Not so very long ago, the theory went that if you built a great website with an awesome product or service, optimized it and promoted it, customers would visit in droves and your business would flourish. However, as we’ve become more adept at actually measuring the return on marketing investment, it’s apparent that high website traffic doesn’t necessarily convert into higher leads or sales. 71-89% of website visitors are looking for content or information to fulfill a need but they are generally not ready to buy from you on their first visit. Deepening this dilemma, studies show that 98% of website visitors never return to your website after their first visit. If website visitors bounce off your home page after the first few seconds you lose your chance to convert them into a qualified lead. Missing from the original process was a vital component – your ability to reach out to those potential leads after they leave your site.
Website visitors are notoriously fickle
A well-designed landing page provides a simple, effective solution to high bounce rates by offering valuable content in return for the visitors’ contact information. Your home page is vitally important for providing information about your business to visitors and customers, but when it comes to lead generation, landing pages beat home pages hands down.
So, what’s so special about good landing page design?
- It creates a strong incentive for your customer to download your content or offer.
- It keeps your visitor focused on filling out your form by removing all other distractions including navigation links.
- It captures the information you need to follow up and qualify the lead.
- It moves the visitor through the process of completing the form and getting your content as quickly and easily as possible.
- Your follow up thank you page offers next-step suggestions to move the buyer along in the buying cycle.
Landing Page Design Strategies
According to MarketingSherpa's Landing Page Handbook (2nd edition), 44% of clicks for B2B companies are directed to the business' homepage, not a special landing page designed to capture the lead. In addition, of the B2B companies that do use landing pages, 62% have six or fewer total landing pages. So why aren’t more companies using landing pages? MarketingSherpa cites the primary reason landing pages aren’t being used is because marketing departments either don't know how to design landing pages or they don’t focus solely on the desired action.
While simple and direct in their message to visitors, effective landing page design requires thoughtful planning and execution. Visitors decide in 5-8 seconds if they will submit their information. One simple test you can perform to test the effectiveness of your landing page design is the “blink test”. Have a potential visitor view the landing page for 5-8 seconds and see if they can then identify:
- What was the offer being promoted
- What are the benefits of the offer
- What action is required to get the offer
If the tester can identify all three, you know you’re on the right path. If not, you’ll want modify the design of your landing page and try again. Several factors make landing pages more effective for converting visitors into leads and leads into paying customers. If you would like to learn more about designing and optimizing effective Landing Pages, download our Free e-Book “Optimizing Landing Pages for Lead Generation and Conversion.”