Landing page essentials to increase conversions

Landing pages are perfect for gated content, contact requests and case studies, but often we see landing pages that simply don’t convert.

Creating a landing page is like using a chemistry kit; there are lots of elements that make up the page to create that magic formula. And to make it even easier, there are plenty of tools to help you, however sometimes they can be limited. It’s like not being able to do the really cool experiments because you bought the basic chemistry set.

This post covers how you can convert more leads through your landing pages, even when you may be limited by templates or access.

Layout and style

Landing pages need a clear structure. A busy landing page will be an immediate put off for new visitors, so make sure your spacing and branding are consistent and in line with the rest of the site.

There are 6 elements that make up a landing page. These can be broken down as follows:

  1. Copy and headings
    The copy on the page should be engaging and relevant, there should be an explicit headline at the top of the page, and also text further on down going into more detail.
  2. Visuals
    Including imagery or a video is key to every landing page. Make sure this has enough space around it to stand out. This should be above the fold for optimal visibility, we’ll touch on what kind of visuals work best a little further down.
  3. Bullets
    These help key points to stand out on the page and make reading much easier as they tend to be short. Use bullets as short, sharp summaries that contain the most compelling benefits of your product.
    The use of testimonials and quotes on landing pages backs up what you’re offering from clients. These often work well further down the page and usually with a logo bar.
  5. Call to action
    The key message needs to run through the copy, whether it’s a demo, downloading a key piece of content or a trial sign up, make it as easy as possible to get. Keep the call to action singleminded, so you’re not offering multiple options. If your objective is to get a demo, then don’t offer other things like a content download. Also consider adding multiple references to your call to action throughout the page, you can then anchor link them back to the form when they click.
  6. Forms
    When using forms, it’s best practice to position them above the fold so they’re really visible and users don’t have to scroll. Also use as few fields as possible to ensure visitors complete the form. Then keep that submit button big and bright for that final stage.

We love this example by CustomerGauge. The visual and the form are above the fold and the content is aligned beautifully on the page. The form is simple and doesn’t ask too much to receive the content, which is great because it’s easy to fill out.

Then, after downloading the content CustomerGauge serve a fantastic thank you page with more information about their software and an opportunity to get a free trial of the software.

The bit I love here, is that they’ve identified where I might be at in their funnel based on the content I’m interested in and pushing down to the next stage in the buying process. For them, that’s a trial. The only trick they’re missing here is that they could pre-fill that second form, so I only have hit submit.

Get copy written in the right way

The headline is the user’s first impression of your landing page. This needs to be aligned with your audience, where they came from, what the landing page is about and what you want them to do on the page.

Further into your landing page you can include bullet points of software features and benefits or key take outs from a content piece. Bullets make a page scan-able which catches the eye, so make them clear and explicit.

Pack a punch with visuals

Visuals can make or break a landing page. On your landing page you have several visual options.

  • Software screenshots: these show the beauty of your software in action. Rather than using flat imagery of your software on a device, you could incorporate people using the product or software solution, this brings your software to life a bit more.
  • Video content: video can really help drive conversion. You could use it to introduce the product, tell visitors in a friendly way why they should convert, use a customer video testimonial instead of a quote or give visitors a quick tour of the product and ask them to contact you (convert) to delve deeper into how the product can solve their specific issues. With video, make sure you embed it properly with no links out. The last thing you want is YouTube showing related content at the end of your killer video! Use Vimeo or self-host to embed instead.
  • Gated video content: this is an excellent way to capture leads. There are tools that allow visitors to watch a preview of the video (first 20 seconds) and then locks down the rest of the content. The content can be unlocked with an email address and a couple of other form fields. This is a lovely mechanism because the visitor gets a taste of the content and can then decide if they want the rest. These tools integrate really nicely with CRMs and marketing automation systems.

Make it personal with personalisation

It’s common to have multiple landing pages each targeting slightly different job titles, sectors or even keywords – as long as they aren’t all indexed by search engines. With social media targeting you may want to have multiple pages with different copy depending on the seniority, industry and the buyer stage of your visitors.

Most of marketing automation solutions will allow you to pre-fill forms based on returning users, this can really help increase conversion rate. You can also personalise landing pages based on any fields in the database using smart content fields which also help to increase relevancy (and sometimes creepiness).

Watch out for mobile!

Most people only check the layout and style of the landing page on a desktop. This is a big mistake. Your landing pages need to look amazing across all devices, especially if you’re driving content from social channels.

If you’re promoting PDF guides or white papers, think about how best this will be consumed on a mobile. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never read a white paper on my mobile. So what kind of content might you consume? (I’ll give you a clue… drum roll… video!)

Last, but no means least… test

It goes without saying that you should really test landing pages. Incremental movements in the conversion rate can make a massive difference to the numbers, so it’s worth finding out what works and making improvements.

What do you find works? Let me know what you’d add here or if you have any other questions you can contact me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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