The following post was submitted by Wakefly, a Gold Sponsor at Elevate 2011, the upcoming Pardot User Conference. For more information on this event, visit event.pardot.com.

Let’s face it. B2B marketers are continually facing more and more responsibilities, embracing new online marketing techniques and generally do more with less, all while demonstrating a higher return on investment. Pardot provides the “perfect storm” of marketing tools to address these core challenges in 2011 and beyond. Thus, the issue for marketers becomes how do we build a viable, scalable online marketing strategy around the Pardot toolset? This blog post addresses one component of that strategy: filling the funnel with prospects. Other marketing strategies will need to be synced with this effort, particularly lead scoring and lead nurturing in order to build a holistic marketing/sales strategy.

One of the core features of the Pardot platform is giving the user the ability to quickly build landing pages and track ROI stemming from those pages. Our agency, Wakefly, has developed a process for quickly making Pardot-hosted landing pages visible in the search engines. Developed over the last year and subject to regular refinement, our process works well for B2B marketers and sales professionals striving to achieve a predictable and steady improvement in the performance of their website. We’ve broken this process into four digestible pieces:

1. Build High Performance Landing Pages

Building high performance landing pages need not be difficult. Have your agency or in-house designer develop two sets of usable landing page imagery to be built into Pardot. For simplicity’s sake, these images can quickly be paired with content areas, offers and forms using Pardot. Keep the pages simple, do not exceed 200 characters of content, include plenty of bulleting and the minimal number of form fields you require. While gathering abundant prospect information is often desired, best practices recommends less than 10 form fields to ensure higher conversion rates.

2. Get Granular in Pardot Landing Page Creation

One of Wakefly’s core business areas is B2B Web Design. Using Pardot, we’ve created separate landing pages for each of the following keywords: B2B Web Design, B2B Web Redesign, Award Winning B2B Web Design, etc. Each of these pages feature slightly different versions of the same content tailored to the keyword or keyword variation they target. At first, they are only visible to paid (Google AdWords) visitors searching on those very specific keywords that have been used to theme the pages. Thus, for many B2B marketers that have conducted keyword research already, our methodology involves deploying this research to quickly create landing pages centered on individual relevant keywords. With individual landing pages being targeted around the intent of specific search terms, your visitors will appreciate the specificity and message continuity from ad copy to landing page. It’s just gravy that Pardot seamlessly integrates with Google AdWords to pull costing and conversion data into your campaign dashboard.

3. Deploy Expert Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

What is expert PPC? More simply put, it’s PPC where not a penny is wasted – namely, when specific keywords lead visitors to particular pages where there is message continuity from keyword to ad creative to landing page. Over time, more money is funneled to winning PPC campaigns (tracking lead flow and ROI is a cinch in Pardot) and more effort is funneled to winning landing pages for additional design enhancements and split testing. Typically, PPC can become a predictable lead generator in just 2-3 weeks for the average B2B marketer leveraging this process in conjunction with Pardot.

4. Export Winning Concepts into Your SEO Game Plan

Here’s a thought – Without proving whether or not a keyword can positively impact your business, why would you ever just throw these unpredictable keywords into your SEO efforts? You’d be guessing that the keywords could convert visitors – not to mention you might be waiting 12 or more months to achieve a page one ranking that might only refer a handful of visitors per year. Instead, consider spending on PPC and in time, bringing the winning keywords into your SEO efforts. In addition, winning landing pages can be brought into the organic click stream – making them visible to the search engines through site-mapping and internal linking. Thus, your successful landing pages will become organic (non-paid) points of entry into the site. Now, you’re taking the guess work out of SEO.

Conclusion

Bringing together this winning methodology alongside Pardot’s tool set will put you on the track for achieving predictable, scalable results online. Adopting this formula will bring cohesiveness and an element of overarching strategy to your online marketing efforts that your entire team will embrace and understand. At the end of the day, great online marketing is all about small, incremental improvements, limiting wasted time and casting a wider net online by increasing your page count and visibility to both organic and PPC visitors. For more information or assistance with making PPC your lead generation bedrock, please visit www.wakefly.com or contact the author at jdemers@wakefly.com.

Molly Hoffmeister

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