‘Closet space to die for…trails right outside your door.’
Recently, I thought that I’d made up my mind about where I was going to live. That is, until my friend suggested another alternative…
‘The best restaurants steps away…organized events any time of day.’
Gulp…I was split between two living situations: stretching my arms beyond the city borders or getting that all-so-convenient city apartment. It was a pretty big life decision that I wasn’t prepared to make.
Working in marketing, you’re likely met with tough decisions like these all the time. Maybe not life-altering, but tough nonetheless. For instance, should you send your web traffic to a lofty, wide-open website? Or would it be better to send them to a smaller abode like a dedicated landing page?
As I make my housing checklist, here are 5 tips to help you evaluate your own landing page and website real estate and make the right choice:
1. Landing Pages Maintain Focus
Software buyers are busy people who are already inundated with lots of information, and, ultimately, they really care about their needs. By using concise design and copy on your landing pages, you can quickly emphasize how your software will make a prospect’s life easier. While newsletters, press releases, and brochures have their place in the marketing mix, they distract users from the goal of your landing page – generating leads. Because you can limit the navigation on a landing page, it’s easy to visually prompt a prospect to take the desired next step- like signing up for a demo, trial, or quote–with a capture form on the same page. Curious to see what that looks like? Check out Unbounce’s customer landing page gallery for some great examples.
2. Landing Pages Are More Targeted
Not all prospects are created equal. If you’re running specific keyword campaigns targeting a particular industry or job title, landing pages give you more flexibility to tailor the content to your audience. For example, if a collaboration software company runs a ‘Sales Collaboration’ keyword campaign, while also running another campaign on the broader term, ‘Business Collaboration’, they could send the traffic to two separate landing pages instead of trying to make the language on their website cater to both. Not surprisingly, the landing page that speaks specifically to a sales team searching from ‘Sales Collaboration’ will perform better than a website that caters to everyone. A targeted landing page should include a relevant testimonial, in this case, from a sales person (ex. if it works for them, it should work for me!).
3. Landing Pages Are Easy
There are plenty of simple landing page tools readily available, and they give less-HTML-savvy marketers the ability to build great landing pages quickly (and without even having to bother their busy webmasters). Landing pages also allow for easy A/B testing, so you can decide what works best before making larger website overhauls. Because they’re so quick and simple to create, landing pages can help you identify “quick wins” that would take weeks or even months to realize on your full website. It’s important to not just optimize landing pages and then neglect your website. As you find tactics that work on your landing pages, go back and optimize your website too since you’re still generating some traffic and leads there as well.
4. Websites Contain Useful Navigation
Your website can speak to prospects throughout the buying cycle, with different content catered to buyers at each step of the way. Good navigation allows them to find all the information you have to offer and quickly self-select whatever content speaks most to them. For example, someone very early on in the buying cycle might not understand what they need, so a case study or e-book would be a great resource for them. Another buyer may be further down the pipeline and ready to demo or get into a free trial. (Note: while it’s a great idea to have multiple offers for various audiences, you should always make one stand out as the primary call to action on your website. Generally, it should be whichever offer delivers the most qualified, sales-ready leads, like a free demo or free trial.)
5. Websites Help a Complex Sale
Buyers of larger, more complex software, typically have a lot of research to do before they’re ready to move forward with a demo. They’ll likely have a point-person doing research who will then present their findings to a selection team, before the team chooses a handful of solutions to demo. Websites are much more helpful to these types of buyers, because they’ll do research and navigate your site (sometimes over multiple visits) prior to engaging with a sales person or filling out a form. A website better equips your prospects with the information they need to build the case for their team, which will help you win that demo down the road.
So, even though I chose to dwell in suburbia and my friend chose her city apartment, we’re both very happy with the results. “It depends,”’ is a rather disappointing answer to the question of whether a landing page or website will result in higher conversions, but your circumstances really matter. At the end of the day, your website is going to play a role in lead gen no matter what, so it’s easy to say start there. But then there are plenty of software marketers that don’t have much control over their website, and they can gain higher conversion rates much more quickly by using a landing page service. Given your target market and circumstances, hopefully these tips help you in choosing a strategy that works for you.
Since I’m still waiting for my first housewarming visitors, I’d love to hear from those of you that have used both a website and a landing page for your web visitor e-house parties. What’s worked best for you and why?