What makes a search engine friendly landing page?

Shortly after stepping off the aeroplane and picking up my baggage when I first came to Australia (from the UK) I was greeted by a burly customs officer who forced me to pick an AFL team to barrack for then watch “The Castle” on DVD before he would stamp my passport and let me enter the country. Now, like most people in Australia, I quote the film on a regular basis.

But then I got to thinking of one character from The Castle in particular, Dennis Denuto, the family lawyer.

Dennis is a small business owner and wears many hats in his job. He fixes the printer, he dictates his letters, and then he types them out. After that he probably makes a cup of tea and goes and does a little bit of online marketing and writes some copy for his new web site. But he’s a lawyer, not a copywriter, let alone a web site copywriter. So he is more than likely to fall into the same traps that many other small businesses do with their web sites on a daily basis.

So what makes a search engine friendly landing page?

Let’s start at the top. PICK YOUR DOMAIN NAME VERY CAREFULLY!! If you can bag yourself a keyword rich domain name featuring your product or service or keywords relating to them you will have an instant advantage over the competition. Using Dennis as an example “dennisdenuto.com.au” would be an obvious choice for his practice, but to be found in search engines Dennis should try to get himself the domain “smallclaimslawyermelbourne.com.au” as he specialises in small claims. Search engines love keywords in a URL.

Now consider your page content and the keywords you want to target. I would strongly recommend discussing this with your Search Engine Optimisation campaign manager before writing your content. They will be able to tell you the most competitive and highly searched keywords relating to your business. You might think you specialise in selling automotive transport, automobiles and motor vehicles. Your customer on the other hand is looking for cars and motor bikes so these are the terms you need to target. In many industries this can seem counter intuitive, but you need to think like the man on the street rather than the industry expert that you are. It’s no good ranking at the top of search listings for keywords that are very rarely searched.

The next step is to get your keywords on the page. Your SEO agency can’t do much for your rankings for a key word term if it doesn’t at least feature on the page you are optimising. Now this sounds like it should be simple, but this is where many people can get things very wrong. You may feel pulled in two directions. You need to write content that reassures the reader that you are industry leaders, professional and most of all you know what you are doing. So again the temptation is to slip in some big words and industry jargon. And that’s fine, but you still have to make sure you get the layman’s terms in there as well if these are the words your potential customers are searching for.

But that’s not where it ends. Search engines are clever. Very clever in fact. Not wishing to give you nightmares, but they are beginning to understand the context your keywords are written in as well. Search engines not only recognise keywords, they are starting to understand the “vibe” of the site. So if you are talking about holidays in Bonnie Doon on your web site, it’s a good idea to also mention the lake, fishing and serenity too, as this will validate the context of your keywords and improve the likelihood of them ranking in a search. This isn’t a huge factor in search rankings yet, but is definitely one to keep an eye on for the future as search engines get even more intelligent.

So in summary:

  • If possible, try to get a keyword rich URL
  • Pick your keywords carefully
  • Get your keywords on the page without dumbing down the content too much
  • Put your keywords in context

After doing all this you are going to give your SEO campaign the best start possible so you can get back to doing what you do best knowing your website is working hard for you.

Webfirm provide Site Marketing products such as Search Engine Optimisation, Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Marketing, and also provide copy writing services so you can have great content that is great for your audience AND your SEO camapign.

Call us on 1300 WEBFIRM (1300 932 3476) or email us at info@webfirm.com to find out more about these products.

Image credit Official U.S. Navy Imagery on Flickr