Landing Pages and Forms

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Landing Pages Best Practices

Based on the frequency and expertise of the companies researched, the following five best practices have been identified for the creation of successful landing pages. The business to business (B2B) best practices are social proof, simplicity, call to action, reducing distractions, and target strategy. Below we discuss these topics in more detail.

Methodology

To grasp what the top or best practices are for a B2B landing page we first investigated what these are typically. There was an abundance of credible information sources to draw on to help set a baseline of understanding identifying what to look for.
Very few articles, white papers, and reports specifically talked about B2B landing pages. However, there were many credible B2B Tech companies sharing their views on what or what not to do on a B2B landing page. Cross-referencing this information thoroughly with the information found on top/best B2B practices, a brief was developed to meet the requirements. Assumptions about top or best practices were identified by the frequency of their occurrence throughout the credible sources.

Social proof

Marketing expert Angie Schottmuller said that to persuade a customer you need to understand their concerns. Once you understand them, follow up with suitable social proof to allay those concerns. The aim is to convince the customer you have the answers to their needs.
The goal of social proof is transparency, the more detail you display about your client the more transparent you become. Transparency develops trust. Social proof on landing pages adds credence to the marketing message, without it the landing page merely looks like a bragging page. Any Testimonials, reviews and the like have far more of an impact than a landing page with details of your abilities alone. List high-profile clients, places where your brand has been featured, numbers of clients, client logos and anything else that can prove your standing to persuade customers to use you.

Simplicity

The landing page should be succinct and simple. However, your description does not have to be short, but it must be relevant to the customer’s needs. Studies have shown longer pages tend to lose customers. A customer rarely scrolls all the way to the bottom of a long page because they have a need and want to see if you have the solution immediately.
Employ the rule of three to split testimonials, relevant points, and contact access. This helps a landing page be memorable, easy to use and more likely to be explored further. A picture is worth a thousand words is so true on a landing page. Use a video and pictures to portray your company’s abilities. A video possesses the potential to increase your conversion rate by up to 80% and use stunning, high-quality imagery to draw your customer's attention to your salient points. Layout your landing pages in the order of your sales cycle to draw your potential customer into a sale and one step further into your page.

Call to Action

The goal of a B2B marketing page is a call to action (CTA). Once a customer can see you will address their needs, the very next step you require them to take is a CTA, a call to action that speaks to the benefits of doing so. For example, a call to action can take the shape of a subscription, starting a free trial, filling out a lead/intake form, buying a product or even a download. Have a floating call to action button that scrolls with the client as they move down your page. This makes you always available and easy to engage with.

Reducing Distractions

To ensure your customer stays focused on your relevant points, follow these guidelines:
  • Make sure your page tells the customer what you do before why you are doing it.
  • By using imagery of people looking at your headlines, you naturally focus your customer's attention on those headlines.
  • Making use of the correct colors on your website is crucial. For instance, blues can keep a person on the page longer, reds and yellows encourage a person to make a decision.
  • Use bold subheading, short paragraphs, and bullet points and numbers to break up the content. This will make the page flow more easily without too many distractions.
  • Make sure your companies’ offerings are at the top half of the landing page. If place your company’s products at the bottom, your customer may click away from the site without identifying your solutions. Around 57% of visitors’ time is spent on a page above the fold and 74% is spent on the first two screenfuls.

Target Strategy

Develop a specific "buyer persona", as mention previously knowing your client is critical to reaching your audience. Categorize their needs and challenges in relation to your business offerings as this will aid your customer in relating to your landing page. Designing your landing page around your buyer’s persona will convince the customer they need your product and feel their needs are understood.
In the B2B business, there is more than one person involved in making the buying decision. The landing page needs to appeal to several participants. The top five types of B2B buyers are researchers, end users, IT influencers, financial decision makers, and Executives/CEOs.
Part
02
of two
Part
02

Web Forms Pages Best Practices

Companies are now preferring simpler landing pages limited to only critical information and minimal fields. Others are going for ‘single column’ designs to enhance readability and faster completion times. For example, Slack features a form with minimal fields; in particular, one field for email address. Read on for an elaborate research strategy leading to the findings presented after.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

The information uncovered did not specifically address web form best practices as they might be specific to either B2B or tech companies. We found out that when information specific to B2B could be identified, the best practices were indistinguishable from best practices for consumer-facing web forms. In the case of tech companies, we could not find specific information distinguishing best practices of web forms for tech companies versus non-tech companies. On that note, we proceeded to find alternative data points to triangulate the answer by comparing sources that focused on B2B including Weidert and those that did not specifically focus on B2B such Conversion XL, Crazyegg, and PeopleHR. It turned out that these sources listed similar best practices that did not specifically address B2B concerns but could be used as proxies.

Next, we searched through credible databases, in particular, organizations that specialize in some form of website optimization. Unfortunately, those sites did not feature information specific to tech companies. Moreover, none of those sites broke down their suggestions into specific, separate industries or identified any best practices that would be exclusive or even more relevant to the tech industry than to any other. On that line, we assumed that it could be that the best practices for designing web forms are consistent across different businesses. For example, whether using the forms to get people to use your business-facing chat client e.g., Slack, or for sign up services like becoming a freelance driver at Lyft. Therefore, sites that listed general best practices could be used as proxies for best practices for creating/designing web forms for tech companies.

Overall, in acknowledging the research criteria, which specifically noted that there may not be information available that is specific to the tech industry by adding the phrase "as available" to that particular part of the request, we concluded that best practices for designing web forms could be consistent across industries as the same principles apply regardless of what type of data the form is collecting.

WEB FORMS PAGES BEST PRACTICES

  • 1. Limited To Only Most Critical Data
According to the different sources examined it is best to limit web forms to only the most critical information to minimize the time taken to fill out the forms, which saves both the users and the company more time. For example, Slack uses a form with minimal fields. It has one field for email address.

  • 2. One-Column Webform
Research suggests that web forms ought to be limited to a single column. Having a one-column webform improves readability and promotes faster completion times. People HR Software is an example of a company using a one-column form.
  • 3. Utilize the Autofill function on Browsers
According to Crazzyegg (websites’ heatmaps provider), web forms should use the “autofill” tool embedded in browsers such as Chrome and safari by titling fields with data points such as name, age, gender, etc., so that the user’s browsers can detect such opportunities to autofill.
  • 4. Address Potential Customer Objections
Weidert, an inbound marketing agency notes that taking care of potential customer objections on the web form or near the form increases the rates of conversions. Basecamp Classic Signup is an example of a web form that addresses possible customer objections by informing users, “There is no time limit on the free plan — you can use it for free as long as you'd like. You can always upgrade to a paying plan later if you need multiple projects, more file storage, etc.”

  • 5. More Color on Submit Button
Crazzyegg further asserts that the "submit" button requires more color and the call-to-action statement should never say "submit" to allow the user to understand what it is they are exactly committing to by clicking it. Lyft "Become a Driver" is an example of submit button with wording. The screenshot is provided on the Google Doc.
Sources
Sources

From Part 02
Quotes
  • "Every field you ask users to fill out increases friction. The best thing you can do to improve form completions is to get rid of as many fields as possible."
  • "In a study conducted through CXL Institute, we found the single-column form was faster to complete."
Quotes
  • "Use a single-column design to increase readability."
  • "Only add fields you need."
Quotes
  • "When in doubt, ask only for the essential information you need to contact and qualify them. "
  • "The final step a visitor must take when filling out a form is making the decision to actually “submit” the information. But is the word "submit" the most friendly and encouraging phrase to use on a button? "
Quotes
  • "Stick to a single-column web form layout — an especially important tip when creating long, multi-step forms."
  • "Start your form with the easiest field questions (like name and email) before asking your visitors the more time-consuming questions (such as billing and shipping information). "
  • "Give your form a title that helps your visitors understand exactly what they’ll receive once they submit it."
  • "Use auto-fill browsers"
  • "Address possible user concerns with summary boxes"
Quotes
  • "There is no time limit on the free plan — you can use it for free as long as you'd like. You can always upgrade to a paying plan later if you need multiple projects, more file storage, etc."