You can't outrun Google to be visible in search results. You don't have to. The basic idea of your website should be to deliver what is in line with your business and your potential customers' needs and wants.
... One of the most important ways you can do that - is to create valuable content marketing. And you can do that with good landing pages.
Scroll down to the section you want to read - or spread your legs and chew your way through from A to Å!
When you google (or bing for that matter) something, you're served a list of results in the search results which, when clicked, take you to a specific page on a website. This specific page, Google has chosen, is a relevant answer to your search.
The more relevant Google finds each page, the higher it will appear in search results.
Such a page is called a landing page in "marketing speak" - as it is a page you land on when you click on the search.
By now, you've probably figured out the value of a well-written, relevant and database-driven landing page: a page 1 ranking - more traffic to your website - and ultimately more sales-generating conversions.
So what do you need to think about when writing a landing page?
Let's get started.
One of the first things you need to think about is what the purpose of your landing page is.
What do you want the reader to do? What do you want the reader to get out of reading this particular page? - and in the same thread - What do you want it to do for you?
This goes hand in hand with all the other points from the list here - especially point 2 about writing to the user's search history and point 4 about guiding your reader in the right direction ↓
If you want to rank high in search results (you do), you need to analyse how many of your potential customers are searching for what and why - AND which results are currently Google's best answer.
A keyword analysis will help you find out which keywords will provide the most value for you to be found in Google's search results.
A thorough analysis includes:
Once you've done a keyword analysis, keep those keywords and search queries in mind when writing your landing page. The analysis should ensure that your landing page seeks to answer what people are asking for on Google.
It must meet a need. Cover a gap in understanding. Offer solutions to seekers' problems.
And it can only do that once you've researched - what people actually Google.
It's people behind the screen who read your texts. They are people who are not unconditionally interested in hearing what you have to say. They want to be helped. They want guides. And they want to find what they're looking for.
Therefore, a landing page is not just good by its very existence. It's good if it provides value to your potential customers - while being in line with your business objectives.
For this reason, you should of course research who your reader is.
Who are you writing to? What does your target audience look like? What concerns, questions, and challenges do they have? And how exactly can you help them? Who are your existing customers, who are your prospects and what do they want from you?
These are all questions you need to be able to answer when writing a landing page.
To find out who you are writing to, you can:
With such information in hand, it's much easier to write targeted, relevant and valuable content.
All text content - landing pages, blog posts, newsletters and so on - can target different stages of the customer journey. It's important to think about which stage of the journey, from awareness to delight, each landing page should be written for.
Right now, you can find a ton of versions of the customer journey on the web - and most marketing geeks have written a blog post or two about it.
I will therefore spare the web any more words on the subject - and instead recommend you read one of Hubspot's blogposts on the buyers journey.
Your introduction should be informative, straight to the point, selling and catchy. You may know the story that our average attention span has been reduced from 12 to 8 seconds at a time - AND that this is less than the attention span of the average goldfish.
Whether it's true or not, we're all competing to keep people's attention online - and that takes a lot of effort.
So how do you do that in your intro on a landing page?
It's really quite simple. You need:
I have taken the liberty of inserting an example on our landing page about our service "Facebook advertising".
Here I explain the value of our service, I give a concrete summary and I give the reader the opportunity to contact us quickly.
You may not be lazy when it comes to your work. Or your training.
But if you're like so many other homosapiens, you're a lazy and impatient reader of the web. The hard truth is that most of us skim text on the web.
We scan it to find exactly the information we're looking for - and then decide whether or not to read the rest of the page. There are just so many things competing for our attention.
Speaking of which, let me quickly get to my point.
To make your text easy to read and navigate, you need to:
In order to help your reader in the direction you want, you must continuously tell what action the reader should take. You do this through call-to-actions.
CTAs give the reader an opportunity to take an action in everyone's favour, instead of leaving.
A call to action might include:
Okay - so not all call to actions work in all respects. For example, it doesn't always make sense to call to see how easy it is to shake.
In this case, it's a CTA at lifestyle company STAÍ , which makes healthy drinks.
An invitation can also be to get the reader to sign up for your newsletter, contact you by phone or email, or add a product to the basket if an offer is about to expire.
The important thing is that you guide the reader to take an action that makes sense in the situation and where they are in the customer journey.
Think about it.
You've come home after a long day at work. Your head is tired. It's quarter past midnight and you suddenly notice that your keys are on the wrong side of the door. You pull out your phone and Google.
You have searched for "locked me out of apartment" or "lock picking 24 hour service".
You arrive at a page on a website where the first 8 sentences read something like "Do you think it really sucks to be locked out of your home? Many people find it really annoying to be locked out. It's especially annoying if you're in a hurry..... bla bla bla".
Get the picture? Keywords that don't help you move faster and closer to a solution to your problem.
If you're in a situation where you need urgent help, you don't want to have to read through 8-10 sentences about how bad your situation is.
You want help. concrete information. To be told concisely what you need to do here and now. And it has to be quick.
My point being: make sure to help your reader quickly with concrete information. Then you can add any other information that might also be relevant to the situation.
The reader can study this further once he has fixed his more pressing problem.
Your readers usually know within the first 10 seconds whether they are going to pay attention to your text or not.
And so the question is. Can you do anything about it?
According to marketing expert William Avila, you can resort to a strategy inspired by neuroscience. But don't worry, it's less complicated than it sounds.
With a little basic understanding of how our "reptile brain" works, Mr. Avila believes you can capture your reader's attention and - possibly - keep it.
We need to speak to what he refers to as the "reptile brain" by appealing to emotions like fear, anger, pleasure and the sense of "my territory". The idea is to engage the fundamental, simple, instinctive emotions within us.
So, whether you're writing a landing page or some other form of content, you need to think about the emotion you want to capture the reader's attention with.
The theory is certainly interesting - and I partly believe that it can be used in many ways when writing content.
If you're curious too - you can read much more about the topic on Ahref's blog post "How to Create Great Content for Search" right here.
In the past, it was a basic rule of search engine optimisation to insert your keyword X number of times on your landing page to ensure that the page would now also be found when people typed the word into the search engine.
That is no longer the case.
Google has become much smarter - and now understands synonyms too. So write naturally - and both Google and your reader will understand what your page is about.
It almost goes without saying. Don't jump from being Des with the reader to being the cool kid in class.
It's important to be consistent with your tone of voice, your language style and how you speak to the reader - to also create a stable image of your brand.
People who search Google are Google's customers.
Why do I say that? It goes without saying, doesn't it?
Yes. It does. But even though it's a very clear statement, it's still the answer to a lot of questions.
Why is it a good idea to include links to other websites on my landing page?
That's because anything you can do to guide and help the user makes them googling happy. And (to put it mildly), Google is happy when the Googler is happy.
So your job is to give your readers the best experience when they read your landing page - and you can do this by guiding them to articles, news or blog posts on other websites that can complement your content and help the reader.
If we guide the user, we give the user a good experience, and Google will reward you for that.
NOTE: Always make sure that your external links open in a new window so that you don't lead your reader away from your own website.
When we consume knowledge - there is a high risk that we can only remember 10% of it after just 3 days. But - when the information is served with a picture, statistics show that we remember about 65% of the information!
A landing page should be made easily digestible by breaking up the text with images and videos.
Communication is not only through text, and we need to absorb knowledge through visual means as well.
Your landing page should also present itself well in the search results. To increase the click-through rate (CTR) from the search results into the landing page - it is important that you get catchy meta descriptions and page titles written for them.
This is the text that the reader sees when your page appears, before they click on it - and therefore the text that will ensure that they click through to your landing page.
The page title, in my opinion, should both tell what the reader can expect to see on the page, provide a clear value proposition - and end with the name of the website the reader is entering. Concrete, straight to the point and transparent.
The meta description can elaborate on this value proposition and conclude with a clear call-to-action, such as "Read along here and get the good offer/ the good advice/ see the whole guide here/ " .
It's also a good idea to include your main landing page keyword in the page title.
If we are not sure what to do - we often do what others do.
That's why social proof of a website is essential. It should be used to help your visitor learn that you provide popular products/services that he can also benefit from buying.
An obvious way to social proof your website - is to insert either Google, Trust Pilot or Facebook reviews at the bottom of your website, which will appear on all your landing pages.
Exactly how you do it - I or one of my talented colleagues will get into in another blog post soon!
Here's an example of how we've deployed reviews that provide social proof ↓
For those who drive straight to the bottom of a page to read the conclusion - this is for you:
When writing a good landing page, you can choose to follow my 15 tips here. In a nutshell, they are to deliver relevant information in an easily digestible and relevant way for both your readers and Google.
There is a lot of other good advice out there, and I've definitely missed a few.
I recommend you read all about SEO or more on Ahrefs' blog if you are hungry for more knowledge.
... And feel free to share your tips or ask questions about the blog post at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also reach one of my colleagues via our contact page.
Thank you so much for reading!
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