Landing Pages: Are they Good for SEO?
Last Updated on January 21st, 2018
In one sense, a landing page is any page a site visitor “lands on” from search results, a link in a social media post, and well, anywhere really.
However, in marketing terms, “landing page” refers to a distinct page that’s designed for one single conversion goal.
Therefore, in this sense, a landing page is:
- A dedicated, promotion-specific page.
- A page focused on one single goal.
- A page that concludes with a single, clear call-to-action (usually with a sign-up, booking or contact form, or a buy button).
Done well, a landing page can increase conversion by over 200%. Why? Because it’s focused on one single objective.
For example, a landing page is perfect if you want to promote a new product and your goal is secure a sale. Or you want to promote a new service and your aim is to secure a booking.
In this sense, a landing page is usually un-cluttered and each component is geared to serve the one objective you have in mind.
A landing page, in this sense, does not have a sidebar or links to other products or services. In fact, in its purest form, it doesn’t even include a main menu or footer section (although this isn’t advised).
So, in this sense…
- your Home page is not a landing page.
- a blog post is not a landing page.
- your blog thread (archive) is certainly not a landing page.
Event-, Competition- or Sale-based Pages
A landing page often has a short- or medium-term shelf life since it’s based on an event, a competition or sale promotion. It serves a goal and when that goal is over, the landing page should be canned.
Landing pages that tend to have longer-term shelf lives are those linked to Google Ads where the goal is to engage with the prospective clients by offering your best deals. As you change your Google Ad offerings, you’ll tweak the landing page dedicated to this purpose but not necessarily create a replacement.
Is a Landing Page Good for SEO?
No. It’s not designed for this purpose. Its goal, remember, is immediate conversion to a current promotion. And as mentioned, it often has a temporary shelf life (as it exists for the duration of the event, competition or sale it’s built to serve). In contrast, SEO is all about longevity and building the integrity of a page (or blog post) over time.
A few other reasons a landing page isn’t going to rank well are:
- A landing page is content lite.
You don’t want to say any more than you absolutely have to. For SEO purposes, the longer the content, the better. Reams of content is the death knell of a landing page.
- A landing page doesn’t include internal or external links.
Keeping internal links to a minimum and avoiding distracting external links are crucial for conversion. In contrast, strategic internal links and trustworthy external links are vital for SEO.
- A landing page’s bounce rate is exceptionally high.
Google uses bounce rate (the rate at which people enter and exit a site from the same page) as a negative indication of the page’s quality. So, for SEO purposes, you want to work hard to funnel people from each page back to your priority pages.
However, your goal with a landing page is to convert site visitors without leaving the page. (At the most, you’ll have them redirect to one other page, like a contact or booking form).
Because of bounce rate, you should limit the number of landing pages you host at any one time. If you have one or two landing pages, the healthy bounce rate on your other pages and posts will offset the high bounce rate of your landing pages. In this way, your website maintains a healthy bounce rate as a whole.
Almost like a Splash Page
A landing page is almost like a splash page (a welcome page that then funnels site visitors to the Home page, Blog, and social media platforms). In terms of SEO, a splash page is not a good idea. Why? Because, among other things, it forces another choice on your site visitor. This is poor UX (user experience), and Google is all about great UX.
However, while most people have long ago abandoned their splash pages, the splash page has made a comeback in the form of the landing page. And because their goal is conversion (of a distinct goal) not ranking, they serve an extremely valid purpose.
Landing Page FAQs
Do I need a landing page?
Are you planning on running a promotion with the aim of securing immediate conversion? Yep? Then a landing page will help you achieve this.
Do I need a specific tool or software to create a landing page?
No. If you’re able to create an un-cluttered page on your website, you can make your own landing page.
What are some tips for creating a landing page?
Keep it as un-cluttered as possible and cut out any unnecessary chatter. Use content and images to lead to a single, clear call-to-action. Ask yourself two questions:
Related to content: What must I include to make a convincing pitch? (And what can I leave out to make my pitch easier to digest?)
Related to call-to-action: What do I want my potential clients to actually do once they’re heard my pitch?