11 Steps To Create A Killer Landing Page For Your SEO Or PPC Campaign
In any SEO or PPC campaign, you will be driving traffic to your website – but not all of it will be to your home page. In fact, the majority of the new visitors will be arriving first at one of your other pages, and this is a good thing. If someone is searching for ‘blue widgets’, then it’s better for them to go straight to the ‘blue widgets’ page of your website rather than having to hunt around your website for the right page themselves.
The ‘blue widgets’ page is a ‘landing page’ – the first page a prospect arrives at from a marketing campaign.
The goal of the landing page is to convert the prospect so that they take the next step – whether that is making a purchase, making an enquiry or giving you their email address so you can start to build a relationship with them through email marketing.
Each landing page deserves your careful attention – these pages are where most of your best traffic arrives first, NOT your home page. So here are 11 steps to creating a killer landing page for SEO or PPC.
1) Keyword research - Select ONE keyword you are targeting for that page. You may want this page to rank for several different keywords, but start with ONE – your number one, best, best, best, top keyword. Write that down, and then choose a short selection of related searches as well – around 4-5.
2) Understand the user’s intent – who is doing this search? Why have they typed that phrase in? What are the events, thoughts or feelings that have compelled them to do it? What are they looking for when they find it? Do they want to make a purchase? Get some information? Do they want to make an enquiry? How urgent is their need? The page should then be built around meeting this person’s intent – it should be reflected in the headline, the copy itself and the call to action.
3) Have a clear offer – decide what action you want your prospect to take once they’ve landed on this page – is it to make a purchase, sign up for a newsletter, or make an enquiry? The better and more compelling the offer, the better this page will convert.
4) Create a specific URL – this should include your number one keyword- for example www.yourdomain.com/yourkeyword. When creating the page, you also want to ensure the keyword is also included in the meta title and description of the page.
5) Write an attention grabbing headline – include your number one target keyword and the key benefit your prospect will be looking for. The headline is one of the first things people will look at on the page, and determines whether people will pay attention to the rest of the content – as any tabloid journalist will tell you!
6) Write the copy - Have rich and engaging content which meets the needs of your searcher – don’t skimp on information. If you have a product, then have full technical specifications, reviews, frequently asked questions, provide delivery information, show you have the item in stock, provide as many high-quality photos as possible. There’s a myth that people won’t want to read lots of text on a website – but that’s not true. If it’s interesting, they’ll read it. And while some people want to get to the solution as quickly as possible, others spend lots of time trying to consider a decision from every angle before they will move forward.
Making that information available for those that want it can more than double your conversion rates. Plus for SEO purposes, you should have a minimum of 400 words content – ideally a minimum of 800 words. You should also ensure that it includes your priority keyword, plus a sprinkling of the related keywords you selected earlier in step 1. These keywords should fit naturally into the flow of the sentences, and not seem like they’ve been crowbarred in. For more information about SEO copywriting read Natalie Eastaugh’s recent article on this subject here.
7) Include video – Video has a significant impact on conversions. It will ensure prospects stay on your page longer, and your offer will be clearer and more vivid if you can express it in a short video. Video does not have to be expensive or have high production values – in fact, many of the best performing videos are the cheap-looking and cheap-to-produce ones. There are a few options with video: you can record a ‘screencast’ where you narrate over a powerpoint presentation, you can record interviews with your staff and/or customers, you can create animations or you can hire a presenter/actor. However, nothing beats a video with YOU in it simply talking to the prospect, explaining your offer and why your prospect should take it up.
8) Include social proof – No-one wants to be the first to try something. You will get a better conversion rate if you can show that several people have already taken up your offer and have been delighted with their results. You can use written testimonials, video testimonials, case studies, examples, statistics, pictures of completed projects or happy customers, reviews and star ratings, third party endorsements from celebrities or industry experts, and much more.
9) Have a clear and compelling call to action – People will not take the action you want them to take unless you ask them, so create a ‘call to action’. This can be a ‘buy now’ button, a form to complete or even just your telephone number. There are a number of ways to maximise your calls to action. The first is to create urgency or scarcity – in other words, a reason to act NOW. This could mean limited stock availability, a deadline on an offer or even just saying ‘don’t delay, act now!’ Hotel booking websites do this very well, showing just ‘2 rooms left’, for example. A second tip for your call to action is to be as specific as possible about what you want them to do and why. For example ‘Call us on 01234 567891’ is OK, but is better if you make it more specific: ‘Call our order hotline today on 01234 567891 and request your free information pack.’
10) Measure your conversion rates – your conversion rate is a simple formula: The number of people who have taken the offer (they have bought, signed up for your newsletter or made an enquiry) divided by the total number of visitors to that page. For example, if in a month you get 30 sales from 100 visitors, your conversion rate is 0.3, or 30%.
11) Test, test and test again! Now you know the conversion rate, you can test different versions of the page to see which offers, headlines, images and calls to action work best. There is some sophisticated (and expensive) multivariate testing software out there, however a cheaper option is to use the ‘content experiments’ feature in Google Analytics – to find out more about this you can read my article about using Google Analytics to increase website conversion rates.
If you follow all of these steps, then you’ll have a landing page which is well optimised for SEO and PPC – the keyword-based URL, title, description, headline and content itself will mean the page performs well in your SEO campaign, and also gives you a high quality score in your PPC.
More importantly, though, it will convert the traffic you get into enquiries and sales – the investment of time and effort is well worth it.
Article by Will Williamson