October 07, 2019 Andrew Warren-Payne
This post is the latest in our series on B2B marketing optimization and how to take your marketing efforts to the next level.
In our last post on optimization, we examined how you can set goals to increase your reach by examining the impressions and visits that your channels are driving.
Let’s assume now that the number of visits to your key converting pages — whether they are for demo requests, free trials, whitepapers or webinars — is sufficient. Also, let’s assume that whatever you are offering is compelling enough for someone to fill out a lead form so you can turn an anonymous visitor into a known prospect.
Below are some steps and strategies you can experiment with to optimize that conversion for your demand generation efforts.
Make sure you know your baseline and sources so you can set a goal
Before you begin to make changes to your landing page, you need to understand what your baseline is so you can optimize accordingly. At the very least, look into your analytics to understand how many visitors are coming to the landing page and how many are converting.
You also ought to have an understanding of the source of your traffic. If the source changes significantly, the overall conversion rate may change even if nothing else. Ideally, you want this to be consistent to figure out exactly what works and what doesn’t.
You may also want to set the landing page up with a dedicated optimization or testing tool or use the testing functionality within your landing page builder (if you have one). These tools have the benefit of not requiring historical data because they can run at least two variations of a landing page simultaneously. Some tools also offer multivariate testing, allowing you to change several elements at once, with the ‘winning’ option being presented from then on.
Make a change and test the impact
For this post, we’ll assume you are making just one change. You can make this change as an A/B test format (i.e., where two variations are shown and a test is run live) or you can simply make a change and contrast it against your historical baseline.
Once the change is made, you will need to wait for a period to collect sufficient data on which you can make an accurate decision. If you are receiving a lot of visits, then you will need less time to get a valid picture.
If you want to assess the validity of the result to a level of statistical confidence, a free calculator at AB Testguide can help determine whether you have enough data to come to a particular conclusion. Dedicated optimization or A/B testing tools almost always have this functionality built-in.
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What you can change to optimize your landing page
Okay, so it’s time to try to optimize your landing page performance. Note that when it comes to optimization, success or failure of a test might be significantly different from your original expectations.
If you’re using ON24 Target, you can pretty much edit any of the below elements using the landing page builder function.
Optimize the headline and value proposition
Most landing pages have a large headline, often with a strapline or value proposition underneath them. They are typically the first thing that people read – if they read anything at all.
In his 1968 book Confessions of an Advertising Man, ad legend David Ogilvy said:
On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.
He also remarked that particular phrases such as ‘How To’ can generate interest – and Google’s own search data shows that in the 21st century, searches containing the phrase ‘how to’ have rocketed.
Optimize the call-to-action and key copy
Once you’ve tested the headline, try changing the copy in the call-to-action and body text.
Bullets can be particularly effective in making text scannable and concise. Research by Nielsen Norman Group has found scannable formats can increase usability by 47%.
Optimize the imagery and creative
Got images on your landing page? Try changing these around. Use images with or without people, of different genders and even emotional states.
Consider putting a video in the mix, too. If you have a webinar you’ve already done or that is always-on, try including a clip to see if that boosts form fills.
Personalize the offer
If you can, try personalizing the offer relevant to the visitor. For example, if your landing page is part of your account-based marketing strategy, incorporate the logo of the brand directly on the landing page.
Some testing tools also allow you to make changes based on the source of the traffic.
Optimize the form
There are lots of ways you can optimize a form to increase conversions, along with technology that allows forms to be filled in more easily.
At the very least, try removing fields that you do not need to make sign-ups easier for the user. As covered in ON24’s guide on The Engagement Imperative, many people resent filling in forms and even add false data, making it nearly impossible to maintain a clean database.
Also explore adding in autocompletion to various fields, testing your form validation and consider using progressive profiling (which is included in many marketing automation form builders) to gradually collect data over several visits, rather than asking for it all at once.
Consider using a timed pop-up modal or widget
While pop-ups can interrupt the user experience, you might want to experiment with offering a modal that suggests a new offer if someone hasn’t converted on that page for some time.
Some modal designs can also preview the content, making it more enticing to download and engage with.
Don’t forget about the experience afterward
Even though this post is about optimizing what is happening directly on the landing page, ensure the experience following the conversion offers a good experience for your new contact.
Test your landing page to make sure users actually receive the content and that they aren’t immediately bombarded with further emails, even if they have a high lead score. And consider using retargeting for those that don’t quite convert — if they’ve come once already, hopefully you can persuade them the next time around.
To find out more about how you can engage buyers and stand out above the noise, download ON24’s guide on The Engagement Imperative.