A landing page should be the welcoming committee

I argued yesterday that in a technical B2B environment, landing page design shouldn’t be a one-stop attempt to convert an advert click into a completed enquiry form. Don’t get me wrong, having a landing page dedicated to a particular promotion can be a big improvement on just sending prospects from an advert to a product page. But it’s the welcoming committee, not the sale closing team. Here’s what I reckon we should be doing.

A landing page dedicated to a particular promotion can take into account what the visitor knows so far. In the case of a Google AdWords ad, for example, that’s not very much – just 3 short lines of text. Really, we should assume the visitor knows nothing about us; all we know is that they were looking for blue widgets, and they were intrigued enough to click on our ad which said: “Blue Widgets. Fastest Blue Widgets in the UK. Get our free brochure here.”

So, our landing page – at a glance – needs to reassure them that we do sell blue widgets as they understand them and that we do indeed serve the UK market. Easy enough with a photo, headline and company address/telephone details. Now we need to start the sell. What’s in it for them? (Prove it by linking to the product page). Why buy from us? (Prove it by linking to your wonderfully reassuring “About Us” page). What’s the comfort factor? (Link to some case studies).

Then – having proved our case – we have the call to action, and as I’ve said before, the more types of contact you offer, the more enquiries you’ll get. A telephone number, a contact form, an email address, a live chat service …whatever you can. Bear in mind that when following the links you provided, there’s no guarantee that the visitor will come back to this landing page. But you must give the visitor that flexibility. So it’s equally crucial to offer all of those contact methods on the product’s technical description page, which is where they may well end up instead.

All of this doesn’t make it easy to track the sources of your enquiries, but that’s the challenge we have to meet. The companies which fail are those who try to steer the buyers towards the seller’s preferred way of doing things. You don’t create a landing page just to make it easier for you to count and attribute the enquiries.

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