Thursday, February 21, 2008

Build Superior Landing Pages

Imagine running a huge online marketing campaign for your site, complete with all the blog buzz, advertisements and search engine placements. You're expecting tons of traffic to hit your site, you think the job's done, well sadly, not quite. One very important factor many fail to spend time working on - Build superior landing pages. Definitely a very important tool when it comes down to any marketing campaign, if you ask me.

Landing Pages are basically the web page where the visitor reaches, after clicking on a link or promotional ad. Its a page where detailed information about a specific product or service that was mentioned in that link is displayed. At the end of the day, no amount of hardwork put into your marketing campaign will be worth much if there's no conversion! So, create that superior landing page and you're on your way to a very successful site.

Imagine this, your site now gets around 10,000 page views a month and you think, wow, that's a lot of traffic. But remember, that does not promise success, because you could lose all that traffic in matter of weeks if you don't have an equal balance of conversion ratio at your landing page. What do we mean by conversion - Once these visitors reach your landing page, naturally you need them to do something or rather, (like maybe, buy your product, subscribing to your weekly newsletter etc). Once the visitors carry out the desired action similar to this, you've then had, what we call, a conversion. And this ladies and gentlemen, is the sole purpose of having a good landing page. Learning how to optimize the page, is another trick in itself.

Before you begin developing your landing page, consider its real purpose. What do you hope your visitors would do when they reach there? Here are 11 pointers which should help you improve your landing pages :
  1. Consider it's main purpose.
  2. What is your goal? Do you want to sell a product, help people learn about a particular service, do want them to provide you feedback?
  3. Content is a vital part of a landing page. Know what to include in, and what not to.
  4. Provide detailed information about the said product or service, something which is relevant and focused.
  5. Avoid linking to other areas of your site, as you want them to convert on that one page, and not wandering off to other parts off your site whilst being entertained by your fancy colorful animations.
  6. Keep in mind who your audience are, make sure the information you provide meets their requirements.
  7. Make sure the look and feel of your landing page is consistent with your other marketing materials.
  8. Include the keywords or phrases which were used in your advertisement, and add them into your page title and headline.
  9. Keep the load times of your landing page under 5 seconds.
  10. Routinely update your landing page. If you decide to change your campaign, change your landing page as well.
  11. Make sure that none of the links in that page are broken or outdated for that matter.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Find A Professional Designer

Find a professional kitchen and bath designer to help you navigate the ins and outs of this big undertaking. Doing so doesn't mean you have to hand over the reins. You're still in charge.

The Money
Using a designer does not have to be a costly endeavor. Many showrooms and home centers offer free design services if you purchase from them, and some designers will do an initial in-home consultation and budget estimate at no or minimal cost.

Free estimates and consultations are a good place to start, but don't automatically avoid a designer because of the fee. Consider how minor a kitchen designer's consulting fee is to your overall budget. Doing it right the first time is essential - and priceless. Kitchen and bath designers, are definitely important in my books and any renovation tip given by them is surely useful!

One major benefit : Designers often have access to resources and products that may not be known or available to you on your own. They can save you hours of legwork.

Going it alone is risky. DIY design, labor, installation, and products and materials from unproven sources invite problems that outweigh any cost saving.

The Hunt
Most designers tend to gain new clients through referrals, so seek those out too. Ask friends if they have worked with a designer or know someone who has. If you see a project you like that is similar to yours, contact that designer. You'll be one step further along in the process knowing the designer has done projects like yours.

If you're starting your search from scratch, check out designers with retail showrooms. When evaluating the showroom, ask yourself if it's well-designed or offers something innovative. The space will likely be indicative of what the designer can do in your home.

The Review
Be sure to interview potential designers. Look through portfolios, call references, clarify fees, and be sure the designer clearly comprehends your project goals.

Above all, find someone you're comfortable enough with to voice your opinion, even if it means rejecting some ideas.

See What's on Sale Today at

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Meaning Of Chinese New Year

"Happy Chinese New Year!", to all my Chinese friends and readers.

Since I have been on a long, long vacation (I somehow would like to think of it as such...) from my usual blogging behaviour. I figured since today marks the beginning of a new calender for the Chinese - the first lunar month in the Chinese calender, it would be a great day indeed to begin a new chapter towards my personal blog - Nihal's Anything n Everything. So, let's look at what this special celebration is all about and what's the meaning of Chinese New Year.

If we understand the Chinese culture, we would realize that the Spring Festival is the oldest and notebly the most important, if one compares it to other Chinese holidays. It's also a time for families to reunite, feast together and to wish good fortune to everyone. Preparations for the celebrations as I am aware, can take place a month before the actual day of the celebrations. This is done to ensure that it would be a auspicious and smooth transition from the current year to the new. That explains why my Chinese neighbour threw out half his house out to the garbage ... nah, I'm just kidding. But seriously, this is what they do - houses are swept and cleaned, from top-to-bottom to ensure that they do not carry bad luck over to the new year.

And we're quite lucky here in Malaysia as we have a strong influence of their culture present in our country, feasting with family and friends a like, at open houses have become a norm. And to be frank sometimes their meals can be very elaborate at times, not that I'm complaining, but this is definitely something I look forward to, every year!

Traditionally the ancient Chinese believed that the years would be in a cyclical form - Twelve Animal Signs, each representing a specific year in their calender, that would repeat itself over and over again according to a pattern.

A popular Chinese folk methodolgy has it that all these 12 animals had a quarrel one day as they were deciding who would be the leader to head the calender, since they could not find a solution to this, God decided to hold a contest to see who would be the first to reach the opposite bank of the river.

As soon as the signal was given, all the twelve animals jumped in and dashed across. Just as the Ox was reaching the shore, unknowingly the Rat had cleverly jumped on his back and quickly hopped off to come out first in the race. And as usual knowing the Pig, he being a lazy creature, to say the least, ended up being last. So now you know why the Rat is named as the first in the animal cycle, followed by the Ox and lastly the Pig, representing the last year in that cycle. With the start of this years Chinese New Year celebrations, we will be entering the year of the Rat.

Since you already know that I fancy the mystic's behind Feng Shui and all, Chinese New Year is no different. Even meals that are prepared during their family eve dinner has to mean something, take for example - nian gao, a kind of pudding cake made out of sticky rice, eat this and its said to help people advance towards higher positions and better prosperity for that year, step at a time. That's not all - jiao zi dumplings, looks like the gold ingots that were used during the Ming Dynasty as money, so a bite of this, is said to bring you the promise of wealth and prosperity. Noodles, yes, this is a must, the longer the better. The long noodles represents long life for everyone at the table. Not bad for eating a couple of cakes, dumplings and noodles huh ... Eat and you will have everything!

Gong Xi Fa Chai to the entire Chinese community and to the rest, happy holidays!