How to To Generate More Search Engine Traffic To Your Landing Page (SEO & CRO Working Together as They Should)

Ann Smarty
July 10, 2018 ·
How to To Generate More Search Engine Traffic To Your Landing Page (SEO & CRO Working Together as They Should)

How are you driving clicks to your important landing page(s)?

For years Google’s organic traffic has performed better than other sources of traffic when it comes to conversions:

  • Inbound leads (those that have been generated with organic search traffic) have been found to cost 61% lower than outbound leads (i.e. direct mail or print advertising).
  • Search engine optimization leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads have a 1.7% close rate.

There has been no evidence ever since that would point marketers to a more effective online traffic source than Google organic.

That being said, if your landing page isn’t driving too many leads, you may want to try and get it ranked in Google. From there, it can do its work and generate more leads, drive conversions and push people to the places on your website they are needed the most. This may make a huge difference, if you that right, or course.

We have already discussed how to create a high-converting landing page, but how about one that generates natural traffic? Can search engine optimization (SEO) and conversion rate optimization (CRO) be combined? Do they hurt one another? That’s exactly what I’ll elaborate further on down the road: The key goal is to create a page that’s optimized for both search engines and conversions.

Here are some surefire ways to do just that.

Start with Keyword Research and Clustering

A lot of your SEO strategy is going to come down to content, just as it would with your primary site. You want your landing page to be optimized through strategic keyword usage, but also relevant to catching the attention of the user.

How do you do that? Through the exact same keyword research you would be doing for your blog, or your home page.

Start by searching for keywords related to your industry. The key here is not really to find one single keyword string to focus on but rather get the overall concept and then optimize your page for it. You cannot create a separate landing page for every variation of a topical keyword phrase, so you’ll need to find a keyword group to optimize your page for a subtopic.

To do that, try “clustering” technique for your keyword list, that is grouping your keywords into categories by relevancy and / or a common modifier.

Serpstat is a tool that can help you group your long keyword lists to easier identify common concepts to build landing pages around. For example, when trying to come up with groups for [hiking], Serpstat helped me come up with the following subtopics:

  • hiking area
  • free hiking
  • hiking tours, etc.

Each of the concepts include more keywords to optimize your landing page for. Here’s the screenshot of those identified groups:

 include more keywords to optimize your landing page

Now, if your site is all about [hiking], the above groups will help you identify which landing pages you need to build to serve different types of your customers’ interests better.

How does it help BOTH SEO and CRO?

  • Finding lower-competition keywords will help you identify opportunities to generate Google organic traffic to your pages
  • Relevant keyword targeting helps build landing pages that solve real problems, so more users will be willing to engage with the page.

Match Your Landing Page Copy to Keyword Intent

Grouping keywords and identifying different subtopics to focus on isn’t really enough. You need to also match your landing page copy and CTA to the intent of those users who are searching for each particular keyword group.

Some people searching Google are looking to buy, others are looking to learn more about a certain concept. There will be users who are looking to perform an action (e.g. download), there will be people who want to stick around to get updates on a certain topic (those are looking to subscribe or bookmark your page). There are people who are looking to save money or research more before buying, but there will be also those who want to buy a product right away.

Each keyword represents the user intent: In some cases, it’s pretty obvious what the searcher is up to, in other cases you’ll need to test different versions of your landing pages to better match the user intent.

Keyword clustering is helpful for identifying intent because each group usually matches a certain intent. Here’s another example of keyword clustering, this time for the term [social media], where each group clearly represents a problem to solve and an intent to match:

Keyword clustering is helpful for identifying

Once you have identified the possible intent behind your chosen subtopics, do some more digging to research how your actual customers and readers are using those words. Follow the rabbit hole to see what questions are being asked using those keywords and how they have been answered. Can you answer them better?

Answering questions on your landing page is an effective tactic to make it more engaging. Questions trigger a natural reflex in human beings: People subconsciously want to stop and try to answer them. That is how questions on a landing page make users pay more attention and take the desired action.

Therefore I always make question research part of my landing page optimization process: Questions help to come up with relevant engaging copy to both optimize for Google and engage users. Search out forums and question sites and see what people are saying. Search social media platforms are watch conversations in real time.

Buzzsumo’s new “Question analyzer” is a great tool to research user-generated context around your chosen keyword. Just type it into the search box and Buzzsumo will go through its index of q&a sites and list popular questions around your term:

Buzzsumo's new "Question analyzer"

Before long you are going to have a solid blueprint to follow when creating your landing page content.

Keep an eye on your Google Analytics numbers: For one you need to be making sure that search referral traffic is growing (which means your optimization efforts are driving results) but another important metric to pay attention to is your landing page bounce rate. If most people clicking through search results are leaving without giving your site a try, it must mean you are not giving them what they were searching for. In this case, re-address your keyword selection, your copy and your landing page setup.

To monitor several landing pages and multiple engagement signals, I use Cyfe that allows to create a separate dashboard to monitor multiple website reports and custom metrics within one handy dashboard. Customize it once and visit regularly to spot important trends:

How does it help BOTH SEO and CRO?

  • Longer time on page and lower bounce rate are both important signals that show Google your page is serving their users’ needs well, so they will promote your page higher in their SERPs
  • If you match user intent to the copy and CTA of your landing page, more people will be willing to engage and then to convert

Go Through the Basic On-Page SEO Checklist

You need a well chosen keyword. You need a well written meta description. You need file names for images that are going to be searchable. You need proper header tags and use of keywords relating bag to the meta data in order to give your page a consistent flow and full optimization.

Long gone are the days when we had to pay attention to keyword density as an optimization signal (luckily!) but we still need to keep an eye on the keyword placement to make sure they are prominent to search engine crawlers as well as users (people seeing words they just typed in a search box will feel more willing to stay and engage).

Your Quick on-Page SEO Checklist

To make things simple and basic, make sure your core keyword is placed in the following page elements:

  1. Your landing page headline (And thus its title)
  2. Your landing page URL slug
  3. Your landing page “above the fold” section (i.e. the part of the screen that’s visible before your users scroll, across various devices)
  4. Your landing page subheadings (h2 / h3 tags)
Your Quick on-Page SEO Checklist

How about the Images?

For all images you use on your landing page, there’s a separate mini-list of guidelines:

  • Put your core term in the image file names and alt text
  • Keep your images around 100 KB

Make sure your images are well-branded because they will get ranked in Google Images (provided you follow the two steps above) and you want them to be easily identifiable with your brand.

Do I Need a Long Copy on My Landing Page?

I know many marketers and graphic designers are temped to use as few words as possible on their landing pages not to distract the customers and focus on the actual offer. This point of view does make sense: After all landing pages are created to convert, not to inform.

Unfortunately, you’ll need a solid copy on your landing page if you want it to rank. Search engines need text to crawl and understand each web page, as simple as that. You’ll seldom see a page ranking high unless there’s a good amount of text content on it.

You can move your copy below your main CTA, but you’ll need to write it. Use other words from your keyword group in it, make it sound convincing and repeat your CTA in-context (which will re-enforce your offer once more). Aim at creating at least 500 words of solid content on your landing page, and make this note to your designer for text to look an integral part of your landing page, not something you create for a search engine.

Do that and you will be giving your landing page a serious boost with crawlers.

How does it help BOTH SEO and CRO?

  • Basic SEO results in higher organic rankings
  • On-page keyword usage prompts people to pay more attention to what the page offers, sending them further down the conversion funnel

Optimize for Mobile Devices

It is 2018 and it is incredible that we still have so many websites out there that aren’t made for mobile. Having an mobile-friendly design that can move between devices should be standard. After all, studies have shown that 57% of users won’t even recommend a website if they don’t find it to be mobile friendly, much less continue using it themselves.

While more and more of your customers are using mobile devices to search the web, Google is giving more and more exposure to mobile-friendly pages. One of the biggest news for search marketers

is Google’s plans to move to mobile-first index, i.e. treating the mobile version of the page as primary and ranking pages (both for desktop and mobile device users) based on that.
Your landing pages should all be created to use on any screen size and be easy to navigate whatever method the user has chosen to do so. While 80% of top rated Alexa websites have already opted to do that, 20% within that ranking still have not. That is way too high a number and landing pages are so often overlooked because they are considered simple or temporary.

How does it help BOTH SEO and CRO?

  • Mobile friendliness of the page will soon become a powerful ranking signal: Unless your site is usable on a mobile device, you won’t be found
  • Optimizing for mobile devices will enable more of your users to engage with the landing page and hence convert

Link to Your Landing Page Internally

A landing page is not something that’s easy to generate natural links to from web publishers (unless you build an exceptionally creative one which will be set as an example). But search engines still need those backlinks to discover and rank web pages, there’s no way around that.

The workaround is to give that page increased internal visibility. Use your blog posts, guides, other non-commercial assets that attract links naturally to link to your important landing pages on a continuous basis. Not only will it help crawlers to discover your landing pages, it will also help generate more clicks to them. When real people click through to a landing page, it increases its conversions and hopefully bring more indirect benefits, i.e. people linking to your landing pages from social media and blogs growing its authority.

To make your job easier, try using this handy plugin that helps you create in-content links to your important pages automatically. It hasn’t been updated for a while but I am still using it quite successfully on my own blogs.

Link to Your Landing Page Internally

How does it help BOTH SEO and CRO?

  • More on-page activity will indirectly result in more positive SEO signals, including natural backlinks and social media shares
  • More internal links result in more clicks-through to your landing page, which leads to more conversions.
Originally published July 10, 2018 - Updated December 10, 2021
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Ann Smarty
Ann Smarty Ann Smarty is the Brand and Community manager at as well as the founder of Viral Content Bee.

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