How would you feel if you could take the “maybe” factor out of SEO? For anyone that has attempted SEO, you will know that it is almost impossible to forecast rankings due to several factors in search engines algorithms. However, Search Engine Marketers do know that optimizing certain elements can improve the chances of their site’s content ranking for keywords that will add value to the web business. The factor that an SEO has the most control over is the landing page. In this post, we’ll show you some of the elements that you can tweak to boost rankings and earn more traffic from organic search.
1. You must identify your site’s strategic keywords
Before you do anything on your website’s landing pages, you must identify the keywords that people use to find the content that they are looking for. These keywords must be implemented on the landing page that is being optimized. Once these keywords have been identified, build the landing page with the following elements.
2. Publish content that the user will find valuable
This is one of the most important factors that you need to get right if you want your web page to rank well on search engines. The value that the content provides will determine your landing page’s success in the organic search results. There are a few ways this will be measured.
* The number of links that are pointing to the page. The links are seen as ‘votes’ by search engines.
* The amount of organic search traffic that the landing page receives.
* The validation of the page through conversions and shares.
Mediocre content will only yield mediocre results. So if you are serious about wanting your landing page to rank well in the organic search results, you need to invest in content that is better than the competition. There are a few easy ways to accomplish this.
Invest in long-form content
Don’t write a short blurb of 150-300 words. Invest in content that is long and informative. Aim for a minimum of 1000 words if possible. Don’t be afraid to publish content that is 5000 words in length.
Invest in compelling images
People love to browse and engage with images. So invest in high-quality images that are taken by a professional photographer or license stock images from the likes of Shutterstock or Getty Images. If you are after images that are free to use, you can browse for some on Pixabay.
Publish compelling videos
People love to engage with video content. So develop videos that will allow them to stay on the web page and watch the content. This can be done internally or you can hire a professional videographer who can create the type of content that you want for your web page. There are also several video creators that you can browse on Fiverr.
3. Add your keyword with a call to action to your title tag
Search engines need to know what the web page is about. But users on the search engine need to be compelled to click-through to the web pages that are hosted on your website. Firstly, make sure that the landing page has the meta title tag within the <head> tags at the top of the web page.
The search engines will use the content within these tags to initially understand what the web page is about. The search engines will then present the content as a heading in the organic search results.
Up to 70 characters will appear in the organic search results. The target keyword for the web page must appear within the title tag.
What kind of displays are used for the title tag?
- Keyword – Brand name
- Keyword – Call to action
- Call to action with the target keyword phrase.
4. Use keywords within your Meta descriptions
The meta description displays up to 160 characters in the organic search results. This snippet should be used to include relevant keywords that the web page can appear for, as well as an enticing description that will motivate the reader to click-through to the web page from the organic search results.
5. Use keywords and strategic keyword phrases as Headings
Headings within the web page help the search engines understand what the web page is about. It also helps to segment the content in the page for the reader. The use of headings should follow the ascending tag format. (H1, H2, H3, etc)
6. Internal links to boost your site’s content
Internal links to the landing pages that you want to rank can be a quick win and can help. This is because you can strategically pass the flow of PageRank from your existing pages to your new pages. Or you can link to your other web pages from your new page and watch them all increase in authority as the age and PageRank of the new content matures.
Matthew Woodward shared an interesting post discussing the benefits of internal linking on his own website. In his post, he cites that adding internal links catapulted some of his site’s web pages to the first page of Google for his target keywords.
If your site uses the Magento platform, you can reference this Magento guide to internal link building.
7. Schema markup (Structured Data)
Structured Data can help search engines better understand the context of content that is on a website. Google’s John Mueller has said that Structured Data doesn’t directly impact rankings, however, webmasters can expect indirect benefits if it is used correctly. Google has also said that even if the Schema validates correctly, there isn’t any guarantee that it will be used.
Webmasters should consider marking up their content with the Schema markup that is relevant to the type of content that is on their website. Google advises webmasters to use Google’s Structured Data guide when implementing Schema markup on a website. You can test the structured data that you’ve implemented into your web page using Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.
8. Web page size
The size of the web page will impact the loading time for the web user. Ideally, the total file size of the web page will be less than 1MB. If this is the case, the web page should be able to load in less than 1 second. However, most people will wait for up to 3 seconds for the web page to load. If the web page takes longer to load, the search user will bounce and will be gone forever. A similar thing can happen with search engine’s spiders when they are crawling the site to index the links and content. If they find that too many web pages are taking too long to load, the spider will leave the website and many of the web pages won’t be indexed in the search results.
The developers for the website Carrentalbuddy.com.au developed static web pages with simple HTML to help their web pages load quickly. Below, you can see the results for one of their site’s pages.
What steps can you take to improve the loading time of your web page?
If you are using a CMS, you need to:
* Check the size of the CMS design theme. Aim to use a theme that is light in size and that loads quickly.
* Compress every image so that they are less than 100KB. (Note – It is common for the business images and logos to use a heavy design. It’s recommended that you develop the logo professionally and then compress the format of the logos and branding. You can use this free logo design tool, and then to compress the file size using TinyPNG.)
* Avoid using heavy HTML objects within the web page.
You can also implement these changes in a way that will improve your landing page’s conversion rate, as shown in this case study.
9. Configure your information pages for AMP
Identify the pages on your website that will only be used for serving information in the form of content on your site. (This means no objects like forms). Successfully configuring your website’s pages for AMP will allow search engines like Google to add the site to its mobile-first index. This will help the site’s AMP pages rank higher in the search results on Google.
10. Optimise your web page’s images
Believe it or not, the keywords that you use with your image can help with the keyword relevancy of your web page. There are a few ways you can optimize your images.
Add the target keywords to the alt text
Publish alt text that describes the image when you publish the HTML of the image on the website.
Add the target keywords to the image description
Publish a description of the image that will also include your target keywords.
Use the keyword within the image’s caption
Add keywords within the image caption that will display on the website.
Use the keyword within the image’s file name
Add the target keywords into the images file name prior to publishing the image on the web page.
11. If the content is long, add a ‘Table of Contents’ element
This will help people and search engines skip to certain sections on the web page if the content is long. Sometimes, the search engines also index these links in the organic search results, allowing searchers to jump straight into the content section from the organic search result. You can see an example here from Smashing Magazine.
This can help with the click-through rate from SERPs, which can help with improving the ranking position on Google.
Implementing these elements on your landing pages will help improve their user experience. But they will also contribute to increased visibility in search engine results. If you would like to get a quick health analysis, we’d recommend that you run your web page through Rankwatch’s Web Page Analyzer.