shuttle3What are B2B SEM Landing Pages?

B2B SEM landing pages play a pivotal role in any online marketing campaign. Search engine marketing (SEM) seeks to increase a business’s traffic and sales leads by using search engine channels. This style of online strategy draws from a collection of marketing tools: search engine optimization (SEO) for websites, the use of paid search advertisements to attract targeted traffic, and the creation of business to business (B2B) landing pages to direct that traffic toward desired conversion activities.

Pay per click (PPC) landing pages are where your prospective clients wind up after clicking on a paid ad. SEO landing pages are the destination for your prospects after they click on an offer or an organic search result. Both of these pages fall under the umbrella of SEM landing page strategy and face the same challenge: in those three critical seconds right after a visitor arrives on a page, they must

  1. Capture the visitor’s attention
  2. Convince him or her of the value of the offer promoted on the page
  3. Seamlessly guide the visitor to the desired action, usually the filling out of a (preferably short) SEM lead capture form, in order to receive the offer.

SEM Landing Pages: Converting Web Traffic into Web Leads

For most B2B companies, search engines are still a rich source of web leads. Potential customers and interested buyers still turn to search engine results to find information about B2B companies and services. A recent SEO case study determined that 90% of all Internet transactions start with a search engine, and that 93% of Web users don’t look beyond the first page of search results.

But B2B SEM web leads come as a result of a multi-step approach. This strategy relies heavily on B2B PPC landing pages, which draw from paid ad streams, and on SEO landing pages, which capitalize on organic search results. Both landing page styles should focus on targeted keywords so that only qualified traffic is driven to them, potential clients that have a genuine interest in your industry and products.

Once these prospects arrive on your landing page, they need to be given the opportunity to access offers, such as free content like a whitepaper or an ebook. The offer can also be something besides content, such as a sign-up for your next webinar, or a free demo of your services. These options should be available through a clear on-site form, which should in turn provide you with a list of targeted, highly qualified B2B SEM leads you can then nurture.

Every PPC ad should have an accompanying B2B PPC landing page. It does no good to spend money on attracting to your website when the only page you can direct them to is your homepage. No matter how well-crafted your homepage is, a focused PPC landing page with a single specific offer will always be far more effective at converting web traffic into leads.

SEM Landing Page Design: How to Build Effective SEM Landing Pages

At Sprint Marketing, much of our engagement with clients involves the creation of high-performing landing pages. Along the way, we have identified a few vital B2B landing page optimization steps you should expect from any expert firm you hire to generate quality SEO and B2B PPC leads (otherwise known as MQLs, or marketing qualified leads):

1. Identify good B2B keywords. These keywords should be thoroughly researched and vetted before being integrated into your PPC ads and online SEO efforts.
2. Craft a compelling SEM CTA. Once the right keywords are selecting, your expert firm should create ads that reflect the SEM calls-to-action that will appeal to a prospective client.
3. Create SEM web forms. Your marketing firm should create website forms that are optimized to convert qualified visitors into leads for your sales team.
4. Test and refine landing pages. Expert firms should always be testing landing pages for performance. SEM landing page optimization involves making changes to page elements (typically one change per 100 forms submitted) over time to maximize your ROI (return on investment).

SEO Strategy vs. SEM Strategy

SEM lead generation can seem very similar to SEO lead generation. However, when designing your marketing campaign and its accompanying landing pages, it is important to understand the difference between the two and how they are connected. By comparing them, you discover that B2B SEM strategy includes:

  • SEO. SEO is a tool in the SEM toolbox. It is used to refine and optimize your website so that it ranks in organic search engine results involving the keywords you have targeted.
  • Off-site ads that lead to landing pages. These are used to draw prospects to your landing pages.
  • Tools like CRMs and call tracking. Customer relationship management (CRM) systems are used after the prospects have filled out the landing page form or made a phone call to a company representative. The effectiveness of SEM website forms and phone numbers listed on the website should be tracked with online analytics software or call tracking. These provide insight into which keywords, ads and landing pages perform well and which require fine tuning.

Top-Converting Qualities of an SEM Landing Page

Building landing pages involves evaluating several page elements and gearing them toward your target audience. At Sprint Marketing, we have discovered four crucial page elements companies should focus on when creating landing pages:

  • A bold, clear headline. Your headline should bring instant focus to the landing page. It must inform the visitor that they have arrived on the right webpage and that the offer that prompted them to click on the ad is available here.
  • A visible call to action. The CTA tells the visitor what he or she must do to obtain the offer. Most companies will use a large, brightly colored button situated under or near the form to draw attention to their CTA.
  • Uncluttered design. The landing page ought to be clean and should concentrate around a single offer. To simplify the choices on the page, remove navigation, excessive images and other offers so the prospect doesn’t get confused or distracted.
  • A thank-you page. Once the prospect has filled out the web lead form and clicked your CTA button, he or she should then be taken to a thank-you page. On the thank-you page, your lead is thanked for completing the form. The value of the offer is usually restated, and links can be provided that lead to other offers available on your other SEM landing pages.

What to Track on an SEM Landing Page

Consumer behavior and search engine algorithms are always changing. That is why consistently testing your landing pages’ performance is so essential to the success of your marketing campaign. Here at Sprint Marketing, based on our experience with landing pages, we have identified these key performance metrics for landing pages:

  • Number of visits. SEM click-through tells you just how successful your PPC ad is at attracting interested visitors. From there you will want to evaluate visitor behavior once they are on the landing page.
  • Time spent on page. Whether a visitor converts or not, it’s useful to know how long he or she remained on the site.
  • Bounce rate. This consists of the number of visitors who leave your landing page within a few seconds. High bounce rates can mean that your keywords aren’t drawing in the right kind of traffic, or perhaps there are page elements that are scaring off prospective leads.
  • SEM conversions. This is the number of landing page visitors who engage in the desired action endorsed by your CTA. Comparing the number of visits to the SEM landing page conversion rate can offer a snapshot of your landing pages’ performance. PPC conversion rate should also be considered when evaluating the success of your PPC ads.

Get Your Free Leads Analysis to See How Sprint Marketing Can Optimize Your SEM Landing Pages Today

Sprint Marketing increases client web leads by helping them build high-performance B2B SEM landing pages. Creating dynamic B2B website forms and landing pages doesn’t have to be hard. Let us show you how it’s done with our B2B SEO landing pages and our range of B2B landing page examples. For further details, contact us for your free leads analysis today.