February 17, 2010

How Writers can Use Landing Pages to Drive Visitors to their Site

The Internet has brought about a cheap and efficient way for writers to publish their work. It is very easy for a writer to create a free personal web site or blog where he can upload his writings and make them accessible to anyone who has a computer and an Internet connection.

Unfortunately, this advance in technological development has also brought about the need for writers to perform an additional task: that of making sure that his written works can be found by his readers in the World Wide Web. This task is called web page optimization and the optimizing aspect is done not so much for people who will read the work but to make the work friendlier to the search engines.

The writer needs to infuse his work with search words or phrases that his readers might use in searching for his work. Not only does he need to introduce the search words and phrases in his work, the writer is required to repeat them a number of times to prove to the search engine that this article must be included if a searcher uses those terms to look for relevant information in the Internet.

This state of things has resulted in the degradation of the quality of the writer's work and has affected its readability. The repetition of the so-called keyword phrases within the written work can become irritating to some readers and can make the work more boring and less interesting to read. Yet the writer has to swallow the bitter pill if he wants his readers to more readily find his work on the Internet. Oftentimes, the writer needs to perform a balancing act wherein he would add the keyword phrases creatively so as not to make his work sound repetitious and boring.

But there is a scheme which the writer can use so that he can metaphorically have his cake and eat it too. The scheme involves writing a page that is loaded with the targeted keyword phrase and posting this page on article submission sites which abound in the Internet. A number of such pages which are euphemistically called landing pages can be prepared and submitted to high ranking sites that accept articles on various topics for posting on their sites.

It's a quid pro quo arrangement wherein the submission sites get free content and the writer gets a chance to have prominence in the search engine results pages for the keyword that was targeted on the landing page. The submission site also allows the writer to place a few self-serving links on the article to invite the reader to visit his site and get the satisfaction that was promised on the landing page. With a number of optimized landing pages distributed among high ranking article submission sites, the writer's web site or blog gets a bigger chance of being visited by information searchers and readers in the Internet.

You should not however write an outright sales letter that would showcase the benefits that the readers can gain by visiting your site. The article submission site might reject your article on grounds that it is an outright sales offer from you. The trick is to pick an interesting story in your blog's niche and write about it, then creatively draw the reader for more interesting stuff to your blog or web site.

This doesn't mean that you would no longer have to do any optimization work on the pages on your web site. There are other optimization tasks that do not involve the actual content of your web pages like the META tags and how your pages are linked to one another. You can very well include subtle optimizations on the content but not as much as the optimization done on the landing pages that you wrote.

Writers who have been writing before the advent of search engine optimization find it difficult to write optimized articles outrightly with the targeted keyword phrases surreptitiously inserted on various parts of the written work. If you find it a bit difficult to do this, then you can write a straight article without optimization and then later while editing your work change some of the phrases or words into the targeted keyword phrase. The search term may not outrightly fit into some sentences which have to be recast so as to accommodate the targeted keyword phrases.

Your targeted keyword phrase must appear on the title of the landing page and you can also use the keyword phrases as headings on the article. You should include as much substantive content as you possibly can to prevent your work from sounding like a sales pitch. However, you should not include everything in it that your reader need not go to your web site anymore because all that he needed to know were already included in your article. You must leave important things unsaid so as to pique the curiosity of the reader and induce him to visit your site.

End your article with a strong call to action and if possible, make the last sentence end with the targeted keyword which you should use as a hyperlink to the home page of your blog or web site. This would greatly increase the probability of getting what the article submission sites called a click through which means that the reader got so interested in your blog or web site that he is induced to click the link to take a look at your site. The click through rate or CTR is a search engine optimization measure of how effective your landing page is. When writing your landing page, don't forget your overriding objective which is to make the reader interested enough that he would click the link to your web site.

In sum, writers need not have to perform too much optimization of their web site's pages which could result in making the pages sound uninteresting and boring. They can instead write landing pages that contain a link to their web sites and submit these to high ranking article submission sites. They can then infuse only subtle optimization to the actual pages of their blogs or web sites.