How to Create Effective Landing Pages

In posts earlier this month we talked about how to pick good keywords for your site and using landing pages to help you get “long tail” traffic from search engines. Today I’m going to write about how to optimize your landing page for the keywords you choose.

In order to demonstrate the concept I just created a page a few minutes ago to target people looking for “free online romance reads“. This isn’t a popular term with only 140 searches each month in the U.S. according to Google but I picked it because our site isn’t currently ranked in the top 100 for it so it will be a perfect test case.

If you haven’t already, click on the page and check it out. The first thing to look at is the URL itself. I’ve got the keyword phrase “free online romance reads” in the name. That’s an important piece. You should also notice I use the term in the title of the page “Free Online Romance Reads by Lizzy Ford”, the main heading or “h1” tag on the page is also my keyword phrase. None of these are 100% must haves but they all help.

Now for the text itself. The first sentence has the phrase in it, but then I only get a chance to sneak it in one more time in the text. Is that enough? I think so because the page is short. A good general rule of thumb on longer articles is to have your keywords be about 5% of your total content. My page is 318 words long and 8 them are keywords for a total of about 2.5%. Should I sneak the phrase in another time? Nah, it’s fine. I think a third use of would appear unnatural and I’ve already used it in the page name, page title and header.

It really can be a fine line sometimes between using your keyword enough to get a good ranking in Google, and using it too much and getting penalized for “spamming” your keywords. Did I pull it off? We’ll find out shortly. As I said earlier our site currently isn’t ranked in the top 100 results of Google for that term. The term isn’t very popular so if we want to rank for it and are willing to put in the effort we should be able to. If in a week or two we’re still not ranked for “Free Online Romance Reads” then it’s back to the drawing board. If I wake up in two day’s and we’re on the front page of Google for them, then mission accomplished and you got a front row seat for the creation of a landing page that is pulling traffic from Google to our site.

7 thoughts on “How to Create Effective Landing Pages

  1. I don’t know if you’ve already talked about this and I missed it or am just not understanding. How do you find out where you’re ranked for a particular keyword? Like you said you’re not ranked in the top 100 for google for that keyword, how do you find out how/where you rank for particular keywords? How do you find particular keywords? Like, free online romance novels, where did you look to find that keyword to know it only has a certain number of searches in the US?

  2. Nope I haven’t talked about it 🙂

    Until last week I was using websites that checked your rank one phrase at a time. That gets really only really quick. I realized I was going to have to buy a piece of software to track my rank. While trying to compare a few I ran across a program called “rank tracker” that had a free version. It is AWESOME.

    You type in your site, a list of words, push a button and a few minutes later it tells you where you rank in the search engines for each of those terms! One of the downsides of the free version is that you can’t save your projects so you have to type in the words every time BUT it does allow you to paste in words so I keep a text file on my desktop with my terms, copy, paste and a few minutes later I’m looking at my rankings. It really is a cool tool.

    I haven’t talked about it yet because I really don’t want these posts to come off as a commercial for a certain product. The internet seems 99% full of fake “reviews” these days on products like that.

    As far as how to see how many searches a term gets per month, I use the Google keywords tool that I talked about in my post on Finding the best keywords for your site

  3. Thank you for explaining!! Your posts don’t sound at all like you’re endorsing any certain thing. That is why I love your series. It’s just a true honest approach of what you’re doing..what’s worked..what hasn’t..and how people can apply those same techniques to their site. I’ve already started using some of your techniques. While I knew bits and pieces of them, I didn’t know exactly the best way to utilize the info I had gathered from other sites so your series has made me able to use the knowledge and be able to tweak my site so that I’m doing things in a better more effective way.That’s why I’m taking full advantage of you during this the end of it you’ll be wishing me to go away hahaha

  4. So in going through all of this now and thanks to your excellent explanations, I think I’ve had an ahha moment and realized what my biggest mistakes are in the things I’ve been doing. So I just would like to pick your brain and see if I’ve actually figured this out.

    When you’re making a page, your keywords are basically for that page as if it were an entity all on its own. You want to figure out exactly what that page is for, and aim the keywords and descriptions and content towards that particular topic. Instead of having more generalized “site wide” keywords on each page. Is that the key that I’ve been missing?

  5. Everyone misses it, myself included, because it’s so counter intuitive.

    We all design our sites around the traditional model: someone clicks on a link, takes them to our site and then we want a nice looking site with a clean layout and easy to use navigation to try to encourage the user to browse around. That’s still the way you need to design the site but it’s only going to be entered in that manor by a portion of your visitors.

    The other chunk of your visitors don’t click on a link they find it in a search engine. And if you want people to find you in search engine for 30 different terms, you had better have 30 different pages optimized for those terms. They need to deliver what the visitor is looking for, and they should have navigation in case the visitor wants to investigate the site.

    This will actually work great for you because you can write posts about each one of your different services and be always thinking of new stuff to write. On the book side, I’ve only got so many books to talk about and the new Google hates duplicate content!

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