Your Guide to Landing Page SEO Best Practices
The use of landing pages has become increasingly prominent in the digital landscape. A landing page is a destination web page, created for a specific purpose, often driven by a marketing or sales campaign, to convert web visitors to a lead or contact. You can direct a visitor to that specific page after they click on a call to action in an email, social media post, paid search ad, or any third-party channels.
Landing pages are designed with a single focus or goal: to provide information and in return ask the visitor for their information. According to Unbounce.com, “the average conversion rate on a landing page varies depending on your campaign type and industry but the average landing page conversion rate is 4.02%. Of the industries analyzed, the lowest-converting industry is higher education at 2.6%, and the highest-converting industry is vocational studies & job training at 6.1%.”
Your landing page analytics can offer great insights into a number of things:
1. Does the content on the landing page hold the visitor’s attention and get them to spend a longer time on the page? In short, is the content on the landing page sticky?
2. Is the landing page drawing the right kind of audience?
3. If you’re running paid ads to promote the landing page, is the ad copy and the landing page offer relevant?
4. The conversion rate of the landing page can indicate if the visitor is willing to give their information to receive the asset?
While your landing page is unique to your specific campaign objective; the core elements remain the same. We’ll take you through some of the core elements that every high-converting landing page must have and provide a guide to implementing those practices.
Your value propositions
This is the defining characteristic that sets your landing page apart. The aim is to clearly communicate your value proposition using Google’s Expertise-Authoritativeness-Trustworthiness (EAT) model on the landing page.
A hero image or video
First impressions last. So, how you visually present your brand contributes to how you are perceived by visitors to your website. How this also ties into your overall message is key. According to Katrina Kirsch at Hubspot, the goal of this image is to add energy and excitement to a page. You want it to show off your brand’s style, share the purpose of your site, and make people excited to explore further.
The benefits of your offering
According to Staticbrain.com, the average person’s attention span is only 8 minutes and only 28 percent of words are read on an average webpage. In order to capture your audience’s attention: start with a strong H1 title and H2 tag to further elaborate on your offer, and use bullet points to succinctly share the key takeaways wherever possible – to ensure stickiness and higher-engagement on the page.
Don’t Orphan Your Landing Page – It is important that your landing page is linked to your main site navigation – either through cleverly placed pop-ups or hyperlinks. This would help you tap into traffic that you are getting organically on your site.
The herd mentality psychology applies on a landing page too – as humans we are always getting influenced by validation from other fellow peers. This translates to:
- Direct quotes from customers’ case studies, video interviews, or testimonials
- Logos of other companies that are using your product or solution
- Review scores from sites like Yelp, Amazon, or Capterra
- Third-party research badges and certifications
A single conversion goal
As previously stated, a landing page should be focused on just one conversion goal. To your visitor, this is presented as a CTA. Your CTA can either be a standalone button on a clickthrough page or a form on a landing page designed to generate leads. Depending on your overall campaign goal, you may want to strip your landing page of any site navigation links among other external links – in order to remove any distraction from the page.
SEO best practices ensure that your landing pages rank higher in search engine results and that you reach your target audience. Here are some ways to facilitate this outcome.
Use your keyword guide strategy as the foundation for your content
An important aspect of your landing page is aligning the content with the right search intent. We don’t create content around what we want to tell people; we should be creating content around what people want to discover. We should be guided by what our audience wants and this all starts with keyword research. The key when drafting content for a landing page is to ensure it addresses this question: What’s in it for your target audience?
Help search engines understand your content structure
Your content needs to be structured so that search engine bots can read, analyze, and recognize. This way, the search engine knows what your landing page is about and can index it correctly. Some important aspects of your landing page’s content are:
- Title tag: The page’s title should be short and include a high-quality keyword.
- Alternate tag: A high-quality alt tag will offer a brief description of the image and its content
- Meta description: A clear meta description can also convince a user to click on a search engine result. Read our guide to writing effective meta descriptions here.
- Headings: Including an H1 heading tag that matches your page title
- Internal links: Internal linking further helps search engines comprehend the context and the content of a page.
- Images and videos: Adding images and videos, which show search engines that the content is valuable.
Pay attention to the URL
This helps communicate information about the content that people can find on the page. The URL further reflects the site structure, revealing how a particular piece of content fits into your overall website. According to Gil Duzanski, Chief Technology Officer and Founder at WDB Agency, “URLs are important first and foremost to humans. Intuitively organized content makes it easier to navigate. The same concept helps Google to better understand the website structure and relevancy of the content, therein helps relevant pages rank higher for relevant queries.”
Monitor page speeds
Page speed is a direct ranking factor, a fact known even better since Google’s Algorithm Speed Update. However, speed can also affect rankings indirectly, by increasing the bounce rate and reducing dwell time as users get frustrated by slow page loading and click away. The more users bounce off your page, the less visibility search engines will give to your content.
Backlinks consist of links from other platforms to your landing page. High-quality backlinks from respected, authoritative, high-ranking websites will boost your landing page search engine ranking. Backlinks are important to the Google algorithm to better gauge the value of your content. Gil cautioned that not every link is a good link. There are hundreds of service bots that for just a few dollars will add backlinks to your website. This is a blackhat SEO practice and Google is trying to prevent this from happening by penalizing both parties. A good link is considered a link from a relevant website that refers to your information as a source. This could be an industry-relevant publication or blog site that has a good reputation.
As you can see, implementing a successful landing page as part of your sales funnel or a specific marketing campaign is part art and part science. By deploying some of the best practices outlined above – you can ensure that your key performance metrics (KPIs) for your campaigns like conversion rate, average time spent on a page, page views, and others are ultimately met and achieved.