19th century poet Mary Howitt penned a children’s rhyme in 1829 when she was thirty. It contains so many marketing secrets that I show them here.
In Mary’s poem, the fly refuses. Our job as marketers is to dispel all doubt so our leads are happy to convert. For the spider’s web, read the logic of the conversion funnel. In this article, we consider the role of an optimized landing page.
The Anatomy of an Optimized Landing Page
In medicine, anatomy is ‘the branch of science concerned with the bodily structure of living organisms, especially as revealed by dissection and the separation of parts.’ A good lead generation strategy should likewise consider all aspects needed to create landing pages that convert.
- Have you ever come across an insect called the antlion? The creature creates a sand funnel into which its leads tumble with remarkable precision. Although marketing funnels are different, the principles are the same. Once potential customers enter them, we should make sure we draw them all through.
- Killer headlines are one of the principal lead generation techniques. This is unsurprising, since first impressions count most. Headlines that work are concise, specific and they make promises. I promised to tell you how to make landing pages that convert, and I am doing precisely that.
- If I have more thoughts tumbling out than I can squeeze in a few words, I may add a byline or second string to my headline to encourage folk to click. In that case I might use it to add to my credibility as writer, for example
How to Create Landing Pages that Convert
A Greybeard Marketer Dispels the Myths and Confusion
- Nowadays an original, hopefully unique video or animation forms an essential part of the anatomy of a landing page. Hollywood programmed us to set everything else aside to watch movies. If our message is equally compelling, the lead could already be halfway through the funnel.
- In Mary Howitt’s rhyme the spider says, “I’ve a many curious things to show” with the implication viewing is free. The content – the words and images – is what turn a dry document into a high performing landing page, because we provide information to our audience that rubs credibility into our product.
- As the funnel narrows, and the lead’s interest grows, we can start talking about our product, perhaps listing the benefits to the user with punchy bullet points. As with the content, the benefits and values must match the needs of the audience. It’s a question of how our product will enrich their lives.
- If the lead is still in the funnel then we have enriched their knowledge, and convinced them of the benefits and value we offer. It is time to invite them to climb up the spider’s winding stair. We must make a clear call to action, we must tell them what to do.
- Inbound methodology theory informs us they are probably seeking independent advice. This is the right time to prime the pumps with customer reviews right there on the page. We do not want them wandering away elsewhere on the internet.
- Finally, we may like to list the very important attributes of our product briefly, making sure the call to action does not vanish over the top of the screen as the reader scrolls. A few choice words like ‘banish pain forever’ or ‘see clearly now’ should do the trick.
The Role of On-Page SEO in Landing Page Design
Before we can even begin to speak of drawing leads down the conversion funnel, we have to entice them to ‘walk into the parlor’. We do this by enticing them through our dynamic smart content, and social media pages.
If you doubt you have the necessary on-page writing skills to obtain high Google rankings, consider hiring a specialist writer to perform the task. This is the only proven work around to avoid expensive internet advertising.
How to Measure the Effectiveness of an Optimized Landing Page
The spider’s inbound marketing strategy was a dismal failure in Mary Howitt’s little story of The Spider and the Fly she wrote for little children. The fly is not fooled, because it suspects a scam:
“Oh no, no,” said the little fly, “to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair can ne’er come down again.”
Not every fly ends up in a spider’s web. Not every lead pops through the bottom of a marketing funnel either, and transacts. To keep going forward we should review our optimized landing page to see well how we are actually doing. Google Analytics, or a digital marketing specialist who knows their stuff can provide answers in terms of the following metrics, or scores.
- Lead conversion rates tell us the ratio between people who landed on our page, compared to those that actually accepted our call to action.
- Page views, especially average time on page, reveal the extent our lead generation strategy produced viable prospects.
- Traffic sources tell where our leads clicked from to visit us. On which social media are our lead generation techniques most effective?
- All this is for nothing if the anatomy of a landing page fails to entice. Bounce rate measures the number of visitors who drift away.
- We hope that those who stay with us as far as the call to action, eventually decide to accept. CTA to CTR tells us how many click-through.
- Average time on page is an excellent measure of whether we got our content right, and enticed. We can earn Google brownie points this way.
- A well performing landing page is like than antlion that never gives up. If we have a high form abandonment rate we need to think again, because we are failing at the last hurdle.
Inbound marketing methodology is the art of drawing users to a landing page and convincing them to do something. It could be signing for a service, researching a product, or even paying a bill. This intention influences our landing page design. It also has a bearing on how we assess its success using the metrics I bulleted above.
Tweaking a Conversion Funnel Using A/B Testing
There is nothing complicated about A/B testing. We do it all the time in the non-digital world. For example, we might try on two different jackets at a clothing store to decide which one looks better, and ‘feels right’. Moreover, opticians still ask ‘which is better, this one or that one’ when making prescriptions for spectacles.
We can to the same thing in the digital world thanks to advances in content management systems. If, for example our form abandonment rate is high we could reduce the number of questions, or try a more attractive background. Color preferences on the internet are another fascinating subject. The psychology of color is another lead generation strategy worth considering. Once we have made the changes we can post our freshly optimized page, and wait a few days.
As the results come in, they will reveal whether our new form is better or worse. Consider you are knitting an endless sock, the work is never done.
Drawing the Threads Together of Smart Conversion Rate Optimization
Conversion rate optimization is a key inbound marketing method and one of the lead generation techniques most likely to yield fast results. It is a systematic way to increase the number of website visitors that become customers. There are various points in the funnel where we ask for expressions of interest, and offer interesting things while they are there. We can create landing pages that convert when we follow the process.
While we do not need in-depth understanding of statistics to interpret the nuances of metrics, the more we understand the results, the better the anatomy of our landing page design. The parts of living organisms interconnect and affect each other. A top performing landing page designer seeks these relationships out and increases the gearing we get off the internet.
Of course, these inbound methodologies are nothing new. Brick and mortar marketers still give away samples free, and there are libraries of books about how to win friends and influence customers. The marketing funnel has always been there and it most likely always will. The advantage digital marketing brings to the internet, is it enables us to measure more accurately how well we are converting.
If you are interested in reading further, you may enjoy another of our posts, ‘How to Measure Your Return on Digital Investment’. This takes conversion metrics a stage further by calculating the ROI from a digital marketing campaign. This gives ammunition to convince the accountant to continue to fund your efforts.