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. Unfortunately, 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: With 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 ResearchWhen 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. Sometimes 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. Next, the page should expand to this: Go 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. You 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 ContentWith 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. Unfortunately, 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. If 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 SEOIt’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 PageLink 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. So 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.
ConclusionWhile 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.
You might wonder, when it comes to competitive keywords, does Google prefer ranking big domains? This question can be answered by taking a close, detailed look at the relationship between keyword difficulty and the size of the domain. The result of this study is important, because it will lead us to a deeper understanding of the behavior of Google’s ranking algorithm when it comes to ranking competitive keywords (in relation to both small and large domains).