The goal of many B2B search marketing programs is to generate online inquiries and leads. Search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) programs are designed to find highly-qualified prospects and drive them to targeted landing pages where people register to receive valuable information or complete contact forms. Below I share five simple yet effective tips to improve landing pages and registration forms – two critical elements of any lead gen program.
Offer choices and bundle assets When it comes to searching people are looking for different things and value various types of information. Preferences may be based on the person’s business role, personal knowledge, or where they are in the research and buying process.
For instance, some prospects are interested in market trends and industry research. Some prefer educational webinars, whitepapers or podcasts. While others are looking for video presentations or flash demos.
I’ve previously written about the importance of offering choices. This allows marketers to appeal to more prospects. I also recommend combining multiple assets into a valuable reference kit. Then, promote this compilation of resources via your ad copy and landing pages.
Show and tell. I’ve learned that people like to see what they are getting before they go through the effort to get it. It’s true: a picture is worth a thousand words. B2B search marketers should take a page from the product marketing play book. Make it tangible. Include a screenshot from the software download, a picture of the whitepaper cover & table of contents, or a short clip from the video demo.
Additionally, write a great description. Tell people (exactly) what is being offered. Download white paper is not specific or compelling! Prospects are trying to determine if your registration form is worth the effort. Give them a “sneak preview” of what’s to come, and describe the benefits associated with the asset. Answer their primary question,What’s in it for me?
For example, a compelling description for a whitepaper might be: see how CompanyXYZ automated call center workflow and improved effectiveness by 25% in 6 weeks.
Play the name game It seems obvious, but many marketers don’t think to test what they call these downloadable assets. Could the same piece of information be titled Product Tour, Virtual Tour, or Product Demo? Probably. Give it a test. I’ve seen radical changes in download rates… simply by changing a name.
Keep it short and sweet. I can’t say it enough. The #1 mistake most B2B marketers make is not testing simplified registration and contact forms. I urge you to test all aspects of these forms, including the number of fields, the order of the questions, optional vs required items, and the location of the form on the page.
In my opinion, the purpose of a registration form should be to engage prospects and start a dialogue. Sure, you want the inquiries to be reasonably qualified, but let your lead nurturing and management process do the heavy lifting. Online forms should not be used to replace the entire sales qualification process.
Testing proves that there is a direct correlation between length and complexity of a form and the abandon rate. The more information you require, the more people will bail.
Also, some pieces of information are more sensitive than others. First name, last name, email and zip code are pretty common and non-intrusive. However, conversion rate drops off substantially when you require phone number.
Build trust Remember, visitors don’t know your company as well as you do. Customer testimonials, industry awards and client case studies are all great ways to build credibility.
Iterative testing is the key B2B search marketers must engage in an ongoing, iterative testing process designed to continually improve landing pages and registrations forms. The market data collected will allow your business to determine an acceptable balance between lead volume and the degree of qualification associated with each registration.
Take a good hard look at your landing pages and forms. Try to do this through the eyes of a new potential prospect.
Would you click SUBMIT?
Patricia Hursh is president and founder of SmartSearch Marketing, a Boulder, Colorado-based search engine marketing agency. You can reach Patricia at email@example.com. The Strictly Business column appears Wednesdays at Search Engine Land.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.