How to Optimize the SEO of Your Landing Pages to Rank in Google’s Top 10

For the ideal customers, the landing page creates that first impression. It initiates their interactions with your business.Of course, there are several ways visitors can arrive at your landing pages. These include social media, display advertising, product launch direct referrals, and, more importantly, search engines (primarily Google).If you want visitors to take the desired action when they visit your landing page, you have to first make your page visible to search users. The reason why is that the majority of your target audience searches Google for information related to your business.Besides, several studies show that web pages at the first page of Google search results get a higher search traffic.Chitika search result position report % of Google TrafficUnfortunately, only a few web pages make it to the top 10 organic listings (it’s basically a fight between you and your competitors). In fact, most of them get replaced quickly.Why? There are several reasons. Maybe a Google algorithm changed and a previous SEO methodology isn’t working anymore. Or perhaps your website was penalized for trying to manipulate Google’s algorithm. The situation can be very frustrating.In this article, you’re going to learn the right SEO tactics that will allow you to rank your landing page higher on search engine’s results pages.

What Is a Landing Page?

Generally, a landing page is any page on your website that your website’s visitor lands on after clicking on your search results, social media posts, links, or ads.But to be specific, the landing page we are talking about in this context is a standalone landing page.It’s a landing page designed for a specific marketing campaign—for example, a promotional page for your newly released product. Here’s a perfect landing page from Copyblogger’s Authority Program:Copyblogger landing pageWith that out of the way, here is proven action plan to rank your landing pages in Google’s top 10 organic results.

Step 1: Conduct Proper Keyword Research

When it comes to keyword research, don’t scratch the surface—go all in.According to Nick Eubanks, a contributor at SEMrush:
Keyword research is at the core of the search marketing process. It is the absolute first item you need to address before doing anything else.
In other words, it all starts with keywords.It starts with keywordsSometimes you can guess your keywords—and you don’t have any problems. But if you want to be sure of what you’re doing and somehow predict your end result, guessing will limit you.There are a bunch of keyword research tools you can implement to know exactly what your target audience is using to find your business online.You can use the Google Keyword Planner tool. This resource is one of the best free keyword research tools out there. No matter what industry you’re in or what keyword research approach you use, you will spend most of your time using the Google Keyword Planner tool.If you’re not familiar with keyword research, here’s the step-by-step process:Log into Google Keyword Planner. Then navigate to the tools tab and choose Keyword Planner. The screen below will show up. Click the “Search for new keywords using phrase, website or category” option.Google Adwords Keyword PlannerNext, the page should expand to this:Google AdWords Keyword planner expandsGo ahead and enter seed keywords or a website URL to begin your research. If you’re targeting a particular location outside the U.S., you can specify that location as well.For example, when I searched for “loans” I found a bunch of keywords I can leverage to rank my loan-related landing pages. Notice the average monthly searches and suggested bids.Remember that if advertisers are bidding higher for a keyword, it definitely means that it’s a valuable keyword.Keyword search traffic for Loan search keywordsYou want to look at the search volume as well. A high search volume means more people are searching for that keyword per month.Once you’ve found viable keywords to target on your landing pages, it’s time to create long-form content that will answer users’ questions.

Step 2: Create Compelling Long-Form Content

With your keywords ready, it’s time for you to start creating your content. But you must deliberately create long-form content. Why?You must because Google seems to reward detailed and visually-driven content more than the short-form variations.What’s more, data from Backlinko reveals that long-form content ranks higher in Google’s search results than short-form content. The average word count of a Google first page result is 1,890 words.Content must be 2000+ words to rank in Google’s top pages, according to this exclusive research by SerpIQ.SERPIQ research on average content length to rank in top 10Unfortunately, I see a lot of landing pages filled with a lot of images and little or no text at all.It’s worth noting that Google’s bot crawls written content easier than it crawls images.According to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines: “Try to use text instead of images to display important names, content, or links. If you must use images for textual content, use the Alt attribute to include a few words of descriptive text.”John Sonmez understands the importance of producing long-form content for his landing page. Interestingly, his landing page is ranking at the first position for the keyword “How to learn a new programming language fast.” The content is not only long but also contains engaging images and testimonials to increase conversions.Google Search Results for How to learn a new programming language fastIf you want to enjoy organic rankings, you have to focus on producing long-form content. It plays a vital role in supporting other Google ranking factors—God’s truth.

Step 3: Optimize Your Content for SEO

It’s not enough to create long-form content. If you don’t optimize your content and your landing page, you’ll likely be ranking for the wrong keywords.However, this doesn’t imply that you should stuff the whole page with your target keywords. Use the keywords strategically when and where necessary.Ensure you include your target keywords in your landing page’s metadata (title tag and meta description).

Step 4: Build Links to Your Landing Page

Link building is an age-old SEO tactic that Google loves. Without the right links, you will not rank in Google.After creating your landing page, you need backlinks pointing to it to reinforce and strengthen the keywords. In fact, link building is the most important success factor in your professional SEO strategy.Link BuildingSo how do you go about building links to your landing pages?One effective way to do so is to create persuasive guest posts containing a link to your landing page and submit them to websites with high domain authority (DA) in your niche.I mention websites with high DA because link quality is also an important factor. Not all links are created the same. A link from Entrepreneur will make more impact than a link from a newly created website. With respect to using your network, you can also ask your friends in the same niche to link back to you.

Conclusion

While your email list and PPC ads can generate traffic to your landing page, you will be leaving a lot on the table if you do not optimize your landing page for search engines.The good news is, if you implement the tips that I’ve shared in this post, you could just find your landing page on the first page of Google for your target keywords. And if it doesn’t happen, keep at it.As usual, I’d love to hear from you. Which other techniques do you use to optimize your landing pages in order to achieve a higher Google ranking? Share your thoughts in the comment box.

The Dental SEO Expert Advice Dentists Need

When people search for a product on their mobile phones, 18% of those searches result in a sale somewhere on that very day.Fifty percent of people who use their smartphones for a local search will visit a store that day. The same is true of 34% of users who search locally on their tablets or computers.So if it weren’t already obvious, it should be clear that search engine optimization (SEO) matters if you want to succeed in business.Yet many entrepreneurs do not realize the importance of SEO or are not maximizing their use of it. This is especially true of those in a line of business that might surprise you—the dental industry.Here is what dental marketers need to know about using SEO to its fullest potential.

Why Is SEO for the Dental Industry Tough?

Dental SEO expert Justin Morgan explains that there are several reasons why it’s hard for dentists in particular to be found online.First, dentists tend not to be savvy about how they go about SEO. They don’t invest in the process or go to a dental marketing expert and learn the ins and outs of how it works.Morgan says that, instead, dentists “typically use the ‘pay and pray’ model of SEO, which involves choosing the company that looks most legit for the lowest price possible.”The reality is that it’s highly beneficial for companies to outsource their SEO needs and find a reputable company to help them. Dentists who become proficient in understanding how SEO can benefit their practices see a dramatic rise in their success compared to dentists who take a more apathetic attitude.Those who stand out online have determined to find and pay for the best SEO service available and so have a higher commitment to helping their patients.

Search Engines Love Strong Content

But one of the most important reasons why SEO can be so difficult for dentists is that “dentists’ websites rarely have useful, engaging content that supports what bloggers, journalists and editors are conveying.”Visual content, and video in particular, is the type of content that research shows users enjoy the most. Google and other search engines will like you using video because it demonstrates you are offering information that is compelling and relevant.Further complicating the SEO woes of dentists is the fact that they are not likely to have relationships with online publishers. Not only do dentists typically not have linkable posts but they also don’t know anyone who would link to them if they did.However, as your dental practice routinely puts out content that is pertinent and useful, your site will become a trusted source of information. So an obvious strategy is for you to include a blog on your website that has helpful content for site visitors.Make sure you design your blog in a way that interests the people who visit your website. Write about topics that will remain relevant over time, write catchy titles and, of course, include visuals.Here is an example of practical, evergreen content that a dentist could include on his or her blog.

Getting Started

Depending on your budget, you might decide to tackle SEO yourself instead of hiring an outside agency. But even if you do decide to hire a dental SEO expert, you should still educate yourself on what SEO requires.One reason why self-education is so important is that you want to make sure the SEO company you hire has ethical link building tactics. To someone ignorant about the nature of SEO, the way a company goes about getting links might seem beneficial. But if Google has a problem with that company’s strategies, it could penalize your content, devastating your business.For those just getting started in SEO, digital strategist Marcus Miller has compiled a thorough list of basics starting steps, some of which we’ll outline here.Begin by reading Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Other additional, useful resources are Moz Beginners Guide to SEO, The Art of SEO, and Eric Ward’s Ultimate Guide to Link Building.Next you should register with Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools. Both will help you to improve your website in the long run.

Google My Business and Other Directories

It is crucial that you list your company on Google My Business. Doing so is free, and the site has a domain authority of 100, which is extremely high. You want to have a credible online presence? Here is a prime opportunity to boost your likelihood of getting found, and it doesn’t cost you a thing.Keep in mind as well that if you don’t claim your business on this platform, you’re leaving an opportunity wide open for someone else to do so.If another person claims your business instead of you, at best that means users will find someone else’s information when they search your company. At worst, it means that this person could destroy your reputation.Be thorough, polished, and accurate when you fill in your information on Google My Business.In addition to claiming your spot on Google My Business, you should research local directories. Do what you can to get your site listed on them. Online databases fuel mobile search. If you are listed in databases and directories, when people search for you on their smartphones, they will be more likely to find you.Being listed in such directories means claiming your spot on major search engines, social media sites, yellow pages sites, business directories, and any community relevant to your industry.

Keyword Research

A major aspect of SEO is keyword research. To do your own keyword research, put yourself in the position of your customers. If you needed to find a dentist in your area and were going to Google to search for one, what terms would you enter?What about if you had a specific problem? What phrases would you search in that case? Start by simply searching these keywords in Google, paying attention to the search suggestions Google offers as you do so.Don’t forget to brainstorm long-tail keywords, which can be highly valuable even though people search for them less often. Use these useful resources to find keyword phrases relevant to your business:
  • Google Keyword Planner
  • Moz
  • Ubersuggest Keyword Tool
Be as thorough as you can when brainstorming, and then organize your keywords into categories. You can use these later to re-evaluate the structure and navigation of your website. As your list grows, it’s wise to organize the keywords into groups based on topics such as geography, search volume, and business value.Note what type of content appears in the results for the keywords for which you desire to rank. Then ask yourself, are you creating similar content that targets those terms? If not, you might want to make some changes.Once you have spent some significant time on keyword research, you can use the information you’ve found to optimize your website.

Don’t Ignore Something All Companies Need

SEO is important for all businesses. It’s just that it’s easier for those in the dental industry to neglect it than it is for people in other fields.If you’re wondering how to increase the number of people your practice helps, consult a dental SEO expert today.

Choices in How to SEO a Multilingual Site

While growing businesses by expanding to additional countries or languages is a great way to increase your income, it is more complicated than you may realize – especially when it comes to SEO.

This site for a southern California criminal defense attorney has content written in English using Google Translate to create pages translated into Spanish. Notice the choice in the top right corner for English – Espanol. Click on the buttons and you’ll see that the pages change between English and Spanish.

In this example, a separate site is not needed because both languages are targeted at ranking in the U.S. If this attorney had a second location in Spain, then ideally he would have a separate domain registered with a country code TLD and hosted in Spain. With locations in two countries, the easiest way to rank is on separate domains.

How much effort is the company willing to invest in ranking in separate countries? Will you register a country specific domain for each language or use languages in directories?

More expense and work is involved with separate domains:
  • Building additional sites
  • Paying to host multiple sites
  • Renewing multiple domains
Even international sites as large as Wikipedia do not necessarily use separate domains. If you look at Wikipedia.org you will see that when you click on a country you are taken to a subdomain that uses the country code as the name of the subdomain. For example:
  • es.wikipedia.org for Spanish
  • de.wikipedia.org for German
  • it.wikipedia.org for Italian
These subdomains use the same letters as country-code domains for Spain (es), Germany (de) and Italy (it), but they use en for English rather than us for U.S. or uk for the U.K.

Read How to do Multilingual SEO for WordPress Sites to get a better idea of your choices. The WordPress multilingual plugin available on that site makes translating and doing SEO for multiple languages much simpler.

How Search Engines Recognize Languages

While search engines can detect languages, it is best to use the <html lang=”xx”> tag to indicate the language a page is in. For more details, read Multilingual Sites and Search Engines: Part 1.

According to that post, “global corporations as a rule have separate sites (and most often separate domains) for the countries they operate in.” While that is the most effective method, it does require more work to create and maintain.

SEOChat Supermod GabrielG suggests you can even “get sophisticated and detect a user’s language, geolocation, or other characteristics and serve the appropriate language site, in case Gooogle doesn’t do that automatically.”

Duplicate Content on Multinational Websites

If the languages involved are totally different (English and German, for example), there is no duplicate content issue. Having the same content on pages written in languages that are closely related – such as UK English versus US English – would definitely create a duplicate content issue.

Use Plagiarism Check to verify that all your site content is unique and original:

Plagiarism check

See the Brick Marketing post Duplicate Content on Multinational Websites for more details about duplicate content. Nick Stamoulis wrote:

“If your site takes a massive hit in visitors and rankings for at least three months (enough time to call it a trend), your site might have been flagged for duplicate content.”

Why Machine Translation is NOT Good Enough

While using Google translation or some other machine translator is the least expensive way to go, these translations are very inaccurate and sometimes impossible to even understand. While there are translation plugins, do not use them unless you just cannot afford a human translator.

Do not sully your brand’s reputation by skimping on content in additional languages. Using human translators is a must. If you do not have someone within your company capable of accurately writing in the language, contract with a company that specializes in language translations for business.

Keep in mind that being able to speak a language does not guarantee a person can write well in it anymore than assuming that everyone who speaks English can become a paid writer or editor.

If you use machine translation, you will end up with major brand reputation issues. See this infographic from Understanding and Avoiding Communication Blunders.

Poor translation communication blunders

Hopefully you now understand why machine translation can never take the place of using the best human translators who are excellent at both translation and content development.

The goal is to SEO a multilingual site so that it will rank in each location. For that, separate sites are best, but even with one site your goal should still be to rank each page if at all possible.
GrowMap
Gail Gardner is the Small Business Marketing Strategist at GrowMap.com