With the advent of the Landing Page Builder in SharpSpring, we’ve received a lot of questions in regards to On-Page SEO Optimization and best practices. The LPB does give you the ability to optimize some on-page elements, including the Page Title, the URL slug, and the Meta description of the page. While these elements are important, the main SEO component of any landing page will be the content you provide. There is no more powerful SEO element than properly keyword-targeted content.
Before we discuss On-Page SEO Best practices in regards to the landing page builder, we should have the discussion “Should my Landing Page be indexed at all?”. Very often, it doesn’t make sense to have Google index your landing pages. For instances where:
A “Thank You” page is built for gated content - You don’t want users to find this page in organic search, essentially bypassing giving you their information and accessing your content for “free”
A Short-Term Event - Google could find and index your event page as the event is drawing to an end or, even worse, already passed. Worse still, pages in Google can remain indexed for quite awhile so even if you do what you are supposed to and take down the landing page after the event, the URL could continue showing up in search linking to a 404
Unique Traffic Landing Page - If you are building a custom landing page with tailored content for a specific campaign, you don’t want users to be able to find this page through organic search. Only people who come from the traffic source you’ve built the content for should be able to see this page
Have a conversation and decide if allowing users to find this page organically makes sense in the scheme of your marketing campaigns. If the page you are creating is for any of the above reasons, or any others you decide don’t make sense to be found in SERPs, uncheck the “Allow Search Engines to Index this Page” toggle.
For landing pages set up with long-term goals in mind, such as for eBooks, product catalogs, free appraisals, or any other ongoing offering, On-page optimization is extremely important. You want users to be able to find your landing pages by searching for keywords associated with your offering.
Using the landing page builder, you have access to:
URL with Funnel Slug - You only want your keywords to appear once in your URL. Don’t use the exact keyword phrase you are targeting for the Slug. Add a word or two, preferably synonyms for your targeted keywords, for BDs (Branded Domains) and completely replace a targeted keyword with a synonym for EMDs (Exact Matching Domains)/PMDs (Partial Matching Domains). Google’s Semantic Search is smart enough to recognize synonyms so we establish relevance without running the risk of overoptimizing.
Examples: For branded domains, if we are targeting the keyword phrase “dog training” and our domain is www.k9depot.com:
Good: http://www.k9depot.com/dog-obedience-training (added an extra synonym)
Bad: http://www.k9depot.com/dog-training (avoid using exact keyword in URL)
If some of the keywords already exist in the URL, replace them in the slug with a synonym.
Examples: For exact and partial match domains, if we are targeting the keyword phrase “dog training” and our domain is www.dogtraining.com:
Good: http://www.dogtraining.com/how-to-discipline-your-puppy (replaced keywords with synonyms)
Bad: http://www.dogtraining.com/how-to-train-your-dog (both “dog” and “train” appear twice in the URL. This could be penalized for over-optimization)
A powerful site architecture technique involved with building funnels in the LPB is the concept of Content Siloing. Content Siloing is a method of categorizing site pages based on nesting child pages under a parent category page. You can choose to silo by product offering, location, service, or any custom categorization relevant to your industry. This helps establish relevance in the search engine’s eyes that our page is about what we say it’s about and makes it easier to target longer-tailed keywords.
In our example, rather than targeting the keyword phrase “dog training”, we could silo our pages based on the breed of dog or the location in which we offer our various services.
http://www.dogtraining.com/husky/how-to-discipline-your-puppy (“husky training”)
http://www.dogtraining.com/maltese/how-to-discipline-your-puppy (“maltese training”)
http://www.dogtraining.com/gainesville/how-to-discipline-your-puppy (“dog training in gainesville”)
http://www.dogtraining.com/ocala/how-to-discipline-your-puppy (“dog training in ocala”)
Page Title - Generally should take the format Keywords You Want to Rank | Company Name or Keyword Synonyms. Try to only include the keywords once, keep the keywords together for the most part, and keep it at the front of the title tag.
Good: Dog Training Tips for Beginners | K9 Depot
Bad: Dog Training - How to train your dog - Dog Training Tips
Meta Description - While the meta description isn’t a direct ranking factor in Google’s algorithm, it’s used under the Page Title and URL in SERPs to describe what the page is about. Having a good meta description can significantly increase CTRs (Click-through-rates), a key ranking factor. When making a meta description:
Make people curious
Keep the description to 156 characters or less. Any more and the text will be cut off in the SERPs
Example: These tried and true dog training tips will work on any dog. You’ll definitely want to check out our free…
Pro-tip: Intentionally adding “…” can encourage people to click through to your site to see exactly what is free!
Header Tags (H1, H2, H3) - Header tags should be used sparingly to include targeted keyword phrases. Generally, best practice is to only include them in the top-level header to avoid over-optimization
Example: <h1>Dog Training Tips for Newbies</h1>
<h2>Obedience and Instruction</h2>
Keyword Density - While you are creating content for the landing page, keep in mind not to overuse your targeted keyword. A good goal to aim for is using the actual keyword phrase 2-3 times, one time in the <h1> tag and 1-2 times in the body of the content on the page. Also, keep the individual usage of keywords in the phrase to less than 15 occurrences. If you find yourself needing to use those words more, choose synonyms instead to maintain page relevance but avoid a ranking penalty for overusing keywords.
Also, bear in mind that because landing pages are generally stand alone pages, they often don’t benefit from intricate backlinking and relevance page structures that pages hosted on your site may have. Because of this, it may be especially hard to rank for broad, high volume keywords. Instead, target more specific, long-tail keywords that are more relevant to your landing pages. Not only will you rank higher for long-tail keywords, but by providing a higher degree of relevance between the keyword search and the content of the landing page, you’ll enjoy higher CTRs and lower Bounce Rates.