Landing Pages: Optimizing your Landing Page for Lead Generation
Do you have an awesome landing page? Have you done anything in terms of landing page optimization? Are you looking for leads, but think your page’s bounce rate is higher than it should be? Do you have B2B lead generation objectives to achieve?
In this article, I’ll show you how to optimize your landing page's design for lead generation by:
Optimizing your SEO
Focusing on value
Optimizing your sign up form for engagement
Implementing a customer testimonial campaign
Let’s check it out.
Optimize it for SEO
When it comes to creating a landing page it should be considered that the chief source of most leads is still search. Increase the chance of a lead finding your landing page in the first place by optimizing it with Google’s search algorithm in mind.
Optimize your Landing Page’s Title:
Your landing page’s title is what shows up in the tab. This is different than your page headline, USP or what shows in the URL. When creating your page in wordpress or with HTML, keep in mind the title best practices:
Keep it short
Keep it keyword-centric
Use long-tail format
What’s long-tail format?
Since the Hummingbird update, Google is prioritizing the context of a search as much as it is the keywords. Long-tail is this context-centric search format.
Think of asking SIRI ‘Where’s the best Thai restaurant in the area?’ She scurries off with that information and comes back with a response that makes sense. Google is designing its search to do the same. Instead of ‘Landing pages: 10 steps to Conversions’, test out calling your landing page something like ‘How to Build a Landing Page that Converts’ as this is what people will search for on Google.
Your title is what Google’s little algorithm bot sees first when it’s sent off by a web user’s search. Optimize your landing page’s title and that bot will see you first.
Social Share Buttons
If you’re basing your landing page around a resource (like an ebook or a whitepaper), that content is highly shareable. And since Google’s hummingbird update earlier this fall, social shares are more valuable than ever. In fact, Google+1’s are now ranked as more important than link-building (something traditional SEO gurus are struggling with, to say the least).
Encourage social engagement by promoting your landing page on Facebook, Twitter and, especially Google+. And, perhaps most importantly (and simply) throw up a few social share buttons along the side or at the top of your landing page. This has been quoted as increasing the virality of a blog post, for instance, by up to 700%. Social share buttons can help that much because you're hopefully boosting the traffic to your landing page with ads, anyway.
5 More Awesome SEO tips
Use different headings tags (like h4 and h1) and bold and italicize keywords: the Google search bot sees these more than it does normal text
Optimize your copy with keywords, dynamically and fluidly spread throughout
Include an image with alt tags - this lets the search engine know what your image is about. Also will show up in image search
Link to your landing page within your own website
Syndicate your landing page as much as possible with link-building on forums and social media platforms
For more information about optimizing for SEO, check out my article How to Easily Optimize your Blog for SEO. Many of the takeaways apply for landing pages as well.
Focus on Value
In order to encourage a lead to engage, you need to convince them it’s worth it. This means value propositions and a great USP. It also means you keep your landing page simple. You should be convincing quickly and easily. Ask your page visitor to read too much, do too much, and they’ll bounce.
One of the main strategies in lead generation is limiting your landing page’s bounce rate to the smallest percentage you can. Realistically, you’ll be jumping for joy and screaming from the mountaintops if your page’s conversion rate is over 20%.
A recently-discovered best practice is that people respond to specific numbers far more than they do round numbers. For instance, quoting your business as having 80,000 customers is less believable (and therefore less powerful for conversions) as quoting your business as having 75,250 customers.
Keep your value propositions simple:
Make the benefit of your business easy to understand.
Use dollar values, percentages, the word ‘free’.
Don’t use too much page space selling the specifics of your service or your resource.
If you’re using an email-gated ebook or other resource for lead-generation, think about your benefit list as the second point of your argument. Your Value Proposition and image draw their attention, and your list of benefits tell them, specifically, how they stand to benefit from entering their information and downloading your resource.
3 Benefit Formulas:
[Number of things] you’ll learn in this ebook
How this resource will cause a ’ [desired result]
The [number of steps] to [a certain goal]
Optimize your Sign Up Form
Your sign up form is the focus of a lead-generating landing page. As far as your lead-generation funnel goes, that entry form CTA is the equivalent of ‘proceed to check out’. So make sure it’s optimized for conversions with these easy steps:
Draw the Eye:
You want your entry form to be obvious - don’t hide it below-the-fold or with small font. Not only will this increase interaction, it’ll make it clear to visitors what you’re asking of them. Web users like things simple and clear. If they feel there’s any chance they’re being swindled they’ll bounce.
6 Sign Up Tips for your landing page design:
Encapsulate your sign up form within a box
Draw attention to your entry form with the brightly-colored CTA button
Use a vertical or horizontal line to separate your sign up form from the rest of the page
Include an action-oriented headline above your form fields (like ‘Get Your Trial Started’, or ‘Start Learning Now’)
Contrast the color of your entry form box with the page around it
A/B Test including a short descriptive sentence describing what happens when they click your CTA
Balance Demographic Collection with Bounce Rate
Optimizing your entry form is about weighing up the valuable information you’re getting from a lead (details you can use to segment the emails/advertisements they receive) versus the amount of form fields it takes to increase bounce rate.
Pro Tip: Unless it’s absolutely necessary, avoid asking for a phone number. People are far more resistant to giving out phone numbers than they are of an email, or even an address. Spam emails are more accepted than telemarketing calls during dinner.
Let’s say you’re heavily invested in email marketing, and it’s working really well for your business. It may be more important to your business to know the demographic details of 10 leads than to know nothing about 20. Email marketing works best if you’re able to personalize and segment your emails. However, this is entirely up to your business.
One of the benefits of email-gating an ebook or other resource for lead generation is that you know people who downloaded it are interested in that content. Target them with similar content in the future.
For more information on segmenting your email marketing campaigns to get the best ROI possible, read my colleague Krista’s article 4 Strategies to Optimize your Email Segmentation.
Customer Testimonials or Trust Symbols
I’ve talked about the value of trust symbols before, but I don’t want you to think that just because you’re no longer optimizing for a sale you can forget them.
Let’s say your page is focused around a free ebook or white-paper. This valuable content is email-gated, so there’s no real proof (apart from what you’re saying) that what you’re promising will be delivered.
That is, unless you include a customer testimonial, like a quote (I recommend including a picture of the customer, as it makes it far more trustworthy) or short video clip. If you’re asking for a phone number or email address, be sure to let people know - obviously - that you don’t sell these details or spam them.
Customer testimonials act as a social endorsement, which have grown in importance in the past few years. This is because, since Amazon, Yelp, and other sites made customer reviews such a huge part of a successful product, your service needs to do the same.
Pro Tip: Many businesses have found their highest conversion rates come from a landing page built around a photogenic customer’s testimonial. Incorporate an awesome case study for the value proposition with a large picture and a clear benefit list of how your page visitor can get the same result.
Hopefully you now have a better idea of how to work on landing page optimization for lead generation. Be sure to prioritize your entry form, communicate simply and accurately, and use a customer testimonial to convince your possible lead to convert.
Have you had success optimizing your landing page for lead generation versus sale? Are there any other variables you’d add to this list? Start the conversation below!