Entries Tagged 'SEO Saturday' ↓

Welcoming Guests to Your Website

welcoming guests to your website

Here’s the scenario: A person wants a solution to some pressing matter in her life, so she goes to an Internet search engine to find an answer. She types some words that best describe what she’s looking for into the search box and clicks “Search.” The next thing she sees is what is called the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), which lists links to pages the search engine believes will help answer her question. Among those listings is one of YOUR site’s pages. She clicks on the link to your page.

Question: How will your website guest be greeted once she gets there?

Sam Walton emphasized the importance of the door greeter, and until recently, every Wal-Mart customer was welcomed at the door. Greeters play an important role in many places people visit, from churches to business, so why not carry this out on our websites?

In case you’re wondering what this has to do with search engine optimization (it is SEO Saturday, after all), it is relevant because your page was optimized well enough to display in the list of pages that will hopefully answer her question. The problem with many landing pages, though, is that site owners often place more emphasis on getting their pages ranked rather than actually welcoming the person who clicks through to the page.

While Landing Page Optimization (LPO) is important, what is really important is taking good care of the visitors that come to your site as a result of your Landing Page Optimization efforts.

When a person lands on your web page, never forget that she is ONE click away from returning to the search engine results page.

Remember, when a person clicks through to your site from a search engine, they are tentatively stepping their front foot onto your site (like dipping a toe into the water), but their rear foot is firmly planted back on the SERP. Your landing page’s purpose is to give them reason to bring that other foot forward and place both feet firmly into your website.

So, let’s back up for a minute and go through the three questions every landing page should answer – and, if these are answered well, your site visitor will have a happy experience on your site, which will likely increase the conversion rate of your landing page.

Three questions every landing page should answer:

  • Where am I at?
  • What can I do here?
  • Why should I do it HERE?

landing page example

Where am I at?

The first question, “Where am I at?” (or “Where am I?” if ending the question with a preposition bothers you) should be answered instantly through the branding on your page – header, logo, page title, etc. It sounds simple, but you’d be amazed at how many websites fail at this. And some sites attempt to hide who they are by removing all evidence of who they are on their landing pages. Reminds me of the way Amway reps used to try to sneak into people’s homes.

The point is to make the person comfortable, which means you must be trustworthy.

Your best tool to put the visitor at ease is through the use of an effective headline. They are probably not as concerned with who YOU are as they are with whether or not the content on this particular page will help them. The headline should concisely share the main benefit or “value proposition” of your product/service.

After your headline, provide a paragraph or two that shares the story of how your product/service is beneficial. This should be some of your best writing – concise, clear, and compelling. Follow that content with some bullet points that summarize the benefits your product or service or free report (if this is a lead capture page) will provide.

Using video is a great way to engage your site visitor and share the story. Just remember that search bots can’t “read” videos, so you’ll still need enough quality text on your page to let the search engines understand what your page is about.

Next, comes your call to action, which answers their next question.

What can I do here?

This question is typically answered by your call to action (CTA). What can your guest do here? Opt in to receive a free download? Order a product? Request more information? The call to action should be clearly marked, and effective landing pages should have only one call to action.

If you’re using your landing page to capture leads, let them know exactly what they will get in exchange for their name and email address. Put an image of the ebook or freebie you’re offering. Describe what it is in your copy and summarize its benefits in your bullet points.

Use your CTA button effectively. The text on the button should say more than “Click HERE” – it should promise them something in exchange for that click, such as “Get your free download now,” etc.

Why should I do it HERE?

Hopefully your story and benefits have answered this question for the guest, but many people want evidence that your offer will help them. This is done by providing “social proof” and/or testimonials.

Add some testimonials after your call to action and opt-in form. If they’re still hesitant, a good testimonial can often be the tipping point that convinces your guest to take the action you want.

Final SEO Tips for Landing Pages

  • If you’re re-designing a landing page, first research which keywords are already driving traffic to that page. Keep those words in your copy so you don’t rock the search engine boat.
  • Again, if this is a re-design, be aware that removing links from an established page can affect your SEO.
  • Make sure you’ve done all your on-site optimization properly

Until next time,

Happy Blogging!

 

 

Intro to Landing Pages

Intro to landing pages

If you’ve been around the world of online marketing for long at all, you’ve probably heard that you need to create “landing pages” on your website. The purpose of this post is to explain what a landing page is and share why you need them. In future SEO Saturdays, I plan to post about what elements your landing page should include, how to optimize them, and how to set up your lead capture form.

What is a landing page?

A landing page, also known as a “squeeze” page or lead capture page, is simply a page that someone who comes to your site “lands” on when they get there. Most of the time, the traffic has been driving to that particular page through some sort of campaign, either social media marketing or email marketing or paid advertising or even through search engine optimization.

Most often, a landing page has something free to offer those who arrive there, such asĀ  free white papers, reports, ebooks, free trials, webinars, or videos. You can use this “ethical bribe” to give in exchange for a visitor’s email address. Once you have their email address on your list, you can then share information about your industry with them and pitch products and/or services. (Aside: Don’t use your email list for pitches only – always give good content between pitches.)

Why do you need to create landing pages on your website?

The purpose of a landing page is to convert a site visitor to a lead. You’ve probably worked hard to set up your website and create quality content. The next step most people jump into is driving traffic. And it’s true, you need to be driving traffic to your site, but if you don’t have a means in place to convert that traffic to genuine leads, then you can’t effectively market to those leads. A landing page is the opening to your sales funnel.

Creating a specific landing page for a specific offer makes it easy on those who land on your website. If you’ve promoted a special offer via social media and led your traffic to your site’s home page, then the visitors must find where the special offer is on your site and navigate to it. This creates frustration, and unless your offer is irresistible, they will leave without taking action.

Do I need more than one landing page on my site?

I get asked that question a lot. The short answer is yes. Each landing page should provide an answer to a question or issue your audience has. By supplying answers to their problems, you’re positioning yourself as the authority in your niche. I usually suggest that my clients brainstorm the top 5 ways their business benefits their audience and prepare a free short report that helps solve each problem. Those reports will be delivered via landing pages within their site.

Once the visitor-turned-lead is on your list, then you can begin the lead nurturing process that will hopefully convert that lead into a paying customer. We’ll discuss more on this process during the month of October, as setting up your lead capture system will be the over all theme for On Blogging Well this month.

Until next time,

Happy Blogging!

Free SEO Training Videos

3d illustration of a large simple film reel with a metallic play symbol sitting in front of it

One of the online community’s most respected search engine optimization training sites, SEOBook, offers a series of free SEO training videos that teach about keyword research, on page SEO, sitewide SEO strategies, link-building videos, as well as some videos that introduce Internet Marketing tools and strategies.

Watch & learn!

Google’s SEO Starter Guide — Free Download

red letters S-E-O circled by white question marks

Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide was originally written to help teams within the Google company develop good SEO habits. Google later released it as a free download for use by all webmasters.

The guide explains:

  • The difference between paid and organic search
  • How to create unique and accurate page titles
  • How to use the “description” meta tag
  • How to improve your URL structure
  • How to make your site easier to navigate
  • Developing quality content
  • How to write better anchor text
  • How to use heading tags appropriately
  • Optimizing image use
  • Making effective use of robots.txt
  • Information about “nofollow” links
  • Good website promotion practices
  • An introduction to Google’s free webmaster tools

I hope you find this document useful.

Until next time,

Happy Blogging!

Search Funnel: A Free Online Tool

red funnel

Search engine users type in keywords in sequences until they find the results they want. Knowing what they type in immediately following your primary keyword or phrase can help you determine other keywords and phrases to optimize for. A search funnel does just that.

Microsoft adCenter Labs provides a free online search funnel tool that you can use to determine end-user search strings sequences. For instance, if you type “BMW” into the search funnel, you’ll learn that “Mercedes” was the highest percentage follow-up search. Lexus and Audi were the next two queries in the BMW search string.

In addition to the search funnel, the adCenter Labs provides several other free online tools: Continue reading →