Search engine optimization may not always be enough. Just because a web page ranks well in organic search results, for a particular keyword, does not guarantee optimal business results.

Landing pages are essential to B2B internet marketing programs. Effective landing pages drive form submissions and generate business opportunities. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for landing page optimization to focus more exclusively within advertising campaigns, ignoring popular channels of “free” traffic, like organic search and social media.

The chart below from Marketingsherpa supports this theory. In this survey, well under half of B2B marketers polled were receiving organic search traffic to web properties managed, were purposefully optimizing the landing experience to convert that source traffic.

Marketingsherpa Dedicated Landing Pages Source

 

We have seen this pattern with other organizations and work hard to refine focus, so conversion optimization is a component of all of our internet marketing strategies. In many cases, simple changes can improve conversion rates dramatically, and it is important to test and evaluate over time.

Here are two examples. To protect the guilty parties, page outlines have been used in lieu of screenshots, to illustrate changes in layout.

Example 1: Reducing Clicks To Conversion

The B2B solutions or products section is where the most qualified traffic should convert to lead opportunities. In the layout example below, the original solutions page adhered to a standard layout, with a link (the yellow rectangle) to an evaluation form, in the upper right-hand side of the page. While content was not an issue and we were able to drive a fair amount of keyword traffic (organic and paid search), conversion rates seemed low.

Reducing Click to Conversion

As a test, we decided to reduce the number of clicks to the form submission by placing the evaluation form directly in the right-hand margin. While this seems obvious for PPC, not everyone in the organization was sold on the recommendation at first. The results quickly changed perspectives however.

Results:

The first month we placed the evaluation form directly on the page request improved by 100% (to mid-level, double-digit lead inquiries). While we do get curiosity seekers, overall, the quality of leads have been positive. Analysis of leads generated has also uncovered a new potential target market for solution development as well.

Additional points of consideration:

  • Solutions pages are usually highly visible, but make sure the proper cross-links are in place so that users and search engines can get to them often.
  • Test how implementing forms directly on key conversion pages improve overall conversion rates, for both paid and organic search engine campaigns.
  • Several factors can and still be tested, including the title of the form, number of form fields, and even color scheme of the “submit” button and form fields themselves.

Example 2: Explaining Why You Should Fill Out My Form

Sometimes more might actually be better. In another example, a client was having difficulty improving membership rates. While organic search engine and third party traffic was consistently on the rise, membership rates were not improving at a comparable percentage.

Visitors were finding our client’s content in search (and finding it of value given low bounce rates and reasonable time on site metrics) but were not converting as well as expected.

The change we made seemed minor but had a significant impact. As indicated in the outline below, we created a “Why Register” page and hyperlinked it immediately below the “Register” button. Potentially interested visitors had easier access to learn what the benefits might be when becoming a member.

Member Registration Example

Results:

While we cannot attribute all conversion improvements to this enhancement, conversion rates improved by nearly fifty percent in the following month, and have ranged from fifty to upwards of two hundred percent year over year improvement since.

Additional points of consideration:

  • We also added the “Why Register” link above the form submission as well, as additional reassurance in the process.
  • Don’t forget the call to action on the supporting page (in this case, a link to membership registration). It seems obvious but sometimes this will be overlooked in the rush to get content implemented.

Final Thoughts

To truly unlock the value of a search engine optimization strategy, B2B SEO’s should always consider how web pages sending organic search traffic can attain better conversion rates. Sometimes simple changes can lead to dramatic improvements and it is critical to continually test and refine strategies.

What has worked in your B2B SEO implementations? I would love to read your thoughts and perspective via comments below.

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 Managing Partner of KoMarketing Associates, a B2B internet marketing agency specializing in SEO, PPC, and social media strategy. You can reach Derek at derek@komarketingassociates.com and follow him on Twitter @DerekEdmond.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



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  • http://www.geekpoweredstudios.com Guillermo Jose Ortiz

    Great article Derek. I will have to try using the ‘why register’ placement in some future projects to see how it does. The placement of it seems a bit strange as I’m so used to seeing ‘why register’ way before the call to action, but it ultimately does make sense. I’ve also had a lot of success with videos on landing pages to increase conversions. Some people are just very visual and prefer that medium I suppose.

  • http://www.komarketingassociates.com/about/derek-edmond.php Derek Edmond

    Thanks Guillermo! Appreciate the comment. I think having explanations and cross-links explaining why to register in multiple locations can make sense. In the example above, it was one more place to test and based on some of the data we had available for review.

    Great idea with video – depending on audience and market, it can definitely make sense. Good luck with your tests

  • http://www.seoinphiladelphia.com/ Bill Rowland

    I would think that this is a perfect example of something apparently so simple being overlooked by so many. Derek, thanks for including the specific improvements because it’s really helpful to see what you were able to accomplish in each situation.

 

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