The 5 key ingredients to Web landing page success (plus one more for good measure)

While B2B companies spend considerable time and money on marketing tactics (PR, advertising, SEO, etc.) that drive visitors to their Web sites, they pay much less attention to the landing pages that must convert visitors to leads and sales.

Our experience shows there are six essential factors in developing high-performance Web landing pages:

  1. Send visitors directly to the landing page. The links in your brand building and lead-generation vehicles should send traffic directly to Web landing pages, not your home page. Think of these landing pages as funnels that interest and collect visitors, then guide them toward a specific action.
  2. Be clear about your purpose. The landing page must have a single mission — drive the Web visitor towards a desired action. And that action must be emphasized. That means text should be limited, easy to read, and highlight an offer. Buttons or promotional call outs should be highly visible (i.e., Download the paper, See the video, etc.). The page should not be cluttered with competing links or images that distract the visitor from your page’s objective.
  3. Keep registration forms short. The longer the registration form on your page, the fewer visitors will register and convert themselves into leads. Keep form fields to a minimum — ideally name, company, e-mail address and phone number. You can get additional qualification information in follow-up lead nurturing e-mails.
  4. Optimize for search. Each landing page should be search-engine optimized for the appropriate keyword phrase that describes its content. Remember to include the phrase in the page title tag, meta content, header, body text, image alt tag, and any outbound links.
  5. Remember the thank-you page. A thank-you page should come up immediately following a visitor’s action on the landing page (submitting a form, downloading a video, etc.). The thank-you page provides an important opportunity to promote another offer or direct the visitor to another Web page for additional information.
  6. Evaluate performance. Make sure your Web analytics are measuring the number of visits to the landing page as well as to the follow-up page generated after the desired action has occurred. This will allow you to calculate your conversion rate (thank-you page visitor sessions divided by landing page visitor sessions). This is a key Web site metric (in percent) that indicates your success rate in turning visitors into leads. About 10% to 15% is average and 30% is excellent. We’ve seen some landing pages convert at more than 50%.

To be successful, your landing pages must motivate visitors to perform a predetermined action. If this is not happening, try some A/B testing to determine if a different headline, offer, or form will generate better performance. Improving your landing pages will increase lead acquisition — the key to achieving higher sales and profitability.