The entire process of inbound marketing is based on phases and components that ensure the success of each phase. These components include the methodology, strategy, campaigns, functionality, SEO, landing pages, etc. Each plays a lead role in their own substory, so none of them can be tossed into a bin and forgotten until the dark times when your marketing doesn’t seem to work anymore … yes, even those landing pages! You need them!
We know it’s not an easy concept and sometimes it seems like your website could do just as well without them, but there is a reason why every inbound marketing campaign can’t go without one.
What is a landing page? – To start off, a landing page is a page on your website designed for a specific purpose. Users who land on that page are expected to perform a specific action, join a cause, download an offer, make a donation, or convert in any other way. We have already covered the basics of what a landing page is and how it works, so start your exploration here if you’re just starting your research. Now, we're about to cover why you need them.
But First ... What is Your Website for?
You’re probably thinking why you need a landing page if you already have a website. Just think about it, an entire website! Isn’t that enough? Well, depends.
It all depends on your company and the purpose of your website. Usually, you have only 2 options:
- A website that is not intended for profit and is purely informational.
- A website that is your most powerful lead generation and sales machine.
For businesses it seems reasonable to go for the second option and make the website an important part of the sales process.
Landing pages are the gates of conversion. There are thousands of people out there researching their problem and the solution to it (which can be your service). After another search through the engines, they come across one of your blog posts, which happens to be so interesting and helpful they scroll all the way down and decide to check out the new ebook offer you have. Once they are on the landing page, they either convert or not.
If they convert, they receive an awesome ebook and you receive information about a user that can be your next customer. In order to win the search engine battle and then attract the user further into your funnel, you need to have a highly-convertible landing page.
How Do You Convert Visitors into Leads?
So, now that you've decided that your website was born to sell, here's how the process works.
1. Offer Winner Content: Blog Articles vs. eBooks
We, inbound marketers, truly believe that content is the key. Developing and publishing valuable content should be one of the objectives of your marketing. But not all content is the same.
Every piece of content has its own value. You spend hours, weeks, maybe even months developing an ebook, a data report, a checklist only professionals usually have access to, it’s a serious amount of work and time that simply cannot be compared to a short blog post.
- The purpose of blog content: The main goal of your blog is to attract new visitors and, if they are interested, direct them to the landing page. Your blog’s purpose is not to sell, convince, persuade, promote, or advertise. It should be packed with valuable and helpful information. That’s what a blog is for.
- The purpose of landing page content: After your users have gone through the first phase of conversion—the blog—and reached your landing page, the content of the page and the offer itself will define the next step of the reader. The content offer available on the landing page should have more value than the one on the blog. Your reader will be asked for information (such as name and email) to receive the offer, make the offer worth that information.
The conversion process is not a single step or a button, it’s a multi-wheel mechanism that runs smoothly only if you oil it with quality content from the start to the end.
2. The Rule of 20%
Not every landing page converts. Just because you have a nice title and a form up there doesn’t mean your readers will want to sign up. In fact, your page has an average of 15 seconds to convert the visitor into a lead, and that takes more than just a form.
There is no standard way of turning your page into a "Magic Converter." All its power comes from the combination of content, design, functionality, user-friendliness, and most importantly, relevance to the reader's interests.
If you're following the inbound methodology, the average conversion rate your landing page should have is 20%. If 100 visitors land on your offer page, 20 of them should sign up. If this doesn't happen, improve your conversion architecture, make changes, test, analyze, then make changes again. You can optimize your page to eternity.
3. Recycle Your Landing Pages
Some landing pages are time-sensitive. If you're offering an eBook on the 'Best Practices for Business Intelligence in 2016," this offer will expire in 2017. You will have to make some changes or create a new one. However, there will definitely be many campaigns that include everlasting content. Everlasting content is developed once, but does not have an expiration date and can be used over and over again. This way you can always recycle your landing pages if they are still relevant. A successful landing page can generate leads without a time limit.
The more landing pages you develop, the more leads you can convert. No landing page - no conversion - no leads. This is why you need landing pages and your digital marketing plan simply can't progress without one. They are not only the first step of your sales process, but they are also a great way of storing your offers. Instead of losing them in the inner pages of your website, they are available separately, without any distractions to the user. Link them to your blog, promote them in social media and search engines, and make sure the all your lead nurturing mechanisms are ready to get to work with the first sign-up.