Lead generation and conversion. It’s every B2B marketer’s top priority! Yet so many marketing pros and business owners struggle with this task. Want a leg up on the competition? Here’s a quick primer on how to design an effective and optimized landing page.
First, a few basics. Landing pages are often referred to as “lead capture pages” because that’s exactly what they’re supposed to do. They exist solely to capture a visitor’s contact information through the use of a form. In exchange for their contact information, prospects obtain your offer. And presto! There’s your new lead.
Why should you start developing landing pages? For starters, according to our partner HubSpot, businesses with 31 to 40 landing pages obtained 7 times more leads than those with only 1 to 5 landing pages. Those with over 40 landing pages generated 12 times more leads!
Even if you’re unfamiliar with landing pages, creating them can be painless if you know what to do.
So let’s get started. An effective landing page should contain the following key elements:
- A headline and (optional) sub-headline that not only pop, but are consistent with the corresponding Call-to-Action
- A brief description of the offer, clearly and accurately describing its benefits
- A relevant supporting image or logo
- Supporting elements (optional) such as testimonials or a security badge
- And most importantly, a form to capture the visitor’s contact information
Now that you have basic landing page anatomy under your belt, let’s cut right to the chase! Here are the 5 steps to start optimizing your own compelling, lead-generating landing pages:
Step #1 – Keep your form above the fold.
Most people don’t like to scroll down a web page to find what they’re searching for. This is not only tedious and time consuming, but it discourages visitors from downloading your content. Your form should be directly on-screen when the visitor arrives on your landing page! Always remember that less is more.
A cluttered landing page results in a sidetracked visitor. Just get to the point! The offer itself will provide all the extra information. In addition to your headline, you should include a brief paragraph followed by a few bullet points outlining the benefits of the offer. End of story.
Step #2 – Remove your main website navigation.
Once a visitor arrives on a landing page, it’s your job to keep them there. Do not be tempted to construct your landing page around the infrastructure of your website and include links to other “great stuff” you would like them to read about. Again, the lone mission of your landing page is to obtain information and convert your visitors into leads.
Remove all navigation links to your website, so you don’t distract the visitor and decrease the chances of conversion! You don’t want to encourage potential leads to wander off in a different direction.
Step #3 – Keep your offer short and sweet.
Avoid distracting, confusing, or overwhelming your visitors by keeping your landing page copy straightforward and simple. Be clear about what you are offering and what you are requesting in return. The more copy your visitor has to read, the less likely they will be to take action, so cut down on the fancy bells & whistles.
With that said, brief doesn’t mean boring. Use bullet points to your advantage to emphasize the benefits of your offer in a concise, easy-to-read manner – but remember it’s more than just a list. Instead of writing “includes A, B, C, etc.” try something like “See how A, B, and C can double your productivity.
Step #4 – Optimize your forms.
First, consider your form’s length. Though there is no universal answer, when it comes to how many fields it should contain, you should collect only the information you really need. Try adjusting the styling to make the form “look” shorter by reducing the spacing in between fields or aligning the titles to the left of each box.
Next, your submit button text should reflect a benefit that relates to what the visitor is receiving. It shouldn’t just say “Submit.” Keep the focus on what the lead is receiving, as opposed to what they are handing over. Furthermore, make sure the link actually looks like a “clickable” button.
Finally, people may be reluctant to give up their contact information. Try adding a privacy message that indicates their email will not be shared or sold. Or include customer testimonials or certifications to let visitors know their information is safe and secure.
Step #5 – Facilitate social sharing!
As always, remember to prominently display social media sharing buttons on your landing page to enable your prospects to share content and offers. As people tend to have differing sharing preferences, include multiple social media channels in addition to email options. Word-of-mouth marketing can work greatly in your favor!People trust others they know, and they’re more likely to download content advertised by their peers.
Though lead conversion may be easier said than done, with these 5 steps, you’ll start generating leads left and right! So what are you waiting for? Start creating and optimizing your landing pages and achieving the conversion results you deserve!
[Image from Flickr user ianmunroe]