A landing page is a standalone page used in digital marketing campaigns to be where a visitor ‘lands’ after clicking a link in an advert or email. Unlike web pages, which typically have many goals and encourage exploration, landing pages are designed with a single focus or goal, known as a call to action (CTA).
Landing pages are typically used in an attempt to convert visitors into customers. The focus of the page is this conversion, unlike other web pages which may be there to provide information. Applying SEO principles to a landing page will boost your rankings and drive more visitors to it, you may get organic traffic as well as that through paid advertising or email.
The difference between a landing page and a home page
A home page typically has lots of links to other pages – blogs, product pages etc. Whereas a landing page does not have these links, it is focused on conversion. A home page is designed to showcase your brand and provide information. A landing page is there to sell. Not having many links away from it increases conversion rates.
A visitor usually arrives at a landing page in response to clicking on an advert. This will generally contain some form of offer so the landing page will be tailored to this offer and contain a form for the visitor to fill in. This then converts the visitor to a lead which can be nurtured to hopefully become a sale.
Types of landing page
1. Click-through landing page – This is a simple form of landing page which provides details about the offer and encourages users to click through to the main website.
2. Lead capture landing page – Often referred to as Squeeze pages, the purpose of lead capture landing pages is to gather personal data from the visitor, usually beginning with their name and email address. A true squeeze page has absolutely no exit path from the page, no links or navigation – only a button to submit your details. An incentive is typically offered in exchange for this personal data.
3. Infomercial landing pages – These lading pages contain a lot more information that is designed to suck the visitor in, interest them and ultimately sell to them.
4. Viral landing pages – A great way to build brand awareness is to create a viral buzz. These pages typically contain funny videos or entertaining flash sequences. The aim is to get visitors to watch and share it so they have buttons to share on social media and may only have small references to the product or company behind them.
5. Microsites – Microsites are small, standalone websites used for a particular product or offering. Although they contain several pages they are still referred to as landing pages as they are separate from the main website. Car manufacturers use them to promote a particular model of car. They are also used by film makers to advertise an individual film.
How to use landing pages to boost SEO
SEO, short for Search Engine Optimisation, is a process to make your website and landing pages more visible (rank higher) in the organic results of search engines. If you optimise your landing pages it will enable search engines to understand them better and therefore rank them higher which will lead to more visitors.
SEO is a marathon not a sprint and it can take months to see results. So use SEO tactics on landing pages you intend to keep for a long time, more than 6 months.
To improve the SEO of your landing pages take the following steps:
1. Keyword Research
All SEO starts with keyword research. You need to work out what visitors are typing into a search engine when they are looking for products like yours.
Don’t assume that you know what consumers want and how they search — do your research. The best keyword tools offer a demand score for each theme. Google Keyword Planner, Wordstream and Ubersuggest are all good keyword tools to help you.
You may find it easier to rank for long tail keywords rather that the highly competitive main keywords. Long tail keywords are the queries people type into a search engine when they are looking for something specific – for instance “smart brown women’s shoes” rather than just “shoes”. Long tail keywords make up the majority of search engine traffic.
2. Optimise your landing page
Once you have established the keywords likely to be associated with your landing page you need to place them strategically within the content of the page. You need to put them in the following places:
– Title tag – This is the title of the landing page, it is the link that is displayed in search engine results and at the top of the page. It should contain your main keyword.
– Meta description – This is usually the information displayed under the title in results pages. It gives people an idea of what the page is about and whether they want to click through so make it compelling.
– Header tags – In HTML, title tags are arranged in a hierarchy from H1 to H6. Your page should have only one H1 tag and it should be your main headline. If you’re going to have subheadings under that H1, use H2s. If you have subheadings under your H2s, use H3s, and so on. This orders your content.
– Image names – Google cannot view your images so it’s important to name them. Including your keywords will help you rank for them.
– Your copy – include as many keywords as you can naturally within your copy. But don’t keyword stuff as this can be penalised by Google.
3. Develop backlinks
External links are one of the cornerstones to a good SEO strategy. Search engines prioritise content that is valuable to the end-user. Google has even established loose criteria to assess value, the EAT principle: expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. Backlinks (links from other websites to your own) help establish your EAT. Links from high-authority, high-traffic domains are the most valuable and worth pursuing as part of your campaign. You can create backlinks by getting articles published, guest blogging on other websites, and coming to a reciprocal arrangement with partners or competitors.
4. Page speed and mobile friendliness
Page speed and mobile friendliness are important ranking factors. Lots of studies have shown most users will leave a website that doesn’t load in 3 seconds. Poorly optimised images, bad coding, server problems and too many plugins will all slow a landing page down. It is a good idea to test your landing page before going live, you can do this with the official Google tool – Page Speed Insights.
Mobile friendliness is also important, your page must be responsive to different mobile devices. A page that isn’t will be very difficult to read on a mobile which will drive visitors away. Google also likes pages to be responsive and you will be penalised if you’re not. So check your page on a variety of devices before going live.
5. Analysis and Adaptation
The last step of landing page SEO is to track your results. If you don’t measure performance, you’ll never know if it is properly optimised. The most important things to track are your organic traffic and click-through rates. You can track these metrics using free tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console. If you’re not doing as well as you hoped, try adjusting your copy or your meta description.
Landing pages can really boost SEO if you follow these steps. Improving the SEO for your landing pages will reap rewards in terms of increased organic traffic as well as traffic from PPC or emails. This in turn could lead to more leads and sales. For help in creating a landing page, call us on 01202 650 333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.Back to blog home