The Power of Landing Pages
By Steve Marsh
Want your website to show on the first page of Google search results? Appearing in those cherished first-page results of search engines, such as Bing and Google, is the dream of most service companies.
If your website does not rank on the first page, your chances of searching consumers seeing it drops dramatically. It is getting increasingly difficult to rank in the top positions of an online search. Individual companies are being shoved off the first page of search results by giant, lead-generating websites such as Yelp, Angie’s List, and Thumbtack.
Search engines rank websites according to which sites best answer the customer’s search question. Having landing pages designed to focus on a specific service for a unique city is one of the best tools for competing for top rankings.
Companies frequently focus most of their attention on the general description of the company itself in their website. This information is important for helping consumers determine which company might be their best choice, but that information generally does not help you rank high in search results.
This is why it is important to also include specific landing pages as a significant part of your website marketing strategy. The sole purpose of these pages is to answer the consumers’ precise search question.
What is the consumer’s search question?
Obviously, customers are looking for a certain service such as carpet, upholstery, or tile and grout cleaning. But they are also asking for something else very specific: They want a local company!
Consumers often type the service they want, along with their city, into the Google search box, such as “carpet cleaning San Jose.” They are not interested in the search results from other cities around the country. Even if the consumer does not type in their specific city, the search engine recognizes where that consumer is located and will prioritize local results.
Successful landing pages focus attention on two critical search questions: The precise service and a specific city. If you want to compete in this market, you will want to create a lot of landing pages for your website that clearly provide these precise answers.
I serve as the marketing manager for one of the larger San Francisco Bay area pest control companies.
When I started working with the company, they had a strong 24-page website. This company services 70 cities. We then started creating specific landing pages for each of the cities for each major pest they treat along with each of the services they offered. Their website has since grown to be nearly 600 pages.
A majority of these landing pages appears on the first pages of search results and produces well over a 100 good leads per month. These landing pages rank above most of those powerful companies that use lead generation and force the other competitors off the first page.
Designing the page
The only people likely to see these pages are those consumers who land on them as a result of their search. Therefore, we know they are looking for that service and want it offered in that city.
This page should be designed to let the consumer know they have found what they were looking for. The headlines, first sentence of the page, and copy in general should all emphasize that specific service and city. You must take the time to create unique copy for each landing page. Search engines tend to ignore pages that have similar copy.
Consider adding a map of that city at the bottom of the page. You can also add links to other city-related pages online and possibly even a link to the weather for that area.
Adding a video to a page also helps boost its ranking. Be sure to title the video, both on the landing page and in the YouTube description where the video is hosted, with the specific city and service. The YouTube description and keywords for the video should follow the same themes.
Search engine optimization (SEO) for each landing page also needs to emphasize the city and service:
Be sure to mention the service and city in the page name, like:
Completely fill out the meta data that tells the search engines what each landing page is all about. This should include the page description and keywords.
All photos used on the page should be labeled and described with the same information.
Worth the investment
Your competitors are generally focused on reaching the consumers living in the larger cities in the area. Landing pages allow you to stand out in all of the smaller surrounding cities that others are not paying attention to. Even the lead-generating companies are not as focused on the smaller cities.
It takes time investment, energy, and money to develop landing pages. These pages don’t immediately jump to the top of the rankings. They generally require a bit of time to get recognized by the search engines, but once you have made the initial investment, these pages can become an outstanding source of new customers that produces long-term rewards.
Steve Marsh is a 40-year veteran of the carpet cleaning industry, an instructor, and a Senior Carpet Inspector. He helps home-service companies quickly establish profitable clienteles and progress to serving higher quality customers. To help companies achieve these goals, Marsh created the programs Single Truck Success and Be Competition Free. For more information, visit www.professional-carpet-cleaning-service.com.