It is clear for many of us that SEO has changed completely in the last years.
Search engines that used to be tricked with black-hat tactics have now grown smarter, learned to recognize our language and the intent behind our searches, all to deliver the best results.
The focus of SEO has shifted from search engines only, to optimizing for the user, as well.
A page that is optimized for SEO must also be optimized for user experience, because they are the ones that will visit the website and either perform an action on it or leave.
In this post, I’ll show you how to create the perfect landing page for your online users to find through search engines.
Think of a good landing page for SEO as a page that both delivers the information your end user is looking for and is easy for search engines to examine and understand. That’s what we are going for. Let’s get started.
Step 1 – The Why: Set Your Page Purpose and Search Intent
Setting the purpose of the page you are about to build will tell users what to do once they land on it.
Whether you want them to call you, fill out a contact form or subscribe to your newsletter, the page purpose will help you find out what search intent you are going after.
Let’s say you are an LED light bulb distributor and you are creating a landing page to give your potential clients an overview of the products you offer so they can start exploring your online catalog and then request a quote.
So, our “what” will be:
- Purpose: Turn browsing users into potential clients by generating enough interest about our products to move towards our catalog page.
- Search Intent: We are looking for users that are currently exploring different buying options to help them make a decision. This is known as commercial investigation intent.
Step 2 – The Who and the Where: Set Your Target Audience
Part of creating a good landing page lies on knowing exactly who the content is directed to. Defining the type of users you want to attract will help you write content in a language that matches their needs and is easier for them to understand.
Following with our LED light bulb distributor example:
In your experience in the industry, you know for sure that the clients that get to contact you are very savvy and won’t need thorough explanations but well-defined features and specifications. Because of this, you will have the freedom to use as much jargon and technical language as you need because your end users will read it and know exactly what you are referring to.
As opposed to using simpler vocabulary whichwill likely make visitors unsure if what you are selling is indeed what they need.
So, our “who” will be…
- Very savvy users that are well informed about the industry and the products businesses like ours offer to the public.
PRO TIP: If you are a local business, make sure you always set a location target for your audience. It could be a city, county or metro region. This “where” will add relevancy to the content you are creating in the area your business serves.
Step 3 – The How: Do Some Keyword Research to Understand Your Audience
Now that you know who you are going after, it’s time to know how to reach them. Conduct keyword research to find what your audience search behavior is and what are the most popular terms for them so you can use them as part of your content.
PRO TIP: Use your website insights to find trends on what your visitors are doing on your site. For example, take a look at the top queries of your site from Search Console.
For our scenario, we have a few queries related to the products the business offers.
From the queries our searchers used, we can tell that indeed they are very savvy. Let’s dig a little further into it.
This is my analysis from the 8 search queries above: Our visitors are looking for a wholesaler that offers certified products as a replacement solution for other types of lamps. Pretty accurate, right? Now, imagine what else you can find out when looking through more terms.
Step 4 – Time to Get Started With Your Content
So, we know who to target, where to target, what the purpose of our efforts are, the search intent we are going after and how to reach out to them. Whoa! Seems like a lot of info. Well, we worked hard to get it. Let’s use it.
Content writing for SEO is a topic that could easily fit another post. But, for the sake of this guide, I’ll focus on our example to give you an overview of how it works.
In simple terms, great content is made out of what I call an ABC checklist. Here, I’ll show you how.
‘A’ for Awesome Headlines
Headlines are statements that stand out of your text and used to make your copy easy to navigate through. For a landing page, headlines have to match the intent for all the users you want to attract. Since we already know what they want, here are a few headlines for them.
Certified LED Lighting Products Wholesaler
Multi-Brand Compatible LED Solutions for Businesses
Certified LED Tubes and Lamps
‘B’ for Bullseye Copywriting
A good copy for a landing page must do two things: provide the information your users need and also give them reasons to do what you need them to do once they have that info (the purpose of our page). And what other reasons would work better for this last task than the things your business stands out for?
Highlight the unique selling points (USPs) for your business and products as much as you can. Tell people why you and your products are better. Use your industry experience, your success stories, certifications, etc.
Personally, I like the approach of selling a solution. It goes like this:
- Present your visitors with a problem your products solve.
- Mention things other products or other businesses do wrong when dealing with the problem.
- Introduce your product or service like Captain America showing up to save the day.
- Explain what your product or business does right and why they do it right. Use your USPs.
‘C’ for Compelling Call to Actions (CTA)
And this is it, the moment of truth. We worked all the way to get our visitors to this point in our landing page. We just need a closing statement to sort of seal the deal. That’s what call to actions do, they call people to do the action they are on the page for.
CTAs are usually found in buttons, links and small headlines next to a button. Propose a clear action for them to complete. By the way, use a unique selling point with them. Trust me, they will look way better. Look.
Call Us Now. We Offer Free Shipping.
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Step 5 – Complete Your SEO Checklist
Our newborn landing page content is ready and now we have to give it some identity and make sure it’s set up properly.
I know I didn’t talk about SEO keywords and how to insert them in your content but I’m pretty sure that at this point, you have enough keywords and related terms spread throughout your copy. And that’s the best way to do it. Let your ideas flow and your keywords will “magically” appear and search engines will understand it.
Work That Metadata
Our landing page is meant to show up on organic results and the content of the search results snippet will be the first impression people will have of your site.
Give your page a great title (use one of your awesome headlines for it) and, I won’t stop mentioning it, make sure it matches the searcher’s intent.
For the Meta Description, try to summarize what the content of your page is about and, if it fits (you only have about 156 characters), add a small call to action like “Learn more” of “Find out why”, it will help a lot.
To have an idea on how your metadata will look on search results, use a snippet optimizer. I used one for the image above.
Don’t Forget About Your Images
Images are one of the few things search engines have kind of a hard time understanding. Photos, pictures, and graphics in general cannot be translated into text so, they need some help to be understood.
There are two things you must add to images. A simple file name and a descriptive ALT text. This is like the metadata for your graphics and will tell search engines how to interpret what users are seeing.
For example, let’s optimize the “metadata” for the image of the search snippet used before.
File name: search-snippet-screenshot.jpg
ALT Text: A preview for Titles and Meta Descriptions of a landing page in search results.
Piece of cake, right? Let’s move on.
Step 6 – Hit the Search Index
Review your page settings to make sure search engines are allowed to crawl it. Your robots.txt file should allow page crawling and there should not be any NOINDEX tags present in the page.
Double check for any errors using the Fetch as Google tool in Search Console. It will let you know if search engines like Googlebot can access your landing page, scan it and index it properly, and list any errors in it.
While you are here, send your page to Google’s index by using the Submit to index option.
And… We Are Done!
There you have it. Now you can start creating awesome pages for your business website that will be easily understood by search engines and will match your potential clients.
Do you have any more tips for creating landing pages for SEO? Share your ideas with us.