Optimizing Your Landing Pages

by | SEO, Target Marketing

Optimizing Your Landing Pages

What is a landing page? Simply put, it is any page that gets traffic from anywhere other than the pages on your site. A landing page can be associated with a pay-per-click ad on Google Adwords, for instance, where you can drive traffic to a specific URL that is designed to match the ad and receive those visitors.

The problem with most landing pages is they aren’t created with a specific goal in mind. They are created in broad terms rather than specifically focused. A golf website may have one key page for “putters” rather than creating more specific pages for things like “putter grip reviews” or “custom putter covers.”

When you pay for clicks and the search results don’t match what the intended was searching for, you’re losing money. A searcher wants exact results without having to hunt for them. Their solution is to back out and try again.

Do Keywords Matter?

Keep in mind that a landing page is the first few seconds you have with a customer. It’s the only opportunity you have to make a good first impression. It’s your chance to start the conversation, give them what they are looking for, and offer them a reason to move to the next step.

If you have a storefront and a prospect walks in, your first question is usually “What can I help you with?” Think of Google as that original entry point. It’s your greeter. It asks the question and directs a prospect to the next step.

With this in mind, a landing page has the opportunity to take that first impression to the next level. It’s your chance to continue a conversation – not start one. It’s your chance to get your customers to say “yes” and “they understand me.” It may be your only chance to reel them in with an offer worth their consideration.

That means you can’t afford to get it wrong.

Is Your Home Page A Landing Page?

Why do people end up on your home page? It’s usually because they know you and have the desire to visit your site. They’ve met you in person; they are familiar with your brand – not because they’ve happened upon your site through random surfing.

Home pages are broad by nature. They offer an introduction to who you are and what you’re all about. It gives your visitor a chance to decide where to go, with different options placed strategically all over the home page.

But that’s often too much for someone with a specific goal in mind. It’s too much for someone unfamiliar with who you are and what you do. They want what they want, and they want it now.

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Why Should I Create Landing Pages?

Landing pages allow you to narrow your focus and create a page that speaks directly to your visitors. It removes the clutter and distraction, giving a searcher exactly what they are looking for. You “speak” their language from the moment they click.

It gives you greater control to direct them and give them what they want. It allows them to answer their questions faster – and that ripples down to increased sales and connection. You want them to take action, no matter what that action may be. A signup box, a fill-out form, a product to purchase, or an action to consider – a detailed page that covers all of their hot button issues is more likely to get results than in any other form.

But landing pages do something else that not a lot of business owners think about; it impacts your search engine rankings too.

Because every time a user heads to Google and types in a question, Google wants to deliver the most relevant search results possible. They don’t want bad links and spammy pages high in their results. Instead, they want the highest quality possible ranking at the top. They want satisfied customers that appreciate the search results they find waiting for them in those top ten results on the first page.

So if your site comes up, and it connects with the people that click on the link, they know it’s a valid and satisfying page. Since Google is all about relevancy, they want people to find what they are looking for. If your site does a good job in a straightforward way, you’ll continue to come up high in the results and outrank your competition with every search result a prospect makes.

Landing pages are the billboards and signposts that direct people in the appropriate direction. The clearer you make those signs at every stage, the more likely they are to take the next step.

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When Should I Use A Landing Page?

Not all pages on your site are destined to become landing pages. Remember the home page example from above? Yep, the home page is not designed to be a landing page. It has too much information; it’s too cluttered.

Ideally, you’ll want a landing page specifically designed when you:

Are using pay-per-click ads

You’ll want to create a different landing page for every keyword you are paying for and be specific about the message you leave for your visitors. Ideally, you may even want different landing pages for the same keyword, testing and tracking results to see how each performs.

Are launching something new

Landing pages are a great way to introduce a new product or service with a “coming soon” teaser. You can use it to gather interest before you bring something to market.

Wish to segment your audience

Not every offer is right for every individual. Everyone has their own goals, desires, dreams, and wants. Landing pages allow you to get very specific and ask your prospects about what they really want. Then it’s up to them to move into what they desire. It allows you to create specific landing pages tailored to attract and meet their needs.

Have you been using landing pages to help direct your prospects and customers to specific offers? If not, what could it do for your business?

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