SEO. The tormentor of all marketers. Loathe it or hate it, you need it in order to bring organic users to your site.
In this article, we take a look at the five steps you can take to build the most SEO friendly landing page you can.
1. Think Keywords
When thinking "SEO friendly", you must also think "Keywords". After all, how do users search for content on the web? They type keywords into search engines. Before you begin writing content for your landing page, you need to decide what your keywords are going to be.
Ask yourself: "What do people search for when they want a product or service like mine?" There are lots of tools out there that can help you measure the worth of certain keywords, such as Hubspot Keywords.
This feature allows you to search for relevant keywords, see how many monthly searches occur for your chosen keywords, how difficult it is to rank for those keywords, and, perhaps most importantly, where your company ranks for those keywords. Take a look at this screen shot below that shows keywords for an animated explainer video company:
The great thing about this feature is the rank column. By monitoring how well you rank for your chosen keywords, you can measure just how effective and SEO friendly your landing pages are. After choosing your keywords, it's important that you use them correctly. To make your landing page as SEO friendly as possible, you should make sure your keyword appears in the following places:
- The title of the page
- The URL
- Image ALT tags
- Within the first 100 words of the copy, and naturally throughout thereafter
When you use relevant keywords in the copy of your landing pages, Google can tell. They have technology called LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) which analyses the meanings of different keywords and determines how relevant they are to the page.
2. Improve the Loading Speed
I don't know about you, but when a page takes too long to load I close it and find a better one. That can't just be me, right? Turns out it's not just me. In fact, 40 percent of users abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. In addition to that, 75 percent of users wouldn't re-visit a site that took longer than 4 seconds to load. Google has actually stated that page loading speed is an important SEO ranking signal. So you need to make sure that your landing page is not affected.
The first step is to find out whether or not you have a problem. Head to Google's PageSpeed Insights. It takes literally just a few seconds to analyze the speed of your landing page. Here is a snippet of the result for business.com:
As you can see from the image above, Google then gives you suggestions as to what you could change to improve the loading speed of your site on desktop and mobile to make your page as SEO friendly as possible.
3. Optimize for Social Sharing
In the past, Google has been pretty cryptic in their explanations of how they gauge social media in the world of SEO. But, if you type any company into Google, it's clear to see that social media accounts matter. In the image below, this search for Hubspot shows their twitter account as the third result:
Similarly, Bing has openly admitted to looking at social media data: "We take into consideration how often a link has been tweeted or retweeted, as well as the authority of the Twitter users that shared the link."
Given this information, it's clear to see how adding social sharing buttons to your landing page will make it more SEO friendly. By encouraging people to share your page on their social media channels, you will improve the amount of quality links you receive.
4. Link to Authority Sites
As well as receiving links from others, it is also important to link to relevant sites when appropriate.
One of Google's more mature algorithms, Hilltop, lets the search engine know when pages are "hubs" of information. Even though the Hilltop algorithm is over ten years old, it has been proven to be still prominent in SEO arena by a recent study on outbound and inbound links. Find out more about that, here.
Hilltop decides if a page is a hub of information by measuring the number of relevant, quality outbound links on the page. So, if you link out to other useful sources, instead of just linking to your own stuff, your page will be seen as a hub of information in your industry, and it will climb up the search rankings.
5. Create the Best Content You Can
Ultimately, search engines and their algorithms are looking for one: the best content. The best content will feature on the first page of Google because that is what users want to see. So, how do you be the best?
First, focus on bringing your word count up. Studies have found that a lot of pages ranked on page one of Google have a word count above 2,000 words. To accompany the text, your landing pages should include rich visual media, like images and video. Visual media has been proven to reduce bounce rates and increase the amount of time users spend on your site, both of which send good signs to search engines.
SEO can be frustrating at times, but when you get it right and you see your result at the very top of Google...it feels pretty awesome. This article was just a taster of SEO tips. If you really want to conquer the world of search engines, take a look at this free eBook: The SEO Survival Guide.