When it comes to landing page copy, you’ve really got to choose your words carefully. Sometimes it’s better to come right out and say whatever it is you’re trying to say – as plain and simple as possible – and other times it’s best to stop and think before you say anything at all.
Confused? Don’t be. Here’s a list of cliched phrases, confusing techniques and overused words you’ll want to avoid when coming up with your landing page copy:
Your headline is one of the most important elements of your landing page. This is what sets the tone for the rest of your copy and above all else, it’s the first thing a visitor sees when they arrive at your page – so it needs to be spot on.
Remember, an effective headline needs to be engaging, relevant and of immediate benefit to the person reading it (although not always in that order). Here’s a few things to avoid when coming up with an effective headline:
Headlines that are too clever
As a marketer, I’ve come across hundreds of landing page, billboard advertisements, and even article headlines that try to be too clever, only to end up compromising the initial meaning behind the message.
I’m not saying clever headlines are a bad thing, they can often be more engaging, but a clever headline should also help make your point more clear, not less.
Headlines that sound like a title
This also could be seen as, basically, not having a headline. After all, this is how your page visitors are likely to view it.
Image: Landing page headline that reads more like a title. Not altogether engaging.
Without a discernible headline, there is nothing to greet visitors and guide them into the rest of your copy. And whilst a title-like header may be bluntly relevant, there is nothing to tell them what value they can expect to receive from your product, or the immediate benefits of sticking with your page.
Image: Landing page headline that has been re-written to be more visitor-friendly
Headlines in the form of a question
Put simply, you can’t answer a question with another question, and new page visitors will be looking for some form of clarification to their own queries as soon as they arrive. They’re always going to want answers, not more questions.
2. Awkward sales-speak
Over exposure to slick words and commonly used phrases means that readers will instantly switch off the moment you start padding your copy with sales-speak. It’s much better to be open and sincere, and to speak honestly to your customers – this is best way to get through to people.
Remember though, there’s no one place where you’re specifically pitching, you’re pretty much selling to your customers throughout the entire page, so you may want to reconsider which words you choose. Here’s some examples of awkward sales-speak so overused that they could reduce the credibility of your page copy:
‘Better than the rest’ drivel
Obviously you want to express how much better your product/service is compared to the nearest competitor. But use the same words as everybody else and you won’t stand out from the crowd. Not only that, but you also risk coming across as arrogant and insincere. Common examples include:
- Unique – Sure, you want to differentiate yourself from the competition, but the ever increasing pace of commoditization means few products and services remain “unique” for very long. Customers would rather hear about how much ‘better’ you are for their needs.
- Popular – Nowadays, the word “popular” has very cheap and tasteless connotations. Don’t tell your customers how popular you are, show them with social proof. This has a much greater impact and is far more credible.
- Industry-leading, innovative and pioneering – Depending on what your product or service actually is, these can be very effective words, so long as they’re relevant. Use them sparingly and only when appropriate – nobody’s going to take your “innovative car washing service” seriously.
Cliches, jargon and buzzwords
In an effort to make your product appear more superior and sophisticated, it’s easy to start slipping jargon into what should otherwise be very plain and simple copy. All this does is complicate matters, confusing customers with unfamiliar, irrelevant words when widely recognized ones will do just as well. Common examples include:
- Leverage – In most cases, “benefit from” is an easier to read alternative.
- Drive growth – Usually associated with a product or service that can be used to improve the customer’s own business, this kind of talk just sounds synthetic. If it helps improve business then just come and and say, and tell them exactly how it can help.
- Utilize – Just another word for “use”, although it doesn’t always read as well.
- Intuitive or tactile – Again, these words can be useful when properly used, otherwise they come across as cliched and out of context. Think before you stick them in.
- Robust – Describing something intangible as “robust”, such as a piece of software or an insurance policy, is like calling a hippopotamus “graceful”. It just sounds silly. If something is reliable then simply say it, explaining what makes it so.
3. Call-to-action copy
Another majorly important section of your landing page is the CTA (call-to-action) and in order to be effective, it really needs to some convincing copy to go along with it. This could be anywhere in the accompanying space, above or inside form fields, or included with your button.
It’s imperative that your CTA copy makes it easy for the reader to understand what needs to be done, in a motivational way that hammers home the value of your product or service. Here’s a few things to steer clear of when it comes to penning your CTA copy:
Lacking any motivation
You’ve spent all this time priming your visitor to complete a conversion, and now you’ve got to prompt that action out of them. It’s no good using uninspired, passive copy at this point.
- Submit – You want to empower your visitors, so that they feel the urge to take immediate action. Nobody is going to feel empowered if they “submit”. This is a terrible word to use anywhere in your landing page copy, least of all in your CTA.
Being too vague
Now’s not the time to start scrimping on details. If anything, here’s where you really need to make things especially clear, so that visitors feel confident in their decision to complete an action.
- Click here – This is fine when followed by a good enough reason to click, for example, “Click here to receive your free sample”. Without a reason attached, nobody is going to want to bother wasting their time, or run the risk of clicking something malignant.
Being overly presumptuous
While you’re capturing leads (for the benefit of future sales) you should never jump the gun and start treating landing page visitors like typical e-commerce customers. You need to reel them in slowly, otherwise you run the risk of scaring them off altogether.
- Buy Now/Subscribe Now – This is only relevant when an actual sales transaction (money changing hands) is taking place. If all your visitors are doing is requesting more information about your product or service, or downloading a free trial, then make that the subject of your CTA copy. Don’t confuse or worry them by suggesting a monetary transaction/commitment is taking place.
Try the Clickthroo Landing Page Marketing Solution: Free For 14 Days (Landing page builder, integrated tracking platform, A/B split testing, traffic segmentation, template and image libraries, integrated traffic sources, optional affiliate marketing module, and much more…)