There are case studies, pay-per-click campaigns, SEO, SMM, and dozens of other functions we have to handle as digital marketers. However, for B2B marketers, landing pages are our bread and butter, the bottleneck that you must master to capture emails and other relevant information and convert website visitors into Pardot prospects.
Defining landing page goals
Before you get too far into creating your landing pages, you should first identify what the goal of the landing page is. While we define a landing page success as a form submission, you may have different metrics that you want to report on.
General best practices:
Anatomy of a landing page
Meet expectations: We assume anyone who clicks a button that says “Download your free ebook” is expecting to land on a page that will reaffirm that action with a headline or subheadline saying the same thing.
Sell value: Even though you’re giving away something for free, you’re still selling, and the price is information. Include landing page copy that clearly explains the value in the offering. This approach will help increase your landing page successes and decrease your bounce rate.
Social proof: Adding a customer testimonial or two can help boost your trust and authority with the customer. Unless your brand is well-known, this added piece of credibility is vital. If you have a photo of the person who gave you an excellent review, use it to further reinforce that a real person said it.
Minimal links away from the landing page: Many of the landing pages you see don’t include a navbar, or they use a minimalist version. The logic is that if we get a visitor on our landing page, we don’t want to them leave it. Try to minimize any distraction that would take them away from the page; the only links worth including will take them to other offers in case they aren’t sold on this one.
Form design and placement: A form that follows all the best practices from our last section will integrate beautifully with the landing page we’re putting together here. There differing opinions on where to place the form, and while placing it on the side of the page is common, it’s not necessarily the best. Form placement and layout, in general, comes down to A/B testing and discovering what works best for converting your visitors.
Include a graphic: Use a graphic that serves as a hero image and contextualizes the offer. If you’re giving away a guide on how to wash a car, include a graphic that supports that, such as a dirty car or a car that’s being clean. We want to use graphics that reaffirm the visitor’s expectations. Most out-of-the-box responsive landing page templates in Pardot come with an image you can edit in the WYSIWYG editor.
Shorten the URL: If you connect bit.ly with your Pardot instance, you can create shortened URLs for your landing pages. This practice can help increase your click-through rate on social media links to your landing pages, as well as tracking the amount of times that link was used.
Deliver content with an autoresponder email: We’ve all had it happen where a visitor throws a junk email into the form and downloads you whitepaper without giving you a way to reach them. However, if we add an autoresponder email to the form’s completion actions, we can attach the download link that email and they’ll only be able to download your offer with a real email address.
Elements of design
When building landing pages, you should typically use fonts, colors, and structure from the rest of your website and apply it to the landing page. Visiting this page should feel like part of a seamless experience.
You can also include CSS from your website on Pardot landing pages to further blur the lines between your landing page and your website. However, there are some reasons you might make design decisions on a landing page that do not match your existing website:
Colors & color psychology: Color choices, much like form placement, often come down to A/B testing and color psychology. Color psychology is a debatable topic that we won’t dive too deeply into, but we recommend this guide from Instapage for a deeper dive into color choice.
Typography: The key to using typography well here is choosing a font that doesn’t distract the reader. As digital marketers, we’re not trying to create art; we’re trying to develop business. Your font should be like a clear champagne glass revealing the beverage inside. In this case, a font should not obscure your message in any way. You’ll probably be best off sticking with a sans serif font that’s clean and legible, such as Arial or Open Sans.
Font Size: Font size can be more subjective, but you should typically keep body fonts in the 14-16 point range. In the end, it’s a design decision based on what you think will work for your audience, and remember to test, test, test. We don’t want to leave you empty-handed, so here’s a guide from Typecast on font size best practices.
Include a thank you page
It’s a best practice to create a thank you page for your offer, and really, you should be building a distinct thank you page for each offer. This page should be on your website, it should have full navbar, showcase relevant content, and provide instructions on how receive the offer (email, download, etc.)
Beyond courtesy, there are two primary reasons to create a thank you page:
Introduce relevant content to your prospect
The thank you page is a great place to upsell your marketing content to your newly minted prospect, you might write a message such as:
Thank you, you’ll be receiving our Ebook guide to Social Media management in your email shortly. Here are some other resources you can check out that will complement the guide.
Google Analytics and Pardot don’t always play nice
It’s a frustrating aspect of Pardot, but it can be difficult to trigger an event in Google Analytics from within Pardot, it’s very doable but often messy and unreliable. However, having a dedicated thank you page on your website tied to a destination goal type in Google Analytics works very reliably.
How to use multivariate testing to test your landing pages
Multivariate testing in Pardot is essentially A/B testing, but we’re running multiple A/B tests in tandem. A/B testing, in a nutshell, is a way of comparing two variations of an element and see which performs better.
For example, in an A/B test, you may want to compare how button color affects conversion rate, so you publish two pages: one with a red button and one with a blue button and having users randomly landing on each version. We would then compare the results and determine which one is better.
With Pardot, this is a very clean process to test these pages. Your visitors are cookied and will only ever see one version of that specific page. Pardot will test all the page variations and determine what the best version of the page is. It does involve more work, you have to make a new version of the page for each variable you’re testing, and each version should still only be testing one variable. It’s more akin to running multiple A/B tests simultaneously than a true multivariate analysis.
As with all things digital marketing related, we should always be focused on continuous improvement. Moreover, these are tests we should constantly run to make sure we’re still improving. You can always build a better landing page.
Read the next section to learn about personalizing messaging for your different prospects through dynamic content.