Posted 14 June 2015

How to make smart landing pages for marketing

Written By : Marco Rosano Visit Marco's LinkedIn Profile

Stuart Gonsal founded Wolf in 2014. He presents extensively to industry groups and is on the Advisory Committee for Swinburne University’s Masters of Commerce (International Business).

If the goal of your website is to generate leads, then you’ve certainly got some work to do. It’s not as simple as building a website and then letting it just sit there. You need to make it work for you! After all, unlike your sales team, your website never calls in sick, goes on vacation, or has a bad day.
Unless you’ve already hired a content marketing company to build your website and create premium offers prior to launching, your site likely doesn’t have any true landing pages in place. Leads don’t just magically end up on your website; rather, they come through strategic conversion forms. And as a matter of fact, the most effective conversion opportunities exist on your landing pages.

Sure, you might get a few leads through the short form on your contact page, but probably not many if any at all. You simply can’t rely on that and a couple of other pages for maximum lead generation.

The secret to converting more content marketing traffic into leads is through landing pages. Landing pages are designed with one goal in mind: capture your visitors’ contact information in exchange for something they find valuable. This offer could be in the form of a guide, workbook, ebook, slide deck, webinar, podcast, etc. And the more value they perceive in an offer, the more contact information they’ll be willing to give up.

To find the landing page in the first place, you need to direct your website visitors through strategic calls-to-action (CTAs). After clicking on the offer promotion, your visitors should land directly on the appropriate conversion page. The navigation process should be as simple and streamlined as possible. Eliminate the chances of visitors getting distracted by removing any other navigation links. To create highly successful landing pages, consider the following five simple steps to building great landing pages:

 

Step 1:  Select an appropriate page layout

Hopefully, your web design company built your website according to best practice standards to give you a lot to work with. When designed properly, websites feature different layouts for different types of pages. Typically, your website should have a nice balance of 2 column, 3 column, and even 4 column pages.  Assuming you’ve built your site in HubSpot or another CMS, you should have a good number of page layouts to choose from.

The most effective landing pages usually feature the conversion form at the top of the page, above the “fold” (addressed in step 5). With that in mind, we typically suggest using either a 3-column or 4-column layout, with the form at the top of the far right column.

 

Step 2:  Create a catchy, informative title

Any great title indicates just what is in it for the visitor, likely in a unique and bold way. You want to stop them in their tracks, drawing them in to read further. Similar to the title of a newspaper article, the goal is to make your reader stop and invest their attention into the rest of the story.

Examples of enticing titles:

– How to Become a Content Master in 6 Easy Steps

– Get Inspired With Our Guide to Stunning Design

– 7 Steps to Successfully Rebuild Your Website

– 8 Steps to Achieve Online Marketing Success

Step 3:  Optimize the copy

Use the copy section of the landing page to describe your offer to visitors. Keep your description very clear and concise for the most conversions. Also, remember to advertise the benefits of the offer to your potential customer, rather than focusing on just the features. They want to know what’s in it for them? You need to give them a pretty compelling reason to share their information with you.

For example, here are some great content benefits:

Our eBook will teach you the 8 steps of content marketing

Learn how to optimize your website & convert more visitors into leads

Discover the value of lead intelligence and how to nurture leads into customers

Provide a brief summary at the end to remind your visitor of the value you’re offering. If they are intrigued by what they see, they’ll exchange their contact information with you. Don’t forget to include a few keywords, good meta data, and optimized alt tags to increase your chances of being found on search engines.

 

Step 4:  Add high-quality imagery

Each page of your website needs good imagery to help visitors connect the dots between the offer you’ve created and something that is tangible.  A high-quality, representative image of the report, ebook, template, or graph will increase the perceived value of what you’re offering. Because your offer is only available in exchange for a visitor’s contact information, it’s critical to build up the perceived value with an image of the finished product. It is worth the extra spend with your digital agency to create some high-quality graphics and eBook designs that illustrate the value of your offers.

 

Step 5:  Design the best contact form

The most critical component of the visitor-to-lead conversion is the submission of the contact form. As mentioned before, the contact form will perform the best at the top of your page. The fields you include need to get the most valuable information as efficiently as possible. If you ask irrelevant questions, you risk losing the lead. If you ask too many questions, you risk losing the lead.

Based on the perceived value of your offer, you can potentially get more information from a visitor. The higher the perceived value, the more information they’ll likely be willing to divulge. For initial offers that simply raise awareness about an issue they may be experiencing, it’s generally best to only ask for the most basic contact info along with one other question that helps you identify which persona they are.

For example, these are the best form fields to start with:

First name, last name

Email address

Persona self-identifier (Are you a: sales executive with a full team? A sales manager with a lot to do? A one-person sales team trying to do it all?)

Approach your next premium offer and landing page initiative with these steps to increase conversions and gain more leads. If you first address the “why” of your services, and follow that with the “who”, your offers will build demand for what you do. At the same time, you’ll be proving to your prospects that you’re the most knowledgeable provider. Your offers will be better presented, your visitors will perceive you more as a partner, and you’ll have more leads to nurture through the buyer’s journey.

So what are you waiting for?  If you need some help with your web design or digital strategy, we’d love to hear about your goals and challenges

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