When you need a landing page for ecommerce SEO (and when you don't)
If you want to capture the attention of different audiences, you need to create content which speaks to their interests. In ecommerce, this can become quite challenging, as there are likely many different topics and keywords you could talk about which could attract different customers. Perhaps you want to include information comparing your product to its closest competitor, or maybe Black Friday deals, or how about some extra information about product use?
It all builds up, and if you add it all to the one page it will start to make your pages cluttered and confusing, right? That’s going to drag your traffic and conversions all the way down.
That’s where a landing page can become your store’s best friend.
What is a landing page?
Let’s start with the basics - what makes a landing page different from a regular page on your store?
Landing pages are standalone web pages designed to focus on one subject matter, with a clear call-to-action and goal. This may sound familiar, as it sounds pretty similar to a product page. The key difference though is that landing pages are typically more targeted, and focused on a specific audience whereas product pages are a bit more general. Plus, a product page will often be written and designed to target specific keywords, so changing those or the content or CTAs can be bad for the page experience and for its SEO.
Here’s an example of a landing page for Olipop’s sampler pack:
This page is focused on giving someone new to the brand information about what makes the product different, reviews from trusted third parties, and nutritional information with the goal of driving conversions i.e. purchases of their sample pack.
Typically when you see advice online about landing pages, many will argue that landing pages are aimed more at marketing with little consideration for SEO. Some will also say that SEO should be focused on other pages like product pages, and landing pages should be pure CRO (conversion rate optimization) and acquisition focused.
However, landing pages can actually be beneficial for a store’s SEO - they allow merchants to target different keywords and phrases that they may not be able to elsewhere. They sit somewhere between a blog and a product page; they can give more relevant information on a specific topic like a blog, but with a CTA like a product page where it would look out of place in a blog. Equally it can enable merchants to provide a better user experience, giving customers and search users a central hub for specific topics they want to know more about.
Landing pages are great tools - for marketing, SEO, customer experience, and more. To get the most out of them, though, you need to know when to create one, and when they may not be the best option.
When you should use a landing page
1 - As part of plans for a major holiday, event or promotion
Think Black Friday, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or a big Labor Day Sale. For each of these major events, you’ll have different information you want to convey to customers, different products included as part of the event, and different keywords and phrases you want to target. Having a landing page will allow you to create a sort of “hub” to direct customers and traffic to.
This will improve the customer experience - customers will easily be able to find exactly what they’re looking for rather than going through your catalog to find which products are included in a promotional event. It will also be good for your store’s seasonal SEO. Search engines want to be relevant and useful to their users, and when those users want up-to-date information about the best Black Friday deals, search engines will provide fresh content. Your landing pages can reflect that, with keywords and recently updated content. Plus, you can recycle these pages the following year, taking advantage of the authority they built the year prior.
2 - To highlight specific topics and keywords
Blogs are a great way to add lots of different, relevant topics and their associated keywords to your site. However, it’s a little more difficult to add in a call-to-action, or to really hold the user’s attention in the same way a product page might. Adding all that content to a product page is going to really bulk it out, and can make it feel cluttered. This can then result in the user losing interest, and abandoning the page altogether.
If there are topics and keywords that you want to rank for, it can sometimes be more valuable to instead create a landing page. This gives you the room a blog would allow to discuss the topic at length, with the flexibility of a product page, and the ability to add in a CTA that feels appropriate.
It can be as simple as the above example from Felix Gray - using primarily written content along with CTAs. Or it can be as visually impactful as this example below from Olipop, comparing their product to a leading competitor. Their landing page focuses on visual content, rather than written, but with important keywords included nonetheless.
You can equally utilize landing pages to talk about a product, especially if you’re looking to target an audience with specific interests. The above example from Olipop talks about their Vintage Cola, such a subscription service. This may go more in-depth than a product page, with graphics showing the box contents, pricing options, and an FAQ.
3 - For collections that have lots of different products from different categories
This is somewhat related to events like Black Friday and Christmas, but more applicable to year-round landing pages. The best example of this is if you have specific products you want to highlight as gift ideas. Creating a “gifting” landing page which has all the different options from different categories on your site can be a better option than just having a gift guide blog. Blogs can target specific types of gift such as “best gifts for gardeners” or “top gift ideas for dad”, but a landing page can aggregate all those gift products in one place.
You can simply add the products you’d recommend for gifting, such as bundles and gift cards, or you can enrich the page with FAQ sections about any gift options you offer such as wrapping or gift notes.
When you shouldn’t use a landing page
1 - For individual products where you aren’t adding anything extra
While landing pages can be great for expanding on the benefits of a product or the topics your target customer may be interested in, you shouldn’t create landing pages for individual products alone without some kind of additional reason. That may be the added info mentioned, or a promotion or offer, for example if you have a landing page about some of your products with an exclusive offer code for traffic coming from TikTok.
Without further reason for a landing page, you’ll basically eat at the traffic that would normally go to your product page. This can make it difficult for either page to rank in search as it may not be clear which should rank, and cause confusion for anyone who visits your site.
2 - For every sale or event you plan to promote
There will be plenty of holidays and events where a landing page will be of benefit to your store. However, you should only create landing pages for those events and promotions that form a major part of your overall sales growth strategy. For example, if Valentine’s Day isn’t a particularly big sales opportunity for your brand then you may not have a lot planned promotionally. Where this is the case, you should look to “dressing up” your site - homepage, banners, etc. - for the occasion rather than directing all your traffic to a landing page with little content.
There are exceptions of course. Perhaps you want to boost sign-ups for your email list, so you run a “Valentine’s Day special offer” where customers who sign up via a specific landing page get an exclusive incentive. Or maybe you want to conduct some A/B testing, or test for CRO. In these instances, creating separate landing pages to find the most effective messaging or promotion can be valuable. You should look at these as exercises to achieve those specific goals or find useful data, rather than trying to optimize for SEO and CX.
3 - Where another page on your site would be of greater benefit
This is similar to the point about product pages, but more directly about making the most of the links that exist on your site. If we’re thinking in terms of SEO, you don’t want to dilute the traffic you see on your site. You want to foster strong links that will continue to gain authority and climb rankings, and sometimes that means optimizing the pages that you already have.
Consider the goals of a landing page before you create one. For example, you’re going to target keywords or an audience which wouldn’t fit on an existing page, then it may be worth creating a blog rather than a landing page if there isn’t an additional goal or CTA. If there’s a page on your site that’s going to be more relevant to a specific audience, focus on optimizing and building that link.
Landing pages are powerful tools in ecommerce, if you know when you use them. By carefully considering your goals and audiences, you’ll build landing pages that are optimized for SEO and customer experience as well as conversions.