Senior Account Manager
Posted on September 19, 2016
If like us, you’ve been busy growing your inbound marketing, it’s likely that you’ve created landing pages on your website encouraging visitors to do something in exchange for their contact details.
We all know that lead generation is vital for a thriving business, and great content is increasingly agreed to be the most effective way to convert interest into a tangible, quality business prospect. Over 75% of financial marketers say the primary purpose of their content is now to generate leads.
Landing pages give us an easy, targeted way to do exactly that. Downloading white papers, signing up to free trials, watching a webinar, or requesting a demo are all simple, creative ways you can hone in on what interests your market and receive valuable information in return.
However, deciding to use landing pages is only the beginning. Are you using them enough and, when you create them, are you focusing on the right things?
The organic and paid search landscapes are only going to get more competitive. Now’s the time to increase the time and spending you invest in your landing pages to ensure that, firstly, those pages continue to retain good search engine rankings and that, even more importantly, those pages work hard to convert as many visitors as possible into leads.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Research your baseline
Before you try and improve your landing pages, you need a baseline to work from.
Google Analytics tracks a page’s performance, such as page visits, page bounce rate, time spent on page and the number of form submissions. Look at how your page is performing now so you can see what you need to build on.
2. Check how it compares
Success is always relative, so once you know your numbers, it’s equally important to have some industry averages to compare your performance against.
Below are the average landing page conversion rates for the financial and insurance sector. This will help you know what to aim for, and what you should try and beat!
- Average conversion rate 3.32%
- Average conversion rate on desktop 3.72%
- Average conversion rate on tablet 2.99%
- Average conversion rate on mobile 2.37%
- Average site-wide bounce rate 53%
- Average session duration 00:02:41
3. Remove your navigation bar
When a visitor lands on your landing page, the only thing we need to achieve at that moment is the conversion you have planned. Removing the navigation bar removes all distractions and, hopefully, keeps them exactly where they need to be.
Landing pages need to be dead-ends. Once a visitor has filled in their details, you can redirect them to a thank you page that includes the navigation bar again so they can access the rest of your website.
4. Make your copy clear and compelling
Even if you’ve got everything else right, if your copy isn’t persuasive, it’s unlikely your visitor will be motivated to take action.
HubSpot often talks about the blink test: they’ve found that you only have a ‘blink’ window of 3-5 seconds during which a visitor will judge the page they land on and decide if they want to stay there or abandon ship. Readers need to know in an instant what the page is about, what they’re going to receive, and why it’s worth their while.
So, make sure your headline is eye catching and informative and add sub-headers and bullet points to break up the copy and add context.
5. Check how much copy is needed
For maximum effectiveness, it’s a good idea to keep all copy ‘above the fold’ so visitors don’t even need to scroll down to find out all vital information or fill in a form.
This will depend on the offer involved, however. If a reader is deciding whether to request a demo on a product, they’ll likely want to find out as much information as possible beforehand to avoid wasting time. On the other hand, if they’re simply downloading a free guide, they’re probably not going to want pages of intro.
Think about how much a reader needs to know to be persuaded to commit to your offer, and then sum it up as succinctly as you can.
6. Add images or video
As the blink test demonstrates, human attention is a fickle thing. In fact, it’s been said that humans now have an attention span of just 8 seconds.
To make the most of those precious 8 seconds, it’s a good idea to use imagery to help your visitors digest information on a page more quickly. We’ve found that including an image of the offer itself really helps. If the call to action is to download a white paper, for example, use the front cover of the document rather than a stock image related to the content. People like to see exactly what they’re going to get.
7. Perfect your lead-capture form
It’s essential that you only ask visitors for the information you most need for an effective follow-up. We know it can be all too tempting to use this opportunity to find out as much as you can for the future, but unfortunately, too much does put people off. Longer forms will nearly always result in fewer leads.
To make form-filling even easier for your visitors, it’s worth utilising HubSpot’s smart forms. These will autofill fields that a returning visitor has filled in before, so the whole process takes almost no effort at all.
8. Include a clear call to action button
At the bottom of your lead-capture form, you’ll obviously have a submission button, but make sure you customise the text to say something meaningful.
The button text should use specific action words so visitors know exactly what to do, and to eliminate any uncertainty over what will happen next. Contrasting colours are a good way of drawing attention to the button, too. If they’re registering for a webinar, use a phrase like ‘Register your place’, or if downloading a white paper, something like ‘Download now’.
Finally, make sure your button is the only call to action on the page. If you include ‘request a free demo’ alongside ‘call us now’, ‘read our case studies’ or ‘sign up to our latest blogs’, visitors won’t be sure what to do, and will likely end up doing nothing.
9. Use A/B testing
Even though these steps reflect best practices for an effective landing page, they don’t eliminate the need for A/B testing to help you continuously review and refine your technique. Every element of your landing page can be tested: the offer, the form fields, the copy, the colours – the options are endless!
Even small changes could make unexpected differences. Just remember only to test one thing at a time so your results remain conclusive.
Want to see some examples?
Looking at good examples of landing pages is a great way to learn. We love example 12 in this list of landing page designs.