How Landing Pages Can Significantly Improve Your Online Presence

If you’d like to know more about how a robust landing page can help convert more customers, keep reading! First impressions are extremely important, which is why there’s no such thing as a second impression! As a small business or professional service firm, if you want to convert potential customers, you’ve got to hook them with a great landing page.

cover imageMain image courtesy of 4 Corner Resources.

So why is it that many firms neglect to put the time into this essential part of their online presence? In this article, we’re going to delve a little deeper into:

  • Why a robust landing page is necessary
  • Best practices for developing a landing page
  • How to properly test your landing page

Why a Robust Landing Page is Essential

Landing pages can provide a make or break moment for potential customers. Designing the right kind of landing page can help drive more traffic and increase conversions.

Having an online presence as a small business or professional service firm is a must–it allows you to continually grow your business and is typically the first point of contact on the customer journey. And having an eye-catching and engaging landing page is a great way to ensure you’re making the most of your online presence.

image2Image courtesy of Identity Agency.

A landing page is where the customer is directed to after they have clicked on an ad or other marketing tool, such as an email or social media post. They are also great ways to drive organic traffic to your site when they’re optimized for SEO, which can generate more leads and a greater number of conversions.

Unfortunately, many firms aren’t setting up this essential digital marketing tool in a way that benefits their goal–which is to increase conversions and sales. When customers land on this type of page, it should be set up in such a way that it is easy to navigate, encourages the potential customer to give their information, and catches their eye with engaging copy or an offer/deal. Essentially, landing pages are meant to display your call to action.

A landing page is not the same as a home page, which could be where some of the confusion lies. A homepage is where you set up what your company does, its history, team members, and what your products/services are. On the other hand, a landing page is designed to:

  • Exist separately from the rest of your website with one goal in mind–conversion
  • Provide your firm with traffic that is interested in a specific offer or product
  • Get the potential customer to engage with your call to action (leave an email, fill out a form, download information)

Elements of a Great Landing Page

How to ensure your landing page is top-notch. Landing pages aren’t hard to create, but they should include some essential information.

image 3Image courtesy of Eternity Marketing.

When designing your landing page, it pays to sit down and work out exactly how you want it to appear in order to maximize engagement. Don’t waste your valuable time and resources, instead consider following these easy tips the next time your team needs a landing page for a campaign!

Make a clear call to action

Since this is what a landing page is all about, don’t let this get lost in your page creation! Having a clear call to action, whether it’s asking for an email or to fill out a form–what you want your customers to do should be very obvious to them. They’ve clicked through to see your landing page, now make sure the focus of your page is evident and easy to get to.

Ensure the design is clean

No one wants to see an overly busy landing page, which is why it’s essential to leave white space so the visitor is not distracted. This goes back to first impressions, if they do not like your landing page, they’ll quickly leave, costing you a potential conversion. This is another reason why landing pages should never be home pages–it is too easy to get distracted or lost among the company information!

Choose compelling images

Choose images, graphics, and videos wisely, and make sure they’re designed to make an impression. The written copy on your landing page should be precise and to the point, so make sure you choose a compelling image to accompany it that drives home your call to action.

Ask for the right amount of information

The information you gain from your customers such as their email or contact information should be just enough so it can help you in the future, but not feel too intrusive. Find a middle ground where you’re asking for just enough that it’s useful to your firm, and then provide them with the lead generation offer. This information can help you connect with customers in the future, and segment them for additional campaigns.

These are the basic building blocks of effective landing pages. If your company is looking for growth, follow these steps to help increase traffic and conversion.

Measure What Works (and What Doesn’t) with Your Landing Page

Use A/B testing to determine what does and doesn’t work

An effective way to determine what works best for your audience is to employ the use of A/B testing. This type of test shows your landing page visitor’s two distinct options, and you can use the conversion data drawn from both to determine which works best. This is a great way to see which version is performing better, so you’re not wasting your time with a sub-par landing page. Because A/B testing is data-driven, there will always be one that outperforms the other, so make sure to use that one.

If you want your campaign to convert the way that it should, a landing page is essential. When you measure its effectiveness with A/B testing, you can be sure you’re converting the optimal amount of visitors. When landing pages are set up correctly, you’ll notice more conversions, which means more growth for your small business or professional service firm! Here’s one more thing to add to your toolkit to enhance your landing page-building expertise to a different level. Grab this playbook to get a detailed look into what makes a winning landing page strategy.

Lead Generation Ideas for Each Stage of the Sales Funnel

In this guide, we will show you how to implement the best lead generation ideas at every stage in your sales funnel.

Growing your B2B business means continuing to acquire new customers. One of the best ways to do this is through lead generation, and convert prospects into sales. It’s now easier than ever to get your brand in front of potential customers with the use of digital marketing and social media, but it is also just as easy to have your brand lost in the noise of competitors. This is why lead generation at all stages of the buyer’s journey is so crucial to growing your business and generating more sales.

There are lead generation strategies your company can use at each stage of the sales funnel. In this post, we’ll be touching on how you can learn:

  • What lead generation is and how it relates to the sales funnel
  • Lead generation strategies for each sales funnel stage

What is Lead Generation and How Does it Relate to the Sales Funnel?

How using the sales funnel can help you target leads.

Lead-Generation

Leads aren’t just at the top of the sales funnel, they’re at each level! 

As you already know, there are a myriad of potential customers out there who could be interested in your B2B company’s product or service – all of whom could be considered leads.  Unfortunately, this just is not the case, as the products or services may not be a great fit to meet their specific needs at this time. In order to help narrow down all of these possible leads, it helps to have a lead generation strategy. Lead generation is a digital marketing tool that focuses on attracting and nurturing potential prospects in order to try and convince them to purchase from you. In the digital world, leads can come from all over the place–from social media interactions, subscribers to your blog, or even organic searches that create traffic on your site.

So where does the sales funnel play into all of this? When prospects show an interest in your product or service, they are rarely ready to engage in a relationship or purchase what you’re offering the first time they visit your site or comment on a social media post. Every lead could be at a different phase in the sales funnel–from just researching and becoming aware of your product or service, to considering starting to develop a relationship with your firm. As a perceptive business owner, you know that leads can be captured at each stage of the sales funnel, so you’ll need ways to target those leads accordingly. Let’s look a little further into some of these lead generation ideas that you can employ to capture leads, convert them to sales, and grow your business.

Lead Generation Strategies for Each Stage of the Sales Funnel

What your B2B can do to target leads throughout the course of the sales funnel

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Having strategies to target leads at each stage of the sales funnel will increase your conversions and lead to more customers.

In order to get the most out of your lead generation ideas, it’s important to broaden your strategy to encompass and engage with leads at each step of the sales funnel. There are plenty of potential leads out there who haven’t heard of your company that might be interested, but there are also those out there who have heard of your business–they just aren’t aware you can meet their business challenges yet. You need to reach leads no matter where they are in their buying process.

Awareness

At the top level of the sales funnel, you’ll want to focus on lead generation strategies that build on your brand awareness and how you can potentially solve the business challenges of prospects. Work on getting your company in front of the right eyes and start to develop that crucial sense of trust.

Lead generation ideas to focus on:

  • Create a website with appropriate SEO so that your business is found in organic searches.
  • Take advantage of paid advertising options such as PPC that target keywords and will bring visitors to your site.
  • Utilize social media, such as LinkedIn, to get your name out there. Once you know where your potential leads are, target that platform and create the kind of content those leads want to see.

Interest

At this stage, your leads have shown an interest and have perhaps signed up for your newsletter or blog. Now that you have an access point to a lead (email address), it’s crucial that you use that to your advantage. This is when you want to focus on retaining their interest and engaging with them on a regular basis with content that they care about.

Lead generation ideas to focus on:

  • Using an email drip campaign that sends leads information about your product or service, or case studies where you’ve been successful in the past. This type of content can also focus on the benefits of your product and how it solves key industry challenges. You may also consider developing comparisons of your product/service with competitors and what sets you apart.

Consideration

Moving towards the middle part of the sales funnel, leads are exploring their options and maybe close to the point of making a decision. At this crucial stage your leads now already know about your brand and how your firm can meet their business challenges. Now is the time to continue to engage with them, let them know how your brand stands apart from the rest, and even offer them something extra as well.

Lead generation ideas to focus on:

Action

At this point, leads are ready to develop a business relationship with you and utilize your product or service. It’s time to turn those leads in the decision phase into conversions and eventually happy customers.

Lead generation ideas to focus on:

  • Your sales pitch shows leads at the end of the sales funnel that your company can meet its business challenges.
  • Offer to provide them with references of customers pleased with your product or service.

As you can see, lead generation is something your company should take advantage of at every step of the sales funnel. Even after the sale is complete, you can still work on lead generation. Ask your satisfied customer to leave a review, or if they’d consider offering their testimonial. Another great lead generation strategy after the sale is a referral program that will incentivize customers to recommend you to their colleagues. See how fast you can grow your business with lead generation at each stage of the sales funnel!

10 Things to do to Improve Your Pipeline

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As a professional service provider, there are a lot of things that you have to do to stay on top of your business. Marketing is one of those things. But the problem is that you are, ultimately, trading time for money, so you work in your business, not on it.

Marketing is often as foreign to you as your business is to your clients but there are still others things that will improve your pipeline.

So what can you do? Well, here are some low-tech basics that you probably already have connections to help you handle. This won’t cost a fortune (although they may make you one).

How can you improve your pipeline

    • Research – I know, sounds weird, right? Not at all! By taking the time to understand where and who your clients are, and understand the demographics of 80% of your client base, you can figure out where you need to market. This research could be as easy as building a short survey to send them or as in-depth as a face-to-face meeting. But this is the stuff that lets you know who is your client and what they need.
    • Specializing Strategy – Many of us in the professional services are trained as generalists. We go through years of school and training. We finally begin to specialize, then we branch out to build a larger client base. After all, there is only the need for so many forensic accountants in Sylvester, Georgia. This is the wrong way to think about it. You are no longer bound by geographical limitations, but to get business you have to be different. And to be different you need to specialize and become the trusted expert in your professional services field.
    • Your Website has to Professional – If you have an old looking website or, is unresponsive (won’t scale on mobile devices) or one that doesn’t do anything to engage the client, then you need to invest – right now. Well-built websites have clear calls to action, engage the viewer, and seek to collect their information. In some way – offering a free download, scheduling a strategy session, or taking a survey. All this serves to build your database and segment that audience for you to keep touching them and will improve your pipeline. Research shows that the majority of people buying professional services will first come to your website before making a decision.
    • SEO – Search Engine Optimization. Just like with the website above, you need to make sure that you are at the top of local search. And specific targeted points in the searches that your customers (remember that you know who they are now due to your research) are doing.
    • Advertising – Yep. Here it is, and it shouldn’t be the same-old, same-old. Your advertising budget should reflect both online and off-line strategies with budgets and specific deliverables that you expect from the company/s that are handling it for you. Some of this will come organically, while you simply do what you do, but other parts are “pay to play”. Link your success to the firm that is helping you by expecting certain things are done, and certain tangible results are delivered. Don’t just randomly buy advertising.
    • Social Media – This is a strange phenomenon because it should be free. But companies pay thousands of dollars a month (and make 10, 15, or 100 times that in well-built campaigns) to make sure that the right target market for their company sees their advertising. While we can’t tell you not to try the free stuff first – and a lot of it does just take time, not money – having a part-time pro to handle your professional service company’s social media image may just be money well spent.
    • CRM‘s – Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is an essential application for a professional service firm. CRMs allow you to keep in touch with your client (or potential client) automatically. Packages like Clio (for the legal services business) and comparable applications for other professional services offer a low total start-up and on-boarding cost and training to get you right where you need to be – talking to customers that are looking for you.
    • Referrals – this should be a surprise, but have you gone through your database of clients and thought about asking them for referrals? Don’t get so caught up that you neglect your will to improve your pipeline and how they can help you grow your firm. At the same time, there is a right time and a wrong time for asking for referrals.
    • Don’t be married – to what you’re doing right now in any marketing. At the very least, experiment with fonts, times for when emails are sent, changing up the sender email, the title, anything and everything should be in flux. This is where a great CRM can help. Because you can see open rates for specific emails to drill down on what your clients want to read. You have to test or you can’t expand.
    • Reports are due! The best news in all this is that you can put this all back on to a contractor to handle. Require that they report on data for open rates, click-through rates, and dozens of other pieces in this whole program. For the amount of time you can save, you can easily pick up the ideas that these folks are discussing with you. Educate yourself on what “good” really looks like for your sector.

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Survey Instrument Says: Get to Know Your Client

The survey instrument is one of the best and easiest ways to elicit data from your clients that you can use right away. You can obtain a great deal of objective and quantitative information, and it’s easy for your clients if you create your survey in the right way.

Survey response rates trends below. They hover somewhere around 10% to 20% at most, depending on your current relationship with your audience. This is unfortunate, but you can help to raise response rates by keeping survey instrument short and focused, and by providing incentives. Decide exactly which data is the most important to you and only ask what’s absolutely relevant.

When making your survey instruments, it’s best to have a mix of “big picture” questions and questions that are highly focused. These “big picture” questions tend to boost response rates because they’re easy for survey takers to answer. If there are too many complex questions, this will drive survey takers away. The “big picture” questions also give you a broader sense of who they are and what they believe, while the focused questions elicit more specific information. Try to strike a good balance, but don’t overload your survey with questions or your survey takers won’t finish it.

The survey instrument serves several purposes:

  • Allows you to stay front of mind with your clients
  • Positions your firm as a thought leader
  • Help identify key trends and client problems
  • Differentiates you from the competition

For more information on how to create a productive client survey instrument and use it to the benefit of your professional service company, read the full report titled, Know Your Client

Offline Tactics to Get More Clients

One of the challenges that we see with a lot of our clients is that they are overly focused on Social Media and are ignoring some more effective offline tactics. When you meet people offline, you have the opportunity to create an even stronger relationship with them. You can also find potential clients you wouldn’t have found online and because you have had a dialog with them, you have a better opportunity to position your firm as a trusted advisor.

Events and Meet-ups

Find networking events and meet-ups that are related to the services you offer. Look for conferences, exhibitions, trade shows, talks, and other events where you’re likely to encounter your potential clients and get ready to network. Prepare materials to pass out and an elevator pitch to deliver, and follow up with everyone you meet afterward by phone or email.

You can also gain clients from ordinary community events. Any event could be an opportunity. When you attend community events, make yourself visible and come prepared with materials explaining what you do.

If there aren’t many events in your area, you can try creating your own. Create an event that will deliver a fun and exciting experience to those who attend. Put yourself in the shoes of your potential client and try to determine what sort of event they’d be excited to attend. Your event doesn’t have to be huge; it just needs to attract the right people and offer them something valuable. For example, consider starting a mastermind group or CEO roundtable.

Your Local Chamber of Commerce

If you’re not already a member of your local chamber of commerce or other business groups, you should join. The chamber of commerce is a group of local business people whose aim is to promote economic growth in the community. This is an excellent opportunity for networking and meeting potential clients. However, these organizations charge for membership, so it is an expense for your business.

Membership in your chamber of commerce brings you visibility and credibility in the community, which can lead to more clients in the future. You’ll also get referrals, as many individuals and organizations contact the chamber of commerce when looking for services in a local area.

For the price you pay to join your local chamber of commerce, there are other business benefits as well beyond just finding new clients. You’ll have access to members-only discounts and services and other benefits, including discounts and exclusive access to networking events.

To learn more tactics for gaining more clients, check out our report titled Get More Clients for Your Professional Service Business.