Given the consumerism mentality that is so pervasive in society today, people regularly throw good money after bad, chasing more of what they already have. But this behavior isn’t limited to consumers. Time and again, I see B2B marketers doing the very same thing.

The situation

B2B marketers work hard to target the right keywords, create compelling ad copy, and drive potential customers to click on their ads, all with the hopes of capturing them as a lead. But unfortunately, conversion rates often fall short of what they could be. Desperate to make up ground, many B2B marketers ramp up their paid search spend to drive more traffic, and in doing so, end up maintaining their dismal conversion rate.

The solution

So as a B2B marketer, how can you convert more visitors into leads? How can you keep those customers engaged and ensure that they don’t end up on a competitors’ site? Quite simply, by focusing on better converting the traffic you’re already getting. And the best way to do that is by improving the pieces that you can control: the experience a potential customer has when they reach your site. In other words, you can boost your conversion rate by focusing on the landing page.

Understanding the value

As a B2B marketer, let’s say that you receive 5,000 visits to a landing page each month, with a conversion rate of two percent. Of that amount, you ultimately close 20 percent of the leads that come into the database. That works out to be 20 new clients per month. But what if you could double that two percent conversion rate just by making a few simple changes to the landing page? Doing that would translate into an incremental 20 new clients each month. In fact, it would allow you to double the revenue from your paid search campaigns without spending an additional dollar on advertising.

Seeing it in action

But can merely tweaking a landing page actually boost conversation rates? Absolutely.  In fact, we did exactly that for a software company that I was working with last year. Their business was going well, their click through rate and quality score was continually improving month over month, and they were getting ample traffic to their website.  However, their conversion rates were stagnant. But by making a few changes to the landing page — including placement, and focusing on benefits rather than features — we were able to improve conversion rates by 250% in just six months.

Making it work

Landing pages are the key to keeping potential customers engaged and closing them in under a minute. Below are five key landing page tips that will help boost your conversion rate and drive more revenue from business to business transactions:

  1. Simplify your content. Landing page content should be in bullet form, not paragraphs.  In addition, it should focus on the benefits of your products/services, not the features. A visitor to your site is already interested, so why sell them on what your offering does? Instead, sell them on how they can benefit from it. Keep it short, simple, and to the point. Remember, this is your opportunity to add value to their experience and keep their eyes on your site instead of the competition’s.
  2. Shorten your lead form. Think about what you truly need from your customers in order to consider them a lead. At this point in the process, do you really need to know their industry or the size of their organization? Or would you be better off simplifying their commitment and only asking for an email address, name, name of company, and a telephone number? The shorter your lead form, the more likely a potential customer is to fill it out.
  3. Use your analytics to drive decisions. Your site analytics package offers a lot of useful data that you can leverage to improve the performance of your landing pages. For instance, do you know the screen resolution that 75% of your top prospects are using? Tapping into this data for current site profiles could tell you exactly that. Moreover, it could help you determine whether visitors can actually see the benefits of your offering or the lead form, and the specific browser types they are using.
  4. Keep the conversion path in mind when using images. The use of images on landing pages can be powerful as they attract the eye and can help keep a user on the page. However, they are not risk free. For example, some images might distract the eye from the conversion path, or sit front and center while pushing a lead form below the fold or off to the side. When considering the using of images, think about driving the user down the path to conversion. You want to be sure that your imagery enhances the experience, and does not detract from the optimal path.
  5. Leverage landing pages for extended user engagement. Beyond driving visitors down a conversion path, think about how you can leverage landing pages to engage the consumer beyond today. For instance, do you have a Facebook fan page, a blog, press releases, a newsletter, or an RSS feed? If so, think about how you can offer such content to visitors so that they continue to engage with your brand beyond the initial lead form. Adding simple links, or teasers for content such as white papers, behind the lead form will allow you to keep your customers engaged throughout the sales process and beyond.

If you are looking to boost your conversion rates, don’t make the mistake of chasing after more of what you already have. Instead, work to better convert the traffic you’re already getting. Improving your landing pages will help you do exactly that.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: B2B Search Marketing Column | Channel: Search Marketing

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About The Author: is a Client Services Director at iProspect where he is responsible for strategic development and proactive account management of multiple client-facing teams.

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  • http://www.webmarketingworkshop.com.au/ Clive Hawkins

    Some sensible advice here Christopher, although I would question your some of your statements about the use of content and images. These things need to be tested by companies as they may not apply to all – the whole issue of landing pages is to test and conclude the best elements for that particular website and market?

  • http://www.ioninteractive.com allenkristina

    Awesome post Christopher! All great tips for not beating a dead horse.

  • http://www.ThunderSEO.com Max Thomas

    Good run down of must-do points for onpage conversion optimization. I’m continually amazed at how easily online marketers forget the age old rule of “focusing on benefits rather than features” (myself included). In testament to the importance of making the phone and form easy to find (and use), we had a client site that increased call volume by 20% simply by truncating the online lead form to 4 lines and placing it on the left-side of the page, close to the top, on every page of the site. It’s important to make it really really KISS easy for prospects to call or contact a business. Thanks again for a great post.

  • http://www.syscomminternational.com syscomm

    Very good advice! I agree with the importance of a good landing page as well as the techniques of improvement of it. Some people to focus so much on the seo techniques and other promotion strategies that they tend to completely neglect the content and the aspects mentioned in the post.

  • http://dejardins.com Matthieu Dejardins

    Very good article Christopher.
    I would also add the following for B2B Landing Pages:

    1/ Make sure your graphics match any creating leading to them (e.g. banner ad or email).

    2/ / Make sure that critical elements inside the upper 450 pixels of the pages are visible to almost all visitors without scrolling. In short, keep them.

    3/ Making a Web site less navigable will seem horribly counter-intuitive to most people, but that’s what you may need to keep your visitors from getting distracted. You should remove the distracting vertical navigation bars, header tabs, hotlink-heavy footers

    4/ Do not forget to test (start with A/B testing before multivariate testing) and play with most important elements: headline (ideally it should be dynamic), pictures, call to action buttons, body copy modifications, etc.

 

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