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How to Create a Killer Landing Page

Do you want to increase your ROI dramatically? 

Then you need to create a website that is user friendly, optimized for search engine indexing, and offers something the competition doesn’t.

If you’ve said check, check, check to all three of those but you’re still not getting the results you want, there’s something you’re missing and it might be a killer landing page, or at the very least, some key elements of a killer landing page. 

It may seem like a tiny detail but it has exponential significance in busting the barrier between you and an ROI that makes all the gruelling hours you’re putting in worth it.

Take five minutes and perform a mini audit of your current landing page. If you don’t have one yet, use these points as a little warm up:

Does it…?

  • Convert visitors for free
  • Make a compelling offer
  • Have a clear call to action
  • Appear well on mobile devices
  • Enable sharing to social media platforms
  • Have a clear headline and supporting, scannable copy
  • Contain important keywords in the title, URL, and metatag
  • Include attractive images that show people what they’re getting
  • Clearly outline the benefit to the customer in as few words as possible
  • Say thank you

Don’t be overwhelmed. We’re just putting it all out there so you begin to understand why landing pages are so important. 

We’ll slice it and dice it for you, but first we need to understand what a landing page actually is.

What is a Landing Page and Why Do I Need One?

Think of a landing page like a landing strip at an airport. What do people want to do when they arrive? Get off the plane. 

And how to they want to do that? With as little fuss as possible. They don’t want delays, distractions, or any other nonsense that is going to keep them from their goal.

So to start, ask yourself, what is the goal of someone arriving at my landing page? 

A landing page is a target page on your website where you offer a resource in exchange for information. 

In many cases, a landing page captures information, such as an email address, and provides the user with something for free, such as memberships, an e-book, a consultation, or a free product trial.

You need a landing page because it generates leads for your business that help increase conversions.

Is a Landing Page Different From a Home Page?

In some cases, yes, though it doesn’t have to be. 

It depends on how your business is set up to capture leads. If you have a few lead captures, then creating a landing page that targets each one is ideal for giving your potential customer exactly what they want. 

A home page is a bit too general for the reader who is interested specifically in your e-book offer, for example. You want to serve it to them straight up, without any further navigation required. We’re hungry consumers. We want what we want as quickly and as easily as possible.

To bolster my last point, I broke this landing page business down into three steps so you know exactly what to tackle and why.

STEP 1: Create the Structure

Start with what you’re offering to determine how to structure your page. 

Do you want to rely more heavily on graphics or text? Whatever your offer is, you want to get your customers to convert and shouldn’t cost them anything in time, money (just yet), or effort. 

Quickly, easily, and free are three of the most effective words in ad copy. Make the essence of those words the backbone of your user experience.

Use a 3-step process: 

  1. They arrive at your landing page & click “sign me up!”
  2. They complete the lead capture form to receive their freebie
  3. They receive a confirmation email (if applicable), and an onsite thank you message

Here are some extra tips:

Landing Page Dos:

  • Optimize for mobile
  • Include sharing buttons
  • Use high-quality images
  • Make the page scannable
  • Include 1 or more testimonials
  • Include a relevant lead capture form

Landing Page Don’ts:

  • Make it confusing to convert
  • Distract readers with a navigation menu
  • Use a default token in your confirmation email. Personalize it
  • Forget to include a thank you page

STEP 2: Write SEO Content Like A Pro

You need four basics here: 

  • Attention-grabbing title
  • Scannable copy
  • Title, H1 & Meta Description
  • URL

Each one should be keyword optimized. 

The metatag is arguably the most important piece for users finding your page through an organic search. It needs to be short, descriptive, and compelling enough to make them click through.

Depending on your product or service, the copy should also be short and feed the scanners everything they need to know to convert. 

While some experts recommend longer copy for more expensive offerings, remember, no one is buying anything at this point. They’re just giving their email (or some other information) in exchange for your free offering, which will hopefully (certainly) have them converting with cash soon enough. 

You don’t have to hire an expensive copywriter to do this for you. However, we recommend you find a creative that has experience with digital marketing and SEO, and knows the difference between a landing page and her left thumb (believe it or not, so many don’t). That doesn’t have to cost what a bulletproof Starbucks every day for a month does (if they actually made them), but understand that price is usually indicative of quality so try to get the best quality content writer you can.

A couple takeaways here are:

  1. Focus on the benefits (what the customer wants to achieve), not the features 
  2. More isn’t better; copy should be short and strategic to elicit the right kind of attention

STEP 3: Customize Your Call to Action

Don’t be afraid to sprinkle some personality in your CTA but know that clear is more important than clever.

Buy now, complete form, submit request, get access, are clear commands but they graze the edges of boring. How can you spice up these commands without losing the directness of the message?

Tailor them to your product or service offering. 

If you’re offering an e-book about dog training, a command like “undumbify my dog” is clever but not totally clear (and potentially offensive for the serious dog owners). 

What If You’re Crazy Indecisive?

If you’re looking through piles of images and banging out awesome copy and having super ideas for CTAs and lead capture forms and all the creative ways to say thank you, you might be curious to know which ones are winners.

If in doubt, split test the crap outta several templates (see Crazy Egg’s Complete How To Guide).

This isn’t rocket science, but you also don’t want to treat it like a game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey either. 

Image credit

Here are your key (free) takeaways from all of this:

  • Don’t make your homepage your landing page
  • Use a 3-step structure: landing page, lead capture form, thank you
  • Customize at every opportunity
  • Make it fast, easy & free
  • When in doubt, test it out
  • When 100% sure, still test

Logging out,

Logical Mix

Step 9 to SEO: Content Creation

Am I creating quality content that solves the searcher’s problems?

Every search for something begins with a problem. It’s the reason you’re reading this blog right now––you have a problem that needs a solution. Maybe your problem is small and you just need a little help on how to create great content. Great––but it’s still a problem because it means a few different things:

Maybe you’re not already creating awesome content and you need to to sell your product.

Maybe your revenue is down and you’re looking for ways to improve sales.

Maybe someone told you your copywriter stinks and it’s time you took matters into your own hands.

Maybe you’re your own copywriter.

Don’t worry, you’ve come to the best place to find out if:

  • You’re already producing awesome content (you might be, in which case you’ll be nodding your head as you read this)
  • Your content is readable but not clickable
  • Your content stinks and how to make it better

Now, if you’re not a writer and you don’t like to write, don’t waste your own time. Get a copywriter. Pay for a good copywriter. And trust us, price usually indicates quality so low ballin’ on the Fiverr side of things may get you a crapload of content for the cost of double-fat chai latte at your local barista, but it won’t be very good.

Several sources claim that quality content is the number one ranking factor. That’s right, NUMBER ONE. That means that content is more important than anything else on your site.

The #1 Most Important Question You Need to Ask Yourself Before You Write Anything

Who are you writing for––the person or the machine?

Well, both actually. And we’ll get there in a minute but it’s super important that you know “the machine” is much, much more like a person these days than ever before.

Back in the days of yesteryear, Google didn’t care so much about content, their algorithm paid attention only to having content with highly searched terms up on a page. Times are different now. Google will actually penalize sites that stuff keywords into content, even if that content reads sensibly enough. Sophisticated algorithms are now able to assess content quality––meaning, relevance, and where and how often you use certain keywords through a script (keyword density and frequency).

So, start with the person––your ideal customer––and write content that she (or he) cares about, that speaks directly to her, that solves her problem. Don’t write a sales pitch (even though selling is your goal).

Remember this:

Writing and Writing for SEO: What’s the Difference?

Straightforward copywriting is the art of using words to sell a product or service. A copywriter knows how to use words strategically to engage a reader and persuade her to purchase whatever you’re selling.

An SEO copywriter employs the same tenants, except she tailors the copy for an online presence, optimizing it for Google The tricky bit about SEO writing is striking a balance between optimizing for a search engine and serving your potential customer. You need to do both.

Write Clickable Headlines

You want to spend more time putting together a smashing headline than you do on your entire copy. Why? Because the title is what engages or repels readers. If your headline makes people snore, they’re not going to care what your page is about and they’ll bounce away.

If you’re walking the plank and doing your own copywriting, here are a few tips for writing a title that converts:

  • Lead with a 6-7 word phrase
  • Make it clear, snappy, and simple
  • Use adjectives, strategically
  • Promise to solve a problem
  • Use numbers wherever possible

Maybe that sounds like a lot to cover in just a few words but it’s easier than you think, especially when you get the hang of it.

For example, you’re writing a blog about dog training for your pet niche site.

Instead of: “Training Your Dog”

Try: “6 Easy Ways to Make your Dog Smarter”

See the difference? You’re speaking to the ultimate goal of the reader. No one wants a dumb dog, right? That’s why we train them, and it makes our lives “easy”.


“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” – David Ogilvy


If you’re stuck, check out copyblogger’s 10 Sure-Fire Headline Formulas That Work for some ideas.

Deliver on Your Headline’s Promise

Beef your content without the bloat. You want to publish content that is meaty, meaning it satisfies the reader with lots of useful information. Google penalizes sites with thin content––only there as a base for keywords, which is why 1000 words is a recommended average for any piece of content. Build your content around a keyword, but ensure your copy reads smoothly and engages the reader.

Make your content compelling by putting the most important information first. In The Copy Cure, Marie Forleo refers to the first words of a sentence or paragraph the corner real-estate spot. Fill it wisely.

Link to Authority Sites

Why would you want to send your reader elsewhere for information? Isn’t the point to keep potential customers on your page?

There are two schools of thought. At Logical Mix, we want to help people solve their problems. If someone can do that better than us, then people should know about it. Keep in mind that selfishly coveting your customer and withholding useful information from them may do harm than good.

Linking to authority sites (like we did back there with copyblogger) also shows social proof, that you’re connected, sociable, value good content and want to share it around. Not only does this put you in Google’s good books, but it helps your customer––and they’ll remember you.

The Tail End…

Remember from Step One, always start with keyword research. It’s how you know what people people’s problems are and therefore, what they’re searching for. Then use free tools like Google Analytics to find out what part of your site is getting the most traffic and why. Use that info to generate new content to improve user experience.

And if you can’t write, don’t enjoy it, or don’t care enough to try, get a copy writer. The cost is worth the result.

Photo credit: Neil Patel

writer at computer

How To Write SEO Content Like A PRO

If you’re wondering how to become an SEO expert writer, grab a coffee, sit down, and take ten minutes to read this simple guide.

Are you a writer just entering the world of SEO content writing? Has your writing for SEO become dull or lifeless? Are you struggling to increase traffic to your blog or website? Do you understand what SEO actually is?

SEO, or search engine optimization, is a “marketing discipline”, according to MOZ, focused on improving organic (non-paid) rankings in Google searches and increasing traffic to webpages. Everybody who is anybody that has a website or blog of any kind wants a piece of this action.

The world of SEO is complex but don’t be deterred. Just learning a few basics about how to write expert SEO content is enough to improve your site’s ranking and traffic. You really don’t need to be a rocket scientist. If you can shuck a corn husk, you’ll do fine with SEO writing. So let’s start with the basics and go from there.

WHAT IS SEO WRITING?

First of all, SEO expert writing involves finding the right keywords and phrases and weaving them effectively into your content to generate traffic to your site.

But there’s a little more to it than that.

While there are some technical aspects to learn, creativity is equally important. How you write is as important as what you write. Writing to attract and engage an audience and writing for SEO purposes aren’t that different.

Let’s suss out the requirements of both aspects to get a clearer picture of how to be a SEO expert writer, both technically and creatively.

WRITE IT WITH BRICKS AND MORTAR

Your keywords are the bricks, your content is the mortar. You need both. You can stack a bunch of keywords together but the structure will eventually collapse without the glue. Similarly, mortar without bricks is kind of a waste. You can write the most beautiful, interesting piece of content but if no one but your mom is reading it, what’s the point?

To find the right keywords you’ve got to do the research, and not just once.

Long before I learned about SEO my routine was to gather a list of sensible-sounding keywords based on my topic, chuck them into my copy, wash my hands, and move to the next task. This is like trying to assemble IKEA furniture without the helpful little diagrams… good intentions don’t always produce the desired result!

But how does one do keyword research? I’m glad you asked.

CHOOSE A FOCUS KEYWORD & DEVELOP A STRATEGY

Indeed, choosing a focus keyword is essential. It determines how your site will rank and how readers will find you. Look at sites similar to yours. What are they writing about? What keyword search brought you to those sites? What questions do you want your site to answer? What keyword or keyword phrase is most relevant to your site’s content? This is the first part of developing your keyword strategy.

For example, perhaps you want to write about how to write expert SEO content (okay, so no points for originality here but we’ll let it go for the purpose of example). What words are you typing into Google (or heaven forbid, Bing)? Let’s see. How about “SEO expert writing” or “SEO expert writer” or variations of that: “how to write expert SEO content” or “writing expert SEO content” or “SEO expert content writing”.

These examples are considered long-tail keyword phrases because they’re comprised of three or more words. They make up 70% of web searches. Long-tail keyword phrases help you zone in on a more specific target than a simple search for “SEO” that will return thousands of general results–have fun weeding! So, gently tailor your focus keyword to your topic.

Next, there are plenty of tools out there to help you research additional keywords, free and not-so-free. Yoast for example, is a WordPress plugin that analyzes your content against your chosen focus keyword and can generate keyword expansions.

A freebie resource like Moz Keyword Explorer offers the same and is an extremely simple tool to get you started on keyword research and strategy development. There are plenty out there. At this moment, Google’s free Keyword Planner tool is not that useful anymore unfortunately.

You can also pay a SEO expert who specializes in creating quality content, understands Google’s algorithms and they can do all the heavy lifting for you.

Do not take KEYWORD RESEARCH lightly! It is the backbone of your SEO campaign or any campaign you want to conduct online.

ORGANIZE YOUR INFO AROUND YOUR OBJECTIVE

It’s natural to want to just jump right in and get writing. But, just like you should wax your board before you surf, adequate preparation is essential for success in the next steps.

Create an outline. You’ve chosen your topic and your keywords. Now you can create the bones of your article. Choose a keyword-informed title and subheadings so that you can organize your thoughts and stay true to your objective. (This also helps Google sort you out but we’ll get there in a minute).

What’s your objective? Writing interesting content that people will want to read, peppered strategically with SEO keywords. Right?!

Now, organize your keyword information so you can keep track of how often you use certain keywords and phrases. A spreadsheet is a good way to accomplish this–especially if you’re a spreadsheet junkie!

The most important part is your keyword research in the spreadsheet and how you use that information in your content. However, bricks and mortar without a design are just a pile of sand and stone in the end. Organizing your hard earned research findings is key.

That brings us to the next, less technical, but equally important step in writing expert SEO content.

BE A RESPONSIBLE SEO WRITER!

Now we’re diving into the more creative aspect of SEO expert writing. But it’s not all fancy-free and foot-loose ways here. There are some important creative considerations you should make before jumping into the surf and allowing your flair to take over. SEO-safety first please folks.

Avoid making your content a keyword dumping ground. It’s lazy, ineffective, and even damaging to your site’s performance to jam keywords into your final copy. You’ve done the research so be tactical in your next steps.

Be a responsible SEO writer and place your keywords appropriately throughout your text to avoid damaging its readability. Roll them in naturally as you write, rather than trying to jam them into your first draft. If it feels like stuffing, rethink your strategy.

Your chosen, tactical keywords should feature prominently in your article but avoid overusing them. Yoast recommends including your focus keyword in the first 300 words, and in the first main heading (H1) or subheading (H2).

STRUCTURE YOUR COPY

Keep your sentences short and concise, no more than approximately 20 words. And, avoid lengthy paragraphs. Few tasks are more daunting than weeding out the gold nuggets of information in paragraphs longer than a showgirl’s legs. Such a task makes your eyes bleed and we naturally want to stop doing anything that causes bleeding. Make it easy on your readers. Break up the paragraphs into two or three sentences.

Use headings and subheadings. They organize your content to make it more readable and to assist Google in extracting your copy’s main topics to improve your site’s ranking. Anything that helps Google read your site… helps your site!

And a mention on article length. The average word-count for blogs and content articles is 1500. I don’t recommend less than 400 or more than 3000. Readers will typically scan for specific information, hence the headings, concise sentences and short paragraphs. Make your content readable. Make your readers want to stay a while.

 

WRITE QUALITY CONTENT REGULARLY

If you’re writing for your own site don’t think that posting a few blogs or articles when you’re starting up is enough. Your numbers may spike but then settle right back down unless you’re generating new and quality content regularly. And with that, as mentioned, comes regular keyword searching and strategizing. This is an ongoing process and one of the most important ways of improving SEO.

ENJOY THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

Now you have some basics for writing your own SEO content (or someone else’s)! Informed writing is always better than ignorant writing so good for you for indulging in this ten minute learning break!

And writing for SEO doesn’t have to be a task you approach begrudgingly. The best advice I can offer is to write what you know and then learn how to write it well to support your SEO objective–remember your objective! If you need to know more, research. Web surfing is one of the best activities you can engage in to learn more about SEO expert writing, content writing, and blogging. (And can I just add how unintelligible that statement would have sounded 30 years ago–I’m picturing spiders on surf boards).

So, now you’ve got your SEO swimmies on, you’re ready to enter the wonderful world of SEO expert writing. Go on, get wet–but remember to practice safe surfing!

Logging Out,

Logical Mix

 

*featured image courtesy of Wellesley College