Landing Page SEO Best Practices and Tips for Success
Let’s face it, landing pages can be a very effective tool to drive conversions and get more leads. The thing is, to get these conversions, people need to find your landing pages. If they don’t, you’ve wasted the time and effort you spent on creating the page in the first place.
The best way to make sure your prospects find your landing pages is to let them rank higher in search results. That’s where SEO comes in. It improves your ranking and drives organic traffic to your landing pages.
Now, if you’ve done some research on SEO, you might have seen that many say you have to use the right keywords. And while it’s true, effective SEO goes far further than just using the right keywords and there are several things you should do to ensure that your landing pages are optimized to attract your audience.
With that in mind, let’s look at some SEO best practices you can use to create landing pages that rank in the search results.
Start With Keywords
We know, we said that SEO goes beyond keywords. But a well-thought-out keyword strategy is still one of the most important tools you can have to ensure that your pages climb the search rankings. This means you’ll need to do some keyword research.
Keyword research starts with your primary keywords. These are the keywords you want to target with your SEO strategy. When choosing primary keywords, you should consider what you know about your customers, what they search for, what’s trending in your industry, and what your competitors are doing. You’ll also want to use long-tail keywords that focus on search intent. In other words, you’ll want to use keywords that reflect what your audience is actually searching for.
Apart from your primary keywords, you should also use secondary keywords that add additional context and helps explain to search engines what your page is about. Also, semantic keywords can be very helpful in making the search intent you’re trying to meet clearer. You can think of these semantic keywords as words and phrases that you don’t want to rank for but support your primary keyword.
Luckily, to find your keywords, there are several keyword research tools available on the market; some of them are free and others are paid. And no matter what keywords you use, it’s crucial that you use them naturally and logically in your content without using keyword stuffing.
Make Your Title SEO Friendly
Apart from keywords, your page’s title is arguably one of the most important things to get right to optimize the SEO for your landing pages. Here, there are a few things you should focus on, including:
- Keeping it short. Search engines only show the first 60 characters of your title in the search results. As such, you have only limited space to make the right impact and convince users to click the link. So, to optimize your title, keep it under 60 characters and remove any unnecessary words.
- Including high-quality keywords. Keywords closer to the left of your title are more important to search engines than those to the right. So, when writing your title, place your most important keywords first and the less important ones later.
- Separating phrases. You should separate different phrases and content with vertical pipes. This helps search engines distinguish different concepts in your title.
- Not using your business’s name. Your business’s name is already included on your site and other pages. So, you don’t need to include it in the title of your landing pages. Conversely, when you do, you’ll waste valuable space you could rather use for keywords.
Choose Your URL Wisely
The next thing you should get right is your landing page’s URL. In fact, after your page’s title, it’s the most important SEO component for landing pages. It shows search engines your site’s structure and how your landing page fits into the greater scheme of things. It also helps you give search engines more information about your page and its contents.
Also, like your page title, apart from showing search engines what your landing page is about, your URL also does this for visitors.
Luckily, the best practices for URLs are quite similar to those applicable to titles, so they’re quite easy to get right:
- Keep it short. Like your title, search engines only show a limited number of characters in the URL portion of the search results. In this case, it’s about 65 characters that include the domain name. So, to prevent your URL from being truncated, you should keep it short
- Separate concepts. Like your title, you should also separate different concepts and phrases. In this case, however, you’ll use slashes instead of vertical pipes.
- Remember your keywords. In your URL, you should also include your most important keywords to the left, or at the beginning of the URL, and your less important keywords later in the URL.
Get Your Content’s Structure Right
Another important component of your landing page SEO strategy is optimizing your content’s structure. When your content is structured right, search engines will crawl and index it correctly. In other words, search engines will “understand” the content of your page better, which improves your ranking in the search results.
To structure your content right, there are a few things you should focus on, including:
- Meta description. Your page’s meta description is a direct ranking factor that impacts how high it appears in the search results. Apart from this, it also shows users what your page is about and, if clear and concise, your meta description can convince users to click your link.
- Headings. You should include an H1 tag that matches your page title. You should also structure your content using H2 and H3 headings and include your secondary keywords in these headings where appropriate.
- Internal links. To help search engines understand the context of your landing page, you can also link to other pages on your website from your landing page. When you do, you should use internal links and use the linked page’s primary keyword as your anchor text.
- Images and videos. When you add images and videos to your content, you’ll show that your content provides value to your audience. It’s important that, when using images and videos, you use appropriate file names and titles that include your primary keyword.
- Alt tags. When using images, you should also include alt tags. When an image fails to load, the page will show the content of the alt tag in its place. They also serve another purpose, though. These tags describe to search engines what the image shows. In addition, these tags can also be read by screen readers and improve the accessibility of your site. In both cases, it improves your page’s ranking.
Speed is Important
You should also ensure that your landing page loads fast. But how fast is fast? Well, ideally, your page should load as fast as possible but no longer than about 1 or 2 seconds. On the other hand, Google aims to have all pages in less than half a second. It’s, however, not necessary to achieve these speeds. In fact, according to research, 53% of mobile site visitors will leave if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load.
What happens if your pages take longer to load? When this happens, more users will leave your site and your bounce rate will increase. And the longer your pages take to load, the more users will bounce. High bounce rates, in turn, directly your ranking in the search results.
Fortunately, it can be quite simple to sort out any page speed issues. You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to see how well your site performs. And if you find that your page is slow, you can optimize it by, for example, using smaller or optimized images, using caches, or reducing redirects.
Keep Forms Short and Simple
Think about the purpose of landing pages for a moment. Simply put, they’re there to drive conversions. So, they typically have a form that users fill in to provide their details and, in return, they get some type of lead magnet. This could be anything from ebooks to discounts, vouchers, or deals.
The problem is that users want instant gratification and, as such, tend to be impatient and don’t like filling in forms. For this reason, you’ll want to avoid asking for too much information when you use forms on your landing page. Remember, the only information you need from a lead is their name and contact details. So, if possible, limit your forms to only these fields.
If you don’t and you use too many fields, your bounce rate will increase which, as mentioned earlier, has a direct impact on your rankings in the search results. If you find that you need to use more fields, it’s best to constantly monitor your bounce and conversion rates to ensure that you don’t lose too many leads.
Keep Link Building in Mind
Getting backlinks is just as important for landing pages as it is for your website. These backlinks refer to sites that link to your landing page. If these links come from high-ranking, respected, and authoritative websites, it will increase the authority of your page and shows search engines that internet users consider your page to be relevant and contains valuable content. The result is that your page will rank higher in the results.
There are several strategies you can use to get backlinks to your site. Firstly, you can use link exchanges. To do this, you’ll link to external sites on your landing when you mention a specific fact or statistic. When you do, they’ll be more likely to link to your page.
Another strategy is to create shareable content and encourage users to share your content on social media. Here, you can use anything from infographics and videos to social media sharing buttons and incentives to users who share your content to increase your landing page’s backlinking potential.
Page Length Matters, Or Does It?
Generally, landing pages tend to be more concise. But you’ve probably heard that Google and other search engines favour longer-form content in their search results. And it’s true. In fact, research confirms that longer content ranks higher in search results. Based on this, you might have considered making the content on your landing pages longer.
Here’s the thing, though. While the research shows that longer content features higher in search results, it doesn’t show that it’s because of its length. It’s more likely that all the other factors search engines take into account when determining a page’s ranking are made possible by longer form content.
With this in mind, it’s better to, instead of focusing on page length, focus on creating informative content that provides value and is useful to your page’s visitors. It’s this content that increases engagement on your page, wins more backlinks, leads to more shares, and makes your leads give you their details.
There you go, now you know some landing page SEO best practices and have some actionable tips you can implement to rank your landing pages higher, increase your conversion rate, and win more leads.
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