An essential aspect of that system is what I refer to as “Tier 2” posts, which are posts that provide the essential link between a user looking for information and finding products that fill his need. While you can read more about Tier 2 posts here, in this post I’m going to focus on effective ways to list products within one of these posts.
Basically this breaks down into two categories: lists within sentences and bulleted lists.
Lists Inside Sentences
One very effective way of linking through to a sales page is provide a list inside a sentence, usually as an example of a product. These lists are effectively used when their content is directly relevant to the sentence at hand, and no extra context is necessary to explain why the product might be relevant.
For example, if I’m writing a sentence about the pros and cons of taking a course, I can effectively incorporate a passing reference to one or two course options without detracting from the sentence as a whole.
The disadvantages of using lists inside sentences are that the lists tend to be short and there isn’t space for any product description. More than 1 or 2 examples embedded into 1 sentence or any product description placed within the sentence will disrupt the flow of the reader and destroy the relevance of the original sentence.
Depending on the type of post, bulleted lists are a very effective means of getting a user from the current post to a product review or sales page.
Bulleted Lists offer the advantage that they often allow you to list more products, which can help accommodate different types of readers. They also give you the opportunity to describe the product briefly before the user ever gets to the sales page. This pre-selling often translates to high conversion rates from the users that do click through to the targeted page.
Bulleted lists are most effectively incorporated into the post when the list is the primary subject of the post. For example “Top 5 ____” or “Best ____ of 2014.” These posts easily lend themselves to brief product information, descriptions, and even images, all of which improve your click-through rate to a more dedicated sales page.
They also provide tremendous value to the reader, as the reader can more quickly narrow down whether that product is right for him before he gets to the product review.