How to Optimize Landing Page for SEO
In this guide, you'll learn how to make landing pages that Google loves. First, we define what a landing page is. It's key for paid ads and free search results. Next, we explore SEO benefits like more visibility and better ROI. You'll get practical tips and tech know-how, like speeding up your page. We also answer common questions about keywords and when to show your page in search results. New or experienced, this guide helps you make landing pages that work.
What is a landing page, really?
A landing page is a specialized page on your website that is crafted to target a particular audience, often with the intent of converting visitors into leads or customers. These pages are designed to focus on a specific action or set of actions, such as signing up for a newsletter, making a purchase, or filling out a form.
The actual “buy” could be for a free or a paid offer.
Did you notice that I didn’t mention paid traffic in the definition? That’s because the landing page can, and should, serve both paid and organic traffic.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for "search engine optimization". It involves a performing a range of tasks in order to make website pages rank highly on search engines, done with the intent of generating free organic traffic to those page(s) and therefore, your website.
Why to do landing page search engine optimization?
First, it gets you seen on Google and capture organic search traffic.
Second, a good landing page makes users happy. Happy users are more likely to buy.
The goal is simple: match your page to what the visitor wants. If they want info, give it. If they want to buy, make it easy.
SEO helps you do both. It's not just about rank; it's about giving value. And value converts.
Plus, with a high-converting landing page, you're setting yourself for long-term sustainable results.
Morever, this also maximizes the ROI of your marketing efforts.
When to optimize a landing page for SEO?
Check if any landing pages (service pages, product pages) rank for your keyword. If they do, you have a good chance of generating organic traffic on your landing page as well generating leads/sales via paid search. By analyzing the landing pages that rank for your target keywords, you can identify the strategies and techniques that work well with your audience and optimize your landing page accordingly.
Now, let's dive into the best practices of creating SEO-friendly landing pages.
1. Design to match the rest of your website
The function of your landing page – as against other pages on your website – is to cause a designated conversion action. Not to stand out.
The landing page design has to mesh with the overall design aesthetic of the other pages on your website – so as to enable brand recall and trust.
Please remember your landing pages are very much a part of your website – they just have a specific goal to achieve.
Think of your landing pages as your salesperson and your blog posts as a marketer. They both dress similarly, but have different roles to play.
2. Put the landing page on the right folder (directory)
Having the landing pages on a subdomain is not a good practice. But if you definitely have to put it on a subdomain, ensure that it’s indexable and, in fact, being indexed.
Another thing I've observed it is that companies host the landing page on the third-party landing page platforms and inadvertently use an autogenerated URL. This won't help your SEO (and branding) cause at all.
The best practice is to host the page on your own domain, preferably in a relevant subdirectory (or folder) and use the target keyword in the page URL. This also lends brand consistency by assuring your visitors that they are indeed on your website.
3. Link out to landing pages
It's important to create links on your other pages to your landing pages. This will help landing pages be found automatically.
Failing to do will result in orphan pages. Orphan pages are website pages that are not linked to from any other page or section of your site. This means that a user cannot access the page without knowing the direct URL.
Orphan pages can be problematic for SEO. Search engines use internal links to help discover new content and understand the page's significance. When search engines cannot find pages through (internal) links, they often go unindexed and never show up in search results. Even if orphan pages are listed in the XML sitemap, they can still be a problem for SEO.
Therefore, as discussed earlier, put the landing page in the correct hierarchy and navigation structure of your website. This helps flow the traffic to the landing page through links (from blog posts, article pages, service pages, etc.).
This will not only drive more traffic but also improve the internal linking structure of your website. That's what we call a double whammy!
Bonus points: Get backlinks to your landing page from other reputable and relevant websites. This will not only improve your landing page's search engine ranking but also increase the credibility and trustworthiness of your website.
4. Incorporate semantically related keywords
These tools can help you identify secondary keywords and other long-tail keywords. By including these keywords naturally throughout your landing page's content, headers, and metadata, you can increase the likelihood of it appearing in relevant search queries. Remember to avoid keyword stuffing and focus on creating high-quality, informative content that aligns with the user's search intent.
5. Make meta tag and page title SEO friendly
Ensure that your landing page has a unique and descriptive meta page title that accurately represents the content on the page. This is perhaps the most important factor to remember when optimizing landing pages. Keep the title to 50-60 characters. Along with the main keyword, optionally include a few variations (secondary keywords).
This will help search engines understand what your page is about and display a relevant title in search results.
Additionally, optimize your meta description to provide a concise summary of your landing page's content and entice users to click through to your site.
Image alt tags offer another great opportunity for optimizing your landing page and be found on relevant image searches. Use descriptive alt tags that accurately describe the image and include relevant keywords.
6. Use images and videos
Think about the best way to make your pitch. It might require creating explainer videos, video testimonials, graphics like flowcharts, mindmaps, charts, and other visual elements. This not only makes your landing page visually engaging but also helps illustrate the benefits of your product or service. Videos can increase conversion rates, while images can break up large chunks of text, making your page easier to digest.
Plus, add relevant keywords in the filename, title and alt text of images and videos. This will help improve your SEO ranking as search engines can read and rank them. Remember to compress images and videos to improve page load times, as speed is a crucial factor in SEO.
7. Optimize page load speed
Use a free site audit tool like Google PageSpeed Insights, GTmetrix, or Pingdom to check your landing page's speed and get suggestions for improvement. Remember, Google loves a fast loading page because it improves user experience, and so rewards it with a boosted your SEO ranking.
8. The landing page has to be short / long, right?
You will know the answer to the question as well you know your name, when you understand target audience awareness levels.
Here's a 2-minute primer of the five awareness levels and how you should use them in your conversion efforts.
Unaware audience: The reader is not aware of the problem that you're promising to solve with your offer. You're showing your ad (and then the landing page) to people who are not looking to solve this problem right this minute. Heck, they even don't know that they have this problem! Examples are Facebook ads that are targeted to specific demographics. In essence, you're trying to catch them unaware!
Problem-aware audience: These are people who have the problem you're trying to address, but they don't know if a solution exists and as an extension, what the solution is. Examples are ads that call out the problem in the ad copy.
Solution-aware audience: This is when your target knows they need a back massage – or what have you! – but don't know which spa is better. They need some convincing that you have the best masseuse (keeping in line with the example, of course) on house.
Product-aware audience: At this stage, they know your product is great, but need some final cajoling. Bring in your testimonials, success stories, reiterate the benefits. And how delaying grabbing the offer is really hurting them.
Most-aware audience: Folks at this stage know your product, its benefits, how it can help them. They simply need some reminding, or giving a discount or an exclusive offer that could help sway their decision.
Your landing page should pick the reader from where they're at in terms of the awareness level – and move them through the levels underneath.
This is the way to change minds, move hearts and win the conversion.
Therefore, the length of your landing page will depend on the complexity of your offer and the awareness level of your target audience. There is not a simple short or long answer that applies universally to all situations.
In other words, if your target audience is unaware of your product or the problem it solves, you might need to provide more information to educate them and build trust. This could result in a longer landing page.
On the other hand, if your audience is already aware of your product and its benefits, you might not need to provide as much detail. A shorter landing page that quickly gets to the point and highlights the call to action might be more effective.
Remember, the goal of your landing page is not just to get visitors to take action, but to provide them with the information they need to make an informed decision.
Tip to find your audience awareness levels: Look at your target ad campaign keywords. If they are more generic and broad, this could indicate that your audience is at the Unaware or Problem-Aware level. If your keywords are specific and closely related to your product or solution, this could mean that your audience is at the Solution-Aware or Product-Aware level.
9. Take care of page performance
Measure your landing page performance against metrics like Core Web Vitals, etc.
Compress images. Minify CSS, and do everything in your power to make the page really fast.
Of course, a great UX is also a part of your branding.
10. Make the mobile version of the landing page user friendly
Avoid using large images or complex layouts that might not display correctly on smaller screens. Use responsive design to ensure that your page looks good and functions well on all devices.
Also, consider the user experience when scrolling on a mobile device. Ensure that key information and calls to action are positioned strategically so that they're visible even on smaller screens.
Take care of formatting. Use short paragraphs. Include bullet points or numbered lists to make content easier to digest. Also, make sure buttons and links are large enough to tap on a small screen and that forms are easy to fill out on mobile.
Popup forms are a common feature on many landing pages, but they can be intrusive and frustrating for mobile users. Consider using slide-in forms or other less intrusive options for mobile visitors.
11. Schema markup your landing page
Adding schema markup (structured data) to your landing page helps search engines understand your page more effectively and make them eligible for rich results (like featured snippets, star ratings, or image carousels) in search engine results pages (SERPs). This can increase your visibility and click-through rates.
To add schema markup to your landing page, you can use Google's Structured Data Markup Helper or any other reliable schema markup generator tool. You can also use ChatGPT to quickly create schema markups.
Yes, it is possible to create a landing page for PPC only and not show it in SERP while still contributing to website SEO. One way to do this is to mark the landing page as "noindex" in the meta tags. This will tell search engines not to index the page, but it will still be accessible to users who click on the PPC ad. By doing this, you can ensure that the landing page does not impact your organic search performance. However, it is important to note that creating PPC pages without taking into consideration the impact they can have on SEO can interfere with organic performance in two ways: cannibalization and content focus.
Cannibalization occurs when there is a PPC page version of an existing SEO page, and the PPC landing page can potentially jeopardize the performance of its counterpart SEO page.
See next question for more on the topic.
It’s not an issue if a landing page and a content page (article, blog post, service page, etc.) target the same keyword. It might so happen that the SERPs show both types of pages for that keyword.
All you need to make sure is that both pages provide unique and valuable content. Make the page titles inform the visitor what information they can expect on the page.
If you have two pages that are very similar or duplicate, it may be best to consolidate them into one. This can help avoid any potential keyword cannibalization issues and ensure that each page on your site serves a unique purpose.
Yes, this article explains how to achieve that.
It can and should have as many to fulfill the user intent and awareness levels discussed in this article. Use a keyword research tool to find the keywords related to your primary target keyword.
It is possible for the same landing page to rank within the top two organic search results and feature in the PPC ad section as well if it meets the criteria for both. However, it is important to ensure that the landing page is optimized for both organic and paid search, with relevant and compelling information to encourage visitors to take a specific action. Shall we call it a perfect landing page?
If the landing page is for a short-term event, consider your SEO strategy carefully. This could be for occasions like a grand opening or an upcoming product launch. It might also apply to other confidential situations. In such cases, using "No Follow" or "robots.txt" may be advisable. These tools can hide the page from search engines and prevent it from being indexed after the event is over.
Not really. To avoid conversion rates from being muddled up by traffic from paid and organic channels, append UTM parameters in landing page URLs that you use in ad campaigns. By adding UTM parameters to the destination URLs you use in referral links and ad campaigns, you can see which campaigns refer traffic.
Nope. You should never link out from a landing page.
When you do that – through the navigation menu or on the page itself – you are inviting potential customers to leave the page. And when they leave, they're less likely to convert. So, keep all the focus on your offer and the action you want the visitor to take. And help your virtual salesperson, ahem, the landing page, do its job well.
You can, however, add anchor (jump) links that help navigate to the different parts of your landing page quickly.
Take Our Help Creating SEO-Focused Landing Pages
We provide our proven content optimisation services to clients on a regular basis, creating high-performing landing pages that align with both Google's guidelines and user intent. From keyword research to on-page optimization, we ensure that your landing page is designed to attract, engage and convert.
We also understand that a successful landing page isn't just about SEO - it's about creating a user experience that guides visitors towards a specific action. That's why we also focus on design elements, user experience, and persuasive copywriting.
Here's to maximizing long-term results of your short-term campaigns (paid).