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Everything is a landing page
“We've known for years that blogs are necessary on websites. For knowledge sharing, Google rankings, there's plenty of reasons - but doing something clever like InVision and doubling high traffic pages as subtle landing pages seems like a great idea.”
In this day of social media ruling the world, it's fair to say we should be treating as many pages as possible as a landing page. An article from Zurb on The Next Web's website redesign, brought up an interesting point -
"For many publishers, the homepage is dead as most traffic goes directly to articles from social sharing and other sources."
This makes a lot of sense. Tools like Facebook's OpenGraph technology are becoming increasingly more important when the main access point to site content is through social media. This extends to Twitter too and (within our industry, at least) increasingly Medium, Product Hunt, Sidebar or a tonne of other 'link sharing' sites - Reddit and Digg being the forefathers to this style of sharing.
They treat every blog article like a landing page.
InVision's blog layout has a subscribe button at the top of the page and a following top bar with a call-to-action to learn more about joining. Even their footer is very much a call-to-action, featuring some landing page classics like 'social proof'.
Not only this, but their blog area also features both a sticky header and footer, with options for social sharing and an offer for a free trial.
In fact, when you consider this article from Hubspot - a bit of a market leader on landing pages - detailing the 7 Key Design Tips for High-Converting Landing Pages, you can see how InVision's blog layout pretty much hits every point they make.
This results in their article being both useful in terms of the information presented while also acting a sales tool. Traffic arriving at this page from new sources can very simply learn more about where they are without having to leave the page.
The impressive thing to me is the way in which this is handled - I don't feel it's overly sales-y. Yes, I can see the ads all around me, but it's not in my face. We've been paying for an InVision account for almost a year now, I rate it as an incredibly valuable tool, and I still read all of their blog articles.
What if you're not selling a product?
InVision is obviously different to The Next Web, in that it's advertising a product.
So how does The New Web handle their blog articles that people are landing on? By offering a lot of related content, sharing links and links in general. And it's interesting to note that nearly every single link has an accompanying image: sidebar links, the main menu bar, even ads. Finally, they use a sticky sidebar and a sticky header to seal the deal.
It's not as 'refined' as InVision, it feels more a 'magazine' style (as it should do), encouraging click-throughs more than anything - yet isn't this just another way of attracting traffic, keeping them on the site, dangling them some clickbait titles and driving them towards a call-to-action (newsletter signup)? Sounds like a landing page to me.
We've known for years that blogs are necessary on websites. For knowledge sharing, Google rankings, there's plenty of reasons - but doing something clever like InVision and doubling high traffic pages as subtle landing pages seems like a great idea.
Don't get me wrong, I've seen my fair share of bad examples of this - product pitches, styled as blog articles - which is what makes InVision such a delight.
Intercom's home page has been a frequently stolen design, and it's not surprising that they are equally as enviable when it comes to their landing page designs.
Slightly less intense than InVision, but check out that subtle sticky sidebar.
And, yes. They have a sticky header as well.
So what about us? You are, after all, reading a blog article. Is this some kind of jedi mind trick to make you purchase something? Are we subtly winding you in? Alas, no, we are not. We, the good people of Indietech, just want to share our knowledge with the world.
Although who is to say what the future holds...