7 reasons your landing pages aren't driving enough conversions (and how to fix them)
Alex Clarke presents seven ways marketers are failing to drive enough lead conversions through their website landing pages, and shows you how to fix them
I'll tell you what, let's treat this article introduction like its own landing page and make it quick, clear and concise. Here are seven reasons your B2B landing pages are failing to drive enough conversions and the various ways you can fix them. Intro over.
1. Overlooking target audience
On a general marketing level, B2B brands often fall into the spray-and-pray trap of targeting as many prospects as possible from across every vertical imaginable, in the desperate hope that the more people they reach, the more leads they'll convert.
And this umbrella approach extends to landing page design, as Luke Budka, director of TopLine Comms, explains: “One of the most common landing page mistakes we see involves companies forgetting who their target audience is and why the audience should be interested in the content.
“It sounds simple, but marketers regularly forget to put themselves in a prospect's shoes and ask the question: ‘Why this content? Why do I need this in my life?’ There's so much content out there, so it's essential a landing page spells out the value proposition quickly and succinctly.”
2. Failing to constantly test
Marketers need to accept that their landing page will never be perfect. Continual optimisation, whether through A/B testing, trialling different layouts or experimenting with various forms of content, will ensure your landing page is meeting expectations. What about exceeding those expectations, I hear you ask? Keep collecting data. Keep tweaking. Keep testing.
However, raw data alone will not suffice, as Duncan Keene, UK MD at ContentSquare explains: “There’s an abundance of data and analytics platforms available on the market but too many companies rush into testing their landing pages without really thinking about the right questions to ask.”
3. Asking for too much information
It’s a question all B2B marketers fret over: am I asking for too much information? Not asking enough could equate to difficulty qualifying the lead, but ask for too much and your prospect's likely to abandon their purchase.
Brevity, as Jamie White, digital strategy lead at Bozboz explains, is the key to encouraging conversion here: “Making data capture as straightforward as possible will no doubt improve your database, and perfectly complement your beautiful landing page UX. In our experience, five form fields receive the highest conversion rate for a marketing qualified lead.”
But of course, the amount of information you request should reflect the product you’re offering, as Luke Budka observes: “If you have a super exclusive industry-altering report that no one else has, you can ask for more. But if you just have an ebook with a few simple tips, don't ask for more than first name, surname and email address.”
4. Overcomplicating things
As mentioned previously, it’s also essential that B2B marketers keep their landing page copy and design clean and clear. Focus on your audience’s wants and needs, what you’d like this particular page to achieve, and stick to the mantra of quality over quantity.
Additionally, consider the path your prospect has taken to get to the landing page, as Libby Bearman, conversion rate optimisation manager at Browser Media, asserts: “If they've come to the site via an e-shot, the headline on the page should follow from the copy in the email; the succinct text to follow should describe the benefits of completing the goal, and the call-to-action should be clear and enticing. Too much copy and your visitors won't read it, too much jargon and they'll lose interest, too much choice and they'll become confused. Be direct.”
5. Hidden calls-to-action
It should be your first consideration when creating your landing page: where is the call-to-action going to reside? Too many brands focus primarily on the overall design, layout and content of a landing page, rather than its CTA. Don’t get me wrong, fantastic design and content is important, but a landing page has to be built around your call-to-action if you’re going to have any chance of pushing your lead towards the next step.
As John Smart, head of copy at DGR Marcomms, observes: “It amazes me how often a call-to-action is languishing below the fold, when 80% of people will never scroll below it.”
A good example is Evernote's sign-up page. Prospects are instantly presented with the company's brand message, backed by video, with a CTA that neatly correlates with Evernote's colour branding and style. It's simple, clean and effective.
6. Forgetting to add case studies and testimonials
What better to way to convince potential customers of your acumen than showing them the testimonials of existing clients? Every successful business relationship your company website carries should be accompanied by case studies and testimonials to support it.
Remember, B2B buyers absolutely detest being sold to, so demonstrate how you’ve provided value to previous/existing customers instead of choking your landing page content with self-endorsement. Nothing turns a potential buyer off more.
To go one step further, complement testimonials with high-authority brand logos you’ve worked with, along with industry awards or recognitions. “These reflect positively on the talents within the business,” explains Chris Burt, digital marketing strategist, Blue Digital, “and help to position the company as one that people want to work with.”
7. Slow page loading times
This is another fairly obvious, yet still fairly common, component of a poor landing page. As Andrew Mason, co-founder of Rapidspike explains, a landing page ideally needs to load in under two seconds. Any longer, and your prospect is likely to exit the page and head over to your competitor’s turf.
So, how can you fix those frustratingly low loading times? Andrew explains: “Marketers can address the page load issue by ensuring that there are no third party elements on the page that are taking an excessive time to load. The order in which page elements load is important too, as visitors perceive that their query is being answered from the point at which they see a relevant image, for example.
“It's also important to note that SEO optimisation is often not important for landing pages that are designed for paid ads such as AdWords.”
An good example is Staples, which experienced a 10% surge in online conversion rates by reducing its website loading time by a mere second. In addition, the fact that Google are now going to start ranking websites based on mobile device loading times demonstrates how this small improvement can yield potentially huge results.