Working on optimizing your landing page? READ THIS!

seo1In these days of increased internet marketing, we focus a lot on the quality of our ads on search engines, making sure we tweak and stretch every possible angle to achieve our target audience. What we so often forget to do is to optimize that ad’s destination after it has been so tenderly crafted. To realize this, we step into the world of Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. One of the ways that we optimize our company (not just our advertising) for online attention is through our website. What happens, then, if our website is not living up to the standard that we have set through our advertisements?

It is easy to lose the attention of potential clients or consumers (even with the most fabulous of online marketing) if our landing page is jumbled once they arrive there. The best way to ensure a comfortable transition from discovery to checkout is through using the tricks we know from Landing Page Optimization (seeing an optimal trend, here?).

The basics are straightforward: an optimized landing page is a helpful one. You have to help your visitors understand what it is they are looking at and what they are expected to do.

So, without any further ado, here are the top eight ways to make a killer landing page:

1) Keywords
2) URL
3) Title
4) Social
5) Call-to-action
6) Headline
7) Content
8) Photos

There are three major places where keywords will either help you or hurt you when optimizing your landing page: the title tag, the headline and the content.

1) First, it is best to choose a keyword that will be your KA-BOOM, so to speak. The biggest, baddest word that describes who you are and what you do is best for this. Plunk it in everywhere that is big and obvious when you look at your landing page.
2) Next, make sure that you don’t forget about keyword phrases. This would be something like “email marketing” versus only using “email” and “marketing”.
3) Finally, think of everything that Tom, Dick and Sally might possibly type into Google when looking for that new Jetski and cram as many of those similar words and word combinations into your metadata as you can without being redundant. You can of course do this yourself or using a generator, but it might be a better idea to get help from a marketing company with real people who specialize in this kind of copy writing.

If you can fit some monster keywords into your URL, it can only help you. Making sure that your site address is pretty and flattering to your overall goal will only be a boon to you when it shows up on a search engine.

A good way to keep your title tag short and sweet is to follow a 70-character rule. Don’t exceed it, and make sure you plop your KA-BOOM¬ keyword in before 50. Make sure that you are clear and concise where the title will take them once they click on it. There is no faster way to lose a visitor than to inadvertently mislead them on what your page is all about.

Getting inbound traffic is the overall goal of online marketing, and as such we must make sure that we get the QUALITY of traffic that will help push up rankings on search engines. Nothing can cause more bad traffic than links that simply don’t work. When driving traffic from your social sites, make sure that you always state clearly where the link will take them, and what they will find on your landing page. Doing this will help avoid traffic from searchers who aren’t even slightly interested in your product or page, and will help to target those who know exactly what they are looking for: YOU! This is a good place to utilize some of those rockin’ keywords that you created earlier!

So, now you have lots of the right kinds of traffic coming in, and some killer metadata to go with it. But why aren’t you seeing much completion from your visitors? They aren’t checking out? They aren’t sending you their email address? This is why we need a call-to-action in an obvious place on our landing page. “Call now!” or “Email us” or “Add to Cart” are all good examples.

Note: One thing that I like to suggest is to avoid using demanding CTA’s like “Buy now”. It can be off-putting if a customer feels like they are being demanded to hand over money or time and they might decide not to click that button.

Just like in the morning paper, the headline is key. This is especially true for websites. It is commonly said that you have 7 seconds to make an impression. Online this is more like 2. You want visitors of your site to keep reading and see what you are all about, and in order to do this, you need a visually compelling and attention-grabbing headline that uses your KA-BOOM¬ keyword so they know that they have landed in the place that they meant to go.

This step is especially important for landing pages that feature a lot of explanation of services or options for click-throughs. Content-driven pages must feature keywords and phrases that not only drive the visual back up to the call-to-action, but also to specific places on the site that might be enticing. To make sure that you don’t lose your new traffic, link your keywords to other places on the site, or place strategic buttons next to your content that features one of your services (or keywords).

This isn’t so much of a step as a “take-care” notice, but search engines are not yet as intelligent as we give them credit for. While photographs can be eye-grabbing and a good boost for your site content, make sure that you continue to use those keywords and key phrases so that you can continue to push up your rankings on those search engines and the search bots don’t miss you because they can’t see your keywords.

While there are many facets to optimizing your business for the web, creating a compelling and sexy landing page is a good way to guarantee that your business looks and feels professional to potential clients who discover you through an online search. Make sure you tweak and change your metadata, keywords and phrases as you get a feel for what is working and what could be better. If you see one keyword working very well at bringing in the kind of traffic you desire, GO WITH IT! Blast it all over the page, headline and even your URL! The web is your oyster!

Kerchanin Allen