Tag Archives: landing pages

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Written by Caroline Cox on Jun 10 , 2022

Increase conversions with the latest landing page design tips and tricks.

Here, you’ll find:

  • Why less is more
  • Tips for A/B testing
  • Ways to leverage data and testimonials
  • Best practices for forms

Stale. Outdated. Unexciting.

If any of these terms could describe your brand’s current landing page design, then you’ve come to the right place.

With stiff competition for most businesses online, it’s as important as ever to create dynamic, engaging landing pages.

Below, we deep-dive into 8 tips for building landing pages set up to convert.

clean minimalist white office space

Unnecessary links can be distracting and result in lead generation friction. (Image: Unsplash)

1. Ditch the clutter

Your website is your brand’s one-stop shop online.

Because of that, it makes sense that you’d want it to be as thorough as possible, especially on the homepage. But this idea doesn’t need to carry over to your landing pages.

These pages should follow the “less is more” design philosophy. On landing pages, you can omit elements like your usual header navigation. HubSpot agrees, saying these unnecessary links can be distracting and result in lead generation friction.

2. Prioritize the headline

One of the biggest missteps you can make when designing your landing pages is to focus too much on the template and leave copy as an afterthought.

Your messaging can truly be a make-or-break factor when it comes to landing page success. That’s why it’s important to take the time to brainstorm a variety of headlines for each landing page.

Think about what you’re offering, what next action you want the visitor to take, and what aligns with your brand’s voice and tone.

The most effective headlines often:

  • Have the same or similar verbiage to the ad copy
  • Are short and to the point
  • Ask a question or appeal to a common pain point
  • Make the reader want to keep scrolling

3. Keep the style consistent

Along with the voice and tone of your messaging being in line with your overall brand’s, so too should the landing page’s design. You don’t want to confuse your visitor by having a totally separate aesthetic from the rest of your website.

This is also helpful when designing your pages because it offers some parameters. Try to match your website’s fonts, colors, and style of imagery. From there, you can experiment with different elements to hook the prospect and get them to take that next desired step.

ZAG Technical Services

Having some lines optional is another way to avoid form-fill fatigue. (Image: ZAG Technical Services)

4. Stick to one offer or action

When it comes to landing pages, the simpler and clearer the action, the more likely people will be to follow through. It can be tempting to include multiple offers and actions. However, you risk overwhelming the viewer, which could cause them to bounce.

Each page should have one goal, which can be completed with one action, whether it’s a sign up, consultation request, download, or something more.

Pro tip: While it’s best to stick to a single ask per page, you can include multiple ways for people to complete the action (such as a link, button, and sign-up form).

5. Avoid lengthy forms

Speaking of forms, our mantra is Keep It Simple, Sweetie. Particularly for landing pages, it’s best to ask for just the bare-minimum info you need to get someone moving down the funnel.

The more lines you include in your forms, the more chances someone has to abandon ship. You can also consider multi-step forms. These form types are used “to make long forms, such as shipping or registration forms, less intimidating and daunting,” according to HubSpot.

team of people planning a landing page design

Landing pages are a great place to include quotes, statistics, and testimonials that showcase why your product or service is worth exploring. (Image: Unsplash)

6. Make sure it’s optimized

Your landing pages shouldn’t live in a silo. Rather, they should be shareable, adaptable, and easily viewed on multiple devices.

While it’s best to keep distractions to a minimum, a few social share links can potentially help your pages cast a wider net. And, of course, mobile-friendly pages are key as more and more people search and scroll via smartphones. 

Do plenty of testing on a variety of smartphone types, if you can, to ensure everything renders properly and creates a seamless user experience.

Ript Gear LP

RiptGear lets their customers speak for them. (Image: RiptGear)

7. Show, don’t tell

With all the claims and promises brands tout online, people are becoming less and less likely to believe the hype. With that in mind, you can foster credibility and trust in your brand by leaving the bragging to others.

Landing pages are a great place to include quotes, statistics, and testimonials that showcase why your product or service is worth exploring. These elements serve as evidence that you’ll follow through on your claims.

8. Conduct A/B testing

The “set it and forget it” mindset? Couldn’t be us! Any experienced marketer will tell you that testing is a crucial part of running successful campaigns.

You can A/B test things like:

  • Button colors
  • CTAs
  • Headlines
  • Page layouts
  • Visuals

And since landing pages have a clear goal, the data you gather from A/B testing should tell you a lot about what is and isn’t resonating with your audience.

The takeaway

The bad news: There’s no single trick that’ll make your conversions skyrocket.

The good news: By implementing these landing page design tactics, you can feel confident that yours are optimized, thorough, and created with your target audience’s needs in mind.

Caroline Cox

Caroline Cox

Caroline is HawkSEM's content marketing manager. She uses her more than 10 years of professional writing and editing experience to create SEO-friendly articles, educational thought leadership pieces, and savvy social media content to help market leaders create successful digital marketing strategies. She's a fan of seltzer water, print magazines, and huskies.

Questions or comments? Join the conversation here!

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Written by Sam Yadegar on Apr 11 , 2022

So, you’ve got the whole PPC campaign process down — or do you?

Here, you’ll find:

  • What makes a PPC campaign successful
  • Ways to determine your PPC campaign goals
  • How to pick the right keywords
  • Why campaign tracking is crucial

These days, having an established PPC campaign isn’t enough. You need one that converts. That usually means a set-it-and-forget-it strategy simply won’t cut it.

ROI should be the driving force behind every aspect of designing, launching, and monitoring your PPC campaign.

Want to make sure it’s embedded in your digital marketing plan and processes? Keep reading.

man sitting and looking at a tablet screen

Your goal should be centered around overall ROI as well as year-over-year growth. (Image: Unsplash)

1. Determine your goals

Most marketing pros are familiar with “SMART” goals. This type of goal-setting can be highly effective, no matter your company size or industry.

  • S – Specific: Well-defined goals that help drive your PPC campaign forward
  • M – Measurable: Goals that can be measured by specific metrics to see how you’re progressing
  • A – Achievable: Goals that you set must be achievable — while the sky’s the limit, you should have a clear understanding of how much your team can really accomplish
  • R – Relevant: Your PPC goals should be relevant to your overall marketing strategy and align with your business goals
  • T – Timely: Goals need to have clear deadlines to help you achieve the desired results on time

A SMART goal for PPC marketing could be: “Streamline Google Ads campaign to increase website traffic by 5% before May 1” or use “PPC to get 15 new leads by the end of the month through a website contact form.”

Applying this mindset to your PPC campaign can help you zero in on what you want to accomplish — maybe it’s more sales, market expansion, the desired CPA, more precise persona targeting, more effective lead nourishment, or something else. 

Whatever your goal, it should be centered around overall ROI as well as year-over-year growth.

2. Identify the right keywords

Having the right keywords is crucial for a campaign’s success. 

Once you’ve determined your goals, you can identify the keywords you want to leverage for this particular PPC campaign. These could include the services you offer, the products you sell, or phrases customers use in connection to your business.

Create a list of keywords by pulling your own search query data or using a keyword tool like Semrush or Google’s Keyword Planner. Add in factors like long-tail and negative keywords, then work to identify those that are highly relevant but not highly competitive.

Pro tip: Having a clear understanding of your ideal client persona (or personas) will help you develop a list of high-performing keywords.

3. Expand on those keywords

Before checking “keywords” off the list, it’s a good idea to expand your list of keywords to make sure there aren’t any important words and phrases you’re missing out on.

You can do this in a few ways: 

  • Analyzing your competitors and seeing what keywords they’re leveraging
  • Looking into your target audience’s search behavior to uncover more keywords
  • Using a keyword tool to see if there are any suggested keywords you haven’t included

For even more inspiration, you can look into a service like Answer the Public that aggregates questions people ask around different keywords, giving you more insight into their search motivations.

4. Prioritize your chosen keywords

As your campaign progresses, you’ll start to get a better idea about which keywords are top performers and which can be cut.

Because the frequent iterating and optimizing of these campaigns can be time-consuming, those without the expertise or bandwidth often turn to a digital marketing agency that can manage these types of campaigns on an ongoing basis.

Thinking of partnering with an agency? Might we suggest…

keys in the shape of a circle next to a newspaper

Put your keywords into different categories based on the type of advertisements they create. (Image: Unsplash)

5. Categorize your keywords

Keywords can fall into many categories: high-intent, branded, and feature-specific, just to name a few. 

A great way to stay organized and make sure you’re covering all your bases is by breaking up keywords into thematic Ad Groups.

You can group keywords into the categories above, or things like funnel stage, persona, service, and intent. Put your keywords into different categories based on the type of advertisements they create.

The eventual goal is to establish and track different types of ads based on the type of keywords. Basically, this ensures your ads directly relate to the search being made.

6. Set up ads

There’s no shortage of advice to be found about the best ways to set up PPC ads for maximum ROI. But through our years of experience, we’ve narrowed it down and found that there are a few key facets to creating ads that convert.

They include:

  • Keeping ads short, catchy, and relevant
  • Having a consistent look and message from ad to a landing page
  • Leveraging ad extensions
  • Targeting based on location
  • Taking advantage of remarketing when applicable
  • A/B testing

Pro tip: If you’re unfamiliar with the technicalities of ad management, your chosen ad platform or platforms should have step-by-step instructions for setting up your ads and their corresponding keywords.

7. Think about context and content

When planning your ad copy, be mindful of where the ads will be placed. With display ads, for example, it makes sense to keep the ad copy relevant to the content of the sites where they’ll appear — if you know what those sites will be.

That’s where the Google Display Network’s keyword contextual targeting comes in. 

As a more advanced and efficient way to choose the sites to place display ads on, this method allows you to create a list of keywords so your ad can be more closely matched to pages with similar context and content. 

Essentially, this lets you better target the sites where your display ad would show up.

8. Determine the desired conversion action

A “conversion” isn’t defined the same way across the board. Different industries and campaigns will have different definitions of what action they consider to be a conversion.

This could mean:

  • A submitted form
  • A completed sale
  • A demo or consultation request
  • A downloaded piece of content
  • An email subscription

No matter your conversion type, it can be measured by tracking the number of people that perform the measurable task once they reach your landing page. 

During the planning process, think about the desired action you want your potential customers to perform, then make it easy for them to do so.

Pro tip: It’s usually a best practice to stick to one CTA per ad and per landing page. Otherwise, you risk confusing the consumer and missing a conversion.

view from the backseat of two people in the front of a driving car

Effective ads drive people to your landing pages. From there, you’ve got to have a strong landing page poised to turn clicks into conversions. (Image: Unsplash)

9. Focus on Quality Score

Quality Score is closely tied to the ROI of your PPC campaign. It helps advertisers understand how relevant Google sees their ad and targeted keywords. Besides affecting the ad performance, it also influences the cost per click.

To improve the Quality Score, you can focus on:

  • Optimizing landing pages
  • Streamlining keyword research tactics
  • Testing a few ad copy variations
  • Organizing your keywords into groups

One way to work on improving your score (and ROI) is to dig deeper into negative keywords. You could be wasting your budget on irrelevant search terms without even knowing it.

Identify negative keywords and implement them into your campaign. Just keep in mind that the negative keyword list has to be adjusted regularly.

10. Design optimized landing pages

We’ve highlighted key ways to boost landing page conversions before.

Some of those ways include:

  • A strong call to action (CTA)
  • A special offer
  • An easy way to share
  • A mobile-friendly experience

Effective ads drive people to your landing pages. From there, you’ve got to have a strong landing page poised to turn clicks into conversions

11. Set up proper tracking

Spoiler alert: Establishing a new campaign is just the beginning.

From there, you’ve got to have the means to test, track, and adjust your initial plan in order to achieve an optimal ROI.

That means taking the time to pull reports, analyze the data, and pinpoint strengths and weaknesses in your campaign so you can iterate accordingly. 

By following the steps outlined above, however, you’ll be set up to see all that effort turn into a well-executed campaign that converts.

The takeaway 

While PPC campaigns can be highly effective, they don’t always provide the desired ROI. 

To make sure you’re getting the most out of your campaign, focus on the right elements.

These include testing and optimizing, improving your Quality Score, staying organized, targeting the right keywords, and having accurate tracking in place to achieve your marketing goals without breaking the bank.

This post has been updated and was originally published in August 2014.

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar is the co-founder and CEO of HawkSEM. Starting out as a software engineer, his penchant for solving problems quickly led him to the digital marketing world, where he has been helping clients for over 12 years. He loves doing everything he can to help brands "crush it" through ROI-driven digital marketing programs. He's also a fan of basketball and spending time with his family.

Questions or comments? Join the conversation here!

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Written by Caroline Cox on Dec 21 , 2020

From effective design elements to optimization tips, here’s what you need to know to create successful landing pages. 

Here, you’ll find:

  • What defines a landing page
  • How to design a landing page for maximum conversions
  • Common landing page mistakes to avoid
  • Examples of landing pages that boosted ROI

When it comes to paid search, the ad itself is only part of the equation. Once you get that coveted click, there’s more work to be done. That’s where your landing page comes in.

We talk a lot about landing pages around here because of how make-or-break they can be for your campaigns. Effective landing pages properly represent your brand, offer something of value to the visitor, and see an impressive conversion rate. Not-so effective ones, on the other hand, garner little more than a high bounce rate and marketing budget spent on clicks that didn’t convert.

For everything you need to know about landing pages and how they factor into a well-rounded digital marketing strategy, read on.

What is a landing page?

A landing page is a page on your website that’s specially crafted to capture the visitor’s information. People most often arrive on a landing page via clicking through on an ad or an email. 

The goal of a company’s landing page is to gather the visitor’s information in exchange for something. This could be anything from an educational piece of content to a discount code. Landing pages are generally designed with a more targeted audience in mind than the rest of your site. They also aren’t meant to be arrived at through your homepage or navigation menu. 

While lead generation is the main goal of most landing pages, Mailchimp explains that there are “click-thru landing page” types as well. The goal of these pages is for visitors to click the call to action (CTA) and be taken to a new page to follow through with the action, whether that’s to place an order, schedule a consultation, or something more. 

landing pages pillar page

When designing your landing pages, experience tells us that the most important word to keep in mind is “minimalism.” (Image via Unsplash)

Why are landing pages important in digital marketing?

As HubSpot succinctly explains, the goal of a landing page is to generate leads for your business. It also serves as a type of quick introduction for those who are just stumbling upon or learning about your company.

With that in mind, you want your first impression to be one that’s positive and accurately reflects your overall brand. You can do this through things like:

  • your landing page copy
  • your page design
  • the ad leading to the landing page
  • the offer itself that you’re presenting in exchange for a person’s information

Not only can landing pages help increase conversions, but they can also provide you with valuable information about your target audience. 

What elements make up an effective landing page?

The most effective landing pages are those that are being regularly tested and optimized. However, there are a few key elements that can help ensure your landing pages are as targeted and effective as possible. 

These include:

  • A clear goal
  • A thoughtful design consistent with your overall brand aesthetic
  • An appealing offer
  • A strong CTA
  • A lead form
  • Copy that mirrors and delivers on the ad that brought them there
  • Messaging that speaks directly to your target audience

How do you design a successful landing page?

When designing your landing pages, experience tells us that the most important word to keep in mind is “minimalism.” That’s because, more than anything, you want your page to be free from distractions. Anything that could divert the visitor’s eye from your CTA will only do your page a disservice. 

And, because people are often pressed for time, you don’t want the viewer to have to do a ton of scrolling to complete the desired action. Along with a clean, minimal design, you also want to keep things short and to the point.

One easy way to stick to a less-is-more aesthetic is by excluding elements that appear on your regular site pages. Think: your header navigation or subscriber box for your newsletter. These are great to have on your regular pages, but they can potentially make your landing pages cluttered, depending on what other elements are in play. Instead, you could simply have your logo hyperlinked to your homepage, where visitors can find these page elements if need be. 

Each design element should serve to tastefully draw the reader’s eye to your CTA. This includes things like whitespace and thoughtful imagery, such as stock photos, color blocks, or informative charts. (Whitespace doesn’t necessarily mean “white” in color — just free from text, images or graphics.) It also shouldn’t stray too far from the look and feel of the rest of your website.

What are some common landing page missteps to avoid?

There’s almost always room for improvement when it comes to your landing pages. However, there are a few common landing page mistakes we’ve seen companies make repeatedly when creating these pages.

These include things like:

  • Neglecting to test your forms
  • Putting too many design elements on one page
  • Not optimizing for mobile
  • Boring CTAs
  • Slow page speed

The good news? Once you know to look for these issues, any that you come across can usually be addressed and fixed quickly. 

How do you optimize landing pages for conversions?

Conversions are generally the goal of a landing page. Because of this, any optimization tweaks or tests conducted should aim to increase those conversions. 

For starters, spend time brainstorming a handful of attention-grabbing headlines that you can then test to see how your audience responds. From there, make sure your copy highlights the value you can provide your visitor or what problem your product or service can solve rather than simply bragging about your brand. 

Other conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategies for landing pages include:

  • An easy-to-fill-out form
  • Proof points like badges or testimonials that illustrate your credibility
  • A special offer of some sort
  • A mobile-responsive experience
  • Social share buttons
  • A plan for consistent element testing and analysis

What are some examples of effective landing pages?

Just like there’s no single path to increase landing page conversions, there’s no one right way to design your landing page. With that in mind, here are a few landing pages for brands we’ve worked with that not only ended up paying for themselves, but that saw results like more time on site, increased conversions, reduced bounce rate, and more.

zephyr landing page

What makes it successful: This landing page for test management software company Zephyr gets down to business. The offer is clear, the design is minimal, and their claims are backed up by impressive proof points. 

rokitboost landing page

What makes it successful: This landing page for bluetooth headphone brand Rokit Boost leans heavily on the visual to show the specific product it’s selling “in action.” From there, it’s got a minimalist navigation in case the visitor wants to know more before making the purchase. Otherwise, they can go ahead and add to cart, with the added perks of free shipping and a money-back guarantee.

proven landing page

What makes it successful: Proven’s goal is to help businesses hire better and faster. This landing page targets restaurants, with a simple landing page, a strong CTA, and thoughtful use of color to draw the eye where it needs to go. 

See more examples of successful landing pages and their results here. 

The takeaway

If you ask us, landing pages deserve a place in your digital marketing plan. They can be a significant value driver for your business, whether you leverage them as part of your pay-per-click (or paid search) campaigns, email marketing, or elsewhere. 

When you create well-thought-out landing pages that have the right mix of elements, a clear message, and an easy way to complete the desired action, you’re bound to see positive results. 

Caroline Cox

Caroline Cox

Caroline is HawkSEM's content marketing manager. She uses her more than 10 years of professional writing and editing experience to create SEO-friendly articles, educational thought leadership pieces, and savvy social media content to help market leaders create successful digital marketing strategies. She's a fan of seltzer water, print magazines, and huskies.

Questions or comments? Join the conversation here!

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Written by Caroline Cox on Dec 4 , 2020

It’s easy to fall into one (or several) of these landing page traps — let us help you avoid them. 

Here, you’ll find:

  • Best practices for landing page copy
  • Why landing page design matters
  • How to avoid snooze-worthy CTAs
  • Ways to make your pages stand out

Landing pages can be game-changers when it comes to your conversion rate. But that doesn’t mean the path to success is easy. At best, landing pages have a variety of thought-out elements that come together to create a seamless user experience. At worst? They confuse or turn off the reader, causing them to bounce. 

One way to be sure you’re on the right track: Don’t fall for any of these common landing page mistakes.

1. Not testing your forms

Each element of your landing page factors into your conversion rates, but your form can be the ultimate deciding factor. With that in mind, crafting your form shouldn’t be a one-and-done endeavor. Rather, take the time to A/B test your forms to see which ones result in the most completions.

While experience has shown us that shorter forms often get more completions, this certainly isn’t always the case. It’s wise to test a few different form lengths, and even multiple-page forms, to find the sweet spot that your prospects respond to best. As long as you’re getting the key info you need from the form, you can play around with various questions and wording.

common landing page mistakes

Sometimes, the most out-there CTAs are the ones that get the most attention — and clicks. (Image via Unsplash)

2. A distracting design

When it comes to your landing page design, there’s a delicate balance to be struck between not underwhelming or overwhelming the visitor. After all, you don’t want to put all this work into creating the best click-worthy ads that end up leading to boring landing pages. On the other hand, it’s just as important that you don’t send them to a page filled with in-your-face graphics, multiple calls to action (CTAs), a header and footer, pop-ups and more. 

A well-designed landing page design will be consistent with the rest of your website, but with an overall clean aesthetic that thoughtfully uses visuals to draw the reader’s eye to your CTAs. These visuals could include things like a photo of someone using your product or service, a specially designed graphic, or color blocking that falls in line with your brand’s current scheme. 

Pro tip: Often, landing pages don’t feature the usual headers and footers that the rest of your site does, to keep the look as minimal as possible. You can experiment with including pared-down versions of your navigation menus, or just a link to your homepage.

3. Boring CTAs

If the thought of a “click here” CTA makes you want to hit snooze, you’re not alone. Not only do generic CTAs not impress site visitors, but it often lacks context about why the person should click. Are they requesting a consultation? Being taken to a page where they can learn more about a product or service? This is one of the easiest landing page mistakes to avoid by making sure your CTA is clear and to the point.

CTAs are another great landing page feature to A/B test. Brainstorm a handful of attention-grabbing CTAs that align with your brand’s voice and tone, then start trying them out to see how your audience reacts. And don’t be afraid to think outside the box: Sometimes, the most out-there CTAs are the ones that get the most attention — and clicks.

4. Sluggish page speed

Of course, healthy page speed is crucial for all pages of your website. But it’s particularly make-or-break when it comes to your landing pages. That’s because landing pages often serve as the first impression of your business. You want everything to be in tip-top shape.

Luckily, there are usually quick fixes for slow site pages. First, test your current speed with Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. From there, you can work with your team or developer to address any issues that come up, such as too-large image files that may need compressing. 

(Page speed promises to become more important when it comes to rankings when Google officially rolls out its Core Web Vitals metrics in 2021.)

Need more help getting landing pages in tip-top shape? That’s one of our specialties.

5. Not optimizing for mobile

Around here, we talk a lot about the importance of having a mobile-friendly site. That’s because we’re seeing more and more people using their smartphones over desktops for things like searching, shopping, and visiting websites. And it’s a trend that doesn’t appear to be slowing down soon. 

Before launching your landing page, conduct tests to make sure the page and each of its elements renders well on mobile. That doesn’t just mean it loads. It also means imagery is properly sized, CTAs and buttons are easy to click on, and copy is easy to scroll through and read. This should be the case whether someone is viewing your page from an iOS, Android, or tablet device. 

landing page mistakes to avoid

Consider crafting an automated message upon form completion that reiterates what the user can expect as far as next steps. (Image via Unsplash)

6. Spending too little time on copy

Another one of the biggest landing page mistakes we see is creating a compellingly designed page with lackluster copy. If you’re just copying and pasting the same copy from your ad to your landing page, we hate to say it, but you’re doing it wrong.

While you don’t need to pen a novel, you do want there to be a consistent and clear message, from your headline to your CTA. Your landing page copy should match what your ad mentioned or promised. Moreover, it should focus on the value you can provide the user, not just info about why your brand is so great. In just a few sentences, make it clear that you understand the person’s needs or pain points, and highlight how your brand’s offering can help them. 

7. Failing to provide next steps

Sure, you can get by just fine with a simple “Thanks!” message that pops up once someone has completed your landing page form. But why stop there? Maximize each visit to your site by being thoughtful about what comes next.

Consider crafting an automated message upon form completion that reiterates what the user can expect as far as next steps, whether that means an email or a phone call. You can also add value and start guiding them further down the funnel by offering them a piece of content that’s relevant to the ad that originally brought them there.

Even a funny quip, joke, or GIF paired with your “thank you” message can help make for a memorable and positive first experience with your brand. 

The takeaway

Don’t panic if you’ve fallen prey to any of these common landing page mistakes. Some are easier to detect than others, but all can be fixed. 

Letting your landing page sit stagnant can lead to the issues above, along with others, so prioritize periodically testing new elements and making sure everything is as optimized as possible for best results.

Caroline Cox

Caroline Cox

Caroline is HawkSEM's content marketing manager. She uses her more than 10 years of professional writing and editing experience to create SEO-friendly articles, educational thought leadership pieces, and savvy social media content to help market leaders create successful digital marketing strategies. She's a fan of seltzer water, print magazines, and huskies.

Questions or comments? Join the conversation here!

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