Picture you are designing a beautiful new homepage.
A page that sums up everything that your organisation is and does with carefully crafted language and evocative photography.
You are content knowing that this homepage will set the scene for the rest of your website because this is how people enter your site.
Wrong! For most websites half of all visits to your site will start on a page other than your homepage.
Sure people who type in your domain name or search for your business name will arrive via your homepage but lots of other people will start their journey through your website somewhere else.
So what is a landing page?
A landing page is a page within your website that is designed as an entry point. It is a way for people to enter your website that isn’t the homepage.
Why would I use a landing page?
Landing pages are a great way to provide entry points to your website designed to attract search traffic for a particular search word or phrase. You can have multiple landing pages within your website all optimised for different search phrases.
To give you an example, imagine you are the best grocer in town and your fresh fruit and vegetables are your key selling point. Well the homepage of your website would be optimised around those terms. You would use the phrase “fresh fruit Hobart” or “fresh fruit and vegetables Hobart” in the title, main heading and text of your website homepage (because you have read our guide to search engine optimisation).
But sometimes your customers aren’t looking for “fresh fruit” in general, sometimes they are specifically looking for a banana! You can’t optimise your homepage for both “fresh fruit” and “bananas” but you can make a “bananas” landing page on your website.
How do you make a landing page?
First step in creating a landing page is to build a new page and use the key phrase you are optimising for in the page address, page title, main heading and body of the page. Yoast have a great SEO plugin for WordPress which helps you keep track of all these things as you create a page.
So now the landing page is on your website with all the right keywords in all the right places but now you need to create links to the landing page to tell Google that the page is important.
You can do this within your website making links to your new page, for example you might add a link to the footer of your website which says “Best bananas in Hobart” and link this to your new page.
Next step is to get links to this landing page from other websites. This can be a bit more tricky but there are plenty of website directories and forums out there where you can add content to which link back to your new landing page. Blogging is another great way to get links back to key landing pages within your website.
Once that is done it’s just a matter of waiting for your new landing page to move up through the search rankings.
Landing pages and paid search
If you want to jump the queue and run a paid search campaign while your organic page ranking is building up, the good news is that Google will promote ads where the keywords in the ad and the keywords on the landing page line up. So you should always build a custom landing page for any paid search campaign you run.
This is just the beginning
This is just the technical 101. As with any new sections on your site, content strategy and UX planning are always essential to deliver the best results.