Everyone agrees that the primary purpose of your website is to attract, inform and engage visitors. But everyone does not agree on the best ways to make that happen.
If you are a local business - a brick-and-mortar store, for example - or simply an online business with a local, geographic focus, then you need to be found locally. Having hundreds of website visits from folks in Sheffield, England might be interesting, but it does nothing for your bottom line.
The key for local business websites is to be found by local prospects that need or want your product or service. All this is basic enough, but it is still an amazingly complex process to get someone searching online for a business like yours to find your website. If you are fortunate enough to be one of only, say, five or six businesses both in your area and in the same industry, it can be easier.
If, on the other hand, you are simply one of dozens or even hundreds of similar businesses in a heavily populated area, then it becomes exponentially more difficult to be found organically.
Organic Search, Landing Pages and Local SEO
Being found organically simply means being found online by someone searching for a business like yours on a search engine such as Google or Bing. This is not the same as someone clicking on a paid ad (such as Google AdWords) or by typing in your business name or URL. The purpose of SEO is simply to increase the likelihood of your website being found with a search engine.
One of the tools, if you will, for making this happen is a landing page. What is a landing page? A great explanation was provided by Moz a few years back:
A Landing Page is a page that focuses information targeted towards a particular user – and according to Seth Godin, optimised specifically to encourage 1 of 5 actions:
1. Get a visitor to click (to go to another page, on your site or someone else's)
2. Get a visitor to buy
3. Get a visitor to give permission for you to follow up (by email, phone, etc.). This includes registration of course.
4. Get a visitor to tell a friend
5. Get a visitor to learn something, which could even include posting a comment or giving you some sort of feedback
One Landing Page, or Many?
Many websites will have only one “landing page” and that is typically their home page. While this is important, the potential for utilizing true landing pages is far larger than that. For example, a dentist might simply have one page on the practice website that lists the procedures and services offered.
A better approach, from an SEO perspective, would be to create a separate page for each procedure. Each of those pages would have key words in their headers and a healthy amount of niched content specific to both the procedure and the practice.
If a dental practice had, say, five specific procedures that they could highlight with their own pages, then there are at least five more destinations that could be “found” with organic searches. Thus, the beauty of landing pages for SEO!
Landing Pages Made to Order
For SEO purposes, you do not want your landing pages to exist alone outside of your website. These are commonly referred to as “orphan” pages. You want to set them up to serve as major navigational links across your website. In this way you can increase the efficiency for targeting relevant keywords and increase the likelihood of converting visitors.
A word about conversions: in SEO speak this often refers to one of the five actions mentioned earlier. While it may mean making a sale through your website’s landing page, far more often than not it means succeeding in having someone interact with your website.
On a dental practice website, for example, this could be someone filling out a patient registration form, requesting an appointment online, or calling the practice with their smartphone.
There are three basic elements for a solid landing page:
Content should be relevant and truly readable. The days of simply stuffing key words into some superficial descriptions are long gone and will hurt rather than help your efforts. While you are creating content to be crawled, indexed and ranked by search engines, Google especially is looking for content that is relevant and has suitable context.
There is ongoing debate in the upper echelons of SEO-gurudom regarding the value and importance of links - both incoming and outgoing - but suffice it to say that links to other pages throughout your website are critical. Having outbound links to quality sites is also important.
Tracking simply refers to staying apprised of each page’s performance by way of your website’s analytics. According to Moz, when you know that visitors first come to your site through one of your landing pages, you know it was a direct result of your targeted SEO strategy.
Now you can track visitor behavior and the performance of each page. This data will allow you to make tweaks and modifications as required. What often occurs is getting insights into what keywords perform better than others, and which products, services or specialties attract the most searches. As a result of this information you can improve upon your earlier efforts.
Getting Help With Your Local SEO Marketing Plan
An solid local SEO strategy can effectively boost your your business. But achieving your marketing objectives using a content-based strategy does take time. It won't happen with a few blog posts or other great content. The reality of SEO is that people will typically see your content for a while before they contact you.
The good news is that you don't have to figure out alone. In fact, one of the best investments you can make with your marketing budget is to partner with a solid firm like Petaluma-based BroadVision Marketing. We are your local partner for your local marketing needs.
Click on the button below to get your free Complimentary Inbound Marketing Session so you can make an informed decision, or call BroadVision Marketing at 707-799-1238.