Learn the basics of SEO-centered landing pages, PPC-centered landing pages and how to craft the best SEO-centered landing pages for your business from this guest post.
A landing page is everything to a user. She should be able to tell exactly what your company offers, how to see prices and different plans, and how to find content where they can educate themselves on your industry. Not only should it be informative, easy to navigate and above all, interesting, it should be optimized for SEO. Companies often put a lot of thought into SEO on individual webpages, but for some reason, the fun of a landing page somehow gets in the way of optimizing it.
In other words, it’s easy to get carried away with a landing page that seems so great, but it doesn’t mean much if Google doesn’t find your landing page and rank it well on a Google SERP. While it’s true that users are more important than Google bots, it’s important to realize that the Google bots are ultimately there to help. So if your landing page isn’t optimized for SEO, it might not be as great as you think.
The difference between an SEO and PPC crafted landing page
There are quite a few differences that go into building a landing page meant for SEO vs a landing page meant for PPC. Your first task is to determine what your goals are for the landing page: Do you want people to purchase right on the spot? Or is it more important to educate first? Do your readers prefer infographics and visuals, or do your detailed articles get the most clicks? And finally, are you looking for a PPC geared landing page, or one focused on SEO?
Here are the differences between the two:
PPC landing pages are focused on conversions, and usually fast ones. This makes a PPC centered landing page great for B2C companies who are looking to do a one-shot sale as opposed to nurturing a long-term relationship (like that of a B2B company). Think of these pages as the ones with the big “Buy Now” headlines.
SEO centered landing pages, on the other hand, put much more focus on the content of the landing page (and lots of it). This content can come in the form of articles, videos, or infographics. The goal is really to rank well for specific keywords and receive a good SERP ranking. It’s harder to do, but the reward can be greater than a PPC type page.
There are also quite a few different types of landing pages in terms of layout and intent (not necessarily PPC or SEO optimized). However, no matter what type of landing page you’re going for, you’re likely going to have to consider a PPC or SEO approach.
If your company decides that an SEO landing page strategy is the right move, it’s important to put a focus on optimizing the page for both Google bots as well as users.
How to build a landing page for SEO that actually converts
Below are a few steps you can follow to being crafting the perfect optimized page:
1. Create different personas for all of your readers
Every expert will tell you that the first thing you need to do is analyze your reader’s intent. Ask yourself what type of readers and/or buyers you’ll be attracting. It’s not only what you want them to get out of your website, but what you feel they want to get out of your website (you would think that you could control the type of audience your site receives, but that’s not always the case). More than anything, doing this will help you determine what type of content to create. John Doherty of Distilled offered this great graphic that sums up creating audience personas:
2. Get started creating the right, relevant content
This is the natural next step for most companies. Understanding your audience is important because it helps you create relevant content. The key here is two things: Keywords and calls-to-action. You obviously want to make sure you’re writing content regarding topics that are applicable, but it’s the keywords and calls-to-action that companies often miss. So how do you make it happen?
There are a few different content characteristics that make up SEO landing page content:
- The page is usually longer, often with several different types of media
- Offers a problem and a solution
- Determined by keyword demand as well as relevancy
- More than just a sign-up. A page that urges readers to move into the site
If you find yourself creating pages that have short, to the point content, you might be more on a PPC route as opposed to an SEO route. Either way, it’s still all about relevancy and engagement for users and keywords for the bots.
3. Consider the layout of your website
Google bots will rank your site based upon ease of navigation as well as load times (among other important factors, including keywords). When you create the layout of your page, try creating tabs and/or breadcrumbs to keep things easy for everyone. Furthermore, put your most important information above the fold so you don’t lose readers. This goes for PPC as well as an SEO optimized landing page.
In the end, your landing page is always going to be something that needs testing. Try out some of the recommended steps, and if they don’t work then simply try something new. Landing pages are tricky this way, so it’s important to always be on your toes.
Do you have any other tips for creating a search optimized landing page? What’s worked for you in the past? Let us know in the comments below.