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As always, you can learn a lot from the way Google markets on the Web.

Check the Google sponsor listing here on Sphinn. The first thing you notice is the branding: Google’s basic look, clean white space, and simple logo. No revelations there, but it sure stands out compared to the other sponsors.

Click on the link and witness landing page perfection. All the little bits are present: Home, About and TOS links with copyright. A nice fat call-to-action on the most visible part of the page, where your mouse pointer is already practically hovering after clicking the ad on Sphinn; where your eyes naturally lead. The words "Get Started" are painted on it.

Next notice the superb advertising message. The headline reads an all-about-you phrase ("improve your site’s visibility"), and guess what, "It’s free." The punch list of rewards for being part of Webmaster Tools follows, with candy coated icons and snippets about the benefits.

Beneath that big button on the right is an optional Tour, equally compelling. Clean, designed to float you through the selling cycle like It’s a Small World at Disneyland (it’s Google, it’s Free, I’m not being sold), you can’t help but admire Google’s marketing savvy. The final landing page on the tour (it’s a perfect 5 pages long, no more) is a clean call-to-action with 3 featured testimonials. Each quote is link-free, of course, but with snappy logos, names and titles to add credibility (as if they need it).

Google sure has a dominant brand, but it’s these little touches that reveal their marketing genius. And realize what they’re pushing here on Sphinn: Webmaster Tools and Help Center. Reflect on why that’s important to them, and see the larger marketing picture as they collect every bit of the world’s information (and analytics). As we need them for traffic, for a Web presence, we’ll also need them to tell us how to get traffic, and how to fix our sites.

Google owns the commercial Internet and actively works to frame the conversations occuring in the SEO/M industry. Consider that while Ask and Yahoo push their paid search programs here on Sphinn, Google pushes Webmaster Tools.

Lest you think I’m a cynical anti-Goog, let me make clear that I’m not. I just enjoy taking a discriminating look at the climate online. Plus, there’s a whole lot to learn from them. (I also wanted to experiment with posting here like a blog)
Comments13 Comments  

Comments

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from TopMedNews 3763 Days ago #
Votes: 0

"Check the Google sponsor listing here on Sphinn"... Where is the Google sponsor listing on Sphinn and what link are you talking about clicking on to see landing page perfection?

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from alsc 3763 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Reload the page (maybe a few times) and you should be able to the Google banner in the banner section in the top right corner. Unless of course, you are running some sort of banner blocking system.

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from todd 3763 Days ago #
Votes: 3

nice post. clients often ask me what the perfect landing page formula is. I tell them: - heading that matches what they just clicked on - nice clean design (cause it gets me extra work ;) of course I believe this too) - 4-6 bullet points highlighting the offering - prominent call to action to the right or lead form - more descriptive info below or a link to more info Anything I’m missing?

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from billse 3763 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Good article!

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from Tuf 3763 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I dont like the "Learn more". ’Very important visualy and give no information except we can clic

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from TollFreeNumbers 3763 Days ago #
Votes: 0

That is a good example. None of the other sponsors had such an obvious example of doing it right. Most were OK, but many were basically more like their regular webpages than clean focused landing pages (ie. Ebrandz and Search Marketing). So Goggle definitely seemed to be winning in that small microcosm.

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from fabeddie 3763 Days ago #
Votes: 0

As usual, Adam brings us great information, a fine look towards improvment of our own sites and what we can do to perfect them.

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from bartimus 3763 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I find competition landing pages on Google to be very informative. I assume if they are using a particular layout that it must be successful. I also find that the competition seems to be throwing pages at the wall to see what sticks. Much can be learned from clicking on some paid ads from a rival.

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from iBrian 3763 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I remember at SES London a couple of years ago Google’s understanding of marketing really impacted me. There was the traders section on the floor, of course - and what Google had done is set themselves in the centre of it, with their logo larger and presented at the stairs where every talk visitor would have to come down. And in doing so, be presented with a huge image of Google. The freebies were fun - I still use my Google mousemat - but it’s the marketing savvy they displayed that impacted most. Yahoo! and MSN didn’t even send their own staff, just PR agency people.

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from sniehaus 3762 Days ago #
Votes: 1

One important thing to remember, before we all run off and copy Google’s landing page design, is that Google has carefully developed a particular look. That look happens to be very clean and minimal. And while it’s tempting to think "Hey, Google’s doing it, I should too," remember every site has specific branding requirements and a unique audience mix. The Google Look may not be right for you or your client’s site. Test, test, test.

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from AndyBeard 3762 Days ago #
Votes: 0

It can’t be perfect, no Hackersafe Logo Maybe Google failed?

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from ojaipost 3762 Days ago #
Votes: 0

i’ve just started playing with Google’s Website Optimizer for landing pages. This is a really helpful article that will guide our experimentation. thanks!

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from AdamAudette 3761 Days ago #
Votes: 0

thanks for the comments and feedback everyone, great points all. @AndyBeard: lol! damn they missed something didn’t they

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