At its most basic, a landing page is a specifically created page on which your visitors land from different sources on the Internet –think of it as an entry point for your site. However, not every landing page has the same goals. In part, it has a lot to do with your chosen content marketing strategy. In this case, consider landing pages for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and PPC (Pay-Per-Click) campaigns.
The main difference between search engine optimization and a PPC campaign is that the traffic coming from SEO is free (organic) and traffic coming from PPC is not. This significantly changes the way marketers design landing pages for each campaign. For example, the goal of SEO landing pages is to gain organic traffic through relevant search results.
PPC landing pages rely on paid advertisements to drive traffic to them. In other words, the focus here is to get sales right away.
So, should you rely on SEO landing pages or spend most of your marketing budget on PPC pages? A review of the best practices of each web design should give you a better idea.
SEO Landing Pages – Best Practices
Let's start with SEO. As mentioned, the primary goal of SEO landing pages is to win organic traffic to your website. So, if you want to improve the chances of these pages to rank well, they must be optimized for search engines. Here are some of the SEO best practices you can use as a reference:
Rank for Local SEO
A landing page can be optimized to come up as a popular search result, but it must be a lead generating machine, as well.
And since 46% of all searches on Google are local, a good way to make your SEO landing page rank well is to optimize it for this category. Here is how:
Quality inbound links to page URL: The local link should point to the local landing page.
Make them mobile friendly:The majority of the Internet traffic comes from mobile. To increase your conversion rate, make your landing page design mobile friendly. For example, your landing page isn't mobile friendly if your audience has to zoom in to read the text. However, if the CTA buttons are large and clear enough for users to tap with their thumb, it is good to go.
City/state in landing page title: Improve your chances to rank high in local search results by including the name of your city or state in your copy.
Align Headlines with Intent
RankBrain makes Google search more adept at recognizing user intent. To fine-tune search results for users, the AI-powered machine learning system observes patterns among different search queries and sees how they correlate.
To acquire a high rank, align the headlines of your landing page copy with user intent. Keep in mind, users today are more informed. So, a headline like "Increase Your Click Through Rate with Emails" is a better headline than "Increase your Click Through Rate."
Consider the Placement of CTA
Businesses generate leads by placing a CTA (Call-To-Action) in their SEO landing pages. They can be lead generating forms or CTA buttons. From here, you basically nurture your leads and persuade your audience to actually buy your product.
The design of your CTA should, therefore, be persuasive enough to make this strategy work. For instance, a CTA should be placed where users will likely see it and should be compelling enough for them to click on it.
To illustrate, CTAs get more clicks if they are strategically placed below the fold, and not above as previously believed. For inspiration, consider Unbounce, which saw an 41% increase in conversions as they put their CTA buttons right next to the plans they offered.
PPC Landing Pages Best Practices
In PPC, brands pay the host of the ads for each click these ads receive. So, using these clicks to generate revenue is a more important focus here than it would be for an SEO landing page.
Keep in mind, the best practices of SEO landing pages can be applied to PPC pages too, but with a few changes. The focus this time is on conversions and disregarding everything that would distract visitors from products or services. Here are a few of the best practices that show how marketers can improve PPC landing pages:
Include Social Proof
Amazon's product recommendation system recommends items based on selections that previous visitors have searched for. It's a form of social proof that encourages visitors to continue their search and increases chances of a purchase.
This, along with the fact that 88% of shoppers rely on online reviews for purchase decisions, is why it makes sense to use social proof in a PPC copy. To see this in action, consider the fact that many brands include the names and logos of notable businesses that they have worked with in the past.
Single Column Layouts
With attention spans dwindling as they are, PPC marketers must come up with landing page designs that keep customers engaged long enough to exhibit desirable outcomes (e.g. fill out forms, add to cart, etc.).
So, the goal of a PPC landing page should be to provide an experience that gets the message across fast. Lately, we are seeing landing page designs that incorporate a single column layout design. It's a pretty effective design choice since it reduces effort on part of the user by presenting key information at certain intervals. Plus, it's also well-optimized for mobile users.
To illustrate its effectiveness in practice, consider this landing page from Asana. It's a super simple layout with a concise message. The benefits of the SaaS product are highlighted in each section. It leaves no doubt in a user's mind regarding what the product has to offer and how they can purchase it.
At the end of the day, SEO and PPC landing pages have the same goal: to create engaging experiences that encourage desirable outcomes for visitors. For optimum results, it's best to include both mediums in your online marketing strategy.
Asad Ali is a professional Internet Marketer, currently working at GO-Gulf – a premium website development company in Dubai. He has over 7 years of experience in conversion optimization, design optimization, and search engine optimization. You can reach him on LinkedIn.