As a savvy marketer, it’s our sincere hope you never start a campaign without a dedicated landing page for sending your paid traffic to. But — as you know — the job isn’t over once a landing page is created.
Your real opportunity is in understanding how your page performs.
Beyond tracking standard performance measures like conversions and landing page quality (LPQ), you’ve likely wondered about other factors like:
Is my landing page copy clear? Are there too many words? Too few?
Is my page faring well on mobile? Does it load fast enough?
Is this page just designed nicely, or is it also optimized for SEO?
Is this a good conversion rate for this type of page in my industry?
Ultimately you want to know whether you’ve got an especially high converting page, or if there’s anything specific you can improve. But it can be difficult to know what ‘good’ looks like, and you may not always have a second set of eyes to help you critique.
New: Try Unbounce’s Landing Page Analyzer
For years we’ve seen the need for a landing page audit tool or landing page grader of some sort, and so—after many months of development—we’re very pleased to unveil the Unbounce Landing Page Analyzer.
With this grader-style tool, you input your landing page URL (along with a few key details) and The Analyzer instantly delivers a comprehensive, personalized report with custom recommendations you can try today to increase your conversion rates.
Unlike other landing page reviews, The Analyzer is truly a deep dive into your performance.
Not only do you get a summary of how your page compares to others in your industry, but you also see important page performance insights including your landing page’s speed, load time, and page requests that may be slowing things down.
If The Analyzer discovers your images are too large (contributing to slow load time), your custom report will include compressed versions of all your images to replace quickly and get your page loading even faster.
Pictured: you’ll get custom, compressed images as part of your page analysis.
In The Analyzer’s comprehensive report, you’ll see specifics across nine categories, and discover whether your landing page:
Conveys trust and security
Appears properly on social networks and mobile
Is designed in a way that’s especially high converting
Contains too many calls to action
Has an appropriate Flesch reading ease and sentiment for your industry,
and much, much more.
Evaluate your landing page to reveal rea, data-backed insights in minutes.
Wait, aren’t there other landing page graders out there?
Touche! There are other landing page analyzers/graders/calculators available, but we can confidently say Unbounce’s is the most sophisticated and comprehensive you’ll find. Ours is the only landing page analyzer on the market leveraging AI technology, and the endless amount of campaign research done by our customers and our in-house marketing team.
For the past eight years, we’ve been obsessed with the question “what’s a good conversion rate?”, and Unbounce’s internal research team has employed proprietary AI technology to analyze the behavior of over 75 million visitors to 65,000 landing pages with a goal of understanding what makes a customer convert.
We have more data than any other conversion platform to provide insights on what a high-performing landing page looks like, and The Analyzer leverages this insight.
The Analyzer’s data is sourced from Google Page Speed Insights, and our very own proprietary data broken down by industry.
Actionable feedback you can implement today
The best thing about this landing page review? You’ll discover instant improvements that might take you only minutes to fix.
The Wizard of Moz himself, Rand Fishkin ran the following product’s landing page from Moz.com through The Analyzer and had some great things to discover.
How’d this Moz page fare? Here are Rand’s initial thoughts:
“I’m glad to see we passed so many of the technical checks! I was a little nervous. [I] Realized that the page is missing testimonials or social proof. That’s a head-smacking moment.”
Rand may be a bit self-depreciating here, however. Moz’s page scored really well with a 75% overall:
Rand’s overall landing page grade.
Rand’s verdict on trying out The analyzer?
“I’ve never seen a page analysis tool that’s focused on optimization. In my opinion, this can be hugely helpful for folks to quickly check that they’ve nailed the basics of landing page optimization and accessibility. I have no doubt tens of thousands of websites can get better just by applying this tool’s advice.”
What did we learn?
Interested in what The Analyzer could teach us about our in-house landing pages at Unbounce, we ran our recent event landing page for PPC Week through to see what we’d take away:
Pictured: The landing page for PPC week we input into the Landing Page Analyzer.
We learned the page converts very well for our industry (7.7%), and while the page loads pretty quickly (0.7 seconds), at 3.32MB it’s overweight and could be loading even quicker if we reduce it to less than 3MB:
Our PPC Week page’s overall grade. Note our message match and page speed could use some work.
Our PPC Week landing page is running a little slowly.
Fortunately, The Analyzer also provided us with some compressed images that will help us load up to 9% faster:
We also saw that our page title, meta description and H1 tags were helping our SEO visibility (which was important for this particular page).
All of these quick-to-change factors can improve this PPC Week page for us, but we’re most excited to see what you’ll discover about your own landing pages. Bonus, you don’t need an Unbounce-built page to try The Analyzer, either. Give it a try today and let us know what you think!
We are in the middle of a cultural shift. This evolving change is highly visible in the current state of communication. As attention spans continue to shorten, the significance of the novel and long-form is giving way to the 140-character tweet, the ephemeral 10-second Snapchat (with an optional caption) and listicles. While all these forms may have their detractors, their impact is still undeniable. Web design has responded to the pressure of shorter attention spans with placing a higher emphasis on the landing page. When today’s web-savvy visitor lands on your homepage, you have mere seconds before their mind generates…
It’s believed that it takes users (who have no idea of what your site does) exactly three seconds to orient themselves and make up their minds as to what they should do next. This is called the “three-second” or the “blink” test and passing it is crucial for your landing page success. Asking a good question on the landing page is a great way to orient a user and steer them into taking the desirable action: Questions may prompt users to stop and think. In our era of information overload when people click links, close tabs and move on in…
No matter what stage you’re at as an optimizer, it always pays to go back to the basics. Landing page optimization is a really important skill to have. There’s a lot at stake. That’s why I’ve chosen to treat the topic again, this time from the perspective of the basics. Want to know why I’m going back to the basics? Because these are things that we all need to be reminded of. Because I realize that a lot of marketers who read Crazy Egg might not be familiar with all the principles of landing page optimization. Because there has been…
Why should we send you to the Call to Action Conference?
You can start from a template or just piece together a page from scratch. Surprise us. Impress us. Anything goes! Create your page and then submit it via the form at the bottom of this post.
What are we judging you on?
We are judging you on your landing page chops. #duh
But what does that really mean? Let’s break it down. We’ll be looking at:
The persuasive power of your copy
The clickability of your call to action
The expanse of your creativity (really, go wild and impress us!)
Your conversion rate. What are you doing to make us click? Or better yet, what are you going to do to make a bunch of people click? Drive a bit of traffic to your landing page and we’ll be really impressed. *hint hint*
Bonus: The early bird gets the worm. The earlier you get us your awesome landing page, the more time we have to look over it.
Mark your calendars: The deadline for entries is Friday, August 28th.
Our panel of judges will pick the best overall page (using our top secret algorithm) and we’ll post them on our blog in early September, just in time for the conference. Look out for a roundup of awesome reader-submitted landing pages (with a landing page optimization tip or two from some of our expert speakers and in-house marketing experts).
What does the Ultimate CTAConf Package Include?
In other words, why should you put your blood and sweat into making the best landing page ever?
First of all, you’ll win your way to Call to Action Conference (ticket, airfare, accommodation and more), hosted by Unbounce this September 13th – 15th.
The prize package includes:
One CTAConf ticket and one ticket to give a friend
Create and publish a landing page in Unbounce (sign up here – it’s free) telling us why we should send you to CTAConf, and submit it via the form below.
Happy landing page building!
PS: If you don’t want to make a landing page but still wanna come to the conference, we’ve got a special discount for our blog readers. Get an exclusive 30% discount at checkout by using the promocode “UnbounceBlog” until the landing page contest submissions end on Friday, August 28th.
We’re going to cover a few of the big wins that you need to focus on. These elements are critical if you want to improve your numbers:
Landing Page Copy
What you would might see when setting your Facebook targeting options. My default is country is the UK
Before we do anything to a landing page, we must first take a look at where your traffic is coming from. Though it is rare, it may just be the case that your landing page is fine, but your ad targeting is not.
If there is a mismatch between who you’re advertising to and who your landing page speaks to, it can look as though your landing page is performing badly. What might actually be happening is that you’re targeting the wrong people in your advertising campaigns.
When the landing page and ad targeting don’t align, you’re going to attract the wrong kind of people. They’ll take one look at your landing page, realize it’s not relevant for them and then click the back button.
When setting up an advertising campaign, go through everything with a fine tooth comb. Ensure that there is a sufficient level of coherency between who you’re advertising to and who your landing page speaks to. In doing so you’ll avoid the rabbit hole of forever changing your landing page only to get consistently poor results.
You need to make sure that your landing page headline is the best that it can be. The headline is the thing that most people often look at first. It tends to determine what action people might take next.
If you use paid traffic, you need to make sure that your headline matches the information that was found in the ad that you placed.
Ensure that the benefit promise does not change and that you use the same kind of language. For instance, don’t advertise, ‘lose a six kilos in six days,’ and then have a headline that says, ‘learn this new gym technique.’
In my experience, I have found that as long as you keep some consistency between the ad and the headline, you can avoid some of the problems related to your ad targeting. You can use your ad to prequalify people, avoiding clicks that don’t come from your ideal customer. The consistent headline will then reaffirm to the person who clicked that they’re in the right place.
From what I’ve found, headlines don’t need to be complicated. Be specific and include a benefit. If you see a headline you like, emulate it. Keep a swipe file in an Evernote account and borrow from the best.
Most of the people who operate a landing page have something that they’re giving away in order to build their email list. If you find that your landing page is not performing well, it could just be that your giveaway sucks.
This might be a hard thing to hear, as you might have worked forever on that 50-page ebook. I’ve been in this position before and it can sometimes be tiresome to know that you’ve got to work on something else to give away.
I have found that when this problem happens, it generally occurs because I don’t know my target market well enough.
You need to know what your target market has a burning desire for. If I was marketing to freelancers and had a giveaway called, ‘how to make your website look awesome,’ it probably wouldn’t get that many downloads. However, if I had a giveaway called ‘how to consistently generate clients and avoid quiet months,’ that would have a much better response.
Admittedly, those names suck, but I hope you understand the point I’m trying to make. Freelancers worry about winning their next client. Once their existing contract ends, they might have to put up with a month or two without income. This is a much more pressing problem than having a website that doesn’t look awesome.
Your giveaway does not need to be complicated and should just aim to solve one pressing problem. Search the relevant forums and speak one-on-one with your potential clients. Find out what is going on in their heads and how you can help them.
This concept applies to ebooks, webinars, audio recordings and everything else that might exist as a giveaway.
Check out this fella from Basecamp, pointing to the form. The pointed finger automatically draws your attention.
There’s some debate as to what’s more important, the headline or the image. For me the use of an image generally depends on what your landing page looks like.
Some formats allow for a big image and some do not. The more space an image takes, the more attention it draws, and hence, the more importance it gains.
The image tends to vary depending on what you’re promoting. If there’s a live webinar taking place, you might have a picture of yourself. You might boost the credibility in the photo by having a picture of yourself when you were speaking at an event.
If the image is promoting an ebook, you could just have the cover of the ebook present. This will emphasize that you can help share some insight on a burning problem that they have.
You could just be running a very simple landing page, with a big background image. If the background image includes a person, try to select an image that has the person looking at the optin box. (This tends to direct visitors’ eyes to the box.)
Remember your goal is to get people to sign up. You don’t want to have an image that is so dazzling that it distracts them from their original intention. Keep your image simple and ensure that it’s relevant and serves a purpose. The image should contribute to the overall goal of making a visitor take an action—in this case signing up.
Though not always the case, you might also want to make the ad image match the landing page image. This coherency may lead to a higher number of signups.
Landing Page Copy
Taken from a Hubspot landing page. See how the copy promotes the benefits.
If you don’t have much of an image on your landing page, the copy should save the day.
The text on your landing page needs to be relevant to who you’re advertising to and what you’re giving away.
You don’t want to have a big bunch of text that is hard to read and irrelevant. What you need to do is ensure that everything is to-the-point and easy to read quickly.
Most landing pages use a small paragraph and then some bullet points. The paragraph can be used to qualify people further. Though this will not always do anything to reduce your ad spend, it will help you reach people who are more suited to your business.
The bullet points need to be benefits-rich and scannable.
Bullet points are almost like mini headlines. The golden rule when creating bullet points and headlines is to convey benefits, not features.
Don’t tell them what it is—tell them what it can do.
A hypothetical example: ‘Learn about this fat burning machine that automatically contracts muscle fibres.’ A benefit headline/bullet point would be, ‘Finally a way to burn fat without leaving the couch.’ A curious statement, but hopefully you get the point!
It is also a good idea to make sure the copy stands out from the background. Make sure your text color contrasts the background. If it’s hard to read, the overall quality of your landing page goes down along with its readability. Though aesthetic doesn’t always matter, readability is important. If they can’t read it they won’t know why they should opt in.
And remember, at the end of your copy include a call to action. You need to keep in mind that you have to direct people and let them know what to do next. Tell them to enter their email address and get the giveaway.
This is a button that can be found on an Aweber landing page. Notice how it is tailored to their specific offer. It also changes color when hovered over.
You’ve seen the stories and I’ve seen them too. They tend to go a little like this: local man changes sign-up button color and gets 500% opt in increase.
Whilst that’s not impossible, it’s not something you should be devoting your entire energy towards when improving your subscriber box. There are a few other things that you can do in order to get great results that lend themselves to a better sign-up rate.
Firstly, think about including a note that tells visitors their email addresses won’t be shared or abused. It doesn’t have to be a long message and can simply say something like, ‘We never spam.’
Next, you could experiment with the number of details you’re requesting. Some people have found that when they just ask for an email address, sign-up rates dramatically rise. This depends on your business and what you’re looking to do. Even as small a change as asking only for their first name and email can raise subscriber numbers.
After that you might want to experiment with what the actual sign up button says. Different calls to action can give you varying response rates. Try a few and see which one works. Of course, at this point, you could also experiment with the colors of your button. Just remember, this is often a lower priority than the points we reviewed above.
You need to make sure you’re split testing your landing page. Failure to do so could mean you’re leaving tons of money on the table.
Many times, we think we know what works best on a landing page. As marketers, however, we have to get into the habit of testing our assumptions. A small tweak to your headline can potentially yield some massive results. You’ll never know if you don’t split test. If you can afford it- try things that you think are absurd and let the numbers do the talking.
For me the best tool when it comes to split testing a landing page is Visual Website Optimizer. You don’t need to be a tech whiz kid to get good results, and making changes with their help is really easy. (By the way, I am in no way affiliated with them. I’ve just used their products and like them.)
When split testing, change only one thing at a time. This will let you know what is actually contributing to a change in the numbers. You can then make an accurate comparison to the old original version.
It’s okay to test some crazy changes. You might just stumble upon something that actually works well. The more a/b testing you do, the more you’ll know what works best.
When you’re split testing, remember to give everything a little bit of time. Don’t assume a landing page change doesn’t work after a few visits. Let it run for a day or two (or a month or two) and then see what the numbers say. You need to reach statistical relevance before you can evaluate the results of your test.
Try working on the headline first. Then make some changes to the bullet points or the image. As mentioned before, the headline is a major component of your landing page. Split testing it will help you focus on big wins when improving your numbers.
Other ideas to experiment with
Before we say anything about scarcity, I want to emphasize one point: You should be ethical. Don’t say something that is not true and don’t pretend you’re going to run out of digital ebooks.
However, if scarcity is something that applies to what you’re doing, whether it be webinar seats or product giveaways, consider it. It often works well for businesses that deal with tangible goods, or those who are looking to build anticipation for a release of some sort.
Figure out a way that you might be able to work it into your funnel. But remember—don’t lie.
This Wordstream landing page includes a lot of the elements mentioned. There are also some company logos. These count as social proof too. The video tends to make up for the lack of copy.
Social proof comes in many forms and can boost the credibility of your page massively. If you have the means to do so, the option of including testimonials can help. We don’t want to overcomplicate things, so keep it brief. If you have a testimonial that speaks directly to the people you’re trying to reach, consider using it.
Watch Someone Use Your Website
This tends to work better when testing websites as a whole, though it can still work well with a landing page.
Find someone nearby and ask them to take an action on your landing page. Watch them and see how they interact with your page. Where do they click, even though there is no clickable element? What do they spend the most time doing? What is their opinion?
Crazy Egg heatmaps can help you do some of this. The collated data can provide valuable insight on the actions that people are taking on your website.
With landing pages, you only want someone to do one specific thing. Watching someone (or gathering data on people using your landing page) will let you know if they know what that one specific thing is.
Different Forms of Media
If your landing page only includes an image, try swapping it out with a video. A video will need to be created so that it conveys the right message. Those who use a video on their landing page sometimes set the video to autoplay. Experiment with different video styles and see if it helps.
This would most likely be placed on the bottom of the landing page, and would allow for people to learn more about what you’re offering. If you’re using long copy make sure you’re regularly placing signup buttons throughout the page.
Taking Things to the Next Level
Improving your landing page can give you a chance to take things to the next level. Once you know where to focus your attention, making the changes should be a walk in the park.
The job of improving a landing page is never done. You’ll always want to do some split testing to see if you can drive your numbers even higher. You can experiment with different headlines, images and bullet points. You can even make a radical change to the overall layout. As long as you’re constantly trying new things you should be good.
You don’t always have to be original when making these changes. If you see an idea you like, you can emulate it. Keep your own swipe file and synthesize various landing pages to produce one that is going to be a top performer.
Put some of the tips mentioned into action and see how they work out for you. If you’ve got any questions or suggestions, leave a comment below. Good Luck!
Do you want to be more successful in business? Then maybe you need to take some risk.
Much of the reason more businesses don’t accelerate faster is because their owners are afraid of risk. What if it fails? What if people think I’m stupid? What if I lose customers?
Life itself is a risk, and sometimes it takes even more risk to make life and business more successful. Why am I waxing philosophical? Because I want to set the stage for something that might be risky.
I’m going to suggest a few landing page tactics that might be risky. You may think they’re stupid. You might hate them. You may never try them. That’s okay.
But here’s the thing. These landing page techniques have been extremely successful for some businesses. Could they be successful for your business? You’ll never know until you try.
Before I propose a few techniques, let me explain a few basic facts that will make this article as helpful as possible.
What is a landing page?
I’m using the term “landing page” according to its broader definition. Some people use the term “landing page” to describe only “a standalone web page distinct from your main website that has been designed for a single focused objective.” Many times, this is the page that users see if they click on a paid ad.
I’m broadening the definition. A landing page can include a website main page or even product subpages, as you’ll see in the examples below.
Split testing is designed to compare the success of one page over another. It’s not exactly the model of testing the success of drastic redesigns, which might be what your website needs.
If you discover that you want to redesign your website, you’ll know if a change is successful or not. More importantly, once you have made your major move, you can start testing for gradual improvements in the new design.
There are no best practices. There are no solutions. There’s only what’s right for your customers.
People love to hear about “best practices,” or to imitate what other marketers have done.
Why? Because every website is different! Every customer is different! Every niche is different! There are so many differences that it would be foolish to think that someone else’s “best practices” will have the same impact on your website. Just because someone else got a 383% boost in conversions, doesn’t mean that you’ll experience the same thing.
Okay, preliminary stuff aside. Let’s take a look a few crazy landing page ideas.
1. Just one thing.
One brilliant landing page design trend follows the path of minimalism. Like the popular flat design, these landing pages remove everything extraneous. They retain only the bare-bones basics of a landing page:
Yes. By reducing complication and choice, these landing pages make the user focus on the product and the CTA. Such streamlined focus will naturally improve conversions.
Here’s Jive, a popular collaboration software suite. The CTA is obvious.
You can use this technique with some variation. Parallax design allows you to display a minimalist design on the top while providing additional information below. This allows curious users to do their research before they convert.
Unbounce is a landing page optimization company. Their software allows users to build their own landing page and test its effect. Their landing page drives at one thing.
Some of the best examples of this tactic are used by apps. An app website is usually, by nature, a very focused landing page. The more focus, the better.
Just Landed, also an app, uses a similar approach with this landing page.
Not every business can pull off such stark simplicity. If you try this tactic, make sure that your headline and description are crystal clear.
2. Just give me your email address.
All that some landing pages want is your email address. And they don’t beat around the bush.
Here’s Mixergy. All they want you to do is put in your email address. The landing page you see below has one purpose.
Mixergy’s landing page has three main features:
A CTA form
Trust signals. A few well-known brands are featured at the bottom for good measure.
There is a slight drawback. If you chance upon such a landing page with no previous knowledge of the business, then you may be confused.
I think Mixergy does a great job. In less than ten words, they convey the purpose of the site.
ConversionXL uses this approach on their website. Their main site has this simple CTA.
Personally, I think that landing pages with forms are boring, insipid, and uninspiring. But they must have some effect.
Why do I think this? Here’s why. Optimizely, one of the world’s leading CRO softwares uses a boring form for their landing page. Check it out.
I may not like this landing page, but I’m going to assume that Optimizely knows what they’re doing. (Note: I don’t have any stats on their conversion rates.)
Another reason I think that this crazy tactic works is because Salesforce uses it, too. Salesforce basically invented SaaS. They also have 13,300 employees, which I’m sure includes a few CROs and landing page analysts. With a market cap of $35.87 Billion, they can afford a few split tests on their landing page.
Here it is, in all of its glory:
Let’s take a look at another one — Netsuite. Forbes recently named this company number two in the most innovative growth companies list. As an enterprise software worth nearly $8 billion, they’ve obviously done something right. Growth rate has been at 22% over the past five years. I can’t help but think that their landing pages had something to do with that growth.
How does a multi-billion dollar company design its landing page?
Are you kidding me?! Eleven form fields?! That flies in the face of common sense, let alone conversion rate best practices. Reducing their forms to six fields would boost their conversion rates by 15%. Dropping down to 3-5 fields would give them a 20% conversion rate boost. And if they had only three form fields, they would gain a 25% uptick in conversion rates. (See data.)
But maybe NetSuite is on to something. (More on that in a minute.) Let me show you another one.
Fleetmatics is another major SaaS company. They prefer the form-centric landing page, too.
Here is why I think that these landing pages are successful.
Today’s B2B companies understand that their customers aren’t looking for the right solution to their needs. Their customers already know the solution. The customer understands the products, the competition, the prices, and the features. When a customer is finally ready to convert, he or she will have already educated himself on the pros, cons, and features of the product or service. Converting is simply a matter of landing on the right page, and filling out the form. Little to no persuasion is needed.
B2B buyers don’t need to be wowed by moving backgrounds, sizzling hot headlines, or sexy parallax designs. They just fill out the form.
4. Show them a video.
Videos have a proven track record of high conversion rates. But just how to use video is anyone’s best guess. You can have embedded videos with auto-play, videos in lightbox modal popups, explainer videos, CTA after video play, in-video CTAs, and a variety of other variations on a theme.
What’s the best way? You’ll only know by testing. With that in mind, let me show you some innovative examples.
I’ve long admired Mailchimp for their smart, clean, and compelling landing pages. They seem to inspire the creative. (Just look at the cup of — what is that, a mocha? — the artsy deco, and sharpened pencils.)
Calling this a “video” is like referring to a puddle as an ocean. That’s why I used the term “animation.” It’s only five seconds. And it hardly has any movement whatsoever.
The point of the video is to show visitors how to use Mailchimp, and to prove its absolute simplicity. It works. Anyone who visits Mailchimp will see in the first five seconds how it works.
Paddle helps app creators to manage their apps and content. They use a video feature on their homepage in order to display the software’s feature and create an engaging and immersive experience for the user.
Other notable companies including PayPal and Airbnb have used the background animation method as well.
One of the best examples of the video on landing page is GoPro. When you visit their page, you’re immediately entranced by the full screen and powerfully compelling action video. It’s almost addictive.
In some cases, however, this is what a landing page must do. If your product or services requires that a user find their own funnel, then you’ll need to provide some method of narrowing down the users with your landing page.
Workday, a SaaS, uses this approach. Their HR customers use the SaaS for financial management, human capital management, and big data analytics. Thus, the landing page helps to provide all the information that their information-seeking might want.
The main page for DemandWare also allows customers to find their correct spot on the website.
Concur provides travel expense reporting. Their landing page provides four options that allow users to discover their preferred application.
A great approach for improving conversions is to encourage interaction.
When a user interacts on your website, it creates a sense of buy-in. The more involvement that they have, the more they are interested in the product or service. With every interaction, it’s more likely that they will convert.
Here’s a beverage company. They encourage users to select a drink based on strength, taste, and ingredients.
I use the interaction technique on Quicksprout. My goal is to help users by providing a free analysis of their website. They are required to input their URL and login with Google. By increasing their interactivity with the page and then using my system, they are more likely to stay engaged.
ParkMe uses a simple form question to encourage interaction — “Where are you going?”
CrazyEgg itself is using this technique (as of recently). You can continue (or not). It’s up to you. Interaction is your only path forward.
These are just a few ideas. You may have other ideas. You may have better ideas.
What should you do about them? Give them a try. The worst thing that could happen is that you lose a few potential sales. No prob. Switch back to the old landing page method.
The biggest risk is not trying. Why? Because you could be losing a ton of potential conversions. You’ll never know unless you give it a try.
The key to writing highly effective landing pages is simple: Make it as easy as possible for the user to say “yes.”
Sometimes copywriters say too much, going off on a tangent or introducing information that confuses the reader. In other cases, copywriters say too little, forcing the reader to make assumptions.
When content creates boredom, confusion or uncertainty, landing page visitors have a hard time converting into customers. Avoiding these effects is harder than you may think, as we will see in the examples that follow.
7 Attributes of Highly Effective Landing Page Content
At a high level, landing page content should be written and edited with seven criteria in mind:
Obviously, this is the most important criterion: Does the page demonstrate
Value – Do the benefits speak to the target audience? Is the value strong enough to motivate a user to respond?
Credibility – Will the user be confident that the seller is legitimate?
Authority – Will the user believe the seller is competent?
Does the page have effective titles and subtitles? And since most users scan: Do the titles and subtitles inspire them to dig deeper into the content? Do they encapsulate the key benefits of the product or service?
Does the copy contain too much detail? Not enough?
Are the calls to action appropriate and clearly explained? Remember, you want just one call to action, but you can place it one the page several times. Ideally, put one above the fold and after your offer.
If landing page copy performs well in all seven areas, it will convert. So put your focus on these areas when writing and optimizing your page.
Let’s take a look at three landing page examples, two short-form and one long-form, and consider these various attributes in more detail. I’ll discuss issues with each landing page in order of importance.
Overall, this landing page has taken brevity too far. The product, CPQ (configure price quote) software, is by nature technical and complicated. The firm relies on a 2:44 video to convey the key features and benefits of its product.
Relying on video to explain your product is risky. If users don’t view it, they won’t have nearly enough information about the software to commit to a free trial. So right off the bat, adding a few bullet points that give users reasons to watch the video would greatly enhance the page’s persuasive power. Something along these lines, perhaps:
To See It in Action, Watch This Short Video
Create value-rich proposals with upsell and cross-sell opportunities.
Take your sales reps through a systematic process built on your sales strategy.
Works completely within Salesforce CRM
These bullets give users an idea of what the product actually does, as well as hit themes of interest to sales managers—upsell, cross-sell, systematic process and strategy.
As a side note, I’m not sure whether working within Salesforce is good or bad. Are firms that don’t use Salesforce still prospects? If so, the video message and my suggested third bullet point will deter non-Salesforce users from converting. On the other hand, if the product requires Salesforce, that information is a key benefit: Add value to your Salesforce CRM by adding our versatile CPQ software!
Other Content Issues
Body text fonts could be larger and darker.
The first subtitle, “Configure Price Quote – 30 Day Trial,” misses an opportunity to highlight a benefit. The benefit of speed was covered in the title, which is good, but why not use the subtitle to mention flexibility or mobile-enabled?
The call to action, “a free 30-day trial,” may need more supporting information to persuade users to act. How many users do I get for my free trial? How complicated will it be for my staff to integrate the software with Salesforce? How much does it cost?
A secondary call to action such as “Download our brochure” would improve conversions by appealing to users not ready to pull the trigger on a trial.
One small precision issue bothers me: “30-Day” is hyphenated in the call to action block but “30 Day Trial” is unhyphenated in the subhead directly to the left and in the body copy. Would this flaw by itself deter me from converting? Maybe not; but combined with such thin information, it’s another strike against taking action.
Good Content Execution
The main credibility elements, the client logos, are strong and help users recognize the product is geared to large organizations. (Note: If the product is also geared to middle market and/or small users, these logos may discourage them from converting.)
The body copy may be minimalistic, but it is also refreshingly free of jargon and corporate-speak—an all-too-common problem with software product content. This copy lays out the benefits in plain English and in a tone suitable for a corporate audience.
Main Content Issue
The biggest weakness in this landing page is its emphasis on features rather than benefits. The header text uses bullet points (good for scanning!) to call out robust call analytics, purchase virtual numbers, optimize ad spending, easy to get started and affordable. Besides (or because of) being feature-oriented, three of these points raise obstacles to conversion:
Robust call analytics – How does that help me? Why does this matter?
Purchase virtual numbers – What are virtual numbers? Is this an additional cost? An option?
Optimize ad spending – I think I know what this means, but again, what is the value?
Easy to get started – A benefit, but I haven’t heard any reason to get started.
Affordable – A benefit, but I haven’t heard any reason to spend anything.
The video does a great job of laying out the benefits of the product:
Find out where your sales leads are coming from.
Spend more money on the advertising channels that work.
Spend less money on the ones that don’t.
Get more leads, and get them faster.
These bullet points, along with “Easy to get started” and “Affordable,” would make a much more persuasive header, because they are jargon-free, express benefits, and explain in a nutshell what the product does.
Other Content Issues
The Step1, Step2 and Step3 content in the body may hinder rather than help clarity. If the target audience is small business (the video talks about a realtor), users are probably not familiar with virtual numbers and how the technical process works. Furthermore, they probably don’t care. If users don’t get it, they feel stupid—which makes them less likely to convert.
Why no space between the word and numeral in Step1, Step2, Step3? A small point perhaps, but combined with other shortcomings, this could be a fatal flaw. Why take chances?
I assume the headline “Call Tracking” is dynamically generated to correspond to the search term used to find the landing page. This is good, because a relevant headline is critical to an effective landing page. However, the header design should include a static subhead conveying a key benefit, such as “Stop Wasting Money on Useless Advertising.” A strong benefit statement gives users a reason to investigate further or act.
As with CallidusCloud, the call to action, “sign up for a free trial,” doesn’t provide enough information to elicit an easy “yes.” How long is the trial period? How does this product work with the advertising and phone numbers I already have in place? Bullet points addressing these issues would be a persuasive alternative to the “three step” copy discussed earlier.
The secondary call to action, “read our case studies,” is good, but the CTA links to a page with 54 case studies! Definitely too much information for the user to absorb and probably not a pathway to many reads, let alone free trials. A much better option would be a PDF download with two or three killer case studies. CallFire could provide the download in exchange for user email addresses, enabling the firm to market to them in the future.
The credibility logos are all large organizations, but the video uses an independent realtor. I’m confused: Does CallFire serve big guys or little guys… or both? When users are confused, they freeze. A simple statement such as, “We get results for entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 firms and everything in between,” would clear the confusion and generate conversions.
The subhead, “Sign up now to reduce customer attrition, increase sales and start direct customer conversations,” introduces two benefits, attrition and conversations, that have no apparent connection to call tracking. Will users who thought they understood the product suddenly get confused? I think so. (Because I did.)
Good Content Execution
The live chat feature is terrific. Users on this landing page are almost certain to have questions and many will prefer online chat to making a phone call. Live chat also enhances credibility by making the company look big.
Readability is excellent: Fonts are large and have perfect contrast. With plenty of white space on the page, users will not feel overwhelmed.
The statement “Over 100,000 Businesses Trust CallFire” enhances credibility. Users always like to know a product is widely accepted.
This landing page has no glaring problems that I can see. That being the case, let’s start by running down the page’s good points.
Good Content Execution
The header and subhead are chock-full of benefits: easy, no contracts, no cancellation fees. In a minimum number of words, great value is conveyed.
The BBB accreditation symbol establishes credibility right off the bat.
Repeating the “get quote” message at the top and bottom of the call to action block is persuasive. Too often, copywriters avoid repetition when, really, the object is to hit users over the head so they don’t have to think about what to do!
The page is highly readable, with lots of white space, short bullet points, large subheads and sub-subheads, along with properly sized and styled fonts.
The subheads and sub-subheads stress benefits and are concrete. This adds up to persuasion. For example: “Credibility: Independent reviewers praise us for our reliability and transparency.”
Copywriters are sometimes too creative, shooting for copy that suggests credibility. Why not come right out and say it? Calling out reliability and transparency hits two notes that are sure to resonate with every user. Very well done.
Note how the page leads with credibility and service before getting into product details. Excellent. For any financial services product, users must have trust in the company before doing business.
Technical details about the product are few and far between. Instead, product benefits are stressed: flexible pricing, many software options, no long-term contracts, etc. Technical information gets in the way of conversion: It slows down comprehension and, as we’ve seen in the earlier examples, can raise doubts instead of easing them.
The “Low Cost Guarantee” helps elicit an easy “yes.” On top of that, the call to action itself, “get a free quote,” is an easy “yes.” This firm is stacking the deck in its favor instead of putting obstacles in the way of conversion.
In the Low Cost Guarantee section, we find the statement, “We don’t lure you in with the promise of a low rate you will never see.” But the very first bullet at the top of the page does exactly that: “Rates from 39%.” Only careful readers will notice this, but those who do may doubt the firm’s sincerity.
Testimonials are usually great credibility elements, but here they fall short. The blank faces give users the impression the testimonials are made up; in addition, the statements themselves are confusingly worded. That a firm with over 130,000 satisfied customers doesn’t have stronger testimonials raises doubts.
Client logos, also great credibility elements, are noticeably absent. Instead, we see seven logos of organizations that have presumably endorsed Merchant Warehouse. I can make out only the Inc. logo; the other six are unrecognizable. With no links to the endorsers’ sites or text listing the endorsers, it all seems a little vague. The last thing you want credibility elements to do is raise doubts, but here both the testimonials and these logos are drifting in that direction.
How to Improve Your Landing Page Content
The easiest way to improve the persuasive power of landing page content is to have the right person edit it. It’s difficult for copywriters to edit their own work, so editing by another is a must; however, if the wrong person edits it, the content will go from bad to worse.
The editor should be familiar with the campaign strategy behind the landing page. The editor should also have a working knowledge of Web copywriting and CRO best practices. At our agency, project managers handle most of the editing.
Another very helpful practice is to have outsiders from the target audience review the content. What is their reaction? Are they persuaded to convert, or are they bored, confused and uncertain?
Note that agency and client personnel are far too familiar with the campaign strategy, product and value proposition to interpret content as a user would. Because they’ve been involved in strategy meetings and know what you’re trying to accomplish with the landing page, they can’t read it objectively.
They may also take vital facts for granted and leave them out of the copy, or go overboard in their enthusiasm and write about them ad nauseam.
Avoid these extremes and your landing page content will be well on its way to getting the job done.
What is your biggest challenge in writing a persuasive landing page?
I look a lot of landing pages, and I notice a common shortcoming. A lot of landing pages don’t have enough content.
Here are some examples.
Not counting the menu, this landing page has 19 words.
Here’s another landing page with less than 100 words.
This landing page has nice flow, and some content. But it’s only around 150 words! The product that they are trying to sell costs tens of thousands of dollars!
I didn’t cherry-pick these landing pages for their paucity of content. I simply searched for some high-competition keywords, and opened up these pages.
Are these landing pages successful? Maybe. But could they be more successful? Definitely.
How? By having more words.
The case for the 500-word landing page
In most cases, I think that landing pages should have more words.
Keep in mind that I’m not talking about homepages. The homepage for Kissmetrics, for example, has 30-some words. That’s not a lot, but that’s okay, because it’s a homepage, not a landing page.
Home pages may or may not have a lot of content. It depends on the product and audience.
In this article, I’m discussing the landing page — a page distinct from the main website that has a single, focused objective: conversions.
Too many landing pages are really short on content. And that’s a problem, because content is what converts. More content produces more conversions.
I suggest a minimum of 500 words for your landing page. Why 500 words? At this length, you can provide enough information to create a strong case for your product, provide sufficient information, and help persuade the reader.
The whole point of a landing page is to create a conversion, and the best way to do that is by giving the user content.
Here’s what you need to know about more words.
More words are persuasive
Users are persuaded by the words that you write. When they read copy, they will want to convert.
Many times, a user will be prepared to convert without reading anything. But more often than not, the user needs to be persuaded. You can’t do this successfully unless you have plenty of content.
What about images? Images are persuasive, too. Obviously, you should have plenty of pictures on your landing page. But pictures cannot completely replace content, no matter how great those pictures are. Pictures and words work together, but you can’t completely neglect the copy.
More words mean that people are more likely to act on what you say.
More words provide information
Why would a user clickthrough to your landing page in the first place? What is their intent?
In most cases, a user has one of two objectives.
Objective 1: The user wants to buy.
If all the user wants to do is buy, your job is simple. All you need to do is give them a CTA. You might need a headline or a bullet list, just so they know that they’re in the right place. But in most cases, all they want to do is convert. Do you need 500 words to achieve this? Probably not, if it’s just the conversion you’re going after.
But let’s hold on for just a minute. How did the user get to the point where they want to buy? No one shows up at this point in the buy cycle, with her credit card out, ready to drop money on a product or service. Somehow, someway, this user had to find out information about the product or service.
Where did that information come from? It could have come from a friend or social media or some other source. Most of the time, however, this information came from a landing page or website.
In other words, the user who wants to buy was, before that, a user who wanted to find out more information. Which leads me to the second type of landing page visitor….
Objective 2: The user wants to find out more information.
These types of users comprise the vast majority of clickthroughs. Your ad intrigues them, and they want to find out more. Thus, your landing page is the place where they can answer their questions. If your landing page doesn’t provide sufficient information, then you won’t gain their conversion. Your landing page fails, because you haven’t provided enough content.
The best way to sell products and services is to to add as much information about them as is possible. Pages and pages and pages, videos and images. It’s true that 79% of people won’t read it all, but 16% read everything! That 16% is your main target group.
More content is essential, regardless of where the user is at a given point in the buy cycle.
More words show the benefits of the product or service
Buyers today will be persuaded by the benefits of your product or service.
More words brings the user through a persuasive process of thinking
If you’ve read a novel, then you’ll be able to relate to this. The author of a novel takes the reader through a process of thinking. The author is able to create curiosity, anticipation, excitement, and engagement.
Landing pages aren’t novels, but they should be designed to do the same thing — to bring the reader through a process of thinking. The only way you can accomplish this level of persuasion is by having plenty of copy.
Here are a few things that you should do with your copy.
Curiosity — the strong desire for knowledge — is a major force in the compelling power of a landing page. You can build curiosity with your copy.
Many times, users will have internal or mental arguments against your product or service. A successful landing page uses words to meet these objections head-on, then destroys them.
A successful landing page also needs to hold the user’s interest. Again, it’s the power of skillfully-written copy (and enough of it) that creates this kind of engagement.
Nonetheless, you can’t go wrong with an SEO-friendly landing page. In fact, if your goal is organic landing page traffic, SEO is essential.
If you’re familiar with SEO, you should know that it doesn’t happen without plenty of content.
Your Guide to Creating a 500-Word Landing Page
If you’re ready to create your 500-word landing page, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Here’s your quick start guide to creating a 500-word landing page.
500 words is the lower threshold.
Don’t go any lower than 500 words. You can go higher, of course. Some of the most successful landing pages that I’ve seen have 3-4k words.
Don’t go overboard.
Can you go too long? Yeah, probably so.
I’ve seen landing pages with upwards of 30,000 words. By comparison, that’s about half the length of the Harry Potter book, Philosopher’s Stone.
By that point, you’ve probably written more than enough.
Organization is everything.
Just as important as the length of your landing page is its organization.
If you throw up 500 words as a raw and impenetrable wall of text, you’ll drive users away, rack up bounce rates, and enrage visitors.
Put on your UX hat, and shape your 500 words into a scannable, breathable page that flows smoothly. Use headings, bullet points, images, and lots of white space.
Break it up.
Reading is like talking. Every once in a while, you just need to stop and take a breath.
That’s why the English language has sentences and paragraphs. Break up your content into brief chunks that a user can scan if she wants to, or read if she wants to. Breaking up your 500 words is the best way to amplify its power.
Images are just as important.
Use a mix of images and copy. As I explained above, images and pictures work together. Use pictures, diagrams, illustrations, or icons that enhance your copy.
Don’t just write words for the sake of writing words. Write real, substantial, engaging, persuasive content. You may want to hire a skilled copywriter for this process.
This entire exercise of expanding your content to 500 words is going to be wasted if you skimp on content quality.
Use a variety of methods.
There are all kinds of copy. Your landing page will be more successful if you use a variety of persuasive styles.
Emotional persuasion – Persuade users using emotional language and discussion.
Analytical or data-driven persuasion – Feature charts, graphs, statistics, and data to persuade users.
Information persuasion – Give users as much information as possible to help them make a decision
The more types of persuasion you use, the better chance you’ll have of gaining a conversion.
Lots of copy is the path to landing page success…most of the time.
What I want you to do is to test more copy on your landing page. Assuming you implement it correctly, you could very well improve your conversion rates.
But keep in mind how I opened this article — “In most cases, I think that landing pages should have more words.”
The only way to find out is through conducting A/B tests. Give it a try, and see what you discover.
What do you think? Will having at least 500 words on your landing page improve conversions?