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.

9 Ways For Local Business to Acquire Links

Link building has changed a lot over the years. After a pretty brutal crackdown by Google related to linking practices it became clear that a new, more narrow practice was needed to continue taking advantage of this very relevant part of marketing strategy. Thankfully we still have avenues that don’t violate any terms of service, or even press the boundaries of what is and isn’t acceptable.Acquiring local links is one fantastic way to do so. This is perfect for small businesses in particular that are wanting to increase their visibility on both a local and more expanded scale. But how do you do that? Here are nine ways.

Invite a Community Writer

In any city there will be local, independent publications that are aimed at the local community. They do editorials, comment on city news and do reviews. It is the last that you want to go for. Invite one of the review writers from these publications out for a sample of what you have to offer, on the house. If you are a restaurant for example offer them a comped meal for them and a guest. If you sell a product offer one to them for free.If you own a retail store ask them to come by and check it out and offer them a free item of their choice to test the wares. Generally these publications are both online and in print, so you will be getting the word out along with a followable link from the digital source.

Sponsor a Local Podcast

Podcasts are becoming more popular than ever, and often locals will have their own. You can get in on the fun by sponsoring them. If you don’t have enough money for a sponsorship, try something a little more simple. Give them some free goods.Send over some food from your kitchens. Give them some discounts or free items. Ask them to try your service. You will get a link on their website, a mention on any social media, and perhaps a vocal mention on their show. Here are lots of local podcasts to get an idea.

Get Listed in High-Quality Local Directories

And I don’t mean in thosounds of them. Local directories are still being used by people trying to discover more places to visit and more companies to check out. To evaluate if being listed is worth it, check the directories traffic. If your links are going to be clicked, these are good links. A couple of examples: Here are more worthy directories listed here and a full google maps marketing guide.

Write For Locals, But Aim For National Attention

Local pieces are picked up by national news agencies all the time. They are originally meant for these small communities, but others outside of it take interest because of the issues that arise as a result.This is often referred to as “controversy baiting”, as the easiest way is to use controversy to get a large local paper’s eye, where it then moves onto a national publication. This is done more readily with online posts, as there isn’t as much of a space consideration that makes human interest stories easy to cut.Download a checklist here to get your local blog popular within your area and beyond.

Create Some Videos

There was a local pizza parlour that was trying to attract more attention, as they were in a strip mall with no visibility to the busy street in front of it and had a limited ad budget. Their solution was to create a video campaign for YouTube and their social media pages.They told local high schoolers that they could get a free pizza for shooting and uploading a silly video with a link back to their website. It was a massive success, led to thousands of new social media likes and a ton of links that brought direct traffic.

Win a Local Contest

The Chamber of Commerce does annual contests in a number of categories open only to local businesses. Some local papers, television stations and blogs also have these competitions.You can do a seach and find anything that is nearby that you can nominate your business for. Winning one of these contests is great for high quality links from authoritative sources.

Offer Your Business as a Meetup Space

Have you ever heard of Meetup.com? It is a very popular meetup website that allows people to create their own groups and host get-togethers in any possible category.You can go through and find meetups already established and offer your business as a place where they can have these meetups. It is a great way to get people into your shop and also gives links through Meetup and social media.

Host Weekly Events

You don’t have to house other people’s events. You can create your own. A nearby cafe has several events every week that caters to its main audience (those involved in the geek subculture).Holding your own events is great for posting on Meetup.com, CraigsList, social media sites and newspaper boards where others are looking for something to do.

Get Local Influencer Aware Of Your Brand

There are plenty of influencers who are around you. They have highly active social media pages, regularly comment on Yelp and other review sites and have blogs. You can get in touch with them and build a relationship, letting them promote the brand for you.Do you have any other ideas on how you can build links as a local business? Let us know in the comments!

Why Data Will Boost Your Marketing Effectiveness

We develop blindness towards all sorts of advertising. When first introduced online, banner ads achieved a 50-90% CTR. Now the majority of people can’t stand them. Marketing effectiveness demands a change.

It’s not so much that various methods of marketing are inherently ineffective. It’s just that people get used to them, so marketers need to innovate. Data-driven marketing is one result of this ever-present need for change.

Why You Need to Have Data-Driven Marketing

The proliferation of information in our time might lead you to believe that companies are using data all the time in their marketing. However, they are not.

The Harvard Business Review reports that while infographics are now fairly standard, very few of them portray data that tells an original story. Marketers tend to use data for their own decision-making, but not for creating content that adds value to their customers.

That’s really too bad because the insight data offers can be quite interesting and even enriching. Solid, data-driven content gives your company credibility. If you have reliable facts backing up your opinions, people will see you as trustworthy. Another advantage is that your own knowledge will increase as you share information with other influencers.

Data can also have a lot of power simply from the fact that much content on the internet is mediocre. If your content has integrity—if it is original and accurate—it will stand out.

The companies that are best at marketing with data use it to appeal to people’s emotions. They present their data in format that is interesting to look at (hence the popularity of infographics), and ideally they put the information in the context of a story.

If-youre-a-brand-publisher-feat Quote source

For the Google Trends “Year in Search 2015,” Google did an amazing job at turning data into a compelling story. The company presented the top searches of the year through a brief video. The opening text says, “In 2015 the questions we asked revealed who we are.”

The video goes on to show the questions people searched, such as “how can i help the refugees” and “how can we overcome prejudice,” interspersing the questions with pertinent footage from the year. The video used data not only to tell the individual stories behind the searches but also to tie them together into a larger narrative of unity within diversity.

Data Dangers

Businesses run into trouble implementing data effectively for a number of reasons. First, there is simply an overwhelming amount of it. It can be difficult to know how to sort through and productively utilize all of a company’s accessible information.

Another potential pitfall is that sometimes those in charge incorrectly estimate the costs of gathering and storing data. Sometimes information isn’t gathered correctly or analyzed thoroughly, and often there is poor or no communication across departments. Data storage is also a huge factor. There are too many options and providers to choose from, too many new concepts to learn and pros and cons to consider. Here’s how Hosting Australia explains data centre hosting.

Silos are in fact a significant challenge to success, especially in larger companies. The larger a company grows, the greater the challenge to be unified and to communicate well about any goal. It’s also easy for businesses to lose sight of their goals if they are not relying on data for what their priorities should be and whether or not they are sidetracked from them.

It is critical to remember that data is not a solution in and of itself; it needs to be reliable. Kimberly Whitler of Forbes states, “If the data is bad—disorganized, incomplete, inconsistent, out of date—then the resulting decisions will be bad, too.” That’s why it’s important to have people at your company who understand how to find, analyze, and organize trustworthy data.

How to Leverage Data Effectively

As you seek to leverage data-driven content for your business, there are some specific principles you should keep in mind.

First, be strategic. Choose your data team carefully; it’s extremely valuable to have people from different departments and perspectives. Have a clear idea of your goals and KPIs so that you are mining your data with purpose.

Know the best channels to tap for the data you’re trying to attain. Is your audience primarily on Twitter? Then don’t waste time gathering information from Facebook or Instagram. Have good analytics models in place, as well as metrics with which to measure your results.

It should go without saying that your data should be as accurate as possible. Once you’ve collected enough information, use it to build customer personas that will lead to customer-focused content. Avoid silos by having cross-company goals, and evaluate and re-evaluate the data as you collect it.

Remember, data is most interesting and valuable to your customers when it is presented with visually appealing, quality content. Fortunately, quality content is exactly what Google is looking for and is one of the main ways you can get Google to index your site.

Neil Patel notes that having a blog is one important way to increase site traffic: “websites with blogs get an average of 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links.”

Good content is interesting enough on its own, but having evidence to back up the content makes your position even more powerful. It’s also worth observing that Patel uses multiple infographics throughout his article, making use of their widespread appeal.

People Crave Insight into the World

People love to learn new information, especially if that information tells them something about who they are and is presented in a fresh way. Effective data-driven content will boost the power of your marketing because of its ability to make the truth interesting.