B2B Landing Page Best Practices
B2B products and services are often complex, making their value propositions difficult to convey in the short time most visitors stay on a page. On top of that, their customers’ buying process is multi-layered, with 2-3 stakeholders that must buy into any purchasing decision. The role of B2B landing pages then, is not just to quickly capture the attention of sales prospects, but also to leave a lasting impression that can turn visitors into evangelists within their companies.
To describe how to create excellent B2B landing pages, we’ve identified 6 best practices over the course of our 13 years working in B2B content marketing. They are:
- Develop customer personas to define your audience for each page
- Communicate your value proposition in the headline
- Promote visitor flow with images, formatting, and white space
- Use personalized calls-to-action to increase conversion
- Link to useful, related pages for further research
- Test and iterate on success
Develop Customer Personas to Define Your Audience for Each Page
Determining a landing page’s UI and content begins with understanding its primary audience. A page targeting a high-level executive should focus on the expected ROI of using the product and trust elements that establish authority and experience. A page targeting an individual contributor should highlight key features and solutions to pain points that will make that employee’s job easier.
The best way to define your audience is by creating customer personas. Begin by surveying your existing customer base. Look for commonalities in their demographics and purchase patterns so that you can group them by factors such as:
- Purchase history
- Expected lifetime value
- Job title
- Professional goals and objectives
- Pain points
These groupings can then be used to paint a picture of the customer types that your product speaks to in the form of customer personas. Below is an example of a customer persona that a project management software company might develop:
Mark is a senior project manager at a mid-sized B2B SaaS company. His primary responsibility is to oversee the planning and implementation of new product features, including budgeting, staffing, and scheduling. He is judged by how effectively his team stays on schedule and on budget, as well as his ability to adjust for unforeseen challenges that arise during development.
Mark feels successful when his project estimates are accurate, particularly when those projects are complex or large in scope; when the team members he leads demonstrate trust in his leadership; and when he feels like his efforts are genuinely contributing to the success of his team. Mark’s day is made harder when unforeseen challenges arise during development; when he doesn’t have the ability to make informed estimates; and when the project management platform he relies on suffers from bugs or downtime.
These personas inform your writers and designers as they work to create content that speaks to your target audience. For example, if your writers know that Mark struggles with the reliability of his company’s project management platform, they can highlight the low downtime of your own software.
As you identify the various selling points that will appeal to your target audience, your next decision is what order to lay them out on your landing page. The most important selling point, of course, should go in the headline.
Communicate Your Value Proposition in The Headline
On average, visitors spend only 37 seconds on a B2B website before moving on. Communicating your value proposition as early as possible means you’re likely to catch the attention of your target audience member quickly and keep them on the page.
Most B2B headlines consist of vague sales jargon. Statements like “best-in-class” or “state-of-the-art” are ineffective ways of communicating value, as they don’t say anything specific about the product or how it will help the visitor. Compare the following two headlines:
Headline 1: Best-In-Class Project Management Software
Headline 2: Manage Projects with One Intuitive Tool
While the first statement, “Best-In-Class Project Management Software” does tell a visitor what the product is, it doesn’t tell them why they need it. The second, “Manage Projects With One Intuitive Tool” speaks to an audience with a specific need: project managers who are currently switching between several complicated softwares.
In a sense, your headline is an elevator pitch for your product. It may be your one chance to convince your audience to keep reading. And once they do, your next job is to keep their attention all the way down the page.
Promote Visitor Flow with Images, Formatting, and White Space
To promote visitor movement down the page, landing pages must take a visual approach, utilizing images, tables, graphs, and other design elements that encourage visitors to keep scrolling. The best landing page designers know not only what to include, but what to leave out, leaving enough white space between elements to draw the reader’s attention to the most important parts of the page.
Variety is a related factor in creating visually appealing landing pages. No one wants to read a page that consists of blocks of text. While text is still important, paragraphs should be kept short (3-4 lines maximum) and interesting to keep the reader moving.
Below are some elements that successful B2B landing pages use to increase visual variety and promote visitor flow:
|Name||Description||Best Use Case|
|Image||Relevant, original photos of the product or service that either depict someone getting value from using it or show the ultimate outcome visitors are seeking.||Breaking up large blocks of text.
|Table||A visually appealing table that displays information in a way that allows for quick comprehension.||Product/service/company comparison|
|Graphs||An appealing depiction of data that conveys an insight.||Communicating correlated numerical information.|
|Interactive Elements||Calculator, tools, and other widgets that deliver value and keep the visitor on the page.||Engage users while capturing contact information|
|Trust Elements||Client logos, testimonials, or awards that prove the effectiveness of your product.||Building trust with visitors and establishing yourself as an expert.|
A good way to test the effectiveness of your landing page is what we call the “scroll test.” Starting at the top of the page, slowly scroll down. Without reading anything, consider:
- Does the page vary in weight and hold the reader’s attention on a base level?
- Does the page consist of a variety of visual elements that pushes the reader forward?
- Is text broken up into small, easily digestible chunks?
- Are your CTAs easily identifiable/readable?
The answer to all these questions should be “yes.” If it is, you’ll be able to maintain their interest until they reach a call-to-action later in the page.
Use Personalized Calls-to-Action to Increase Conversion
While every B2B marketer knows that landing pages must include a CTA that concisely describes actionable next steps for the reader, much rarer is the marketer who knows how to personalize each CTAs to their specific audience and location on the landing page to generate the most conversions.
The first step is understanding the difference between mid-page and bottom-of-page CTAs. Mid-page CTAs will be read by somewhat engaged visitors, who are interested enough to scroll halfway but aren’t invested in reading to the end of the page. The bottom-of-page CTA, on the other hand, is seen by the most interested visitors, and the most likely to become valuable sales prospects. The table below compares how mid-page and bottom-of-page CTAs should differ:
||Typically softer language, saving your hard sales-pitch material for the end page.||A short paragraph referencing the previous section that encourages one of the listed recommendations.|
||Takes a more sales-oriented approach, encouraging the reader to make a purchase.||A built-in contact form, or “Buy now” button that takes the visitor to a checkout page.|
Both of these CTAs offer the reader a variety of options to keep them interested in making a purchase or, at the very least, keep them on your website as they scroll through linked articles and learn more about your product.
When writing CTAs, your team should also keep in mind the persona targeted by the page. For example, a page targeting a lower level employee will see more success with softer “learn more” CTAs, as those employees will not have the authority to make a unilateral purchasing decision. They’ll need to present a compelling case to their managers, a process which can also be aided by including links to useful, related pages.
Link to Useful, Related Pages for Further Research
Although the best case scenario is for readers to immediately reach out to your sales team or buy your product, the reality is that most visitors won’t be ready to make a purchase offhand. They’ll need to discuss the matter further with supervisors, get clearance with accounting to make a purchase, or simply want to learn more about the product before making the final decision.
A single landing page can’t effectively accommodate all of these disparate needs, but what they can do is offer avenues for learning more while keeping the visitor on your website. Including relevant links to more in-depth information contained on your blog, or in reports and white papers is the simplest way to do so. The pages you link to should be:
- Relevant to the LP: Make sure that your linked articles discuss items that have appeared in the previous sections to keep the reader on-track and interested.
- Presented Well: Readers are more likely to click on articles with snappy, relevant titles and engaging images. (Our B2B SaaS Landing Pages guide discusses this in more detail, showing multiple examples of how to make your linked articles appear interesting.)
In addition to providing readers with ways to learn more, linking to white papers or reports is an excellent way of encouraging trackable actions that you can use to evaluate the optimization of your landing page.
Test and Iterate on Success
An optimized LP relies on consistent testing and variation to make it more conversion friendly. Although sales are the golden metric every B2B company knows to track, microconversions — smaller actions that result in measurable data for your website — will help you evaluate the effectiveness of your LP.
Microconversions include clicking over to linked articles, leaving contact information, or even clicking to expand images. These actions may not be sales, but they indicate a general interest or engagement in your content which could lead to sales in the future.
Most importantly, microconversions help marketing teams understand what among their LP is holding the reader’s attention. From there, they can experiment with underperforming elements through A/B testing, which consists of changing a single element on the LP to test for changes in conversion. For example:
|Option A||Option B|
|“Try our demo for 30 days, completely free”||“Try our demo for 45 days, completely free”|
Running A/B testing successfully requires three essential qualities:
- Patience: A/B testing is an effective way to measure changes on your website, but the process takes time. After making a change, you will need to leave it alone for 4-6 weeks before re-evaluating.
- Selectivity: Because you must only change one thing at a time in order to determine the cause of any differences seen between each variation, the ability to prioritize testing elements is necessary to make efficient use of testing time.
- Adaptability: The review process for A/B testing is simple; if Option B performs better than option A did, use option B and alter from there. If option A performed better, keep it how it was and experiment with other changes.
Working With B2B Landing Page Experts
Effectively implementing all six of these best practices requires a team with a diverse set of skills, which many B2B companies find difficult to build in-house. A common solution is to work with an external agency that specializes in creating effective landing pages for driving conversion.
Our firm is one such agency, with over 12 years of experience working with B2B companies in complex, technical fields. Feel free to reach out to us if you’re interested in learning more about our design and content marketing services.