First impressions inspire many of life’s major and minor decisions. A chapter excerpt helps you decide to read — or not read — a book. The facade of a home for sale influences your desire to look inside. The landing pages of your website also shape a user’s first impressions, that why you need to create great landing pages. If you are just starting out with your business you may want to consider host landing pages. Note the plural of the word “pages.” Like much of the earliest Internet lingo, the term landing page has evolved since its original meaning. At first, it simply referred to your home page. Then, advanced search engine technology altered the playing field, transforming any page with query-relevant content into a landing page. When you are working with seo content strategies you need to put a lot of thought into your keywords and the content. The last thing you want are keywords that do not flow naturally or make sense to the reader. Therefore, you have to create effective landing pages that will be recognized as landing pages that sell.
For example, if you just typed, toptensocialmedia.com, you would land on our home page. Thus, the home page is the landing page. If, on the other hand, you searched for “ten social media marketing trends for 2014,” your search engine would deliver you to this page, which would then become the landing page. Great landing pages capture a target market, which is why you must value creation strategy and eliminate distractions and funnel your visitors’ interests into a less broad, and more focused region of your website. Taking the concept one step further, great landing pages come in two forms; reference and transactional. Optimize both for maximum success.
1. Understanding the Call to Action
Both reference and transactional landing pages contain distinct calls to action. Closing the sale represents the ultimate, but not the only, call to action. Your visitors might not be ready to buy. If they simply want more information, huge pop-ups, along with those infuriating, “Hey, Wait, Don’t Leave!” pop-ups, will not inspire sales. On the other hand, if they like — and more importantly — trust what they read, they might be willing to subscribe to your mailing list.
2. Study the Keyword Funnel
Many online product marketers organize landing pages as part of a keyword funnel. A client interested in learning what a specific product actually is, and how it works, will search with high funnel keyword phrases, such as “what is it?” Their search will probably bring them to one of your reference landing pages.
If they think that the product might be useful, they might ask questions such as “how does it work?” or “why do I need it?” They are now in the middle of the funnel. A potential client ends up on one of your transactional landing pages when they have questions such as:
- “Where can I buy it?”
- “How much does it cost?”
- “Who makes the best?”
Before you write the content for your landing page and actually build the landing pages you learn about creating a content strategy then follow through with it.
3. Write Compelling Title Tags
Marketing specialist Stoney deGeter calls the keyword title tag “the most important 8-10 words you’ll write.” He writes:
The title tag is a brief snippet of code that allows you to describe the content of any given page of your website. Every page of your site has its own title tag that can be customized for content of that particular page.
The general idea of the page title is to use it as you would when writing the title of a college paper or business report. It’s a very short, compelling introduction to the content designed to let readers know what the reader is about to consume.
When someone performs a search, Google often uses the title tag as a clickable link. As such, each of your pages should have their own title tag, depending on where the page belongs in the keyword funnel.
4. Creating Reference Landing Pages
Content is queen, and she reigns from the throne of the reference landing page. If the search engines trust her majesty’s information, they move her throne to the front of the search pages. A well-written and frequently updated blog series draws a loyal readership, who might eventually subscribe to your words of wisdom. Once they learn more, they might become more inclined to buy. To paraphrase the late Sy Syms, “An educated consumer is your best customer.”
5. The Information Upsell
If you want landing pages that sell then follow these tips. Some companies tempt readers with free ebooks, white papers, slide decks and webinars. Receiving this swag requires an email address. This infographic from Ion Interactive describes the different ways that a reference landing page can trigger a call to action.
6. Request Less Information
Congrats! The potential client has requested more info, but don’t blow it. A concern for privacy characterizes the current Internet climate, and for darn good reasons. Ask for too much information, and potential clients will leave and never come back. In fact, social media specialist Dan Zarrella of Hubspot analyzed over 40,000 landing pages and reported that conversion rate increased by 50% simply by reducing the number of form field from four to three. Therefore, you may want to consider the conversion and create best converting landing pages for your business.
7. Make it Mobile Friendly
People are not always at home when they look for your product. If they have an immediate need for whatever it is you’re selling, whoever has the most mobile-friendly landing pages wins. Too many ecommerce sites have mobile-friendly home pages, but getting to the transactional landing page is virtually impossible.
Social network shares play a key role in search algorithms, so optimize each landing page for sharing across the networks. This practice allows visitors to drive more traffic to your pages. You will want to educate yourself on creating landing pages for Facebook and even create landing pages in Word Press to expand your possibility for even more traffic to your website.
Got compliments? Bring em’ on! This includes client testimonials, as well as tweets and posts about your company.
10. Test it Out
Take this optimization quiz to determine whether your landing pages are up to par.
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