How, When & Why to use
Landing pages are typically used in conjunction with paid marketing campaigns through ad networks like AdWords, Facebook and many other ad networks. The purpose of a landing page is to get the user to perform some desired action (convert) whether giving you their email address, signing up for something or purchasing a product or service (typically at an advertised discount).
Features and Functions
Because landing pages are typically connected to paid advertising the SEO elements of the page are often ignored, but this is a huge mistake. Optimizing landing pages can help increase the quality score associated with an AdWords campaign which in turn can drive down the cost per click. The only optimization strategies that are not recommended for landing pages are those related navigation and cross linking.
Here are the key elements and considerations that go into creating a great landing page:
- Laser focus on a clear purpose. Landing pages should have a single specific goal. You are just trying to get the visitor to do one thing. Give you their email or information, sign up for a newsletter or demo, schedule an appointment or purchase a product or service under a “special offer”.
- Keep the look and feel of your website so it will have continuity with your brand.
- Reduce or get rid of any non essential navigation. Landing pages are supposed to get the visitor to complete some sort of specific action, not allow them to wander off.
- Clear headlines and sub headings.
- Well written and error-free copy. Any grammar mistakes can kill your credibility.
- A compelling sales letter. This sales letter formula is brilliant. It is a formula that you should follow exactly, in sequence, and has consistently produced incredible results.
- Call out your audience.
- Get their attention with a big promise headline.
- Back up the big promise with a short explanation that inspires confidence.
- Identify the problem.
- Provide the solution.
- Show the pain and cost of not using your product.
- Explain the ease of use.
- Show the speed to results.
- Future cast their potential results.
- Provide solid credentials.
- Detail the benefits. Sell benefits not features.
- Use social proof with real and credible testimonials.
- Make your offer.
- Add bonuses.
- Build up your value.
- Reveal your price.
- Build urgency.
- Give guarantee.
- Call to action.
- Give a warning.
- Call to action.
- Don’t underestimate formatting. Use white space, images and headlines to break up sections.
- Minimize data collection. Converting must be as simple as possible.
- Include privacy statement and seals of trust such as signing up for Verisign or McAfee and displaying their logos, or including the logos of well respected brands.
- Use powerful colors and contrasting elements to direct the visitors eyes toward the calls to action.
- The page should be easy to scan at a quick glance.
- Make sure the page is mobile friendly.
- Make sure the page loads very fast.
- Follow up with a thank-you page and email.
- A/B test your landing pages constantly and keep refining them.
The truth about landing page SEO is that you don’t want these pages to show up in search results because you want the data to be clean and unpolluted so that you can accurately gauge the ROI of the ad campaign. That does not mean that you don’t want to optimize the elements of the page, you do want to optimize the page so that your quality score will go up. But do not do the following:
- Do not make landing pages accessible through your site navigation.
- Do not cross link from other pages on your site to your landing page.
- Do not include your standard global navigation to your landing page because you don’t want people leaving that page unless it is through the strategic conversion path you have designed.
- Do not build links from other sites to your landing page. Again you don’t want to pollute your ROI analysis of the ad campaign with traffic that came through other sources.
- Do not add the landing page to any of your sitemaps.
- Here is a list of things that you do want to do for your landing pages: Add a nofollow, noindex meta tag.
- Create separate, even duplicate landing pages for different ad campaigns and advertising channels so that you can get an unpolluted ROI analysis of the efficacy of each one.
Start with AdWords and Facebook as those two platforms offer the most sophisticated targeting and segmentation. Then expand to include additional networks and remarketing as your advertising becomes more sophisticated.