Ranking in Google seems to be harder and harder every day, each new day brings new updates and improvements that make optimizing your website not just difficult but almost impossible. The whole Google zoo has our ranking numbers flying all over the place; first Penguin and Panda, now Hummingbird, and who knows what else is coming our way! Just when you think you have it figured out they launch a new algorithm and everything you did goes in the trash. Google certainly knows how to keep us on our toes, don’t you think?
At first keywords and backlinks were essential, you couldn’t do a thing without them and ranking was difficult but not impossible, then Hummingbird came out and it brought a whole new animal to tackle. Now our focus has to be on-page, the best way to rank is to create landing pages for your product and make sure that things like content, keyword ratio, H tags and titles are efficient, compelling and well written in order for your landing page to get the click, convert and bring in the revenue you need. Hummingbird is basically the content enhancer update for Google’s algorithm.
Content was supposed to be the easy part of web development, right? Just string together a couple keywords and you are set, it guaranteed at least a good page ranking but not anymore, now it’s all about page index and keyword ratio, having enough keywords to balance your indexed pages and writing them in such a way that they make sense and appear to be relevant to the market the keywords relate to. For example if you are using the keyword “hot tubs” your content has to reflect hot tubs, it has to be targeted to talk about hot tubs in a relevant, coherent and concise manner.
Before you can do anything related to your website you need to know to whom is this going to, who is the person reading your content, who is the audience interested in your site and your product. Unless you have a specific target audience you’ll be creating a site for everyone and that will only make a chaotic site that has no organization because it’s trying to appeal to every searcher in the web.
Establish your market, your product has a market and you need to find out where it is and how to reach it. If you are selling water jets, for example, your target is the hot tub market, so you need to shift your eye to this market and research what’s happening there, who’s on top, how did they get there, why are they on top and how you can beat them. Once you have established your market you can research your target audience.
Your target audience is the people who want to buy your product, you’ll be creating your site for them. Based on market research, demographics and other information you can find online you’ll establish that your target audience is that middle class middle age man, father of two who needs some quiet time and relaxation every night (for example). Now you need to talk to them, appeal to them and make them need your product and buy it.
You’ve established your market and your target audience, next you need to know your competition, this is very important and you need to pay attention to this part. Look them up, put your main keyword phrase, let’s say it’s “best hot tub water jets”, in Google and study all the sites that come up on the first page. Check out their design, the kind of content they have, their offer, the colors and buttons they use, their backlinks and anything else you can. I use SEMRush, you just type your competition’s URL and you get a full report on all their data: traffic, keyword ratio, backlinks, and more.
Once you’ve done this detailed study you can pick the things you find useful and efficient on your competition’s site and use it to create your own, you are not going to duplicate their site just dissect it and take the best parts for your landing page. The best way to know what works for a lander is to see what the competition has. If it works then use it and if it doesn’t work throw it away.
Bonus Tip: Sometimes the best way to figure out who is your competition is to ask people around you what would they search for in Google if they were looking for your particular product, this way you’ll have a sort of popular term and from this keyword you’ll be able to find more relevant and significant terms thus finding the biggest competitors in your particular business or market.
STEP 2: Create Powerful Headers And Titles
Once you’ve established your market, target audience and competitors you need to start crafting your content and it all starts with the titles. In order to create effective titles, you need to do a focused keyword research with a term that pinpoints to your market or maybe a term that your competition uses. Once you have your main keyword phrase, “best water jets” you should do a search on SEMRush to get more relevant keywords and on keywordtool.io to find related and long tail terms.
They way I do it is I do all my research and copy it to a spreadsheet, this way I can see all my relevant terms, keywords and everything else that resulted from my search. On this sheet, you can see the traffic levels of each keyword and you’ll choose the most popular with the highest traffic and this is the keyword that will go in your title.
There are two significant titles you need to write, first the search engine title and the H1 tag title. The search engine title is the title we see on search engine results, it’s usually the link that takes us to a specific site and it’s in blue. Google has a 512 pixel limit on this title, there are some tools online that measure this and help you avoid exceeding the limit. In this title you put your main most important keyword in a compelling sentence. For example: Best Water Jets For Your Hot Tub – Company Name. One important detail to keep in mind is never ever waste the first pixels of your title by placing your company name before your keywords and if the title exceeds the pixel limit then don’t put the company name at all.
The second title is the H1, this is the main header of the landing page and it doesn’t have a limit so you can make it as long or short as you see fit, I’ve discovered that Google ranks H1 in the format of a question better than others. So, for example: Are Water Jets What Your Hot Tubs Need To Function Better? Find The Best And Most Affordable Water Jet To Upgrade Your Hot Tub.
I recommend making all your subtitles and headers stand out throughout the site, use bold, underline or italics to make them “pop out from the page”, Hummingbird eats this up. Try as best you can to write all your H tags in the form of questions and make sure the keywords in them are related to the topic at hand and to each other, no more of that stringing keywords together and hoping it ranks.
Bonus Tip: Use Plugins to make your search engine entry look better and increase your click through rate. Rich snippets, star ratings, and dates are proven ways to improve the general look of your search result entry. Your whole entry has to look appealing or you won’t get the click.
STEP 3: Write A FAQ Type Of Content
Keywords are still very important for Hummingbird, but just as important is the way in which the content is structured. I’ve figured out that Hummingbird loves FAQs, it just loves the format of Q/A, it’s like giving candy to a child. So, give in and do it! Write your content, for your landing page, as a Q/A session with the most relevant questions on top like, Q: What are water jets? A: Water jets are…, and so on.
Make sure you get as many keywords as you can throughout the content, in the questions and also in the answers, from the most relevant to long tail terms and related questions. Keyword ratio is still very much relevant so pack them in as best as you can, make them relevant to the topic and to each other, write concise and coherent paragraphs of at least 5 or 6 lines per answer and make sure your questions are related to the answers below them.
The best way to find relevant and popular questions is to use Google’s suggested questions, AnswerThePublic and any other resources that give you a list of highly popular questions related to your market, product or specific keywords. One thing I’ve found very useful is to look up FAQs for other sites (my competition), and adding some of their questions to my content, just make sure you rewrite them and make them your own before using them or you’ll get nailed for duplicate content.
The length of the content it’s up to you, but the more keywords you can rank the better positioned your site will be so a long content will give you more opportunities to rank keywords and improve the overall ranking position of your website. My magic number is 3500 words per landing page, sometimes this means more research and extra time in the writing shop but trust me it’s worth it!
The most important thing to keep in mind while writing your content is to be original, creative and compelling. Write content that will not only pass Hummingbird with flying colors but also appeal to the visitors on the site to buy the product if they decide to read your content. But you need to know that the goal of the landing page is to convert and this happens within the first 30 seconds a visitor is on your site, which means that what converts in the call to action, is the button that asks the visitors to perform a certain action: buy a product, subscribe, share a piece of content, or whatever your offer might be.
I’ve left the best for last, the call to action. This goes below the H1 and it might be the single most important sentence in the whole lander, especially the words that go on the button itself. Let’s try an example, you want the visitor to give you their email address before buying the product so you can actually get a lead in case they back out from the sale. So you create a button that compels them to subscribe, give them something for their trouble, like:
Save $500 TODAY! Check The Best Reviews For Water Jets
Get Your FREE Review Guide NOW!
(This line you put on top of the button that will take them to a form to collect their email)
You have a special offer by giving a free guide and a point of pressure by telling them they’ll save a specific amount of money, this will make your visitors want to know how to save the $500 and get the guide. The same strategy works if you want them to click on a button to buy your product, just give them a pain point and make your offer the relief they need.
Bonus Tip: The best colors for call to action buttons are a range of yellows and oranges, but this depend on your web design and the color palette you are using, you want a button that will stand out from the rest of the elements on the site.
STEP 4: Responsive, Fresh And Appealing Design
Web design is most definitely not my strong point, I struggle with even knowing which colors go together let alone designing a whole site to be responsive, fresh and appealing, how on earth am I supposed to achieve all of this without taking a few hundred courses of online design? It’s easy! You just need to use your common sense and Google.
There are hundreds of tools online to help you choose colors, patterns, backgrounds, icons, bullet points, and any other element that you may need in your site. So, don’t fret and listen up, or read up in this case. First thing is first, you need a tool to monitor your site and help you know what’s going on when people are scrolling down your content, personally I love HotJar but there are plenty tools out there so it’s your choice. Once you have this tool in place you can go on with the design stuff.
Choose a color palette that matches with your product and won’t be too blinding for visitors, you want to avoid mixing magenta with bright yellow or fluorescent purple with bright orange, you know what I mean, use your common sense to know which combinations will kill your site and which combination will look awesome. Personally I like how orange and green complement each other. If you are still not sure you can always Google “best combination of colors for appealing appearance” that might throw something useful your way. If you are still not sure you can use Paletton.
Once you have your color mix you can start layering out your site, Genesis is a good layout for WordPress and it has lots of awesome things that will make designing your site even easier. But what you really need to know is how to layer your content so that it’ll convert. The top of the page needs to be the call to action section, everything below the fold is secondary if you nail the call to action you have the conversion and that’s it.
Make sure you test the best color for your conversion button and put it over a background that makes it pop out and calls attention to it, like an orange button on a soft green background will pop out immediately at your visitors and they’ll want to click. If you can design this above the fold perfectly then the rest of the design only needs to be responsive and functional.
Sticky menus have worked wonderfully well for me because they stay with the visitor throughout their scrolling and you can attach your call to action button to them so that it stays with them as well. Something that has worked well for me is organization. Structure your page in sections divided by color changes, headlines or breaks to make it easier to scroll up and down without going crazy.
Make sure you pick a layout and design components that make the page responsive and speedy. The last thing you want to do is add a bunch of elements to the site that will lower the loading and page speed because it loses responsiveness and this will make you lose a possible customer. No one wants to wait around for a site to load when there are a hundred other sites out there.
So, make it fresh by using quality images that showcase the product or service offered and are relevant to the content, make it responsive by choosing the right elements to put on the site and make it appealing by crafting a solid and attractive call to action above the fold. Three key things to keep in mind when it comes to designing an effective landing page for your product.
Bonus Tip: Use A/B testing to figure out which designs, color palettes, icons, images and any other element on your site is more appealing and attracts the attention of your visitors. Find out what works best and use it.