Landing pages are an essential component in digital marketing. These pages are strategically designed to rank well in search results and drive leads and conversions for target personas. When created to target specific keywords, they can increase a website’s share of total search traffic within an industry. But much of that potential reach may never be realized if a landing page isn’t optimized to the fullest. Understanding how to SEO a landing page is an invaluable yet simple undertaking that, when given adequate attention and effort, will ensure you’re not missing out on potential customers when they are in the market for your product or service.
Below we’ll go over landing page SEO best practices that will help you cover as much ground as possible. We’ll walk through how to ensure your landing page is readable, findable, and optimized for the right audience.
What is a Landing Page in SEO?
In Search Engine Optimization (SEO), a landing page refers to a web page specifically designed and optimized to serve as the entry point for visitors who arrive through search engine results pages. The primary goal of a landing page for most B2B companies is to convert visitors into potential customers or leads by encouraging them to take a specific action, subscribe to a newsletter, fill out a form, or download a resource.
Landing pages are typically created with a focused and persuasive message, emphasizing the benefits and value of the product, service, or offer being promoted. They are often separate from a website’s main navigation (orphaned) and contain minimal distractions, keeping the visitor’s attention solely on the desired conversion goal (CTA).
SEO-friendly landing pages are optimized to rank well in search engine results pages (SERPs) for specific keywords or phrases. This involves incorporating relevant keywords into the page’s content, meta tags, headers, and URLs, as well as ensuring the landing page provides a seamless user experience and loads quickly. Essentially, your conversions, click-through rate (CTR), and other behavioral metrics (e.g., impressions, clicks, etc.) depend on the quality of the content on the landing page, which hinges on your dedication to conducting thorough keyword research/choices and how well they are optimized. Read on to learn SEO landing page best practices for how to optimize landing pages for SEO.
Conduct the Proper Keyword Research
Keyword research is the bedrock of an effective SEO landing page. The primary goal of a landing page is to convert targeted traffic into leads or conversions, so when it comes to selecting keywords, you should opt for transactional, bottom-of-funnel, long-tail keywords with high intent:
- A bottom-of-funnel (BOFU) keyword indicates a high level of purchase intent or readiness to convert, making it ideal for conversion-driven landing pages. These keywords are used by prospects who are near the end of their buyer’s journey. For example, if someone is considering a new CRM, they might use general keywords like “CRM options” during the initial research stage. As they become closer to making a decision, they might use bottom-of-funnel keywords like “best CRM software” or “CRM software cost.”
- “CRM Software Cost” is a long-tail keyword. These keywords include specific phrases that usually consist of three or more words and, while they have lower search volumes than short-tail keywords, they are more targeted and have higher conversion potential. Examples of short-tail keywords include “shoes,” “digital marketing,” or “car insurance.” While they may have higher search volume and attract a large amount of traffic, they often lack specificity, making it more challenging to target a particular audience or cater to clear user intent, which is not ideal for a landing page.
- When researching keywords on SEMRush, under “Intent,” you can select “Transactional” or “Commercial” in order to narrow down results to only show keywords that have high intent. You should also be keeping factors like keyword difficulty, cost-per-click (CPC), and competitive density in mind when choosing landing page keywords:
- Keyword difficulty: When conducting keyword research, it’s important to consider keyword difficulty to prioritize keywords that are realistic to rank for based on your website’s authority and resources.
- CPC: CPC can provide insights into the commercial value of a keyword. Higher CPCs indicate a higher potential return on investment (ROI) for advertisers, as it suggests that advertisers are willing to bid more for that keyword.
- Competitive density: High competitive density suggests a crowded market with many businesses vying for visibility, while low competitive density may indicate an opportunity to rank more easily and attract targeted traffic.
- The best SEO landing pages have content that is readable. Search engines can recognize when something reads awkwardly and may even flag your content as bot-written if your keyword insertion doesn’t flow well. You can even get penalized for keyword stuffing, which, as it sounds, involves inserting in as many keywords as possible, regardless of it being repetitive, duplicative or tautologous. Write for humans, not robots.
Structuring Your Content For Search Engines to Understand
While you want to write for humans, you want to structure for robots. The content on your landing page needs to be structured in a way that the search engine will be able to read, analyze, recognize, and index properly. This is called on-page SEO, and it’s one of the most important steps in search engine optimizing your landing page. Here’s what your page structure is generally going to look like:
- Title Tag: A title tag serves as a concise and descriptive title for the webpage, which appears as the clickable headline in SERPs. It should be short (<60 characters), compelling, and include your target (primary) keyword first.
- Alt Tag: Alt tags provide a textual description of images on a webpage that search engines can read, making your content easier for bots to understand. It should offer a brief description of the image and its context; e.g. <img src=“boy-riding-scooter.png” alt=“Boy riding a scooter on an empty sidewalk in the day.”/>
- Meta Description: A meta description serves as a concise summary or snippet of the webpage’s content and is displayed below the title tag in SERPs. These descriptions are not a direct ranking factor for search engines, but play a significant role in enticing users to click on a search result. Keep it under 160 characters, include your target keyword, and consider adding a call to action, like “discover” or “shop now.”
- Headings: Add an H1 heading tag that matches your page title. Split up subsequent content using H2, H3, H4 headers. Secondary keywords should be used in these headers where appropriate. Headers help both humans and bots better understand how your page is structured.
- Images and videos: Images and videos add value to a landing page, and keep readers engaged and on your page longer. These files must be labeled appropriately, with the primary keyword in the file name, title, and alt tag.
Get the URL Right
URL optimization is also part of creating landing pages for SEO, and is one of the easiest and most effective, yet most overlooked and misunderstood SEO strategies. An optimized URL will help increase the chances of users clicking and sharing your link and improve your website’s keyword/URL rankings and visibility. Here’s what an optimized URL looks like:
- Keep it readable: If it’s gibberish to you, it’s gibberish to search engine crawlers, and kind of ugly to humans. For example, “https://yourdomain.com/item457688374-red” doesn’t tell humans or search engines what’s on your webpage, but “https://yourdomain.com/dog-plush-toy” tells humans and search engines exactly what they’ll find on your webpage: dog plush toys.
- Avoid dynamic URLs: These automatically generated URLs are practically invisible to search engines because they index the web by crawling it rather than by filling in forms.
- Use hyphens: Underscores and hyphens are no longer interchangeable. Algorithms prefer URLs with hyphens. They’re easier for both humans and robots to interpret.
- Leave out the CAPS: Capital letters confuse both crawlers and readers and, frankly, just look weird.
- Include your seed (primary) keyword: If you can, aim to have your seed keyword in the URL.
- Consider mobile: Notify search engines which of your pages are mobile friendly by adding your mobile URLs to a sitemap.
- Fix broken links: If you change your links, don’t forget to set up 301 redirects from your old URLs to the new ones. These pages have been indexed by Google and you’ll lose out on traffic if you don’t set up a redirect. Also avoid having outbound links on your pages that lead to broken/missing (404).
- URL taxonomy: This refers to the hierarchical structure and organization of URLs within a website. It involves creating a logical and organized system for URLs to represent the website’s content and structure. For example, your Pillar Page URL looks like: “https://yourdomain.com/products/target-keyword,” and your Content Cluster URL looks like: “https://yourdomain.com/products/target-keyword/subcategory.”
For a more detailed breakdown, check out our URL optimization guide.
Page Loading Speed
The speed at which your landing page loads is an important factor in search engine rankings. This isn’t necessarily dependent on the quality of the page content, but it does impact the user experience. A slow page will result in a poor user experience and an increased bounce rate, which will negatively impact engagement metrics, which will in turn decrease your chances of ranking higher in search engine results.
Google PageSpeed Insights is a web-based tool provided by Google that analyzes the performance and speed of webpages on both mobile and desktop. It offers insights and recommendations to help optimize website performance for both mobile and desktop devices, improve page loading times and user engagement, and potentially boost search engine rankings. Some suggestions include:
- compressing/optimizing images: When compression is enabled, the browser can load a significantly smaller compressed version of an image in a fraction of the time.
- reduce redirects: Build your landing page with a responsive design to reduce time consuming redirects.
- minify CSS, Java, and HTML: Minify means deleting redundant data without impacting the manner in which the page is processed by the browser.
- use content delivery network (CDN): CDNs reduce overall data transfer amounts between the CDN’s cache servers and the client. Both the latency and the required bandwidth are reduced when the overall amount of data transferred goes down.
That’s it! It may look like a lot, but each individual task is pretty straightforward and, with a little bit of extra time and effort, the benefits you’ll reap from understanding how to create a SEO-friendly landing page are well worth it in the long run. Remember: conduct proper keyword research, make sure the content is readable and structured, get the URL right, and keep page load speeds fast. Follow these easy landing page SEO tips and stop missing out on valuable conversions.
About the Author
Yasaman Sadeghi is a senior account executive on Firebrand’s digital marketing team, with a focus on SEO, PPC, and social media. She’s always looking to learn the latest developments in digital marketing strategies and strives to provide the best results for her clients.