B2B Inbound Tips and Tools: Landing Page Best Practices
From time-to-time I'll share some B2B inbound tips and tools I gain along my learning path and practical experience. This one focuses on some practical advice on a topic very important to B2B sales lead generation: Landing Page Optimization.
Last Friday I attended a breakout session on Landing Page Optimization at the Online Marketing Summit in San Jose. It was led by Tim Ash, president and CEO of SiteTuners.com.
Mr. Ash, author of Landing Page Optimization: The Definitive Guide to Testing and Tuning for Conversions (Amazon.com Associates link) and expert in the field, shared some best practices and tools for improving the conversion rate of landing pages. If you're getting decent traffic to your landing pages, but conversions are low (below say 4%) you may benefit from some or all of these tips.
Here are some key takeaways from the session:
Less is More
Unless your offer is very complex and sophisticated (and you're dealing with the top of the funnel conversions) it's best to reduce the amount of content (copy images, forms, etc) to the bare essentials.
For example, with regards to your conversion form, ask yourself the question: "What is the minimum amount of information needed from the prospect to complete the transaction?" If you're like me, you may have "required" and non-required form fields on your conversion forms. Let's re-examine them, shorten up our forms and remove the resistance barriers to conversion.
Advice to Designers: "Leave your creativity at the door"
Landing pages, according to Ash are not the place for impressing us with your design and artistic capabilities. Focus on the information your prospect needs in order to complete your desired action. Anything else is unnecessary window dressing and may actually become a barrier to conversion.
Personalize for a Specific Audience
To the fullest extent possible, we should get inside the head of our market persona. The landing page (similar to web pages and blog articles) are for them. They're not about our products or services and how great we think they are. Care about your prospects questions, needs, problems and give them the answers they're looking for in the language they'd use.
Try and understand, to the best of your ability, the fullest makeup of the person or persons you're trying to market.
Employ The "Obvious" Standard
If it's not obvious it doesn't convert. Ash shared examples of landing pages that were improved for conversions using some of the tools mentioned below. Key findings that significantly impacted conversion rates had to do with:
- placing the conversion form/call to action ABOVE the fold
- making the conversion action/button really STAND OUT
Use Tools to Help Optimize Your Landing Pages
There are a number of tools available to help you find problems with your landing pages. Some are free and some require paid monthly subscription. Increasing conversions 2X or more with the use of paid tools makes investment in a landing page optimization tool well worth it.
Here are some of the tools Ash shared:
- Crazy Egg. This tool is in the category of analytics called, "in-page web analytics" that tracks user behavior as they interact with your landing page. With crazyegg you can aggregate all user behavior and see where they've moved their mouse and where they've clicked on the page. This is good for figuring out what kind of experience people are having on your page, where they're looking (with their mouse) and clicking. crazyegg offers an overview and demo of their tool. Prices start at $9.00 per month which allows you to track up to 10,000 monthly visits (page views).
- Click Tale. This tool is a bit more sophisticated and a market leader in the in-page analytics category. It will actually record the user interactions on your page and allow you to watch them. In the Behavior Analytics category the visitor recordings allow you to see where users click on your page, if they scroll and what fields of your conversion form they leave blank - just as if you were standing over their shoulder! These insights along with their conversion and marketing analytics will help you find the common stumbling blocks in your design, conversion form, layout and areas of attention, or lack thereof. Click Tale offers a free, limited plan for up to 400 recorded page views per month. Definitely check this one out!
- Attention Wizard. This is a tool Tim Ash developed. And, according to the overview on the website, "AttentionWizard uses advanced artificial intelligence algorithms to simulate human visual processing and attention. Our software instantly creates an "attention heatmap" of your Web page that predicts where someone would look during the first few seconds of their visit." Unlike the above mentioned tools, it doesn't use mouse tracking. All you do is upload an image of your page and you'll get instant results. Once you see the simulated heatmap results you can then make improvements to your page, upload a new image and see the results. Here's a before and after sample. Attention Wizard offers a free "Lite" Heatmaps service where you can get generate one heatmap free per day. Here's an idea of what the simulated attention heatmap looked like on a landing page I ran from Learning Tree International off the keyword search, "workload management training."
As you can see, there's a number of (2-3) hot spots where a visitor's eye may view the page within the first few seconds. The question you have to ask yourself is, is this where I want them to look...are they finding my desired call to action?
My initial reaction to this page was there's a lot going on and I didn't really know where to look. I had trouble locating the information related to the ad and keyword I clicked on (workload management training). I'd probably hit the back button and continue my search!
Key takeaway: Spending some time and resources to test your landing pages before promoting them can make a big difference in the results you hope to acheive from them.
More Landing Page Optimization Resources
What have been your experiences with landing pages?
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