In this article on the Skatterbox blog, Luke provides these 11 tips for successful B2B landing pages:
1. Carry the message through from the advertisement: Do everything you can to make sure that you aren't pushing your traffic to a "one size fits all" landing page. If the ad that brought them was about a particular feature - then highlight that feature. If it was a discount that brought them to you...don't waste time talking up the feature set. It may be more work to create multiple landing pages...but you will definitely get more conversions
2. Personalize the content: I've seen marketers spend hours segmenting a list and crafting a highly customized message that speaks directly to each recipient...only to forward them to a generic landing page once they decide to take action! If your email program allows for personalization of content... drive that personalization through the link in the email and into the landing page.
3. Keep the form simple and above the fold: You can test this yourself, but I have ALWAYS gotten better response when the form is above the fold. And of course, its always better to limit the amount of information to only that which is necessary. Do you really need to know the state when you have the zip code? If possible its even better if you can...
4. Pre-populate the form: Want to know the easiest way to increase conversion? Pre-populate the form on the landing page. If you are driving traffic from an email campaign then you already have alot of this info...don't ask them for it again!
5. Minimize outbound links: You spent alot of money to get the visitor to the landing page so it is perfectly acceptable to drive traffic to a landing page optimized for conversion. As long as you are giving the visitor exactly what the ad promises...you are not entitled to give them access to every page of your website. If you want to force a conversion or an exit...then that is acceptable. I will usually offer a few ancillary links if they aren't ready to take action, however...the intent is obvious and I try to do everything I can to encourage the dominant call to action.
6. Optimize them for search: It makes a lot of sense to optimize each landing page for a few specific (usually long tail) keywords. Since you will be driving alot of traffic to these pages they will likely gain relevance and therefore prominence. A good way to encourage volume traffic is to link to these landing pages from your website, add them to your sitemap, andkeep them as close to the design and layout as your web site pages (while keeping in mind #5).
7. Keep the messaging to the point: The tendency is to try to do too much with the landing page copy. Its perfectly understandable since we ask so much of this page. But the fact of the matter is that this is no time to beat around the bush or push a lot of marketing fluff. Get to the point, offer real benefits, and answer those last minute questions that may be that last barrier to taking action.
8. Use visual elements to peak interest: A picture is worth a thousand words. The more you can do with images (or even better...embed a presentation) the more likely you are going to pique the interest of your visitor and encourage them to take the desired action. Leave nothing to the imagination...because nobody buys that way.
9. Set a testing plan in place: Don't just create the landing page and then hope that everything goes right...start testing some combinations of messages. With Google releasing Website Optimizer to the public for free you can immediately begin seeing what headlines and action calls your visitors are responding the best to.
10. Monitor your results closely: I single out my landing pages for special treatment in my Google Analytics...in the form of goals and campaign tracking. This will provide a lot of opportunity to understand campaign traffic segments in relation to goal conversion. I also like to use Crazy Egg's heat map and confetti view to track specific click behavior. Mine the data...and you will be able to make key insights that help your conversion.
11. Survey them: The best thing you can get from #10 is quantitative data...thousands of reports that will tell you all of the activity that has taken place...but it will not give you the "why". Why did they choose Product X over Product Y? Why did they decide to leave without converting? Why are people who come from email more likely to convert than from search? Surveying on exit or conversion can help fill in those gaps that analytics cannot.
The most important thing to consider when crafting a landing page is to never sacrifice your message for short sighted gains in SEO or web analysis. Keep your primary focus on the customer and being as thorough as possible in describing the benefits or your product and/or service. Do only those things that make sense for your customer and watch the conversions come in!