Over the years we have finessed our landing page optimisation process and have created these eight steps to success in the SERPs.
The process involves:
- Keyword research
- Keyword optimisation
- Term Frequency – Inverse Document Frequency (TF-IDF)
- Competitor research
- Additional content
- Internal linking
- Technical SEO
- Landing page layout
I'll go through each one in turn in more detail...
1. Keyword research
Conducting keyword research on a page by page basis to avoid cannibalisation
It is important to understand what terms people are actually searching for, and gauge relative volume and competitiveness. There is no point investing lots of time and energy into a page focused on terms which no-one is searching for.
However, you can have pages on your site that have value through the navigation experience. Not all pages need to act like inbound landing pages for traffic and if you have some of these then you’re free to write whatever you want on them, just don’t expect them to rank for anything useful.
Using tools like Google Keyword planner and SEMRush we gather as much intelligence as possible about these search queries including existing rankings and ranking pages.
Whilst voice search and audience-based SEO continues to spark conversations in the industry, at the moment keyword-targeted optimisation is still the most dominant practice.
2. Keyword optimisation
Optimising the page with keywords, including URLs, meta titles/descriptions,, headers, copy, image alt tags.
Never underestimate the power of a well-placed keyword within on-page signals. Wherever possible we look to insert keyword rich text into file names, page names, URLs and titles to name but a few.
Conducting Term Frequency – Inverse Document Frequency to find related language
TF-IDF is a text-based analytical tool which looks to pull out all the frequently used (but fairly unique in comparison to ‘stop’ words) words within the top ten ranking pages for a certain keyword.
This gives us an idea of what we need to be talking about on the page in order to rank on page 1.
There is an element of human analysis here too, as competitor brand names and other irrelevant terms will often surface in this analysis, so we need to ensure we only optimise for the truly relevant words.
4. Competitor research
Identifying what the top ranking competitors have in place and creating something better
Your success is directly related to competitor performance, your results don’t happen in a vacuum so you have to be mindful of what sites are currently ranking for your target phrases and understand whether you have a good chance of outranking them.
We look at competitor rankings (especially the top 3 / 5 / 10 competitors) to hypothesise on what Google/Bing has liked about this page content as opposed to another in order to rank it highly.
We audit these pages:
- What content is on the page?
- What’s the layout?
- Any page enhancements e.g. schema?
- What opportunities are in the SERPs?
5. Additional content
Creating content based on TF-IDF & competitor research as well as FAQs and more
The findings of our TF-IDF analysis and competitor research typically reveals the need to create additional content on the target page.
We also look to ensure we have the right content to best meet searcher intent, whether that’s FAQs with search volume or links to external, authoritative resources.
Additional content can be both TF-IDF optimised and keyword optimised, further strengthening the ranking potential of the landing page.
6. Internal linking
Building a linking architecture which helps to improve rankings via optimised anchor text
On-page optimisation should go beyond the actual page you are optimising. It is important to provide Googlebot with the right signals to indicate a connection between pages and for them not to appear orphaned from everything else.
We look at other pages on the website, which are related to the target landing page, and link from those pages to the target landing page. Keyword optimised anchor text is used for all internal links wherever suitable.
7. Technical SEO
Ensuring the page can be crawled, indexed and ranked appropriately and maximising visibility
There’s more to landing page performance than just content optimisation. We need to ensure the page has the correct technical setup too:
- Can the page be indexed?
- Are there duplicate pages which need to be canonicalized?
- What is the page speed? Can we improve it?
- Is the correct schema being used?
- Does the page have broken internal links or redirects that can be updated?
- Are there any other page errors impacting performance?
We do a full technical analysis of each page to ensure it is meeting Google’s strict guidelines.
8. Landing page layout
Evaluating the structure of the page to ensure it meets searcher intent & ranking requirements
Finally, we evaluate the layout of the landing page to analyse whether it is best meeting searcher intent.
Again, we use our competitor research to understand what Google deems as a suitable page to meet searcher intent.
We also need to use common sense here; what does a user want to see when they make a specific search? What information are they going to require?
The layout, flow of the page, and content itself is all updated to reflect these requirements.
Here is an example of what a landing page for holiday villa rentals in Greece could look like:
In action: Discover how a new landing page design, supporting better user experience and search engine presence, got Churchill Retirement ranking #1
As you can see, this is a pretty comprehensive list of actions and a solid process from which to optimise your landing page(s). Projects of this nature can be small if you’ve only got a select group of terms, or extremely vast if you’re working with large ecommerce platforms. No matter how big or how small, by adopting this methodology you’ll have a great chance of seeing your rankings surge.
Many of the techniques deployed within this process require specialist skills in understanding code, interpreting data or crafting copy, as well as access to premium tools. If you need a helping hand then get in touch and let’s have a conversation about what you’re looking to achieve.