For the smart photographers using email marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy, the question still exists of how to encourage website visitors and prospects to sign up for their mailing list.
Usually, this means placing a form on the website or blog, hopefully in a location designed to maximize the number of signups, but is that really enough? After all, the average opt-in rate of such “in-content” forms can often be quite small, requiring many visitors to pass through in order to generate a significant number of actual signups. Offering an incentive, such as a useful eBook, can help increase the signup rate, but one of the most effective tactics is to use a dedicated landing page with the sole purpose of signing people up to the email list.
You then have to get people to visit the landing page, and the majority of that traffic is likely to come from the search engines. This is where good search engine optimization comes in handy.
Assuming that your landing page itself is optimized for a high conversion rate, the next step is to optimize it for the search engines. To do that, you should pay attention to several key factors:
- Your target keyword phrases…
- The strategic placement of those keywords…
- Internal links to the landing page within your site…
- Backlinks to your landing page from other websites…
1) Your Target Keywords
When choosing the target keyword phrase for your landing page be careful not to cannibalize the main keywords for your website. Instead, choose keywords that your home page and other important pages are not already targeting, otherwise you risk confusing the search engines and diluting the effect of your primary keywords. Stick to one keyword phrase for your landing page – you can always create other landing pages for any additional keywords you want to target.
2) Keyword Placement
The most important places to use your target keywords on your landing page are the same as with any other page. These include:
- Page title (70 characters or less)
- META description (156 characters or less)
- Page URL
- Headings and sub-headings
- Body copy text (remember you need a minimum of 300 words)
- Image filenames, ALT & TITLE text, and captions
There’s no need to go crazy with your keywords here. Focus on creating a compelling message for your signup form and limit the keyword frequency to around 3-4 times for every 100 words.
3) Internal Links
Linking to your landing page from other areas of your website will help to direct traffic flow and also establish a sense of relative importance with the search engines. It can be helpful to use your target keyword (and variations of it) in the anchor text for those links.
Place the links to your landing page strategically within your other content, to act as a call to action in locations where your readers naturally come to a break point.
4) Backlink Strategy
While the SEO you perform on your landing page and elsewhere on your website is important, the biggest impact on your landing page’s search engine ranking will come from off-site effects – in other words, as a result of incoming links from other websites and social media.
We don’t have direct control over many of our backlink sources. For instance, when others choose to link to our content because they feel it adds value for their audience. However, we do have control over some other valuable sources of incoming links, for example:
- In our author bios on guest posts we produce for other blogs…
- In the descriptions for videos we upload to YouTube, Vimeo or SlideShare…
- Our social media profiles (especially Google+)…
- Social sharing (Twitter, Facebook pages, Pinterest, LinkedIn etc.)…
- From press releases…
- Author resource boxes on syndicated articles…
- Web 2.0 properties, such as Tumblr, WordPress.com, Squidoo lenses…
Thoughts And Questions?
Have you tried implementing your own dedicated landing pages for email signups? Have questions about optimizing them for the search engines? Do share your thoughts and questions in the comments below, and I’ll do my best to answer them for you.