In the process for increased lead generation, landing pages are a sometimes an overlooked and under scrutinized step in the process. Landing pages AKA squeeze pages play a crucial role in the conversion. Think of landing pages as the fulcrum or tipping point in the process.
Just to clarify terminology for the purposes of this post when I refer to a landing page I am talking about a targeted minimal page with a form used to capture leads. Not a top tier page like “about” or “academics”.
Also worth noting that if you are spending money on a paid advertising campaign and sending prospects to your homepage or any non-optimized page you are doing it wrong.
In order to create an optimized landing page we suggest you follow these steps:
Don’t simply start with design and layout, you have to begin much as any other marketing project with audience research. Ask these questions:
- Who is the competition?
Who are they targeting? How are they targeting? What are their unique value propositions?
- Who are you targeting
Are they traditional undergrad? Are they an adult learner?
- How or from what source are they arriving at this page?
Is it a local paper? A trade publication?
- What might their motivation be?
Should you offer them a white paper? A web based info session? A in-person info session? An info request
- How qualified are they?
You can make some assumptions based on the type of ad they were served. If this is a retargeting ad you can assume they have had some interest and interaction therefore you may be a bit more forward in your approach as opposed to a PPC or display ad.
This is time to put your money where your mouth is. Be sure there is no bait and switch here. You need to deliver on what was promised. Whatever “call to action” motivated your prospect to get the landing page simply needs to be delivered on.
- Compelling content
Think of this as a sales closing conversation. As much as the stakes are not the same, for the purpose of this conversation this is where the salesman is trying to get you to sign on the line. This is where you need to provide straight forward and targeted information that will close the deal for that particular prospects needs
- Reduce friction
Make it as simple as possible for a user to convert, have as little in the way as possible IE an effective headline, a small paragraph, a few bullets of features, a selling image, as short a form as possible to get what you need and a bold compelling call to action. This will more than likely need a specialized template that has reduced clutter and narrow focus IE remove or reduce navigation, no other calls to action other than the conversion
- Visual hierarchy
Create a page that flows, you can easily digest and understand what the path or call to action is for the page
- Consider single or multi step
You might want to experiment on pages with the form embedded on the initial landing page as well as those where the information capture happens on a later page
- Optimized for devices
Your users can come from anywhere, ads are being served on all platforms and devices, with some services you can ever target your ads to device. But understand if people come in via their phone, serve them a mobile friendly page
Test and Publish
Before you push the page live be sure to test every step, you may be spending considerable money to drive traffic to this page so be sure it works.
- Test the form
- Test the follow up communications IE email
- Proof all the copy
- Move to production and re-test all of the above
Optimize and iterate
Your optimized page is now live, but you are just getting started. You need to continue to optimize and make small improvements to your page. Consider using the following methods
- AB or multi variant testing
How two versions of the page that have variations and see which ones performs better
- Conversion stats
Look at conversions based on source, type of user, etc
See the infographic below for steps to optimize your landing pages
Beyond the steps already discussed we suggest you consider the following:
- SEO optimization
While most of this post has focused on pages being served by paid ads, there is no reason not to optimize the page for organic traffic, in the end a lead is a lead
- CRM integration
If you have a CRM make the form data flow directly to your CRM, best to have all leads follow the optimized workflows in the CMS
- Social Sharing
Make it easy to share, consider adding social media as well as email sharing links so prospects can easily share with their friends
- Landing page tools
We have covered a lot here, while landing pages on face value seem simple there are a lot of pieces to tackle here, even if you plan to DIY I would consider trying out a tool like LeadPages or Unbounce to learn from the best
- Post conversion communications
This is a whole post onto itself, but worth noting that you have now spent considerable time to build this page so now capitalize on it by creating an optimized follow up be it a trickle email campaign, a timely phone call or delivering a great piece of content whatever the next step don’t let all this time and effort go to waste.
Go forth and optimize your pages!