Landing pages play an important role as an interface between website operators and users. They contribute decisively to the fulfillment of user needs and function as a virtual showroom in e-commerce.
In the following, the three most frequent landing page types in e-commerce will be presented using their main goals (informing, categorizing, and selling). Moreover, we will show you how you can design the contents of a new landing page concretely for this goal.
There are many different types of landing pages in e-commerce, but three types can be identified relatively quickly. Website operators should ensure that they pay attention to these in creating their online shop:
1. Informational landing pages – The sites are not linked to any transactional intent (the intention of a search inquiry) of the user, but rather in general serve the acquisition of information on a topic.
2. Category sites as landing pages – Category sites are, in general, overview sites with a wealth of products.
3. Product sites as landing pages – Sites on which the product is prominently displayed and for which there is a direct possibility of placing the product into the cart.
In general, user intention is always in the foreground in these three types. What goal could the user have with the search inquiry entered? Or on the flip side: What goal can you serve with the available site? You can orient yourself toward this and build the site accordingly.
The field of informational landing pages is just about infinite. The following examples are thus limited to the area of online shops. The basic principle is a hypothetical online hardware store with the goal of a successful conversion.
Let’s assume that the hobby craftsperson would like to build a new deck. He has the opportunity to go into a hardware store or a deck specialty shop, to be advised there, and then to buy the necessary material. In our case, he would like to gain some information online first.
Completely clueless, his first search inquiry will be “deck” with the following result:
Figure 1: Search inquiry “deck” with Google
“Deck” has a monthly search volume of on average 74,000 inquiries per month in Germany. For you as a shop operator who sells items according to building material, at first glance, this seems relatively uninteresting, and in the end, it doesn’t sell any decks, but instead tools and building materials. Nevertheless, it is sensible to “engage” the value chain at this earlier point in time. Anyone who would like to build a deck themselves is a very valuable user for your shop.
Combined with many further relevant topics surrounding the topic of decks, in this area a profitable target group will appear that is interested in the topic of deck design and building.
It is also sensible from an economic standpoint to rank search inquiries around the topic of “decks.” In addition to many other advantages and competitive possibilities that can arise through the visit of potential customers, you will add to your brand’s visibility. Even the user who is looking for the first time at different possibilities for designing a deck will recognize you more quickly a second time and thus will probably return to you if the information on your site has pleased him or her.
This goal of your new landing page should thus be for the topic of “decks” to rank as well as possible. It may be somewhat doubtful whether it is realistic to rank from 0 to position 1 with the above competition. Nevertheless, it should be a goal to build up this topic, to score with expertise, and thus to rank in the longtail area from the beginning.
Several synonymous search volumes from the Google Keyword Planner are presented in the following table as an example.
Figure 2: Search volume of the Google Keyword Planner
The topic of “decks” serves search inquiries with an informational character in the first place. In order to be able to rank as comprehensively as possible for the topic of “decks,” you require:
For all search inquiries that expect the information on a certain topic as an answer (Informational Search Queries), the best site is that one that has the best information regarding the topic. Your new landing page should also deliver the best answers for all inquiries in connection with the topic of “decks.” Search engines are always trying to better understand the intentions of requests. The greater the authority of your domain is for the topic, the more trust your expert knowledge will gain on your website.
Put simply, that means: The better known your domain is and the more good content and user-friendly content on the landing page made available, the higher the expert status; Google will reward your information and your sites with good rankings.
There are many helpful tools for illuminating all facets of a topic as much as possible. Beginning with various W-question tools http://answerthepublic.com/) via the Google Suggest Scraper, to the TF*IDF tool of Ryte, which offers you terms that you can also use in your text.
The TF*IDF tool can help you in finding additional relevant terms that are used by sites that already rank, but that you have not yet thought of. Your goal is to obtain a better result than the sites already available. In order to better satisfy a request with informational user intent, you must also present contents that are just as good and that present the topic better. Otherwise, there is no reason to prefer your site.
Figure 3: TF*IDF tool from Ryte
In order to create the best site on the topic of “decks” in general, the topic should be worked through with the help of tools and, above all, with the help of the expertise of your editorial team. It is sensible to sort all topics according to possible clusters and to then create a content plan from these. All topic clusters that emerge should be described and discussed in detail on your planned landing page.
Fugre 4: Cluster on the topic of “decks”
In the creation of an optimal site on the topic of “decks,” you will inevitably arrive at the point when you will present the required tools. Exactly the same tool that you are selling in your shop. This is where the linking of the informational user need with the transactional user need takes place. Users who are interested in the topics of “decks,” “creation,” and their “execution” can become potential customers and can also conclude the desired purchase in your shop. Ideally, you will offer them the necessary tools for the appropriate project to go directly into their shopping cart, but you will also show them alternative tools that are appropriate for the same category.
Through the interface of informational and transactional user needs, your shop should replace customer service representatives in brick-and-mortar stores. The option of paring down the above information-oriented contents is equivalent to saving on customer service representatives in stationary retail. Potential customers should nevertheless trust your information only because it is available in another place online. If the users of your shop leave because of poor information or too little support, it will be very costly and complex to get them to return to your shop.
The goal of each optimized category site is to be the central starting point for a topic. The sensible structuring of the parallel and secondary topics thus has absolute relevance. It is completely irrelevant whether a site is primarily a commercial one. A sensible linking structure that hierarchically transmits the Link juice to the relevance (!) of the keywords is essential.
In addition to listing all subcategories, category sites likewise serve as landing pages. In contrast to the search inquiries with informational character such as “deck,” the interesting keyword topics in category sites are of a transactional nature (e.g. “buy cordless screwdriver”).
Category sites are therefore often divided into two different types.
Since 2010, Google has had a patent for the recognition of user intention using search inquiries. In a transactional intent, the user knows exactly what he or she wants to have, but wants to be able to choose between various products. For example, for the search inquiry “Bosch cordless screwdriver.” The search gives the following results as the best answers for the inquiry:
Figure 5: SERP for “Bosch cordless screwdriver”
The top 5 results are exclusively category oversight sites. A user who has already googled “Bosch cordless screwdriver,” would probably not want to know about the year in which Bosch was founded and its beginnings. The goal is instead to gain an overview of different cordless screwdrivers.
There are many search results for transactional inquiries in which the top-ranking sites contain a large part of the text. A text can be helpful to give further suitable information (e.g. tips for use or a general video about the different areas of use of the different types of cordless screwdriver). The products should nevertheless still be in the foreground.
Figure 6:Bosch landing page
Expertise for a certain topic is still a main factor for the ranking of a category site. In addition, you should focus on the main topic of your keyword cluster. Ensure that your category site is the only subpage that comprehensively covers the topic and that can be indexed by Google.
Back to our example: A cordless screwdriver is necessary for carrying out the deck project. As described above, it is sensible to offer a suitable model on your landing page. Ideally, you would link from there to the transactional area and show further cordless screwdrivers from Bosch ( Tip: Always keep link text identical internally: “Bosch cordless screwdriver”.
In addition to a category site with transactional intent, it is sensible to also create a general category to which all electrical tools are subordinate. With an average monthly search volume of approximately 2,400 search inquiries, a ranking for the keyword “electrical tool” and its declensions are not the top keyword, but should not, under any circumstances, be looked down on.
With such a search inquiry without transactional intent, it is necessary to give further information on the category site. The user would, in general, like to gain an overview. This you can create using a visual, appealing choice of various types, brands, and information that achieve the goal as much as possible.
The goal of this site is again to become the best site on the topic of “electrical tools.” In addition to the overview of concrete products, you should therefore:
Further information should be given on the site; you can read it using the flow of visitors on your tracking tool (e.g. Google Analytics). If the interests correlate, it is sensible to lead them directly back to a site.
In this final type of landing page, your product site is itself oriented toward the search inquiry. Inquiries in which the user already knows what he or she wants to buy usually have a product site as their result.
Naturally, the product itself is in the foreground of the product site. Thus, name it prominently in the heading and use a concrete designation in the title. In this way, you will direct potential customers to the search result site that is relevant to your result. Because with clear searches for products, the price is often the deciding factor; these should likewise be shown, including shipping costs. In this way, you can increase your click rate and, at the same time, decrease the bounce rate, which will have a positive effect on the evaluation of your site.
All information that will support the customer in his or her intention to buy should be available on the product site. Important elements are classical trust-building signals. Show the customer that he or she can trust you and that buying from you is the right decision. Always helpful are:
The service or product data should be able to be recognized briefly and succinctly at first glance. No one wants to read about the service of the cordless screwdriver in long prose.
If you are selling products that are offered by many shops, it is also important to present the best site on the product. With standard products, customers often go back to the manufacturer information. The service data, product descriptions, and other appropriate product data in general will not change. Thus, create an added value that your competitors don’t have.
Added value, for example, is offered by:
Amazon, for example, also offers product recommendations in addition to images, videos, and product variations.
Figure 7: Bosch Professional product site GSR 18 V-EC
Good networking is also helpful here: Important products are automatically more often linked than less relevant ones. The linking also goes in both directions. If in your landing page on the topic of “decks” you have linked the cordless screwdriver “Bosch Professional GSR 18 V-EC,” linking from the product site to the area of use “decks” likewise makes sense. It is also possible to use breadcrumb linking.
Landing pages for online shops can basically be divided into three different main types. For informational landing pages, the goal is increasing brand awareness and the reputation of the domain. Directly competitive or sales-oriented contents are not wanted here. Category sites serve either as a hub for subcategories or to list all available products. In case an explanation is needed, contents can be favorable as an aid for decision or tips for use. The product site as a landing page serves to directly increase sales, thus product data should be presented clearly and should be able to be understood quickly. Product sites are evaluated according to additional content in order to gain competitive and conversion advantages.
The goal of the optimization is a holistic appraisal: All facets should be investigated from a content-related and technical standpoint. An optimization according to individual keywords or individual categories is too often conceived for the short-term and does not allow for the success of the strategic optimization in the long-term.
Published on 06/20/2017 by Johannes Wiesner.
Johannes Wiesner was already active in SEO during his studies in business administration at the University of Augsburg, founding an online shop for electronic products. After completing his degree, Johannes worked for an SEO agency in Munich. He returned to Augsburg in 2014, and has since been working as an SEO consultant managing web shops and offsite consultation at xpose360 GmbH.Become a guest author »
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