Landing Page Development and SEO
This blog post continues to tackle the myth of SEO being a lost art and not a forward-thinking marketing discipline. The theme that has been put forth is that SEO is more important today than it ever has been. I have illustrated many touch points of SEO where it has been functionally absorbed and automated into the corporate marketing process. The development and maintenance of web landing pages is just another case in point.
Landing Pages for Landing Conversions
The term “landing page” has always conjured up the image in my mind of site visitors dropping out of the sky, seemingly from nowhere, to land on a web page. But, of course, they aren’t from nowhere, they are directed there, and businesses that can gather that data alongside other digital data are well on their way to serving the needs of their customers better. Before we can design and optimize effective landing pages, first let’s talk about several definitions and purposes of landing pages.
What are landing pages?
Technically, any page where a search visitor lands is considered a landing page. However, having a select set of optimized pages, and in many cases a single page (we refer to as a Preferred Landing Page or PLP), greatly increases the chances for conversion. Typically, landing pages fulfill the many marketing needs: Web Strategy, SEO, Paid Search, Display Media, Email Marketing, and Social Media – on a global basis. So, getting the strategy and content right really matters.
Website development, including landing pages, is normally done with tools that have automated functions that eliminate the need for the designer to know how to code in HTML5, CSS, Java, or any other website coding language. You tell the tool what you want and it appears on the web page. If you use WordPress.com as a web hosting site, that service is available. In words from WordPress, “We’ll set up and configure your custom domain so that you can start using it in seconds. WordPress.com is optimized for SEO and getting your site in front of searchers on Google,
Bing, Yahoo, and others.” All you need to do is click and drag along with a little bit of typing. All your coding and SEO best practices are accounted for without you even realizing it.
Adobe has the equivalent of that capability through two software solutions; Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) and Adobe Muse. Muse provides detailed SEO guidelines and extensive SEO help files to assist in getting the most effective site possible. The effort is basically filling out dialog boxes and choosing rich media content with those dialog boxes in alignment with SEO best practices established from years of experience before the SEO capabilities in Muse were created.
AEM is another tool used to build and manage enterprise websites. This platform has been integrated with other solutions used to perform SEO analysis and compliance. This PowerPoint brief describes that integration and functionality in addition to the seminal discussion on how SEO is performed on the Adobe web properties after they are created. My Adobe Summit 2015 brief from March also summarizes the AEM integrations with SEO.
Improving SEO via solutions such as AEM and Muse comes at some risk. That risk is embodied in the realization that SEO is a dynamic science. Search engine algorithms change without notice. Customer sentiments shift on the whim of free will. Hard coding, integrating, and automating SEO processes dictates that maintenance is required after these changes take place. It is a discipline that requires dedication and attention to detail. You must gather metrics that support your website’s key performance indicators (KPIs) and do the data analysis required. Performance drop-offs happen of course and marketing campaign direction must be altered to counter the reduction in performance.
A great example of this is the most recent Google Mobile Friendly algorithm update in April. Adobe Muse SEO processes had to undergo a change so that mobile sites that met the mobile-friendly criteria could be built in Muse. This blog post by the Muse engineering team provided the means to build websites to those specifications. This blog post provided website coding to address some of the issues that Muse didn’t directly support at the time.
Wrapping it up
Landing pages ultimately deliver digital relevance at the moment of interest. They also differentiate your brand promise or product from others with a similar offering. And they give enough space to deliver value, surface need, and drive a buyer toward the optimal call to action. There is much more to say, so stay tuned for future posts as we continue to discuss landing pages for landing conversions. Is SEO fundamental to the construction and effectiveness of web landing pages? Without question, the answer is yes. How are your SEO processes aligned with your marketing efforts?