Creating an SEO-optimized landing page is crucial for your website’s performance. Of course, the landing page is the first page visitors see—if it is great, they hang around for a while; if it is not so great, they have second thoughts and leave. This article explores the best practices for creating an SEO-optimized landing page, answering the question: what should a great landing page look like?
1. Your Landing Page Has to Load Fast
A fast landing page is as important to your website as a tyre is important to a car. In the introduction, I mentioned that your landing page offers the first impression to your visitors.
Give them the impression that your website is fast by making your landing page as responsive as possible. Fast means it should not lag or be sluggish. A landing page is typically slow if it takes more than ten seconds to load.
A fast landing page doesn’t waste visitors’ time. Your users can get what they are looking for quickly without getting bored.
2. Your Social Media Presence is Important
So, here is the thing: your landing page cannot exist in isolation, especially if you have just started an online business or a blog. It has to be gathering traffic from somewhere: search engines, media posts, social media.
Guide visitors to your landing page via your social media pages. That is, put up backlinks to your landing page on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or whatever social media platforms you use. Drive visitors from search engines to an SEO-optimized page and blogs.
3. Aesthetic Designs
Your landing page has to be very beautiful, in a way that makes readers appreciate and want to stay on it.
This does not mean you should have colors put up everywhere. No. It means every color you choose to include on your landing page should blend with the other.
You should also choose the perfect font. Some fonts work better on formal websites, while others work on a more casual website. In all, fonts have an effect on SEO. An aesthetic design can improve conversion and user experience in a way you never envisage.
Also, pay attention to your logo. Your landing page should carry your business logo and byline.
Choose colors that don’t coincide with your logo design, and make certain the tagline is sharp, like some kind of call to action.
Don’t include too annoying pop-ups on your landing page. At most, there should be two pop-ups here. There can be a welcome pop-up. Beautiful and straight to the point: “Welcome to this website [byline]” if you like.
And if you must, there should be a call to action pop-up. Call-to-action pop-ups should create a sense of urgency. The reason is simple. When people feel compelled to do something by a sense of urgency, they, most of the time, end up doing it.
PS: A call to action on your site doesn’t always have to be a pop-up. It can be anything: a widget or a button. And the call, too, can be anything.
Most websites put up a call to sign up for a newsletter on their landing pages. But you can get creative. You can put just about anything.
5. Headlines and Titles
The title of your landing page matters quite a lot. So, choose an SEO-friendly page title that makes a difference. A rule of thumb is: to choose a page title that is convincing and stays with the reader long enough.
The page title should definitely be included in the URL. The worst thing you can do is have a URL that carries a different name to your page title. Some users take note of page URLs. You don’t want to confuse them.
6. Important Site Information Should Be Easily Accessed
From your SEO-optimized landing page, users should be able to navigate the rest of the site. Make it easy for them.
Put up necessary site information somewhere around. For example, many websites put up an “About” section somewhere within the landing page.
Do you think a piece of information is quite important to your users? Include it on your landing page or direct readers to it with icons and pointers.
Navigation should be easy on your landing page!
7. Testimonials and Case Studies
Whatever you do, the fact that you have a website means you offer a service or sell a product and hope to market your services even more.
What will help with is, is a testimonial.
Testimonials should be personal and very believable—and above all, they should be true. If possible, they should carry the name of the person who is testifying.
Let’s say you run a site about mental health advocacy. That is, if you are a therapist, testimonials on your site should look something like: “I used to be very anxious until I stopped by this website and read their articles—now, I am happier. I love it here.”
Put up not more than five testimonials so that you don’t come off as too desperate or something.
8. Old and New Articles
If you visit a lot of blogs, then you are familiar with this one.
Put up new and old article thumbnails on your landing pages. Display the title of each article boldly, and make sure its associated media is clear.
Featured images should be properly optimized so that a website does not lag—while they should be very clear, they should not be very large, as large images are going to make your website a bit slower.
Yes, it is sometimes a practice to include videos on your landing page. Just make sure the videos don’t take forever to load, or users will be out of there before you know it.
9. Search Box
Search boxes do well on landing pages. Very often, visitors will have to stop by your site to read an article again. I have done this a couple of times—in fact, I do it a lot. What will help the most is a search box.
Put the search box at the top of the landing page or the widget area where it is visible to users.
10. Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently asked questions do quite well on landing pages. I wouldn’t say they are a necessity, although, for a number of blogs, they are. They do well on most websites.
FAQs help answer common questions and can help users make a decision quickly as they scan through your website.
Put up frequently asked questions on your landing page, the answers to these questions, and include internal links in them that can direct users to other important pages on your site.
Your responses to these questions should be expressive and very honest.