Whether you are building a new site, redesigning an old one, or creating new content, your ranking will be mostly dependent on your keywords and landing page optimization.
It used to be that all you had to do was follow a template (keyword in title, heading, intro, two or three places on the page, and the conclusion) and your page would rank. However, voice search and AI have changed all that. Now, the emphasis is on related search strings and natural language.
In a minute we will go over what all of that means for you, but first, let’s start with the basics.
Landing Page Optimization Definitions and Terms
What is a landing page? Think of a landing page as the foundation of your site. It contains the critical information or cornerstone content for your company.
- About Us
Most websites incorporate several types of landing pages. The basics are listed above, but this list is by no means exhaustive, nor is it required. You could conceivably build a website that only has one page, your Homepage. Just remember that landing pages are the anchors for the rest of your content.
Landing Page Optimization Definition and Terms
Landing page optimization is the process you use to seed your landing pages with terms that accurately describe your company and services. Search engines use those words and phrases to categorize what you offer. This categorization allows them to provide relevant material to their users. These words and phrases are called keywords.
Think of keywords as the labels on a filing cabinet. The drawers contain files for different years and inside the drawer; there are hanging files with company names. Within those hanging files, you find folders for each one of the company’s projects.
Your anchor pages are the drawers in the filing cabinet. Each landing page should have a unique label (or keyword) that relates to the site as a whole. Posts or subpages refer back to those landing pages and hyperlinks on those pages take you deeper into the files. Hyperlinks are just cross-references. They say, “Hey, if you want in-depth information, then go here.”
The Best Way to Do Keyword Research
So, here you go. The secret to finding the right keywords for your website.
Just answer this question, “What do you offer”?
That is your keyword.
But wait, it can’t be that easy! It is.
All you are doing at this point is labeling your file cabinet. I sell web content services. That is my keyword. There are several different ways to say that: digital content, SEO content, content development. So, once you decide on YOUR keyword, you need to list several different variations. Use Google to help you find them. Type in your keyword and see what auto-populates in the search bar. Go to the bottom of the search page and check out the list of related search terms.
Then you need to specify based on your unique value proposition. Specifically, I sell affordable web content services for small business and start-ups. By typing in variations on that phrase into Google’s search bar, I see that people have searched for “affordable web content writers.” Also, in the related search strings, it shows “website content writing services.”
Now, it starts getting fun. Select one of those terms as the one you want to “rank” for in the search engines. You will use them all eventually, but you need to settle on a single one to focus on for each landing page on your website. Make it as specific to your product as possible. If you sell organic memory foam mattresses, then use that keyword phrase and not just the word “mattress.”
If you need more information on how to find keywords, then take a look at this much more involved article on long tail keywords and niche marketing that I wrote for one of our web agency partners.
Landing Page Optimization Tips
Please remember that Google is not a person. There is no subjectivity. A computer program scans your site, looking for keywords in specific places and whichever words it finds there is what it uses to label you. The accompanying text is used to decipher the meaning of your words. Google cannot infer your intent. Instead, a programmer somewhere has written code that tells Google how certain words and phrases relate to one another.
For instance, “swing set” relates to children but “swing state” relates to an election. “Swing” is not accurate enough to let Google know if you are referring to the verb or the playground equipment or even the dance. That is why your keywords must be specific to your product or services. Try to use two to four-word phrases and include a lot of related terms.
If you follow certain landing page optimization tips you stand a better chance of getting your meaning across. One trick is knowing where Google looks to find your keywords. If you have a WordPress site, then by all means, download the Yoast plugin. It will tell you EXACTLY what you need to do to optimize your landing page.
Basic Optimization Tips
- Include your keyword in the first paragraph of text. On a landing page, this might prove to be a challenge because most sites have flashy headlines and images. However, do your best to put your keyword at the very top of the page.
- It’s also a good idea to use it in your last paragraph of text.
- Make your keyword part of your URL and the Title for that landing page.
- Incorporate it into the content as many times as possible without sounding too forced. I have used the phrase “landing page optimization tips” in this article several times. Would I have preferred to use a different term? Yes! The writer in me cringes sometimes, but I am also a realist. If Google cannot categorize my content, then nobody will ever see it.
An unpublished novel, hidden in a closet, does not win Pulitzer Prizes. – anonymous
- Try to use your keyword phrase in a list of bullet points and definitely as one of your subheadings.
- Add it to the alt text on your images.
- Include it in your meta description (the summary Google shows for your page in the search results).
- Include related terms within the body of the text (some of those other keyword phrases you identified).
That is how you optimize your landing pages with keywords so Google can categorize your site. I’ve simplified this process quite a bit. There are all sorts of content marketing strategies that increase your relevance even more. However, I wanted to cover the most basic of landing page optimization tips (there is that keyword phrase again).
Optimizing for AI and Voice Search
An entire book could be written on the subject of voice search and what it means for search engine optimization, but I am going to sum it up in one paragraph.
Write as you would speak and make sure you go in-depth on the subject. You will naturally use related search terms and the same common phrases used in voice search. Apart from that, just make sure that you have those keywords sprinkled throughout and don’t force them to fit awkwardly into a sentence.
Google can figure out that “the best web designer in Kansas City” is the same as “Kansas City best web designer.” Nobody wants to try to fit that second keyword phrase into a piece of writing (or read the writing of someone who did).
Learn More About Landing Page Optimization
There are lots of companies out there that offer to help with landing page optimization. What you want is one that can write the SEO content and make it a part of your overall marketing strategy.