10 Ways to Optimize for Lead Generation
Lead generation, whether your digital enterprise is the largest or smallest in the virtual world, is a topic of immense interest to the professional Web worker.
And what do we want when it comes to lead generation? More. And when do we want it? Well, now (immediately) of course. Leads are the lifeblood of the digital enterprise so optimizing the pages that are responsible for generating new business is accelerating in importance. Investing financial and personnel resources in optimizing these important business assets should be a key focus of digital efforts in 2013. Below you'll find 10 suggestions (and tactics) as you set off toward fully optimized lead generation pages in the coming year.
Wait! What's a Landing Page?
Landing pages are those pages which are design/developed exclusively to convert visitor to buyers
(and social sharing focused brand advocates), rather than just browsers of content or products. "Conversion" as you may know can come in a variety of forms - from an actual sale to something such as a user filling out a form (email, information request, etc.) or taking a specific action such as picking up the phone and making an actual phone call. Creating
separate landing pages (those which stand completely alone) isn't absolutely necessary. A
better approach, in the opinion of many, is to consider every page on your website a landing page (as
users can come from anywhere). In that context, you'll find many of the
suggestions included below very valuable.
Keep in mind that while the following are not actual methods for optimizing lead generation pages, they do act as "test-able" elements - the presence or absence of which can lead to greater or lesser conversions.
- Focus on Simplified Design
Much happens in the mind of user when they first visit a website - one of terrific importance is that of design. While that will likely not come as a surprise, what will is that users will depart/bounce if the page itself looks too complicated. There are of course plenty of enterprises that believe that more is better instead of the other way around, but this is one of those testable moments - one in which you can definitely prove that less is more or if more is actually less.
- Pre-Optimization Strategy Objective
Every landing page needs an objective - a goal or event that the enterprise needs the visitor to complete. Often, however, there's a need or requirement to have multiple objectives. There's clearly a benefit to using one single landing page to accomplish the overall objective, but those with just one particular objective removes the likelihood that the user will take the path of least resistance.
- Welcome Visitors By Source
It is one of the smallest lead generation optimization tactics you can make, but it may also be one of the most important - welcoming visitors. But not just your standard welcome message, but a message with a purpose. In this case, the purpose is to immediately connect with those visitors. And what better way to do that than by recognizing exactly who referred that visitor. For example, when landing pages are shared (or promoted) on a social network, why not recognize that?
- Immediate Call-to-Action Statement
Once a visitor hasn't been overwhelmed with too many design elements, and feel welcomed enough to continue, it's essential to immediately make the call-to-action statement. Inclusion of a CTA is one more bit of proof that the choice the visitor made when clicking the link (whereever that happened) that they made the right decision and that the page is relevant to their query or interest.
- Eliminate Unnecessary Navigation
Landing pages take a near infinite variety of forms, but truly optimized landing pages need to take navigation seriously. The more options that are given to a user visiting a landing page, the more opportunities that are present for users to "leak" away from the objective.
- Intermittent Testimonials
There are numerous methods to make a call-to-action, but why should you (the enterprise developing the landing page) make the cause for consumer action. Wouldn't it be more effective if the claims - and the answers a visitor is looking for - came from someone just like them? Using testimonials is a powerful way to incite action as most consumers seeking out the products and services offered have the same demand. And if they have the same demand, what motivates them to purchase is also likely very similar. Whether you use long-form or short-form landing pages, including a testimonial (or two or three) is worth the investment in acquisition.
- Include Trust Signals Strategically
Testimonials are a perfect addition to landing pages and should be tested, but they are far from the only element that can help build or instill trust with a user. Other options include awards or certifications that have been received, ratings from accredited bodies, and even the common seals for those that have established trust and authority. Testing the inclusion of these trust signals (and doing so on a keyword basis as some may be more influential on certain sources) is a sure-fire way to get the most out of your landing pages.
- Showcase the Offer Prominently
You would think that anyone creating a landing page would know to feature the actual offer prominently on the page, but it's surprising how infrequently this occurs. Consumers are time strapped and highly aware of what they need in the fast-paced information age so laying the proverbial cards on the table removes any doubt about your expectation of the user. The notion of transparency was of immense popularity for a while and there's evidence enough to suggest that showcasing the offer prominently does have its rewards (as opposed to forcing a user to expend their mental faculties doing so on your behalf.
- Before They Go; A Final Call-to-Action
It's a hard (but important) truth - most of the visitors you host on your website will leave. Leave without purchasing, leave without completing a form - and most will never return. It's a hard fact of our digital life - but an accurate one. For this reason, including one more strong call-to-action at the end of your long- or short-form content (mostly for those of the long form variety) is one of the last efforts you can make to establish conversions. For the more aggressive landing page developers, consider using a pop-up window before they click out to showcase the offer prominently.
- Analytics, Tracking, and Retargeting In Play
Of course you'll be measuring and tracking those that visit your website, but if that's all you do you are going to miss out on those that have little chance to return. Landing page campaigns today must (or should) consider the use of retargeting technologies. The buying cycles of users is in some cases exceedingly extensive, so whatever a brand can do to bring those users back is most certainly going to benefit their bottom line.