When it comes to search every content marketer knows that there’s no one bigger than Google with it being the world’s primary search engine. Content is very important to Google when it comes to SEO and achieving keyword rankings to land yourself in the top search results. Google isn’t just looking for any content in the wake of the Panda and Penguin updates there is a clear paradigm shift towards quality content, especially when the search engine giant is all about seeing more fresh, relevant and original content on websites.
If you have a business model based on leads that is already a longer cycle to conversion than what a typical e-commerce business would have, capturing new leads and contacts will fundamentally make or break your business and when you’ve put a great amount of effort getting your content right, the last thing you want to worry about is the lack of conversions on your website, therefore having content pages which are fully utilising their potential for generating leads is a crucial part of a new visitor’s journey to convert.
Unlike landing pages that are optimised to achieve conversion rates, as that is their primary job, content pages aren’t generally made with conversion in mind. We rely on our content to bring visitors to the website and content pages serve this original promised content to users who may have landed on the specific page through reading the title of a post or article. These content pages are geared more towards delivering this promised content, so there is little or no focus on getting visitors to take action.
What are the lead generation landing page best practices?
Figure out the current position of your content pages
This step can be pretty daunting, with so many pages and so much content where do you start? When looking at content pages we usually focus on engagement metrics such as time on page, pages per visit and bounce rates to measure performance. These are good performance indicators for content pages however, what is usually ignored is that these are also good metrics to assess the potential of a content page for lead generation.
If you’ve got good engagement on your content pages, such as articles and information pages where users are spending a long time on the page and continuing their journey on the website, these are the pages to focus on, as they offer real opportunity to capture leads. This is because users are already engaged with the content and like what they see. At this point you have all the right ingredients on your pages, so they are in a greater position to drive conversions.
Gearing up your content pages for lead generations
Once you’ve identified the content pages, it’s time to think about what content to add to your pages. There are numerous ways you can add action to your content pages, some of these you may have tried previously. Every business is different, so what your audience wants from you will differ from their needs from a different industry. It is important to remember that not all of the options below will be applicable, and the mix you use will differ and need to be tailored around your content
Crafting an offer
To capture leads on your content pages the first step is to offer something. Most commonly on blog articles, we see “subscribe to this blog” or “subscribe to our list” etc. This is a fairly weak CTA and can be improved by jazzing up the copy and adding a few stats or even mentioning the benefits of why anyone should even bother subscribing. Will they miss out on future posts? Will they receive a discount? It’s about flaunting what you’re good at and proving that what you will be sending them is worth it.
Hubspot have this spot on with their subscription form;
Showing the number of subscribers is a great to prove that signing up is worth it. 215,000 people – that’s pretty solid proof that their site offers substantial information. If you’ve seen successes, why not show it off!
But don’t worry it’s not necessary to have X amount of subscribers to be successful at this – using language that speaks to your customers is also key. The form below shows this being executed really well. KB are speaking directly to their customers and addressing their needs.
Offer something that can’t be refused
You can take it one step further than the simple “subscribe to our list” and create offers that are relevant to the topic of the on page content and give this knowledge away for free. Yes… that’s right for free!
We get it, this is technically going against traditional business logic – after all, nobody wants to give away their secret recipe. But times are changing, and with so much knowledge and resources available online the best way to attract customers is to be the expert when it comes to their needs. Although you can tailor multiple blogs around an offer, matching your offer to the prospect’s desires. This will take some research and testing to understand your consumer’s needs. You can then offer the right resources that will benefit potential consumers, and they will give you their details in exchange.
Something as simple as offering a downloadable summary of your blog will outperform “Subscribe” in most cases. The screengrab below is a great example of something more tailored. This message came up after a blog post regarding the benefits of split testing. A checklist is a great resource to accompany a blog or article where you’ve written about a key topic.
Vermont Bride Magazine offers free wedding planner worksheets across their content pages related to wedding planning.
Here are some other gated content ideas you can customise and consider offering;
- White papers
- Case studies/success stories
- Research reports
- Buyer guides
- Live demos
Often with new leads, the biggest barrier is trust and this isn’t just about whether they trust you enough to give you their contact details in case you spam them. It’s more whether they trust you to provide them with quality reliable information to then seek your services. This can be especially challenging for smaller relatively unknown brands and certain industries i.e. legal or medical. It is therefore important to provide validation and trust signals where possible, this will help provide reassurance and encourage users to take the next steps.
If you have a site with low brand recognition, you should see if there’s an opportunity to borrow trust from other well-known organisations within the marketplace.
If you’ve been featured somewhere and you’re proud of it, or you have been linked to a high authority media site, then show this off by borrowing trust from them. If you’ve won any awards these can also be a really good indicator of credibility, so make sure you display these. If none of the above is applicable, you can try entering into some awards which would support the business message you want to portray to your prospects.
Another great way to achieve this is testimonials from the ideal type of customer you want to serve and incorporating these within your content or downloadable content you offer such as case studies. The ideal type of testimonial needs something more than a customer just recommending you because you’re great without any background or reasoning. Highlight a problem your ideal customer is/was having and how your product/service has resolved this including information on the results achieved for them. Building this overall trust will help you ease fear, increase connection and ultimately win more leads.
It’s time to stop using Bad Forms
Forms need to be short and sweet – they shouldn’t ask for more information than the offer permits. People don’t like giving out more information than they need to as it’s time-consuming and may feel like a privacy violation, so avoid questions that don’t make sense.
Even if you’re not taking it to the extreme of asking for lots of unnecessary information, spend some time reviewing your forms and weighing up what is really needed. It’s also worth trying out different button text, choose something compelling and speak your prospective customers’ language. This is more likely to warrant a response than a simple ‘submit’ button.
Use a chat system
If you have the resources to support it, chat systems are an excellent way to increase your chances of gaining new leads, as well providing great customer service. This feature is great for your website as a whole. With a chat system in place across landing pages, you are instantly able to answer any questions a potential lead may have in real time. This significantly increases your chances of securing a hot lead or even closing the deal.
Test and Measure
We can’t stress enough the importance of this testing and measuring. There’s no point of all that hard work if you don’t know whether it’s working or not, right? Or more importantly figuring out what works for you.
You need to keep in mind that every audience is different, and what is working for others may not work for you, but don’t worry – this is where a simple A/B split test can help. A/B tests are where you compare two versions of the same page however you change one or more variables and compare results to measure efficacy.
In terms of what to test, something as simple as testing out the wording of your CTA, position of your CTA, the layout of your content page, or the images you’re using can have a huge impact. Another consideration here is the process, there is no value in changing a few random aspects on the page with no thought behind it and seeing what happens. You need to know what it is that you want to test for instance if it’s the form you might need to test a few different forms with different positions and also the length of the form. If it’s the offer you might consider testing different wording or two completely different offers to see which one yields the best results.
Performing split tests will help you figure out what works best for your audience and once you’ve nailed that, you have the key to unlocking the full potential of your content pages. You can apply techniques that work for you across existing pages and also to your overall content marketing strategy.
If you’d like some help with your business’s content marketing strategy then get in touch with our team today.