The Link — SEO.com’s April Newsletter

The Link -- SEO.com's April Newsletter

The Secrets Behind Successful Landing Pages

Generating traffic to your website is great, but it isn’t the ultimate goal. Traffic is only beneficial so far as you convert the visitors into customers. If you utilize email campaigns, pay-per-click advertising, or even if you gain website visitors directly from search engines, you could be losing the opportunity to convert website traffic into customers if you don’t create the right landing pages.

An all too common mistake businesses make is directing earned visitors to the home page. By dropping people off on your home page, it requires the visitors to navigate themselves and you are more likely to suffer from higher bounce rates and lower conversion rates.

Using a few key elements, building the right landing page is not only possible but more likely to be successful.

Where to Start

Landing pages are created for the sole purpose of promoting a particular product, service, or offer. These pages are designed to gather information from website visitors by introducing a lead generating form. If done right, a landing page will entice a visitor to fill out the form.
If people are looking for something specific, and you provide a valuable solution, your landing page should reflect this and provide a way for visitors to connect with you.

There are two critical questions you have to ask yourself prior to perfecting a landing page:

  1. What do you want visitors to do on your website?
  2. How can you ensure visitors do what you want them to do on your website?

Optimized properly, you can subtly tell customers exactly what to do and how to do it.

Getting People to the Page

Sometimes, you need to nail down the basics. First things first for a creating a successful landing page is making certain you take advantage of the title and meta data. The title is displayed in the browser and search results page as the link that goes to your site. Be sure to include keywords in the title. Write your title strategically, and try to include your brand. A lot of specialists recommend leveraging your brand because it can help increase click-through rates.

Writing the meta-description is of equal importance. The meta description provides a brief synopsis of the page and should entice people to go to your page. If you leave this section blank, the search engines will simply pull content from your site that may not be useful. It should also include keywords as well as a clear call to action telling people what to do.

Landing Page Pointers

When people get to your landing page, tell them everything with the headline. The headline of a page has a lot of responsibility. This single line has to capture attention, describe the page, include keywords, and read naturally. Because the headline of the landing page is the first thing visitors see, you want the headline to be straight to the point. A solid headline is a brief statement and should match up with the title of the page. It also happens to be the first thing the search engines index.

The actual content on a landing page should be visually appealing. Huge blocks of text turn visitors away. In an attempt to make your landing page engaging, consider breaking up the page with:

    • Lists
    • Bullets
    • Videos
    • Images

The content needs to be long enough to cover the subject at hand, but short enough to maintain interest. Try to be both descriptive and clear, and do not forget to have a call to action.

One of the most important things to optimize on a landing page is the actual lead generating form. The key to a solid form is to determine how much information you need from the audience. If you ask for too much information, you run the risk of getting less leads, but the leads you do secure could be more valuable. If you don’t ask for enough information, you may get more leads, but those leads might be a waste of time. Find a balance for your industry, and test it. A good start is just asking for a name and email address.

Perfecting the Landing Page

When all is said and done, it helps to get an unbiased opinion about your landing page. After you put your hard work in, an outsider’s perspective can help you see if you’ve missed the mark or have perhaps been a little too over promotional. If you want your landing pages to really pay off, a second opinion can help ensure it looks natural for better conversion rates—and that’s what it is really all about.

Client Spotlight: Reputable strategist uses search marketing to ensure success

Strategic Thinking Rich HorwathBehind success is strategy and behind strategy is Rich Horwath. Rich Horwath is the President of the Strategic Thinking Institute and is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author on strategic thinking. He provides strategy training programs, workshops and gives speeches to help businesses build competitive advantages. So what does a guy like Horwath do when it comes to strategy and his own personal success? Horwath harnesses the power of search engine optimization.

Horwath has worked with organizations such as Google, FedEx, and Kraft building strategies, but with his very specific niche, he explained that in order to get new key clients who are looking for him and need his help, he relies on search marketing to connect him with potential clients.

“Today, when people look for information they go immediately to the Internet, and as an entrepreneur being able to have a strong presence on the Internet makes good strategic sense,” Horwath said. “Because that’s the first place people go to find things, it’s important to be there on page one.”

According to Horwath, since he began utilizing SEO.com’s expertise his trophy keyword ‘strategic thinking’ went from being on page three of search engine results to page one. He has even secured the number two position on page one of the search engine results beneath Wikipedia.

Search marketing has proved beneficial for Horwath for dozens of search terms. He has experienced an increase in page rankings for other targeted keywords related to his work as well. Some successful keywords shifted five or ten positions on the search engine results, while others have jumped forward nearly ninety positions.

In the wise words of Horwath, you have to be strategic or you’ll be gone.

“I think with the reality of today and the ability to get on the Internet instantly at any point and any time, including the development of mobile applications, it’s critical to have a good strong online presence,” said Horwath. “Or you are not going to be found.”

Tips and Tricks: Create a content generation strategy

Having a “good enough” content strategy is what puts you behind the competition. A content strategy needs to be more than high word counts and filling in white space. Your strategy needs to lay out an entire plan for the creation, publication, and control of usable and useful content.

The principles of a content strategy are centered on developing valuable website content to improve the user’s experience. Strategists need to build a structure for content to decide what content needs to be developed and decide why it should be published.

A superior content generation strategy will:

  1. Build loyalty.With fresh content on a regular basis, your website or blog will urge visitors to return frequently. Consistency can help build industry credibility.
  2. Appeal to search engines.Consistent and well-organized content can help you secure higher rankings in the search engines because it helps your website remain relevant.
  3. Generate new traffic. Your content generation strategy helps you keep your site up-to-date and timely. As such, your website will spark more interest and bring in additional visitors.

Before you can create a content generation strategy you need to have your keyword research completed. Your keyword research will help you maintain a focus for your content generation strategy.

Creating a content generation strategy begins with brainstorming. Use your keyword research as a structure to appease the search engines, but find topics surrounding the keywords to be relevant to readers.

Once you have brainstormed topics and determined what you to write, organizing the information is next. From an SEO perspective, organizing your information prevents you from duplicating content.

You can organize your content by putting different topics in categories and lists. By mapping out your content, your strategy helps solidify quality content that will engage the right audience. Decide what type of content works best including blog content, eBook content, white papers, or even webinar content. It also helps to build a style guide for your site so everyone who will be contributing content will be able to work within your set strategy and structure.

By combining critical thinking with brainstorming and keeping yourself organized, you can maximize your content generation strategy by making sure to hit all the SEO basics such as creating links and including images, alt text, videos, and audio.

Industry events

Social Media Strategies Summit: Chicago; April 18-19

Search Insider Summit: Captiva Island, FL.; April 22-25

Search Marketing Expo: Toronto; April 25-26

SEO.com events

Webinar: Impact of Google’s Panda Update on Content — April 19 at 11 a.m. Mountain time

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