The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Landing Pages for SEO

The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Landing Pages for SEO

June 21, 2024
12 min to read
A guide to optimize your landing pages for SEO

Landing pages aim to convert visitors into leads or customers. But what if they could do more? Landing pages built with SEO-first principles also attract free, long-term traffic from search engines.

In this guide, Jesper, our Head of SEO, explores how businesses can optimize their landing pages for long-term, organic search traffic and revenue.

What Is an SEO Landing Page?

Landing pages aim to drive meaningful actions, such as lead generation or conversions. While SEO landing pages also have this objective, they benefit from a steady flow of organic traffic from Google and other search engines. That’s where the SEO process starts.

But before we discuss how to optimize a landing page, we need to clarify what an SEO landing page is and how it fits into your SEO strategy.

SEO landing pages serve a specific purpose. Before thinking about search engines, consider how it helps your users. You should have an idea of a problem your customers have, and position the landing page as a solution to that problem.

Now that we have a clear understanding of what an SEO landing page is, let’s dive into the actionable steps to make your landing pages SEO-friendly.

Keyword Research

Keyword research is the first and most crucial step in optimizing your landing pages for SEO success. The process involves identifying words and phrases that your target audience uses to find products or services like yours on search engines.

How to Find Target Keywords for Landing Pages

To identify relevant keywords for your landing page, you need to start with seed keywords. These are the first keywords you’ll use to get more specific data in your SEO tools. To find seed keywords, consider the following:

  • Your Product or Service
  • Benefits & Features of your Product or Service
  • Characteristics of your Target Audience
  • Problems your Target Audience has
  • Your Competitor’s Landing Pages - especially if they rank for your keywords
  • Trends in your industry and your customers’ industries

In 2024, you can even use AI tools like ChatGPT to identify additional seed keywords relevant to your landing page.

Once you have a list of relevant seed keywords that resonate with your audience, we move onto the next step in finding SEO keywords.

Keyword Research Tools

There are various tools and techniques available for conducting keyword research. Platforms like SEMrush, Ahrefs and Google Keyword Planner offer insights into keyword search volumes, competition and relevance.

While SEMRush and Ahrefs offer free trials, Google Keyword Planner offers all the data you need for free. Of course, even with Google Keyword Planner, you’ll get more specific keyword data if you have an active Google Ads account. But to find relevant SEO keywords, the free version is enough.

Besides these keyword-specific tools that offer search volume data, we can use Google’s search results pages in our keyword research process. There are also various tools like Answer The Public, which helps you find relevant questions and long-tail keywords related to your landing page.

Keyword Research Techniques

At this step, we should have our seed keywords and a handful of SEO tools. So now we run the seed keywords through our tools. The process looks very different on each platform. 

For example, navigate to the keyword tool on SEMRush, Ahrefs or Google Keyword Planner and type in your first seed keyword. The tool will then output relevant keywords with search volume and keyword difficulty (not available on Keyword Planner). Repeat this process until you have a list of keywords that are relevant to your landing page. We’ll use this list to optimize our landing page content.

But first, let’s get some additional long-tail insights from the Google search results. Search Google for your first seed keyword, and keep an eye on the following four components:

  1. People Also Ask
  2. Related Searches
  3. Autocomplete
  4. Top-ranking Competitors

Google’s search results, alone, will give you 90% of the keyword insights you need. Follow this process for each of your seed keywords, and you’ll have a clear list of relevant questions, related queries and optimized competitor content.

How to Analyze and Select the Right Keywords

Long-tail keywords tend to offer a better chance of ranking higher due to lower competition. While long-tail terms have less search volume, people searching them are often more likely to convert. 

As a result, these keywords will get you traffic and conversions quicker. However, there are also many more long-tail keywords out there, so some might be better left for a future blog post. 

Also, don’t forget to include short-tail keywords. These have more search volume and have the potential to become a significant source of SEO traffic in the long-term. Finding this balance between long-tail and short-tail is the key to optimizing your landing page for relevant keywords.

With our complete list of SEO keywords, we can then infer what the keywords mean and use this list as the foundation of our SEO content.

How to Optimize Your Landing Page for Keywords

SEO optimization goes beyond simply inserting keywords into your content. Keywords offer a data-driven approach to your landing page content., we’ll start reviewing how to optimize our on-page elements for keywords. 

Optimize the Page Title

The page title is the first interaction visitors have with your page on search results pages, so it should accurately reflect the content of your page. As the most important on-page element, the page title should also include the primary keyword. 

This is typically the lowest hanging fruit when it comes to optimizing your landing page for SEO keywords.

Follow these best practices when optimizing your page title:

  • Begin with your primary keyword. Placing it at the start can improve your page’s relevance and rankings in search results.
  • Keep it concise and clear. Your title should be under 60 characters to ensure it displays fully in search results.
  • Make it engaging: In addition to improved rankings, your title should also entice users to click through to your landing page to improve your click-through rate (CTR).

Optimize Meta Descriptions

The meta description, while not a direct ranking factor, plays an important role in CTR. This short text below your title on SERPs should summarize the content of your landing page, include your target keyword(s) and encourage people to click through.

Follow these best practices when optimizing your meta description:

  • Use relevant keywords, as they’re displayed in bold if part of the search.
  • Use active voice and persuasive language to encourage users to click.
  • Include a call-to-action (CTA) within the meta description.
  • Ensure your description accurately reflects the content of the page.

Optimize Headings with Keywords

Headings (H1, H2, H3, etc.) help organize your content, making it easier for users and search engines to understand the structure of your page. 

After your page title, H1 headings are the most important on-page factor. Your landing page should have only one H1 element that both summarizes the page contents and includes your target keyword. 

H2 and H3 subheadings are also important on-page elements that structure your content and include relevant keywords. In this sense, headings and subheadings offer you the opportunity to structure content around keywords in a hierarchical and meaningful way. 

Follow these best practices when optimizing your headings and subheadings:

  • Your main headline should be tagged as H1 and include your primary keyword.
  • Use H2 and H3 tags for subheadings to create a clear content hierarchy.
  • Incorporate secondary and related keywords in subheadings where appropriate.

Headings, along with images, also help users skim through a page to identify how relevant the content is to their needs. Making sure these headings are relevant to your target audience will ensure they spend more time on your page and increase their odds of converting.

Optimizing Content with Keywords

Once you have your content headings and subheadings mapped out, you’ll finish off your SEO landing page with relevant content in each section. 

Text content should expand on the section’s heading and subheadings to provide value to the users. Understanding the users’ search intentions comes in handy at this stage.

We’ll now dive deeper into how to create quality SEO content.

Creating Quality SEO Content

Search engines prefer content that provides value to users. High-quality content leads to better user engagement, longer dwell time and a lower bounce rate, all of which also impact your conversion rate.

In this section, we’ll discuss how to make quality content by learning from keywords and optimizing for users first.

Competitor Content Analysis

Have a look at your top-ranking competitors and you’ll get some insights into what works well in your industry.

Here’s how to gain SEO insights from the competition:

  1. Google your target term, and open the first 3 or 4 organic results in new tabs.
  2. Look at the topics they cover and the depth of their content. 
  3. Review their content structure and how many words they have on the page 
  4. Determine whether they’re optimizing for additional keywords you hadn’t considered.

You’ll use these insights to inform your landing page content strategy. The aim is to create content that fills any gaps and surpasses your competitors in quality and relevance.

Balancing Keyword Optimization with User Engagement

Remember, while including keywords in your content is important, it should never come at the expense of readability and user experience. 

Optimize your content for users first, and search engines will follow.

Here’s how to create engaging content:

  1. Write naturally and conversationally, optimizing for users first.
  2. Provide valuable information that addresses user queries and needs.
  3. Use different content types, such as text, images and videos, to keep users engaged.

Of course, SEO goes beyond keywords and content, so it’s important to ensure proper UX and apply other methods that improve your landing page SEO.

Landing Page User Experience

While keywords are essential in SEO, another branch of SEO considers more technical, UX-related factors to optimize your landing pages.

At a glance, we can consider 3 key focus areas for UX SEO.

  1. Page Loading Speed: A fast-loading page enhances user experience and is favored by search engines. Use tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights to identify page speed opportunities. Common opportunities include compressing images and optimizing code to improve loading times.
  2. Mobile Responsiveness: With Google successfully migrating to the mobile-first index, it’s now more important than ever to have a mobile-responsive design. Otherwise you may be penalized in the search results, for search results on both mobile and desktop.
  3. Easy Navigation: Ensure that users can easily find what they are looking for on your landing page. A clear, intuitive layout enhances user experience and can reduce bounce rates. You should also include links to relevant pages that provide more context, like pricing or guarantees pages, or different service pages.

At the end of the day, Google doesn’t just want to share good content with its users. Its focus is to provide a good user experience as well. Follow these practices to make sure you offer your users the best user experience possible. Users will like it, and improved rankings will follow.

Internal and External Links

Links play a significant role in SEO, because they signal a page’s relevance. As opposed to the content on the page, the biggest impact here is from links to this page on other pages. You can usually tell how important a page is based on how many clicks away from the homepage it is.

Improve your landing page’s link authority in three steps:

  1. Include links to the landing page from the homepage, navigation menu and various other landing pages and blog posts. These backlinks help users find the page and improve the page’s search engine rankings.
  2. Reach out to partners and publications for a backlink to the page. Links from authoritative domains can add more credibility to your website and improve your search engine rankings.
  3. Don’t forget to link to other relevant pages on your website and other credible sources to improve the user journey. Just remember to set external links to open in new tabs.

Continuous Monitoring and Optimization

SEO is not a one-time task but an ongoing process. Regularly monitoring and updating your landing page is key to maintaining and improving its SEO performance.

  • Monitor your landing page’s SEO performance with analytics tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console. 
  • Keep content updated and relevant to ensure it continues to meet user needs and search engine criteria.
  • Stay informed about the latest SEO trends and algorithm updates to adapt your strategies accordingly.

Use data and new trends to optimize your landing page content over time for improved SEO performance. Remember, landing page SEO does not finish just because you’ve done it once. 

That is only the beginning!

As SEO impact often takes several months to be fully felt, the optimization process requires constant reiteration over the long-term.

How to Optimize your Landing Page for SEO

Optimizing landing pages for SEO is a continuous process that demands attention to detail and a deep understanding of both your audience and search engine algorithms. From producing keyword research to creating valuable content, SEO enhances your landing pages’ SEO performance.

Contact us today to book an SEO consultation or improve your landing page designs today.