While one of the most important aspects of online media efforts, landing pages are often an afterthought. The landing page is where your audience goes after clicking on a banner ad, text ad or email. Yet, brands often get so focused on the ad copy and design that they don’t leave time to think through where the user is going after he or she clicks – let alone how and what that page needs to communicate in order to turn a click into a conversion.
In this first article of a two-part series on landing page best practices, we’re focusing on the must-do’s for landing page copy and content, as well as pitfalls to avoid. The next article in the series will focus on best practices for landing page design.
It all helps our clients to achieve the ultimate goal: get the user to complete a desired and measurable action, such as a sale, an inquiry, a phone call or a coupon/rebate download.
Remember, if a person has reached the landing page, that means he or she has initiated an interaction with your business or brand. It’s up to you to pay it off with additional information, features and benefits, and a clear path to conversion.
Here’s how to do it:
- Give the page a clear headline. The headline must refer directly to the place from which the user came. This consistency builds trust. Also, follow the headline with 1–2 lines that express the benefit of the product or service.
- Write for scannability. Utilize the “inverted pyramid” structure — fundamental information comes first followed by remaining details from most to least important. Important points should be made at the beginning of paragraphs or bullets to allow the visitor to skim.
- Write logical and focused body copy. Use clear, persuasive language and stay on point. Remove any extraneous links or visual clutter.
- Use the second person (you and yours) and not the first person (I and we). Remember to talk to your visitor, not yourself. (Here’s a secret: People will only care about your brand message if it is relevant to them.)
- Copy length is important. It’s OK to use longer copy when the desired outcome involves a strong commitment on the part of the consumer, such as a purchase. But for non-monetary interactions, shorter is better.
- Tell who should use the product or service. For example, “used by hikers, bikers and runners.” This removes any doubt, increases relevancy and encourages engagement.
- Include testimonials. They back up the statements you are making. Video testimonials typically convert higher than text-based ones.
- Write and design to the screen. Keep in mind what’s going to be seen above the fold. Add calls to action throughout the page if the user is going to be scrolling.
- Provide a very clear call to action. It can be a graphic button, linked text or even a phone number — as long as it tells the visitor what they need to do. It’s best to test multiple CTAs to determine the best copy, type and location.
- Test your way to success. You can run A/B split tests or multivariate tests. The point is you’ll never improve your conversion rates without knowing what’s working and what’s not.
Hit these points, and we’re sure you’ll start to see more conversions. Just remember to make sure that the subject of the ad or email is paid off on the landing page — and always remember to go through the steps yourself. If you can move quickly and easily through the conversion process, so will your audience.
1. Block, Leah. “4 Common Landing Page Mistakes.” ClickZ.com. 13 Aug. 2013.
2. Patel, Neil. “7 Things Every (Great) Landing Page Needs.” QuickSprout.com. 26 Sept. 2013.
3. Rosenberg, Roberta. “Seal the Deal: 10 Tips for Writing the Ultimate Landing Page.” CopyBlogger.com.