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 by Jerry Silfwer (Instagram)

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.

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 coordinator, 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 core message for their content strategy:

Core message: 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.

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

Read also: How Content Themes Works—And Why You Should Use Them

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.

Deep Content

Here’s an example of an online content structure that’s five levels deep:

In the example, 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.

Read also: The Deep Content PR Strategy

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.

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.

Thank you for reading this article. Please consider supporting my work by sharing it with other PR- and communication professionals. For questions or PR support, contact me via [email protected].

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.


  1. Very useful. I’ve never thought of thank you-pages after lectures, but it’s such a smart move. Ensures that everybody gets the material and gives them an opportunity to follow you. Great tip, thanks Jerry!

  2. Imponerande artikel med så mycket bra innehåll att jag får ta det i portioner. Ska bokmärka och återkomma till!
    Dessutom hittade jag nu dig på Instagram och det var en bonus.

  3. Thank you for this wonderful explanation! Now I have a new way to explain the value of these pages to my clients.

  4. Hello Jerry,

    What a fantastic post! I don’t think I have ever read anything similar, so kudos for tackling a topic that many experts haven’t!

    Your post is timely for me, as I have just created an iceberg page to thank my readers for leaving comments on my blog. No need for a plugin, which is awesome!

  5. Awesome post! I think a good test if you’re reading this and thinking “I don’t have anything to offer my visitors, that they would exchange an e-mail for” then you probably need to re-think things entirely. If anything – this Doctor Spinn – line of thinking forces you to create and provide value that people actually want. I find this very inspiring, and hope to put some of these ideas to test soon.

  6. Great post. Currently rebuilding our site and testing out a new content strategy where there is heaps and bounds of practical advice – like a legal-wiki for startups and tech (matches Category and Resources in your post). Will definitely try incorporate more of your suggestions to build a greater Iceberg!


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