What You Say Is As Important as What You Pay

Testing and Optimization


When the goal of search marketing is to generate leads, it is not good enough to take prospects to a generic home page when they click an ad. With less than a 2% conversion rate, it’s like throwing away 98% of your search budget. Instead, search marketers must focus on conversion optimization through targeted landing pages as much as traffic generation. In fact, companies that have optimized landing pages targeted to specific search terms can increase conversions by 400% or more.

Landing page optimization is important for many reasons.

  • First, prospects are using search to research your market and company, so targeted landing pages can provide relevant, useful content matched to their buying cycle. This can help your company become a trusted source of information.
  • Second, in exchange for a well designed offer, you can capture contact information and get permission to enter into a nurturing dialog with that prospect.
  • Third, as keyword prices become more and more competitive, the companies do a better job converting traffic into leads will be able to invest more in getting the clicks.
  • Fourth, Google ranks search ads not just on the bid price, but also on the relevancy of the landing page to the search term – so a targeted landing page will increase traffic without increasing cost.

The challenge B2B marketers face is that landing page optimization requires building and maintaining dozens – or hundreds – of landing pages. Trying to add A/B split or other testing methodologies only compounds the problem.

As a result, many marketing and IT departments quickly get overwhelmed and settle for a few, static landing pages. One CMO I spoke with wanted to put up just seven landing pages – but he had to wait so long (almost a year) for his IT department to get to the request that the company was acquired before they could finish. More generally, Forrester Research found that only about a quarter of B2B search ads take buyers to keyword specific landing pages.

Fortunately, there are some great solutions out there to help B2B marketers build and test landing pages without IT support. (Disclosure: Marketo provides landing page optimization as part of our suite of B2B marketing solutions.) Stay tuned for a future post on what features you should look for in a landing page optimization solution.

In the meantime, please share any best practices you have used to create landing pages that work, and what kind of results you are seeing.  I’ll post a summary of all the tips I receive in a future post.