B2B Marketing Blog

How to Drastically Improve Your B2B Landing Page Conversion Rate

By Daniel Brady
Feb 18, 2015

There’s a clear line between us. B2B and B2C are two different worlds. But there are lessons we can teach other.

The landing page conversion rate is universally important. Whether it’s a content download or an online purchase, it’s all the same: a conversion.

In this post I’m going to describe optimizations you can test to improve the conversion rate on your B2B landing page.

How To Optimize A B2B Gated Content Landing Page

First I’ll go through some test ideas that you should perform on your gated content landing pages, then I’ll go through the technology used to do the testing. Here are the landing page elements I’ll be testing:

  •        Headings

  •        CTA buttons

  •        Trust Elements

  •        Layout structure

  •        Testimonials

  •        Images

  •        Contact Forms

  •        Scarcity / Urgency

Let’s get started. 

Ideas For Testing Your Landing Page Heading

Look at the landing page below.  Does it interest you? 

There are no images and the heading is abnormally located, long and difficult to read, so you are unlikely to read it.  A lot of people will be leaving about now.

b2b-landing-page

People expect the heading to be at the top of the content, so I created a variation below that meets that expectation. I’ve added a clear text-based sub-heading that is easy to read and easy to optimize.  From here we’ll need a few variations, preferably drastically different from one another so the winner of the test is abundantly clear.

landing-page-with-heading

Here are different types of headings you can test, followed by examples:

  • Numbers / Dates Focused Heading: Download our Q4 2014 Device Data Benchmark Report 

  • The Informative Heading: Q4 Device Performance Data Revealed in our Free Benchmark Report 

  • The “Free” Heading: Free Report Reveals Q4 Device Performance Data

  • The “Warning” Heading: Warning: Get the Q4 benchmark report today, so you don’t get left behind! 

  • The Quote Heading: "The most useful benchmark report available – anywhere.” Daniel Brady 

Ideas For Testing The CTA

cta-ideas

The CTA button influences people’s behavior more than you might expect.  A button saying ‘click here’ versus one saying ‘download’ versus one saying ‘instant download’ with perform very differently.

I’ve come up with some variations below.  Note that there are 6 variations and 1 original.  To test this will take roughly twice as long as testing 3 variations and 1 original.

I’ve included a few common words like ‘Submit’, ‘Continue’, ‘Download’ and then some more descriptive buttons.  Referring to the report in the button could make people more likely to click, saying ‘instant’ makes it sound fast and easy, so people might click, changing color could possibly have an effect, and adding the icon may have an effect.

Testing a few of the buttons gave the following results:

cta-results

results1

The ‘continue’ button performed the same as the ‘submit’ button, while ‘Instant Download’ performed better by 11.7% with 99.9% confidence.

Ideas For Adding Trust Elements

Adding trust elements to the page can have a positive effect if used right.

That could be a BBB badge, numbers and statistics, ‘featured on’ lists, testimonials, awards, photos or anything you can think of.

Here’s an example using ‘Scanned Virus Free’.

virus-free

And here are the results:

virus-free-results

Well, this clearly didn’t work – conversion rate fell. Maybe people don’t like the word ‘Virus’ even if it says ‘Virus Free’. 

I’d suggest testing your other ideas for trust elements, since some of them are sure to work, even if not all of them.

Here’s one that I tested:

results2

I tested the Satisfaction Guarantee badge versus no badge.  It increased leads by 6.6%.  Different badges perform differently on different landing pages, so test a few that you think might work.  I showed 8 example badges that you might consider.

Your industry may have different standards. For example, SaaS businesses can test trust elements related to online data privacy and data security.

Testing Layout Changes

In the case of this landing page, the banner heading is huge.  It is pushing the form and writing below the fold of the page.  It would be worth testing a smaller version of the banner.  The idea is that the form will come higher up the page, so people can see it and fill it out.

Testing Testimonials

At the moment there are no testimonials on the page.  This idea has good potential to effect conversion rate due to increased trust.  Here’s an example how you might design and test it.

landing-page-with-testimonials_copy

Ideas For Testing Images On Landing Pages

The most obvious image to test for a whitepaper is a whitepaper cover image such as the following.  You’ll likely benefit from creating 2-3 cover variations to test, since if you have only 1 cover, it is unlikely to be the perfect one.  When a visitor comes to the page and is quickly deciding whether to stay and read more or leave, the cover image may convince them to stay.

It would also be worth testing screenshots from inside the report, too. 

langing-page-with-report-cover_copy

Testing Landing Page Forms

There is a general rule about forms that usually rings true - that the shorter the form, the better it will convert.

You can see that the form on the landing page is long.  The thing that stands out to me as an easy target is ‘Country’. This field is redundant since your web developer can automatically calculate the visitor’s location from their IP.  The additional field is most likely reducing conversion rate and in turn, leads.

Take a look at the following results and you’ll get the picture.

short-form-long-form

So each additional field can reduce conversions by 5-10%.  That ‘Country’ field is now looking very expensive.  Are any other fields not absolutely necessary?  Removing them will most likely increase conversions (test it to make sure).

Testing Scarcity / Urgency

Urgency or scarcity usually increase a person’s desire to convert.  They don’t want to miss out.

So saying something like ‘We are only giving out 1000 copies’ or add a counter for how many people have downloaded your content.  Think of a way to add urgency or scarcity to your landing page that is both ethical and legal.  Below is an idea. 

split-test-copies-remaining

That’s enough ideas, it’s enough to make a big difference to your conversion rate.

More Results

Here are a few more tests completed by ContentVerve.com that agree with my results.

The button with an icon performed a lot better.

Icon Testing 

lpc1

CTA Testing

Rewording the button performed a lot better. Notice the urgency. Prospects love it when you make it simple to get started. If you use trial offers or demo’s, this CTA button treatment can be a game changer for you. 

lpc2

Content Layout Setting

When organizing the content on your landing page the most important and compelling information should be placed closer to the top.

In the test below, the testimonials were moved to the top of the page and increased conversion rates. 

lpc3

How To Set Up Your Multivariate Tests

Choosing A Testing Tool

There are quite a few tools to choose from, so I’ll just list a couple of good lower cost options and if you need more, you can see a thorough list here: Testing Tools List.

One tool, Optimizely, offers a free trial for 50,000 tracked visitors per month. You should be able to get good improvements before the 50,000 visitors per month runs out.

For tracking revenue from your different A/B tests, Bizible is integrated with Optimizely. This allows businesses to know which versions of pages are converting leads-to-opportunities, and opportunities-to-sales. 

optimizely

Setting Up A Test

While the procedure will vary between tools, the steps of the procedure are similar.

  1. Go to the Multivariate Testing section of your tool and start a new project for your landing page.

  2. Enter the names of the elements that you want to test, e.g. Heading, CTA, Report-Image.

  3. Add your variations for each element.  So add your 5 headings to the Heading section, your 7 button designs to the CTA section and your report image variations to the Report-Image section.

  4. Take the code that they give you and insert it into your landing page.  You’ll need to follow the instructions specific to the tool that you’re using.

  5. Wait for statistically significant results to accumulate.  Depending on your traffic level, the wait could be a day or a week or a month.

  6. Analyze the results, keep the winners and revert the losers.  You’ve successfully increased your conversion rate!  Congratulations.

  7. Create new tests based on what you learned.  E.g. create some new heading variations based on the winner of the first test.

Here are the specific instructions from Optimizely.

Closing Thoughts 

In both B2B and B2C your goal is to find the ceiling for revenue when it comes to paid online advertising. While it may take longer for leads to become paying customers, converting more site visitors to leads is the equivalent of making a purchase in the B2C world. Speed counts in both worlds. 

In my case when I was optimizing online purchase rates I started with a small advertising budget of $100 a week, then as the conversion rate and profit margin gradually improved I could afford almost $1000 a week, then after further improvements I could afford $8000 per week.

adwords-weekly

I could have left CPC at $0.50 and enjoyed profit per visitor of $1 (100% higher than the original $0.50), but increasing volume through increased advertising was the better strategy.

It’s all about return on ad spend (ROAS). If you would like to visualize it using a chart, you can use a break-even chart.  Here is one that I made.  It uses $40 lead value, $0.66 CPC, and shows the improvement in profit if the conversion rate is optimized from 3.5% to 5.2% (roughly 50%).  On $1000 of advertising, the profit rises from $400 to $1000.

CPC_Break_even

Hope you are now motivated to start optimizing your landing pages and enjoy more effective lead generation. 

Daniel Brady is an expert in online businesses, with a focus on advertising and conversion rate optimization. He runs lead-gen campaigns, digital product sales and physical product sales, and his own E-commerce website, Heavenly Hammocks Australia.
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Topics: adwords, lead generation

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