What is the one thing that every B2B PPC landing page needs to do?
You paid good money for that visitor, but it’s wasted unless that landing page can deliver the goal you have for the campaign.
Great, but what should those goals be?
Let’s look at four common goals of PPC landing pages for B2B lead generation campaigns AND some words of advice for achieving optimal performance out of your campaign.
1. Deliver a Download
Most B2B lead generation landing pages have some type of download functioning as a primary goal.
This download could be used for:
- Case studies.
- Spec sheets.
- Industry studies.
When it comes to downloads, many organizations struggle with whether to have the asset gated (in other words, to collect an email address or not) and few get it 100 percent right.
Some B2B campaigns require an email address for every possible download and they end up believing they’re getting no value out of their PPC lead gen campaigns since so few visitors actually convert.
What they fail to consider is that no one ever complains about a lack of emails received and people are generally wise to the notion that providing contact info will always result in getting contacted.
On the flipside, I’ve seen some B2B campaigns go the opposite direction and never ask for the email address in exchange for the download.
That’s also a mistake if they’re giving away something of clear value without getting anything in return.
Below is an example of an enterprise software company offering a white paper (also note the “free trial” and “chat” links).
Is the Download Worth an Email?
Steven Woods, the Co-Founder and former CTO of Marketing Automation Software Eloqua, wrote about the concept of an “Equitable Exchange of Information” in his book “Digital Body Language“.
Simply put, the more valuable the asset is, the more information you can ask for in exchange.
The concept is simple, yet brilliant. Obvious, yet so many fail.
That’s Great… So What Do I Do?
The easiest thing to do is to perform a couple search queries about the subject of your downloadable asset.
If the information you’re providing is easily available with a few search queries and no requirement of providing an email address, then you probably have your answer.
It’s best if you do this research long before you’re just about to launch a campaign. However, if it wasn’t, then you should either:
- Not require an email address for the asset. Instead, just make sure downloads are tracked in your analytics and have a remarketing campaign setup.
- Better yet, delay the campaign (no one will die if that happens – I promise!) and rework that asset to something that is actually unique and worthy of an email address.
2. Sales Inquiry (Lead)
This next goal is usually even better than a download.
Most of the time, a download does not equate to a sales-ready lead, or even an interested prospect ready to talk with someone for that matter.
Unfortunately, many B2B companies fail to understand this part; however, that is a subject for another post.
Some of the most common types of sales inquiries include the following actions:
- Get a quote.
- Ask a rep to call me.
- Inbound phone call (from landing page).
- Form submission.
- Interaction with live chat (or possibly chatbot).
- Request more information.
- Request product sample.
- Set appointment.
Below is an example of a manufacturing firm that keeps it simple with “Get a Quote”.
Just like the download goal, many B2B organizations also struggle with the properly optimizing for “Sales Inquiry” objectives.
These struggles can take on a variety of forms.
Here a few I’ve seen:
- Too soon: Many delude themselves into believing that they can just set up a PPC campaign, put up a landing page with a “sales inquiry” CTA as the primary goal to go along with some content, and it’ll feel like they’re printing money. Unfortunately, that prospect is seldom ready for this type of commitment after just one click of an ad so when no one converts, the campaign is viewed as a failure.
- Trying to change long-standing prospect habits: I once had a manufacturing client who absolutely hated the “Get a quote” CTA on their landing page. They insisted that their service offering was much more advanced and anyone just “looking for a quote” wasn’t a serious prospect. That logic made sense to me so we tested alternatives… that all failed. The reality is that their customer perceived the product offering as a commodity and the need to “get a quote” was practically embedded in their DNA.
- Too long of a form: Countless studies have been done on the number of form fields in relation to the conversion rate. Most of them usually end up concluding that less (form fields) is more (conversions). Of course, you should be testing this for yourself because following “best practices” doesn’t always return the best results.
- CTAs that aren’t tracked: It’s great to have a phone number on the landing page so a prospect can call you. It’s also great to have an online appointment function. It’s great when either one of them gets used. It’s not so great when they aren’t tracked.
That’s Great… So What Do I Do?
- It may be a marketing cliché to advise “always be testing”, but it really does come down to figuring out exactly what works for your audience. The only way to do really do that is by testing and validating the specific CTA and how you position it to the visitor.
- See number 3 below.
3. Gain a Commitment to Be in Front of the Prospect Again
You can’t always get a sales-ready lead.
Sometimes a downloadable asset isn’t the best answer to nurture a potential prospect.
In those cases, successful B2B companies make their landing pages work hard to gain a commitment to be in front of that prospect again.
Some examples of this include:
- Webinar signup.
- Event or seminar signup.
- Email signup.
- Product demo request.
Below is an example of a webinar signup form:
A word of caution: Getting the signup is the easy part.
Getting the prospect to actually show up for the webinar, event, or demo is the hard part.
That’s Great… So What Do I Do?
In a word: nurture.
Your job isn’t done once you earn a prospect signup for an upcoming webinar.
Make sure you have an email and SMS workflow setup to gently remind that prospect of the time and place.
Also be sure to offer some type of solution in case something has changed and the prospect can no longer make it.
Examples of that can include an opportunity to sign up for a different time, a future event, or an easy way to reschedule.
Be sure to measure the “conversion rate” of sign-ups to show-ups..
4. An ‘Engaged Visitor’
This is more of a “top of funnel” micro-conversion goal.
Some people feel it’s kind of a “fuzzy” measurement that’s hard to prove.
It certainly doesn’t look as good on a performance report as the previous goals covered in this post (downloads, inquiries, and signups) so executives in charge of budgets sometimes dismiss it with a “that’s nice, but where are my leads” type of comment.
That’s a mistake.
Companies who don’t track “top of funnel” goals eventually go on to enjoy profitable returns on shrinking volumes.
Examples of “engaged visitor” goals (and measurements for) include:
- Scroll depth (on the landing page).
- Viewing a video on the page.
- Using an interactive tool or calculator.
- Viewing an entire gallery of images on the landing page.
- Sharing the link.
- Checking out social media channels.
- Viewing additional content after the landing page.
If your PPC landing page fails to achieve one of the top three goals reviewed in this post, then at a minimum you want to see signs of an “engaged visitor”.
While you do not have a “sales-ready lead”, you have a fighting chance to later turn that visitor into one.
That’s Great… So What Do I Do?
Add these visitors to a remarketing list and you can stay in front of them while they’re in these early stages of the buyer journey.
Keep track of how big that remarketing list is getting and how well it performs.
Note: There are minimum volumes needed before ads will trigger and heavily regulated industries may not be able to take full advantage of remarketing, but that’s a topic for another post.
Final Thoughts: A Few Checklist Items
Here are some checklist items for when you’re building your landing page for that B2B PPC campaign:
- Does the landing page keep the promise of the ad? In your ad creative, you promised something to your targeted audience that prompted an action (a click). That click came with an expectation. Does the landing page keep that promise?
- If the answer to the previous questions is yes, is it obvious within 3 seconds of that click that the visitor will be able to get what has been promised?
- Whatever your conversion goal is, who is actually going to care? For example, you have a whitepaper about carbon emissions generated by aluminum manufacturing plants. Why is the visitor going to care? If you cannot answer that simple question, you need a different asset for your landing page conversion.
Hopefully the insights in this article will help you with your landing pages for your B2B PPC campaigns. Good luck!
- PPC 101: A Complete Guide to Pay-Per-Click Marketing Basics
- B2B PPC Tactics: 4 Best Practices to Start Using Today
- How Targeted Do You Need to Make Your PPC Landing Pages?
All screenshots taken by author, December 2018