The PR BlogDigital PRDigital-First StrategyIceberg Publishing: The Cool Way to Grow Traffic and Conversions

Iceberg Publishing: The Cool Way to Grow Traffic and Conversions

Let landing pages do most of the PR work.

Cover photo: @jerrysilfwer

Iceberg pub­lish­ing is a bet­ter way of struc­tur­ing websites.

This art­icle will show why most brands should rethink their web­site structure.

As a digit­al strategist, I’ve helped many brands con­vert to Iceberg Publishing, where they focus less on one single front page and instead strive to con­struct a web­site of “a thou­sand front pages.”

Let’s dive right into the cold water:

Let Your Front Page Breathe

Too many organ­isa­tion clut­ter their front page. Internet-savvy busi­nesses like Google doesn’t.

The Google Front Page
Google’s front page is clean. How about yours?

Too many call-to-actions on any page will typ­ic­ally nev­er lead to more con­ver­sions. Placing too many types of sec­tions into a web design is likely to cause con­ver­sion can­ni­bal­ism, where dif­fer­ent call-to-actions are pun­ish­ing each other.

Read also: Beware of Conversion Cannibalism

Using few­er CTAs per web page is a grow­ing web trend. Ideally, each URL on your web­site should only con­tain one CTA. And a web page with only one CTA is also known as a — land­ing page.

Definition of a Landing Page

Landing page (LP) = a web page stripped of stand­ard­ised menus and side­bars with a single call-to-action often repeated as the users scroll fur­ther down the page.

Read also: Iceberg Publishing — The Cool Way to Grow Traffic and Conversions

A land­ing page is a web page with one sin­gu­lar call-to-action — or the same call-to-action repeated ver­tic­ally. These pages are often stripped from side­bars, nav­ig­a­tion­al menus, foot­ers etc., to max­im­ise conversions.

Theoretically, you should trans­form your entire web­site into a hier­archy of land­ing pages. Alternatively: Think of a mod­ern web­site as a web­site where every URL is a front page.

Another way is to think of your site as an iceberg.

Deep Content

Above is an example of an online con­tent struc­ture that’s five levels deep.

In the example above, five lay­ers of ever­green con­tent are stacked:

  • Level 1: Articles
  • Level 2: Content Upgrade
  • Level 3: Resource/Lead Magnet
  • Level 4: Ebook
  • Level 5: Online Course

Deep con­tent is centred around provid­ing increas­ingly high­er qual­ity to con­tent divers since they’re more valu­able than sur­face browsers.

As for the import­ance of struc­ture and depth, the logic is the same as for ice­berg pub­lish­ing and con­tent themes.

Learn more: The Deep Content PR Strategy

Your Site is an Iceberg of Pages

You could think of your web­site as an ice­berg. One char­ac­ter­ist­ic of an ice­berg is that whatever you see of the ice­berg float­ing above the sur­face, you can be sure that the ice­berg is many times lar­ger under­neath the surface.

Typically about one-tenth of the volume of an ice­berg is above water, which fol­lows from Archimedes’s Principle of buoy­ancy; the dens­ity of pure ice is about 920 kg/m3 (57 lb/cu ft), and that of sea­wa­ter about 1,025 kg/m3 (64 lb/cu ft). The con­tour of the under­wa­ter por­tion can be dif­fi­cult to judge by look­ing at the por­tion above the sur­face.”
Source: Wikipedia

So, “above the sur­face” where some of your pages are eas­ily access­ible from your site nav­ig­a­tion (menu links, foot­er links, side­bar links etc.). And then, “beneath the sur­face”, you place a vast array of web pages not dir­ectly linked to your nav­ig­a­tion — land­ing pages. 

The way to think about ice­berg pub­lish­ing is to ima­gine build­ing a web­site where non-nav­ig­a­tion­al land­ing pages out­num­ber nav­ig­a­tion­al web pages.

Here are some help­ful land­ing page examples:

Event Landing Pages

When I talk at events, people ask if they can get hold of the slides I’ve just shown.

Still, many years of exper­i­ence have gone into mani­fest­ing the know­ledge I share. I think it’s only fair that I get some­thing extra for shar­ing my present­a­tion, right?

So, instead of just send­ing over a file with my present­a­tion to the coördin­at­or, I end my sem­in­ar with a link to a land­ing page where the audi­ence can opt-in to down­load my presentation.

This way, the audi­ence gets access to my present­a­tion instantly after­wards — and I get a chance to nur­ture the new rela­tion­ship digit­ally. At this point, I think I’ve cre­ated 35 event land­ing pages. The con­ver­sion rates on these pages are often between 70 – 90%.

When you could use event land­ing pages:

  • After a cli­ent pitch or presentation.
  • After a sales meet­ing (instead of leav­ing a USB stick).
  • After any event participation.

Thank-You Landing Pages

Every web page needs a land­ing page that says thank you. Most brands need sev­er­al dif­fer­ent thank-you land­ing pages. 

When you could use thank-you land­ing pages:

  • Whenever someone subscribes.
  • Whenever someone buys.
  • Whenever someone com­pletes a form.
  • Whenever someone registers to join or leaves a comment.

Use these oppor­tun­it­ies to point your vis­it­ors to oth­er land­ing pages.

About Landing Pages

Most web­sites have at least one about page. Despite often being quite dull, these pages are often rel­at­ively well-vis­ited. Therefore, it makes sense to trans­form your about-pages into land­ing pages. 

About Landing Pages
One of my About Landing Pages.

When you could use about land­ing pages:

  • About the organisation.
  • About every spe­cif­ic part of the organisation.
  • About indi­vidu­als work­ing for the organisation.
  • About spe­cif­ic part­ners, vendors, resellers etc.

Use these oppor­tun­it­ies to point your vis­it­ors to oth­er land­ing pages.

Content Theme Landing Pages

Brands focused on online con­tent often con­cen­trate their efforts on con­tent themes. Once such a peri­od is com­pleted, cre­at­ing sep­ar­ate con­tent theme land­ing pages often makes sense.

When you could use con­tent theme land­ing pages:

  • To focus on spe­cif­ic art­icle series.
  • To focus on import­ant industry categories.
  • To rank bet­ter in terms of SEO for keywords.
  • To re-util­ise your best-per­form­ing content.

Use these oppor­tun­it­ies to point your vis­it­ors to oth­er land­ing pages.

Content Themes

Let’s use a fic­ti­tious example of an IT com­pany. First, they decide on a prom­ise fil­ter for their con­tent strategy:

Promise fil­ter: We make IT easy to understand.

Then, the IT com­pany breaks their core mes­sage down into four busi­ness-crit­ic­al con­tent themes:

Q1 con­tent theme: We make people under­stand the Internet of Things (IoT).

Q2 con­tent theme: We make people under­stand busi­ness auto­ma­tion.

Q3 con­tent theme: We make people under­stand cloud com­put­ing.

Q4 con­tent theme: We make people under­stand man­aged services.

For each quarterly con­tent theme, they pro­duce con­tent pack­ages. Each con­tent pack­age could con­tain the following:

  • Infographics
  • Blog Articles
  • Whitepapers
  • Social Media Updates
  • Landing Pages
  • Lead Magnets
  • Swipe Files
  • Template Files
  • Content Upgrades
  • Online Courses
  • Podcast Episodes
  • Livestreams
  • Email Send-Outs
  • Events
  • Case Studies
  • Webinars
  • Video Tutorials
  • Interactive Quizzes
  • Press Releases
  • E‑Books
  • Testimonials
  • Influencer Collaborations
  • Mobile Apps
  • Slide Presentations

Learn more: The Content Themes PR Strategy

Resource Landing Pages

Brands focused on inbound com­mu­nic­a­tions often gen­er­ate deep con­tent, such as down­load­able assets, lead mag­nets, con­tent upgrades, infograph­ics, tem­plates, swipe files etc. All such resources war­rant their resource land­ing pages.

When you could use resource land­ing pages:

  • For all your lead magnets.
  • For all your con­tent upgrades.
  • For all your sales decks.
  • For all types of inform­a­tion­al material.

Use these oppor­tun­it­ies to point your vis­it­ors to oth­er land­ing pages.

Form Landing Pages

Instead of embed­ding your forms dir­ectly into a stand­ard web page, it’s often bet­ter to use a but­ton and point to forms embed­ded on form land­ing pages instead.

When you could use form land­ing pages:

  • For all types of con­tact forms.
  • For all kinds of sub­scriber forms.
  • For all down­load forms.
  • For lead-type forms, i.e. ask­ing, “What’s your biggest pro­fes­sion­al challenge?”
  • For all review-type forms.
  • For all sur­vey-type forms.

Use these oppor­tun­it­ies to point your vis­it­ors to oth­er land­ing pages.

FAQ Landing Pages

Many busi­nesses get the same ques­tions repeatedly, and for this reas­on, many com­pan­ies use FAQ sec­tions. One trick is to keep each answer in your FAQ very short and fin­ish each reply with a Read More link. These links could then refer to many dif­fer­ent FAQ land­ing pages.

When you could use FAQ land­ing pages:

  • For each FAQ question.

Use these oppor­tun­it­ies to point your vis­it­ors to oth­er land­ing pages.

Evergreen Content

What’s ever­green con­tent? For a piece of con­tent to be ever­green, it must sus­tain its value over time. Meaning: The con­tent must be rel­ev­ant today, tomor­row, and the fore­see­able future.

While news con­tent might have a more sig­ni­fic­ant impact short-term, ever­green con­tent instead accu­mu­lates over time.

There are dif­fer­ent ways to lever­age ever­green con­tent. I recom­mend a few axioms for ever­green content:

  • Two years. To be con­sidered ever­green con­tent, I think the con­tent must be rel­ev­ant and valu­able for at least two years. It’s an arbit­rary time frame, but if an organ­isa­tion can pro­duce con­tent last­ing for two years, it will typ­ic­ally last for much longer.
  • Actual interest. To be con­sidered ever­green con­tent, there must be an exist­ing volume of search engine users look­ing for the inform­a­tion. Without search volumes, the con­tent will likely be ‘ever’ without the ‘green’.
  • Gentle garden­ing. Evergreen con­tent will only stay ever­green if you tend to it occa­sion­ally. To check if everything’s work­ing, add some­thing help­ful if needed, and per­haps clean out some unne­ces­sary stuff. It’s a bit like garden­ing, I find. 
  • Personal touch. It’s dif­fi­cult to pub­lish some­thing unique. However, adding your brand’s ton­al­ity and flair to the con­tent is always pos­sible. The object­ive is to estab­lish trust and author­ity, so a touch of per­son­al­ity matters.

Learn more: The Evergreen Content PR Strategy: Forever Is a Long Time

Automation Landing Pages

A brand could make good use of vari­ous online auto­ma­tion. It could be a short series of emails like a mini-course or a vir­al loop with a sequence of videos. These types of pages spell good oppor­tun­it­ies for cre­at­ing auto­ma­tion land­ing pages.

When you could use auto­ma­tion land­ing pages:

  • For all your mini-courses.
  • For all your vir­al loops.
  • For all your double opt-in confirmations.

Use these oppor­tun­it­ies to point your vis­it­ors to oth­er land­ing pages.

Disclaimer Landing Pages

Most brands use dif­fer­ent kinds of dis­claim­ers — which are typ­ic­ally dull. These dis­claim­ers could be con­ver­ted into dis­claim­er land­ing pages with some cre­at­ive thinking.

When you could use dis­claim­er land­ing pages:

  • For Terms of Service disclaimers.
  • For Cookie Notice disclaimers.
  • For Integrity Policy disclaimers.

Use these oppor­tun­it­ies to point your vis­it­ors to oth­er land­ing pages.

Intent Landing Pages

Think about this: Where can a vis­it­or click a link on the web and end up on your web­site? Suppose you know of such links, which can often be eas­ily iden­ti­fied by track­ing extern­al refer­rers in ana­lyt­ics. You can set up intent land­ing pages to bet­ter serve (and con­vert) inbound audi­ences.

When you could use intent land­ing pages:

  • For all your pro­file links on social media.
  • For all your traffic com­ing from spe­cif­ic sites.

Use these oppor­tun­it­ies to point your vis­it­ors to oth­er land­ing pages.

How To Use Iceberg Publishing

Iceberg Publishing rests on three basic principles: 

When someone clicks a link on or out­side of your web­site, they demon­strate their exact intent through their action. Therefore, you should remove all dis­trac­tions on the link target.

There should always be some­thing for the vis­it­or to do next, i.e., call-to-action. The idea is that the web­site should always offer a vis­it­or the pos­sib­il­ity to go deep­er and deep­er into the website.

A good rule of thumb is to have more land­ing pages than nav­ig­a­tion­al pages (minus blog art­icles or wiki-style entries) to max­im­ise usab­il­ity, SEO, and conversions.

There are many bene­fits of using Iceberg Publishing:

  • You can power up your SEO.
  • Your web­site will be less cluttered.
  • You can increase all types of conversions.
  • Your web­site becomes more dynamic.

Please sup­port my blog by shar­ing it with oth­er PR- and com­mu­nic­a­tion pro­fes­sion­als. For ques­tions or PR sup­port, con­tact me via jerry@​spinfactory.​com.

PR Resource: Inbound vs Outbound

Inbound vs Outbound

The inbound mind­set is a fun­da­ment­al shift in pub­lic rela­tions.

Instead of focus­ing on try­ing to spawn non-exist­ing audi­ences, PR can do so much more with exist­ing online pub­lics. 1See also The Publics in Public Relations (Doctor Spin).

If your inbound PR strategy is good enough, you might not even need an out­bound PR strategy.

Jerry Silfwer speaking about inbound marketing
Jerry Silfwer (Doctor Spin) speaks about inbound marketing.

Read also: The Inbound First PR Strategy: Beauty From Within

1 See also The Publics in Public Relations (Doctor Spin).
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer, alias Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at KIX Index and Spin Factory. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.

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