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July 15, 2010

The Death of Squeeze Pages… Google Slapped Em Dead

Webmasters

For years now, the squeeze page has practically been the lingua franca of the online marketing world. Whether you’re in real estate (and actually, the real estate industry in particular has leaned particularly heavily on squeeze pages), banking, e-commerce or anything else, the conventional wisdom has been to target tightly focused groups of consumers through these web pages/marketing tools.

These pages do OK at helping marketers identify which keywords or keyword phrases do well in terms of attracting targeted traffic and if they’re well designed, at gathering email addresses or other contact information from these visitors. However, there are much better methods of doing keyword research than creating a separate squeeze page for each of your keywords. Additionally, building and maintaining these pages represents an investment of time and money which isn’t likely to produce a worthwhile return.

The squeeze page is dead – it just doesn’t know it yet and neither do the marketers who still use this direct marketing-style methodology in their list building efforts. I know there’s probably at least a few of you out there reading this that still use them and are wondering what exactly is wrong with squeeze pages.

As it happens, the answer is plenty. They’re unappealing to consumers and increasingly, they’re seen as undesirable pieces of virtual property by the search engines as well. When you’re trying to market your business with a tool that turns off both your target market and the search engines, it’s clear that the time has come to abandon ship. I’ll explain in more detail below.

They’re Completely Unappealing To Readers

You’ve seen a squeeze page before – and chances are you’ve hit the back button on your browser almost immediately. These pages almost universally feature incredibly unattractive cookie cutter designs and copy which is generally nothing but sensational hype. That alone is enough to turn off most readers, not to mention that squeeze pages seem all too often to be riddled with spelling and grammatical errors. Put simply, they don’t
look professional by any stretch of the imagination – but they do look professional enough to fool many business people who are new to the medium of the web into using them at least for a while.

Think of it this way – if you got a flyer in the mail that looked like one of these pages, would you be in a hurry to contact the marketer to sign up for their mailing list, let alone actually do business with them? Probably not.

As a general rule, if it looks too awful to be true, it’s just what it looks like and squeeze pages are a prime example of this. They lack any kind of credibility with your prospective customers, especially when you’re in the real estate business. These pages make you look like the online equivalent of a shady used car salesman, not the kind of person that people want to do a real estate deal with. There are other things about squeeze pages that turn
off your potential customers, but since there’s some crossover with this and the SEO shortcomings of the format, we’ll get back to that a little later on.

Google Slaps Squeeze Pages

It’s true: squeeze pages are nothing less than poison as far as your performance in the search engines is concerned. Google and other search engines have been working on ways to discount the rankings of these pages, which are rarely the kind of content that users are actually looking for when they use the keywords which these sites target. It comes down to what it always comes down to when search engine rankings are the issue – relevance. A webpage designed to entice visitors to fork over their contact information simply isn’t that relevant to many, if any, actual search engine queries, no matter how much content you try to cram onto the page.

Speaking of the content, this is something which has changed about squeeze pages in the last couple of years. Once these pages started being penalized by search engines for their lack of content (“classic” squeeze pages, after
all, feature little more than an opt-in form), marketers started turning them into the online equivalent of the long form sales letter – in other words, something no one wants to read, especially not page after page. This unappealing content has led to a further decline in the ranking of these pages in search results, making them even worse marketing tools than they already were.

Squeeze Pages Can Sink Your Main Site

Let’s get back to that subtitle about Google “slapping” squeeze pages, because this is one of the most important points I’d like to make here today. If your squeeze pages either link to or are part of your main site, they’re more
than likely causing a slump in your main site’s search engine ranking, making you less visible to your market online. In other words, the exact opposite of what you’d hoped to accomplish. If these pages link to your site, you
can be penalized for these links from unpopular sites in what Google considers to be an iffy online neighborhood – and what are the three most important things in real estate? Exactly.

Another way that squeeze pages can drag down your online presence is through having a large percentage of duplicate content. Many businesses throw up dozens of squeeze pages which are basically identical other than the targeted keywords for that particular page. Even if you make an effort to rewrite the content on these pages, there’s only so much you can do without putting a disproportionate amount of time or money into the effort.

So if squeeze pages are out, what are real estate professionals to do in terms of online marketing? There’s plenty of options, all of which are better choices than building a series of squeeze pages. I won’t go into them
all here, but as always on the web, it’s all about good content which is geared towards readers first and search engines second. When your market sees you as credible and reputable, they’ll beat a path to your door and happily sign up for your email list. And where the market goes, the search engines will follow; but no one’s flocking to squeeze pages.


Former Software CEO turned Internet Marketer, Duncan Wierman shows you how to use creative marketing methods to create a full time income online. Duncan is the original creator of the software that finds business LEADS and converts them to income. Get a trial copy at: http://www.OnlineLeadFinder.com

53 Responses to “The Death of Squeeze Pages… Google Slapped Em Dead

    I find it ironic that someone who sells a software that scrapes community sites like Craigslists for peoples e-mail addresses is saying that squeeze pages are unappealing to readers… yes, and spamming random peoples e-mail addresses who you harvested off a community site is?

    I fail to see what one has to do with the other.

    Squeeze pages versus Craigslist ?
    You are talking apples and oranges.

    Btw..
    The software is NOT about scraping Craiglist!

    The software is about finding leads in general over multiple lead sources and if you look at the software in its entirety, Craiglist is just a small part.

    Matter of fact, the software also gets physical addresses, telephone numbers, contact information, etc..

    I agree one hundred percent that squeeze pages are going to become fossilized by search engine robots. This in-turn forces internet marketing firms, due to ethics and popularity of sqeeze pages, to develope the need for creating good content, as you have done here, to go with an opt in form, again as you have done here, to generate leads.

    Although the article stands true, are you not achieving the same results here as a squeeze page may achieve or is that your point?

    I’m fairly new to the industry so when I first started out, buying into an opportunity product, I was given a squeeze page as my starting website. It came with a lot of flash and bang but it still is what it is. I places it, at first, on my blogs and social pages only to get the link pulled a few days later with some type of warning. I still didn’t understand until I placed it on google Adwords. They refused me along with a good explanation of what a squeeze page is. I also found that google bots are not sensitive to the facy that you didn’t know or are new to the industry, just a word of advice, from a newbie who is learning the fast but hard way.

    Great article! I will be visiting onlineleadfinder.com for more great advice!

    Thanks!

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