Using Landing Pages for SEO & SEM
I’ve been talking to a lot of people recently about landing pages for websites. I’m not sure everyone “gets” what I’m saying, so I thought I’d write a little article as a reference.
Ideally, a landing page is one a visitor first goes to when they visit your site through a paid or natural search result. An organic landing page isn’t always necessary or possible, but for a paid campaign, it absolutely is.
What is the purpose of a landing page?
An effective landing page should do three things:
1. Establish trust by being relevant to the search that was made. This is very easy to do with the SEM campaign, so make sure to do it.
2. It should describe your product or service in a way that begs a question from the visitor OR provides a clear call to action if this is a one call close.
3. It should capture a piece of visitor information like a phone number, email, Facebook fan or Twitter follow. As marketers, we have to understand visitors will contact us the way they feel most comfortable with.
Mark Ijlal pointed out we don’t know as much about our customers as we think we do.
Secondly, in all due honestly we don’t know that much about our customers. We think we do but we don’t. It is not possible for us to know about their online habits just by what they do on our website. They might be doing a whole lot more someplace else.
…because someone else gives them more choices, I might add.
I’ve come to the conclusion any pay-per-click landing page needs to have more than an email form or phone number. That visit costs money and you need the opportunity to contact the visitor again. Why not present the Twitter and Facebook business page fan as an option too?
I’m running into people and SEO companies that don’t use landing pages at all. It’s like running the furnace with all the windows and doors open. It doesn’t make sense!
Consumers are bombarded with messages. Most of us don’t make a buying decision after our first visit to a web site. We need more information before we commit, unless that site gives us the necessary belief (trust) to make the decision then. Could a client testimonial be effective copy writing on a landing page? I think so. It may not persuade everyone, but if it persuades just a few, that conversion rate will improve and you’ll see more web sales, web leads and web traffic.
If you think in these terms when conducting SEO and SEM campaigns, you will far exceed your goals and create a smooth landing experience for your website visitors. Never pay for traffic that doesn’t go to your custom landing page to build trust, clearly explain your product/service and ask to collect a bit of information about your potential customer.