Wednesday, August 31, 2016

5 Ways to Properly Optimize Your Landing Pages for SEO

A landing page is one of the most important parts of the entire SEO campaign, yet many marketers still avoid optimizing it. A perfectly optimized landing page is essential for increasing the overall conversions happening on the site. SEO friendly landing page caters to the audience and provides them with everything from ease of navigation to quality information.

Laid down below are the steps, which you need to follow to enhance the SEO appeal of landing page for your audience:

1- Follow the Rule of "Thirds" to Make Your Landing Pages More Interesting, Dynamic and UX Friendly

As per the international standard on Ergonomics of human-system interaction, the user experience is defined as “a person’s perceptions and responses that result from the use or anticipated use of a product, system or service.” On general terms, I recommend you to follow the below guidelines for an effective, user-friendly design:

• You can use content management software such as WordPress. It offers highly customizable free WordPress themes and can be powered up using extra plug-in like Visual Composer, WordPress  SEO, Link Patrol, SEO Quake, Broken link checker etc. All these plugins can be used to improve the  search engine rankings of your blog. Moreover, for a stunning fast speed, you can implement WPEngine (click here to learn more). 

• Follow a minimalist, mobile first approach with typography matching the brand image.

• The content should be tailored to consumer’s behaviors and tastes.

• Keep touch targets to 48 x 48 pixels and have an easy navigation for the users.

  To make your landing pages more user-friendly, design them by following the rule of thirds.

  What is Rule of thirds?

• Rule of thirds employs “3 by 3” grid structures or 9 even squares to highlight the prominent aspects,   which get noticed first.

• The most prominent pattern followed by eye to view a landing page is either “F” or “Z.”

• Rule of thirds cashes in on these patterns to appeal to online audience take note of fascinating features of a landing page and easily spot the information they would be interested in.

Every online user who lands up on your page can provide you with significant benefits. Use Rule of thirds to evoke user curiosity as you might not know how much value a single visitor can bring into your website by spreading the word or by availing services. Two important aspects, which a web designer needs to ponder upon while designing a landing page with rule of thirds, are:

• What are the points of interest from the visitor's perspective?

• What content should be placed in these points of interests to appeal to a visitor?

Check out landing page of WebDAM for consideration, which depicts the percentage of attention, each point of interest gets:

The approach in this case of the designer is simple. Instead of putting details in the center, the page layout effectively breaks down the points of interest to place the appropriate information on each grid. The result is a much more dynamic and appealing landing page.

2- Add Your Main Keyword on "Famous 5 Spots"

The “famous 5 Spots” for keyword inclusion that gets a landing page noticed by search engine and provide easy information to the users are:

A. URL of the Page

Add keywords to the website address of a page such as Avoid using catchy phrases rather go for appropriate and relevant keywords to be added up in the URL. It should accurately define and tell the search engine as well as the audience what sort of information to expect.

B. Title of the Page

The impact of adding effective keywords to a title is directly proportional to the CTR and your search engine rankings. Follow the below guidelines for keyword inclusion in the title tag:

• Create descriptive page titles having at least one different word that attracts the user.

• Try and start the title with your main targeted keyword.

• Avoid repeated or boilerplate titles.

• Do not use your brand name in every title. It hampers the user experience.

• Keep the titles between 50-60 characters. The lesser words you have in the title, the more importance every word receives.

• Include acronyms and numbers.

C. H1 Tag

The heading should be prompt to appeal to the online users. It should evoke a sense of curiosity for the viewers to access the information in the respective landing page. Try the following tips to optimize your H1 tag perfectly:

• Your main keyword should be the H1 tag of the page.

• Also, Include synonyms of the main keyword to increase the relevancy further.

• Avoid creating lengthy H1 tags as it dilutes the primary keyword value.

D. Alt Tag

Alt tag provides an insight into the image for the readers. Alt tag and alt texts can be added to an image tag in the HTML.  An image tag code may look like:

<img class=”alignCenter shadow” src=”allhelpserviceslogo.jpg” alt=”image-description” title=”image tooltip”/>

Alt tag tells the search engine what the image is all about and in a case due to a technical fault the image does not get load the alt tag provides information about the image content.

Make sure to use your keyword in a natural manner in the alt tag. For example, if your keyword is “chocolate cake recipe” then add an alt tag to the image of the chocolate cake as “chocolate cake.” 

This will increase the overall relevancy of the web page and help it to rank higher in the search results. But remember not to use irrelevant keywords that do not correspond with the provided images. This will get counted as keyword stuffing, and your site might get penalized for that.

E. First sentence of the main paragraph

Add keywords within the very first few lines of the content. A good landing page enhances the CTR by evoking the interests of viewers. This keeps them interested in the information and helps them find relevant information to their query.

Keyword inclusion is determining the factor for Google algorithm to rank your landing page amongst top search results. Ensure that you are using these keywords in a natural manner. You can use keywords in multiple locations just don’t over do the practice as it might affect your search engine rankings.

3- Create AMP HTML Landing Pages for Organic Goals and AMP AD Landing Pages for Campaign Goals

There are two specific landing pages that we create to generate conversions. First page for conversion of organic goals and second page for conversion of ad campaigns. AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is an initiative by Google to allow faster loading of landing pages on mobile devices both for ads and organic results. One of the newer variation of the AMP Ad landing pages.

AMP ad landing pages work in the following ways: 

• Ads leading to ALPs (Ad Landing Pages) have a pre-connection with the landing page. It significantly reduces time by eliminating the time wasted in issuing a pre-request to land up a user on the landing page.

• Even before a user clicks on the ad prefetch landing images are already requested and downloaded before a user even clicks on the Ad.

• There are no redirects to the ad server. The request is initiated when the user reaches a landing page. It is compatible with an amp-pixel component for 3rd party tracking.

AMP Ad pages are effective for a reason that:

• The user is more inclined to click on an ad, which they find trustworthy and know, will provide a positive experience.

• It is highly benefiting for advertisers who can cash in on user engagement, which boosts conversion rates.

AMP HTML and AD landing pages add to the overall appeal and can leave a positive imprint on the psyche of your audience. An online user impressed with the functioning will only come back to boost conversion as well as retention rate.

So, as a Webmaster, you need to create a separate variation of AMP HTML (organic pages) and then AMP AD Pages (for every separate campaign landing page). This will help your landing pages to remain optimized for higher conversions.

4- Be "Very Clear" with Your Message, Use Hero Images and Provide all Information that the User "Might" Research before Conversion

Be clear with the objective of a landing page i.e. what its purpose is and what you want to achieve with it? Everything matters around providing the best experience to the user. The message on your landing page should be in align with your marketing goals. Make it easier for the visitor to read and understand your message. Focus around topics instead of just keywords. Make use of topical SEO (click here to learn more) that focusses on creating pages around topics in place of keywords . 

Make use of search query option under Google Analytics to identify the searches that are leading to the specific landing pages. Further, optimize the pages as per the search query identified by the user.

The best-converting landing pages have hero images in them with a single H1 containing the brand message and large yet clear CTA buttons that guide the user to take immediate action.

Have a look at the below image of VerticalResponse that displays a hero image with easily distinguishable CTA buttons.

5- Leverage Mouse Tracking, Eye Tracking and Keep CTA in the Most Desirable Spot

Mouse tracking and Eye tracking are parts of heat map generated by evaluating the navigation patterns of your audience. What appeals most to the eyes of an online visitor once they land up on your page? The data is represented in the form of heat map as shown below in the screenshot. The areas colored Red are the prominent areas, which attract majority clicks while greener the shade less, is its appeal.

• Eye Tracking

This is achieved by taking in account the eye moments of sample audience who browse throughout landing pages. This activity is highly effective in providing data regarding how an online user behaves once they land up on your web page. This might be a bit expensive as the sample audience, and professional monitoring comes at a cost.

• Mouse Tracking

Mouse tracking monitors mouse movements and clicks. It is the best way to get hold of most appealing features of your landing page. What appeals to your customers and what not can help you work design a proficient landing page for enhancing the conversion rate of your website. The best part is that they come directly from your online visitors.

• Position of CTA

The objective of a landing page is concluded in the Call-To-Action buttons. They are the most important part of a PPC campaign. With data accumulated from heat maps, you can conveniently decide the place to put CTA button. Make it easy to spot with a defined set of instruction.

The traits of an ideal CTA button on a landing page are:

Appealing and easy to spot visual.

Ability to direct with message.

Bigger and bolder than other buttons.

Use of action oriented words.

Whenever an online visitor lands up on your page, it is the landing pages that should do the talking. You can design an effective landing page to boost the conversion rate by taking in account the ways mentioned above.

Also See

Landing Page Experience Ratings
Conversion Tracking in Adwords
How to Create a New Dashboard in Google Analytics
Google Makes Improvements in Real Time Reports
Difference Between Clicks and Visits
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