLs, when setting up the targeting for my ads.

Of course, not all of the videos list have ‘monetization’ enabled, meaning that you won’t be able to show ads on all of them.

But, if you start with a list of 10-15 videos, you should have good delivery to your target audience.

If you want to target within the YouTube Search listings, then you obviously need some keywords to target.

To find relevant keywords, use the YouTube search box.

Enter in a keyword that explains what your video covers.  Then, write down other relevant keywords that are provided by ‘autosuggest.’

As you can see below, if I enter ‘how to bake a cake,’ I’m presented with relevant keywords worth targeting.

I’ve highlighted some that are potentially worth my while.

fine Youtube keyterms for more youtube views

Note: The assumption here is that I’m teaching people how to bake a simple cake. That is why I’ve chosen those somewhat basic keywords.

If I want even more relevant keywords to target, I just select one of the ideal keywords and then press the ‘spacebar.’

find keyterms for more Youtube views

And, I’m presented with even more keywords to target.

As I mentioned above, you can also cycle through the alphabet to find other relevant keywords.

Then, I just need to note these keywords in a Google Doc and input them, when setting up my ad targeting.

Promote Your YouTube Video Everywhere 

Just because you’ve created a YouTube video doesn’t mean that you can now only promote on YouTube.

Post links for your YouTube content to all of your other digital assets, including your email list or your Facebook page, and other social media sites.

If you know of some influencers who might find your video useful, you may even want to let them know, via email, that you’ve created something that they might enjoy.

Consider posting a link or snippet in your Instagram stories.

Don’t be afraid to let the world know that you’ve got something new to offer.

Increase YouTube Views By Building a Subscriber Base

You’ll also want to focus on building a subscriber base for getting more YouTube views on future content.

If you can get subscribers, your videos will automatically get a good chunk of views, as soon as you post them. If these views represent a good user experience, your video might also do a better job at ranking, too.

Here, I’ve covered how you can get more YouTube subscribers.

Aside from creating good content, there are some key steps that you can take, to get more subscribers.

Mention, at the beginning and end of your video, that subscribing helps get the video out to more people in your social network.

By actually saying it, people may be more inclined to take action.

You can also make an effort to create content consistently.

Creating more videos will ensure there are more ways for your content to be found. This, of course, can help improve your subscriber count.

It also gives people a reason to become subscribers, as they’ll want to know when you publish new content. 

Note: If you can create ‘Evergreen content,’ then the content you create will pay dividends for a long time, as it will still be relevant for people in the future.

This means that the video will drive subscribes, long after its creation.

Conclusion

For many, getting more YouTube views sounds complex and obscure.

Hopefully, you now have a better sense of how to get more viewers to your videos.

There are many avenues that you can go down. The most important step is to create good quality content about topics important to your viewers.

If you can take care of that, everything else you do to get more Youtube views will be much more effective.

Do you have any tips when it comes to generating more YouTube views? Share what works for you in the comments section.

The post How to Get More YouTube Views appeared first on Neil Patel.


Source: New feed 2

The 12 Ironclad Rules for Issuing Press Releases

press release rules

One thing that never changes is our desire to keep up with the news.

These days, most people prefer to read their news online. According to Pew Research, 89% of Americans get at least some of their local news online.

And, it’s not just consumers who are reading the news online. It’s just about everyone. While some SEOs assume press releases are merely an SEO tool, such couldn’t be further from the truth.

press release stats readership vs. U.S. population

News readership statistics for the U.S. population

As a matter of fact, press releases are branding and credibility tools, not SEO tools. They are a great way to get the word out and more effectively brand companies, products, and services.

If a release is engaging enough, it can generate social signals, drive shares, direct targeted and organic traffic, and create journalistic interest abroad. All of this is in addition to the sweet maraschino cherry on top – the possibility of major media coverage.

To get all of these lovely amenities wrapped up with a big, red bow on top, you’ll have to play by the rules.

A press release lets you spread the word about your company and its offerings in an ethical, journalistic-manner that focuses on newsworthiness and branding over SEO, social media, or anything else. The simple tenets of who, what, where, why, and when apply (the five Ws).

To make it work, you’ll need to follow these 12 unbreakable rules for obtaining publicity.

Rule No. 1: Know How to Write a Press Release

If you have never written a press release, consider using a professional content writer or service. Press releases are about telling a story; your story. Writing from a journalistic approach takes years of studying and practice. That’s not to say that any good writer isn’t capable of doing it; it’s just that you want to be as knowledgeable as a professional or hire one.

Press releases must cover something newsworthy. A PR Daily article outlines six necessary AP style guide steps for composing your release to assure that it’s newsworthy.

They include: stating your objective clearly, use the five Ws, minding your spacing, using proper grammar and style, and sharing names and titles correctly and appropriately.

the press release format

The proper format for writing an effective press release

Rule No. 2: Know Your Audience

Writing for your audience is critical when producing any piece of content. A bit of demographical and customer research will go a long way toward achieving this goal.

For example, if your target market consists of the 45-and-over age group, using modern terms that don’t appeal to them won’t do much to help you gain traction. Understand your audience and who you are writing for before you craft your newsworthy release.

Rule No. 3: Understand Targeting

All releases are targeted when you set them up to go out for distribution. Proper targeting can mean the difference between thousands of reads and plenty of traffic streaming back to your money website or the lack thereof.

Be sure you research every industry your company, products, or services apply to before setting your industry targets pre-distribution.

example of business wire targeted services for press releases

Industry targeting options for distributing your press release

Rule No. 4: Craft a Punchy Elevator Pitch

Remember that press releases are a major form of branding, which is exponentially vital in today’s online marketing world. SEO today is often more about branding and engaging content than just getting backlinks.

The best way to write a classy elevator pitch with viral potential is to make sure you know your brand, understand your market and have a deep understanding of the competitive edge you have to offer.

Still, you’ll also want to add some spice, bravado, and swagger to your headline to capture more attention.

A stagnant headline may be newsworthy, but that doesn’t mean it’s not making people pull their hair out when they read it. Read more on these in an article by TechCrunch.

the most amazing press release ever written

An example of the most amazing press release ever written.

How to Write Bad PR Titles

Let’s say you own a software company that is releasing its next version with a much-anticipated update that users have begged for the past few years.

You could propose a boring title like: “XYZ Software Company Announces Newest Version of XYZ Pro.” This title certainly is newsworthy. It’s definitely going to get approved by the editors. But the problem is that it’s boring. It does nothing to engage the reader.

How to Create Good PR Titles

Try to be more creative. Revamp the title above to make it punchier, catchier, and more engaging. For instance: “Almost Human: XYZ Pro Takes Thinking Out of Doing; New Update Adds Human-Response Feature to Interface.”

Rule No. 5: Abide by the Editing Process

Editors at press release distribution services, newspapers, and online news websites are stringent. Keep in mind that they are usually fervent studiers of the English language, AP style, tone, and prose. They don’t see any wiggle room in proper grammar or adherence to style; they see only black and white with no spatial gray area in between.

A Community Tool Box publication offers some tips on avoiding press release rejection by using proper grammar, spelling, titles, style, and prose. Remember, editors won’t fix your document for you; that’s on you. They might make minor changes.

However, if your release is not almost picture-perfect, it will go in the rejection pile with all of the other shoddily composed (and promptly rejected) news releases that editors get bombarded with day after day.

Read this article by the Torontoist to find out what editors – like the one at the Star, mentioned in the article – do when they are over-inundated with error-prone articles and news releases.

Rule No. 6: Collaborate to Succeed

Teamwork goes far in helping to develop an effective press release. Collaboration is how some of the finest marketing pieces are created.

So why limit the idea of the piece and its composition to just your ideas? Instead, brainstorm with a few others and co-create and co-write the piece together. This will improve clarity and can drastically enhance the quality of your press release.

Rule No. 7: Cross-Promote to Gain Credibility

Cross promoting is often called free advertising, which is exactly how the Edward Lowe Foundation references it. Cross promoting can help your information spread across multiple platforms quickly.

But, there are three inherent rules of cross-promotion: cost, control, and credibility.

Finding a cross-promotion partner is easy if you already do business with them. Imagine splitting the cost of the press release distribution and syndication with a brand that improves your overall branding and reach.

Reaching out to a few business partners may be you need to find a cross-promotion partner for your next PR campaign.

Rule No. 8: Use Quality Distribution Channels

Cheap distribution is not good, and good distribution is not cheap. Distribution costs money, plain and simple.

There’s a lot of squabble online about which press release distribution service is the best. Speaking from personal experience, there is only a handful worth using.

I’ve nailed Wall Street Journal time and time again using Berkshire Hathaway’s Business Wire, but it costs $400 or more for a release with a 400-word limit. (They charge you for every 100 words after that.) You’ll also pay a pretty penny to add photos, videos, social media signals, and so forth.

Marketwire gets decent traction and features an awesome dashboard with good analytics. PR Web is the most profitable of all distribution services but still charges nearly as much for tier-one distribution as the other services.

As for add-ons, you get more bang for your buck on PR Web because you can add videos, images, and hyperlinks for free. Other services to consider include: PR Newswire, B Wire, and 1888PressReleases.

logos of quality press release outlets

Distribution services provide varying degrees of options for your press release.

Rule No. 9: Syndicate Post-Distribution

Syndicating your press release is crucial. Sure, it’s going out to all of these places. But, if you don’t take some additional “traction-action” yourself, you could be wasting your own time and money.

Ensure that your social channels are all set up to syndicate your press release. That means Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Reddit, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. When syndicating your press release, you will want to access the dashboard and find different major mediums that it was posted to for distribution. Use a different medium for each social channel syndication. For example:

  • I watch as my PR goes out around the world. Once it hits major portals like the Boston Globe, the Sacramento Bee, or the Houston Chronicle, I take those hyperlinks and use a different one with a unique description for each social channel I syndicate on.
  • I post my Boston Globe clipping on Facebook and say something like: “Boston Globe Covers XYZ Software Release in Feature Publication.”
  • Then I take the Houston Chronicle listing and send that out on Twitter using a unique description, and so on.
  • Rinse and repeat. Don’t worry about trying to get social traffic back to your website. Rather, focus on branding and creating viable credibility and increased social signals that ultimately do wonders for your website.

Facebook social syndication for press releases

Syndicate your press release post-distribution through your social channels

Rule No. 10: Gain Social Traction

There’s only one service I’d recommend for your press release’s syndication on social channels, and that service is Pitch Engine. This is a social branding and marketing distribution service that you piggyback with your press release.

It allows you to track social analytics and traction as you gain more headway. You’ll want to write a unique copy of the actual release for Pitch Engine to gain even more traction.

When you do syndicate your actual release on social media (as explained above), consider boosting those posts to spread brand awareness, garner more social signals, and create chatter.

pitch engine for press releases 

Rule No. 11: Repost with Content Discretion

Avoid reposting the actual press release on your website because this can denigrate your content authenticity and page-score ranking with Google and the other search engines.

Instead, write a unique teaser paragraph or two, then link it to the release on the host site that distributed it or one of the major media outlets that picked it up.

This greatly enhances credibility with your site visitors because they see that you were just covered in the New York Times (and they can read your full release on that portal instead of reading it on your site). Imagine how that makes them feel about your brand.

Rule No. 12: Enhance Your Release with SEO and Pictures

Most press release distribution services offer a few very worthwhile add-ons. The first is the SEO enhancement feature. By all means, opt for do-follow links. A few more high PR backlinks will never hurt your website.

Consider expanded distribution to hit more sites, albeit at an increased cost. For example, if you are a multinational company, consider worldwide distribution with AP Newswire syndication.

If you are a domestic company, target national regions to hit every major news medium in the U.S. instead of the limited newsfeeds in your set geo-region.

Finally, pictures, videos, and sound files are worth a million words. Adding these multimedia elements to your press release helps gather more attention, improves social media reach, and drives brand awareness.

Ultimately, the future of your public relations – and your brand’s reputation – is in your hands. Make the most of it.

Has your company had success with press releases? Share your experiences below! 

The post The 12 Ironclad Rules for Issuing Press Releases appeared first on Neil Patel.


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