You may have several landing pages on your site. After all, you want people to do different things when they land, based on where they might be in your sales funnel. A link on Facebook might bring a new visitor to a page that has a free offer, so that you can get an email address. A link in your emails to loyal customers might bring them to a page that is providing special discounts just for them. Still other links in your blog posts may offer upgrades to readers who will subscribe to your newsletter. Each landing must be optimized both for the visitor and for SEO, so that search engines will take note and improve your rankings. Here is a brief review of what basic requirements for all landing pages, and then some tips for improving your SEO on those landing pages.
Anatomy of a Good Landing Page
This list may not include everything you may have on your landing page; however, it does include those things you must have.
- Content that relates only to the benefit you promised the visitor. Stick to the topic for which the visitor has come and add nothing new. If you have promised a free trial, then you give them the information and the form to get that – nothing more
- Very Strong Headline – this attracts attention right away and lets the visitor know s/he is on the right page
- A CTA that relates only to the benefit that has been offered
- Content that is easily scannable, if you must have it
- Testing to ensure that the load time is fast, and that if they are sent to another page to finish receiving the benefit (not recommended) that it loads within 2 seconds as well.
Anatomy of an SEO Optimized Page
Once you have ensured that your landing page is just as it should be, you will need to optimize it for SEO. Remember, the goal here is rankings. Here are 15 tips for for Your Landing Page SEO:
1. An Engaging Title with Your primary Keyword Included
If your title/headline is great, visitors will know they are in the right place and they will be enticed to keep looking. The longer they stay the greater chance that they will take the benefit. This is good for you and for SEO. This title will show up during organic searches, and it must be creative if people are going to choose you over others.
2. A Great Description
Your meta description may not be directly related to SEO but it is indirectly so. It, too, shows up on organic searches and is important in getting those searchers to click your page rather than your competitors’. Each click is noted by search engines. You should have one secondary keyword, perhaps a long tail phrase in your meta description.
3. Page Headline with Keyword Included
This is the first thing that is seen upon landing. Use the same keyword that is in your title of your search result. Give your visitor a compelling reason to stay on the page, repeating the benefit to be had.
4. Content that Focuses Only on the Benefit
If you must have some content, stay focused on what the visitor is getting. And, in that content, focus on a few words/phrases (secondary keywords) that will help build the kind of topical authority you need to improve your rankings.
5. Make any Content Scannable
Let your visitors move quickly through your text. You do this by breaking it up, with good hierarchy, bullet points, and headings/sub-headings. You already do this with your blog posts with good content strategy. Follow the same “rules” here.
6. No Clutter
Nothing will confuse a visitor more or cause him/her to bounce that a page cluttered with all sorts of stuff. They came here for one thing – keep all visuals and content short and sweet and let the visitor get what s/he came for.
7. Inbound Links
This is perhaps the most important key to SEO rankings. Search engines are very mindful of the inbound links you are getting to your landing pages. They are also very mindful of where they are coming from. Do not have links out there sitting on dubious websites or sites that are totally unrelated to your niche.
8. Options for Social Sharing
Make sure that your visitors can share this great benefit with their communities. When they do this, more people come; when more people come, your business picks up. So does your ranking.
The whole point of a landing page is to get your visitor to do something. Make the call-to-action clear and focused only on the benefit you promised to get them there. They fill out a form, provide their first name and email address, etc. Make sure they know what to do and how to do it.
Test your landing page when you design it; test your landing page from every type of device; test your landing page every time you change something. The user experience has to be good or that user will bounce.
The speed with which your landing page loads is critical for SEO. Two seconds is really your goal. If you go beyond three, you are sunk.
12. Get help with SEO
There are any number of good SEO tools and many are free. Use one to analyze your landing page, and make corrections as suggested.
13. Keep Up on Keywords
Popular keywords for any niche will change over time, especially now that searches are now being conducted with longer phrases. Google charges for its keyword tool but there are alternative tools that are just as good.
14. Check Your Competitors’ Landing Pages
If your competitors are ranking higher than you on organic searches, visit those landing pages and see what they are doing differently. You may get some good ideas for changes.
15. Rotate Your Benefits and Offers
You can increase traffic if you rotate the benefits of your landing pages. Those who took advantage of one may easily come back for more if they were pleased. And they will share those new benefits with their communities too.
Optimizing pages for SEO and creating good landing pages for PPC is smart. Creating an optimized landing page that provides twice the performance with half the effort is smarter. While SEO and PPC provide two unique functions, you don’t always need two pages to do the job, when only one will do… and do it better!
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