If you follow any of DIR Incorporated’s blog topics, or social media feed, I am certain you know that website optimization produces highly competitive web sites that out-perform on every measure; traffic, speed, conversion rates, lead nurturing and, most importantly, return on your investment. However, it is important and sometimes lost piece in the conversation of optimizing a website is the impact of an optimized landing page.
Even the mighty Hubspot who measures the elements of a high-octane digital marketing website via its Marketing Grader tool, don’t include a measure of how optimized a landing page is.
Instead, Marketing Grader and other website optimization measurement tools solely look at the fact that a website domain is attached to an inbound marketing software program like Hubspot 3, Marketo, or Leadsius. Although, they do offer settings for checking how optimized a landing page is, if you use their platform.
All that said, we are going to take a look at how to optimize landing pages, and why they are important. If you want to read more about metrics you need to improve your website optimization performance follow this link.
What are landing pages?
A landing page is a web page usually separate from your website that allows you to capture a visitor’s information through a lead-capture form. Landing page optimization is important. It’s about presenting your best “first impression” to respondents who click on your PPC search ads, email links, affiliate promotions, banner ads, etc.
Why are landing pages important?
The whole point of SEO is to make your company more discoverable online so you can be found by prospective buyers early in their research cycle. Driving more traffic to your site is pointless if you don’t have the necessary offers, landing pages, and forms in place to convert a large part of those visitors into leads.
Landing pages serve as a point of reference on sales funnel conversion path. You use data collected from the landing page to qualify a visitor as in lead, or a prospect as ready for the next stage within the sales funnel in your marketing database.
Landing pages help you gather valuable information about your leads so you can continue to market to them more effectively with things like personalized email marketing and dynamic website content that appeals to their specific interests and needs. This enables you to nurture and move your leads through the funnel to a point of sales readiness.
What is the end goal of a landing page?
The goal is the same as with every other marketing vehicle … to achieve the highest conversion rate and the highest ROI. That’s a big goal. It’s the goal that the CMO cares about — “is our online marketing paying off?” Ultimately, it’s the goal that the CEO cares about. Businesses and careers rise or fall on the outcome.
But if that’s such a big goal, why do most of the discussions around landing page optimization start and end way down in the weeds? Sure, any one landing page is a very tactical initiative on the front-line. But those tactics are not executed in a vacuum.
They’re enabled (or constrained):
- by the broader initiatives under which they live;
- by your organizational capabilities;
- and by your overarching strategy.
And just as these front-line tactics are directed by the higher-level strategy, they should also inform that strategy with useful intelligence and marketing learning from the battlefield. Great online marketing is a feedback loop, a virtuous cycle.
How do I get started with landing pages?
You have two options really:
If you have a WordPress website, or are looking for a Customize WordPress website re-design. We recommend Optify, because it offers and easy to use plugin and supports WordPress’ Content Management System (CMS)
If you have a non-Wordpress website, or are looking for a 100% custom website solutions. We recommend Hubspot, because its basic level platform works great with non-wordpress sites.
Why optimize your landing pages?
Your landing pages are such a critical part of Strategic Inbound Marketing, and even small conversion improvements can make a significant impact on your top-line revenue. In addition to the new prospects and leads, many repeat visitors will come across your landing page. In fact, when someone who is already in your database is incited to a conversion, it presents an excellent opportunity to segment data and learn more about them so you can customize your communication with them. The end results in continual improvement of your inbound marketing process.
How to Optimize Landing Pages
A recent study of over 7,000 Hubspot customers unveiled that companies see a 55% increase in leads when increasing their number of landing pages from 10 to 15.
To optimize that overall mission, you need to view landing page marketing at multiple levels:
Traditional Landing Page Optimization
1. Element optimization. For any given element on a page for instance, the headline — you can test to find the best version. This is the lowest level of landing page optimization. It’s important in the context of a particular page, but in the big scheme of things, it delivers the least overall value.
2. Page optimization. This is what is usually meant by “landing page optimization”. It’s about finding the the right combination of elements — each of which gets optimized — as well as the best layout and design of the overall page. This can have a significant impact on the performance of a specific page, and if you do this across all of your online marketing, it can contribute a noticeable bump to marketing’s overall results.
Enlightened Landing Page Optimization
3. Path optimization. However, a page is merely a single step along a path — one that starts with the ad or email that the respondent clicked on and carries through to the second and third pages the user clicks on and beyond. Optimizing the path is about message match and expectation management to make the prospect’s overall experience the best it can be. Optimizing at this level lets you leap ahead of competitors who are stuck in the disconnected underbrush of individual pages.
4. Segment optimization. But all clicks are not equal. Different respondents arrive with different needs and varying frames of reference. At this next level up, you start optimizing different paths to cater to those different audiences. At this optimization, you can reveal tremendous insights about who your customers are and how they view themselves and their interest in your company. These discoveries not only improve your conversion rate for specific paths — they can help optimize your segmentation strategy at a higher level too. Big dividends.
5. Campaign optimization. Even as “campaigns” are giving way to a more fluid marketing environment, there are still different initiatives in the field that connect certain messages, offers, audiences, and tactics with common threads. At the campaign level, landing page optimization becomes about matching the right pages and paths with the right slices of the campaign, and using the front-line results to inform and improve overall campaign effectiveness. It requirescoordination and continuity. Even in large enterprises, this is where the outcomes are now visible to senior management.
Strategic Landing Page Optimization (Source: Ion Interactive)
6. Operations optimization. At this level, landing page optimization is about maximizing the efficiency of your overall landing page capabilities. How good is your landing page management for producing, organizing, and optimizing landing pages across all your different campaigns? This is about increasing your cycle speed and reducing your per-page and per-path overhead. The more optimized you can make your landing page management processes, the more optimization you can execute at the tactical levels below.
7. Strategy optimization. At the very top of the pyramid, the focus is on optimizing the big picture marketing strategy. At this level, landing page optimization becomes abstracted from the gory details, but it makes two very important contributions: (1) the option to execute highly segmented strategies and (2) the ability to quickly test strategic assumptions in micro-campaigns and to use that learning to optimize the overall strategy.
The difference between this more strategic landing page optimization andtraditional landing page optimization can mean the difference between myopia (i.e., optimizing the deck chairs on the Titanic) and visionary marketing leadership.
Landing page optimization in the big picture isn’t just important. It’s very important.
Ready to experience a landing page? It’s coming with two (2) awesome Free and downloadable eBooks.
The average attention span online is about eight seconds. Question is, how do you get someone to read and convert on your landing page in that short time frame?
Landing pages literally serve as the location your prospect “lands” on your website. In addition to prospects, many repeat visitors or customers will come across your landing page. This means that your landing pages need to be optimized for every stage of the marketing funnel.
To help you build landing pages that convert, we wrote this comprehensive guide on How to Optimize Landing Pages for Conversions.
In this 74-page ebook, you’ll learn how to:
- Optimize Every Element of Your Landing Page
- A/B Test Your Landing Pages
- Get Your Landing Pages Shared Online
- Tie Your Landing Pages to Lead Nurturing
- Close the Loop with Landing Page Analytics
Are you using landing pages as a destination for your marketing campaigns? More importantly, are you using them effectively? Anyone can create a landing page, but a great landing page results in engagement and action.
Download our 10 Tips for Creating an Effective Landing Page Whitepaper and learn how to:
- Tailor the design, images and text for conversion
- Create an emphasized call-to-action
- Optimize the headline and sub-headline
- Enable social sharing and highlight social validation
- Distribute Links via Social Media Channels
- And much more…
Make sure each landing page you create is a great landing page.
Final Tip from DIR Incorporated to begin your landing page optimization:
Make sure to pay special attention to layout, headlines, and forms. Experiment with adding new pages to target specific keywords and audiences, and watch your leads dramatically increase, as well.
BANG! – 8 Tips For Re-Designing A Website With Impact
from Rob Rohena
For some of you reading this adding a software program to your website might be too big of a challenge due to an inability to make changes to your own website. As a BONUS eBook from DIR Incorporated and BANG! Website Design of South Bend, Indiana, see the slideshare above titled BANG! – 8 Tips For Re-Designing A Website With Impact.