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Old 23rd May 2007, 04:23 PM   #1
thejenn
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Default New Article - A Rebuttal To Neil Patel's Social Media Landing Page Article

Authored by: Jennifer Laycock

Full Text: http://www.searchengineguide.com/laycock/010068.html

A Snippet:

While I've always found Neil Patel's insight into the Social Media landscape to be pretty insightful, I think his latest Search Engine Land article about social media landing pages completely misses the mark. While Neil's proposed social media style landing pages may go a long way toward making social media visitors happy, I have to ask... at what cost to your business?

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Old 24th May 2007, 10:33 AM   #2
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Good rebuttle Jen. I didn't think Neil's article had much substance to it to begin with and you made your case well.

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Old 24th May 2007, 12:18 PM   #3
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I agree with the concept of developing landing pages to appeal to a market segment (social media readers) but don't like the idea of stripping out out nav buttons or NOT adding viral marketing elements (such as email forwards and newsletter sign up options).

I have a hard time thinking anyone, even Digg users, would expect or want a webmaster to do this. It just goes against the nature of the Web/Net

Still - if there is enough research data to support creating pages that are stripped down versions of a 'regular' webpage, then this wouldn't be hard to do.

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Old 24th May 2007, 12:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Debra View Post
I don't know the demopgraphics behind Digg users ( does anyone know a resource that does?)
Try:
http://blogs.zdnet.com/micro-markets/?p=790
and
http://www.modernlifeisrubbish.co.uk...aphics-of-digg
and
http://www.themulife.com/?p=165

Computer and tech savvy, mostly male, informal surveys showing over half in the 18-28 age group. Incredibly high percentage of them use Firefox. Nearly 70% from the USA and Canada.

Anecdotally, I am told "the community" there collectively hate SEO related articles and will bury them without mercy.

Beyond that, I don't know that much. They're not my target audience, generally speaking...

--Torka

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Old 24th May 2007, 02:22 PM   #5
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Thanks Diane, caught me before the edit I see!

Haven't had a chance to read the links yet but using the info provided, let's look at the demographic:

Computer and tech savvy, mostly male, informal surveys showing over half in the 18-28 age group. Incredibly high percentage of them use Firefox. Nearly 70% from the USA and Canada.

Let's break it down.

Over half in the 18-28 age group - ok we don't know what the total number is but that is less important than knowing their ages. What we can't get from the info is what this age group typically likes across the board. Find that out and you'll have a good idea what to write on and/or from what angle.

Computer and tech savvy - This makes sense as the younger generation has grown up on search engines and computers in general. They know how to navigate a webpage and understand online ads. Which is also why...

High percentage of them use Firefox . Not surprising given the age and high computer use. Firefox is a younger company and exemplifies a young and rebellious spirit on the Web. Traits Digg users pocess.

USA and Canada - Digg is an American invention and CA is it's closest neighbor so it stands to reason it would have a large base from both countries.


It's not surprising then to hear someone make a recommendation to add a Firefox logo, take out advertising, move navigation areas etc - when creating landing pages for Digg users.

However the article was written as a suggestion for social media sites. Digg demographics may be different than those of a magnolia or 43 Things or a Reddit. In marketing, one size seldom fits all.

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Old 24th May 2007, 04:03 PM   #6
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But Debra, even if you do it for Digg users...what have you gained?

For example, I made the front page of Digg earlier this year with the whole pork/lactivist fiasco. Let's consider what I would have accomplished if I'd done what Neil suggests...

1.) Remove advertising. Well...I didn't really have any ads, just a banner ad for the shirts, so it wasn't an issue then. I do have ads now. If I'd removed them from that page, my advertisers (who pay to be on my site for a reason) lose out. At the same time, if anyone likes what they find enough to want to visit other pages and get to know my site, they're going to have to view ads on the other pages. Why not give them realistic expectations from the beginning?

If I surprise them with ads once I've "sucked them in with great content" I run the risk of turning them away. After all, the realty of my site wouldn't be what is "advertised" on that Digg landing page. If I have the ads on the landing page and people know what to expect...well, won't I get a better reception from those who choose to stick around?

2.) Removing navigation... There's no way in hades I'd do that. Granted, Digg is not my target audience, so chances are small that they're going to stick around, but even if they do, consider these two things...

a.) For those who wish to learn more about me and read more about my site, I've hidden the method they would use to do so. In other words, I've taken the group that I MOST want to make happy (possible repeat visitors) and I've made their lives more difficult (by hiding my navigation).

b.) From my perspective, a page on Digg with no navigation REEKS of link bait that has been written not to serve the user and build a better site, but rather to draw attention, traffic and links from sites like Digg. If Digg users are really so turned off by marketing, wouldn't they be smart enough to recognize this tactic and think that the site is trying to scam them?

3.) Removing social media buttons. This one is ironic really...as I've never had them on the Lactivist before or since that incident. But I put them on that page because I knew that page would be visited by people that use social media sites. Sure enough, it made the front page of Digg, Reddit, Netscape, StumbleUpon and a few othes. I've got to think half the reason is because it was there as a call to action...

Wouldn't I be shooting myself in the foot if I made it harder for SM users to USE social media?

4.) Adding logos that make Digg types happy. Yeah, well, no reason to do this. I was already blogging about boobs, pork and annoying lawyers. Digg users like all those things, so I'd already sucked up enough.

My point is that while these things may score you more votes on Digg, the question of whether or not they score you more customers isn't being answered.

Now what I'd love to see is someone doing an A/B test that features a Neil style version and a regular version and that funnels users to each one randomly when they click from Digg. Then track to see what rate users from each group vote, spread the word and convert.

It'd be pretty much impossible to gather that data, but based on the usage and engagement patterns I've spotted in the log files of sites with good social media hits, I'm far from convinced that sacrificing visitor experience in the hopes of gathering more visitors is going to result in more conversions.

Because really...I thought we'd moved past this attitude of "if I get enough traffic, eventually some will convert" and had instead embraced the idea of solid marketing strategy integrated into a new marketing medium.

Then again, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the entire goal here is traffic for the sake of traffic?

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Old 25th May 2007, 12:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
But Debra, even if you do it for Digg users...what have you gained?
With that crowd, probably as much as you would had you left the ads in place and offered a viral componenet...which means not much.

Quote:
Then again, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the entire goal here is traffic for the sake of traffic?
That may be true in news type stories where people are digging them to bring around attention, rack up points or just share sensationalism.

But for the other guys, the ones writing the top ten lists and sharing the adventure stories in the hopes of attracting attention to sites - to NOT have viral options on the site is a waste of business opportunity.

Which is what you said I believe!

Recently I watched a Digg campaign that involved submitting a funny top ten list for a business site in the hopes of attracting links. A landing page was built to house the list and used the basic template of the website - which included nav links plus those leading to several sign up options. The story was dugg to the front page and stayed there for a half day or so, then filtered off.

The links didn't materialize but the sign ups did. The client was happy with the information captured because of the conversion potential and considered the tactic a success. Bully for her, but I still had to come up with the contracted links! Back to old fashioned link building for that.

One last thing about Digg - I find gold in the comments, especially with topics that compare and contrast or show multiple examples of things. For example, http://digg.com/design/60_Elegant_an...alling_Designs

People comment and leave URLs of other websites they like as resources. Great way to find "inside" type sites and/or new prospects to link with.

Kinda veered off topic, sorry.

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Old 29th May 2007, 01:01 PM   #8
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Don't agree with creating specific landing pages for social media visitors at all. If anything, your landing pages should be fully optimized for ALL visitors, not just those coming from social media. If a company is looking to build long term (and profitable) relationships with consumers; as Jen said - just be yourself.

Today, consumers are savvy enough to see right through marketing fluff; and for the most part, these consumers generally don't convert well anyway.

If your site has value-ad content in any form, it will undoubtedly travel accross the internet with/without your help.

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