Since landing pages and sales funnels are primarily used for pay per click or paid advertising methods, should landing pages be indexed for search?
I am by no means an expert at SEO or some coding guru, however, there are a number of reasons that you should index landing pages and there is ample reasons as to why you shouldn’t.
The majority of the time, a landing page should not be indexed. While the answer is situational, indexing a landing page can sometimes cause more complications than benefits. It is good practice to no index any landing page that you plan on altering within the next year.
Related Post: Landing Page VS Website | What’s The Difference?
When To Index A Landing Page?
As I briefly mentioned above, there are various benefits as to why you should and why you shouldn’t index a landing page.
So when should a landing page be indexed?
A rule of thumb can be, to index any landing page that is going to be a long term landing page or a page that aligns primarily with your business or a service that you are always going to offer.
Index Your Landing Pages If You’re Promoting Something You’re Always Going To Offer, Such As:
- A Book
- A service your company offers
- Anything that you’ve Branded
The reason that you’re going to want to index long term landing pages such as the ones above is that when a potential customer searches for a product or service that you offer if you have your landing pages set as No-Index they won’t be able to find them on Google or any other search engines.
If you’re unclear on exactly what indexing is, check out Crawling And Indexing By Google
How To Index A Landing Page?
Over time, Google will naturally crawl and index your pages and your website unless you specify that you don’t want them to.
However, you can manually start the process, which can be faster than waiting.
Especially if you have a fairly new site.
You can do this by heading over to Google Search Console
Upon doing so, you’ll be required to sign up and verify ownership of your domain.
Once that is done, you can manually input any domain or subdomain that you want Google to inspect/crawl.
Keep in mind that you’re only able to index domains and sub-domains that you own and have verified ownership of.
So if you own multiple websites or are using landing page builders such as Clickfunnels and have a different domain than your website you’ll have to verify each one.
Check out a Complete Search Console Guide By HubSpot
When To No-Index A Landing Page?
Google and search engines alike will naturally crawl and index your website and the content on it.
You will have to manually select the option to not have them crawl certain pages and make them invisible to search engines.
I will cover on how to do so later on in this post, but I’ve broken it down in 5 main categories as to why you don’t want to index landing pages.
- Thank You Page/Confirmation Page – Making sure that your thank you pages or confirmation pages aren’t indexed by search engines is very important.
Creating a landing page/sales funnel is a lot of work and creating something that converts in a streamlined process is even harder.
The last thing that you’d want is someone searching for something and landing on your page or sales funnel a few steps into the process.
For example, say you’re selling an E-book and I searched for a book similar to what you’re promoting. Upon clicking on a link instead of being taken to your sales page where you highlight the features of your book, I’m directed to a thank-you page as if I’ve already purchased it.
This is why it is very important to No-index a ‘Thank You Page’, or any subdomain that isn’t related to the beginning of the sales process.
- Promotional Landing Pages – Most marketers create separate landing pages and sales funnels around specific promotions and time-sensitive offers.
By doing so you’re able to really create a personalized experience for the consumer which will result in higher conversion rates, but by having such a personalized landing page or sales funnel you wouldn’t want it to appear in the search results because you’d have no control of who landed on it.
If I was running a paid advertisement I would know the exact demographics and interests of who would potentially see my landing page. If it was appearing in search anyone, interested in anything could possibly see it.
- Competing With Your Own Pages – If you have a page that is performing well in search engines and is ranking.
If you wanted to boost the engagement even more by running pay per click or paid advertisements to that same page doing so might confuse Google.
By doing so you would have 2 pages in Google’s eyes, but they are on the same subject and or product. So naturally, whichever is performing better, will get chosen as a priority, and only be sent traffic.
A way to avoid this would be to create landing pages on an entirely different domain or No-index anything you run PPC (Pay-Per-Click) to.
- Short-Term or Time Sensitive Promotion – Unless done manually, it can take quite some time to index and have content start appearing in the search results.
Making sure that you no index time-sensitive promotions such as grand openings, product launch, or discounts will ensure that you don’t start to appear in search after the promotion is over or isn’t relevant anymore.
Also, you’ll want to no-index them because even if you’ve taken them down after the promotion they will sometimes still appear in search but upon clicking on them the consumer will be taken to a broken link.
- Analytics and Tracking – The ability to see clearly who’s landing on your pages, where they’re coming from, and all of the metrics involved with digital marketing are crucial to having successful campaigns.
Keeping all of your data uncontaminated as possible will ensure that you will have the most amount of control when it comes to how and who is landing on your pages.
Related Post: Sales Funnel VS Landing Page | What’s The Difference?
How To No-Index A Landing Page?
It is pretty straight forward on making sure that Google and other search engines don’t crawl your content.
This can be done in a few different ways, which I’ve listed below.
- “Robots.txt” – A way to ensure that portions of your website or landing page aren’t indexed is by adding Robots.txt file. By doing so you will have the ability to chose which pages and sections of your website that you don’t want to be crawled/indexed.
This is something that you would do inside of Google’s Search Console and you can read a complete guide on Robots.Txt Here.
- “No-Follow” Meta Tags – A no-follow or no-index meta tag is the most effective and straight forward way to ensure that a page doesn’t get indexed.
You can simply copy the code above and add them to the header sections (HTML)
- Orphan Your Page – You can alternatively create landing pages that are entirely separate from your home domain.
Creating a landing page under an entirely different domain and or ensuring that you don’t link from your main site to your landing page.
Related Post: How Can Landing Pages Help Your Business?
While with almost any question, the answer could be it depends.
However, a good rule of thumb is to keep it separate.
- Index everything that is evergreen and you plan to have around for a long time
- Make sure that time-sensitive promotions or paid advertising are Un-indexed.
Most marketers will utilize landing pages and sales funnels primarily when you’re doing any type of paid advertising, and if you fall into that category be sure to NO-INDEX your pages so you’re able to get an accurate measure of data.