Content Marketing & Thought Leaders Part 8


Thought Leaders & Content Marketing

Consumers are gravitating toward Thought Leaders

Bloggers are the stars of the online world in terms of being viewed as influencers by search engines if they are popular and authoritative enough. Blogging is part of what makes content marketing valuable since effective blogs can create online followings. The reason blogs have become important in SEO is that they represent a chance to bring keywords to life in a unique story.

Blogs vs Articles

Many people have used the terms “blogs” and “articles” interchangeably, but the two are thought leadersvery different. Articles are written in a more traditional style, almost like a newspaper story, whereas blogs are more conversational and creative while delivering information that can be hard to find elsewhere. Another big difference is that blogs are written from the perspective of an expert, whereas articles are written by objective observers who can be anybody.

When you think about it, if you’re not getting information from an expert, why should you trust the information? Search engines favor experts because they are better sources than non-experts. The internet is flooded with articles by non-experts who are mostly duplicating information that already exists. Bloggers, on the other hand, offer new information and original perspectives, which are two components of content marketing that search engines reward.

How Blogs Become Big

Big media helps put the spotlight on popular bloggers, but it’s also possible to develop a blog that grows in popularity organically. The main strategy for building an organic online following is the combination of SEO and unique content that can be categorized many different ways. Your blog can be planned out many months in advance based on all the different angles you see in an industry.

When you think of all the different types of people who are attracted to your industry and start writing blogs about the different reasons people use certain products, you can gain acceptance as a leading observer in that field. Once you’ve written about a hundred quality blogs about your industry, it’s likely that your name or brand will be referenced in many different ways associated with the industry in search engines. The more unique blogs you write, the more chances search engines will consider you to be an authoritative expert.

Maximizing Blogs

Not all blogs are successful partly because not everyone is a good storyteller. Certain industries work well with blogging if they are already very detail-oriented. Sharing food recipes, for example, can create endless excitement for cooking fans since there are infinite ways to prepare food. But sharing information on how to operate machinery used in redundant situations is not the best approach to blogging if it doesn’t spawn many different ideas.

Ideally, you want to create blogs that other people share on social networks. One of the ways to make a blog attractive is to start with a colorful photograph, design or infographic. A blog that accompanies a picture and video has extra advantages. The reason you want to make sure the blog has a nice picture is because people see hundreds of stories and pictures as they scroll through their social network newsfeeds, but only so many catch their attention.

A blogger who interviews experts, especially on video, can gain even more credibility. By taking the role of a multimedia curator who explores an industry deeply, you can gain the reputation of a Thought Leader. When your blog becomes what people turn to with high expectation of gaining new information, you have become a Thought Leader, a monumental goal of bloggers. Take the lead in content marketing by reviewing new products and helping other bloggers create a buzz about them.

Ian Conklin is the President of OTR Web, a web development company creating market ready websites since 2000, with locations in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

Ian Conklin - President OTR Web

OTR Web is a Certified Partner with HubSpot and Google.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements

Contact OTR Web.


The Value of Information


The Value of Information

The rain pelted across the old Volkswagen windshield as if it had been sprayed on by a garden hose. The tired wipers complained with a stuttered uh-uh-uh as they tried to keep ahead of the horizontal liquid barrage of all things blurry through every window.
To say it was dark would be an understatement. Because this dark suffered from black ink that blew sideways trying to knock the little car off the dirt road. Headlights?…Bill remembered he had them before the rain started but was now unable to confirm their existence.
Bill and Tammy were taking,….well,..Buddy home. They didn’t know the poor guys name. They were doing a Good Samaritan / Designated Driver thing. They had found him slumped between two cars in the parking lot at the pub they had visited after the hockey game.
Bill had tried to get him back on his feet, but as soon as he had righted him, Buddy folded himself back up like a city map. His folds and creases just didn’t look right.
“We’ve got to take him home Bill.” Tammy insisted while Bill was trying to stop the bleeding. Seems Buddy had kissed the side view mirror in his effort to regain his original horizontal format.
It was after two more attempts at verbally insisting and physically attempting to vertically right Buddy that Bill gave in. Buddy was getting pretty beat up by they car they kept trying to stand him beside. A bleeding lip, a bloody nose, and a serious looking scratch which made him look a little like Al Pachino in the movie Scarface.
He gave no name but seemed happy with the temporary title of Buddy. And in his extreme state of inebriation in public Bill could relate as to why he might want to keep his name in question.
“Can you tell us where you live Buddy? Do you know where your house is? Is there someone we can phone? Are you here alone? We’ll drive you…..”
“45,..3? No 454,..5 Spp pruucee Lane.” He sprayed, as he interrupted Tammy. Each number four he pronounced had about fifteen ‘Fs’ in it and probably about as many ‘Fs’ again in the fives. At least he cut back on the ‘Ps’ Tammy thankfully noted.
The rain now started to accompany the already annoying wind as Bill folded Buddy into the back of his space challenger. That is to say his vintage Volkswagen was limited in seating area.
Tammy, now wishing she hadn’t worn a short tight skirt, crawled in the back with Buddy, holding a now bloody compress against his nose. Bill started the car checked his gas and smiled at Tammy in in rear view mirror as they started into the night.
Bill checked his watch as he turned left on to Spruce Lane. Chinese dentist time he smiled remembering his grandpa had always called 2:30 Chinese dentist time.
Slowly he followed the address to 4541, 4543 and 4545, destination achieved. Bill stopped Sketch 2015-06-20 21_22_46the car on the road and pulled up on the hand brake. Tammy woke up Buddy with a cheery, almost excited “We’re here! We got you home Buddy. Let’s get you out.”
Bill leaned the drivers seat forward as Tammy poured more than pushed Buddy out of the back seat. Bill wrapped Buddy’s right arm around his shoulder and with Tammy manning the left side they made their way through a gate, along a walk, up a ramp and to the front door. Tammy pressed the door bell which started a dog barking in the back of the house, and with each bark it seemed another light turned on. Both Bill and Tammy sensing their job was done, and Buddy was home safe to face the music, turned to leave before the door could open. Buddy, seeming to admit defeat to a vertical lifestyle again folded himself back down to his city map style just as the door opened.
Both Tammy and,…? Mrs Buddy, let out a little scream which deadened the sound of Buddy’s head connecting with the door. Buddy, now much more awake began using and slurring words his former Sunday School Teacher would not have approved of.
Buddy ran out into the front yard. Peed on three trees and back into the house. Apparently Buddy was the dogs name as well. “Good boy Buddy!” Mrs. Buddy said.
No introductions were made as Bill and Tammy were now wet and wind blown and wanted nothing more than to get in the car and head home. Mrs. Buddy stopped them with a heartfelt thank you and wished there were more people like them. She then asked if he had been beat up and robbed. Both looked at each other and feigned ignorance as to his condition and assured her that he probably hadn’t been.
“Well thank you again for bringing him home.” Mrs. Buddy yelled over the wind as she cradled his head. “He sometimes gets like this when,…? Ya have to love them right? For better our worse.”
She stood up gave them both a hug as they turned to go. Bill had just opened the gate for Tammy when Mrs. Buddy yelled through the weather “Do you happen to have his wheelchair?”

Information has been and always will be a valuable tool. Using search engines and inbound marketing with original, factual information satisfies a big active audience searching to buy. And to become successful at inbound marketing the knowledgeable public demand valuable information about your product.
Make your mom proud of your success! Take the lead in inbound marketing by offering free information that helps others gain economic advantages and make your site more valuable than sites with perhaps less information.
And by helping other gain economic advantages not only is mom happy but you’re also being a Good Samaritan. And a Good Samaritan with valuable information is highly valued. Don’t be a Bill and Tammy who the only information they knew about Buddy was that he peed on trees in the front yard and was highly praised for doing so.
We’re still looking for Bill Jensen’s wheelchair.

Bob Niles

Bob Niles

Read more articles from Bob’s personal life experiences on his Blogspot site.


Inbound Marketing Consumers Empowerment Part 7


Inbound Marketing Consumers Empowered

Economic factors encourage customers to be researchers

The internet has represented consumer empowerment since the 1990’s because it operates like a high speed phone book. It takes you wherever you want to go, including to websites of competitors you just visited. Due to last century’s marketing that promised more than it delivered, consumers have become skeptical of unfamiliar brands, but are able to quickly learn about brands as a result of inbound marketing.

Marketing Affordability

One of the reasons many people use the internet is to learn how to save money. When Phone Book Advertisingbudgets tighten, people intensify searches as “affordable” becomes an important keyword to attract bargain hunters. At the same time, many consumers are looking for the best quality at the lowest price. The internet is competitive because it gives you a lot of different choices quickly.

At physical stores consumers deal with extra problematic variables such as shelf space and number of units in stock. If a product sells out it can create inconveniences for customers. Online markets have eliminated the problem of store hours and inventories. Since many store costs have been reduced, online marketers can afford to sell products at lower prices than retail.

Accelerated Research

What consumers are really latching onto when they begin to have favorite blogs is a feeling of comfort that they have learned something from someone online. Surfing the net can take up a lot of time and sometimes there’s nothing to show for it. But engaging through social media and online discussions can generate a useful dialogue that builds loyalty and interest while saving time. For many people saving time is just as valuable as saving money.

Search engines have been such helpful time saving devices that they can instantly bring you in touch with any market imaginable through keywords. Searching for something online is not the same type of passive activity as sitting through TV commercials. In many ways TV advertising chases away customers while inbound marketing invites customers to participate with the product.

Lower Marketing Costs

One of the main keys to inbound marketing is that it helps make your brand a star in several categories instead of just one. The marketing of several different products under one brand name has become an incredibly powerful way to maximize marketing at lower costs.The more variety in products and services you can offer, the more visibility you will generate online and the more chances for customers to find you.

Imagine if you had a different brand name for every different product you sold. If you sold hundreds of different products it could cost a lot of money just to design each logo. But one brand that can be marketed hundreds of different ways is a much more economically efficient venture. In many cases brands are becoming about values related to visions of the world. People now value brands that share similar visions, such as going green.

The Value of Information

Thanks to search engines and inbound marketing, original information has become valuable. At one time marketing costs were high in order to have access to a big passive audience that wasn’t necessarily in the mood to buy. Now marketing costs are low to reach a big active audience that is already searching to buy. All it takes is effort on the part of the marketer to put these pieces together and connect with followers.

The road to becoming successful at inbound marketing involves placing value in stories about your products. Take the lead in inbound marketing by offering free information that helps others gain economic advantages and makes your site more valuable than sites with less information.

Ian Conklin is the President of OTR Web, a web development company creating market ready websites since 2000, with locations in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

Ian Conklin - President OTR Web

OTR Web is a Certified Partner with HubSpot and Google.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements

Contact OTR Web.


Inbound Marketing – SEO Part 6


Inbound Marketing – SEO

People want information, not persuasive ads

Consumers have naturally become more curious in the internet era about products before they buy them. Instead of the more expensive trial and error approach of learning over time which products meet specific needs, consumers can learn from other consumers quickly at no cost thanks to online reviews. In the 20th century consumers were generally quiet about products that didn’t deliver what the advertising promised, but in the new century there is much less room for error.

Product Information

The internet has elevated people’s awareness about the value of product information. Inbound Marketing should be combined with SEO thus devoting entire articles to specific products or services. Storytelling about products in blogs and articles has become a common form of content marketing. At the same time, consumers are learning to be more careful about how they spend money online. More people are using the internet to learn about products, even if they make purchases at physical stores.

At one time consumers weren’t expected to know a lot of product information, back when they were sold one size fits all packages prior to computers becoming mainstream. The computer revolution was part of what changed the consumer landscape, as consumers were expected to choose the variables of hardware and software. People now have a lot of brand awareness about various facets of the computer industry thanks to tech marketing turning common people into techies.

Avoiding the Hype

As the online community has become empowered to know sets of choices for almost any circumstance, online surfers try to maximize search time by avoiding links that do not produce desired results. The weakest web pages are the ones in which the intent was clearly marketing with minimal product information given. There should be a link to deeper information until you get to the product page.

Products no longer need outrageous slogans and taglines to get people’s attention. Now it’sBig Advertisment easier to get people’s attention by being more relatable, using sensible SEO. The reason brands are expected to live up to their claims more than ever is that a different brand is always a click away. One of the main causes of people avoiding a brand is pushy sales.People now have many ways to quickly find many different alternative choices.A brand is powerful if it can explain itself using various media that can be instantly accessed.

One of the most evident trends in content marketing is to avoid any type of traditional sales approach. While the goal of traditional marketing was to develop sales leads and convert them as soon as possible, the goal of content marketing is more to nurture leads and worry about sales as they happen. More value is placed on individual relationships than whether or not someone has made a purchase.

The Rise of Blogging

Bloggers became important to the online community the same way DJs became important to the music community. Successful bloggers attract a big online following by sharing useful information. The most popular bloggers are considered “influencers” of other writers and users of social networks. Bloggers try to be early adopters of products to show followers that they are on the cutting edge. Getting your product covered by a popular blogger is free valuable advertising.

Search engines treat authoritative bloggers as priorities when it comes to search rankings, so part of the marketing strategy of a product is researching bloggers. Writing your own blog using SEO also carries more weight than a web page full of ads. Take the lead in content marketing by avoiding persuasive language and focusing on writing that acts more as a gateway to a learning experience.

Ian Conklin is the President of OTR Web a web development company creating market ready websites since 2000, with locations in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

Ian Conklin - President OTR Web

OTR Web is a Certified Partner with HubSpot and Google.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements

Contact OTR Web.


Content Marketing – Distributing Content


Distributing Content

Content marketing is unique from paid advertising in the sense that the intent is for followers to find you more than you chasing them. This concept is changing views about distribution in many ways. Instead of mass producing a compromised message at a high cost determined by gatekeepers and hoping for a return on investment, you can craft a more engaging low cost message using various interactive distribution channels.

Social Media

A powerful way to share your content is through social media networks such as Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Facebook is a great place to share content with existing followers while Google Plus is a useful platform for finding new followers. Social media can be a time consuming experience because it involves interacting with several people, but it’s a great way to build relationships and loyalty.

Ideally, you want to create a brief catchy post about your blog on a social network with an attractive image and a link to the blog. There are different ways to post content, depending on how much time you want to spend. But if you want to post the same blog in several places including social networks, you should consider an automated system known as RSS (really simple syndication).


Blogs can be distributed to many different places at once using an RSS feed, which is designed for internet subscribers of frequently updated content. An RSS reader is software that aggregates various RSS feeds from the internet and displays them in one place. It eliminates the need for large companies such as USA Today to email their content to millions of subscribers each day. Subscribers can opt in and out of the content anytime they choose. They can subscribe to these feeds just by clicking a “subscribe” link.

Once you complete your blog on a blogging platform such as WordPress or Google’s content marketing rss feedsBlogger, you can click “publish” and the platform will automatically generate an RSS feed URL for your content that can be retrieved by subscribers. You can also syndicate audio or video podcasts. It saves you quite a bit of time from manually sending it out to each recipient or posting in various places. Each social network has instructions for where to place your RSS feed URL, which is a one time setup.

In order to set up an RSS feed you will need an RSS management platform if you’re not using a blogging platform that does it for you. RSS Builder and Google’s FeedBurner are software programs that will do the coding and generate an RSS feed URL for you in one click, while you fill in a form for your title, link, publish date and other information. MailChimp is useful software for scheduling your blog or other content for email subscribers.

Mobile Optimization

Let’s face it, mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets have surged in popularity and have become an easy way to access the internet for people on the go. Optimizing your website for mobile users can help your cause, especially if you run a local business with a physical location.

Some owners prefer to create a separate “mobile website” for mobile users, who need to conserve bandwidth and just need simplified versions of websites to access the most important information and links without dealing with big files. However a “responsive website”, one website that in effect remakes itself for each browser and device type is most often thought as the best solution overall. Google refers to the responsive web as a best practice. The Google app Currents and the iPad app Flipboard create simple ways to syndicate mobile content in real time.

Take the lead in content marketing by making your content available to your followers based on whatever the easiest way is for them to connect with your messages.

Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.


Content Marketing : Crafting Cross Promotional Content


Content Marketing : Crafting Cross Promotional Content

Teamwork is how entrepreneurs with shared visions can make big things happen. You don’t necessarily need to partner with businesses in your same industry. As long as your content connects with their content in some way that is relevant to users, you can create cross promotional campaigns that expand the exposure for both businesses.

Link Sharing

At one time search engines considered link sharing to be a measure of site importance and popularity. Over time they realized that many sites swap links with each other to improve search rank even though the links don’t really help users. Search engines in recent years have placed less emphasis on link sharing unless both sites offer high quality content and they relate to each other. You need to be careful who you link to now because Google penalizes sites that link to low quality sites.

If you choose your link partners carefully and only exchange links with quality sites that make sense for your site, then it can improve your search rankings. Let’s say you offer a photography service and you write several blogs about weddings and each one links to a catering service that also writes blogs about weddings. The cross promotion makes sense for users and search engines because a bride and groom can conceivably hire both a photographer and a caterer for their wedding.


One way to create cross promotional content that potentially doubles the impact of exposure is to interview other bloggers with followings for your blog. Everyone in the content marketingonline world needs to be talked about by others online, so they will naturally want to link to your blog. It becomes part of their press kit portfolio. If you can do a video interview on YouTube you can help your cause even more because then you’ll generate traffic on a third site in addition to being indexed in another search engine.

Interviews make excellent content because they are original and personable. A conversation between two people creates extra energy on video and more variety in print. You don’t have to have special interviewing skills like a news reporter. The old rules of last century’s media no longer apply to the online culture. Human conversations are now acceptable and effective ways to share information. Relaxed interviews come off as more genuine than trying to sound like a scripted journalist.

Multiple References

There’s no rule that says one blog can only cross promote one other blogger. You may want to write a story that surveys several bloggers about their opinions of products or trends. You may even want to build a panel of bloggers that you frequently interact with as each of you cross promote each other. It wouldn’t be that difficult to accomplish since it can all be done through email. The possibilities are endless when it comes to creating alliances on the internet.

Cross promotion of content, of course, doesn’t have to be limited to just blogs. You can share your cross promotional blog on social media, which can snowball into more sharing. Creating a big circle of alliances that all cross promote each other can generate active conversations that attract attention. The more you can develop a scene with a familiar cast of characters, the more you can build a cross promotional empire that brings an online crowd together. Familiarity is important for building any community.

If you find partners who share your visions of the world, your cross promotional content will make sense and be easier to produce.

Take the lead in content marketing by building bridges with friends online who you can cross promote.

Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.


Content Marketing Providing Useful Solutions


Content Marketing : Providing Useful Solutions

Your job as a thought leader is to pinpoint problems and offer time saving or money saving solutions. Around that core dimension you can add a wide variety of elements to your storytelling. Bloggers who don’t offer solutions tend to get discarded into the space of forgettable internet history, which is by no means a lonely place. There are  more blogs that fail than succeed, but the winners are the ones who make life better for others.

Challenging Common Thought

One way to enter the realm of online problem solving through blogging is to analyzeContent Marketing current market conditions and evaluate trends with the intent to be critical of the ones that don’t really matter. If you study the music industry you’ll find that many trends have been nothing more than well executed marketing schemes. Certain genres  or artists have remained a continuum through multiple generations, such as the Beatles, whereas certain trends have had short life cycles before burning out.

Figure out the difference in your field between long term mainstays and short term trends. Don’t be afraid to criticize short term trends because it can help build your track record in the long run. Embrace established order that you probably can’t change and pick apart the quick rise and fall schemes that are fragile and aren’t worth defending, especially if they add up to big expenses over time. Consider how the SEO schemes of a decade ago are now outdated and could have been costly for followers who latched onto them. You can demonstrate thought leadership by helping readers learn to see through popular myths.

Identifying Problems

Every business or industry has limitations, which many times are swept under the mat. Businesses tend to hide their problems from public view for branding reasons. You don’t necessarily have to single out any competitors, but you can gain an advantage in your content marketing by developing a list of customer “pain points,” which are any scenarios that create uncomfortable problems for consumers regarding products or services.

Even if you do not have readily available solutions to specific problems, take note of them anyway. Create a list of pain points as long as possible because every single one of them can be turned into a compelling blog at some point. Rank the pain points by severity and by your ability to resolve them at least through ideas. You many not have the resources to develop product solutions, but that doesn’t have to stop you from establishing yourself as a thought leader. Eventually you may come across partners who can help create such products.

Offering Solutions

Content marketing at its best is about offering useful solutions that improve an industry and consumer experiences. Your ability to provide solutions in your blogs can be enhanced through inspiration and brainstorming. Inspiration can come from art, movies, music, books, sports or other areas of pop culture. Solutions do not always come from the top geniuses on the planet. Many times they surface as a result of group discussions or ideas triggered during a game or activity.

Solutions are powerful topics in your blogs because not only can they win the loyalty of online customers, they can also get the attention of possible business partners or even the media. Newspapers and TV news reporters crave covering new ideas and inventions, because it helps build their own images as thought leaders. Search engines are waiting to rank web pages, especially blogs, that provide answers that their users are searching for.

Take the lead in content marketing by offering blogs that speed up people’s quest for resolving difficult matters.

Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.


Content Marketing – Thought Leadership


Content Marketing – Thought Leadership

The core objective that determines whether or not content marketing will be worth the enormous amount of time and effort is thought leadership. Are you able to become a thought leader in your field or are you more comfortable with being a follower? If you just want to be a follower you will inevitably be overshadowed in search rankings by more creative competitors. Thought leadership is about assuming command and determination in your industry at creating a huge community of followers.

Modern Expertise

Traditionally, leadership in general in our culture was reserved for the few who chose Content Marketing - Thought Leaderspaths through higher education or may have already been born into powerful circles. Rarely were mainstream people expected to become heads of big corporations or invent products that change the world. Experts were considered individuals with degrees from prestigious universities, professors, high profile business leaders and people with years of experience in their trade. Authors of books released by major publishers gained similar credibility.

Thanks to Google and other search engines, the definition of “expert” now includes a longer list of people who might not have those traditional qualifications that define expertise. Apple innovator Steve Jobs also inspired a new culture of people who want to change the world. These inspiring tech pioneers elevated the confidence of many people to pursue innovation as a vehicle for attention and respect. It’s now ok to go against the status quo and offer new ideas to improve systems and products. People who inform and inspire others online with original content are now called thought leaders.

Gaining a Competitive Edge

Study your competitors to understand their strengths and weaknesses. You may not be able to counter their strengths but you may find creative ways to counter their weaknesses. Perhaps they have limitations that are short-sighted. Even if you do not have the means to offer a better product you can still use their weaknesses to your advantage by commenting on them. Look for weaknesses that you can be the first to comment on and offer ideas for improvement.

If you can develop a steady stream of ideas that can improve your industry, you can take the lead in content marketing by utilizing business blogging. One rant isn’t going to change the world much, but a series of well thought out blogs can at least start to attract like minded followers who can convert to customers. As OTR Web Solutions President Ian Conklin has said, “clients want to believe they found you .. not that you found them.” 

Blogs are important because search engines regard them as potentially authoritative and prioritize them in rankings. That’s how many people end up connecting with thought leaders.

Video Credibility

Making informative videos adds to your credibility as a thought leader. YouTube has become the new encyclopaedia for people to gain knowledge quickly from trusted thought leaders. While blogs are meant to be personable written journalism, video can be even more personable and memorable. Now that online video has become so popular, a huge body of evidence is showing that people are more likely to remember what they see in an online video than what they read in a book. One reason for this phenomenon is that viewers can start and stop videos whenever they want.

The ability for people to learn from video has accelerated the time frame of learning curves in our society. The more you can inform people in videos, the more they will regard you as a helpful thought leader and want to check out more of your videos. Sharing your videos on social networks will help increase views.

Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.


What is a Landing Page and Why Do I need One


 What is a Landing Page and Why Do I need One

A landing page is not just any page in a website. It’s a crucial page that can make or break your marketing campaign. And by extension, it can help or hurt your sales.

This is why professionals spend hours poring over landing pages. They don’t stop at stunning pages. Testing and tweaking are part of their job too. The result of their hard work is a perfect landing page that converts well for a long time.

Take the lead now by creating landing pages that convert.

What Exactly is a Landing Page?

Your website’s home page is a landing page. But it can also be any other page where visitors are prompted to make a specific action or result. An effective landing page contains a lead form for obtaining a visitor’s information. It can be a simple email campaign page where visitors are promoted to fill out a form with their name and email address. Or it can be a detailed data capture form with more than four fields.

What Can You Get from a Good Landing Page?

You may have seen hundreds of landing pages already. The question is, are they any good? Have all of them convinced you to sign up or give up some of your personal information? Realize that only a handful of them are effective. So if you’re going to design a landing page, make sure it’s a good one to get all of these benefits:

Increased Conversion Rates

Targeted landing pages are likely to raise your chances of converting traffic into leads. They can, for instance, encourage visitors to sign up and receive product offers and recommendations from your company. You can personalized these offers and recommendations so that prospects are likely to buy.

Establish Lasting Relationships

Of course, landing pages can prompt actions other than buy this or proceed to checkout. When people fill in a form, they are at the same time entrusting their personal details to your company. This comes with caveat of course. Never ever break their trust. Send them useful stuff only. Make friends with them through helpful information and irresistible offers.

Getting people’s trust and actually making money out of your marketing efforts are two compelling reasons to craft an high-converting landing page. Don’t worry if you’re not a designer, you only have to familiarize yourself with winning landing pages and understand the basics.

What Makes Landing Pages Effective?

You don’t need technical knowledge to create a good landing page. But you do have to be brilliant at the basics. Here’s how.

>Less is more, especially in design. So keep your design clean and simple. This will help visitors focus on the product you’re offering or call-to-action. Your design should make it easier for visitors to focus. Anything unnecessary will only distract your visitor from completing an action.

>Make it easier for visitors to thoughtfully consume content. Use enough white-space for them to think. Doing so will help them make sense of what your product or service is about. You don’t rush them into buying and regret their purchases later. But you do give them the necessary push to buy or get something valuable.

>Create responsive landing pages or design for multiple platforms: full-size and 11-inch monitors, mobile and tablet screens. The percentage of users using smartphones and tablets for researching and buying is rising. Don’t miss out on these opportunities.

>Hire a professional copywriter who perfectly understands your business and your target audience.

>Use relevant images and videos. Also, be wary of using stock photos. Use fresh, relatable and unique photos instead.

 Take the Lead with our free 48 page eBook – How To Use Landing Pages For Business

Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.


10 Real Bad Business Blogging Traps


Bad for Business Blogging Traps

A Top 10 List of Not To Do’s In Your Business Blog

There’s no doubt about it, blogs have fully arrived in the business world, and any company’s website that doesn’t include one is missing-out on a very popular item that Remarkable Contentcustomers regularly click on. And making your website popular with customers is a big part of commercial success in today’s business environment.

Yet while many businesses now understand the importance of having a blog, very few fully grasp the various components good ones contain that separate them from the herd. Let’s take a peek at 10 key things you definitely should not do if your goal is to take the lead amongst the most effective business blogs. Avoid:

Failing to integrate blog with your website 

Customers will frequently find an interesting article on your blog by doing a web-search. The whole point of your blog is to get eyes on your main business web-site, and turn those eyes into customers. Having their search lead to your blog – which is on your website – accomplishes the first goal.

Poor blog design  

The content of your blog is important, but if its look-and-feel don’t grab people, they may never stick around long enough to read anything. Design elements, such as bolded titles, sub-headings, social networking buttons, RSS feeds, and color elements, will keep those eyes on the page long enough to encourage reading your content.

Turning-off blog comments

Getting visitors involved in your blog makes them much more likely to get them to look at your main web-site. Include an easy to navigate comments section – with responses from you. People love to interact, and to have that interaction validated. It sends the signal that you care about your customers – which makes your readers more likely to become one.

No email plan

Another key aspect of interacting with blog visitors is to have a way for them to receive more info later – via email. They may not be ready to become a customer at first – but staying in email contact with them keeps the door open. Have an email subscription strategy.

Overly product-centered content

Your blog isn’t your main selling vehicle, your web-site is. Have content that addresses broad issues related to your product. If readers get interested, they’ll follow thebread crumbs to where you want them to be.

Off-topic content

On the other hand, don’t include material so broad that readers forget what brought them there in the first place. Attention spans online are limited, at best. Stay on message.

Anonymous authors

Blogs are supposed to be personal, so make sure each post is tied to an actual name. Blog visitors tend to be inherently suspicious of generic postings, and will be quick to hit the exit button. Give them that personal touch so they know there are real people behind the screen.

Lame blog post titles

Titles are crucial! They signal what’s to come, and if your title is trite or empty, there’s little chance the reader will continue to discover what you’re saying. Create titles that compel reading.

Posting infrequently

There’s a word for old blog posts; boring. Keep a steady stream of fresh material coming. It tells readers that there’s vitality here – and that’s what they’re looking for.

Overlooking SEO elements

Put energy into learning how search engines deliver results to queries – and include those elements in your blog. That’s how people will find it – which is what you want.

Bottom line

A business blog is crucial today; but so is careful attention to its elements. Do your homework. For further information and for even more in depth blogging mistakes information and strategies – Take the Lead and download the OTR eBook on Blogging Mistakes.

Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

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