Building Better Landing Pages With HubSpot

Building Better Landing Pages With HubSpot

Building Better Landing Pages With HubSpot

When it comes to nearly any digital marketing strategy, landing pages are absolutely essential. The way you build, track, and optimize your landing pages can make or break your lead generation strategy, which is why we’re going to talk about building better landing pages using HubSpot’s landing page tool. But first, let’s make sure we’re all starting on the same page (no pun intended):

What is a Landing Page?

A landing page is any web page a visitor lands on when they navigate to your website from somewhere else. Technically, a landing page could be any page on your website — your home page, a blog, or a services page. But if you’re doing digital marketing right, your landing page is an important lead capture tool that looks a little something like this.

What’s On a Good Landing Page?

We’ve covered just about all there is to cover when it comes to building a landing page, so if you’re looking for more in-depth information about what a landing page is, why you need one, and what a good one looks like, check out these awesome blogs for more detailed information:

To give you a quick refresher, just know that a great landing page has these four key elements: 

  • Attention-Grabbing Title
  • Helpful, Concise Content
  • Interesting Imagery
  • Easy to Complete Contact Form

These four elements make up the basic design of an awesome landing page.  

What Does HubSpot Have to do With Building Better Landing Pages?

If all you need is a title, content, an image, and a contact form, then how hard could building a landing page be?

Honestly, the design and build of your landing page is just a small component of a great landing page. The goal of any landing page is not just to get you leads, but also to give you information about the overall success of the product, offer, or event you’re promoting with this landing page.

Okay, So How Can I Use HubSpot to Build Better Landing Pages?

Now that we know why we care about HubSpot landing pages, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of building a better landing page with HubSpot CRM. HubSpot offers a ton of features with their landing page tool, so while we won’t cover every single one in this blog, we will cover the features most important to the success of your lead generation and digital marketing strategy. Let’s start with our favorite benefit of HubSpot’s landing pages:

Optimize with Detailed Reporting

HubSpot’s best landing page feature is the detailed reporting they offer. You can assign landing pages to a specific campaign (more on this next), attach a landing page to a workflow, and generally just see everything you’ve ever wanted to know about how your visitors and leads are interacting with your offers, products, and events. A HubSpot landing page report looks a little like this: 

While HubSpot’s reporting is interactive, this image still gives you a great initial feel for how much data you can receive.HubSpot can tell you exactly how many views, submissions and new contacts that landing page delivers. Click To TweetIt will also tell you where those views, submissions, and contacts are coming from, whether that’s organic traffic, referrals, direct traffic, etc.  

You also get a bunch of helpful information that tells you how people are reacting to the landing page, like what the page’s bounce rate is, what its exit rate is, and how long (on average) people spend on that landing page. All of this data can help you improve your landing pages for even better performance.

For example, let’s say your bounce rate is really high. That tells you that people coming to your landing page aren’t getting what they thought they were going to get. Maybe your landing page is still connected to an old ad or an old social media post that’s no longer making the same offer.

You can use HubSpot’s reporting to see where the visitors to that landing page are coming from and troubleshoot your high bounce rate from there. Now that’s optimization made easy.

Inbound Marketing Tools that Improve your HubSpot Landing Pages

In addition to offering you in-depth data and reporting on the performance of your landing page, HubSpot has really geared their landing page tool to help inbound marketers succeed. Their landing pages are paired with some exceptionally robust inbound marketing tools that make your landing pages work for you, without you putting in a ton of extra work. This is where the HubSpot landing page feature really starts to flex its muscles.

Here are just a few of the tools we love to use when we create our own HubSpot landing pages:

Add to Workflow

You’re into marketing automation, right? Us too. HubSpot makes it really easy to associate any new landing page with an existing workflow. Just click the “Add to Workflow” button, and any contact who completes the landing page form will immediately be entered into the workflow of your choice. This is great when you’re building landing pages for specific content offers or webinars geared to just one buyer persona.

Send a Follow-Up Email

That all-important follow-up email. Let’s automate it. HubSpot also offers another easy button you can click to send a follow-up email immediately after a lead completes your form. You can develop the follow-up email however you like, but it’s a really important tool to keep those new leads in your sales funnel.

Add to Campaign

 If you’re on the inbound marketing train, you identify potential leads according to their buyer persona. You’ve developed a number of marketing campaigns geared specifically to each of those personas. Easily add a new landing page to any of those campaigns, and track that landing page’s performance in relation to that campaign. This sets you up to get all of the reporting data you need to see how successful your product, offer, or event really is.

SEO Help

One thing we don’t touch on a lot with landing pages is how they help with SEO. The quality of your landing page is one of the big factors Google and other search engines use to determine the quality of your ad. So, if you’re directing a paid search ad to one of your new HubSpot landing pages, you’ll be happy to know that HubSpot makes on-page SEO a breeze.

Custom URL

Easily create a custom URL for your landing page. While any landing page’s URL will default to whatever your page title is, HubSpot makes it easy to change your URL to a more custom option.

This is great when you’re trying to get a particular keyword in there or shorten the URL up so it’s easy to for potential leads to remember or share on social media.  

Meta Description

It’s easy to forget about a meta description when you’re developing landing pages. Since they don’t hold a lot of content, they don’t jump out as an SEO ranking opportunity.

But, writing a quality meta description that tells both visitors and search engines what your landing page is about can be that extra step that sets you apart from the competition.

HubSpot’s landing page builder has an easily accessible meta description field that allows you to write and save a custom meta description to fit your new landing page, so you reap all the potential SEO benefits. 

Quick, Intuitive Layout with HubSpot Templates

Of course, we couldn’t talk about building better landing pages with HubSpot without talking about their handy, fast design features. Whether you’re not comfy as a web designer in your own right, or your in-house designer just doesn’t have time to crank something out every time you need a new landing page, you really don’t have to worry when you’re using the HubSpot landing page tool.

HubSpot offers a variety of landing page templates, or, your in-house designer can develop one or two landing page templates, and you can build out unique landing pages from each of those templates. Either way, you benefit from a beautiful, high-quality design that puts your offer front-and-center, without taking up your entire day.

Simply choose the template that best fits your landing page, and make sure it has those critical four elements we talked about earlier:

  • Title
  • Copy
  • Image
  • Form

Setting up a landing page is as easy as choosing a template, filling in your information, and hitting the publish button.

Simple Drag and Drop Design

Last but not least, we just couldn’t leave this blog alone without mentioning HubSpot’s easy drag and drop landing page builder. While it might not sound like a huge feature, the amount of time it will save you makes it worth mentioning.

When you build your landing page in HubSpot, you can easily add and move around modules on your landing page with a simple drag and drop. Each module will snap into place on your template, making for a flawless design in a fraction of the time it would take you to manually build a page. Whether you’re adding fields to a form, reformatting your landing page’s imagery, or working to get that headline just right, HubSpot’s tools make it easy to develop an intuitive landing page in just a few minutes. 

And that’s our spiel on HubSpot landing pages! If you’re looking for a landing page builder that offers fast, intuitive design, reporting and seamless connectivity for your existing digital marketing strategy, you really can’t beat HubSpot. 

Their landing pages are fast and fun, and you really won’t find better data reporting with any other tool. Combine that with the fact that you can easily connect any HubSpot landing page with an existing campaign, automated workflow, or follow-up email campaign, and you’ve got a robust tool that can help you get way more out of your landing pages.

Not sure if HubSpot’s right for you? No worries. Evenbound is a HubSpot Gold Agency Partner, and we’d be happy to show you the ropes. Get in touch with our team for a quick run-through of HubSpot’s tools, and an honest consultation about whether the platform is right for your company.

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Topic Clusters: The Future of Content Marketing

Topic Clusters: The Future of Content Marketing

In case you haven’t noticed, the machines are getting smarter. And while we’re not at Terminator levels of intelligence yet, some of the tools we use to search and market every day have begun to understand search context and speech semantics.  As Google’s search capability improves, search engine users are able to submit queries that are more natural. The average user these days feels totally comfortable asking Google a complete, complex question, because the search engine can now parce semantics, and is able to provide results that answer those questions directly. What does that mean for inbound marketers?

Basically, it means that our content can be more intuitive. As Google continues to make user-focused improvements to their algorithm, their search bots are favoring content that’s written for people over content that’s written to rank well. That means that keyword-stuffed content is definitely out, and it also means repetitive, keyword focused content isn’t going to be as valuable as content that’s genuinely helpful. Search algorithms have reached a point where they can understand what keyword your content is centered around, even if you don’t use that specific keyword anywhere in your blog. This is where topic clusters come in.

What’s a Topic Cluster, and How Can it Help Inbound Marketers?

Topic clusters are a new method of content marketing designed to capitalize on newer consumer search habits. Created and announced by Hubspot—a leading inbound marketing authority—topic clusters work to boost your website’s ranking power, and help your site users reach your content more easily. Topic clusters take note of new search algorithm behaviors, and propose a more effective way of tailoring your content marketing strategy for higher SERP rankings and better readability for search engines and human users.

If your company has a blog, implementing topic clusters can help you improve the authority of your website, as you simultaneously improve the user experience of your blog for your clients. Essentially, topic clusters are dedicated clusters of information that all relate to one central “pillar page.” Let’s use the Evenbound website as an example. We’ve been optimizing our blog to take advantage of topic clusters lately, and at this point, have our blog centered around 7 major topics, or pillar pages:

  • Inbound marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Lead generation
  • PPC and Paid Advertising
  • SEO
  • Social Media
  • Website Design

If you’re familiar with Evenbound, you’ll know that each of these topics is a service that we provide for our clients. Each one of these topics also has a dedicated top-level page on our website, that answers all of the basic questions a consumer might have about the topic. For us, each of these pages is a separate pillar page, forming the central point for each content cluster. The rest of our blog posts are linked to the pillar page they’re the most relevant to.

For example:

Inbound marketing is the pillar page. Cluster content would be any blog that’s related to inbound marketing, but gives our audience more in-depth information about a specific aspect of content marketing. Some cluster content for inbound marketing would include:

  • Content Creation Tools
  • How to Write a Content Calendar
  • An In-Depth Guide to Inbound Marketing
  • Why Blogging is Important
  • How to Shift Your Sales Team from Outbound to Inbound

Each one of these blogs then links back to our pillar page: Inbound Marketing

This method of organizing our content strategy helps search engines catalog our site. Since each cluster topic links back to the pillar page, we boost the authority of that pillar page. This organization strategy also helps search engines better categorize our site. Since each blog that’s related to content marketing links back to the content marketing pillar page, search engine bots can more easily crawl each of those pages, understanding that each blog that links to that pillar page will offer more, in-depth content about the topic of content marketing.

Implementing Topic Clusters

The point of topic clusters is to help you rank highly for keywords you have the most authority on. Before topic clusters, you may have chosen a keyword, and then written a number of blogs about that same keyword. While this used to work well in the past, with today’s algorithm, you’ll just end up with a bunch of blogs that are competing with each other for the same keyword. This makes it confusing for search engine bots to decide which of your pages deserves the higher rank, and it doesn’t do much to collectively boost the power of your website. With topic clusters, you can essentially pool all of the authority gained from each of your blog posts and content-rich site pages, for a higher rank overall. But, how do you do it?

Start with Pillar Pages

The best place to start building your content clusters is your pillar pages. These are going to be pages that provide a lot of information, but have a very general keyword. Don’t pick a page with a long-tail keyword here, go for something more generic that speaks to your target audience.

For example, one of our pillar pages is Inbound Marketing. The page provides a ton of content, and answers basic questions that anyone would want to know about inbound marketing, like what it is, how it works, and who uses it. If you’re not sure what a pillar page would look like on your website, think about the services you provide. Do you have a page for each of those services, explaining what it is, and how it works? If you’re a home services contractor, you might have separate services pages for roofing, decks, and kitchen renovations. Each of those pages would make a great pillar page to center the rest of your topic clusters around.

Brainstorm Cluster Topics

Cluster topics should be related to your pillar page, but should each be focused on a different, more specific topic. If you chose roofing for a pillar page, potential cluster topics might be: “how to fix a leaky roof,” “when it’s time to replace your roof,” or “10 ways to choose the right roof for your home”. These topics are all about roofing residential homes, but they offer your site viewers more information that’s relevant to their everyday questions about roofing.

Write, and Link

Once you’ve got some solid topics for your topic clusters, it’s time to write and post that content to your website. Don’t forget to link to your pillar page! The most important part of topic clusters is proper linking, because that’s what tells search engines that a blog is related to your pillar content, and helps ensure that the authority each blog gains is passed onto your pillar page. This is the best way to build your site’s authority, and make sure you’re ranking as highly as possible for the keywords that are most important to your company.

Pro Tip: Choose the same anchor text to link to your pillar page in every topic cluster post. For example, when we write subtopics for our Content Marketing pillar page, we always link to that page with the words “Content Marketing.” This helps your readers, and search engine bots, identify where the link will take them, and it can boost your ranking for those keywords.

Reorganizing an Existing Blog

What if you already have a blog, but you want to take advantage of this new, totally helpful, very powerful way of content marketing? Do you need to delete all of your content and start over?

Thankfully, no. But you will have to put a little time and effort into restructuring your content so that it all links together in a logical way. The more straightforward your internal links, the easier it will be for search engine bots to crawl and categorize your site.

Start With One Pillar Page

Decide what just one of your pillar pages will be. Then go through your blog’s existing content, and be sure to link any blogs that are relevant to that pillar page. If you have multiple blogs on the same topic, consider combining them together for one longer, more helpful blog that’s easy to find and offers a wealth of information to your readers. When you’ve made it all the way through your blog by combining similar posts, deleting duplicate information, and linking relevant content to your pillar page, then you can start on another pillar page!

Once you get the hang of it, topic clusters are actually surprisingly easy, and they can do a lot to help you boost your blog and website’s overall ranking power. It’s a new method of content marketing that capitalizes on current consumer search trends, and new search engine categorizing technology. By implementing topic clusters, you’ll be providing your site viewers with an easy-to-navigate content strategy that simultaneously boosts the search engine ranking of each of your pillar pages.

If topic clusters still seem a little intimidating, check out the helpful diagrams provided by Hubspot for a visual explanation of topic clusters, or get in touch with us! Inbound marketing is kind of our thing, so we’re always happy to help if you’ve got questions about your blogging or topic cluster linking strategy. If you’re looking for help with your inbound marketing strategy, see how we helped this company rise to the top with our unique strategy:

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