Should B2B SEO Include Landing Pages?
A client recently asked me why he should apply SEO copywriting techniques to a landing page when an email is driving visitors to the landing page instead of search. Good point. However, I think anything worth putting on the web is worth optimizing for search—particularly longtail keywords, which tend to have lower clicks, but higher conversions. That said, I think the first priority when writing landing page content is landing page optimization—write copy that has continuity with the marcom elements that are driving visitors to the landing page. For example, if you’re using email, then the subject line, call to action and overall message should be echoed on the landing page first and foremost. Then as a secondary objective and where it makes sense, optimize for search.
Why?… message recall.
B2B SEO Landing Page Example from the Mind of a B2B Copywriter
Let’s say you’re a B2B company specializing in network security applications. You’re running a campaign targeting the mobile/device market. Though I recall seeing an ad in a trade journal or vaguely recall receiving an email, I can’t remember your specific name, so I turn to search. I may search for network security for mobile devices or something similar. If you’re landing page is optimized, chances are I’ll find you.
In the above example, the campaign keywords could serve both landing page optimization and search engine optimization. Here’s a totally fake example to illustrate the point. Let’s say the message is to convey to corporate IT folks that they can allow colleagues use their iPhones, smartphones and other devices besides Blackberries to connect to the corporate internet without compromising the security of the network. The B2B copywriter writes the headline/subject line, Connect More… Worry Less. With good targeting and wide distribution, it could make a memorable campaign-wide slogan. But at a tactical level, the lack of keywords makes it less likely to drive search. So a good copywriter would ask whether or not there was a way to accomplish both—boost open rate and search results. The answer lies in keywords.
The copywriter’s next headline iteration includes the keywords “network security” More devices; less network security hassles. It’s a better headline, but for search, typically it’s better to place keywords at the beginning of the headline. So, if the headline still reads well, is persuasive, and encourages readers to open and click, then try an even greater search optimized version: Network Security—more devices; less hassles. The copywriter’s newest version headline is optimized for search, fits the 40-50 character count for an email subject line, and achieves the target message.
The landing page should contain the same headline—enclosed in html H1 header tags, of course—and the subsequent landing page content should support the headline with keyword –rich copywriting and a strong call to action above the fold and below the fold. Good copywriters should also consider writing a landing page url that includes campaign keywords and is memorable. In the example above, an effective landing page URL could be www.fakecompany.com/network-security-more-devices-less-hassles.
Optimize Landing Pages for Search without Compromising Conversion
Again I can’t emphasize enough that copywriters should always write email campaigns, PPC ads and landing pages with the objective of driving the desired outcome whether opens, clicks or conversions. This is first and foremost when writing content. However, good SEO copywriters are vigilant about writing content that’s relevant to the people searching for it. That means knowing the keywords and using them persuasively and strategically. Striking a balance between persuasive copy and optimized copy is the sweet spot for B2B copywriters.
What are your thoughts on SEO copywriting for landing pages?
PS Any good post on landing pages should include a link to Ion Interactive, the landing page gurus. Here’s a good landing page technique for B2B marketers targeting several industry verticals.
PPS And another good post by @level343 on the art of landing pages from Search Engine Journal.
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