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Archive for Subscription Website Publishing

Subscription Website Publishing posts focus on what to consider when building and operating a subscription website.

In this section, you’ll learn the difference between membership and subscription sites, how to build a successful subscription website, increase sign-ups, align content, and the best practices for running successful subscription websites.

Free Download: Learn how to choose the best subscription pricing and single-copy pricing strategy for your subscription websites and subscription apps when you download a FREE copy of our How to Use Contrast Pricing to Increase Subscription Revenue report today.

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The Importance of Article Landing Pages

The objective of the article landing page is to be picked up by search engines, capture the user’s interest and lead the user to a transaction.

Most website users are familiar with organic landing pages. Whether on an Internet hub, a retail site, or a membership website, organic landing pages contain content that is of interest to the user.

Generally, organic landing pages are wide open and full of content that the publisher has designed to be attractive to users and search engines. Essentially, an organic landing page is trying to get an Internet user to find it using the Google, Yahoo and MSN search engines.   Continue

Understanding the Architectural Elements of a Web Page

All online direct response transactions begin on landing pages

Mequoda research indicates that on most websites, a maximum of 20 percent of the traffic arrives at the home page. In fact, on many sites, as little as four or five percent of website traffic arrives at the site’s home page, with the rest arriving at much “deeper” pages.

Unlike traditional direct mail or retail marketing, where the user experience is more linear, every page on your website is a potential landing page. That’s because a landing page is the first page a user sees when entering your site, and a user can enter your site and “land” almost anywhere.   Continue

How to Choose a Web Host

Questions to ask before you decide on a Web host

There are thousands of Web hosting companies, based all over the world. So it may look like rocket science and become overwhelming if you’re trying to compare them all. If you’re new to Web hosting, here are a few questions that you can anticipate hosting providers will ask you.   Continue

Master the details of strong conversion architecture in incremental steps and with testing

Every website landing page should be designed with a complete organization, labeling, and navigation scheme that enables users to fulfill their goals effortlessly. But where do you start?

Learning how to increase landing page conversion rates can mean the difference between the success and failure of your Internet marketing program.

You can have first-class products and create a beautiful website, but if your site is difficult to use, it will be nearly impossible to get casual visitors to become loyal buyers.   Continue

Use Power Words in Your Headlines

You’ll write strong, engaging headlines when you use proven power words

The ideal headline for your sales letter landing page, print ad or email promotion is a statement of your product’s unique selling proposition or the promise that it’s going to satisfy a need or solve a problem.

The headline is an advertisement for an advertisement. It must grab the reader’s attention with such force that she can’t resist reading the next sentence.   Continue

Get free help from Wordtracker and Google

Determining the appropriate keywords and keyword phrases for your website landing pages can be easy and absolutely free.

How sophisticated is your landing page optimization strategy? Do you know precisely what keywords and keyword phrases you’re targeting? Have you made a list and do you refer to it often?

If not—if you haven’t got a list of your targeted keywords—now is a good time to create it and keep it handy when writing your online articles and tips.   Continue

8 Landing Page Templates

The newest free report from the Mequoda Group

Looking for a crash course in landing pages? How about for free?

Well you’re in luck, Mequoda has a new free special report: 8 Master Landing Page Templates and When to Use Them. Just follow the link, submit your email address and the report is yours.

Landing pages are a vital component to any Internet marketing system. If you’re not optimizing your landing pages, the time to start is now because you are losing conversions.   Continue

Are Hackers Targeting You?

There are simple ways to solve huge computer security problems

It’s a crazy week at work. You’re the last one out of the office, cranking out work until 11 p.m. The last thing you do before leaving is lock the door. Without locking the door, your entire business would be vulnerable.

Luckily, there are only a few sets of keys to your office, so it’s well protected. But what if everyone in the neighborhood had a key? Or what if everyone knew that jiggling the handle would pop the door open? How safe would your business be then?   Continue

More Conversions through Better Links

Links may be old, but they’re still vital

Although search engines have taken over most Internet navigation, outbound and inbound links on your website are still important. They are how users navigate your site, discover your products and are sent to your affiliates. Users are counting on your links.

There are many different opinions and guidelines on links, but this post will only focus two aspects: their appearance and their target coding.   Continue

Beating Banner Blindness

These internet marketing tips can help your website’s ads generate more revenue
Banner blindness is a real problem for publishers and advertisers. Banners that are not seen are not clicked, lowering the sponsor’s ROI and the publisher’s revenue. But how do we make online ads that capture more attention?   Continue

Generating More Online Sales Leads

The rules and guidelines to making better Lead Generation Websites

The Web may be confusing, but you can understand parts of it—and the more you understand, the more money you can make.

As we discussed yesterday, that task can seem daunting, but it’s not impossible.

Depending on how you want to monetize your website, there are various rules and strategies that will teach you about the Web and guide you to profitability.   Continue

Rules for Website Success

Cutting through chaos to find success

There is no denying it: the Internet is a confusing place.

Commerce, piracy, debate, theft, publishing, networking, research, news, war—it all happens online. It’s chaos.

When you take a step back, take a deep breath, and start making sense of what’s going on, it can seriously impact your impression of the Web. Chaos slowly becomes clarity. ROI suddenly becomes possible.   Continue

Accelerating Slow Websites

Slow websites push visitors away; speed yours up

Creating your website—or even editing it—is a complicated undertaking.

Many different parts have to work together to satisfy your visitors, and ultimately, satisfy you.

Yesterday’s Daily pointed to two areas where your website could be tweaked—its labeling and language and its technology—but there are many other areas that could hinder a website’s success.

One of them is how long your website takes to open, or its load time.   Continue

Maps to More Income Online

Lost in the online publishing jungle? We have a map.

When bringing your publication online, you’re entering a business world unlike any other.

Yesterday’s Daily compared publishing online to navigating the Amazon. There are two ways to do it:   Continue

Slashing Paths to Online Profit

Being a pioneer doesn’t always pay

Publishing on the Internet is mostly uncharted territory, like the Amazon jungle was 150 years ago.

Some daring publishers have hacked a path to “online profitability” or “a successful membership website,” and other publishers caught a tropical disease or were bitten by a snake, killing their business before they reached their goals.   Continue

3 Steps to More Visitors

Try this three step process to boost your marketing file and website traffic

When you have finished creating any type of website—whether it be membership, hub, or search engine—you need to drive traffic to it.

Websites can be designed to attract traffic, but good designs alone are not enough.

You need have traffic sources pointing to your website and it’s landing pages.   Continue

Proven Tactics Improve Profit

If you have to change your website, only use proven tactics

If your website is not making much money, it’s natural to want to constantly change it.

You might think after some guess and check tweaking you’ll eventually stumble into the website design that will shoot your conversion rates to the stars.

But, as yesterday’s Daily explained, constantly changing your website is a bad idea.

After so many changes in a short time period users will tire of trying to figure out how your website works and they’ll flock to a more consistent competitor.   Continue

When to Change Your Website

Changing your website too little or too often will drive away users

Creating a new website is like buying a new cell phone.

Immediately after you have it another feature comes out and your website, or cell phone, doesn’t have the latest features anymore.

This can be irritating, but the truth is your website (and probably your phone) doesn’t need to be cutting edge.

In fact, if you started adopting every new feature on the Web, your website would change so often that repeat visitors wouldn’t know how to use it.   Continue

More Revenue from Better Designs

Time spent on your site and revenue are effected by site design

If you are going to have a website at all, make sure it is designed well.

Yesterday’s Daily illustrated how important website design is to conversion rates and customer satisfaction.

Every visitor to your website has a finite amount of time before they reach a breaking point and leave to a competitor’s site. Some visitors can last longer than others, but why push them?

Avoid the breaking point completely by having a good website design.

Part of a good website design is using persistent navigation. That means if a user enters your website and sees a navigation bar, that bar should be visible from almost every page on your site.   Continue

Less Confusion, More Conversion

Inconsistent website design and navigation lowers conversion rates

Since online publishing is so far from maturity, there are very few absolutes.

But one thing you can always count on is that users do not like to be confused.

When users come to your website, they want simple and consistent navigation.

The easier your website is to use, the more it will satisfy users, the more repeat visits you’ll get and the more conversions you’ll have.   Continue

Manage Visitors to Maximize Conversion

Send visitors to the front door, not the window

There are dozens of goals shared by Internet marketers across the globe.

Somewhere at the top of almost everyone’s list is “increase visits to the website.”

It is probably on your list, but is your website ready for a surge of visitors?

As we discussed yesterday, not every website is.

To ensure that your website is ready, a system has to be in place that directs users to webpages that are designed to answer their needs.   Continue

Solving Website Problems

There are solutions to every website problem

You have a website and it costs money. So it should be generating revenue, right?

As we described Wednesday, that is not always the case. Most publishers have websites that contribute less than 10 percent of their total revenue.

We listed four reasons why a website could struggle Wednesday, but there are dozens more.

A lack of website traffic is a common problem. The best way to solve it is to use as many tactics as possible, including:   Continue

4 Reasons Websites Struggle

If your website does not bring in enough revenue, focus on what it’s lacking

Bringing your publication online is not easy, but it’s absolutely necessary.

Audiences are going online to find information now more than ever.

Global Internet use grew 214 percent from 2000 to 2007 and there are now more than 1.13 billion people online, according to Miniwatts Marketing Group.

That’s why your publication has a website, right?

But does your website generate enough revenue?   Continue

Design Landing Pages that Work

Landing pages should convert targeted website traffic. That means having an organized system that matches the user with the right landing page.

The more targeted the landing page, the better the chance of conversion.

Your landing pages are the first place users encounter your website, so choose and design them well.   Continue

Turning Searchers into Buyers

Are your landing pages converting enough users? Check out these benchmarks and find out

The most important website metric is conversion rate.

All of the other website metrics—like unique visitor count, click through rate and open rate—are to analyze how well users are being led to conversion. Conversion is the ultimate goal.

A conversion can be defined as a user signing up for a newsletter, paying for a product, viewing an advertisement or completing any beneficial task urged by your website.   Continue

Personalized Pages Boost Conversions

Learn how one company is applying lessons from direct mail, and find out who won our Mequoda Summit Raffle for SIPA attendees

It’s widely known that direct mail campaigns are more successful when written with personalized information. Using the reader’s full name in the from-line or their job title in the copy will usually boost response rates.

This is proving to be true for email and landing page marketing, according to marketing software company Naehas, Inc.   Continue

Tripling Orders from AdWords

Put an edge on your marketing campaigns by learning your customers’ language

Speaking to users in their language—whether technical or regional—is very important. The more they understand you, the easier it is to sell them products.

Thankfully, the Web has made it easy to learn your customers’ language.

You can learn their exact terminology by using WordTracker.

The program will tell you how often phrases related to your business are searched for in engines like Google, which will teach you your customers’ language.   Continue

Fatal Membership Website Mistake

One of the biggest problems a Membership Website can have is that it’s not a Membership Website

Membership Websites are as commonly used as they are misunderstood.

Hiding information behind a firewall with a username and password gate and charging for access does not automatically make a Membership Website.

A Membership Website should be designed to be a unique destination—not another place to provide access to your print publication’s content.   Continue

Increasing Visits with Free Content

Celebrity news continues to dominate the blogosphere while the nation’s top newspaper slips in rank

The April results of the Mequoda Blog100 are posted, and celebrity news hub TMZ continues to dominate our list of the top 100 media blogs in the US.

The biggest change this month is the hit USAToday took in unique visitor counts—losing over 590,000 and dropping from number two to number three in the ranking.   Continue

The Users Goals Are Your Goals

Clearly communicating your website’s features to the user will help fulfill your goals.

It is easy to get carried away when designing a website. With the constantly emerging technology, business models and website designs, it’s easy to blurt out “Let’s do em’ all!” at a staff meeting.

Whoa. Hold on, there.

Your website should strive to fulfill specific business goals by allowing users to fulfill their goals.

This relation between your goals and the users’ is called your website’s strategic intent, and it needs to be clearly communicated to be effective.   Continue

Top 100 Media Blogs in the US

The top five media blogs in the country remained for March, but one community-centric website is knocking at the door.

The March results of the Mequoda Blog 100 are in, and the top five media blogs in the country are the same as last month, but shuffled. They are, in descending order:   Continue

Tagging: Letting Users Define Your Content

How tagging gives you the ability to follow the customer.

Tagging started out as something used internally by companies to help employees find and share files easier. Nowadays, it goes hand and hand with Web 2.0 and user-generated content, as people are actually able to put their own vocabulary and interpretation into something that they didn’t create—blogs, articles, podcasts, videos, etc.   Continue

Constantly Updated Content Fuels UV Counts

Celebrity news sites are making gains on the Mequoda Blog 100 with content added several times an hour

The February results are in for the Mequoda Blog 100, our list of the top 100 media blogs in the US. Tech-blog Engadget dropped from the top five, leaving it mostly to entertainment news blogs, and there are ten new additions to the list.   Continue

Website Metrics Made Easy

Promotional codes are an inexpensive way to identify what is working for your online business and what needs to be changed.

Metrics are vital to knowing if you are reaching your audience. Detailed metrics are increasingly available in the digital world, but with so many channels for reaching users, and with several metrics for each channel, the blessing of metrics can be a confusing curse. Simple systems that track how users are converted are either scarce or expensive—until now.   Continue

Dominate Your Market

How one company designed a website that shot to the top in 6 months

Socrates Media began helping small businesses and consumers manage themselves financially and legally online five years ago. They started with, established about 18 months ago and more recently launched With two new websites focused on real estate, the company is gaining traction on its climb to the top.   Continue

Website Load Time is More Important Than Ever

Websurfers are not getting any more patient.

More people are installing broadband connections in their homes, and more than 80 percent of all active Internet users in the US now access the net with broadband, according to Website Optimization’s March 2007 Bandwidth Report. The pokey 56K connection is becoming too slow to satisfy.   Continue

TMZ Tops Mequoda Blog 100

TMZ’s constantly updated celebrity news draws more unique users by a wide margin.

Entertainment news hub TMZ dominated the Mequoda Blog 100 this month, generating more unique visitors during January than the two closest contenders combined.   Continue

Is Your Website Design Working Hard Enough for You?

Capitalize on these frequently overlooked opportunities to sell more products from your website and increase your average dollar amount per sale.

If you’ve ever bought a product in direct response to a TV commercial, you’ve experienced the “upsell.” The operator always has a special, “today only” opportunity to increase your order or add another product at a special, discounted price..   Continue

Top 100 Media Blogs in the United States

The Mequoda Research Team has made a list of the top 100 media blogs in the country based on unique page visitors per month.

In the sprawling and volatile blogosphere, mining for a gem of a site is hard work. That’s why the Mequoda Research Team created the free Mequoda Blog 100. Mequoda has identified the top 100 media blogs in the US to show our readers how the best blogs run their websites.   Continue

12 Points for Membership Website Success

Does your membership website measure up in all these important areas?

A membership website is not a shortcut to Internet riches. In fact, unless you consider all of these elements and execute each with precision, your membership website or online newsletter will probably fail.   Continue

A Tool to Test Website Performance

Did you know that if your page loads too slowly, you could be deterring some search engine robots from crawling your website?

For users, speed is everything. Broadband users expect websites to pop open and 56k users do not have all day to wait for pages to load. Their patience expires quickly, and if a site loads too slowly, users will take their business elsewhere.   Continue

Creating a PDF File of your Membership Website

If you’re promoting your online newsletter or membership website in person at a trade show or seminar, you might want to hand out CD-ROMs to potential members.

CD-ROMs are not expensive to duplicate. And they can enable a prospective membership website subscriber to experience a portion of your site’s content without having to logon to the Internet and visit the actual website.

It’s a little gimmicky, but it’s likely to grab their attention, especially if you add value by providing some other free information files on the CD-ROM.   Continue

Describing the Benefits of your Membership Website

Emphasizing the benefits of joining your membership website means appealing to your prospect’s self-interest

People do not subscribe or pay for access to your membership website, per se. They are really paying for the benefits of access to your membership website, or for the benefits of membership in your organization.

Features are descriptions of what premium information they will find beyond the turnstile when they join your membership website. But features are not benefits.   Continue

Two Tools to Evaluate the Success of your Website

Using Compete SnapShot and Yahoo! Site Explorer to Measure the Success of Your Websites (and those of your Competitors!)

One very common way to determine a site’s success is to know how many unique visitors it gets each month. Unique visitors is a stat everyone wants to know and it’s usually the first number a website publisher will mention when discussing the success of his or her website.   Continue

8 Tips for 2.0 Blogging

If there’s a new blog born every half second, how will yours get noticed?

The average blog reader views 77% more pages than an average user, and believe it or not, those blog readers are 11% more likely to have an average income of $75,000 or more, according to Clickz. Well that sounds like a great target audience, but with over 50 million blogs out there, how do you get your blog to stand out of the woodwork and get noticed? Well we’ve been doing some research of our own in an effort to redesign the new Mequoda Daily 2.0 and here’s some fun stuff that research has shown us.   Continue

Website Usability Tip: Does Less Hype Equal More Comprehension?

Looking back on an expert’s claim that website usability testing proved promotional language imposes a cognitive burden

It’s nearly a decade now since website usability expert Dr. Jakob Nielsen proclaimed that “that 79 percent of our test users always scanned any new page they came across; only 16 percent read word-by-word.”

“Users detested ‘marketese’—the promotional writing style with boastful subjective claims,” said Dr. Nielsen in 1997.   Continue

Discover How Visitors Find Your Membership Website

Offer an additional bonus to new members for information about how they found your membership website

Do you know where your best membership website traffic is coming from? Not merely the casual visitors to your home page but the serious customers who actually join your membership website?

Is it Google, Yahoo! or MSN?   Continue

How to Ethically Get Testimonials and Use Them to Add Credibility and Increase Membership

Great testimonials can be very persuasive. The value of member corroboration and its ability to get new subscribers to your membership website cannot be under-estimated.

Know this about the buying process: Whether they know it or not, everybody has a personal strategy for rationalizing his purchase decisions.

All purchase decisions are emotional, but in order to be congruent, buyers need to create reasons for their choices.   Continue

How to Build a Membership Website that Has a Sense of Urgency

When you build a membership website, provide an incentive to subscribe and offer instant gratification

Many membership website landing pages promote the overall value of their site’s content, but fail to create a sense of urgency about joining.

In broad, sweeping generalizations the landing page characterizes the content that awaits you if you join the membership website, and promises a boatload of new articles to be delivered over the course of your membership, but offers no incentive to join RIGHT NOW!   Continue

Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report is Difficult to Join

The Internet is a constantly evolving medium. Websites get redesigned, either owing to new graphics, new content, or because the essential architecture is inadequate to serve the site visitors.

If the human factors haven’t been properly addressed — if visitors can’t easily find what they’re looking for or can’t order your product easily — you’ve got insurmountable problems that mandate you to re-engineer your website. The issue here is website usability.

In the time since we first published a review of the landing page for Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report, some elements have been redesigned, but some have only gotten worse.   Continue