Marketing Landing Pages vs. SEO Landing Pages vs. Geographic Landing Pages
Similarities between the three
All the types of landing pages are simply pages on your websites. Like any other page on your website, landing pages are there to provide value and information to a searcher or user. According to Seth Godin, a landing page is optimized specifically to encourage 1 of 5 actions:
- Get a visitor to click (to go to another page, on your site or someone else's)
- Get a visitor to buy
- Get a visitor to give permission for you to follow up (by email, phone, etc.). This includes registration of course.
- Get a visitor to tell a friend
- Get a visitor to learn something, which could even include posting a comment or giving you some sort of feedback
Frequently, a landing page may or may not have a menu or navigation; it will be super clean and focus on one topic or one keyword phrase.
Differences between the three
Marketing Landing Page
A marketing landing page is going to be used in conjunction with some type of campaign. These will usually be an internet marketing campaign such as email, social and/or pay per click ads, or display ads. The page exists to help track and capture the traffic from these sources and get the user to do one of the five actions above.
Search Engine Optimized (SEO) Landing Pages
SEO landing pages, as then name implies, are highly optimized for search engines and user intent. Google strives to serve the most relevant content to what a searcher is searching for, and an SEO landing page can help with that.
Geographic Landing Pages
A geographic landing page, geo targeted landing page or local landing page as they are sometimes called are all a variation of an SEO landing page. Where an SEO landing page will focus on one keyword or keyword phrase, the geographical as the name implies will include a geographical location. They are designed for local search or when a user is searching for the keyword or keyword phrase in combination with the "near me," "city," or zip code determined by Google.
What’s the desired outcome?
According to Search Metrics, user intent, or search intent is the "goal or intention an internet user has when entering a search term into a search engine." Unofficially, because Google keeps the algorithm a closely guarded secret, much like that of the recipe of Coca-Cola, WD-40, or KFC 11 herbs and spices. Those in the industry do feel like it is a ranking factor and maybe even more so than individual keywords.
Here are a few tips and tricks to help you optimize your landing pages
1. Focus on content
You want to focus on one keyword or keyword phrase and the topic around it. Google is smart; it can tell the difference between cars as in automobiles, cars the movie, or the band the Cars, based on the context of the page and the website. This will also allow you to put more keywords into headings and links.
A big word of caution, do not keyword stuff trying to get a higher ranking. Google says it is “the practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site's ranking in Google search results. Often these keywords appear in a list or group, or out of context (not as natural prose).”
Some examples are:
- Listing all the cities, communities in your state, or the states you service and want to rank for.
- Repeating the same words or phrases so often that it sounds unnatural, for example: We sell custom kitchen cabinets. Our custom kitchen cabinets are handmade. If you're thinking of buying a custom kitchen, please contact our custom kitchen craftsmen.
In other words, you want to have good, well-written content that actually brings value to the user and content the user can understand. Google has gotten really smart, and with its latest major update (BERT), can understand words and phrases much like a toddler does.
In every community, there is that one neighborhood where all the streets look the same, the roads twist and turn, and it is easy to get lost in them. In my neck of the woods that is subdivision is Lynnwood. Just like it is easy to get lost there, Google wants to get lost in your website as well. It wants to see links to relevant pages within your site.
As much as Google wants to get lost in your site, you also need to provide a way out by linking to content on other websites. For a moment, let's look back at how Google was started. It was started by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, both in graduate school. Think back to the days when you had to write a research paper or term paper. You had to have a bibliography to show that you had done your research and not just copied it word for word. Google had the same mentality when they stated as your teacher or professor in that they like to see those citations and links so they can go check out those pages. The links help you, and it helps them. In the academic world, nothing is better than getting cited in someone else's work. Thus the dawn of the backlink, I plan to cover backlinks in a future post because they are that important!
3. Page Headings and Subheadings
One of the most significant advantages of landing pages is that you can make your internal linking strategy utilize the same keywords in your anchor text, page headings, and subheadings.
I may have keywords in my headings, such as red shut off valves, blue shutoff valves, and yellow shutoff valves. In the body text, I may have links to water shutoff valves and gas shutoff valves. What this means is I can capture on keyword search phrases and longtail keyword phrases such as red water shutoff valves, blue water shutoff valves, and yellow gas shutoff valves.
While tracking your visitors can be done through Google Analytics and its good for a high level and basic approach. If you want more information on how your users are interacting with the information on your website and when they are coming back, by installing a tracking script such as one from HubSpot will help you gain more insight into your visitors and their journey.
For smaller sites, this may not be as important, but as your site grows or if you are doing some type of off-site marketing, PPC, email, or social, then this is a must! If you would like more information feel free to reach out. We would be happy to help you!
5. Page length: Short enough to keep it interesting but long enough to cover the subject
There is considerable debate on how long a piece of content on a website should be. One study says it should be 2000 words or more. While others say, it should be shorter, between 600 - 800 words. While the debate rages on, I like to take a cue from my senior English teacher, Mrs. Nichols, "It should be like a woman's skirt, long enough to cover the subject but short enough to keep it interesting."
While that may sound a bit crude, it is the honest truth, and you can use it in your own writing. In the digital age we live in, we skim more than we read word for word. We scan for the keywords, and we are looking for the answers to our question(s). Use headlines and bullet points to make it easier and don't ramble on and on just trying to hit a certain number of words. It doesn't do you any favors in both the eyes of the user or that of Google.
6. Keep the pages fast
We live in a fast-paced world, long gone are the days of dial-up where we had to wait minutes to get online, and we would wait patiently for a page to load. According to a statistic put out by Kissmetrics, 47% of people expect pages to load in less than two seconds, and 40% will abandon it after three seconds.
7. Share your pages on social
While social media may or may not be a direct ranking factor, there is evidence that traffic to your site isn’t going to hurt. Be sure to build sharing your pages into your social media strategy.
As we continue to build our archway, you can use marketing landing pages, search engine optimized landing pages, and geographic landing pages to really bolster your the power of your website.
If you find yourself being overwhelmed and in need of help, feel free to contact us and we will be glad to help you better understand your content strategy and how landing pages can be incorporated.