Doctor SpinDigital FirstContent & InboundIceberg Publishing — The Cool Way to Grow Traffic and Conversions

Iceberg Publishing — The Cool Way to Grow Traffic and Conversions

Allow landing pages beneath the surface to do most of the work.

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:

Table of Contents

    Avoid Conversion Cannibalism

    Too many CTAs (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 CTAs are punishing each other.

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

    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.

    Theoretically, you should transform your website into a collection of landing pages. One way to think about this is to 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

    You could think of your website as an iceberg where some of your pages are easily accessible from your site navigation (menu links, footer links, sidebar links etc. And then, there are several 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.

    Landing Page Examples

    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.

    Event 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 a little something extra for actually 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 Pages:

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

    Thank You Pages

    Every web page needs a landing page that says thank you. Most brands need several different Thank You Pages.

    When you could use Thank You 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 Pages

    Most websites have at least one About page. Despite often being quite dull, these pages are often relative well-visited. Therefore, it makes sense to transform your About-pages to About Pages.

    About Landing Pages
    One of my About Landing Pages.

    When you could use About 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 Pages

    Brands focused on content marketing 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 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.

    Resource Pages

    Brands focused on inbound marketing often generate various downloadable resources, such as lead magnets, content upgrades, infographics, templates, swipe files etc. All such resources warrant their Resource Pages.

    When you could use Resource 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 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 Pages instead.

    When you could use Form 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 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 a significant number of different FAQ Pages.

    When you could use FAQ Pages:

    • For each FAQ question.

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

    Automation 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 Pages.

    When you could use Automation 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 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 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. In that case, you can set up Intent Pages to better serve (and convert) these types of incoming visitors.

    When you could use Intent 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.

    Cover photo by Jerry Silfwer (Prints/Instagram)


    Jerry Silfwer
    Jerry Silfwer
    Jerry Silfwer, aka 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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