Optimising your landing pages can have a huge impact on your conversion rates and enhance the efficiency of your whole marketing operation. Here are the three things you should look at first when deciding what to test.
Framing things so that they appeal to your target audience is essential for the success of any marketing campaign. And landing pages have a very specific role to play in the equation.
Towards the start of the marketing loop, they are essential for convincing prospects to part with their personal details in exchange for your content. Further along the customer journey, you might use them to persuade prospects to register for your events, try your products or even contact your sales team directly.
It takes different messages and techniques to do each of these things effectively. But despite that, less than half of B2B PPC campaigns lead prospects to a dedicated landing page.
As you’re about to see, that is a mistake.
It’s often easy to boost your landing page conversion rates – and taking the time to do so at the start of a campaign will improve the ROI of all your subsequent lead generation activities.
In 2017, Moz boosted the number of sales its ‘pro membership’ landing page was generating by 52 per cent in just a single split test. Over the course of four months, the SEO giant ran a series of tests that boosted its conversion rates by 170 per cent and generated $1 million in additional revenue.
But before we get to that, we should consider why many prospects abandon your landing pages without downloading your content, signing up to your mailing lists or responding to your calls to action.
In short, this happens because features like content gates and contact forms turn interacting with your website into a type of transaction. Asking customers for their cash or personal details puts the onus on you to prove the value of what you’re offering in exchange.
So, an effective landing page must do two things: 1) it must promise the customer something valuable and 2) it must get them to trust that your content or business will deliver on that promise.
Today, we’ll show you three effective techniques for doing exactly that. In the process, you’ll discover how to design landing pages that meet customer expectations, craft compelling landing page copy and achieve greater conversion rates through content personalisation.
How to create effective landing pages
There is no such thing as a perfect landing page. Some will work better than others. But the best design, content and customer experience in any given case will depend on who your audience is, what you’re offering them and what you want them to do.
What do they care about? What are their needs? Might they have reservations about your content or brand? What will it take to win them over?
These are the same questions companies must answer when developing their goods and services, writing white papers or creating new pieces of flagship content. So, when the time comes to create your landing pages, you should already have a clear idea about how to answer them.
Every single element of a landing page should be geared towards conveying the answers to these questions to your audience – from the headline to the length of the copy, the design of the page and beyond.
At the same time, it’s important to have a clear idea of what your prospects expect to see when they visit one of your landing pages.
Analyse the competitive landscape to get a clear picture of the typical elements that are included in the type of landing page you’ll be working on, how they’re usually designed and what messaging is commonly used.
Keep a record of anything you like and think might be worth testing. You can then use these ideas as inspiration when creating your own landing pages.
When it comes to discovering what combination of elements works best in a given situation, the A/B split test is your secret weapon.
Use the insights you uncover during your competitor analysis as a starting point. Then, use landing page software like Unbounce to create variations you can test using the three proven techniques you’re about to discover.
1. Choose the right design for your needs
It’s a myth that short landing pages always work best in B2B marketing. Sometimes you need that extra content to get your point across.
When you’re just asking someone for their contact details, you might only need a few sentences to make a compelling case for the trade. But it takes a great deal more persuasion to show someone why they should request a product demo or buy something from you directly.
For example, the Moz landing page we mentioned earlier that boosted sales or the company’s paid product by 52 per cent was five times longer than the brand’s old landing page.
Moz’s marketers realised that their salespeople would need at least five minutes to make the case for their paid product in a face‐to‐face consultation. So, it stood to reason that their landing page should be a similar length.
The journey a prospect takes to arrive on a page will also have an impact on the information they need to see when they get there.
Someone who knows exactly what they’re looking for may be happy to skim the headline and click the call to action straight away. Meanwhile, prospects that still have gaps in their knowledge may need to know more before they’re ready to respond.
You may feel it’s best to cater for prospects with a range of knowledge levels or focus on just your most aware prospects, depending on the role a given landing page will play in your marketing campaigns.
The important thing is to make sure the length of your landing pages reflects the amount of content you’ll need to win your audience’s trust in each case.
At the same time, building visual elements into your landing pages will help to catch and hold your audience’s attention. Eye‐tracking studies show that people pay close attention to relevant information‐carrying images. Prospects spend more time looking at them than they do reading text on the page.
Adding video content to landing pages has also been shown to increase conversion rates by as much as 86 per cent.
But remember, each element you add into your landing page takes up more of your prospects’ time and will backfire if it doesn’t resonate with them. So, only test adding new sections when you have a rational reason for doing so.
When targeting prospects earlier on in the buyer journey, you may even find that removing certain page elements improves your conversion rates.
Consider using content gates with fewer fields to lower the ‘price’ you’re asking for your content and try to remove redundant bits of landing page copy to convey your key messages more concisely.
2. Craft better landing page copy
It should go without saying that the words you use will determine how people respond to your content. They are the second thing you should look at when optimising any landing page.
Good marketing copy starts by making a bold and exciting promise to the customer, painting a clear picture of how you plan to improve their life. It then provides proof that your promise is realistic and attainable, before giving the reader the push they need to take the desired action.
When creating shorter landing pages, you’ll typically want to get as much of the key information as possible ‘above the fold’. Ensuring the headline, hero image and call to action are immediately visible will make sure your prospects don’t need to scroll down the page to absorb your message.
Longer pages will give you more options to use words, imagery and data visualisations to bring key points to life. The aim here is to earn a prospect’s trust before presenting them with a call to action. Look to include all the most enticing information above the fold to get prospects to scroll further down.
Research conducted at Stanford has shown that a poor initial website experience can eliminate up to 75 per cent of your potential sales
Neil Patel, marketing guru
Remember that the headline is the first thing a prospect will read. It’s your one chance to grab their attention and get them to read on.
Choose from these six headline types to align your messaging with where your prospects are in the customer journey. Then, test several variations that convey the ‘promise’ of your landing page in different and creative ways.
Any copy that follows your headline should build on that initial promise – highlighting additional benefits, providing proof to back up your claims or conveying why your prospects should take action now.
Consider testing versions of your landing page with extra testimonials or case studies to support the claims made in your headline.
At the same time, be sure to stress how any features of the thing you’re promoting will benefit the reader. You probably wouldn’t care if a printer brand told you their cartridges now hold 50 per cent more ink. But you might if they said they last 50 per cent longer.
3. Build a personalised user experience
Bespoke landing pages work better than generic ones because they instantly show the reader that what they’re seeing is relevant to them. That’s why companies with more landing pages tend to see better conversion rates than their competitors.
In fact, when HubSpot analysed the marketing campaigns of more than 7,000 businesses, it found that companies typically see a 55 per cent increase in leads when they move from ten landing pages to 15.
Now, modern technology is allowing marketers to take this principle one step further and target narrowly defined segments of your audience with messages tailored to their specific needs.
For example, if you were publishing a research report into global perceptions of risk, you might decide to create bespoke landing pages for each industry vertical it covers to create a more personalised experience.
An executive at a tech company is far more likely to be interested in the risks facing the tech industry than she is in risk in general.
This approach is especially important if you’re using audience segmentation to serve ultra‐targeted search, email or social ads to your prospects. No one should click on a personalised ad and arrive on a generic landing page.
That’s the key to crafting landing pages that convert in a nutshell. The more relevant you can make something to a prospect’s specific situation, the more likely it is to resonate with them and the easier it will be to come up with messages they will find enticing.
- Your secret weapon is the A/B split test. Create and test multiple landing page variations to see what works best.
- The design and layout of any given landing page should reflect the amount of content you need to win your prospects’ trust.
- Use personalised copy to speak directly to your prospects and convey the key benefits of the things you’re promoting to them.