Custom SEO Landing Pages: Display Your Wares!
Today we’re gonna talk about custom SEO landing pages – i.e. pages which are specifically designed to draw people to your website, on topics/keywords you think you can target really well.
First off, you need to know that while your homepage is important, a lot of your readers won’t actually arrive at your site via the main url. Many will be coming from social media, to a specific blog post you’ve put out or from search, to a post that hits their specific query.
For instance, examining the top recorded landing pages in search (which you can get to in Google Analytics by clicking “acquisition – all traffic – source/medium” then clicking on “google” and setting “secondary dimension” to “landing page”), I can see that Google sent just over 10,000 people to my homepage via search, but over twice that many to the audio porn hub. Over three times that many to specific posts and pages.
This is actually great news. Because the chances are that people who are served my homepage in response to a Google Search already knew what they were looking for. They were searching “girl on the net” so one can reasonably assume they already know who I am. If they searched “audio porn,” though, I may well have found a brand new user. Yay! Go me!
There’s some actionable info here. If I can create a page that hits a specific search term and shows off the shiny content I have which serves the needs of the people searching, I can suck in lots of new users who might not otherwise have found my work.
Get new people to find your content
If you were with us back in October last year, you might remember one of the key rules of building blog traffic: get new people to find your blog. Emphasis on new.
There are two simple ways to do this via search, and the first way is one you likely know about already: Write a blog post! If you want to capture search traffic for the term “butt plug safety,” you write a searingly brilliant post about butt plug safety, optimize it for that keyword (and make sure to do your keyword research first!) and then promote the hell out of it on all platforms you can think of.
Get other cool people to link to it if you can, and keep an eye on your Google Search Console to see where that specific post is ranking. Tweak, update, add extra info when you learn it, and make that post your flagship ‘butt plug safety’ guide.
However, I find that as a blogger, optimizing specific blog posts doesn’t always fit the bill. Firstly, a blog post is usually published with a date, and the Google algorithm tends to downrank things which it thinks might be a little old and dusty.
You could just write a new blog post covering the same ground in a different way, but if you’re using Yoast (which you totally should if you use WordPress – it’s a free tool that performs basic SEO checks on each blog post based on the keyword you’re targeting, reminding you to do things like popping your keyword in headers and the like) you’ll notice that it sometimes gives you a warning that says “you’ve used this keyword before!”
It’s right to do this because ideally, you don’t want to just use the same keyword over and over again. But if you want to become the seminal expert on butt plugs, and for Google to rank your butt plug wisdom good and high, you might be better off creating some…
Custom SEO landing pages
A custom SEO landing page is a page you write/build specifically to grab search traffic for a particular term. As with all SEO, of course, it’s not just there to “bring people in,” it’s also there to “make them stay” – the latter part is as important as the former. You make a page that targets a keyword for which you believe you have lots of great content, and showcase that content in a way that will neatly serve the needs of those people who have searched for it.
Let’s have a look at some examples. Back in May 2020, I created a few custom SEO landing pages. The aim of these pages was:
- To get my site ranking more highly for high-traffic search terms which I knew I could serve well.
How will we measure this? Use Google Search Console to track the average ranking for each page.
- To give people a slightly easier way to navigate the audio porn on my website, which at the moment is appallingly hard to navigate.
How will we measure this? By examining how long people spend on the pages (which will tell us if they’re useful and serve a need!)
We’ll focus on the former, and we’ll look at two of the terms I picked: “true sex stories” and “bdsm stories.” Click those links to see the pages, and see if – with your SEO hat on – you can spot the ways in which those pages are hyper-optimized to each of those terms.
It’s worth noting before I delve into this that:
a) I did not expect to create these pages and then – bam! – immediately start getting tonnes of search traffic. These things take time, and this is not a “quick win” situation. The pages serve a useful purpose even if they don’t immediately bring in search traffic. This is key because Google algorithms are not written for us to manipulate; they’re written to get users to pages they actually want.
So when you’re picking your terms and building your pages, make sure to ask yourself at every stage: how does this make my user’s life better? How does this serve the specific aim of someone who is searching for “bdsm stories?” How will this page delight them?
b) If you are planning on doing this yourself (and I really hope you are!) you should probably not pick the same search terms I’ve used here. This is not because I’ll be offended and/or start a Twitter Beef with you, it’s just that I’ve been doing this for a long time and I already have a good search ranking for them, so you’ll find it easier to pick terms which have less competition.
Also, you know, you probably have different specialisms than I do! If you focus on toy reviews, targeting terms that collate all your reviews of particular types of toys into one place would likely be a great place to start.
How did I optimize these pages?
Feel free to skip this section if you’ve looked at the pages and your nerdy content brain flashes big neon signs every time you come to an obvious SEO trick, but for those who might not be as familiar with standard SEO, here’s a broad overview:
- I used the keyword (and variations of it) repeatedly throughout the copy, especially in headers/subheaders and the opening paragraph.
- I added a meta-description to the page so I can control how it shows up in Google, and include keywords/variations there too.
- I tried to make sure that people who clicked onto that page would stay for a while. There’s plenty of playable media on there, plus lots of links to other pages on the site to draw them in deeper.
- You can’t see this at first glance, but you’ll see it when you refresh the page – the content is always fresh, as the selection of audio stories/posts is drawn at random from posts tagged with specific things.
This last one is a bit fancy, and I think I have a special tool that allows me to bring in those posts. Ignore 4 if you can’t do that, though: the first 3 should be plenty to start with.
How are these pages performing?
The first thing to note is that all of these pages achieve part 2 of my aims, just by the fact of their existence: They help people better navigate the audio on the site, and find the stories they want.
Google Analytics tells me that people who visit “true sex stories” stay on the site for an average of 3:08 minutes. Compared to the homepage (48 seconds) and the audio porn page (2:48 minutes), I’m delighted and chalking that up as a big win.
The fact that it outperforms the audio porn page in terms of the time people spend their means (I think!) I’m genuinely helping users find content they’ll specifically enjoy. Those who only want to hear true stories can filter out ones that don’t fit what they’re looking for. Likewise with “bdsm stories” – people stay on that page for around 3:12.
I know this sounds like a side note, but I can’t stress enough just how important it is: In order for your custom SEO landing pages to rank well (and stay high), they need to serve a user’s needs. Using them to serve current user needs at the same time as you’re drawing in new visitors means you can keep a check on user engagement and page performance (which matters hugely to Google) – if it starts to drop, you know something needs fixing.
Onto goal 1, then. And remember I told you this is a long-term project? Brace yourself: I do not rank on page one for either of these terms yet. It’s been nearly 18 months, and so far neither of them has brought me a deluge of search traffic. I’m pretty pleased with what they have done, though!
True sex stories
When I first did my keyword research on this term, my site ranked at position 92. Aka “so low absolutely no one who searches that term is ever going to come to my site.” When was the last time you clicked through beyond page 5 on a Google search?
Now, however, I’m at roughly position 24. Still not brilliant – no one visits page 3 on a Google search, either – hence the low click stats (below). But this is an extremely popular search term, and the fact that I’ve gained so much ground with almost no work whatsoever beyond creating the page delights me.
It’ll be a tough nut to crack, as you can see from how long I’ve hovered around the same place. Those who rank on page 1 for this term deliver exactly what they’re promising users, and in spades, which is partly why this is such a competitive term, and it’ll take a lot of work to go to page 1. I love a challenge, though.
Here’s the graph from Google Search console.
I started out position 31 here, which is already a lot stronger than “true sex stories.” Though my rank was all over the place – as you can see from the graph below. Now, though? I’m hovering fairly steadily at just below position 20. Page two! Still not page 1, which as we all know is the only page that really matters, but it’s a good start – clicks are increasing gradually, and I’m in a great position to build from here.
As I say, we all know page 1 is the only page that really matters, so if I wanted to get both of these optimized landing pages onto page 1, what steps would I take next? i.e. What steps should you take once you’ve done the basics of setting up your custom SEO landing pages?
Add more content!
Both the pages, while bright and engaging, could do with being a little longer. Google likes pages that are content-rich, so I just need to think of a few extra bits to add which will both serve the user and also show Google how rich I am in content. As content is currently displayed at random, I could add a feed of “latest” posts tagged with BDSM/true along with the opening paragraph snippet, for people to peruse. I could also add some extra copy at the bottom of each page on where these stories come from (myself and guest bloggers), plus perhaps some custom content panels on the BDSM page at the end giving people toy/implement recommendations.
Add more links to other websites.
I have a few recommendations on those pages, but adding more will help to cement that page’s credentials as a “go-to” source for cool true sex stories/BDSM stories.
I’ve not done any targeted link building to these pages yet, but if I had more time I’d be offering guest posts/commissioned articles to other people which included links to both those pages using the keywords “bdsm stories” or “true sex stories.” See if you can spot where I’ve snuck them into this article! What a sneaky, cunning SEO-nerd I am.
Update them more regularly.
When I originally embarked on this project, I had high hopes of being the kind of person who’d have a diary reminder to refresh these pages once every 3 months. Adding more copy/editing old copy/adding links, and doing some of the things mentioned in points 1-3. Then the pandemic happened and my life collapsed, so I haven’t had time. But for what it’s worth, this is worth doing too if you’re building your own!
Custom SEO landing pages
Voila! A not-so-quick but a hopefully-simple guide on creating custom SEO landing pages. I hope this is helpful to you, and what’s more, I hope you’re immediately running through your areas of expertise and thinking about which search terms you might want to focus on for your own posts. Before you get stuck in, I’d thoroughly recommend having another quick look at the post on keyword research, as the tools in that (particularly Ubersuggest) helped me hugely when it came to narrowing down the terms I thought I might stand a chance at ranking for. And best of luck!
Do let me know how you get on, and when it comes time to do your own link building, don’t forget I’m always up for guest blogs in which you have cunningly shoehorned your optimized links with keyword text. The great thing about helping sex bloggers with SEO is that the higher we all rank, the more we can help each other.