Mequoda Summit Boston 2008 Coverage: Website Architecture Tips

How to design landing pages that convert visitors into subscribers and buyers

In our Website Architecture session today at the Mequoda Summit, Don talked about best practice sites and their many landing pages. These landing pages are organized by two types:

An organic landing page is a landing page that is attracting traffic naturally by Google, with the main objective to get an email address. It includes the home page, topic page, article page, glossary tag index, glossary tag page, author page, and rapid conversion landing page (or name-squeeze page.

A dedicated landing page is a landing page that’s primary purpose is to sell a product. It includes the salesletter page and marketplace page.

According to Don, on average an organic webpage gets about a 3-5% conversion rate while a dedicated landing page receives about 20%.

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As far as design-goes, a few notes from this session:

– 95% of users are using 1280×1024 monitors, so you can plan to design for a site that has about a 900-pixel width. One attendee joked, “you might argue that if they’re not at least using 1024, they’re probably not going to spend money anyway”.

– Use permalinks on all of your articles. Permalinks are links to your pages that don’t change depending on elements of the page. When a blogger or site wants to link to your site, providing them with a link that they know won’t change makes your site more likely to be linked to.

– According to eye-tracking tests, users search for navigation on the right-side of the page rather than anywhere else. Ad-driven publishers may choose to use the right side of the page for ads (for that very reason), but for product-driven publishers, the right side is best.

– Google loves tag pages. Tag pages are the keywords attached to your articles and are very popular with celebrity sites. On sites like, every celebrity is considered a tag, and every time you see the name of a celebrity it links to its tag page. On that page, you find bio information, articles and other content related to the tag (or celebrity in this case).

– Every page on your site must be able to convert a visitor into a subscriber or buyer. On organic landing pages, you should have several OFIEs, OFINs and other conversion elements (described here: 6 Ways to Improve your Website Conversion Rates) where users can easily subscribe to your email newsletter. Them after they have subscribed, they should immediately be upsold to a paid product. On dedicated landing pages, a subscriber should be able to find, navigate and buy a product easily.


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