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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.

Many brands should rethink how they structure their websites.

When most people think of their websites, they think about what’s on their front page — and then all the pages you can get to from there. While all of those pages are important, they’re not the whole story.

What if there was a whole universe of “front pages” underneath it all?

Table of Contents

    A Cool Analogy: 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 a number of web pages not directly linked from your navigation — landing pages.

    iceberg publishing
    A website should be much more than meets the eye.

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

    What is a landing page?

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

    What are some examples of landing pages?

    Landing Page Example 1: Singular Event Pages

    When I talk at events, one thing always happens. Either the audience asks to get my presentation or the coordinator asks if they can get it to distribute afterwards. This is generally fine — sharing is caring.

    However, many years of experience has 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.

    university landing page
    A basic seminar download page.

    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 Singular Event Pages:

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

    Landing Page Example 2: Thank You Pages

    Every web page needs a landing page that says thank you. In fact, most brands needs several different Thank You Pages.

    thank you page example
    One of my Thank You Pages.

    When you could use Thank You Pages:

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

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

    Landing Page Example 3: About Landing Pages

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

    Landing Page Example 4: Content Theme Landing Pages

    Brands focused on content marketing often focus their efforts into Content Themes. Once such a period is completed, it often makes sense to create separate Content Theme Landing Pages.

    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.

    Landing Page Example 5: Resource Landing 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 warrants their own 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.

    Landing Page Example 6: Form Landing Pages

    Instead of embedding your forms directly into a normal 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 types 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.

    Landing Page Example 7: FAQ Landing Pages

    Many business gets the same questions over and over again and for this reason, many businesses use FAQ sections. One trick is to keep each and every answer of your FAQ very short and instead finish each answer with a Read More-link. These links could then refer to a great number of different FAQ Landing Pages.

    When you could use FAQ Landing Pages:

    • For each and every FAQ question.

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

    Landing Page Example 8: Automation Landing Pages

    A brand could make good use of various online automations. It could be a short series of emails like a mini-course or it could be 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.

    Landing Page Example 9: Disclaimer Landing Pages

    Most brands use different kind of disclaimers — which are typically kind of boring. With some creative thinking, these disclaimers could be converted into Disclaimer Landing Pages.

    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.

    Landing Page Example 10: Intent Landing Pages

    Think about this: Where can a visitor click a link on the web and end up on your website? If 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) these types of incoming visitors.

    When you could use Intent Landing Pages:

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

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

    The Benefits of Iceberg Publishing

    Iceberg Publishing as a strategy has three central tenets:

    When someone clicks a link, on your website 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. a call-to-action. The idea is that the website should always offer a visitor a possibility to go deeper and deeper into the website.

    To maximise usability, SEO, and conversions, a good rule of thumb is that there should be more landing pages than navigational pages (minus blog articles or wiki-style entries).

    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.

    Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash.

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    Avatar of Jerry Silfwer
    Jerry Silfwerhttps://doctorspin.org/
    Jerry Silfwer, aka Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at KIX Communication 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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