So you have the top rankings for all your primary terms, but are the proper pages ranking? Often times in the early stages of SEO you basically throw mud against the wall to see what sticks and then continue to build your campaign from there. Performing preferred landing page (PLP) analysis will help you improve conversions and revenue, regardless of whether your pages improve in position or not.
I remember a conversation I had with Conductor’s CEO Seth Besmertnik back in 2009; Seth questioned why I was so addicted to double listings and why I spent so much time trying to get two pages to rank for my top tier terms instead of a hyper-focus on my preferred landing page. This was back in the days of secondary listing indentations and minimal visual distractions in the Google UI. The indentation increased our visibility and perceived authority and most importantly boosted conversion rates as a result.
My response to Seth was simple. I absolutely focused on my top-converting page for specific search queries and also wanted to block and tackle my competition in the SERPs. I took a look at my SEO toolkit and realized a major flaw. I had no current means of identifying or flagging my PLP. Management of these relationships was done purely on memory alone. I had to be more strategic on tracking my top rankers along with my preferred landing pages.
Conversion Rate Optimization and Preferred Landing Pages
Conversion rate analysis is critical for preferred landing page management. This process is something I see more advanced SEO practitioners use for larger ROI on their time and effort. Identifying user intent based on search queries is huge since certain keyword sets will have completely different conversion metrics. The first order of business is to identify the pages that yield the proper conversion type for the query at hand. Do you want to drive a call to your sales center, fill out a lead form or direct the visitor to specific information to reduce calls to customer service? While Conversion Rate Optimization is a focus on getting a visitor to perform a specific action once they are on your page, Preferred Landing Page Management is a focus on getting specific pages to rank for specific search queries. The use of these two methodologies together will ensure you are getting the most out of your SEO campaigns. A good place to test landing page conversions at the search query level is through PPC. It is a good idea to work closely with your paid search team and determine the best candidate based on statistical significance.
Is Preferred Landing Page Management Right for You?
I am a firm believer that any successful Search Team should be spending time identifying which pages should rank for specific terms – at least their most important keywords. In order to be successful with PLP management, a stable URL structure is a must. This process is not very effective if you have a high churn rate on your ranked landing pages in the SERPs. If ranked landing pages change often but your ranks stay (fairly) consistent then you likely have a single page that is ripe for some needed attention. For example, I have seen e-commerce websites have huge wins with category page optimization when multiple product pages swap in and out of the SERPs. Sites with large duplicate content issues and poorly constructed URL structures often find PLPM an effective strategy for sustained movement on specific pages in the SERPs. Identifying the proper page to rank is a strategy for anyone who has to report on ROI within his or her organization.
Telling upper management that you are being as strategic as possible will help build their trust in your abilities. This affirmation will let them know that you are focusing your efforts as efficiently as possible for the greatest amount of return on their investment in you.
Leveraging Conductor Searchlight to Manage Your Preferred Landing Pages
We find it exciting to share with our customers that they can improve their SEO revenue without actually having to gain a rank – and in many cases – with relative ease. On average our customers have 3 URLS rankings in the top 100 domains for each of their keywords. However, more often than not, the highest converting URL is not always your top ranking URL. We present you with a solution for this challenge.
Conductor is the only SEO platform that will always auto discover a preferred landing page for each of your tracked keywords and provide you with the flexibility to configure PLPs. While we will always report on which of your landing pages are ranking, we will also show the shifts, movements and rankings of the landing pages that are most important to you. You may not have every keyword mapped to a specific page but having the opportunity to do so can yield great return. Check out our Focus on video on Preferred Landing Page Management for more information.
Conductor will always monitor every URL in the top 100 and will also call out where your PLP is in this mix. You can then discover opportunities for you rank well, just not with your PLP, and then suggest optimizations for your PLP and deoptimization for the current ranking URL – to effectively swap pages – and increase conversations very quickly. We have now had this functionality in place for several months and have seen several examples of revenue growth that is not correlated to any rank movement.
Ranking well is important and ranking for the right pages is even more important – now you can measure and optimize your PLPs with ease and scale.