SMBs can get their most valuable customers to convert with good SEO and website content.

Want to see more leads and sales on your website? Here’s a common scenario: Your content marketing strategy is in place and qualified prospects are landing on your blogs or articles from search, social and other inbound channels. They’re clicking keywords and other links to see your product pages or keyword terms, but it stops there. They aren’t converting. What’s the problem?

Landing page content and design could be part of the issue. Your news content or blog marketing campaigns may be doing their parts in terms of driving traffic and engaging prospects, but the static landing page content has to live up to prospects’ expectations when they click through. There are steps you can take to create landing pages that compel prospects to become clients. In fact, a recent blog post, ContentLEAD focused on the successful content marketing strategy implemented by Landmark Bank. The initiative was driven by landing pages with concise, action-oriented copy. 

Here are some questions to ask yourself about your landing pages that can guide conversion optimizaton.

Is your landing page copy compelling?

Landing pages need to be engaging. When assessing your landing page content, consider similar audience targeting tactics that were used to inform your blogs or articles. The landing pages need to be SEO-friendly, but they also must be user-friendly. This will help you join the ranks of more than 50 percent of businesses who win leads from content marketing.

ContentLEAD recently reported that 40 percent of small businesses using content marketing believe the campaign is key to improving their lead generation. While you should have a variety of content on your site, landing pages are a major component of this strategy. Develop content that speaks to prospects about the strengths of your products or services, and use concise active language aimed at convincing them to take the next steps to conversion. 

Whether you are using paid search to direct traffic to landing pages, internal linking to guide organic visitors to these pages or some combination of the two, consider the copy that inspired the click to the landing page. Does the information it provides match what a user would expect? Consistent messages throughout your content will help. The news or blog articles that drew users should contain a message that leads into the main idea of your landing page. A study from Monetate found that SMBs with consistent messaging throughout their content experienced 20 to 50 percent higher conversion rates than other organizations.

Once you’ve mastered the copy that explains why landing page visitors must take the next step, you need to make sure it’s clear how they can take the next step.

Are your calls to action being heard (or seen)?

The landing page buttons and links aimed at converting prospects should appeal to users on multiple levels.

First, the messaging should be similar to your other content. While the copy will certainly be shorter, it needs contain similar language to the rest of the page, and the directive should be relevant to the content on a page. For instance, if you offer a suite of data protection software, ranging from email filters to antivirus solutions, the call to action on a landing page about your email filter product can reference the filter. Invite people to “Request a free email filter trial” or “Download our email filter now.”

By creating nuanced calls to action that fit specific products referenced on a landing page, you’ll increase the chances that visitors will click through. Moreover, the CTAs should be graphically appealing without overwhelming the rest of the content on a page. At no point should a prospect have to think about which step to take. The landing page’s call to action must be situated in a place likely to draw the eye once the content has been read.

Is your page design optimized for seamless conversion?

Page layout is critical for the success of any landing page campaign. Like we covered in the previous section, at no point should a prospect be overwhelmed by any of the elements of a page. Incenting visitors to carry out transactions on a conversion page means guiding them to the CTA clearly and subtly.

The first part of the page they notice should be the landing page copy they came to the page to read. There should be more useful content on the page that promotional calls to action. By giving your pages a quick look your should be able to assess, for example, whether the page has the a large enough product image and robust enough product description compared to the shopping cart icon, though users should be able to click the call to action without thinking too much.

Some basic best practices include putting th CTA above the fold on a page so users don’t have to scroll down to find it, and often it’s advised to put the calls to action in the “sweet spot” – the upper right corner.

Ensure that every element of a page feeds into the next, while remaining easily navigable for all users. You wouldn’t want broken links to hold prospects back!

Do you test your landing pages to with the most conversion?

Some of your landing page optimization techniques will be successful, while others may not result in purchases, leads or whatever your conversion focus is. That’s why you need to test regularly. Analyze the data you use to gauge the effectiveness of a web campaign. You can use reverse conversion paths in the (free!) Google Analytics tool to see which landing pages are directly feeding into your website conversions, as well as a number of other reports that show the value of different content pages in driving website goals.

Testing will not only help you see which pages are most successful, but it gives you a competitive edge in using largely untapped data to optimize your landing pages. Sixty-one percent of small businesses with active web marketing campaigns test their websites fewer than five time each month, according to Monetate.

Every element of your page should be tested for both effectiveness and technical operation. Sixty-three percent of SMBs that frequently test their websites analyze website copy, while 72 percent do so for CTAs. Additionally, Monetate research shows 71 percent test the layout of their website. You should also make sure all of your links work and bring users to the intended pages.

When it comes to landing page optimization, no matter how well your site is performing, small business owners should always be looking to make improvements. A presence on the web is essential – and maintaining visibility and online leads can be a challenge as the internet is constantly evolving. That said, your website content should be evolving as well.