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Custom Search Engine Landing Page – Customized Welcome Mat

Heard the term “landing page” or “landing site” in relationship with e-Commerce and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? It is the page people arrive on your site from a search engine.

If you are searching for “wordpress plugins” in a search engine, it will call up a list of results. Click on one of those results and the search engine link takes you to the clicked page. You know how this works, right? The page you land on is called a “landing page”.

In general, visitors arrive on the page listed in the search results. They take a look, quickly realize this is not what they want, and leave.

What if you could offer them more when they arrive from a search engine? What if you could take those search terms and generate more than one result to help the visitor find the information they are hunting for? What if you could grab them before they get to the resulting page and say “Hey, this might be what you are looking for, but here are a bunch of other suggestions related to your search that might help you more.”

When you arrive on the site from a search engine, your link brings information on the search terms which brought you here. These terms are recorded by your site statistics. When you check your site statistics, you will see a list of search terms which brought people to your site.

If you could grab that information that arrives, the moment the visitor arrives from the search engine, and use those search terms to generate a custom page to highlight the specific page plus related posts, wouldn’t that be something?

The Undersigned has come up with a landing site technique for WordPress users, as well as a Landing Sites WordPress Plugin to help you develop a “welcoming mat” for visitors arriving from search engines.

These techniques grab the incoming visitor’s information and show them a customized page with related posts. It’s not perfect, and still under a bit of development, and it may not work for your WordPress blog, but it is worth investigating to see what the results are.

Let me know what you learn and how it works for you.


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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network

Member of 9Rules Blogging Network

7 Comments

  1. Posted June 8, 2006 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    All I could think of was that plugin, and then you mentioned it. I grabbed it a few days ago and it works great.

  2. Posted June 8, 2006 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Ah, Billy, we’re just in tune with each other. ;-)

    How was the setup? Easy? And what results do people see when arriving at your site via search engine? Can you give us an example link?

  3. Posted June 9, 2006 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    The first release was a bit hard to install – wrote a guide about it while I coded it – after the guide it has been optimized a lot with help from some people – should be quite easy to install now :)

  4. Posted June 12, 2006 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    In an effort to fix the problem I was having on my site (which you re-alerted me to with a comment on my blog), I went about tweaking the index to the wp-posts table inside phpMyAdmin. That was last week. Of course, since then, I have not recv’d my nightly (daily blog posting) from del.icio.us as I was accustomed to getting everynight.

    Even though I heard after the fact that updating to the newest WP is ill-advised, I have a feeling that it is probably I that screwed things up. I touched on this fact with a brief post here: http://billy-girlardo.com/WP/2006/06/11/recent-wordpress-woes/ and would really appreciate any help I could get on this.

    [EDIT: Code removed due to privacy issues.]

  5. Posted June 12, 2006 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    BillyG: I removed the code you posted for two reasons. One is because it contained a couple pieces of information that might allow someone to get a little too deep into your site ;-), and two, because I can’t help you. I haven’t used or dug into this Plugin yet. Your best bet is to post this on the plugin author’s site or in the WordPress Support Forum, though I would edit the personal information in the code (the URL is the most important) before posting. No one needs that in order to figure out the problem.

    Try uninstalling the latest version of WordPress and see if it still works. Between the bugs and the fixes, there might be some conflict there.

    Let me know what happens, Billy. And glad to help point out problems. ;-) Hee hee.

    The more I think about this Plugin, the more I like the idea. When I finally stop for a while in my traveling, then I’m going to give it a try.

  6. Posted June 12, 2006 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Sweet, I appreciate that.

    To tell you the truth though, I’m a little overwhelmed with computer grief at the moment and may try again tomorrow but right now, I’m just not into it.

    My daily blog posting from delicious has not worked since last Thursday, my modem was intermittent all weekend and when I finally got to replace it after school today, the driver CD gave me an XP BSOD (which I’ve never even seen before) and then I couldn’t bootup for a few hectic minutes (including accessing my external with my Ghost backup). Obviously, I made it through and then I did indeed try reverting to an earlier WP install but now I can’t view the Akismet panel (who knows what else) because I apparently screwed something up. I gave up on the WP forum after waiting over a week about 2 seperate problems and then they wonder why posts get bumped. To top it off, viewing Bloglines at school today let me know that I have over 700 unread posts and my Blog page views have gone to crap lol.

    I don’t know if it was the table index that I tweaked (and then deleted when it didn’t help), a possible delicious API tweak (that I haven’t gotten verification of from anyone to confirm or deny), or the faulty WP 2.0.3 upgrade (that my screwed up revert didn’t fix) that is causing all the problems. Needless to say, the modem and then bootup problems only added icing to the cake earlier today.

    Being in school fulltime, I really need to re-evaluate my priorities, and to be honest, blogging really shouldn’t be one of them but hopefully I’ll feel much better tomorrow. Sorry for the venting, and thanks again.

    Happy travels.

    fyi: I have no reason to believe any of my troubles are due to this landing plugin, just to make that clear.

  7. Posted June 12, 2006 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    Billy, you can vent to me any time – almost. ;-) I reserve the right to protect you from yourself by editing your comments, if the need be. hee hee. Such control I have.

    But more importantly, if blogging is important to you, make it an accessory and not a lifestyle right now. It will still be there when you are ready. Don’t stress out on any of this. There is a common phrase in Hebrew: Lay-aht lay-at. It is the equivalent of “take it easy, don’t worry so much, it’s not that big of a deal, slowly slowly, step-by-step, it will happen, be patient.” Okay, so it basically means “slowly” or “slow down” but it comes with the rest as an agenda. Solve one problem at a time.


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