Ranking where you want for your chosen SEO keywords is part of a long, tenuous process in the world of search engine optimization. However, when talking about the end goals of a website, the process still isn’t complete.
Getting a high rank, whether it’s on the first page or in position no. 1, does not mean the battle is complete. The end goal is to generate conversions, and to do that, you need to send your users to a landing page that gives them what they want.
For example, if I’m trying to rank for a keyword such as “SEO” for The Ocean Agency, I want to send anyone that finds Ocean in Google to our SEO page. Sure, if someone lands on the home page it’s not the worst thing in the world. However, why make a user navigate to the SEO page when I can send them straight to a page full of SEO copy and everything a user searching for the term is going to want.
I the SEO world, making sure you are sending users to the correct landing page is something marketers should be paying to constantly. With this in mind, here are a few ways you can help make sure your site’s keywords rank for the page you want to be sending your visitors to, which will not only improve keyword rankings, but will in turn improve your website’s user experience and conversion rate.
Have an Appropriate Landing Page and Optimize It
The first step is simple, have an appropriate landing page where you can send users to for the keyword you want to compete on. For example, if you own a real estate company that sells Chicago apartments and are trying to compete on a keyword such as “Four Bedroom Apartments in Chicago”, you would need to have a designated page for four bedroom apartments and optimize it around your designated keyword. If you’re trying to compete for a keyword like “River North Apartments” there should be a designated optimized page for River North apartments.
You could try competing for these keywords on the home page, but not only would it send users to a less user-friendly page, the keywords would also compete with keywords on your home page. Having a designated page for four bedroom apartments will give Google a clear idea of the structure of your site and what the page is about.
After you have found a keyword you want to compete on and created a designated page, it’s time to optimize that page. Craft title tags and on-page content towards your designated keyword without over optimizing the page.
Find Other Non-Relevant Pages, and Do Something About Them
So you’ve created a landing page for your optimized keywords and created content perfect for the page. Everything is all good right?
Unfortunately, a lot of times it isn’t, and there are still issues you can come across. One issue people in the SEO world can run into is having a keyword rank for the wrong page.
It may be that the keywords are ranking, but it’s for the home page or another random page on the site. It may also be that your optimized page is ranking, but you see that another random page on your website that’s ranking as well.
Even if the other page is ranking behind your optimized page, this can still be an example of Google being confused, so to speak. The idea is to give Google a clear idea of which page represents which keyword.
For example, you own a pizza place and you have a page optimized for the keyword “Chicago Deep Dish Pizza.” You see that the optimized page is ranking, but it’s also competing with a page titled “What is Deep Dish Pizza.”
There are a number of options to take care of this. The first would be to just remove the page and redirect it to the optimized page if you don’t feel like the “What is Deep Dish Pizza” page is necessary.
A third option is the rel=canonical tag. When you place a canonical tag on a page, Google will still index it, but the canonical will tell Google that the page is a duplicate of another page on the site, and point Google to the correct page.
So, by simply placing a canonical tag on the page, such on the competing page, it will enforce to Google that the pages are duplicate content, and should improve your site’s ability to rank for the correct page.
Point Internal Links to the Designated Page
One big component of SEO is internal linking. Linking to pages at appropriate spots gives Google an idea of a website’s structure, and shows that a particular page of content is important. It’s a benefit to user experience as well.
With this in mind, you want to link to your optimized page whenever necessary where you’re not sacrificing user experience. An example for this would be the hypothetical “What is Deep Dish Pizza” page for a restaurant I mentioned earlier. This would be a good spot to point any user that lands on this page over to the Deep Dish Pizza page.
This would not only show Google the importance of a page from an SEO perspective, but it would also benefit the user and improve a site’s conversion rate as well.
In the world of SEO, getting keywords to rank is the biggest part of the battle. However, in the end it’s about converting users into customers, and there’s a better chance of doing that when the user is able to head to the appropriate spot.