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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 don’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. A web page with only one CTA is also known as a — land­ing page.

Types of Landing Pages

Landing Page (LP) = a single-pur­pose web page stripped of stand­ard menus and side­bars with a single call-to-action chosen to match the visitor’s pre­vi­ous intent.

Here are a few examples of land­ing page types:

  • Lead Capture Pages: These are designed to gath­er con­tact inform­a­tion from vis­it­ors, usu­ally in exchange for some­thing valu­able like an ebook, a webin­ar, or a free tri­al. They typ­ic­ally include a form and a brief descrip­tion of what the vis­it­or will get in return for their information.
  • Click-Through Landing Pages: Used primar­ily in e‑commerce and SaaS (Software as a Service) indus­tries, these pages provide detailed inform­a­tion about a product or offer and lead vis­it­ors to a shop­ping cart or checkout.
  • Sales Pages: These are focused on dir­ectly selling a product or ser­vice. They often include detailed descrip­tions, bene­fits, testi­mo­ni­als, and a strong call-to-action (CTA) to make a purchase.
  • Squeeze Pages: A type of lead cap­ture page, squeeze pages are designed to squeeze inform­a­tion out of vis­it­ors, usu­ally through a form. They often have min­im­al con­tent except for a pitch and a form.
  • Event/​Webinar Registration Pages: Designed to sign up vis­it­ors for an event or a webin­ar, these pages provide inform­a­tion about the event and include a regis­tra­tion form.
  • Thank You Pages: After a vis­it­or takes an action (like sign­ing up or mak­ing a pur­chase), these pages thank them and can also be used to guide them towards the next steps, like down­load­ing a resource or check­ing related products.
  • Launch Pages: Used for new products or ser­vices, these pages aim to build excite­ment and anti­cip­a­tion. They might include a count­down timer, teas­er inform­a­tion, and an option to sign up for updates.
  • Unsubscribe Pages: These pages are used when someone chooses to unsub­scribe from a ser­vice or email list. They often include options to recon­sider the decision or provide feed­back.
  • Coming Soon Pages: Similar to launch pages, they are used before a web­site or product launch to build anti­cip­a­tion and gath­er early interest or email sign-ups.
  • 404 Error Pages: While not a typ­ic­al land­ing page, a well-designed 404 page can turn an error into an oppor­tun­ity, guid­ing lost vis­it­ors back to the main site or to spe­cif­ic actions.

Each land­ing page type serves a spe­cif­ic pur­pose in the cus­tom­er jour­ney, focus­ing on a single object­ive to increase conversions.

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

💡 Subscribe and get a free ebook on how to get bet­ter PR ideas.

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 (click­ing ver­tic­ally) since they’re more valu­able than Content Surfers (click­ing horizontally).

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: Win By Going Deeper

💡 Subscribe and get a free ebook on how to get bet­ter PR ideas.

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 (to build Content Skyscrapers). 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

💡 Subscribe and get a free ebook on how to get bet­ter PR ideas.

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 short-term impact, Evergreen Content 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. The con­tent will nev­er be ‘ever’ without ‘green’ search volumes.
  • 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.

Evergreen Content is also help­ful in build­ing Content Themes, Content Packages, Deep Content, and Content Skyscrapers.

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

💡 Subscribe and get a free ebook on how to get bet­ter PR ideas.

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.
Signature - Jerry Silfwer - Doctor Spin

Thanks for read­ing. Please con­sider shar­ing my pub­lic rela­tions blog with oth­er com­mu­nic­a­tion and mar­ket­ing pro­fes­sion­als. If you have ques­tions (or want to retain my PR ser­vices), please con­tact me at jerry@​spinfactory.​com.

PR Resource: Inbound vs Outbound

Spin Academy | Online PR Courses

Inbound vs Outbound

The inbound mind­set is a fun­da­ment­al shift in the PR- and mar­ket­ing industry.

Historically, many PR- and mar­ket­ing depart­ments have argued:

Why should we spend our PR- and mar­ket­ing budgets on ‘already acquired’ audiences?”

The truth is — it’s the oth­er way around.

Instead of “spam­ming” non-exist­ing audi­ences, pub­lic rela­tions and mar­ket­ing can do much more with exist­ing online pub­lics. 1Silfwer, J. (2015, June 11). The Publics in Public Relations. Doctor Spin | The PR Blog. https://​doc​tor​spin​.net/​p​u​b​l​i​c​s​-​i​n​-​p​u​b​l​i​c​-​r​e​l​a​t​i​o​ns/

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

If your Inbound Shift PR Strategy is good, you might not need to pri­or­it­ise out­bound PR strategies — because your inbound audi­ence will attract out­bound publics.

Drawing a line between those who know you and those who don’t know you is noth­ing new:

  • Push Marketing
  • Cold Leads
  • Traditional Marketing
  • External Comms
  • Pull Marketing
  • Hot Leads
  • Permission Marketing
  • Internal Comms

This inbound shift is just the online equivalent:

  • Outbound Comms
  • Inbound Comms

Learn more: The Inbound Shift PR Strategy: Beauty From Within

💡 Subscribe and get a free ebook on how to get bet­ter PR ideas.

1 Silfwer, J. (2015, June 11). The Publics in Public Relations. Doctor Spin | The PR Blog. https://​doc​tor​spin​.net/​p​u​b​l​i​c​s​-​i​n​-​p​u​b​l​i​c​-​r​e​l​a​t​i​o​ns/
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer, alias Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at Spin Factory and KIX Communication Index. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.

The Cover Photo

The cover photo isn't related to public relations; it's just a photo of mine. Think of it as a 'decorative diversion', a subtle reminder that there is more to life than strategic communication.

The cover photo has


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