Landing Pages for Lead Generation
Bad landing pages can really upset me. I'm sure that sounds ridiculous, but Oli Gardner said they basically pissed him off, so being upset isn't such a bad thing, right? Your landing pages are ground zero for the success or failure of your digital marketing campaigns.
How do you know if your landing page is bad? Well, are you seeing any conversions? If not, then it’s probably bad. If you're not sure, then we should talk about your landing pages. Whether you’re seeing some conversions or no conversions, here are 27 little things you can do to improve your landing pages. We’ll take these one at a time from easiest to most complex.
Write Better Headlines
Does your landing page headline introduce visitors to your offer? Is it a clear value proposition for your business?
If you have a landing page isn't generating leads, then start by improving the copy in the headings.
Align Your Form Length to Your Offer
Your B2B landing page form is where you set the cost of your offer to the visitor. Your visitor is weighing the value of your offer based on the amount of information you’re asking for in the form.
If you put in too many fields, then you may drive down your conversion rates because the perceived value of your offer doesn’t align with the amount of information that you’re asking for. Consider what the minimum amount of information you’re willing to accept for someone to have access to your content or offer.
What are the critical pieces of information you need in order to give away your offer? If your assessment is very valuable, then this could be worth gating more heavily. If you have a top of the funnel offer that you’re looking to get in front of as many visitors as possible, then consider only using the email address field.
Segment by Channel
If you have the ability to segment based on channel, then you’ll see a benefit. By building in channel segmentation, you’ll be able to identify which sources of traffic are the strongest and which are the weakest.
If you see that your conversion rate from email is very high, but the rate from your pay-per-click campaign is very low, then you’ll want to adjust based on that information. When you focus your efforts on the channels that are converting at the highest rates, this will help push up your overall conversion rates.
If you have the ability to, build out landing pages with specific channels in mind. A visitor coming from a LinkedIn advertisement may have different expectations of a landing page than someone who came in through an email. When possible, build your landing pages with the channel in mind.
Use Conversion Coupling (or Design Symmetry)
Are the methods that you’re using to drive traffic to your landing page aligned with what’s featured on the landing page? This is what is referred to as Conversion Coupling. Your messages in social media, email, advertising, and other platforms should give the visitor a continuity of experience.
When you use symmetry between the design and language of your inbound tactics and the design and language of your landing page, you should start seeing better conversion rates.
The example below gives a clear example of using symmetry between display ad and the landing page that visitors see.
Test Your Landing Pages
With most things, there's always room for improvement. Landing pages are no different. Running basic optimization tests to improve the performance of your landing pages doesn't need to be difficult.
Running a Split Test
- Create your landing page
- Duplicate it so that you have 2 identical pages
- Change your primary headline - which should be your USP - so that one is short and one is long
- Setup your testing tool to split traffic evenly across the 2 landing pages
- Monitor the performance of each page during 500-1,000 unique visits (ideally 1,000 visits to each page will give you a winner)
- Pick a winner
Running A/B Tests
A/B Tests get a little more complicated. Don’t worry about testing colors. Test whether one image is better than another or which headline is better than another. Consider which positioning of the form is better.
Remember not to test multiple things at one time or else you won’t know what factor is causing the change in conversion rate. Use your original landing page as the control and build two variations where you adjust a single aspect of the page. When you find the winner between the landing pages, use that page and start to test other factors.
Keep The Attention Ratio 1:1
How many things do you want someone to do on your landing page? If you only want them to do one thing, then only give them one path into that thing. Moz blog has a great take on landing page attention ratio. Basically the rule here is: Don’t distract them with other options.
A common problem on bad landing pages is giving the visitor too many things to do. If you want them to watch a video, put the video front and center. If you want them to fill out a form, consider not putting a video or prominent off-page links on the page. The focus of the page should be getting people to fill out the form.
Provide Visitors with a Great Offering
Your knowledge and time is valuable. Companies spend a lot of time and resources putting together digital content. When you’re offering a detailed service assessment or consultation, you know that the hours your team spends will add up quickly (and those hours are not free for you).
When you build offers and content that people would be willing to pay for and you give it away for contact information, which can hurt a little at first. It will pay off when you start to turn those conversions and assessments into customers.
Write Your Value Proposition Again, and Again, and Again
Have you sold your visitor on the value of converting on your landing page? Or have you just put a form in front of them that directs them to fill out the form to get the content or offer?
Your landing page needs a strong value prop. This is your chance to entice and persuade your audience. Let them know why your offer will be valuable to them. Give them some sense of what they’ll be getting by filling out the form (or what they’ll be missing if they don’t).
Show Your Visitors that You Care
If you’re looking for sensitive information from people, make sure that you’re telling them that their information is valuable and won’t be misused.
Let them know that you’re going to be a good steward of their information and that their privacy matters.
Consider Prospects Fear of Commitment and Address It
Although your visitor is going to want to know the value prop, they’re also going to have some questions related to your offer.
Amazon does a great job of anticipating the questions of their shoppers by including customer responses to common questions.
If you’re promoting an event, for instance, make sure to include all relevant event details. If you’re offering a consultation, let them know things like where it will take place, how much time it will take, and who should be involved.
Utilize a Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
Try to make them want what you have NOW. If your offer is time-based or limited, let people know.
The less someone thinks and the more they take action, the better your conversion rates will be. Put words in front of them that drive the decision based on time-factors like limited availability or a cutoff date for your offer.
In the example below, you'll see that Amazon does a brilliant job of this.
Create a Desire by Clearly Stating the Benefits
Consider the reasons why someone would want your offer. Why MUST they convert on your landing page? Get in their shoes and think about this.
If your landing page language can provoke desire in someone (like the sense of urgency), their reptilian brain is going to kick in and take the action necessary to acquire the offer.
Keep it Positive - Don't Talk About Problems, Talk About Solutions
Get the visitor to envision having the solution to their problems and not thinking about their problems.
They don’t want to hear too much about what your solution or service is. What they care about is what it will do for them. Do what you can to personalize the page’s language and speak to the visitor on how your offer will be the solution to their problems.
Lose the CAPTCHA
Please, please stop with the Captcha. This creates friction in the conversion process.
You don’t want to put additional steps in front someone. Adding the CAPTCHA isn’t for your page visitors. It’s for you. CAPTCHAs are conversion killers. While it may cost you additional time on the back-end filtering through conversions, cutting the CAPTCHA will pay off in the long run.
Build Trust and Use Social Proof
Can you include social logos? Customer logos? Industry or business certifications? Number of shares? Is your phone number visible?
If you can build in these items, it will benefit your page. People like to know that others who have worked with you trust you. These social proofs help enhance brand trust. Enhanced brand trust means that people are going to be more willing to provide you with the contact information that your form requires.
Make the Page Scannable
Stop assuming that people are reading your landing page! Can someone glance at your landing page give it a scan and tell you what it’s about accurately?
If this isn’t the case, start changing your copy. If you take one thing away from this article, take this internet truism: People don’t read all of your copy. Hell, sometimes they only read the first few characters of a sentence before they determine whether they’re going to read on at all. Attention spans are short. Get right to the point and make sure your page can be easily scanned and understood. People will make their decision to move forward with the page—or not—based on that initial scan of the page.
Does the language on page represent reality? If you say that people are getting the best eBook ever, you sure as heck better give them an amazing eBook. Or else, they aren't going to trust you in the future.
All too often, landing pages exaggerate on the benefits or the value. Let’s be real. People have a radar for this, and this kind of exaggerating language can make your landing page seem like a bad infomercial. Make your value prop case straightforward and compelling. Get rid of exaggerations.
QA your landing pages
This might be the simplest tip here, but it’s often overlooked.
No reason to elaborate, it should be straight forward. Get rid of typos, misspellings, etc.
"Keep it Simple Stupid"
As Mark Twain said, “Don’t use a five-dollar word when a fifty-cent word will do.”
Don’t overwhelm people with big words or complex sentences. Twain never encountered a landing page, but he would have also told you this: “Don’t be verbose. Use plain, simple language, short words, and brief sentences.”
Use Contrast to Direct Attention to Important Elements
Wherever the contrast on web pages is greatest is where people will focus.
Everybody has cognitive abilities to view color contrast in design. You can’t help but focus on reasonably bright and attractive colors when there are neutrals surrounding it. Make good use of your white space and draw people’s eyes to the form and the button.
Make it Obvious that the Button is a Button
The button is the thing you want to get the visitor to click on. It’s the gateway from visitor to conversion. Make it stand out on the page. Don't get cute or experiment here.
This is a tried and true heuristic technique. People use mental shortcuts, or heuristics, to help them make decisions. Don’t make your visitor think, “Where is the button?” Make this last step intuitive. Make your button look like a button. This is known as "Usability Heuristics".
Write Better Button Copy
If a stranger said to you, "submit!", how would you respond? Did they just ask you to give up? Maybe you're like me and have a flashback to your childhood when your older brother (Jeff) would hold you under the water in the pool... "Submit, Marty, you'll never defeat me!"
You don't want your visitors to "submit". You want them to "receive" something, "learn" something, "try" something for free, "register", "request", or "get help".
“Submit” is telling someone what to do, not what you're generously giving them. Be personal - don't talk to their computer, talk to them. Consider using button copy that’s a rejoinder of the form heading.
Lose the Animation. Seriously.
People get distracted easily. Especially on the internet
Another internet truism is that people are easily distracted by moving objects. No scrolling banners, crazy gifs, or auto-play videos. Removing these distractions will help improve your conversion rate.
Use a Beautiful Image - But Be Careful
If you can get a big, beautiful image to load fast and if it doesn’t conflict with the form or the content, then you can present a pleasing page to the visitor.
Align the image with the message so that the image helps the visitor understand your offering more quickly. Remember that people are scanning and deciding very rapidly. Anything that you can do to help this process along should lead to higher lead rates.
Make Sure the Page Loads FAST
Your page should load on desktop in 2 seconds or less and on mobile in under 3 seconds. No ifs, ands, or buts.
Many of your visitors made their initial click to your page on an impulse. A webpage that loads slowly impedes that impulse decision. Online attention spans are anemic and visitors are impatient. A lot of landing pages are bloated because of slow loading images. Check out my Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Images for Site Speed and SEO if you’re looking for help making images load faster.
Simplify the Design
Confusing designs are distracting and overwhelming. Visitors don't know where to look or what to do. Don't copy your competitors, they probably don't know what they're doing either.
Too many landing pages are busy, have too many colors, use small or grey text, and have way too much irrelevant copy. Professional-looking pages build trust in your brand. Make sure everything that is there is required for your goal. If there’s anything there that isn’t necessary get rid of it. Get comfortable with white space.
Test the Performance on Different Devices and Browsers
This factor is easy to overlook, but it could be hurting your conversion rates.
You did a test and you confirmed that your landing page worked in your primary browser. But did you check others? If your landing page isn’t compatible with other browsers, you could be losing out on conversions because of page rendering issues or buttons not working or showing up properly in a given browser or mobile format.
Do your due-diligence and make sure that the page works in as many formats and browsers as you can test. Use your site analytics to determine which browsers and devices your traffic is coming from.
More Ideas for Conversion Optimization
There you have it. If you only considered a handful of these tips, you’d start your path on the road to conversion optimization.
If you’ve taken some of the steps here and you STILL aren’t seeing conversions, then check out my other blog article, Confessions of an Angry Conversion Optimizer, to read more about why your content and offers aren’t converting and what you can do to improve your conversion rates.