Landing pages are great, but they’re useless if they don’t convert. This guide outlines factors that will increase the conversions from a landing page.
Some you’ll know already - punchy header, engaging copy - but some of the juicier insights may be new to you. So read on!
What is a landing page?
It’s where a user lands when arriving on your site. Usually arrival is restricted to one or a few specific channels: PPC ads, newsletter links, etc.
The purpose of the page is simple: to capture a user’s attention and persuade them to complete a desired action. This could be signing up to a newsletter, starting a free trial, downloading an ebook, or myriad other things.
Landing pages are powerful because you have full control over the messaging on the page, you can be relatively certain of how the user found your page, and you can collect insights about engagement to increase effectiveness of future campaigns. They are a vital part of B2B lead generation campaigns.
The outcome of a landing page can be tailored to different stages in the conversion funnel, too. People near the start of the funnel can be offered webinar invitations, ebooks, and other knowledge-based resources, with the view to educate them about your brand and form positive associations. Warmer leads can be offered free trials or similar tasters of your product. Existing customers can be invited to move up to the next level of their subscription, or to increase its length.
What are the differences between B2C and B2B landing pages?
Many commentators suggest that B2C landing pages should focus more on emotion; and B2B ones on logic. The argument being that riding on emotional coat-tails will be less effective in a B2B environment as buyers will have processes in place around their purchase. They will report to accounting departments, their managers, stockholders, and so on.
However, there is much discussion on this question. The tips and insights in this guide are designed to be applicable to and increase the conversion rate of any landing page.
What are good percentage conversion benchmarks?
A cryptic statistic by Unbounce suggests that if you have a 12% conversion rate, you're doing better than about 90% of competitors. This isn’t the clearest answer, but it’s not a question that lends itself to one.
We suggest focussing on internal benchmarks with the view to improve these over time. A/B testing and effective reporting will give increasingly accurate internal engagement metrics, ideally leading to tweaks and refinements to increase it further.
Mailchimp gives a fantastic breakdown of various email metrics across industries which may provide a useful comparison of rates between industries, although remember they are two very different channels so the actual percentages are unlikely to marry up.
Gated versus ungated content
A gated landing page gives access to information or a resource in exchange for data. A visitor may provide their email address in exchange for an ebook, or their name, job title, and phone number in exchange for a trial version of some software. There is the implied understanding that the visitor will be contacted later in some marketing capacity.
Ungated pages provide as much useful knowledge as possible to prospective leads 'for free', in the hope that their engagement with the site and brand will lead to the potential for becoming a lead (and ideally converting) elsewhere and later on.
Landing pages versus pillar pages
A landing page traditionally has one, clearly defined purpose. They are gated, meaning that knowledge and insights must be earned. The aim is to convert visitors to the page and turn them into B2B leads.
A pillar page, or content pillar, aims to be broad and provide as much knowledge as possible. It is designed to inform, educate, and build trust. Conversion is a less pressing priority: instead seeds are sown to be cultivated later. They are much cooler leads.
Trainline demonstrate pillar pages well. These pages list train times, which you'd expect, but they go one step further by offering a huge range of supplementary information about the journey, distance, average cost, operators, and more. This information fulfils secondary user intent and, if a user needs to book a ticket later, the chances of them remembering Trainline are higher.
Elements of a successful landing page
When designing B2B lead generation landing pages, top level considerations should be making the page effortless to navigate and engage with. Ensure there are as few distractions as possible. As well as that you will want:
An impactful header, above the fold: This should immediately capture attention, and communicate benefits clearly. An anonymous marketing adage states that you have three words to capture someone's attention, so use impactful, action-oriented words at the start of your header. "Triple your conversion rate" is better than "This tool will help you to triple your conversion rate".
An unambiguous call to action (CTA): Visitors should know, consciously or subconsciously, what to do next. If using a button, make sure it stands out. Secondary or otherwise contrasting colours attract the eye better than theme colours.
There is no consensus on the 'right' number of CTAs, although it's generally agreed fewer are better. Many people advocate a maximum of two, with the theory being that any more than this dilutes attention and increases the risk of a visitor getting distracted and navigating away from the page. Those advocating for 2 or more suggest that CTAs can be pitched to different visitors: if someone doesn't want to convert via the main one, they may be tempted by a secondary, less committal one.
Concise, benefit led copy: Imagine you're buying a new phone. "Do you want all your photos automatically backed up and protected in the cloud?" is punchier than "would you like a 2, 4, 8, 16 or 32GB SD card for file storage?". It conveys the benefit: knowing your photos are backed up and safe provides much more peace of mind than knowing you have a 32GB SD card.
In short, fewer and more relevant words on your landing page will increase engagement. See below: would you be more likely to read through the digestible, engaging, easy paragraphs on the left? Or the large blocks on the right? (Image from Backlinko).
Targeted messaging: It is easier to convey product benefits if you have a tightly defined audience for your landing page. This should correspond to steps in the conversion funnel. Think about what they will want from the page, and design accordingly.
Social proof: Providing star ratings or a couple of short testimonials is a way to build trust quickly and concisely. Users are more likely to engage with a page if they know someone in their digital peer group has done the same.
An image: There is no hard or fast rule whether images help with conversion: some suggest they do because they provide something visually interesting on the page, whereas others argue this is just a distraction from the CTA. A/B testing can probably help here...
Insights from A/B testing: Once the page is designed, use A/B testing to highlight choke points before making it live. Crowdsourcing opinions on the page, then comparing this with your sense checking is a great way to reach the optimal design.
There's a great story about landbot.io, whose landing page is a fullscreen chat window. This was originally done by accident, and goes against all of the folk wisdom about effective landing page design; however, they saw their conversions jump from 3% to 9.6%.
A CRO underpinning: CRO stands for Conversion Rate Optimisation. By removing unnecessary elements from forms on the page, you are less likely to lose a user’s attention. Some can be removed (fax), others consolidated ('name' instead of 'first name' and 'last name'). A user should be able to fill in forms as quickly and easily as possible.
Landing page examples
To close, we leave you with a couple of the best B2B landing pages we’ve seen recently:
We like the big, punchy heading. But our favourite aspect is the use of colour: the page is grayscale except for the blue CTA, which is a secondary of the orange in the Asana logo. There is only one field to fill in, too. Very concise!
Who can resist those six words? They almost perfectly capture what every business wants to do. The supplementary text is so small that your eye is drawn immediately to the CTAs after reading the headline: bold blue for the primary CTA, and a dull grey for the secondary one (the video is designed to provide further info to those not ready to sign up yet).
When you get a landing page right, learn from it. Carry those insights forward into future campaigns. You will begin to see your conversion rate creep up as you collect experience.