9 Essential Tips for Effectively Writing a Landing Page
Landing pages are an integral part of just about any digital marketing campaign. Whether they're designed for PPC, email marketing, social media or any other channel you're trying to leverage, landing pages can be an incredibly powerful tool for moving potential leads further down your sales funnel, encouraging conversions and getting users to take specific actions.
But the effectiveness of a landing page is only as good as its copy and design. If your copy isn't given the proper thought and planning, your visitors will simply end up bouncing or, worse yet, leaving with a bad impression of your company entirely. Here are the most important things to consider:
#1 - Define Your Audience
Who are you targeting your landing page towards? How did they arrive at the page and what are they hoping to get out of it? By clearly defining the people most likely to end up on your landing page, you can start to tailor your copy so that it grabs their attention, presents solutions to their problems and motivates them to take action with your company.
Consider creating buyer personas and thinking about simple customer demographic information such as:
- Employment status
#2 - Have a Specific Goal in Mind
Landing page copy needs to clearly drive a reader towards accomplishing a specific task. It's tempting for marketers to throw absolutely anything that could lead to a conversion into one landing page, bogging the copy down with promotional offers, multiple contact forms, related products, live event information, recent blog posts and many other design elements.
A good landing page will have a balance of these things while using the copy to focus heavily on one customer action, such as:
- Downloading a PDF
- Filling out a contact form
- Purchasing a product
- Visiting a specific web page
- Watching a video
- Signing up for a newsletter
While it can be difficult to streamline your landing pages and let go of certain elements, just remember that data and research often support the "less is more" philosophy. In one case, removing a navigation menu on a landing page led to a 100 percent increase in wedding registry signups.
#3 - Focus on the Benefits of Your Product or Service
Landing page copy can too often end up focusing on the features of a product or service instead of the value it can provide to potential customers. Consider defining your unique value proposition and explaining it clearly in your landing page copy. Use statistics and data wherever possible, and make specific promises to your customer rather than vague claims. For example, "saving time" is far less effective than "saving an average of 50 hours per year."
#4 - Use Testimonials
Testimonials are a great way to establish trust with new customers. If you don't currently have any testimonials or reviews you can pull from, simply try asking your existing customers for a quick one- to two-line testimonial for the specific product or service you're offering on the page. Ask them for permission to use a headshot if applicable, as a human face next to the testimonial only adds to its credibility. If you operate in the B2B sphere, you may find that your clients will readily provide a testimonial in exchange for a link to their business on your landing page.
Also, try getting creative with the placement of your testimonials. Many landing pages end up having testimonials somewhere on the bottom half of the page, but consider using a testimonial right at the top or even as the headline in your copy.
#5 - Keep It Simple and Succinct
In order for your landing page to have any effect, you need to clearly establish your value proposition within 10 seconds, and many marketers would say you don’t even have that long. To put it simply, your landing page copy needs to get to the point fast. Grab your visitors’ attention, present your case and ask them to take action.
This also means being succinct with your writing. Try to eliminate filler and fluff by avoiding passive voice, unnecessary information, cliches and other grammatical issues that weaken and dilute the impact of your writing. There are many great editing tools available that can help you sharpen your copy and make it more efficient.
#6 - Optimized Calls-to-Action
You know you need a call-to-action on your landing pages, but are your CTAs as effective as possible? After a little analysis, chances are good that you’ll find plenty of room for improvement. Make sure your CTAs:
- Directly ask the user to take action - There’s no room for ambiguity or coyness in your call-to-action. Be clear about what you’d like your page visitors to do.
- Avoid generic messaging - Instead of “Click Here” or “Sign Up,” use more powerful, impactful language that makes a promise or guarantees value. Something more urgent like “Click Here to Save $100” or “Get Your Free Access Now” may be better.
- State the benefits - Your landing page copy should already focus on the benefits of your product or service, but it’s often best to restate those benefits in your CTA. For example, simply telling a reader to click through to your website won’t be nearly as effective as asking them for a visit and quickly telling them why they’ll find it valuable when they get there.
#7 - Keep Your Customer’s Path in Mind
How did a user arrive at your landing page? What stage are they at in your sales funnel? You may want to make slight adjustments in your copy based on whether a user came from an email or a PPC platform. Few things interrupt a customer’s path more than disjointed, obviously templated or confusing content that doesn’t correspond with the messaging they’ve already seen. This type of inconsistency only leads to distrust and a quick bounce away from your landing page.
Not to mention, if your landing page is being used with an AdWords campaign, you’ll want to make sure your copy serves to rank your ad higher. After all, Google explicitly states that clickthrough rates and landing page experience are ranking factors for ads.
#8 - Collaborate with Designers
If different people in your organization are responsible for the content and design, you’ll definitely want to make sure they collaborate during the planning and execution - not after both parties have completed their work. Without proper collaboration, you can end up with a landing page that has a contact form in an ineffective place or content that seems disjointed and doesn’t fit into or reference its surrounding design elements in an ideal way.
As is the best practice for any type of content, get some feedback on a preview of the page before publishing it. And during the planning phase, be sure to talk about:
- The use of video and where it should be placed
- The length of the contact form
- The number of fields in the contact form
- Placing your call-to-action above the fold
- Using images, navigation menus, subheadings and other design elements
#9 - A/B Testing
The best way to optimize your landing page copy is to test different versions of it. You might find that even small changes to things like your headline or contact form button text can have big impacts on your conversion rates. Some software options that allow you to test different landing page versions include:
Overall, you’ll want your landing page copy to be succinct and persuasive, but it’s possible that “breaking the rules” could also be effective depending on your brand and audience. Longer content, an extremely minimal design, flowery language and other atypical landing page strategies could pay off in certain situations. Research, planning, creativity and testing will lead to the most optimized landing pages for your business.