By Kevin Gault
In some countries, local food merchants let you sample their goods before buying. They figure that giving you a taste will compel you to buy. In a way, the same holds true for an effective white paper landing page.
When a search engine ad sends a potential customer to a landing page, the page should dish up a sample of the paper’s content. Many marketers make the mistake of not giving the reader a taste of what’s to come.
“Not all landing pages are created equal,” explains Michael Stelzner, author of Writing White Papers: How to Capture Readers and Keep Them Engaged. “Some pages consist of nothing more than a one-sentence description of the white paper’s content and a form to fill out to gain access to the paper.”
Provide Valuable Content
You may have suffered through this annoying sequence of events: You spend time registering for a white paper solely because of its title and a few lines of copy on the landing page. After reading a few paragraphs of the paper, you’re disappointed because the content is of no interest to you.
Then, to make matters worse, your phone rings-it’s the company that advertised the white paper following up with you.
“The best landing pages let you avoid this situation by providing some valuable content from the paper,” says Stelzner. “If the reader is interested enough to read the sample content, when they register they get a paper they want to have and you’ve got a qualified sales lead.”
Tips on Providing Content
Stelzner says that by providing sample content for your white paper, you:
* Improve lead quality-only readers who are truly interested in your white paper (and your product) will read through the sample copy and register for the paper.
* Increase the likelihood that people will complete the registration form with accurate information.
* Create a keyword-rich page for search engines.
How do you create this type of landing page? “Start by using the Google Keyword Tool to determine which keywords best describe your white paper topic,” advises business-to-business marketing communications and SEO copywriting expert Dianna Huff (www.dhcommunications.com).
“Then write a 100-150 word, keyword-rich, compelling abstract that details the challenges prospects face and how your white paper addresses those challenges.”
Stelzner adds, “You should make the copy on the landing page look like an article that extends below the bottom of the computer screen. Once the reader has scrolled down and is hooked by your content, you require registration to access the rest of the paper.”
Stelzner’s strategy has proven to be successful. When he recently tested this type of landing page copy, 17% of readers completed the registration form; 63% also registered for his online newsletter; and 24% stayed on the page for one or more minutes.
When it’s time to create your white-paper landing page:
* Make your copy compelling and describe the reader’s challenges and how your paper addresses them.
* Find search-engine keywords that match the paper’s content and include them on your page.
* Write the copy in article form to capture the readers’ interest and make them scroll down to register.
Don’t leave prospective customers hungry. Use your landing page to give them a taste of the valuable information that you serve up in your white paper. They’ll benefit from new knowledge and you’ll gain qualified leads and improved sales.