There’s no overstating the importance of the words on your landing page. Landing page copy is essential for communicating the message you want to get across, as well as prompting the desired action from your users, all the while encouraging them along the way.
That being said, so many companies are still making fundamental mistakes when it comes to populating their pages with words and punctuation. That’s why we wanted to kick start the new year by bringing you the best landing page practices for 2014:
Make sure your headline matches the copy used in the link or advertisement that drove your prospects to your page. This is called Message Match. Visitors arriving at your page most likely clicked on a link, or came to your page with the intent to purchase your product or sign up to your service already in place. With that in mind, you want to make sure that your landing page headline parallels the copy that originally prompted them to visit in the first place. This will reassure visitors that they have arrived at the relevant place and clear up any initial confusion they may have about landing on a new page.
Use value-orientated language to establish your initial promise. If your page visitors aren’t able to glean the overall benefit of your product or offer within the first 3 seconds, then they won’t consider your page worth their time and effort, and they will leave.
Image: British Gas landing page. The benefit of “10% Off… we’ll beat your electricity renewal” is immediately established within the opening headline (source. Google search)
Make it a rule to include a header that clearly explains the benefit – “With this service, you will get…” or “Sign up now and you could win…” – and your visitors will immediately be made aware of what they have to gain from sticking with your page.
Consider backing your initial promise with supporting benefits. Sometimes it’s worth following your header with a concise break-down of what the visitor will gain by purchasing your offer or signing up to your service, simply for the sake of clarification.
Use concise, value-oriented bullet points to explain the specific benefits of your offer. Not only will this strengthen your sales pitch, but it can also help persuade the visitor to continue with your page. Remember, your initial promise is effectively “selling” the next part of your pitch.
Image: Animal Friends landing page. The benefits of the service are listed in clear to read bullet points that maintain the reader’s interest whilst breaking down & driving home the original point made in the headline (source. Google search)
This is an element certainly worth testing. It may not be entirely necessary to follow up your headline and header with an immediate breakdown, as this can add extra content to your page that may very well overwhelm your visitor. So consider running two different versions of your landing page – one featuring a breakdown, the other without it – and segment your traffic in order to see which produces the best conversion rate.
Have strong beginning and ending paragraphs. When prospects are skimming your page, these are the sections that they’ll focus on. The primacy and recency effect dictates that people recall the first and last thing they see or hear the best. This means you need to write a compelling sales pitch, and a call to action that demands response:
- Write using the Second Person. This means instead of saying “I”, you speak in the reader’s terms by saying “You” and “Your”. Using these pronounces at the best opportunities (see value-oriented language examples above) can help forge a stronger connection between the reader and your offer. Establishing value on a more personal level helps readers visualize how the offer can be of benefit to their lives – not an abstract person.
- Go for clarity over creativity. You may have captured your visitor’s attention with a clear, concise and relevant headline. But that doesn’t necessarily guarantee they’ll be willing to sit through a convoluted sales pitch, put together with labored metaphors and superfluous word play. You are still against the clock and every second counts.
One way to concisely put your point across is to make use of data. Everyone is familiar with the term, “A picture is worth a thousand words”. Sometimes, so is a data point when you are trying to convey the value behind a complicated concept. Hammer home your main selling-point with indisputable facts rather than loosely stringing-together multiple ideas. And be sure to keep paragraph lengths to a minimum.
Image: Co-Operative Insurance landing page. “30% of customers pay less… based on new polices” is factual, it helps emphasize value whilst keeping information short & to the point (source. Google search)
Regardless of whether or not you make use of data points in your landing page copy writing, be sure to re-read what you’ve written, and ask yourself whether your copy is as clear and concise as possible without taking away from the meaning.
- Use action-oriented language. When you write with verbs, you’re giving a stronger, more definitive instruction for visitors that help them understand what they are supposed to do on that page. This is especially important when it comes to writing your call to action. Excluding these action-orientated words from your CTA copy leaves the reader with little to no direction and can seriously cripple your conversion rate.
Furthermore, used correctly – and often quite dynamically – action verbs are an effective, yet simple way of conveying emotion. If you can evoke an emotive response from your visitors – one that warrants their decision to purchase/sign up to your service – then your chances of a successful conversion will be much higher. Some words may work better than others. So draw up a list when it comes to writing your CTA copy and test different variants to see which yields the best results.
Finish up by proof reading for any errors or inconsistencies. This is a crucial last step, because you are using your landing page to convince people to purchase from you and give you their personal information, visitors will be far less likely to do this if your landing page copy is riddled with careless imperfections.
Check for accuracy in spelling, grammar, consistency and whatever data/information you may have used.
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