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Stop sending prospects to your homepage and start exploiting landing pages Stop sending prospects to your homepage and start exploiting landing pages

Create landing pages for every potential customer persona you can to attract prospects and show you mean business. It's not about one-size fits all

It's so easy to enter your home page website address on a digital signature or your profile for a forum, but if any browser can see your web address and can click through to your site, what does your home page say?  Who is it actually speaking to?

Stop sending prospects to your homepage and start exploting landing pages

Think about it.  The person who clicks on your LinkedIn profile or who has read your forum post is already interested in you.  You actually have something in common.  So why not convey that fact to them?  It's about content in context.

So when you make a comment on LinkedIn, a forum or anywhere on the Internet, your comment must relate to answering a question and therefore you shoudl always point someone to an article or page that answers that question.  And NOT your home page.

This article is in two sections; reasons to not have a bespoke landing page and the anatomy of a landing page should you still want to go down that path.

To begin with, let's look at the flow of traffic or foot-fall on your website.  And more importantly, are you getting enough traffic.  Then you have to be 100% clear what you're doing online.  What is your business purpose.  Are you an e-commerce site or in most cases with people who are visiting salesXchange, they are B2B Technology, Product or Services companies.

Reasons Not to Have a Bespoke Landing Page

I don't want to teach anyone to 'suck-eggs' but of you're intending to attract new prospects and sell to them either online or face-to-face, then you need to have something of value to interest them in the first place.

So if you have a report, article or email series, it better be extremely well written and be of serious value to warrant gate-keeping it and demanding an email in return.  But the trouble is, no one can really make that call these days because landing pages have been found out!

Landing Pages demand a name and email address and in some cases more information before the content will be released.  Certain platforms have whats called 'cascading forms' which means each time they email you, they ask for a bit more inforation than the last time.  All this adds up to building a picture of suspects and prospects.

But in reality, all someone wants to do is get access to  information and they certainly don't want to be relentlessly cold-called, which is what's happening now.

In certain cases, all you have to do is go on to some websites and their software like Lead Forensics will identify where you have clicked from and if you have a direct Internet connection, your 'line' will be named, just like a mobile phone call, and the sales people of the website will be on to your company, cold-calling, trying to find out who visited them!

When it comes to content, there is a strong argument to make your content freely available.  Let's face it, you would happily give a compete stranger your business card, so why not let them have your content too, it's also got your name, address, telephone number and number of additional reasons someone should buy from you.  It's a full-on document, so you can publish anything in it you please, especially to encourage them to meet with you etc.

But, as I have mentioned in other articles, it's the KPIs which are forcing marketing leaders to impose sanctions on the distribution of content, simply to adhere to KPIs and provide content for data reporting to the board of directors.

Once the marketing KPI hads been ticked off the list, then it's the job of sales to do their thing and get an appointment and so on.

My choice is to make all of our content freely available and therefore not gate-keep the distribution of my rich content that will demonstrate to anyone who downloads it, our expertise and the type of company we are.  I use Google Tag Manager on our website and so I know if and when, and from what source people are downloading the PDFs and content we've made available.

Make Every Page a Landing Page

Applying the above premise that nothing is Gate-Kept, then your website can take on a different direction.  Rather than rely on demanding someones email, you make every page on your site a landing page with a suitable call-to-action, be it a brochure or anything that is relevant.

Your pages are to be engaging and 'sticky' as well as fully answering the question your browser may have had in the first place.

Using Landing Page Technology

If you decide that landing pages are necessary for whatever reason, then below are some usweful pointers to make suere you get the most from your efforts.

Show them some ingenuity...

Tip 1: Create a landing page specifically for each profile that you have set up on the web e.g. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or any other site.

Tip 2: Put the logo of where they have come from onto your landing page (e.g. a LinkedIn or a Facebook Logo). They will then instantly know that you are speaking to them and that you recognise and appreciate you have something in common.  It will show that you have actually put some work into engaging with them instead of linking them to a generic page.

Tip 3: Don't try to sell to them unless the browser is expecting to buy something when they arrive at your site.  Simply look to connect with them.  Use the same language, tone of voice and acronyms that you used on the site they came from; make it familiar.

Tip 4: Offer a method for you to keep in touch with them, e.g. a newsletter, email series or download.

If they like your approach, they will try to find out more about you.  If your site ticks the right boxes for them, they will stay connected with you and might even do business with you in the future.

But how do you create a Landing Page that is engaging and encourages browsers to connect with you?

Anatomy of a Landing Page

Consider this.  Your search engine optimisation (SEO) has been carefully planned, your keywords carefully chosen and hooray, it’s paid off.  You’ve got visitors clicking on your banners, adverts or Adword PPC. That’s great, but your battle is only half won if you haven’t taken the time to properly design and structure your landing page and that includes persuasion, call to action and conversion.

Ideally, your landing page should be a place where you can get visitors to do what you want, whether that be to buy a product, click on links, or even just read through information, without having to do any additional work.

There are several things that you can do to improve your site’s page. But before you look at the resources, here’s a few graphics to show you what’s needed.

Landing Page - Segmentation Page

One of the big problems with online marketing is that the marketers don't actually know who they're speaking to.  It take a little imagination, but it makes complete sense.

Whether you create a two-part landing page as we have below or if you create a complete 'mini-website', the principle is the same.

First you need to identify your vertical market, in the case below it is Financial Services.  then you need to talk with your sales people to find out who are the titles of the people they talk to.  Once identified, you are then able to segment those 'types' into their respective personas and without being slammed for being politically incorrect, I still believe there aere two genders, male and female.

You database will tell you who the typical genders are, however, you can creatre segmentation as you choose. If you are finding that a particular market segment only seem to have male executive assistants, then write for male executive assistants.

If you have a generic PPC campaign or you have placed links on LinkedIn, once clicked, the browswer will be taken to a page where they can self segment.  In the case below, it is between a Financial Director and an Executive Assistant.

Considering the hieracy, a Managing Director wants his/her business to increase profits.  An employed director wants to make a decision to impress the MD and keep his job.  A Manager wants to impress the Director and keep his/her job.  An Executive Assistant has probably been instructed to gather information and only ewants to be ablew to do this job efficiently and move on to the next task.

In ligh of the above, the written website content and call-to-action will mean different things to each person involved who you want to talk to or who will be involved in this process.

You cannot afford to dismiss anyone or in some cases simply write for one persona.  

Landing Page - Form Page

The landing page form is the key 'closing element'.  Ideally you only waht to ask for the minimalist of information as you can obtain more data at a later stage.

There are various trains of thought on landing pages.  Some prefer a simply 'Hero' image.  Others believe that using a short video is best.  I think video wins every time as you can say more in a shorter period of time and get your business tone-of-voce and personality accross much quicker and easier that just using text.

 

A/B Split & Multi-Variate Testing

Whatever you choose i.e. video, text, images, there is no way you are psychic.  No one knows what will deliver the best results, if we did we'd all be sipping cocktails on a private island.

To complete this job properly, you have to understand about split testing.

A/B Testing is when two pages are created and Google or your chosen platform automatically and alternately presents version A, then version B.  Over time, the analytics will tell you which version elicited the most clicks.  So either version A or B will be the winner.  You task then is to create another version to try and beat the earlier winner.

Multi Variate Testing is when different elements on the page are automatically changed; this mean the font colour, title, image and overall format of the landing page is automatcally updated and changed by the landing page platform and the analytics success results determine which style of page is going to be served up to the browser.  Seriosuly clever stuff as all you have to do is come up with a handful of parameters and the platforms do the rest.

There is one caveat; traffic!  If you don't have enough traffic, testing is pointless, which is why these automated platforms tend to be used on Business to Consumer websites, i.e. clothes, financial services and so on.

Conclusion

You need to decide how you want your business to be percieved.  Are you a go-getter and what your sales people out there hammering the phones.  Or are you planning to bunker-down for the long-term and want to grow your 'attractiveness' to your preferred market.

I hope this article has helped explain the Landing Page issue and if you would like to find out more about increasing your exposure, take a look at our sX Social 334 Strategy which explains some of the tactics you can adopt to grow your following and your business. 

Some of the Best Landing Page Resources

Below is a list of the most important sites and resources to help you enhance your landing pages.  Learn everything you need to know to make the most of landing pages.  These articles are full of information for you to apply to your site:

Landing Page Tools

Here’s a collection of tools that can help you design, build and test your new landing page.

  1. Google Website Optimizer: Try out Google’s multivariate and A/B testing tool to see if your landing page is up to scratch.
  2. SiteSpect: If you’re a larger company, SiteSpect might be a better choice for optimization testing. Companies can get A/B and multivariate testing done as well as a range of other site tests.
  3. Master Landing Page Templates: You can use these various templates from Mequoda Daily as a starting place to design your landing pages.
  4. Web Page Analyzer: This tool measures the loading speed of your site. This can be important for landing pages where what loads first and overall speed can make a big difference in conversion rates.

Conversion Companies and Consultants

Sometimes it helps to turn to the professionals for big or complicated projects. These companies specialize in making landing pages great and improving conversion rates.

  1. SiteTuners: SiteTuners specializes in more large scale conversion testing, offering A/B and Taguchi Testing as well as specialized testing for larger clients.
  2. Conversion Rate Experts: This UK based consulting company offers both free (in the form of a newsletter and report) and paid advice on their site about how to increase conversions.
  3. WebSite Optimization: If higher speed and traffic are your concerns this consulting company promises to deliver results.
  4. LunaMetrics: LunaMetrics is a Web analytics and metrics company that can provide consulting advice on improving your conversion rate, among many other things.
  5. Top 10 UK Conversion companies according to TopSEOs

Webpage Analytics Tools

Monitor your landing pages with these analytics tools so you’ll know what’s working for you and what you need to improve.

  1. Google Analytics: By far the most popular analytics tools, Google Analytics has everything you need to break down your website’s stats. And best of all, it’s totally free.
  2. Hotjar: If you love heatmaps then Hotjar will appeal to you right away. It tracks where visitors click on your page showing which zones are most popular.
  3. ClickTale: Spy on visitors to your site with ClickTale. The program records the actions and activity of visitors in videos which can be used to increase the usability of a site.
  4. CrazyEgg: CrazyEgg gives users the ability to track, evaluate and eventually optimize the site based on the data the tool generates from where users click. Heatmaps and overlays provide useful visual representations of these user preferences as well.

Books

Add these titles to your library so you can keep up with the latest in landing page optimization tactics.

  1. Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability: This book by Steve Krug offers Web developers a common sense approach to integrating usability into their Web design. Readers will learn how to design pages that are so easy to use that visitors won’t even have to think.
  2. Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers: Marketing guru Seth Godin offers his advice in this book on how to improve your conversions and turn those casual visitors to your site into lifelong customers.
  3. Submit Now: Designing Persuasive Websites: Andrew Chuk describes in this book how great Web design isn’t enough. He explains how to create sites that are more effective at turning browsers into buyers.
  4. Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?: Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing: Bryan and Jeffery Eisenburg teamed up to write this guide on persuading customers. They go through every detail of the process so you’ll know just how to start implementing the process on your site.
  5. Call to Action: Secret Formulas to Improve Online Results: Another Eisenburg book, this one covers how to go about improving the conversion rates on your site and how to make your site work better for you.
  6. Convert:  Ben Hunt is Principle Consultant for Scratchmedia Ltd.  This book and the advice it contains can transform your website's success.
  7. Landing Page Optimization: by Tim Ash: The definitive guide to testing and tuning for conversions.
  8. Conversion Optimization:  The Art and Science of Converting Prospects to Customers by Khalid Saleh and Ayat Shukairy

 

 

About the Author

Nigel Maine

Nigel Maine

Nigel is the Founder & Managing Director of salesXchange and has been helping SMEs for over 25 years to develop their marketing, technologies and infrastructure to generate more profits, more efficiently. His recent book "Integrate! The Essential Business Technology & Marketing Handbook" can be downloaded from Amazon.

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