daynaGuest post by Dayna Rothman, Sr. Content Marketing Manager at Marketo

No matter how much time or money you spend on a lead generation campaign, if your landing page doesn’t resonate with your audience, they will bounce—potentially never to return. The goal of your landing page is to keep a potential customer interested enough to keep reading—ideally, they will fill out your form and become a lead. Most leads take only a few seconds to decide whether they’ll read a page or bounce. Does the page make sense immediately, or is it hard to understand? Is it relevant to the link your lead clicked on, or does it seem out of place?

Below are some best practices to follow to ensure your landing pages are optimized for lead generation, and for more information on lead generation strategy, download our brand new 160 ebook, The Definitive Guide to Lead Generation.

Be Campaign Specific

Your landing pages should be specific to your campaign. Although creating a new landing page for every campaign isn’t easy, it’s still a critical part of conversion and optimization. As an example, take a look at the following PPC ad from Marketo targeting the phrase “lead nurturing”:

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Next, check out the landing page. The landing page copy and offer is consistent with the ad.

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Err on the Side of Simplicity

Use your design layout carefully—the wrong design for your audience can immediately detract from the offer and ultimately the conversion. Simply put, design can have a polarizing effect. Consider including the following elements in your landing pages:

  • Company logo
  • A banner image or heading
  • A “hero” shot—a mock-up of your ebook or offer, or a photo of your webinar speaker
  • A call-to-action
  • Social sharing buttons

And make your copy scannable. Keep it short and sweet with a bold headline, one or two short paragraphs of explanatory copy, and bullet points to show your leads why they should click through. To engage leads without overwhelming the page, consider using interactive elements such as an audio clip or a short video.

Take a look at an example landing page from Marketo’s Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation campaign. Notice how short, sweet, and simple the copy is.

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Always Remove Navigation

It may be tempting to include your main navigation links on your landing pages (“If they don’t like this offer, they’ll be able to find something else!”), but these can distract your leads from your CTA. In eye tracking studies, it’s been found that navigation panels draw attention away from your offer and conversion. Remember that your main goal isn’t a visit to your website—it’s lead conversion for a particular campaign. After they convert, feel free to send your leads additional information— just don’t muddy the waters at your initial interaction.

Include a Confirmation and Thank You Page

After a customer converts, take time to thank them with an email, or send them to a confirmation page. Confirmation and thank you pages are an important way to track conversion. These also give you the opportunity to deepen the relationship by making another offer, promoting your blog, asking for feedback or a social share, or running a poll. In fact, over 40% of prospects are willing to share additional information after they convert. Take a look at the thank you page for Marketo webinar registrants. The page asks you to register for more events, and gives you a list of resources that relate to the webinar content.

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Do you have any other tips and tricks for optimizing landing pages for lead generation? I would love to hear!

Dayna Rothman is the Sr. Content Marketing Manager at Marketo. She runs the Marketo content initiatives and is the managing editor of the Marketo blog. Dayna has extensive experience in content marketing, social media, marketing automation, and inbound marketing. She has an MBA from Golden Gate University and lives in Oakland, CA.