This is a guest post by Megan Leap, Online Marketing Manager at MarketingProfs. In her role at MarketingProfs, Megan Leap spearheads their conversion optimization efforts by creating and testing landing pages in LiveBall, our landing page platform.
After many years of testing B2B landing pages, I’ve discovered there’s a secret formula for success. And the secret is that it is much easier to be successful than you might think. In no particular order, here are my Top 10 Ways to Improve B2B Landing Pages.
1. Focus on Benefits, not Features
If there is one thing I hope you take away from this blog post, it’s this: your landing page copy MUST focus on benefits. As a B2B marketer with a complex product or service, it can be all too easy to list all of the features of your product. But great landing page copy sells visitors on benefits, not features.
So, here’s a quick test for you to determine whether you need to add more benefits to your copy: count the number of times you mention your visitor vs. your company name or product name on your landing pages. Do you talk about your company more than your visitor? Well then, it’s time to switch it up.
2. Write a Great Headline
David Ogilvy once said, “On average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
It’s critical that your headline 1) focuses on benefits 2) pays off the promise of your ad and 3) is simple and to the point.
In the many B2B landing page tests I’ve run, I’ve found that simply testing new headlines can increase conversions by at least 100%. Take, for example, these two landing pages I tested for an email drop. Both promote our SmartTools product, but the header on landing page A (left) focuses on benefits, while landing page B (right) focuses on the product. Can you guess which one won?
That’s right—landing page A won by a huge margin.
3. Don’t Be Creative With Your Copy
I mean it; don’t try to get too creative with your copy. Keep it simple, to the point, and focused on your target audience. Your B2B landing page copy should follow the best practices of classic direct-response campaigns, so don’t bother trying to reinvent the wheel with cutesy headlines and concepts. If your copywriting skills could use some improvement, I highly recommend you read the book, “The Copywriter’s Handbook: A Step-By-Step Guide to Writing Copy That Sells.”
4. Don’t Neglect Your Design
Just because you market to IT people or consider your product dry and boring, doesn’t mean your landing page design shouldn’t delight visitors.
Lucky for me, I get to work with two great designers to come up with design concepts for our landing pages, and they take care of the rest. To reduce our resources, I try to come up with a few successful landing page designs, and repurpose them for separate campaigns. That keeps our production costs low, and our conversion rates high.
Take, for example, this landing page we created for our Twitter Superfly Guide. While it’s simple and focused on conversion, it’s also delightful to look at (and it converts in the double digits as well!).
It’s pretty safe to assume that people don’t read, right? At least that’s what my coworker Jo always says. So, video is a great way to demonstrate the benefits of your product or service, without making your visitors read paragraphs and paragraphs of copy. At MarketingProfs, we’ve tested adding video testimonials on our events and PRO membership to our landing pages. And time after time, they help drive more conversions than pages without. We like to think of our events as an “experienced good”—you won’t really understand how awesome they are until you experience it yourself. So adding testimonial videos to our pages is one way we overcome that. While you can add YouTube code to any LiveBall page, I recommend using a tool like Brightcove to host videos—it provides tons of analytics, plus, you can ensure that your visitors won’t navigate away and get distracted by the Catvertising video (my personal fav).
6. Have a Strong, Obvious Call-to-Action
When generating leads, it’s important to keep your pages simple, streamlined, and focused, with a clear call-to-action. Use big, actionable words like “Sign Up”, “Access”, “Go,” and “Join”. If you make it is as obvious as possible what you want your visitors to do, they’ll be more likely to do it.
7. Edit, Edit, and Edit some More
In B2B lead generation, less is always more. After you’ve edited your page, edit it again. Only include words that are critical and support conversion. Remove all superfluous copy. And then some.
8. Reduce Required Form Fields
It’s simple—the less form fields you require on your landing pages, the higher your conversion rate will be. The great benefit of requiring only a few fields (example: first name, last name, email address) is that you can cast a wider net at the top of your funnel with more leads—because even your most qualified prospects may be leery of giving you all their information after only one or two clicks. However, once you start to nurture them and they begin to trust you, you can begin to ask them for more information and build a profile for them via progressive profiling.
9. A/B Test Your Pages
While I love A/B testing as a way to optimize pages, I also use testing as a way to speed up the production process. As marketers, we have a tendency to want to make everything perfect. But in online marketing, it’s actually more important to be agile and quick than be perfect. So, I am a huge fan of using A/B testing as a way to end discussions about what people think a landing page should look like—and just take stuff live. It’s easy to go in circles and keep coming up with changes and ways to improve new pages, so when that starts to happen I usually recommend we just test the proposed changes, and really find out what works.
10. Socialize Your Thank You Pages
Once you get leads to convert, I am a huge fan of integrating social media elements on the thank you page. You can add an option to allow people to retweet the landing page they just converted on, follow you on Twitter, or become a Fan on Facebook. The possibilities are endless, and I really love to include these options after the conversion, otherwise you can end up distracting your visitors from converting in the first place.