January 26, 2016
When talking about optimization you can really break it down and focus on specific pages. In other words, how you’re going to optimize a piece of content may be slightly different than how you’re going to optimize a Thank You page, an unsubscribe landing page, a homepage, etc. Your lead forms are other webpages that has some specific optimization techniques that you’ll want to use to get the most conversions.
For those who are unfamiliar, a lead form is essentially the landing page where you gather more information about a potential customer, or your “lead.” This is the page where you get an email address. A page where someone actually makes a purchase can also be considered a type of lead form, so optimization tactics are pretty similar in these two circumstances. Once you know which optimization techniques to use, you can begin to optimize your forms and hopefully improve conversions.
Most of the SEO tactics you already use won’t hurt, such as backlinking and sharing on social media, but as you might imagine a page like this doesn’t really cater to those types of SEO methods. Instead, it’s more about specific on-page changes you can make. Consider some of these approaches below to get you started on the right foot.
A lead form page is one of the few pages of a website where you don’t want to have super long form content. Even a video or an infographic can be too overwhelming and take away from what you really want to happen on that page, which is to have the visitor fill out your lead form. This means that keeping your content and short and to the point is going to be your best bet. Consider the lead generation form below from Unbounce:
As you can see, the form has a call-to-action (CTA)—Build a High-Converting Landing Page Now—so that visitors know what to do. There isn’t much content on the page distracting from the form. After all, if someone navigates to this page they’ve hopefully already read your blog and done their research.
“Above the fold” refers to what a visitor sees before he/she scrolls down the page. It’s what’s right in front of you when you land on the webpage. Naturally, information above the fold gets more views and captures a user’s attention faster. For this reason it’s important to put your lead form above the fold. Outbrain does this well in the example below. Notice how there is no need to scroll down to fill anything out. Their lead form with a button to get started is right there the minute to visit their website:
What Outbrain doesn’t do when you click that nice orange button, however, is tell you how many form fields there will be, which brings us to our next step.
You may be tempted to ask for as much information as you can about a person as soon as possible, usually out of excitement that someone is filling out your lead form, but this can actually turn people away. You want to keep your form fields between 2 and 4, and then after you get the important information you can start to dig deeper in a personal email or phone call. Below is an example from LA Fitness:
As you can see in the example above, the use of breadcrumbs helps keep things organized and give visitors a clear picture of what you’re asking for. There are four steps here, so it’s not too overwhelming for visitors who want to learn more.
As you can see, the example above shows two layers of privacy protection at the bottom of the form (still above the fold). Some companies also include a message saying they will not spam as well, such as in the example above. This adds an extra layer of trust between your company and visitor/ the lead.
You want to make sure that your lead form jumps off of the page. Keeping it above the fold is part of this, but using bright colors and keeping the whitespace free of distractions is also a great way to draw attention to the right places. Below is one of my favorite designs for a lead form from Allied.com. It’s clean, uses an orange button with a CTA, and there isn’t a ton of whitespace, yet nothing is distracting from the form:
When all is said and done, you have to remember to A/B test your pages. A/B test different designs and colors, a different number of form fields, different words for your “Submit” button, and more. The more you can test, the more you can craft the perfect lead form page to bring you the most success. Below is an example from Crazy Egg that shows how you may test two variations of a landing page:
According to the study, the variation of the page helped them drive the number of qualified leads 142%. If you’re unfamiliar with A/B testing (and the software that goes with it), I highly recommend checking out this article to learn more, or feel free to drop us a line in the comment section below.
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