SEO Optimization for Landing Pages to Drive More Traffic and Leads
by Mike Khorev
Landing pages are a very important aspect of today’s digital marketing, especially as a lead generation and conversion device.
Your website as a business element, has two main purposes: to attract your ideal audience and to convert them into actual prospects. A landing page is your main weapon in achieving both purposes.
In this guide, we will learn how we can use SEO to maximize the landing page’s performance, and especially to generate more organic traffic to these landing pages.
First, however, let us learn about the concept behind the landing pages.
What Is a Landing Page?
The term “landing page” is one of the most commonly used jargons in digital marketing, but also the most commonly misunderstood one.
Understanding the right concept of the landing page and the principles behind it will be essential before we can properly implement SEO for the best results.
As a digital marketing term and in relation to SEO, there can be two different definitions for the landing page:
1. The Generic Landing Page
A “generic” landing page is an autonomous web page (can be completely separated from the main website), that is designed as a specific tie-in for a marketing campaign.
For example, a display advertising campaign might go have a CTA button like this: “click here for $20 off”.
In this case, when a visitor clicked on the CTA button, they will “land” to a specific landing page —and this is where the name “landing page” comes from.
So, a landing page is designed with a focused objective (and quite often only involves one objective), which will be closely tied—or 100% similar— to the marketing campaign’s CTA (Call to Action).
Generic Landing Pages and SEO
So, what does a landing page got to do with SEO? Isn’t the traffic source is the marketing campaign itself? Wouldn’t SEO be unnecessary in this case?
The main idea in implementing SEO to landing pages is so these pages can have two reliable sources of traffic: the advertising/marketing campaign, and search engine traffic.
To avoid misconceptions, we can create landing pages of which their main source is organic search—a “pure” SEO landing page—, which we will discuss in the next section.
Many marketers and SEO practitioners knew about this technique, but because most marketing campaigns are finite by nature—that is, has a relatively short lifetime—, many marketers deemed it unnecessary to optimize landing pages, a waste of resources and time.
However, there are several reasons why implementing SEO on your landing pages—and even creating SEO-focused landing page—, is a good practice to have:
- The internet is forever. Or rather, the search engine is forever. If the landing page is optimized properly for SEO, a potential prospect might search for the keyword 5 years in the future and you’ll still get traffic (and potential conversion).
- We tend to misjudge campaign(s) longevity. It’s very common for marketers to end marketing campaigns prematurely, only to re-launch or regret it later.
- SEO is an affordable, low-risk practice. It’s just extra effort. So, implementing SEO to your landing pages—or creating specific landing pages for SEO purposes—, is essentially a no-risk situation with potential benefits. So why not?
2. The SEO Landing Page
Here, the landing page is solely built with SEO—organic search engine traffic—as its main source of traffic.
Due to this nature of relying on organic traffic, there are three main differences between an SEO landing page and “generic” landing page:
- As opposed to generic marketing landing pages where the landing page is typically separated from the main site—as discussed above—, an SEO landing page is usually part of the main site and is connected to the site’s main navigation menu.
- As mentioned, the main source of traffic is different. With an SEO landing page, the main traffic source is organic search.
- Typically doesn’t include a specific CTA, but the page will include general information about the brand’s product and/or service. Thus, we can think of this page as “main product or service pages”.
For example, let’s say it’s a SaaS business selling three main software products: a CRM software, a keyword research/SEO tool, and an email marketing software.
In this case, we can create three different SEO landing pages, each focusing on one product. It might go like this:
- The first landing page is for the CRM product, so the main target keywords are“customer relationship management” and “CRM”. We might also target variant keywords like “CRM tips”, “CRM implementation”, etc.
- The second landing page is for the SEO tool, so we target keywords like “keyword research tool” and “SEO tool”.
- Similarly, for the third landing page, we target keywords like “email marketing automation” and “email marketing software”.
Ideally, these pages will be around 300 to 800 words in length. We might add an FAQ section, relevant case studies, and tips&tricsks section to expand this content.
Content Marketing To Support The Landing Pages
Since obviously, we can’t separate SEO with content marketing, here we will discuss how we can—and should—use content to support the SEO performances of these landing pages.
Content marketing and SEO are pretty deep subjects on their own, and we have a separate, step-by-step guide here to help you. However, in relation to supporting the SEO performances of the landing page, here are some important areas to focus on:
- Keyword research and market research are very important. Obviously, the content (blog post) must target similar target keywords with the landing page, but we can also target keywords that are semantically related, or related in search intent.
- The internal linking structure between the landing page and the blog post is very important, that is:
- Link these blog posts from the landing page whenever possible. Use natural and relevant anchor texts to smoothly introduce the blog post. For example, on your landing page, you can include a sentence like, “you might want to check out our guide to local SEO here” to link to a blog post targeting ‘local SEO’.
- On the other hand, link out to the landing page from these blog posts. You can use an anchor text—as before—, or you can use CMS (Content Mangement System) tags. Make sure the internal linking is natural.
- The content (blog posts) must be optimized for their specific target keywords and followed the SEO best practices:
- Use the target keywords naturally, focus on delivering value for the human audience—maintain readability—. If it’s a short-tail keyword, include it up to 6 times (exact match). For long-tail keywords, exact match keyword usage will be more obvious, so limit it only four times. Both of these are for standard 1,000-word content.
- Optimize the technical aspect of your site, especially load speed, mobile-friendliness, and indexability. The idea is to optimize the page for the best possible user experience (to optimize dwell time) and to make sure the page is indexed properly by Google.
Link Building for SEO Landing Pages
First, it’s important to note that today, the quality of your backlinks is more important than quantity.
That is, one inbound link coming from—for example— Ahrefs or Yoast if you are a website mainly discussing SEO, is more valuable than 10 or even 100 backlinks coming from fairly unknown sites and blogs.
With that being said, it’s generally more difficult to generate high-quality backlinks to these SEO landing pages, because they typically don’t include too much content. The more content in a page, the more linkable things, and the more potential of getting backlinks—by principle—.
Yet, it’s not a mission: impossible, and there are link building tactics and strategies we can take implement:
- Use your other content pages (blog posts, as discussed above) to get backlinks. This will help your site’s overall SEO performance and will also boost the landing pages’ ranking indirectly.
- Include linkable, unique data/information, visually appealing infographics, and other linkable elements in your landing pages to attract more backlinks. We can call these the “link hooks”. Be creative, and make your landing page linkable.
- The FAQ section can be a good area to include this unique information/data, and you can also aim to get featured snippets by implementing structured data markup properly.
- Build relationships with business partners, loyal customers, and influencers in your industry/niche.
SEO landing pages should be an integral part of any SEO strategy, and the focus of our optimizations.
The main idea is so that we can direct organic traffic to the landing page through SEO, so we can get more qualified leads and—in the end— convert them into actual customers.
The main challenge of implementing SEO to these landing pages, however, is about building high-quality backlinks due to the nature of landing pages that typically don’t involve too much content. You can download my SEO growth program on enterprise SEO page to learn how I implement different approaches and tactics to tackle this issue.
January 25, 2020
January 18, 2020