Optimizing a landing page for SEO to bring in organic traffic is slightly trickier than ranking a blog post. When creating a page with landing page software, the goal is to lead visitors to a call to action and ensure that they follow through.
When creating an SEO-rich piece of content, the goal is to engage the reader and have them spend as much time on page as possible, then leave with the answer they were looking for.
This means your landing page needs more content, more links, more compelling copy, and more calls to action.
Though this may sound like a bit much, organic traffic means warm leads – leads you may not otherwise have had if you weren’t ranking your landing page. These leads are worth the effort, but your copy still needs to convert them.
So, there’s a fine line to walk between optimizing your page for search engines and conversions. Here’s how to approach optimizing your landing page for SEO.
Determine the goal of your landing page
Before creating your landing page, you need to determine if you want your copy to focus mainly on converting visitors or if ranking your page in search engines is your top goal.
There is a major difference between the two.
Conversion-focused pages need to take visitors on a smooth path to a clear and prominent call to action.
SEO-focused pages tend to have more content. They answer all the questions someone might search for, there is a deliberate effort to cover topics in detail, and they have multimedia elements and carefully-positioned keywords.
Some landing pages can do both. It depends on where the user is in the funnel. Your main consideration needs to be where your traffic is coming from. If you have a large list in your email marketing software or will be running PPC ads toward a specific call to action, a conversation-focused page will do.
However, If your goal is to use long-term organic traffic for lead generation, you should optimize your landing page for SEO.
Determine the right tool to use for your landing page
We’ve tried every landing page tool under the sun and we have even surveyed our audience to discover their favorite tool for building SEO optimized landing pages. Based on our ConvertKit reviews, customers love that you can use the tool not only for landing pages, but for email marketing and automation as well.
Optimizing your landing page SEO
Even with SEO in mind, it’s important to start creating your content with the user’s intent as your primary focus. Once you have the body of your content written up, you can optimize it for SEO and work through some of the technical stuff.
The following are the most important aspects of on-page and off-page SEO to pay close attention to.
Pick the right keywords
From an SEO perspective, keywords are the phrases and words people are typing into search engines.
For the most part, the closer your keywords mirror what people are searching for, the better your chances are of appearing in front of them. Of course, there are all the other SEO factors we’re covering in this article, but it all revolves around your main keywords.
There are various ways you can find the right keywords. The way I do it is to type my keywords into a keyword tool like SEMRush and see what suggestions come back. You’re looking for keywords that have decent search volume and a low competitive score. Keep in mind, metrics will vary depending on the tool you’re using.
Word count and content considerations
Long-form content typically performs better, with “long-form” meaning 1,000 words or more. This is because the longer your content is, the more long-tail keywords you’ll rank for. Visitors also spend more time on the page, and search engines have more to work with when determining how relevant your content is.
When you’re running through the final editing and proofreading of your content, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the content answer any questions visitors may have?
- Does the content encompass the topic?
- Is the call to action clear?
- Is the content easy to read from a formatting and layout perspective?
- Are you using multimedia to break up the text and make the piece more dynamic?
If you can’t answer “yes” to all of the above, your content may not appeal to users. It may tick all the boxes for SEO, but you still need to deliver a smooth experience for the user to convert them into sales.
A wall of text is hard for visitors and search engines to read and process. Break up your content into sections using header tags. Your main title will be an H1, you can then use H2s for subheadings, and H3s for another subheading within the body of the H2 content.
Keyword usage and latent semantic indexing (LSIs)
Search engines are incredibly smart. If you write a long-form piece of content, they know what your article is about without you stuffing keywords in. The goal is to include keyword variations and related terms, not just the same keywords over and over.
The number of times you should include a keyword in an article is subjective. However, at minimum you should include your keyword:
- In the URL
- In the H1 title tag
- Once in the first paragraph of the article
- Once in an H2 tag
- In the meta description
- Wherever else it falls naturally
It’s also good SEO practice to include some LSI terms too. These are words or phrases that are semantically related to your keyword. Basically, they are other ways of saying and describing your keyword. This ensures that your main keyword isn’t misinterpreted.
Both internal and external links are an important SEO factor. Here’s why and how you should approach links:
Internal linking is important to help web crawlers find and index your page. A page with no links pointing to it from other pages can become orphaned and never appear in the search results.
It’s good SEO practice to:
- Add at least two links pointing to other pages within your site
- Add at least two links to other pages on your site directed at your landing page
Conventional SEO wisdom is that linking out to authoritative sites has an SEO benefit, albeit a small one. With landing pages, however, you don’t want to send visitors anywhere other than through your call to action. For this reason, you can pass on linking out to external sites if there is not a relevant reason to do so.
Backlinks, which are links pointing to your page from external sites, are a very important ranking factor. Here are a few strategies to plan for after your content is live:
- Reach out to other creators for guest posting opportunities
- Reach out to influencers in your industry to promote your services to their audience
- Market your landing page through social media channels
- Look for media opportunities
There are a few technical SEO aspects that are worth paying attention to as they also affect how well your page ranks. The most important considerations are:
Search engines will routinely crawl your site and pick up your landing page if you followed all the on-page SEO techniques covered above. It doesn’t hurt to manually submit the page for peace of mind, though. You can do this via your Google Search Console.
Page load speed
The speed at which your page loads is a ranking factor. Run your page through Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. It scores your page out of 100 and recommends ways to improve your score.
Is your site secure? Do you have a padlock icon next to your URL in a browser? If not, contact your host and ask them to install a certificate. This means the site encrypts any sensitive information sent to and from your site.
Mobile search has overtaken desktop and Google is leading the way by stating they use mobile-first indexing now. This means your site/theme must be responsive on all devices or you face possible penalties. And they are currently giving preference to AMP pages.
Track your page in analytics
You can set up goals and track specific metrics for your page in Google Analytics to closely monitor how it’s performing. This will enable you to identify where you need to tweak the content to improve conversions once you have some data.
Landing page SEO optimized long-term success
If you optimize your landing page for SEO, you’re in this for the long-term.
It can take months for a page to reach its highest position in the search results. Even then, by building more backlinks and making tweaks to the content, you can push your page higher.
Landing pages are very different from blog posts and informational content. There is always more split testing and small tweaks you can make to try and increase the conversion rate on the page.
By nailing the fundamental SEO best practices covered in this article, you’re giving your page the best possible chance at ranking well.
Interested in learning more about SEO and landing page optimization? Visit Growth Marketing Pro for proven marketing tactics that will grow your business.