Whenever you’ve got a new asset — a gripping case study, a slick interactive demo, a compelling webinar — you’ll need a landing page for it to promote it. Building that page is worth taking some extra care, because, if you build it right, that landing page won’t just produce leads during the campaign. Search engines will glom onto the keywords you’ve strategically placed on the page and impressed readers will link back to it, so when people research the topic your asset covers two years from now, your exquisitely designed landing page will pop up among the first few results.
A strong landing page can keep generating leads for years. So here are some tips to help ensure the landing page you build creates the coveted long tail, generating sales opportunities long after the original campaign has ended.
Know your goal
It sounds simple, and, in truth, it is. But it’s surprising how often organizations build a landing page from a cookie-cutter template that doesn’t truly accomplish the goal you’re trying to achieve. So take a few minutes to clarify the purpose of the landing page. Most likely, it’s some variation of: attract a certain subset of individuals who are likely to buy your product or service so they will view or download your asset in exchange for providing contact information.
This goal should inform everything you do as you build and optimize the landing page.
Appeal to both humans and algorithms
As you build the page, you need to keep two audiences in mind: your human readers and search engine algorithms. They don’t always agree on what they like best. Cater too much to your human readers, and search engines may be unimpressed, ranking you low for relevant searches. Optimize too much in favor of the algorithm, and you could end up with a page that sounds like marketing babble instead of conveying a clear, crisp message. It’s important to find the right balance.
Let’s start with the page title. You want a concise title of no more than 60 characters. It should include your most important keywords for search engine optimization (SEO), but don’t pack in so many that it sounds stilted or strange. Also, don’t use your company’s name in the title. It won’t help with SEO or attracting readers. That space could be better used to include a critical keyword.
Additionally, when you create the URL for the page, keep it short (65 characters or less is ideal) and organize pages by topic using keywords divided by slashes. For example, if you’ve got a white paper on landing page optimization that you want to promote, the URL might look like: /resources/white-papers/landing-page-optimization.
The rule for text — Keep it short and simple
Now it’s time to create the text. Again, keep it as concise as possible and make sure all the important information is visible before the reader has to start scrolling down. Focus on value. Be crystal clear what the benefits they’ll get from viewing or downloading your asset. And throw a bone to the algorithms, as well, by ensuring important keywords are included high up in the text, where search engines will pick them up.
You’ll want an image or two to make the design more interesting for the reader, but keep it spare. The page doesn’t need to be flashy -- it needs to be informative and persuasive. Make sure you add “alt-text” to each image you use, however, and, as always, try to use keywords or their synonyms.
Finally, create a clear call to action, which almost certainly means persuading visitors to fill out a form with their contact information to access your asset. It needs to be visible and always “above the fold.” It’s usually best to avoid a long landing page, unless you’re addressing a very specialized audience that needs a longer technical explanation. So, if the page must require scrolling to see all of the content, repeat the call to action, so it’s always visible on the page.
And while you want to collect data, limit your form so that it requests only what’s absolutely necessary. The more fields you add, the fewer people will fill them out.
So, you’ve built your landing page! You’re done, right?
Wrong. Well, not entirely wrong, but you don’t stop optimizing once the campaign starts. To get that long tail of leads that lasts for years, you need to conduct A/B testing. There are a variety of tools that can help you do this efficiently, but the gist is that you show two different versions of your page to randomly selected visitors, and compare which of the two versions gets better results.
You may be surprised to discover what changes can make a huge difference in persuading visitors to fill out your form. Things to test include different images, layouts, testimonials -- even something as seemingly minor as the position of the form on the page. Over time, as you continue to tweak and test, you’ll increase engagement, your search ranking, and, most important, the number of leads you receive.
Want help creating landing pages with a long tail? Get in touch with us. We'd be happy to help.