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5 Tips for Using Landing Pages

March 03 2010

With a growing emphasis on serach engine optimization (SEO) technology, real estate agents and brokers can be tunnel visioned, buying the latest and greatest technology to drive traffic to their landing pages, or webpages. Certainly SEO technology and other lead generating services are invaluable to marketing real estate websites, virtual tours, property listings and other online landing pages.

However, in a recent blog post on Search Engine LandSearch Engine Land, Christopher Wallace addresses a common problem he sees today: the inability to convert site visitors into leads. Instead of merely pointing out the obvious problems that lie with driving thousands of visitors to your real estate websites and then sitting back while they move on, Christopher offers five tips to keep your online visitors around.

1. Simplify your content
2. Shorten your lead forms
3. Use your analytics to drive decisions
4. Keep the conversion path in mind when using images
5. Leverage landing pages for extended user engagement

Instead of wasting time trying to get more people to click on your site in search engines, focus your efforts on ways to better convert the traffic you're already getting.

*Editor's Note: A landing page is any online webpage that generates and drives traffic for marketing purposes. For example, if you advertise your real estate services online with a Web banner that if clicked on will direct online visitors to your website, that is a landing page. If you have an active blog and you use it to provide useful information to potential clients, this is a landing page.

Given the consumerism mentality that is so pervasive in society today, people regularly throw good money after bad, chasing more of what they already have. But this behavior isn’t limited to consumers. Time and again, I see B2B (Business to Business) marketers doing the very same thing.

The situation

B2B marketers work hard to target the right keywords, create compelling ad copy, and drive potential customers to click on their ads, all with the hopes of capturing them as a lead. But unfortunately, conversion rates often fall short of what they could be. Desperate to make up ground, many B2B marketers ramp up their paid search spend to drive more traffic, and in doing so, end up maintaining their dismal conversion rate.

The solution

So as a B2B marketer, how can you convert more visitors into leads? How can you keep those customers engaged and ensure that they don’t end up on a competitors’ site? Quite simply, by focusing on better converting the traffic you’re already getting. And the best way to do that is by improving the pieces that you can control: the experience a potential customer has when they reach your site. In other words, you can boost your conversion rate by focusing on the landing page.

Understanding the value

As a B2B marketer, let’s say that you receive 5,000 visits to a landing page each month, with a conversion rate of two percent. Of that amount, you ultimately close 20 percent of the leads that come into the database. That works out to be 20 new clients per month. But what if you could double that 2 percent conversion rate just by making a few simple changes to the landing page? Doing that would translate into an incremental 20 new clients each month. In fact, it would allow you to double the revenue from your paid search campaigns without spending an additional dollar on advertising.

Seeing it in action

But can merely tweaking a landing page actually boost conversation rates? Absolutely. In fact, we did exactly that for a software company that I was working with last year. Their business was going well, their click through rate and quality score was continually improving month over month, and they were getting ample traffic to their website. However, their conversion rates were stagnant. But by making a few changes to the landing page—including placement, and focusing on benefits rather than features—we were able to improve conversion rates by 250% in just six months.

Making it work

Landing pages are the key to keeping potential customers engaged and closing them in under a minute. Below are five key landing page tips that will help boost your conversion rate and drive more revenue from business to business transactions:

1. Simplify your content. Landing page content should be in bullet form, not paragraphs. In addition, it should focus on the benefits of your products/services, not the features. A visitor to your site is already interested, so why sell them on what your offering does? Instead, sell them on how they can benefit from it. Keep it short, simple, and to the point. Remember, this is your opportunity to add value to their experience and keep their eyes on your site instead of the competition’s.

2. Shorten your lead form. Think about what you truly need from your customers in order to consider them a lead. At this point in the process, do you really need to know their industry or the size of their organization? Or would you be better off simplifying their commitment and only asking for an email address, name, name of company, and a telephone number? The shorter your lead form, the more likely a potential customer is to fill it out.

3. Use your analytics to drive decisions. Your site analytics package offers a lot of useful data that you can leverage to improve the performance of your landing pages. For instance, do you know the screen resolution that 75% of your top prospects are using? Tapping into this data for current site profiles could tell you exactly that. Moreover, it could help you determine whether visitors can actually see the benefits of your offering or the lead form, and the specific browser types they are using.

4. Keep the conversion path in mind when using images. The use of images on landing pages can be powerful as they attract the eye and can help keep a user on the page. However, they are not risk free. For example, some images might distract the eye from the conversion path, or sit front and center while pushing a lead form below the fold or off to the side. When considering the using of images, think about driving the user down the path to conversion. You want to be sure that your imagery enhances the experience, and does not detract from the optimal path.

5. Leverage landing pages for extended user engagement. Beyond driving visitors down a conversion path, think about how you can leverage landing pages to engage the consumer beyond today. For instance, do you have a Facebook fan page, a blog, press releases, a newsletter, or an RSS feed? If so, think about how you can offer such content to visitors so that they continue to engage with your brand beyond the initial lead form. Adding simple links, or teasers for content, such as white papers, behind the lead form will allow you to keep your customers engaged throughout the sales process and beyond.

If you are looking to boost your conversion rates, don’t make the mistake of chasing after more of what you already have. Instead, work to better convert the traffic you’re already getting. Improving your landing pages will help you do exactly that.

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