You can do a lot of different things with landing pages, be it selling something, encouraging visitors to subscribe to a newsletter, or trying to get people to sign a petition. No matter which of these goals you have, you are ultimately trying to get visitors to perform an action.

Making a great landing page seems like it should be easy, but it is more complex than you may think. This leads to poor sales because a landing page is only working if it is getting people to convert.

With that in mind, let’s examine the most common problems with landing pages.

  1. Mismatching Text Ad Copy and Landing Page Headline – There are numerous reasons you should make sure your Google AdWords text ads match your landing page headline. For users, the text ad creates an expectation, and you don’t want to confuse your visitors or make them feel mislead. The quality of your landing page also decides cost-per-click in AdWords, so if you raise your quality score, you will lower your cost-per-click.
  2. Poor Grammar and Misspelled Words – Throwing up a quick landing page is always a terrible idea because it leads to a ton of smaller problems. One of those is bad spelling and grammar. This is one of those mistakes that just shouldn’t be allowed to happen. Your visitors will take any reason you give them to not convert, and this one is a big reason to leave.
  3. No Trust Signals – To get visitors to convert, you have to establish trust. You can build this into your landing page in just a few ways. If you establish your brand’s popularity, people will view it as credible. You can also present your 3rd party certifications with organizations like Verisign or the Better Business Bureau. You can also establish trust by making positive mentions of your brand in the press easily available on the landing page.
  4. Lack of Good Call-to-Actions – You’re call to actions are important to help make people convert. They should also be compelling, with practical language, and solid, consistent design. You should also keep it short, between 90 and 150 characters. You need to make it clear what you want the visitor to do, but short enough to keep their attention.
  5. Poor Quality Videos or Images – Videos on your landing page can help boost conversion rates by about 80%. Images don’t raise conversions that much, but they still have their own positive effect on visitor activity. This doesn’t mean you can just toss up any image or video you want however. Poor quality images or videos will actually lower conversion rates rather than improve them.

Eric Siu from Unbounce has even more common mistakes, but these will help get you started with making sure users are converting. Remember, if users aren’t converting, your landing page has problems.


There are so many options to personalize and remarket ads to your potential customers online, you may actually be annoying those consumers and driving them away. No one wants to see ads tailored to them on every site they visit, all asking them to come back and buy a product they browsed for hours ago.

So, David Rodnitzky put together a list at Search Engine Land, which should help you be a fine-tuned marketer, not an annoying, stalker type. Here’s a look:

1. Attribution

Because you’re using so many vehicles to get your message across, you need to know which ones are working and how well they’re working. Attribution tracking allows you to discover how a consumer got to your site, but it’s a pricey service.

2. Frequency Caps

You can use the attribution data to find out what is superfluous in your advertising strategy. Limit the number of times users see your ads on a given channel based on how well those ads work and how they work in combination with your other campaigns.

3. Change your creative

With the data you’re collecting, you can discover what stage users typically are when they see specific ads. Use that knowledge to tailor your ads content and message. Ads for users who are early in the process can be about awareness, while ads for users later in their shopping process can be focused on conversions.

4. Risk v Reward

Consider how many consumers you will alienate with ads when looking at how many more conversions you could get. If you run some ads more to get a slight increase in conversions, you may also be increasing the number of consumers who swear off your site because of over-bearing ads.


How much should you budget for paid search? You have a lot of options, but you obviously want the one that will get you the most bang for your buck. Bill Hunt, columnist for Search Engine Land, offers three options for how to think about your budget.

How Much Could We Spend?

This budget is your “pie in the sky” option. It gives you an idea how much it would cost to have the absolute best search performance possible, and you likely can’t afford it, unless you have a magical unlimited amount of money. While most don’t want to think about the high cost options they can’t afford, this option helps understand the importance of aligning keywords to buy cycles, as well as the value of organic traffic.

How Much Would We Spend?

This budget is the amount you are already hoping to spend when you decide to invest in SEO. When you first begin improving your search performance, you come in with a preset idea of what would be optimal for your budget. Of course, this is likely not optimal for your search engine performance. This is helpful for establishing what you could get for your budget, and letting you see what you would be missing out on.

How Much Should We Spend?

This is the amount you should spend to maximize keywords and provide maximum yield of business goals. This amount is what is best for your business, though it is likely not the best for your wallet immediately. It will return the investment quickly, however. It takes into account organic performance for important and expensive keywords, making you rank highly and reducing the cost overall.


The importance of seeing these three options laid out in front of you is to see the full range of possibilities. Most companies don’t know what they have available to them in the search marketing arena, and you can see how you would perform in each scenario.


Cyberbullying has made headlines across the country recently and with good reason. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for those age 15-24 and many of those deaths stem from bullying.

School districts across the country are standing up to try to educate their students on the dangers of cyberbullying. One particular school district in Maryland has made November Social Media Month after a student took her own life. The key is for youths to speak up if they are being bullied and to get help before it gets worse.

I’ve written a lot about branding for your clients, but do you know that personal branding is just as important to your success as a designer?

You hopefully do, because personal branding is far from a new idea, but social media has made personal branding as available as ever before. It is also a much more competitive field now.

To make yourself a valued brand, follow this collection of tips. They will help you climb above the competition.

  1. Set Goals and Plan Ahead – Before you ever begin to define your brand, you have to think ahead and see where you want to be a few months or even a year or two from now. Are you trying to get a new job, or do you want to stay a freelancer? How do you want to grow your business? Once you know where you want to be, you can layout a plan to help get you there.
  2. Know and Understand Your Brand – The look and feel of your brand is a lot more than just a brand or a couple of social media accounts. You have to keep a consistent image in all mediums at all times. As Jacob Cass from Just Creative puts it, “The fundamental idea and core concept behind having this ‘corporate image’ is that everything you do, everything you own and everything you produce, should reflect the values and aims of your personal brand as a whole.”
  3. Create and Maintain Your Brand – One of the best ways to set yourself apart from the crowd is to have a unique visual identity that is consistent and reflective of your goals. You should also maintain social media accounts in ways that reflect your brand positively. Are you of any value to your followers and friends? Or are you wasting the biggest platforms to promote your brand?

Above all, the secret to personal branding is the same for many things in life. Plan ahead, and follow through. If you put forth a solid, planned image to the public, and follow through with valuable content, people will come to respect your personal brand.


Mostly, I use this space to talk about concerns and tips for small to medium business owners. But today, let’s look at how the other half lives, so to speak.

When it comes to so-called luxury brands, which means companies who sell very expensive things that you don’t really need, all the rules and tips for social media marketing don’t apply.

Unmetric recently published their Luxury Fashion report to shed some light on how well-known labels like Dior, Burberry and Louis Vitton conduct themselves online. Erika Morphy has more on that at Forbes. What I learned is that those luxury brands don’t need to follow the rules.

You’re told to interact with your audience and make your business’s page a community. Some luxury brands don’t allow any consumers to even comment on their Facebook page and most others won’t respond. Some brands won’t even respond to tweets.

So let this give you something to shoot for. Become a globally recognized force in your industry and you won’t have to try anymore to maintain a profitable social media presence.

Adwords is making some dramatic changes once again. In October, Google brought back the ‘Rotate Indefinitely’ option for campaigns even though they didn’t recommend the option themselves. Now, Google will be making campaigns not set to ‘rotate indefinitely’ default to ‘optimize for conversions’.

As posted to the iNeedHits blog, Google estimates the change will increase conversions by 5-percent across the board. With the ‘optimize for conversions’ option, Google will dynamically change bids from advertisers to run ads with the greatest chance of creating a conversion.

Users who prefer to ‘optimize’ manually can do so by using the ‘Conversion Optimizer’ and ‘Enhanced CPC’ tools, which can track advertising bids likely to lead to conversion and ensure ads with high chances of conversion are being shown the most without an increse in budget.

Google will make the change the week of November 12th. This means that you’ll need to do your homework before then to make sure your campaigns aren’t automatically switched to something you don’t want.

Have you ever wondered if your site was penalized by Google through automated algorithms or a real human person? Now, you will almost always know because Google reports almost 100 percent of manual penalties.

Matt Cutts, head of Google’s web spam team, described this new policy at Pubcon this year, saying, “We’ve actually started to send messages for pretty much every manual action that we do that will directly impact the ranking of your site.”

“If there’s some manual action taken by the manual web spam team that means your web site is going to rank directly lower in the search results, we’re telling webmasters about pretty much all of those situations.”

Cutts did clarify that there may be rare instances where this doesn’t occur, but their aim to get to 100-percent.

In June, at SMX Advanced, Cutts gave a figure of 99 percent reporting, but Cutt believes they are currently reporting every instance of manual actions.

Danny Sullivan from Search Engine Land has more information about the distinction between manual and algorithmic actions.


If you’re a college student, you’re using some form of social media. I say that with the utmost confidence because you’re reading this, so you know how to use the Internet.

However, the way you use social media should change the closer you get to graduation. Your profile can’t all be about last night’s kegger or foam party. Employers are not as impressed as they should be by that.

So, follow these 10 tips, as initially suggested by Meagan Cook at Business2Community.

1. Be you

I’m not suggesting you abandon all fun aspects of your life in order to showcase your employable attributes. You still need to come across as a real, multi-dimensional person. Just don’t eliminate yourself from contention for a job with questionable statements or pictures.

2. Connect with the pros

Just because you’re still in school doesn’t mean you can’t connect with those working in your desired field. Use Twitter to retweet them or ask them questions. Use LinkedIn to network with them and get career advice. The more familiar they are with your name and background, the better chance they’ll think of you after graduation.

3. Hunt for jobs

Follow recruiters on Twitter and respond to possible opportunities. Even if you aren’t quite qualified, you can ask for any similar internship or entry-level openings.

4. Ask questions

You can strike up a conversation with those already working in your industry by asking them about what you’re learning. You’re not trying to argue with them, but you’re also not a ‘yes man’. Have an intelligent discussion.

5. Speak English

Or, more accurately, don’t speak in text lingo. It doesn’t paint you as an intelligent, employable person. Typing out full words and correct spelling may be hard, but it’s way easier than unemployment.

6.  It’s not always about you

Sure, you are hoping your social media presence helps you get a job. But, you can’t always talk about your accomplishments. Give credit to others when applicable. It makes you seem less selfish, more well-rounded and increases your chance to get mentioned by others.

7. Show-off

When you have a chance, showcase your expertise in proper forums. Establish yourself as a knowledgable, credible source.

8. Don’t work blue

You don’t have to pretend you’re in church all the time, but there’s no need for explitives in social media. You’ve got time to think of something more clever and something that employers won’t object to.

9. Plant seeds

The earlier you start the process, the better off you’ll be. You want to be able to allow the process to work, not rush it along. Gradually build yourself up and establish a presence in your field.

10. Stay in the discussion

Even if you aren’t knowledgable about a specific subject, you can still be a part of the conversation. Showing a readiness to learn is important so ask questions.

It is easy to underestimate the power of emails to create conversions. However, sending the right email at the right time can actually increase sales dramatically. If done well, a single automated email can increase sales by 10%.

Here are three email remarketing tactics that can help you start driving conversions you may be missing out on.

1) Educational Email Course – While some customers that come to your site are already aware of how your product will solve their problems, many will not come equipped with a good understanding of the problem or why the solution you offer is important.

An educational email course helps walk your uninformed potential customers from understanding their problem to the checkout. It also helps build your reputation and credibility.

By showing customers why they should trust you as an expert, as well as sharing information, you help consumers progress along the The Buyer’s Journey. Once they get to the point where they are ready to purchase, they will choose to go with the company that was with them from the beginning.

Just don’t overwhelm them with emails. Six to eight emails a month will be able to drive conversion rates up, but an email a day will send potential customers running.

2) A/B Test Your Most Profitable Campaigns – We all know why you should be A/B testing your webpages, but have you thought about testing transactional and remarketing campaigns? Most don’t, but Chris Hexton from Unbounce suggests it is just as important, if not more so.

Choose your most effective email, and begin A/B testing. Change the copy, or maybe the subject line. Maybe even try different addresses to send the email from.

3) Prompt Users to Pay More When the Time is Right – If you have multiple payment tiers or annual pricing, you should really already be doing this. Take a look at your current metrics and see which segment of users are already upgrading, and create an automated email to prompt all who would be included in this group. Now, once you have begun to understand the behavior driving upgrades, find an email that will pre-empt this type of action.

By pre-empting users with a call-to-action, they are likely to respond, especially if you can circle in on users that have been paying monthly for a few months. They will likely want to upgrade to annual payments.

While these suggestions are far from a comprehensive list of solid email remarketing tactics, they are easy and can help rejuvinate your email marketing.