Every Page is a Landing Page (or should be)

Don’t be deceptive.

In online marketing, you hear SEOs talking about how you should create landing pages to do x, y, or z. Yes, this has merit, but the problem is that every page should be a landing page; by default, a webpage should exist for a specific reason. In addition, all pages should serve your reader or target audience. For example, suppose a page does not help a purpose or return value to the reader. In that case, it is spam and shou be eliminated from your site, or Google will penalize you for poor-quality content.

Most traditional Landing Pages are written to lure readers to a site and serve the site owner’s needs ahead of the reader. This is deceptive, and Google knows it, and they subsequently dole out punishment for this behavior. These poor-quality landing pages will have a high bounce rate (one of Google’s key signals). As with any page with a high bounce rate, something is wrong and must be fixed. This is part of Google’s Democracy of Search.

So what is a landing page anyway? In this model, the landing page is specifically engineered to game Google and other search engines to direct traffic to that page rather than present useful information to your readers. Tricks don’t win customers; offering what your customer wants and doing whatever it is that you do better than your competitors is what wins customers.

The right way.

Our definition is any page that a visitor reaches through a search based on a specific search query, or a page created specifically to greet a targeted reader from a particular promotion elsewhere on the web or linked from another media channel is a Landing Page. That’s right; not everyone enters your site through the homepage! In this model, every page on your site is essential and serves a useful purpose. Building sites according to this concept takes more planning and forethought, but it pays off.

When working with our clients, we look at their entire business: its structure, its products and services, and their customer support systems to best define the goal of the website, as well as how to design the architecture of the site. Once this analysis is complete, we begin mapping out what each page will contain, how it fits with the other pages, what key information your reader wants to know, what action from that page is expected, and so forth.

What about specific landing pages for targeted promotions? Our philosophy fully supports these if they are well designed. Inbound marketing can be very productive if done correctly. A properly designed landing page is critical to the campaign’s success.

“Focus on the user, and all else will follow” – Google.

Remember that Google values websites that serve the reader. So stop writing pages that primarily serve yourself or your company; write content your customers want and need. Google is very clear that this is important!

If you write useful content, every page is a landing page. Reward your customers with what they want, and then they (and Google) will reward you!

Update (8/22/2022): Google has just announced their “Google’s helpful content update.” They have provided new guidance that reinforces our long-held interpretation of Google’s guidelines and offers additional details.

Google has simplified this into two main points:

1. Focus on people-first content

2. Avoid creating content for search engines first

Read Google’s full article, What creators should know about Google’s helpful content update.

About the Author

Certified by HubSpot in the areas of Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing, and Email Marketing, Neal has been involved in Internet Marketing since the mid-Nineties. He also is Google Analytics certified and loves SEO.