5 Strategies That Drive Leads

First things first. There are no tricks, hacks, secret maneuvers, finger snaps or magic tricks when it comes to lead generation strategies. (But wouldn’t it be easier if there were?)

What we’re left with is some good ole fashioned hard work based on best practices to drive leads.

So, why aren’t more businesses dominating their lead game if all it takes is a little elbow grease?

Because it’s not what you do to generate leads, it’s how you do it.

Not much has changed since the first cave-salesman cold cave called a fellow caveman to sell him a wooden club. Sure, things like TV, Internet, and Mark Zuckerberg have come along to modify the approach, but the basic principle has remained the same: Provide a supply to someone’s demand.

So with that, lead generation boils down to capitalizing on one very useful marketing mnemonic: AIDA.

 

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Desire
  • Action

That’s your sales funnel, whether you’re marketing a SaaS, shoes, trips to the moon, or a wooden club. These are the stages a prospect follows in deciding whether what you supply meets their demand.

Or as one of the most astute business minds in the history of the world —  Arianna Grande — puts it: “I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it.”

Never has lead generation been so eloquent.

So, we need to find the best strategy to drive leads using these tried and true principles.

For inspiration, let’s start by looking at something we can all trust and enjoy: movie quotes about lead generation.

  • “The key to this business is personal relationships.” – Dicky Fox, Jerry Maquire
  • “Always be closing.” – Blake, Glengarry Glen Ross
  • “Create something of such value that everybody wants and go out and give and create value.” – Jordan Belfort, The Wolf of Wall Street
  • “If you build it, they will come.” – Corn Stalks, Field of Dreams
  • “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.” – Don Corleone, The Godfather

And perhaps the greatest lesson in selling ever filmed:

 

 

Michael Scott, ladies and gents.

So, what’s the takeaway from all that? What’s the “secret sauce?”

Adapt to your audience.

That’s it.

That’s how you drive more leads.

Welp, our work here is done. We’ll see ourselves out—best of luck with your lead generation.

The Simpsons My Work Here Is Done GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

Just joking.

It’s not quite that simple. But that mantra really is the key. Marketing channels might change but adapting to your target audience will never go out of style.

Everyone and their grandmother is using the same channels these days to reach people. SEO, paid search, content marketing, the list goes on. Don’t get us wrong, these are the best ways to generate leads currently, which is why we’ll cover them below.

But even more important than the channels themselves is how you use them. This is how you’re going to get more leads.

So, let’s go over how to use them right now.

Step 1: Redefine Your Lead Across Every Channel

There are two methods of lead generation:

 

  • Inbound marketing
  • Outbound marketing

 

For this post, we’ll tackle inbound marketing.

Inbound marketing basically means that we create an acquisition funnel that attracts prospects into becoming leads and customers by helping them find us. (As opposed to outbound marketing, where we find the leads.)

The premise is that if a lead searches you out, they will be more receptive to converting. Which makes a lot of sense.

But that’s only half the battle.

The marketing channels we’ll discuss below are the touchpoints that gather prospects into our funnel. But the goal isn’t to jam our funnel with as many people as possible (that will just clog things up, leaving little room for customers to pop out the other end). Instead, we want to focus on quality over quantity.

Because there is nothing worse than wasting time nurturing “lead mooches.” These are leads that will never convert. For example, someone that might have given you their email in return for a free offer but has no intention of ever buying anything.

So, we need first to identify which audience will make the best leads.

It’s very common to refer to leads as either being “cold” or “hot.” But those are really vague identifiers.

A far more thorough and useful categorization is:

 

  • Inbound Lead
  • Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)
  • Sales Accepted Lead (SAL)
  • Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)

 

In brief, an inbound lead is someone who initially engaged with your brand, from signing up for a newsletter to just visiting your site. An MQL is someone not ready to buy yet but shows potential to in the future. An SAL is someone who has been vetted and primed to be handed off from marketing to sales. And finally, an SQL is someone who is ready to buy. They are also known as very hot leads.

Using this categorization to improve lead generation better, start by reverse engineering who you define as a quality lead (aka an SQL).

  1. Gather data about your past sales qualified leads and customers.
  2. Formulate ideal customer profiles (ICP) and buyer personas based on their characteristics (compiled of firmographic, demographic and technographic data).
  3. Build audiences for each of your marketing channels targeting those profiles.
  4. Create campaigns and content tailored to those audiences.

 

Just remember, an audience on one marketing channel might require a different approach than a very similar audience on another channel. This means you may have to do a lot of A/B testing to find the campaigns and content that best convert your ideal audiences.

And finally, just as important is to identify what conversions matter most to your business, and then target leads most likely to fulfill those goals. These are your end-goal, pie-the-sky macro conversions. Are you looking for leads who just fill out a form? Or are you looking for leads that purchase products and services across multiple verticals? Target accordingly.

Do this right, and the result will be bypassing “lead mooches” and going right after your highest quality prospects.

Lead generation begins and ends with your audience.

So, if you can define that audience as they relate to your ICP, each marketing channel, and desired macro conversions, you’ll be flush with quality leads primed to convert.

Step 2: Design Landing Pages with a Single Goal

The best landing pages are designed with your quality leads, and the entire sales funnel in mind. They are simple, straightforward, visually attractive, and focus on a single purpose.

Here are the three building blocks of a high-converting landing page:

 

  1. Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
  2. Attractive Hero Media
  3. Single conversion goal (aka CTA)

 

Let’s look a little closer at each one of those.

First up, your USP.

A landing page’s unique selling proposition includes three elements:

 

  • Headline – A creative, straight to the point slogan that generates urgency and solves a particular problem. All ideally expressed in 7 words or less.
  • Sub-Headline – A few sentences (no more than two) that reinforce the value expressed in the headline.
  • Lead Magnet – Sometimes, this can be the product or service itself, or a special offer that a visitor receives after fulfilling the CTA.

Next, there’s your attractive hero media.

This is any photo, graphic, video, or the like that pulls your audience in like a tractor beam.

Since the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, having the right image (or video) prominently displayed above-the-fold of your landing page goes a long way towards brand messaging, building trust, and generating leads.

Last but certainly not least, there’s landing page CTA.

One of the biggest pitfalls of landing page design is asking visitors to do too many things. Remember, this is a funnel, and it should be getting narrower the farther down it your leads travel. Your call-to-action (CTA) should focus on a single goal and can either be represented by a button (to an acquisition page) or form.

Your CTA should follow these best practices:

 

  • Use button text specific to your USP – Avoid generic “Submit” or “Click Here” and show what happens when they take action (e.g. “Start My Free Trial”)
  • Keep forms short – Don’t ask for more info than you need, ideally limiting the form to a couple of fields max.

 

No two landing pages are the same. Some benefit from being shorter. Others convert better when they are much longer (by including things like social proofs and service descriptions). It’s important to A/B test both to find the highest converting length for your landing pages.

To get you started, below are a few above-the-fold examples for winning landing pages.

Just try not to be enticed by this headline. We dare you…

Or this example that asks businesses to share their challenges with an easy selector.

A landing page about landing pages? You know they know what they’re doing. Turns out, that means using video.

Simple. Straightforward. Visually attractive. Single CTA.

That’s how you design a landing page to drive more leads.

Step 3: SEO for Leads Not Traffic

Contrary to popular belief, SEO is not just about improving page rank and increasing site traffic. What is far more important is using search engine optimization to target specific audiences and drive quality leads.

In fact, increasing quality traffic to your site is the number one benefit of a well-structured SEO strategy.

At the end of the day, traffic to a website is useless unless that traffic is taking the actions you want them to.

Three of the best ways to drive more leads through SEO are:

 

  • Targeting queries that match your ideal customer profiles (identified in Step 1)
  • Testing Title and Meta-Descriptions that entice your ideal customer profiles
  • Creating content of value for your ideal customers

 

The most important metric to track success is:

 

  • Click-through-Rate (CTR)

 

Using a combination of Google Analytics and Google Search Console you can identify which landing pages and content are driving the most leads for your business. Pay particular attention to which search queries they appear for.

Once you have that information, click the image below to see a great infographic on boosting organic CTR. You can’t go wrong implementing these strategies:

It’s been found that doubling your CTR will increase conversion rate by 50%. If ever there was a way to drive more leads, this is it.

Just keep in mind how your SEO relates to the rest of your sales funnel, especially your content marketing strategy. SEO and content marketing are long term plays that go hand in hand. While ideally, you would craft a landing page that converts well AND ranks high, outside your homepage, that can be difficult.

That’s why many businesses create SEO-centric content (e.g., blog posts, infographics, videos, etc…) that might not directly seek to generate leads, but by providing valuable and relevant content, nurture prospects that match your ICP into your sales funnel.

Just make sure your page titles and descriptions are optimized for engagement. If you need help, give us a shout.

Step 4: Go Granular with Paid Ads 

Few ways generate leads faster than paid ads. Whether you’re creating campaigns for Google Ads, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, or display networks, they allow you to target new prospects that match your ideal customers better than almost any other lead marketing channel.

We’ve previously covered how to generate more high-quality leads using Facebook advertising. A lot of those principles can be applied to all your paid strategies.

We’ve also shown how to leverage LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms for more leads.

In summation, every effective paid lead generation thrives on one thing: specificity.

With that in mind, here some strategies to improve the lead gen of your paid ads:

 

  • Create Highly Targeted Ad Groups – If you have over 10 keywords in your ad group, you may have too many. Having a small, targeted ad group allows you to create ads that are super in-line with your target audience.
  • Create Landing Pages for Ad Campaigns – Not vice versa. An ad campaign and landing page should work seamlessly together and share similar messaging and CTAs. Not only will this improve Quality Score and reduce CPC, but it will also help generate more leads
  • Target more specific keywords – Use a combo of long-tail keywords, negative keywords, and focused match types, like phrase match, in ALL your campaigns.
  • Make sure to exclude these 7 audiences from your campaigns
  • Customized URL Tracking – Leverage custom UTM parameters to better track the effectiveness of your paid media and social campaigns. UTM parameters can help you follow specific ads through the conversion funnel, making cross-platform monitoring a breeze. You can create custom UTM parameters easily with Google’s tool.

One final note that applies to both SEO and Paid lead generation. They are as close as you can come in digital marketing to being recession-proof.

Whether we want it to or not, the next recession is coming (if it isn’t already here). But low investment, high-yield marketing channels like SEO and Paid advertising can help your business flourish during an economic downturn.

Which makes them an excellent strategy for generating more leads no matter what the business environment.

Step 5: Go Offline

You didn’t think this was just going to be about digital marketing, did you?

Without a doubt, getting hyper-personalized is one of the biggest marketing trends this decade. Yet when we talk about personalization, it’s almost always in the context of digital. But what better way to get personal than doing it face-to-face?

“Just wait a second!” you may be saying. We can’t even go outside of our homes, let alone market in the ‘real world!’ Yes, while the current events with COVID-19 don’t allow for offline marketing methods right now, there will be even more demand for personal connection once things open back up.

For instance:

  • Holding Training Seminars and Workshops – After everyone gets burnt out on Zoom and webinars, showcasing your expertise to a room full of people who can actually shake your hand afterward is next level.
  • Networking – There’s a reason why 51% of B2B professionals cite trade shows and industry events as a top source for leads. Because IT WORKS!
  • Print – If you have a local business, don’t underestimate the reach of print mediums. Even if you don’t, there’s a cognitive advantage of print over digital. A lot has to do with readers spending twice as long with print content than digital.
  • Direct Email – A little creativity can go a long away the next time your target prospects open their mailbox.

There’s so much junk filling our mailboxes these days that when something fresh, inventive, and valuable gets delivered, it gets our attention—big time.

Pretty much everything you need to know about how a well-crafted direct mail campaign can improve lead generation can be found in this video about an Italian laundromat.

 

Turns out, getting personal and generating leads the old-fashioned way is the latest approach to creative marketing.

Conclusion: Always Be Generating

It’s the A-B-G’s of lead generation.

Always.

Be.

Generating.

And how does one do that?

Adapt to your audience. Don’t get sucked into every new fancy lead generation platform that comes out. Rather, use what’s worked since Carl Cro-Magnon bought the sweetest wooden club this side of Bedrock.

Supply and demand, with some well-strategized inbound marketing.

Identify prospects that match your sales qualified leads. Then use the strategies listed above to create Awareness about your brand using content that Interests your audience and sparks a Desire in them to take Action.

We imagine it will go down something like this:

You: Here’s something of value.
Your Audience: I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it.

And with that, you just generated a lead.

7 Rings I Want It I Got It GIF by Ariana Grande - Find & Share on GIPHY

5 Ways to Gain Market Share During a Downturn

No two economic downturns are alike. The Great Depression was caused by the crash of the 1929 stock market. OPEC’s oil embargo resulted in the 1970s recession. The Great Recession of 2008 came about from the subprime mortgage crisis. And the 2020 recession was caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

To say the least, the causes and consequences of each downturn can differ significantly.

But they all share similar patterns and behaviors. Which means we can learn from past recessions to overcome current downturns and prepare better for future ones. Not only that, but it is also possible to grow and grow big during (and especially after) a recession.

Likely, even if the Coronavirus outbreak never occurred, we would still be on the brink of an economic crisis. But no matter when or why a recession occurs, there are ways to keep revenue flowing to dominate a downturn.

Keeping revenue flowing is one thing. Growing and gaining market share during an economic crisis is another. Because eventually, every recession will end, and the economy will rebound. Those who took the offensive before and during will come out the other side big winners.

Winners vs. Losers: Who Gains Market Share During a Recession?

During the Great Recession of 2008, we not only saw a clear delineation of winners and losers but in the ensuing expansion that followed those same winners continued to widen the profit gap. That’s because their ability to gain market share during tough times springboarded them to grow even more prominent during better times.

Some of these big winners included:

By looking for new opportunities and providing services that address customer concerns, these companies were able to thrive in the downturn. Granted, they were established companies with more brand recognition and a larger spend cap than most (both of which can go a long way during a recession), but back then, they certainly weren’t the blue chips they are today.

They owe much of that success to their forward-thinking recession strategies.

Even more impressive, and encouraging, are the early-stage businesses and startups that launched smack dab in the middle of the recession, yet came out big winners. These include:

  • Groupon (founded 2008)
  • WhatsApp (founded 2009)
  • Venmo (founded 2009)
  • Uber (founded 2009)
  • Snapchat (founded 2011)

Unlike the previous list, these businesses couldn’t rely on brand familiarity or big budgets to succeed. Instead, they took advantage of cost-effective solutions and targeting recession-proof audiences.

For example, many of these early-stage recession winners banked on millennials. During 2008 this demographic was least impacted by the economic downturn.

In examining disparities between winners and losers after recessions, those who came out on top outperformed their peers in early cost restructuring, balance sheet discipline, aggressive commercial growth strategies, and proactive mergers and acquisitions before and during the recession. As a result, the downtown completely rearranged the market, citing:

 

The number of US companies that substantially increased profits was 47% higher during the last downturn than during stable periods. And 89% more US companies lost profitability in the last downturn vs. stable periods. No question, recessions can swing the future market capitalization of a company by billions of dollars.

 

In other words, those who did not find ways to increase revenue through innovation and branding pivots during a recession compared to their competitors severely lost market share when things got better.

The takeaway?

No matter what budget your business is operating with or the industry you are operating in, companies that succeed during a downturn do so using a specific set of similar creative tactics.

Tactics that you can take advantage of to ensure you capture market share during an economic crisis.

5 Tactics to Help You Gain Market Share During a Downturn

1.  Identify How Your Customers React to Economic Crises

 

Sophisticated marketers segment their audience according to demographics, technographics, sociographics, and firmographics. However, in an economic crisis, consumer behavior should, in many cases, be leveraged to drive your decisions.

A good strategy is to identify which of the following your audience fall into:

 

  • The Hardest Hit – The most affected financially by an economic downturn. In response, they reduce spending across the board. They are typically low-income consumers and unemployed, but can include any level.
  • The Planners – The largest segment, economizing to maintain their current standard of living but concerned that things could take a turn for the worst at any moment. In response, they reduce spending, but less so than the hardest hit. As the crisis prolongs, many will turn into the hardest hit.
  • The Well-Off – This group feels secure about their ability to ride out the crisis. They make few changes in their spending habits other than being a little more selective. They typically include higher-income consumers, avid investors, and cash-positive businesses.
  • The Unphased – This group is unconcerned and acts as if immune to the impacts of the crisis. It’s business as usual for them as far as their spending habits are concerned. They typically consist of younger audiences.

 

Another good strategy is to use generational shifts as an indicator. For instance, while Millennials were the least impacted during the 2008 recession, they are the most negatively affected by the 2020 Coronavirus recession, supplanted by Gen Zer’s (born between 1995-2010) as The Unphased.

In fact, according to Business Insider, Generation Z is the youngest, most ethnically-diverse, and largest generation in American history. They are also considered better equipped financially than Millenials. All of which makes them a very appealing target during a downturn.

 

2. Identify What Your Consumers Buy During an Economic Crisis

 

In studying how to market in a downturn, experts John Quelch and Katherine Jocz posited that there are four categories of products and services during an economic crisis.

 

  • Essentials – Items necessary for survival or perceived vital to well-being (like food, shelter, clothing, healthcare, transportation, and of course, toilet paper).
  • Treats – Indulgences whose purchase is considered justifiable (like Yogurtland).
  • Postponables – Items whose purchase can be put off (like new cars or home improvements).
  • Expendables – Items that are perceived as unnecessary or unjustifiable (like dog overalls).

 

What products and services comprise each category are characteristic to each consumer. So once you identify how your consumers react to a crisis, you will want to identify what items they consider as relevant to each product category.

For B2B, you’ll want to consider the buying habits of your customers’ customers.

3. Reallocate Funds to Recession Resilient Strategies

 

Stabilization, not stifling, is the best way to endure during a recession. In past downturns, many companies that increased advertising spend captured market share from more conservative rivals. They did so at a lower cost than typical and were rewarded by continued growth following the recession’s end.

But understandably, it can be hard to justify increasing budgets in times of uncertainty. So an effective, less risky strategy is to find that “extra cash” in other, less vital business operations.

For example, during the Coronavirus outbreak, business travel and in-person events have ceased to exist. So finding ways to allocate your travel spend or alternative uses for trade show budgets, both of which are sitting stagnant, is an easy way to boost funds to more immediate value-add areas, like digital marketing or product development.

 

4.  Innovate and Pivot into New Mediums

 

During a recession, the best way to grow is to adapt. Likely, the needs of your customers will have shifted during a recession, and you will need to follow suit.

Spot new trends before your competitors do. (Using Google Trends to monitor search behavior is a great place to start.) Once you understand where your customers are and how your industry is evolving, innovate your offering to capitalize. Likely, this will involve pivoting your distribution methods, service features, marketing channels, and or brand messaging.

In 2008, Starbucks was an early adopter of a personalized mobile app with a rewards program, while Dominos was one of the first to use the Internet to order food. In 2020, Zoom went from being a business conferencing platform to connecting grandparents with their grandkids.

How you innovate will be different for every business, but one thing is certain: you must innovate. Then find the best ways to market that innovation and reallocate any stagnate budgets to bolster its effectiveness.

For instance, during the Coronavirus outbreak, video has played a key role in business success. As has digital marketing, in particular, SEO and paid media, in response to the influx of homebound consumers going online. Any business without an online presence of some kind is likely to lose market share to more digital-savvy competitors.

So the process becomes:

 

  • Find new opportunities to provide value to customers
  • Make data-driven decisions on which to choose
  • Innovate new offerings accordingly
  • Rely on cost-effective marketing channels to spread awareness

 

5. Position Yourself for Recovery by Building Trust as Well as Revenue

 

Generating revenue during a recession is about keeping your business stable and secure against economic uncertainty. Capturing market share during a recession, on the other hand, is about positioning your business to dominate when things return to normal.

So make sure you’re not just reacting to current conditions, but planning for the recovery as well. For instance, during the COVID-19 outbreak, companies have had to walk a tightrope between selling and insensitivity. This sometimes means pulling back direct selling and replacing it with helpful, recession-sensitive marketing that still benefits your brand.

For example, Hotels.com is at the top of businesses hit hardest by the pandemic. Yet instead of scrambling to try and make up the difference in lost sales, they’re taking a more long term, laid back approach with ads like the one below:

 

 

They aren’t selling a product per se, but rather building trust. This type of trust can outlast any recession. The communications firm Edelman found that 71% of people surveyed said “if they perceive that a brand is putting profit over people, they will lose trust in that brand forever.”

The same study also found that 84% “want brand advertising to focus on how brands help people cope with pandemic-related life challenges.” Something Hotels.com took to heart. As did Budweiser.

 

 

Budweiser wisely allocated their otherwise useless sports ad budget to a cause that will not only help people but garner invaluable goodwill for the brand. Because doing good and looking good, don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

Brand trust campaigns might not result in an immediate sale, but they still position brands to capture market share during the inevitable recovery.

Avoid Making These Mistakes During a Downturn

Just as important as taking advantage of tactics to ensure you capture market share during an economic crisis are avoiding ones that cause you to lose it.

Typically the losing companies fall prey to several different recession pitfalls. Such as:

 

  • Extreme cost-cutting to ride out the downturn
  • Letting unused funds sit stagnant instead of reallocating
  • Halting research and development, and product development
  • Reducing marketing and ad spend
  • Pursuing trends too far outside their core business
  • Being reactive instead of proactive to economic changes

 

Avoid making these recession mistakes. Those who don’t may end up falling behind, and by the time they realize, it will be too late to recover. Those who follow the 5 winning tactics above will be in a great spot to capture market share and grow, even during an economic crisis.

Currently, we are offering a complimentary analysis for brands that are looking to expand market share. Our opportunity analysis will include market insights and competitor insights so you can see how your competitors are faring. Fill out the short form and we’ll be in touch!

 

7 Steps to Better Landing Pages

Landing pages are the unsung heroes of your website. They act as a central activity hub, turning views into leads, and leads into customers. And while they are super important, they don’t always get the love they deserve.

Or at least as much as they should.

Especially considering that the landing page is basically the tent pole of the whole operation.

So, let’s give your landing page the attention it deserves. Trust us; what you give to your landing page, you’ll get back tenfold in return. Better landing pages means potential customers can find what they want more easily, and that means knowing how to improve landing page experience is one of the best ways of improving conversions on your site.

What can a professionally optimized landing page do for your business? For sign-up forms, landing pages have the highest conversion rate at about 23%. They beat out other options like pop-ups, signup boxes, and more when it comes to encouraging conversions, which is why knowing how to improve landing page experience is so crucial to better business success.

Here are the best ways to get the most out of your landing page today:

Best Practice 1: Keep Your Landing Pages Simple

You be the judge. Which landing page would you rather engage with? This one:

Or this one:

The second, right?

The second is far more engaging, and it has a lot to do with its simplicity. Having a well-designed, and inviting design is a great way of improving visitor experience and for preventing visitor bounces. If you want to know how to improve landing page conversions and experience, focus on giving visitors exactly what they need.

There is no confusion over what Adriene is asking with her Yoga landing page. Her message is clear, concise, and effective.

And considering the average human attention span is said to be 8 seconds, that gives you a blink of an eye to get someone’s attention, inform them, and convince them to take action.

To put that into perspective, a goldfish even has a longer attention span than we do!

This is why all your landing pages should rely on three things to capture your target’s attention – and keep it. To get better landing pages, think about using these strategies:

 

  1. Unique Selling Proposition (USP) – Clearly outline the features and benefits of your offer.
  2. Attractive Hero Image – Use strong, contextual images to engage your audience
  3. Single conversion goal (aka CTA) – Be very clear what you are asking of your audience. Use a singular, focused call-to-action with either a lead gen form or a button.
  4. Bonus – Use social proof in the form of testimonials, trust symbols, or ratings to support your claims.

That’s it. Simple. Straightforward. Engaging.

Some pages even forgo the hero image and opt for text, which can be just as effective if executed the right way.

 

Landing pages don’t get much simpler than that. Yet, this landing page is still very effective.

To simplify your landing page strategy, see if you can stick to the following:

 

  • Write a headline with 7 words or less
  • Use a sub-headline to elaborate
  • Use a single CTA
  • Limit forms to 1-2 fields

 

If you can do that, we can almost guarantee no one will ever visit your landing page and ask, “Wait, what do I do now?”

Best Practice 2: Say It All Above the Fold

In web design, the term “above the fold” refers to the top part of a webpage that’s visible without further scrolling or clicking.

It’s estimated 57% of viewing time is spent above the fold (and 74% on the two top screenfuls of content). Everything else is just filler.

For better landing pages, don’t expect your audience to scroll or, worse, require them to do so. Put it all out there right from the start. Keep your unique sales prop and CTA fully visible at the top.

It’s okay to have longer landing pages (and sometimes even preferable), but your CTA needs to be clearly defined above the fold. Every time. This mean’s that better, more user-focused content is a big part of how to improve landing page experience and how to improve landing page conversions.

For example, in a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, Google’s webmaster guidelines provide guidance on content best practice that are meant for humans, and not just algorithmic manipulation: make pages primarily for users, not search engines; don’t deceive users, and avoid tricks that are only intended to improve SEO. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself: “Does this help my users? Would I do this to improve my landing pages even if search engines didn’t exist?”

 

Best Practice 3: Unify Your Ad Campaigns and Landing Pages

What’s the difference between an ad campaign and a landing page?

Trick question. They’re the same thing. Well, almost.

Although your forearm and bicep are two individual parts, the two work together to perform vital functions. Just give a quick flex and see.

Ad campaigns and landing pages share the same relationships as your impressive bicep curls.

They’re the arm of your lead generation.

So, to flex your marketing properly, and to improve landing page conversions, they need to work together. Make sure that your landing page follows through on the premise of your ad. Match your headline, description, CTA, images, and overall design between the two.

They don’t have to be identical, but they should be seamless.

Like a one-two punch. Or should we say, one-two paw as we see in BarkBox’s excellent example.

Most businesses create ads based on landing pages. That’s like putting the cart before the horse. So instead, we recommend doing the opposite. Come up with the ad copy and images (if there are any) first and then design your landing page around those.

What you’ll see in return are higher relevancy and quality scores, lower CPCs, increased click-throughs, and more quality conversions.

In fact, in Google pay-per-click search advertising, matching relevance is a big part of the Quality Score and a big part of ad performance in general. To improve landing page experience, as well as performance, try to ensure that your landing-page keywords match up with the keywords and text of your ads. Google ranks keyword relevance three ways:

  • Above average
  • Average
  • Below average

Below average can be an indication that you need to re-think your keyword strategy if you want to get better landing page CTR.

This system can have big implications for improving landing pages as well as for improving your conversion rate for PPC campaigns. The more professionally and thoroughly your brand coordinates your on-page content with your ads, the more likely you are to improve you Quality Score. The more your target keywords match with your landing pages the more likely you are to increase ad-spend efficiency, conversion rate, and revenue! Google Ads even provides resources for checking keywords individually to see ratings for expected clickthrough rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience.

 

Best Practice 4: Design Landing Pages for Mobile First, Desktop Second

Even though a majority of online traffic comes from mobile and Google indexes sites based on their mobile experience, a lot of people still design landing pages around desktop and laptop screens. Then retrofit the layout for mobile.

Don’t do this! To understand how to improve landing page experience, think in a mobile-first mindset. In fact, there’s our new mantra… “mobile-first mindset.”

It’s not enough to just make your landing page “mobile-friendly.” It needs to be optimized for mobile—big difference.

A web design best practice is to design a page for mobile-first and then expand the design to desktop. If you can make your page work great on a tiny screen, it will only look all the more appealing on a bigger one.

Like this example :

Responsive web pages pose a unique challenge for improving landing page experience because although they are great at adapting to screen sizes, you never know how your page will appear. This can result in:

 

  • Layouts getting shifted
  • Text overlapping images
  • CTAs pushed below the fold
  • Shrunken or removed content

 

Not cool.

Fortunately, if you design your landing page from a mobile perspective out of the gate and use the rest of the best practices listed here, you won’t have to worry about any of that.

Best Practice 5: Make Your Landing Page Load Faster

Web pages should load in under 3 seconds – mobile and desktop versions alike. In fact, per Google’s standards, a site is considered “slow” on mobile if it takes longer than 2.5 seconds.

How long does your landing page take to load?

Find out with Google’s Test My Site.

The longer your landing page takes to load, the faster people are going to bounce. So, avoid doing anything that could weigh it down. Some straightforward ways to accomplish this are:

 

  • Upload images sized 100KB or less
  • Implement lazy loading
  • Don’t use animations or transitions
  • Use only web-safe fonts

 

If you’re looking for a more thorough way to speed up your landing page, check out the 7 best ways to improve page load time. Improving landing-page load speed can also improve search engine traffic since site-speed is part the search engine’s ranking algorithm. Plus, Google has introduced its “core web vitals” as metrics designed to measure certain factors that could negatively effect landing page experience – things like load-speed, delayed interactivity, and page-layouts that shift too much during loading.

 

Best Practice 6: Capture Your Audience with SEO

If we’re going to improve page load time, we can’t neglect basic landing page SEO practices.

To start, identify a search query (or several) that your audience would likely use to land on your page. Then, create your landing page around the searcher-intent.

This isn’t so much SEO, as it is basic market research. If you understand what your audience is coming to your page to find, you’ll have a better chance at providing it.

 

  • URL – Use key terms in your URL that speak to your target audience’s query.
  • Title Tag – This is the headline that will appear in Google search results, so write something that entices your audience to click, and keep it under 60 characters.
  • Meta-Description – This is the description that will appear in Google search results. Write a compelling meta that elaborates on your title. Use a strong CTA and keep it under 150 characters.
  • Heading (H1) – This is the main headline that will appear on your page. This is one of the first things your audience will see…prime real estate! It needs to be clear, compelling, and typically under 7 words.
  • Sub-Head (H2) – A sub-heading gives a little more context and allows you to further speak to your audience’s original queries.
  • Body Copy – Clearly outline the features and benefits of your offer. Instead of getting caught up in keywords, focus on user experience.
  • Images – Every image should have a unique filename, title, and Alt Text. Include your keywords when it’s relevant to the image.
  • Linking – Internally link back to your landing page through your site on other pages, and blog posts can help give it some SEO juice and can also help route traffic to the page.

 

Those are the basics of landing page SEO. There’s a lot more to it, but at the very least, keep those in mind. If you want to take your landing page to the next level in search, we recommend diving deeper into ROI-driven SEO – since the concept of improving your landing page conversions is by focusing on what your target customers actually want.

At the end of the day, brand and page messaging are key. If you can optimize your landing page for your audience, you’re winning.

Best Practice 7: Improve Landing Page Performance with CRO

What better way to end than with what just might be the best landing page best practice. (And one of the most underrated).

While SEO focuses on understanding your audience and increasing quality site traffic, conversion rate optimization (CRO) boosts your lead generation, while continuously improving landing page performance.

Ultimately, your landing page CRO will involve two steps:

  1. Reassess how you generate leads for ultimate lead acquisition (see our 12 step guide to CRO)
  2. Review landing page best practices, like the six above

 

And then repeat.

Landing page creation, in general, is not a one-and-done deal. It takes patience, testing, and more testing. But when you do find that balance, it can pay off big time. If you need additional help on how to improve your landing pages, give us a shout, we’re happy to help!