A landing page is a destination page on your website where you want to convert visitors. While other pages may provide information and detail about products and services, a landing page should be designed as a destination. It’s the last page before a visitor calls, sets an appointment, adds a product to a cart, or fills out an information form.
With that in mind, virtually any site page can be deemed a landing page. If a search user is researching an issue they’re looking for a solution to, the page you rank on should be viewed as a destination. Many companies make the mistake of not providing a solid call-to-action or form on every page of their site. Remember… visitors will gladly scroll but may be hesitant to click to navigate to another page. You found them; they landed… provide them a path to conversion.
What About Landing Pages from Ads?
Attribution of every conversion is often difficult to identify the marketing efforts driving the most engagement, advancing the visitors through the buyer’s journey, and getting them to convert. I recommend keeping your organic landing pages separate from your paid search pages. Tools like Rank Math for WordPress enable you to mark a page with a
noindex tag, which will ensure that they’re not included in search results.
This article is specific to pages that target exact keywords and are expected to have organic search engine users land on them. To optimize the page for search engines, there are some critical elements that I’d highly advise you to include.
10 Critical Elements To Optimize On A Landing Page for Search Engine Rankings
A few minor changes to your landing page can result in much better results for your business. Landing pages are the destination for your calls-to-action and the transition point where a visitor becomes a lead or even a conversion.
Remember that we’re not just optimizing the page for search engines; we’re optimizing the page for conversions, too! Here are some critical elements of a well-optimized landing page.
- Page Title And Meta Description – When a search user reviews search results on a SERP, the two critical elements are the title and description. The search engine results are taken from a combination of the
<title>tag and the description from a meta description. Both typically require additional editing in your CMS or e-commerce platform. The title you write in your editor is the heading on a page and, without a specific title, will be your title as well. Google typically shows up to 60 characters for a title tag and up to 155-160 characters for a meta description tag on its search engine results page. However, the exact number of characters displayed can vary depending on various factors, such as the device being used to view the search results and the width of the individual characters. I’ll be honest that I’ve seen no issue with surpassing these limits. In fact, my top trafficked page from Search Engines here has a title that’s more than double that length. Your meta description should be used to entice the search engine user to click through… provide them a reason or make them curious.
- Web Address – Because your URL is displayed in search results, utilize a short, concise, unique slug to that targets the keyword or phrase you’re hoping to target. Visualize your path (sometimes known as permalink structure) as a hierarchy, where the paths closest to the domain are the most important and those furthest are the least important. Many companies incorporate complex folder paths or incorporate yyyy/mm/dd in the path… which not only ages your content but tells the search engines it’s not a very important page. Short, relevant permalinks and slugs are more effective.
- Heading – this is the strongest element on the page for enticing your visitor to continue and complete the form. Your primary heading should be an
H1tag, followed by
H3tags for secondary and tertiary section headers. Make sure that they stand out visually… many visitors will scan a page before reading it in depth. Landing Pages typically lack navigation elements as well… you want the reader focused on the action, not insert additional distractions. Utilize words that drive the visitor into action and add a sense of urgency. Focus on the benefits that the visitor will gain by completing the registration.
- Social Sharing – incorporate social buttons. Visitors often share great information with relevant networks. This page for example, if shared on social media platforms, would attract other business professionals interested in optimizing their landing pages for organic search. One example might be an event registration page. If you register or are considering attending, you may be motivated to share it with your network to encourage your peers to attend.
- Image – adding a preview image of the product, service, whitepaper, application, event, etc. is a visual element that will increase conversions on your landing page. Ensure your images are sized appropriately and compressed so that they load fast. Be sure to utilize the
alttag to describe the image… hopefully, the keywords on your page will apply and can be utilized as well. Too many sites and e-commerce platforms miss this helpful tag. We have a client that utilizes branded color terminology (eg. midnight instead of black). In alt tags, we’re able to describe the product as black, increasing the opportunity for the page to be included in searches related to the actual color.
- Content – Keep your content on your landing page brief and to the point. Don’t focus on features and pricing, instead focus on the benefits of completing the form and submitting your information. Use bulleted lists, subheadings, strong and em text for keywords to stand out. Again, remember that visitors will scan a page before diving in and reading. Bullet points are an effective means of attracting visitors. If the content is buried in long paragraphs, they may miss the very point that would have motivated them to convert. Don’t mistake this advice for having a short page. One look at an Amazon product page and you’ll see that long pages absolutely convert well… just be sure to effectively design the page so the person can easily find and navigate to the information they’re interested in.
- Trust Indicators – Adding media mentions, logos of clients, reviews, or an actual testimonial from a customer and including an image of the person adds authenticity to the landing page. Trust is an issue that every brand needs to overcome with new visitors, so provide them with indications that third parties trust you. If it’s a testimonial, include who they are, where they work, and the benefits they achieved.
- Forms – the less fields on your form, the more conversions you’ll achieve. Let people know what information you need, why you need it, and how you will use it. If you’re a B2B company and you need to prequalify leads better, you may want to incorporate a third-party platform that can enhance your submitted form data… without necessitating your visitor fill out too many fields.
- Hidden Fields – capture additional information about the visitor like the referring source, the campaign information, the search terms they utilized, and any other information that can help you to prequalify them as a lead and convert them into a client. Push this data to a lead database, marketing automation system or CRM.
BONUS: While this optimizes your page, you may also want to incorporate a couple more strategies to avoid your visitor from abandoning the page. Adding an exit intent popup with a special offer or an offer to subscribe to marketing communications can try to capture that visitor before they leave. For people who have left, having a third-party pixel for ad systems can help you target previous visitors to your site. And, of course, there is also abandonment marketing automation when the visitor can be identified.