Landing Pages and Content MarketingJanuary 3, 2023
There are several concepts that are vital to digital marketers and business owners looking to maximize their returns, and one of these is content. The phrase "content is king" is regularly heard throughout the SEO world, but it's important to recognize that content can be formatted and brought to clients and search engines in several different ways -- including the use of various different page types, one of which is the landing page.
At SEO Werkz, our on-site SEO optimization, web design and other quality SEO services include a number of tactics for creating and displaying content, both on your website itself and in other important locations to help draw readers to you. Why is content marketing so important within the realm of SEO? What are some ways to maximize the value of your content while avoiding common pitfalls in this area? Why are landing pages a particularly important form of content production, and how should you go about maintaining them? We'll cover all these topics and more here.
On Content Marketing and Its Importance
Content marketing, like many things in the digital age, can be defined differently depending on which ad firm you talk to and what you hope to accomplish. Generally speaking, it is a way to communicate with your current and potential customers about your industry and the products and services you offer by frequently publishing and disseminating high quality articles, blogs, tweets, videos, and social media posts. Successful content marketing should educate your audience, providing useful tips and information on a regular basis.
Benefits of Quality Content Marketing
Engaging in robust content marketing practices brings several benefits to the businesses and entities who use it:
- Cost-efficiency: Decades ago, traditional advertising mediums were largely only available to companies with huge budgets. This meant that small companies had very little chance of getting their name out to the world. For example, purchasing airtime during a prime time television slot is relatively cost-prohibitive for most startups and smaller organizations. However, with the inception of the internet, everyone has the potential to be heard. Creating content and making it available to the public via ads, social media posts, or landing pages is often much more affordable than traditional advertising mediums.
- Reach: When content marketing is performed properly, it can reach a massive number of people. One piece of high-quality content has the potential to be read by hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of people. This is the kind of publicity and attention that most companies would kill for!
- Targeting: With modern content marketing, you can drill down and target your intended audience with pinpoint accuracy. For example, if your landing page happens to be about organic pest control, you'll want to target keywords like "organic pest control", "pest control organic", "pest control", etc. The more specific terms you can target, the better your landing page or other content will do when it comes to achieving higher rankings in search engine results.
- It's easy: Finally, content marketing is not some black box of voodoo marketing tactics. While learning about this field requires some diligent research (and often a partnership with a quality online marketing agency like SEO Werkz), any business can benefit from content marketing.
Tips for Succeeding in Content Marketing
Here are some tips, both general and specific, that we regularly offer clients on how to succeed in the content realm and maximize their returns on content marketing:
- Ask yourself basic questions: As you're going about the process of creating content, ask yourself simple questions to help guide you. Which kinds of readers are you trying to reach? What is your landing page (or landing pages) about, and how does it serve your audience? What are some problems that people in your target market frequently face?
- ID your resources: You should also look at your available resources, including content writing -- if you're not qualified to write your content (or don't want to), outsource it to a quality writer or hire one on for the job. If you're not artistic, find somebody who is. Invest in quality content production if you expect quality results -- and keep these tips in mind when hiring new writers or other creative professionals.
- Keep it interesting and informative: More than anything else, landing pages and content in general must be interesting and informative. You won't do well with content pages that don't meet these criteria -- even if they're high-quality and landing on a highly-visible page (like the front page of Google).
- Generate a content calendar: Many of the most successful businesses in the content marketing realm are able to achieve this success in large part because they manage themselves well. You should have a detailed, prioritized content calendar that outlines the frequency, quantity, and topics of content you'll be working on in the coming months. You may also want to map out your long-term strategy for this content (i.e., where will landing pages link to? Which landing pages will be featured in which articles?).
- Distribution plan: Alongside your content calendar (or sometimes as a part of it), you should also have a plan regarding the distribution of your content. Where will you share landing pages? How often? How can you use landing pages to drive engagement with your social media accounts and group email lists?
- Optimize for search: You should also optimize content for search -- this is often the first step of content marketing. Make sure that your landing page titles are keyword-optimized, as are landing page meta descriptions and main content body text.
- Use social media for promotion: You can also use landing pages to drive engagement with social media posts, tweets, and other content. For example, if you're releasing a new landing page for your organic pest control business, you might want to tweet or post about it on Facebook several times in the days leading up to its release.
Avoiding Mistakes Within Content Marketing
Unfortunately, we’ve seen a lot of mistakes made in this field by clients or their previous agencies before they came to us for guidance. When you bring our team on, we’ll help you with a basic content audit that will show you some of the areas you can improve in – let's go over some of the biggest mistakes these audits often reveal, plus how you can go about making the right decisions in important areas.
- Improper content amounts in various stages: Content will often be aimed at various stages of the customer acquisition and sales funnel, from landing pages (generally used for lead generation) to blogs (which help drive traffic and can bring in new leads) and landing pages (again, generally used for lead generation). Sometimes, we see clients who have too much content at a given stage, but not enough at another. For instance, they might have landing pages but no blog content. These stages can generally be broken down into four categories: Awareness (blog posts, infographics, etc), consideration (case studies, product comparisons), purchase (product pages, coupons, demos) and retention (newsletters, success stories, other forms of outreach) -- and it's important to have content for each of these.
- Lack of calls to action: Calls to action refer to the text and other methods you use to get users to perform a certain action -- like signing up for your email list or converting on a lead generation landing page. Sometimes, content will be created without any calls to action in mind. You'll need these CTAs to help push prospects towards the next step of engagement with whatever it is you're offering.
- Poor landing page design: Designing landing pages isn't something that's easy to get right, and the quality of landing pages can vary significantly from company to company. You should keep in mind things such as design (including landing page layout), text, images, and other items on your landing pages -- these elements will often define landing page success. If landing pages don't look good or include the right content, they may not have a high conversion rate.
- Lack of local relevance: Another important element of content marketing is the geographic relevance. Landing pages and blog posts that don't include any local information (such as references to your neighborhood, region, city, etc.) may mean page views drop off quickly. You should be prioritizing not only local locations, but also themes that local clients are interested in.
- Improper use of testimonials: Testimonials should absolutely be used for many websites, but only if this is done well. Specifically, they should be paired with strong copy that tells the story behind them, and landing pages with testimonials should also include annotations that show where they're sourced from.
Landing Page Basics and Benefits
If you’re new to the internet marketing world, there are numerous terms or words you might be wondering about. A great example here is the “landing page,” a term most of us have at least heard – but if you were to ask many what it actually is, they often couldn’t give you a good answer.
At SEO Werkz, our online marketing pros are here to help you understand basic terminology and answer questions you may have about any area of our services, from SEO and PPC to web design, social media, content optimization and numerous others. We’ve helped plenty of clients understand what a landing page is and why it might be valuable to their marketing efforts in several areas. Here are some basics to be aware of for this valuable form of content that should be considered by all customer-facing businesses.
Landing Page Basics
Simply speaking, a landing page is a single page you create for a distinct, specific purpose within a marketing campaign. It’s meant to serve as a destination for users who have clicked on an ad, a social media link, an email button or a variety of other link types you may include in your efforts.
Landing pages are simple, generally focused on a basic call-to-action. They are also vital for collecting visitor information through conversion forms, allowing you to target audiences and offer them a valuable item while converting them into leads and gaining more data about them.
Same as a Homepage?
So a landing page is basically just a homepage, right? Wrong.
A homepage is a central hub for your entire site, one where you define your business to clients and provide links to areas like your About page, contact pages and specific service pages you offer. A landing page, however, is generally not even accessible through the main site – you can usually only get to it through a direct link, and it’s often a temporary page that is taken down or changed on a regular basis. Its only goal is creating conversions, whereas a homepage has numerous specific purposes.
Value in Lead Generation and Collection of Demographic Info
A big part of the value of landing pages is how easy they make it for you to generate leads. Sending leads to your homepage is a waste – you can capture a far higher rate through targeting landing pages, which your sales team can then go through and split up appropriately.
In addition, as we noted above, landing pages are hugely important for collecting demographic data on leads. Each time an individual lead completes the conversion form on your landing page, you get insights about that lead that you can use to form your future marketing efforts, both for similar lead types and others.
Tracking Conversions and Metrics
Another of the single most valuable parts of landing pages is their ability to glean your company vital data on numerous potential leads. Every time someone clicks on one of your landing pages, you get information about them that you can put to good use.
Not only do landing pages help generate new leads, they also help you track re-conversions of your current leads. This, in turn, helps you understand the kinds of prospects are most interested in your business and the kinds of behaviors they exhibit on your site, information you can convert into valuable tweaks in several areas.
Further still, landing pages count as data assets for your marketing efforts. They will give you important data on how different offers you’ve put out compare to each other in effectiveness, for instance, and which kinds of pages are converting the most leads.
Offers and Lead Generation
In many ways, the various promotions and offers you bring to clients are linked directly with landing pages. These pages support the lead generation you’re attempting through these offers, allowing you to obtain something from them in return for them viewing a special offer you’re presenting them.
Finally, many online marketers know just how vital content is within this realm, and landing pages are a big asset here as well. While individual landing pages will not contain huge amounts of content, they will contain enough to serve as excellent sharing tools for various outlets: Social media posts targeting customers, email blasts attempting to generate or nurture leads, or even PPC ads and related paid services. Finally, before you ask, landing pages are absolutely tracked by organic search algorithms and will show up within such results on Google and other engines.
Common Uses and Elements of Landing Pages
Landing Page Uses
There are numerous potential uses for landing pages, including in unique areas specific to your business. Some of the common formats you’ll see them utilized in include:
- To showcase a product or service from your business
- To incentivize sign-ups for a newsletter or similar item
- To advertise or otherwise promote a special business-related event
- To send one-time offers out to various channels
- To promote a special clearance or holiday sale
- To promote a survey you want prospective leads to fill out
- To push downloadable materials to leads
- To share videos or infographics regarding your business
- To supply coupons or coupon codes
- To say thank-you to a segment of clients
Common Landing Page Elements
So what should be included in a landing page? This will vary depending on your business and other factors, but here are some of the primary elements you’ll generally find on a given landing page:
- Headline: The first words someone sees when they land on the page, their first impression.
- Copy: The remaining content – short, simple explainers of value and any offer you’re giving.
- Keywords: Just as with other forms of online content, keywords should be included in several places.
- Social links: Allowing visitors to share the page on their social networks and expand its impact.
- Hidden navigation: Many web design experts will create landing pages where all top or side navigation bars are hidden, which keeps the page clean and decreases bounce rate.
- Lead form: All landing pages will have this vital element, a lead-capture or conversion form where page visitors submit information you can use to convert them.
- Image: To help drive home the visual appeal and basic purpose of the page.
- Follow-up page: This page confirms the lead’s information and then gives them the offer in return, or at least gives them the next steps they need to take. In many cases, you can attach an email response to this thank-you page that’s automatically sent when they complete the form.
Best Practices for Creating Landing Pages
How should you go about creating landing pages for your website, whether on your own or with assistance of our team of pros? Here are some elements to consider
Keyword Strategy as a Baseline
In most cases, having a solid keyword strategy will be your foundation for landing page creation. Use this strategy to identify what you want prospects landing on the page looking for, and how you’ll be bringing them there.
It's important to use keywords in natural, organic ways on your landing pages rather than attempting to stuff them in. This is a major signal to search engines when it comes to landing page content, particularly on landing pages directly relevant to your brand. You can use them within headlines and copy, but don’t try to contort the landing page into appearing for unrelated terms that you just want ranking for.
It's also important to know the differences between primary keywords and secondary, long-tail keywords. Primary keywords are those you really want landing page visitors clicking on and converting for, and the best landing pages will be optimized with these terms. Secondary keywords can supplement your landing pages but aren’t integral to them; you’ll optimize landing pages around primary keywords, and use secondary terms as supporting information.
Give Search Engines a Hand
Landing pages are a vital way to draw in users via organic search formats, but only if they're structured in ways that search engine bots can easily analyze and recognize. Here are some basic elements that must be included to ensure this happens:
- Title tag: This is the most important piece of landing page content that should be unique to every landing page, and it’s a unique headline for any given landing page. Use your primary keywords here so search engines recognize what you’re trying to promote on the landing page.
- Alt tag: Every landing page should have an alt tag for any images included, and these tags should use your keyword/s as well since they help search engines understand the content of the landing page.
- Meta description: One of Google's direct ranking factors is meta descriptions, so landing pages should include these to give them an extra push in the SERPs. They are usually around 150 characters or less, so they are short and sweet while giving search engines a landing page preview for their ranking purposes.
- Headings: Including both H1 and H2 headings is important, as landing page content for both is what search engines look at to aggregate landing pages in their indices.
- Using images and videos: Where appropriate, landing pages should use images and videos to break up text content. If you want to include high-quality infographics in landing page elements, especially in blog posts or landing pages with a lot of text content, make sure they are optimized for SEO by using the appropriate keywords when referring to them.
- Internal linkage: Landing pages should include internal links to other landing pages; this way, if Google is crawling them and sees that they're linked to from landing pages also associated with your website, this will help boost the landing page's indexing.
Be Careful With Your URL
URLs should reflect site structure, but should also be short and simple to allow landing pages to rank accordingly. The URL structure should include your landing page’s main keyword, but the landing page itself should not be set up in a way that its content is purposefully built for ranking purposes.
Note Page Speed
Higher page speeds ensure a better user experience on your landing pages, so make sure to use landing page optimization techniques -- such as using landing page elements optimized for landing page speed -- to help landing pages load quickly. You should also provide landing pages in a variety of formats, including HTML text, .pdf and .doc files to accommodate users with different types of browsers and connection speeds.
For more on content marketing and landing pages, or to learn about any of our SEO or digital marketing services, contact the pros at SEO Werkz today.