Why landing pages need to be Google-friendly
Organic search is still the most significant traffic source. Recent statistics suggest it accounts for more than 50% of site visits. Still, there are many ways to drive users to your landing pages. You can use ads, email marketing, referrals, or social media. However, organic is still the most significant source.
To understand why this is so important, we need to consider how Google ranks pages. While keywords are essential for matching search intent, Google also uses other factors to determine how good a match your landing page was for those terms.
Two of these factors are the bounce rate and dwell time. Bounce rate measures the number of users who visited a website, looked at one page, and left. Dwell time measures how long the customer stays on the page.
Essentially, Google uses these metrics to measure how good their suggestion was for their users.
If users select a link on the SERP and they stay on the site (and even browse some of the other articles), Google infers that your site was a good match for the keyword or phrases.
On the other hand, if a user clicks through to your landing page, takes one look, and leaves, Google interprets this as a bad sign.
Google wants to keep its users happy. It wants them to feel confident in its ability to serve them relevant pages. Google’s business model relies on user data and advertisement, so they need to keep their audience coming back.
One of the surest ways to lose users is when there is a disconnect between search words and the landing page. Targeting popular terms can drive traffic, but you have two problems if it doesn’t meet user intent.
Firstly, that bump in traffic is lower quality. In essence, it’s made up of people who don’t actually want your service.
Second, Google gets a signal to index your landing page as a less or irrelevant match. When that happens, your rankings take a hit.
Tips to optimize your landing page conversions
Now that you understand the reasons why landing pages need to satisfy user intent, it’s time to concentrate on a few critical tasks.
1. Define your KPIs
The first thing to do is think about what you want your landing page to do. Is it for sales, capturing emails, subscribers, or leads?
Landing pages are different from home pages. They have a key goal attached to them — i.e., guiding users to click your call to action (CTA). On the other hand, homepages are about encouraging users to have a look around.
What constitutes a reasonable conversion rate for a landing page depends on several factors, like your industry and what kind of product or service you offer.
2. Understand who is coming to your landing page and why
The next thing to do is understand why people are coming to your page. You should already have a good idea of your product’s target audience, but you can never have enough information.
Use analytics where possible to understand your traffic sources. Observe what types of content drive your traffic and see where they click on your web page.
See if you can convince any of them to fill out a survey so you can better understand their intent.
Build customer personas and then use this information to inform your landing page copy. If drastically different types of users want your product or service, consider personalizing your landing page to fit their circumstances better.
3. Figure out what is stopping your visitors from converting
If your conversion rate is low, you need to find out the reason. As long as your offer isn’t misleading or duplicitous in some way, you’ll need to perform a dive deep to find out why your traffic isn’t converting.
There are several ways you can do this. For example, user behavior tracking software and heat maps can give you an idea of what people do when they reach your page. Are there areas they totally ignore? Is something not clear? Are there some other barriers for them?
Experiment with design layouts and A/B testing. Specific messaging, colors, pictures, etc., could produce better results.
4. Find the hooks that lead to conversions
Analyzing your customer journey can lead to some valuable insights. By tracking it or even polling your current customers, you can understand what steps were required to convert. Additionally, you can examine demographics or interests and see if patterns emerge.
For example, if you sell a product or service for everyone, but the majority of your buyers are men in their 20s, you need to look at how you are marketing your product and designing your landing page.
Incentivize your customers to fill out a survey and find out what attracted them to your product. See what reasons come up and find ways to emphasize them on your landing page.
Bonus tips for boosting conversions
1. Limit the options.
Experiment with your landing page layout. In particular, try and streamline your page and remove as much friction as possible. Make your CTA visible and inviting.
2. Build your brand
Branding builds trust and assurance among potential customers. When customers feel comfortable in your brand, they are more likely to convert. You can do this by producing content, building your social media presence, employing testimonials, or using reviews.
3. Reduce page load speeds
Page load speeds affect bounce rates. A loading time of 3 seconds or more causes about 40% of potential audience members to bounce from your site.
Consider on-page and off-page SEO elements. Make sure your landing page is optimized for mobile, uses image compression, and employs any other tricks you can think of to make sure your pages load promptly. It also improves SEO ranking, so it’s important to get this right to boost traffic.
4. Recognize the difference between organic search and paid ad landing pages
Landing pages for organic search and paid ads require different approaches. For example, landing pages with gated content won’t always satisfy user intent — and can lead to poor rankings.
So, adjust landing pages based on the traffic source.
5. Provide some incentives
Use incentives when the goal of your landing page is lead generation or creating an email list. Customers understand that their contact details have some value. They are prepared to share data with businesses if they get something in exchange. So consider things like whitepapers, eBooks, and other content if your goal is to generate leads.
6. Push product or service value
Good marketing understands the audience. It empathizes with their problems and offers valuable solutions. What’s more, it understands how they speak about these issues.
Research the places your audience congregates — Facebook, Twitter, forums, etc. — to get an insight into how they relate to their pain points. Matching the language your prospects use can help increase conversions. Specific words, phrases, and concepts can resonate and help build trust.