Best Practices for B2B Landing Pages
Landing pages are the more important now then ever, and Google’s recent algorithm change proves that.
But not all landing pages are created equal.
Google also emphasizes the importance of landing page quality. What does landing page quality mean? It essentially boils down to relevancy. Is your landing page relevant to what your prospect was searching for on Google?
This also applies to anything else that sends people to a landing page: an email campaign or social media link sharing. Your landing page should be relevant to what brought them there in the first place.
Landing pages should be customized to each campaign, and there are certain best practices for different verticals.
Today we will focus on B2B landing pages.
The special characteristics of B2B prospects
B2B campaigns vary widely, but they primarily focus on big-ticket items that require substantial research and time to decide on the benefits and merits of each solution.
B2B prospects, such as executives at corporations or small business owners, will begin their search for a solution on the Internet. Though they may have an immediate need for your solution, a B2B sale is not an impulse sale.
Your B2B prospect is not looking for an ecommerce site to buy their new ERP software online right now (although they may buy office supplies online, but that’s more of a B2C sale – we’ll cover that in a later post).
- B2B prospects are looking for lots of information so they can research their options.
- B2B prospects are looking for social proof: who else is using your solution: are customers happy with your offering? Have there been complaints?
- B2B prospects want to buy from experts who know what they’re doing.
- B2B prospects do NOT want to be “sold,” and avoid talking to a sales rep as long as possible. They prefer to lurk around and explore their options before engaging with your company.
What can you do to satisfy your B2B prospects’ specific goals and buying patterns?
Your goal is to educate your B2B prospect
You don’t want to sell them – just yet.
Your B2C brethren want to close the sale right now, but if you try to push for the sale right now with your B2B prospect, you’ll scare her away forever.
Because of her desire to research, find social proof, find experts and avoid talking to you as long as possible, your goal is to bring her into an education-oriented relationship with you.
You need to show her you care for her challenges and goals, and that you’re the expert.
Your B2B landing page needs to bring your prospects into an education process
An effective B2B landing page is designed to bring your prospect into an educational process. Your goal is to obtain her permission so you can keep marketing to her, until she’s ready to talk to a sales representative or buy from you.
To achieve this your landing page should:
- Offer a free eBook, white paper, or special report to download. Ask for her name and email address in exchange for your free information “product” about how to resolve some issue that she wants to resolve (and that your solution can help her with.)
- Offer a free seminar or webinar on a topic that is of interest to her.
- Offer a free video report on a topic that is of interest to her.
- Offer a free educational email series delivered via auto-responder on a topic that is of interest to her.
The call-to-action on your B2B landing page should sell a piece of educational content. Then when you send her a follow-up email with more educational content, you can send her to another landing page to sell her on a deeper level of commitment:
- Offer a case study on a client similar to her
- Offer reports, videos, webinars with content that is less general and more specific to your product
- Offer to set up an appointment so you can conduct a free audit, one-to-one consultation, or one-to-one presentation. This is not a sales call, and don’t call it that. Offer a value-based appointment with a specialist, not a sales person.
But how do you convert B2B prospects into your conversion process? Interestingly enough, despite the difference in the goal of your landing page, the elements of a successful B2B landing page are similar to those of a B2C land page
Elements of a successful B2B landing page
B2B marketers often try to look “professional,” and in trying to be too professional they end up shooting themselves in the foot by producing weak landing pages that don’t convert.
Given that your goal is to “sell” a free information piece, try these landing page best practices courtesy of Brian Massey in his Ion Interactive webinar.
- Use a benefits-oriented headline that promises something your prospect will get from the content. For example, “How 7 out of 10 Accounting Firms Have Increased Sales More Than 30% Using This Surprising Solution.”
- Use alternating bold bullet lists. The alternating bold helps draw your readers’ eyes to the copy. This is to benefit the people who like to scan content, so you can draw their eyes to the relevant info.
- Use Johnson Boxes to highlight your primary information: your call-to-action or the critical information your prospect needs to make a decision.
- Don’t be afraid of long landing pages. Your prospects will read long copy if they’re interested in the content.
- Use lots of images that grab your readers’ attention and illustrate points you want to make.
Here are things you should NOT do on your B2B landing page
Many B2B marketers make these mistakes, but you should avoid them at all costs:
- Don’t ask them to call you or contact you
- Don’t advertise or talk about your service or product
- Don’t advertise or talk about your company
Remember, you’re not selling your company or solution, you’re selling your offer: the free report, newsletter or webinar. You’re feeding information to your prospect so you can satisfy her information needs. You are also setting yourself up as the expert. And eventually you want to offer social proof in the way of case studies and testimonials.
And the most important best practice of all: test, test, test!
Using a multivariate testing tool, such as Lander’s A/B split-test tool, you should always test your landing pages to see what kind of improvements in conversion you can achieve by changing or adding different elements.
If you have any other good ideas about B2B landing page best practices, please comment in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!