Here at Napier, we understand that landing pages are a key area of your marketing strategy. If your landing page is not optimised for success, your results can suffer.

Napier recently held a webinar ‘Landing Pages: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly’, which analyses the layout and content of landing pages used by a variety of B2B technology companies. We address:

  • Our honest opinion of good and bad landing pages
  • Factors that influence landing page performance
  • What makes a landing page generate leads
  • Tips, and tricks for easy landing page fixes
  • How the best companies optimise landing pages

Register to view our webinar on demand by clicking here, and why not get in touch to let us know if our insights helped you.

Napier Webinar: ‘Landing Pages: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ Transcript

Speakers: Mike Maynard

Good afternoon and welcome to our latest Napier webinar. In this webinar, we’re going to look at landing pages, the good, the bad, and the ugly. And hopefully I’ve got everything set up. So it’s all going to work now. Apologies for flicking backwards and forwards when we started to make sure all the the content was set up. So what are we going to do? Well, today, we’re going to actually look at what makes a great landing page. So we’re going to really try and understand not only what landing pages actually are and what their purpose is, but also how we need to make landing pages and what the industry thinks are basic rules of thumb to make good landing pages, we’re going to look at what people do in terms of different landing pages. So we’ll look at the automation industry, the software industry, will actually look at what some agencies are doing for their landing pages. And we’ll also look at the experts, the people who run marketing automation platforms. And what we’ll do is we’ll try and have a look and work out what these guys are doing and what’s good, and what’s not. Or, in fact, what’s the good, the bad and the ugly. And at the end of the webinar, we’ll finish as we always do with five tips. So top five tips for landing page design, based upon, you know, partly best practice, but also a lot about what we’ve learned during the during the research we did prior to the webinar when we put together the content.

So we’re gonna move on and start off by looking at what a landing page is. This is a Wikipedia definition of a landing page. And there’s there’s a lot to it. But basically, it comes down to what’s highlighted in red. And so the first thing is a landing page is a single web page. I guess that’s pretty much given away by the fact it’s called a landing page. It is just a web page. But the key thing is, is the landing page display, directed sales copy, that’s a logical extension of whatever is promoting that page. So an advertisement or search result or a link. And landing pages are generally used for lead generation. So these are the key things from what Wikipedia thinks is one page that fits within a campaign is a logical extension of whatever drives you to that page. And it should be used for lead generation. This is not necessarily what everybody believes in the landing page. And so we will see that the way some people use landing pages is slightly different. And we’ll talk about whether that’s the right or wrong way to do it in particular, how important it is to generate leads from a landing page. So we tried to do some research on what makes a great landing page. And lots of people on the internet have lots of very strong ideas about what works and what doesn’t in landing pages. In fact, there were so many different ideas, we decided to pick out some of the more fun ones. So people recommended having the right sent to the landing page or the appropriate colours, or to include pain or to include pleasure. And these are all genuine recommendations from the web. And I think you know, the truth is, is that, as we’ll see, there are some good practices that people should observe for landing pages, particularly when you’re trying to focus on lead conversion.

But actually, ultimately, for all the advice on the internet, the great landing pages are the ones that work best. And there are two things really that landing pages need to do the first obviously, if their lead generation tool is to generate high quality leads, so landing pages should maximise the high quality leads. But also, and we’ll look at this later on as we go through. Actually there is a real benefit in landing pages, minimising the number of people who register who aren’t potential customers. So minimising the time wasters is a secondary thing, but actually, I think an increasingly important thing for great landing pages. And so I mean, in conclusion, you know, we’ve been out there we’ve looked at what all the experts say, whether they be marketing companies or marketing automation tools, vendors. And, you know, there are some general best principles, but few people agree on really what defines a great landing page. And so ultimately, we’d suggest that finding the pages that convert your audience, that’s what really matters, and that’s what is the most important thing for you and for anyone else building landing pages.

Those of you who are Napier clients, I know some Napier clients and some non-clients here, the Napier clients be familiar with our four step process. And our four step process actually works really well when it comes to looking at landing page development. So our four steps to determine focus, deliver and enhance, the first step determine is really to understand the situation. So what’s the goal of the landing page? How does it fit into the campaign? What’s it trying to achieve? And that’s really important, because that then lets you set the metrics against which you’re going to measure that landing page. The second step is focus. That’s all about the audience and the messaging. So who are you targeting with the landing page? And then what are their motivations? What’s driving them? To engage with you and download the content or fill in the form for whatever other reason? And particularly what stage of the customer journey are they likely to be in? Content offers and landing pages are very different for people who are existing customers, when compared with an audience that perhaps isn’t familiar with your brand. So in that focus stage, really think about where the person might be in the customer journey. Delivery is obviously about creating the patient that’s about following breast best practice. And what I’m trying to show you is that, you know, whilst there are people being very creative and putting a lot of effort into landing pages, actually, you can create fairly straightforward standard landing pages that are very effective without too much effort. And then the last stage in our four step process is enhance. And, you know, clearly, with landing pages, they are very measurable. So definitely measure test and test again, on those landing pages. It’s important to remember, though, that, for a lot of b2b companies, the volumes are not huge.

So a lot of our clients are not looking to sell, you know, a vast number of products, as a consumer company would. So quite often, you’ll find that the volume of people completing the form is fairly small. And that may not be enough to signify that any difference is statistically significant or not, I’m not going to go into the massive statistical significance. If you want to understand that a bit more, please play about with our tool we have on our website, which is an A B test tool. And it will actually tell you whether the difference is statistically significant or not. Basically, what that means is once it’s statistically significant, the difference is probably due to performance actually being drift different, as opposed to just randomness of who goes to which page. And we see quite often people making decisions, when the sample sizes are so small, that actually it’s far more likely to be randomness causing a difference in results, that a difference in performance. So, you know, please make sure you understand that when you do testing. And for this reason, we often see people doing different tests over a long period of time over several campaigns. So you may only be able to AB test one thing in each campaign you run, because you’re focusing on high value, but relatively low volume form fills. So if you can keep learning from each campaign, the next campaign and the next campaign will be the best. So it’s not necessarily keep testing and testing within one campaign, but across all of your campaigns. So this is really the way to approach it is to think about what we’re doing today use this determine and focus stage to really understand what we need to do before we build the landing page and then test. From my point of view, where I see problems is where people think that it’s all about design hacks, and it’s all about using, you know, the right shade of red in the headline, it’s not actually poorly planned campaigns will not really benefit from design hacks, they’ll still perform poorly. And the only thing that is really going to work is planning the campaign well, and that needs you to think through the goals, the objectives and the audience and the messaging before you start building that landing page. So here’s some ideas on what we think are great landing page designs. We’ve got eight points that we’d like to bring out. I think like everyone else on the internet, everybody’s got their own views this is our view. And it’s inevitably not that different from some of the other things you’ll see. So the first thing and the most important thing is the landing page must fit the flow of the campaign. If you remember the Wikipedia definition, said that it should be related to the ad or the link that drove people to the landing page. This is crucially important and it is Incredibly often forgotten. So we’ll see some landing pages today that really don’t fit the flow.

The second thing is a great headline. And it’s a great headline is one that resonates with your audience. It’s interesting that HubSpot did some research A while ago. And they showed the single most important factor on a landing page, in terms of conversion was actually the name they gave to the content that they were offering. And that obviously is driven in the headline as well. So it’s really important to make sure that the title of the content and the headline a really compelling clear layout is very important. It’s generally a good idea to include bullet points to make it very easy for people to pick out the reasons why they need to download the content, or what they’ll get from downloading the content. And typically, landing pages or standard are laid out in two columns, the left hand column, displaying, you know, what the content is about, and the right hand column being the form. And we’ll see that used several times going forward this clear, simple, straightforward layout. And we can compare slightly different approaches from different companies. Calls to Action are very important on landing pages. And if we look at calls to action on landing pages, they really need to be calls to action. So don’t be subtle or clever, you really need to very directly say, the reason why people need to download or why they need to fill in the form, and then drive them to do that. And we see people using calls to action very effectively in the headlines beneath the body copy above the form, and in particular on the form submission button as well. And here’s a useful tip is on the form submission button, we always recommend highlighting what people are getting. So get my white paper now or download my white paper, rather than what they’re doing submit my details. So if you emphasise what they’re getting, that will typically increase the conversion rate, because psychologically, people are thinking about the benefit they get, rather than the cost in terms of the data they’re giving up. The right copy is very important. And this just needs to be very clear and explain what the person will get for filling in the form. Make sure that copy is very direct. And don’t make it too long, make sure it’s concise. Shorter is always better on my landing page, the whole goal of the landing page is to get people to convert it is not to get people to spend hours reading detailed copy. So all the copies should be directed towards encouraging people to fill that form out. And as part of that, you really need this inescapable why and I guess this is what a lot of people call, you know, highlight the pain on landing pages. But hopefully the product or service that you’re promoting through a landing page will actually have something that they solve. So a challenge or a problem that is going to be solved. So really making clear what the problem is and how you solve it. That inescapable Why is very important as part of that copy.

And we found that urgency definitely helps. And that can be as simple as download now or download today. But I think certainly, you know, what you don’t want to do is have more laid back copy, it needs to be very enthusiastic copy. And it does need to say, you know, download now fill in the form now. And that, again, will increase landing page conversion rates. And then finally match the form fields to the offers. And this is a really interesting thing is that when we’ve looked at form fields, and how many fields are on that form, it’s not always that shorter is better. And we’ve actually seen some landing pages convert better when we increase the number of fields. Now typically, most people particularly in b2b, have more fields than the visitor is prepared or keen to fill in. So typically, I would say reducing the number of fields, reducing the information is going to get better conversion rates. But sometimes when you offer a particularly high value piece of content, or you’re offering something that’s going to involve work, perhaps you’re offering, you know, some sort of assessment or you know, an analytic tool for the customer, then actually then where the value is high. putting more formfields in can actually help increase the conversion rates. Because simply asking for an email when you’re offering something of high value, it creates dissonance with the landing page visitor, whereas asking for details if you’re clearly giving something of value It reinforces that value. And it seems to work. So really work on making the fields match the offer. And again, ultimately, the only way you can be sure about the right number of fields is by testing. So these are ideas that they are, I guess what you call hacks, as I referred to them earlier, so they don’t compensate for poorly planned campaigns. So it’s really important to make sure you do the planning. But all of these tips will help you. And we’ll talk about some of these as we go through and look at different landing pages. So firstly, we need to find some landing pages to look at. And that’s actually potentially quite challenging because most companies don’t expose the landing pages that they use, they tend to only be accessible through campaigns. But they’re fortunate there is an easy way to find landing pages. And that’s by viewing Google ads. So here, people are paying ads and directing to a defined landing page that they’ve chosen. And so I think we can go and have a look and see what some companies are doing in terms of their landing pages for Google ads.

So the first search we did was looking for a 10 kilowatt variable frequency drive. So this is basically electronics that will power a motor. And a variable frequency drive is is an efficient way of doing that. And 10 kilowatts is a relatively low power level. So it’s not a particularly difficult or unusual search, pretty common search and automation. And we produced a number of results when we ran the search. Obviously, if you’ve run any of these searches, now, you may see the same results, you may see slightly different ones. And this is why we’ve embedded it in the PowerPoint. So we’ve got the the pages we wanted to see. So if we look at this, there are four companies that appear at the top in the four potential ad spaces for variable speed drives. And so we’re going to have a look and see which ones have the best landing page, what we’ll do is we’ll actually flip between the browser and the PowerPoint, so that you can see the landing page in full otherwise we’d have to truncate it on the presentation. So let’s go have a look at who these four companies are and what they’ve done. So this is the first company, I’m not entirely sure how we pronounce it. But that is a Chinese company offering drives. And you can see, they’ve just routed to a product page. And this isn’t great, because I’m left with a product page that I can scroll down, I’m not really sure even actually whether they make 10 kilowatt drives. I mean, I do know they make variable frequency drives, which is a start. But I don’t know if they make the product I want and all the work is being left with me, I’ve got to do all the work to find out whether it’s a Gd 20, or a Gd 350 that I really care about. And clearly, unless I’m experienced and know that different family names, none of these family names are really going to help me in terms of finding products.

And inverters UK do a similar thing. So perhaps a less attractive landing page. But here again, we see we’ve we’ve got a list of products. And we’ve got the opportunity to buy online or read more. I mean, unfortunately, with some of these products, we don’t even know if the product is at 10 kilowatt drive. So we don’t even know if it matches. So buying online is not going to be very helpful here. Because I’m not going to go and buy something, if I’ve got no idea whether it’s the right product. And another company here on softstart, UK who are promoting Delta drives, they have an even more sparse product page. And this reading to product pages is quite common as a landing page. And generally speaking, it’s a really bad idea. And you know, I have no idea where there are 200 or 2000, or as cp 2000. Drive is what I’m looking for. And it really doesn’t help me it’s putting all the work back onto me. And I’m very likely to move back and look for alternative suppliers that are easier to find. This is really not a great landing page again. However, not everybody routes to product pages. We actually have a company here KB who brought you to the homepage. And this is interesting because we’ve searched for variable speed drives a 10 kilowatt variable speed drive and variable speed drives don’t actually appear on the landing page. So we go to their homepage, and we scroll down and it’s going to tell me about their trade shows. But it’s not actually She’s going to tell me about their variable speed drives. So, again, not a great solution routing people to the homepage.

So let’s summarise what we learnt here. So the product family landing page, so I’ll call it, it’s not really a landing page, it’s a very lazy approach to doing things like Google ads, all you’re doing is routing people to an existing page. And in this particular example, we’ve got a number of problems. So you know, there’s a very weak headline, the layout is kind of confusing, there’s an awful lot of links all over the place that I could click on. The copy is poor, it’s not optimised for lead gen lead generation. And actually, if you look on the right hand side, I mean, the the hero banner primarily shows products that are not the product I want. And they do have a chat icon. So I mean, there’s a potential there, I guess, to generate leads. The top thing is search your products. Well, I’ve already searched I mean, they should know what products I’m looking for, because they know what I searched. And then it’s all down to me to try and understand which products and typically products are organised by product families. But the chances are, if I’m coming to the landing page from a Google ad, or from a LinkedIn ad, or some other web source, I probably am not an expert on the company, fact, I’ve probably got very little idea or awareness about the company, which is why they’re running advertising. And so to then require me to navigate via a set of proprietary product family names is really hard work. And it’s not a great way to great experience.

So it’s not a great way to create a landing page. And the homepage is even less effective. As I said, it prevents presents content that is not related to our search. There’s lots of distractions. And even if we click on the menu, and go and have a look at what they’re good in Drive technology, even that doesn’t tell me where whether or not they have a 10 kilowatt drive. So I have to start going in and looking and researching. It’s, again, it’s not a great solution. And it’s a really bad experience for customers. So don’t route people to the homepage. So we’ve given the world industry information quite a hard time over their landing pages. So perhaps we ought to either pick on another industry or find an industry that does it better. And so let’s look at the software development industry. So static analysis is a general term for software that looks at code and tries to identify issues. We did try and search for a specific version of a static analysis tool. But actually, most of the time when we did that we were returned ads that weren’t about static analysis tools. And this is very interesting, because we’ve actually seen some issues, even with this, these results here of poorly targeted ads. So I certainly think you know, one of the things we’ve learned is that software industry isn’t very good at targeting. Anyway, let’s have a quick look at some of the landing pages that we got from this search.

So the first landing page is a landing page here from synopsis. And it’s an interesting landing page, I mentioned this two column layout, and you’ll start seeing people use it in the software sector. So it appears that the software industry is a little more sophisticated. They are thinking about ways to drive leads and generate leads. And they have a landing page here with a form. That’s, you know, using a pretty standard layout, it’s a pretty ok, kind of landing page. The only problem is it doesn’t really follow the flow. If you look at this, apparently synopsis is a leader for sassed, which is static application security testing, which is actually something that is slightly different from static analysis. So it’s not quite the same tool as I was looking for. And it’s also somewhat self centered in terms of a headline there. You’ll also see there’s a lot of different menu options here. If the goal is to get people to download the report, then why are you offering all these menu options, it makes no sense to do that. And it’s just distracting from the the form, which is where you want people to concentrate. Parasoft is another company, again, similar layout. So we’ve got two columns here. Interestingly, they’ve used bullet points and made the bullet points very, very clear, which is generally a very effective way to increase conversion rates is to highlight what you get. And there’s a couple of downsides to this page. I mean, the first is is the headline is anything but compelling. It doesn’t actually even tell me What they’re offering.

So there’s a form, but it just tells me, you know that they make static code analysis tools. It doesn’t tell me what it’s offering, you have to read the text to do that. And you actually have to go and read the text on the form. And the other problem we see with this particular landing page is that were offered a white paper on how to choose a modern static analysis tool. But on the left hand side, the body copy that we have this paragraph of copy is all about how amazing parasoft is. And so again, in terms of that flow, I’m not sure I’m going to read how amazing parasoft is, and then believe they’re offering me a truly independent white paper that that’s going to help me choose the right tool, I’m just thinking, they’re going to offer me a white paper that tells me choose parasoft, because that’s the one we want to sell. And you’ll see as a couple of extra foot film fields here. And so they’re asking more information, which is likely to reduce the conversion rate, although phone numbers optional. And like synopsis, they’ve got a very clear message, download white paper on the button. Per force is another company, they’re doing almost exactly the same offer as parasoft. So they’re offering a white paper on how to choose the best static code analysis. But if you look at this, this is a little bit easier to read, it’s a little bit nicer layout, don’t have such a huge amount of body copy at the start. And they actually have more fields in their form. But I think this is, you know, possibly the best layout in terms of being something that’s compelling and interesting. And again, of course, they’re using the standard bullet points there in terms of making it clear as to why you need to download. There’s nothing in the way of urgency here other than they’ve changed the download white paper to download now. So they’ve got a little bit of urgency with the other two didn’t. But it’s not really pushing and having clear calls to action. And then lastly, we’ve got a product here called sahi. Pro. I don’t want to talk about this in too much detail. But they’re offering a an option for a demo rather than downloading a white paper. So the question is, our people when they first discover your brand, likely to want to demo is the very first thing, or would they like something else? before that? So I don’t know. I mean, these guys may be right. They may, they may be experts, but it feels a bit of a lazy landing page. In particular, they’ve got a completely useless form field here, which is your message. So this form you fill in to request a demo? I’m not sure what the message would be other than Can I have a demo, please. So we’ve got a completely pointless field in here that we really don’t need. And I strongly recommend that they take it out. So let’s have a look at a bit of a summary. And we’ll also have another little dig at sorry, pro when we look at the the page in more detail.

So,again, we’re trying to categorise these landing pages. And this is the independent report or White Paper Type landing page. And I think synopsis you know, did they do an okay job of it. It’s not brilliant. It’s not. It’s not something that’s compelling in terms of the offer. But the layouts clean, we could do with fewer menu options to distract us. And also, I guess the question is, you know whether this is the right thing for top of the funnel, and it may, it may well work for static analysis. I’m not sure. But often people want analyst reports once they’ve shortlisted companies, rather than right at the start. As I mentioned before, you know, unfortunately, it’s actually about a slightly different topic, or a very specific form of static analysis. And this is an issue with some of the analyst reports. We see this with clients, where they’ve spent a lot of money on analysts reports. And I understand that, you know, these things are not cheap. They involve a lot of research, and they are really important to the company. But sometimes they get used a little too broadly. And it doesn’t matter how compelling This is. If I want a static analysis tool to evaluate the code I’ve written for my automotive engine management system. I don’t care about stuck in a static application security testing. It’s not relevant to me because it’s not security I want I’m looking for bugs. So they’ve pushed this white paper, in my mind to a little bit of a broad audience. And that’s a mistake with landing pages is when you think you’ve got a great content offer. You try and offer it too widely, and then you don’t fit that flow. You’re not in the middle of the flow that really matters. The parasol font is similar, we’re going to call it a white paper.

As I mentioned, you know, one of the issues here is the copy is not great. And the headlines not great, I think there’s a lot they could do in terms of tidying up what they’ve written on the page, making it cleaner and clearer, and less of a marketing puff piece, and much more of a reason to fill in the form. Because ultimately, that’s why they’re running this campaign is to get people to fill the form. And the other thing as well we see with parasoft, is that parasoft have social media icons on their, on their landing page, I see this quite often, it’s not uncommon. I always wonder why they’re there. You know, I’m not sure anyone’s going to tweet, hey, look, I’ve just clicked through on a parasoft Google ad, I think it’s an unlikely thing to do. And I’m really not entirely sure whether they work or not. If they’re rooting people to this page from other sources, maybe it would be more useful. But if you’re looking at something that’s purely driven by advertising, I’d probably remove those, because again, it’s more distraction. And then finally, we’ve got the Asahi pro one, it’s an interesting layout, it’s still two cons, it’s very broad, very wide. And the other thing as well is actually apart from very poor English in the copy. Once you’ve read the copy and understand what the product is, you actually work out it’s not a static analysis tool. So one of the issues of offering something like a demo, is that if you get people requesting it, but you’re not targeting the right audience, you could end up not only wasting their time, but wasting your time. So someone looking for a, you know, a C sought static analysis tool might end up arranging a demo with sorry, broke, because that’s the only option they’ve got. And then very quickly, find in the demo, that they’re wasting their time. And it’s costing you as a company time to set that demo up. And it’s also causing a really terrible experience for that user, who might well want test automation software in the future. But at the moment doesn’t. So demos are very interesting and are used widely. And we’ll see, particularly with some marketing automation tools, it’s a very common offer. But equally, I think you have to be very careful that you don’t make the big offer straightaway. Because although it’s easy to pick on, you know, someone like sypro, who who’ve not targeted Well, it is actually very easy to find your ads, reaching an audience that’s not quite the one you wanted. And you could end up with these spurious form fills. So that that’s really where we are in terms of the software. And so what we’ll do is we’ll go on, and we’ll have a look at marketing automation agencies. So we’re not running any Google ads, I mean, but clearly, we’re going to marketing automation agencies, these are the experts, these guys are going to be awesome. They gotta be awesome.

Although actually, you’ll notice SharpSpring, which isn’t a marketing automation agency, is running Google ads against marketing automation agency, which probably isn’t great. And those guys should really know because their marketing automation company, and again, you know, maybe it works, maybe it’s amazing, but my gut feel is almost certainly SharpSpring is probably not getting great results from this particular search. Because people don’t want a platform, they’ve got to run themselves, they want an agency to do it for them. So these three ads, we’re gonna look at two, we’re gonna look at the the two agencies. And we won’t look at the SharpSpring ad that’s not related to agencies. So let’s see how good the experts are. Interestingly, and none of these were set up, by the way, they all these searches were done, and put together based on some ideas that came to mind. I wasn’t looking for things that didn’t work. If I click through to protocol, they send me to their homepage.

These guys are the experts in marketing automation, and they send me to their homepage. And if you look at this, you know, it’s not really what I want to see if I’m looking for a marketing automation. I mean, there’s a special offer here how to unlock the potential of marketing automation. I don’t actually want to unlock it. I want an agency to unlock that for me. And okay, as we scroll down, that there are more relevant calls to action. So here’s a speak to a consultant today call to action. And we can scroll down and there’s actually a free ebook about what is market automation. So they do have some offers that will route to landing pages that have forms and we can have a look at one of these forms now. By clicking on the E book, and you can see again, a slightly different version on what I call the industry standard sort of two column landing page with the pitch here, and then the form on the right. Interestingly, if you look on the right, they’re only asking for first name and email address, which actually I think is very worth worth considering. Because these guys do understand about conversion. And they know when they get to the form, that you actually don’t need to get everything first time. Once you’ve got that email address, you can keep communicating. And you can use progressive profiling, keep asking more questions, to understand more about that person. And interestingly, as well, they’ve got a download and read button here, really pushing the benefit, you’re not just going to download an ebook, you’re actually going to get to read it. So really highlighting the benefits side. The other agency that appeared on the Google Ads was a company called clevertouch. And interestingly, again, here, clevertouch don’t actually read a specific landing page, they read the page that talks about their Marketo services. Now, the first thing I’d say is that Marketo isn’t the only marketing automation system in the world. In fact, you know, the good news is, is SharpSpring told me that when I searched, but also obviously, there’s HubSpot, and aliqua, and pardot. And all these other systems. So the first thing you’re going to do is you’re going to get people coming, looking for a martial Information Agency, that then get routed to a landing page that might immediately turn them off. And it’s very interesting. So I think here, you know, clevertouch are being very clear. I mean, they’re saying their market. So it’s really clear right at the top. And they’re prepared to pay for clicks from people who don’t use Marketo. Because they clearly feel that marketing automation agency is the right search term for them. So they’ve, I think, almost deliberately got some dissonance here between the ads, and the search term. And then where they route people to, they do actually mention on the ad their market partner as well. And then if we scroll down the page, we can see that there’s lots of different information. There’s some social proof with some awards. And also some customers. And then as we get to the bottom, we have the form. And they have a fairly simple form here. And they’re asking for a job title, company name. And they’re also asking for phone number. So asking for quite a lot. So two very different approaches from agencies that are basically direct competitors. But overall, I didn’t really see anything that was particularly different from the software, guys. I mean, you know, all the previous companies, so there was a homepage routing. And there was actually a product page. But what I’d like to see is, you know, really what marketing automation companies do.

So these guys have the best data, they have more data on what works and what doesn’t. And they should really know. So we’re going to have a look and see what’s current best practices. So we did some searches. And one of the things we did was was Have a look at HubSpot very popular marketing automation system. I wonder what competitors say and one of the competitors a company called engagement. It’s quite a small company relative to HubSpot. And they have a landing page that I found fascinating. If we look at clarity and compelling copy, they’re very direct. It is the best HubSpot alternative apparently. And so they’re making it clear what they’re doing. Don’t buy HubSpot by us. They’re also highlighting the pain. And HubSpot has a reputation for being relatively expensive. And you can see here there’s a very clear highlight of the difference between the HubSpot cost and the engage PayPal cost. So they are being very, very aggressive in terms of highlighting the pain and how they fix it. And they’ve also got some great bullet points here, you notice they don’t have any body copy at all. It’s some headings and bullets. And I think a lot of us marketers, we actually quite like writing we quite like the look of our own copy. And sometimes we should take a step back. This is really quite a compelling landing page. And then lastly, and they only asked for the email address, so they’re not asking for anything else other than the email address. These guys know that with marketing automation. Once you have an email address, and you can engage with somebody, you can then start building the lies you don’t have to get it all up front.

A similar approach is taken with a company called Active Campaign. Active Campaign, I basically routing to a landing page, very different copy. Again, they don’t use bullet points, they just asked for your email address. And both of these are starting free trial. As I mentioned, this is very copy and marketing, very common in marketing automation. We can scroll down and see that they’ve got, you know, rankings from GT, which is a online ranking site. And then they’ve got lots of information here about the product. And when we get to the bottom again, we’ve again got a form. So they’ve got two forms on the page. And they’re looking to get people to sign up and promote that is obviously targeted around getting as many leads as possible. But interestingly, you see, they’re trying to ask the questions, answer the questions first. So there’s quite a lot of information here. And actually, this may be might be an indication of a landing page where a company is trying not to overdo the, the number of leads and focus on people who really are genuinely interested.

So just to recap what we’ve seen there. And really, I mean, this is what we call the competitive landing page. So this is the HubSpot versus engaged Bay. And we think it’s a great example of a good compelling landing page, where you’re looking at comparing yourself against another vendor. The immediate trial, as I said, it’s not unusual for software as a service, probably won’t work in many other industries. So it’s not necessarily something we recommend quite often with, you know, clients we’re working with, they’re offering, you know, b2b equipment, technical equipment, that can cost a huge amount of money. So free trial is not the way to go. It’s much more about providing information. But because of free trial costs engaged by nothing, it clearly makes sense for them to do it. So we kind of dropped a hint on recent landing page trends. And it’s interesting to see where some of the other marketing automation companies are going. And our opinion is, is that actually, they’re really focused on high quality leads, they’re not focused on quantity. And this is interesting, because pretty much all of these marketing automation platform companies, they produce platforms, that will give you pure conversion rate, you know, there were this many form fields for this many pages, and no indication of quality in the standard reporting. And so it’s interesting, these guys have worked it out. But maybe they haven’t quite fed that back into the tools. So what we’re going to look at is look at a couple of, you know, longer content rich pages. And there’ll be seen to be split into sections, you’ll notice different calls to action, and actually different ways of achieving the call to action as well, that we’ll talk about as we go through.

So this example here, which is Active Campaign is a good example, where each different section describes a little bit more about the products. So it’s a good example of, of the sort of layout, but we see this with many other vendors. So here’s another vendor. So Salesforce, and here you can see Salesforce, creating a landing page that’s quite long, that’s got a call to action at the top to watch a video, it’s got information on Salesforce here, we’ve then got a guided tour offer, we’ve got more videos in the tour again. And then we’ve got to talk to the experts. And then we’ve got a free trial right at the bottom. So Salesforce have taken the view that actually if people get to the bottom, they’re probably interested. And so they’re probably at the point where I want to try and convert them to a free trial. But they don’t want to do it at the top. So unlike Active Campaign, they’re looking at a slightly different approach here. But you notice there’s different ways to look at content. So you can view a video or you can talk to experts, or you can have a free trial. And that’s mixed on the same page. Now, this is very interesting, because typically, you’ll hear a rule saying don’t mix calls to action, one call to action per page. But actually, all they’re trying to do is get you to engage. And I think it’s actually very much the same type of call to action. But for different formats, whether people want to see a video, or talk to a salesperson or try the product themselves. That’s what they’re offering. So it’s the same offer, but for different ways for really to meet the needs of different people who could land on the page. HubSpot also do something similar. Now interestingly, HubSpot leave a few menu options at the top. So a limited number of menu options, not the full website menu. And I can tell you that you know, two years ago HubSpot was telling every agency to take out every menu option from the top it didn’t work so they’ve done some testing and changed their mind. on that, but this is a another uncompetitive landing page. And interestingly here, they’re pushing a demo. So we’ve got a button at the top to get a demo, we then got a button almost immediately get a demo in the middle, we then start talking about why, as we move on, there’s a lot of copy here to work through. As we keep going lots of lots of copy, lots of information about the products, and eventually another call to action to get a demo. And clearly, this is, you know, looking to make sure people really understand what they’re getting when they when they use HubSpot. And so that was the landing pages that we wanted to cover. I mean, I think it’s interesting what we’re seeing with some of these content, rich landing pages, they do require an awful lot of effort to create. And I would say that if you’re not at the stage, where you’re creating, you know, really solid two column, you know, landing pages, and you’re targeting multiple landing pages, so that the content on the landing page matches what’s driven the person for the landing page, don’t try and get into building these content, rich landing pages, they’re very time consuming, very expensive. And you’re just going to struggle to build enough that work. You know, and HubSpot, literally, for example, has a landing page that looks at how they compare to competitors for all their different major competitors. So they’ve built multiple long landing pages that are just those competitive ones.

The one thing I would say about some of these longer landing pages, though, is that they’re actually very good for SEO most landing pages are terrible for SEO, because we’re not trying to put content in to make people read the copy, we’re trying to put content in to make people download the form. And so they’re not desperately engaging pages from Google’s point of view, whereas these longer ones are. So there may be an opportunity to create some here. But as I say, you know, you have to get right. And these more complex landing pages require a lot of testing, because if you’re not careful, all you do is you distract the person from the call to action, and you never get a conversion, it’s much harder to get to get conversions from here, you’ve really got to design the page, right? So you need a volume of people coming to that page, and you need time to test it to make sure it works. So our recommendation initially is actually the standard two column for most clients, and for most campaigns, is probably the best and most effective way to create landing pages that will give you the best return on investment.

So what are our top five landing page tips? Well, tip one is to create custom landing pages, don’t ever route people to your homepage or a product page, it just isn’t a good experience, and create many different custom landing pages so that the experience is as smooth as possible, from whatever search or LinkedIn ad, or even link on your email that you’ve provided people. The second thing is get the targeting rights. And of course, you know, one of these landing pages I talked about that try and filter out the people who are not really interested, they’re important if you’ve not got the targeting, right, if you have got the targeting perfect, and you’re only attracting people or potential customers, just get them to fill the form. And straightaway, there’s no need to do any more filtering. And I’d recommend being clear and very direct. And and you’ll notice that you know, the people who are the experts, the market automation companies, they’re not shy about being brave. They’re not British when it comes to landing pages. So be very clear about what you’re offering and why people should fill it in, and particularly on the calls to action. And we’ve talked about getting the why right, you know, and I think the engage Bay landing page where it really highlighted the issue of cost and limitations on HubSpot versus engage Bay. That was a pain point for a lot of companies. And they were very clear about how they solved it by charging a lower price.

So I think getting that pain point, right, the pain point for probably most of the people listening on the call today for everybody will not be price, it’ll be something else, but understand what you’re solving and make it really clear. And finally, don’t ask for too much information. And if you look at the the forms that you get from the market information companies, you know, typically they’re just asking for email because they know they can use the tool to then get the other information about that person. And there’s also data enrichment tools you can use as well that you can generate information as well. So if you’ve got an email, you can sometimes look up you know, company name and things like that. And then finally, you know, the bonus tip and if you’ve sat with us through this whole webinar is probably a bit of a downer, but your audience is unique. Nobody’s got the answers. We certainly don’t have all the answers. So do test different approaches, I mean, follow best practice, but don’t follow it to the point that you’re not prepared to try different things. You know, some approaches will work with some audiences, and some will work with others. But, you know, it’s really important to test and find out what works with you. And then finally, as a summary, you know, the landing pages take work, I mean, it really does take time to create these landing pages, particularly of creating a significant number. But if you’re spending a lot of money driving traffic to your website, through ads, or through social or through email marketing, getting the landing page, right is really the key thing in terms of driving the number of leads you’re gonna get. And so the payoff from getting the right landing pages is huge.

So thank you very much for listening. And I’m afraid I’m very aware that we’ve overrun our 45 minutes. So what I suggest I do is if anyone has any questions, please feel free to email me, Mike at Napier b2b dot com, all post in the chat. And what I do is I will make sure that I reply to everyone and cover all those questions by email. And so if you’ve posted in the chat, I will get back to you via email. So thank you very much. I really appreciate your time. And hopefully we can work together on landing pages.