On Tuesday I tuned into a webinar hosted by Tim Ash of SiteTurners and Oli Gardner of Unbounce. These gentlemen are experts in conversion rate optimization, and have a very impressive portfolio of happy clients. That said, I was stoked to listen in and pick up some tips. Tim jumped right into it by listing the most critical components that make up successful B2B landing pages:
- Appearance. It didn’t come to a surprise to me when Tim pointed out that the design of a website reflects the personality, competence, and relevancy of the brand.
- Clear calls to action. When pages are too cluttered with text or links, it’s difficult for users to know where to move next.
- Less info requested. Forms are a must on landing pages (almost always), but if you require too many fields to be filled in, customers might bounce, especially if the information is a bit too personal for a white paper download (e.g. sex, age, or address). Limit the number of hoops a visitor is required to jump through and you will see a greater number of conversions.
- Less text. The way we read on the web is completely different; we scan! That’s why this post is broken up into short sections, each with a bolded phrase. We know you’re not going to read much more than that.
- Trust symbols. In B2B, as Tim said, reputation matters. In order to show that your company is capable to handle the visitor’s needs, showcase your qualifications. This can be achieved through client logos, awards received, certifications, and testimonials.
Tim and Oli then started to live-review a few real landing pages that other webinar attendees had previously submitted. It was pretty cool to see what immediately stood out to these fellas as problematic.
Landing page #1:
- Not specific enough. The menu bar is likely to pull visitors out of the conversion funnel.
- No contact form. There is no way for the company to collect data.
- Video takes up too much real estate. Tim mentioned that because the video doesn’t show the product being used, it is a waste of precious above-the-fold space.
- Testimonial is ineffective. Because the client quote bleeds below the fold, it just looks like a bunch of text. Testimonials belong further down on the page. A better practice would be the use of badges, which convey trust instantly.
Landing page #2:
- Lengthy headline. Oli pointed out that the headline was too long; it should be broken up into a headline and sub-headling.
- Too text-heavy. No one is going to take the effort to read all of the text.
- Ineffective form. See how there is no background around the form? It just blends into the background, which is a mistake. There should be some sort of box or contrasting background to constrain the form. Also, the fields extend below the fold, making it appear endless. The unnecessary fields probably deter users from completing the CTA.
Landing page #3:
- Generic speak. The headline is too vague; customers don’t understand what is actually being sold. Also, it’s located awkwardly to the side and then repeated below the header, which is a waste of valuable real estate.
- Mystery company. Customers get that it’s a marketing company, but a tagline below the logo would further explain what this brand does.
- Terrible images. As someone who absolutely resents stock photography, I was very relieved to hear Tim and Oli comment on the horrible choices this company made. Stock photography (which Tim calls business porn,) reduces trust because it fails to separate your brand from the thousands of other generic brands that use images of (carefully-diversified) high-fiving men and women.
- Floating form. Like the previous landing page, the form here needs to be constrained within a box.
If you ever have a chance to attend a webinar by Tim Ash, I highly recommend it; it’s great seeing real-life examples of what-not-to-do in a landing page. Sometimes these realizations can be harsh, but it’s also encouraging when they reinforce what you already know. For more best practices, check out our earlier blog post about landing pages.