UPDATED: July 6, 2020 - Why is a landing page important? You might be wondering why you need to create separate, distinct pages that web visitors will be redirected to when they click on calls to action. After all, landing pages are time consuming to create, and you need a lot of them.
You might be hoping that you can get away with not using them. But the fact is the landing page is an indispensable part of marketing for lead generation.
Now if you're going with an ungating strategy, where all your content is available to the general public without an intent to collect contact information, then you might not need a landing page.
But if that is your strategy, you shouldn't be counting leads anyway and that's a story for another day and another article.
1. Generate Leads
At its core, your website really only has three objectives. First, to tell your story in a disruptive, compelling and emotional way. Next to attract new visitors to your business and finally to convert those visitors into leads.
Landing pages are critical in helping you to generate leads, starting a qualification process and then moving them through your sales process and into new customers.
Studies show that marketers capture leads at a higher rate by sending them to dedicated landing pages, rather than sending traffic to the home page. The landing page is the simplest, most effective way to generate more leads for your sales team.
It probably makes sense to dig into this in more detail.
Many of the companies who come to us for help are driving visitors to their home page. Their thinking makes sense, send them to our front door and let them walk the aisles as they so desire but that is flawed thinking.
People want to be directed to the information they seek quickly and efficiently. They don't want to shop around. They want what they came for and then they want to be on their way, only to come back as needed or if the value is there.
Landing page are very specific pages, designed to get visitors exactly what they want with the least amount of friction possible. You need these to turn visitors into leads.
2. Collect Prospect Demographics
The idea of the landing page is that your visitors must “pay” you in information in order to get access to an offer. On the landing page, visitors must fill out a form. Though the information you request will vary, most of it will encompass contact information and demographics. Of course, contact information gives you the info you need to start contacting leads.
But the demographics information is just as important. It gives you the data you need to understand your new leads and segment them more effectively in order to better target their needs, desires, and pain points. It also helps your sales team have more valuable conversations. And ultimately, this will improve sales.
While we might use the word demographics, what we really mean is landing pages are excellent vehicles for qualifying leads before they even get to sales.
The information collected from a landing page can determine if a lead goes to sales at all. Depending on their answers you might choose to enroll them in an automated nurture or pass them directly to sales.
All from the information collected on the landing page can be and should be used to qualify and or score your leads for additional action. For more information on lead scoring models, check out this page.
3. Track Data
Data from landing pages can be tracked, and this can help you understand just how engaged your prospects are. You’ll get to know if a prospect has downloaded multiple offers and signed up for several webinars, for example. This indicates the prospect is highly engaged and ready to purchase soon.
In addition, you can track and analyze landing page data to better understand how well your marketing offers are performing. You can compare data from various offers to see what’s working and what isn’t, so you can optimize your marketing.
Data from landing pages include time on page, conversion rate on this page, exits or bounces from this page, and number of leads generated from this page.
It's especially important to compare your landing pages to each other and create a benchmark for the performance of YOUR landing pages. Since every company, every industry and every visitor is essentially different--having your own benchmarks is much more important than running a Google search and comparing your performance to general landing page performance.
You can then rank your landing pages by performance metric and start working on those that are under performing.
Improving performance of a highly visited but low converting landing page is one of the best uses of your team's time when it comes to lead generation.
If you can spend 15 minutes and double the number of leads from a single landing page and then do this for the top four visited landing pages you can generate a huge lift in the area of lead generation.
The team at Square 2 regularly prioritizes work like this, focusing on what has the biggest impact for the least amount of effort. You can do this too.
4. Remove Distractions and Friction
Why is a landing page important? Because it inspires specific action from your prospects and visitors. If you were to send your visitors to your website’s home page, they could take a wide variety of actions, from checking out your blog to reading about your history.
Though this engagement is also good, it’s not what you actually wanted to happen. And it can delay or even distract from what you want, a new lead.
Landing pages need to be designed with all the distractions removed. Let's illustrate exactly what we mean.
Should a landing page have site wide navigation? No!
Should a landing page have social buttons? No!
Should a landing page have links to other pages on your site? No!
Should there be other related offers on a single landing page? No!
All these options might seem positive on the surface, but in relality, they distract and add friction to the single objective of a landing page--get the conversion, get the contact information, turn a visitor into a lead.
5. Test and Optimize
Just like landing page data can be tracked and analyzed for your benefit, the landing pages themselves can also be tested and optimized.
You can run tests on almost every element on the landing page. You can test images, headlines, copy, and form fields to see what’s getting people to convert and what’s stopping them from converting.
Let's illustrate a few examples of tests you can run. These are all examples from actual tests with actual Square 2 clients.
You can test headlines. Sometimes the H1 is too fancy and the H2 is very direct. One test we run often it to simply swap the fancy marketing headline with the more direct secondary headline. This simple swap often produces the best results.
You can test copy by adding more bullets. People can process bulleted text quickly, keep the bullets to three or five. Again, people process information in unique ways and odd numbers out performs even numbers.
You can test visual representations of the offer. Pages without a picture of what the visitor might get generally don't perform as well as pages with images of the offer. Make sure these are 3D images so they look beefy and valuable.
You can test the form, more on that in the next section. You can also test adding additional elements like testimonials, video, or comments from social sites. Anything that makes the offer more compelling, easier to understand or removes friction from the conversion process should be under consideration. For more on testing ideas, check out this article.
6. Pay Attention To The Form
The form is a major component of almost every landing page. Some people get greedy, asking visitors to provide a long list of information on the form. Rest assured, the more you ask for the less conversions you'll get.
Use this rule to help limit the amount of form fields in your forms. If you don't know what you plan to do with the information you're requesting, leave it out.
Are you planning on calling the prospect after they fill out the form? No, then you don't need their phone number.
Are you planning on visiting their website? No, then you don't need their website address.
Are you planning on qualifying them with revenue, employee numbers, or industry? No, then you don't need any of those fields on your form.
Are these early buyer journey landing pages? Yes, then only ask for email address and name for future lead nurturing.
Are these middle stage buyer journey landing pages? Yes, then you can consider asking for more qualification type data like we discussed above because if they're deeper in their buyer journey, then they should be more open to giving that data and we can use that to qualify and provide a better sales experience.
Data shows that with more than three fields in your form, conversion rates drop dramatically. Keep these fields to a minimum, especially if these are early buyer journey offers.
7. Use Social Proof
Misery loves company. Its true with landing pages too. People are more likely to convert if they see other people like them have already found value in your offer.
Include testimonials, videos, names, pictures and titles of people who have received your content and loved it. This is going to improve your conversion rates dramatically and make the page look that more inviting.
If I see other people who look like me, sound like me, have similar titles as me, from companies like mine; I'm going to be more likely to share my contact information to find out what I might be missing out on.
if you're unsure, run a test. Track the landing page metrics with testimonials and without. You'll quickly see these are an easy way to generate lift form landing pages and it takes little or no time to add them.
Using landing pages, optimizing landing pages, and running tests on landing pages can be one of the best ways to improve lead generation across your website. Make it part of your ongoing and regular conversion rate optimization and website improvement initiatives.
Square 2 — Building The Agency You’ll LOVE!
Posted By Author Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist
Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.