When I google for the title of this blog post, I find numerous articles on why your landing pages should have no OUTBOUND links, but I see nothing on whether you want external links INBOUND to your landing pages.
In this post, I exp[lain that per Google, you do not.
External links and Google E-A-T
With every Google algorithm update, and especially with recent Google updates, they’re pushing us all to what they call E-A-T, which stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trust.
The basic idea is to rate pages that have a high degree of E-A-T above pages that don’t.
E-A-T seems to be an extension, of sorts, of the concept of PageRank, which is the idea that webpages pass “relevance” to each other when they link to each other.
As PageRank “gives ground” to E-A-T, it becomes even more important that the content on your website is “worthy” of being reference material for someone else.Need links?
The phrase “landing page” means different things in different contexts.
To marketing people
To marketing people, a landing page is a conversion page. It’s a page where a website user becomes a lead by providing the information you can use to follow up.
Information like an email address, a name, a phone number, a company name, etc.
You could also call this a “conversion page”.
In the Google Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines
If there is a “bible” about website content quality, it’s the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines document published by Google.
In this document, a landing page is any page you “land on” when you click a result in a Search Engine Result Page (SERP).Need links?
For this blog post, the phrase “landing page” means conversion page.
So, why you do NOT want backlinks to your landing pages
Because landing pages don’t educate, teach, inform, etc.
Landing pages, by definition, do not add to your site’s E-A-T.
In fact, landing pages are a blatant attempt to convert a website user to a lead, and as such can be considered purely commercial.
And while there is nothing wrong with purely commercial landing pages whose purpose is to turn website visitors into leads, they should be used in ways that ideally enhance the E-A-T of your website, and do not detract from it.
So, how DO landing pages enhance your site’s E-A-T?
By doing what this page is doing.
It provides useful information that teaches something important AND contains a button, shown in multiple places, that contains a marketing call to action and links to a landing/conversion page.Need links?
Use your website’s internal linking structure
Whether you know it or not, your website has an internal linking structure.
It’s the structure of which pages on your site link to which other pages on your site.
And in the same way that external links to your site pass PageRank to your site, internal links pass PageRank to your most important pages.
In the diagram below, the lowest layer is blog posts, the next layer up is your “pillar posts“, the next layer up are your landing pages, and the top layer is your home page.
Of course, no website has quite this pure of a hierarchical internal linking structure, but it’s a good model.
In short, do that.Need links?
But we don’t have a blog?
Understand that the initial posts are going to be bad. They always are.
As with anything, the more you do it, the better you get.
Below are two examples.
Example 1: The first post on a brand-new blog
It’s not great, but it’s a start.
Example 2: A high-quality post on a mature blog
To stay within Google’s E-A-T guidelines AND turn some of your website visitors into leads…
- Work to earn links to blog posts that inform, educate, teach, etc.
- Internally link from those blog posts to landing pages via the use of buttons with calls to action.
Featured image credit: gravitate