How to write a landing page
Landing pages are all about converting leads and driving sales. But how do you write a landing page that convinces your visitors to hit that CTA button? Here are our top tips for doing just that…
The goal of a landing page
The sole purpose of a landing page is to pull readers in, generate conversions and get sales for your business. Knowing how to write a landing page that maximises your chances of converting visitors into leads is a skill worth developing, and can work wonders for your business, your brand and your bottom line.
Outsourcing your landing pages is always an option, of course. But if you don’t want to do that, there are certain copywriting ‘rules’ you can follow that will immediately increase your chances of getting those conversions. Keep reading for Comma Chameleon’s top tips on how to write a landing page…
8 tips for writing effective landing page copy
The best copy your business will ever publish is not anything you can write yourself. And that’s not because you’re a shit writer – it’s because the most persuasive words about your business are the ones other people are saying. It’s glowing reviews and testimonials from your previous clients or customers.
Literally nothing is better for building trust in your business than a shitload of other people saying really nice things about you. Why? Because if someone hears good things about you from somebody who has already bought from you, those words immediately become much more credible than if you’re saying them about yourself. Good persuasive copy is as much about source as it is about style and content, and a testimonial makes for really compelling copy.
the most persuasive words about your business are the ones other people are saying
A review tells the reader what the experience of buying from you is like. Prospective customers want to know what to expect. They want to know that your promises aren’t empty and that you’ll deliver the product you say you will. Using reviews or testimonials gives them these reassurances upfront, because they’re hearing it from someone who has been there, done that and (quite possibly literally) bought the T-shirt.
How to do it: However you like! Use a customer quote as a headline. Use a review as the opening paragraph of the landing page’s copy. Weave snippets of reviews throughout the text. Or have a big pull-out quote situated somewhere prominent on the page. Just remember that your best asset is what your previous customers think of you.
Talk about benefits, not product features
Generally speaking, your prospective customers already know what they are looking for. The internet gives people the power to find the answers to all their questions, and the solutions to all their problems. By the time a visitor lands on your landing page, the chances are they will already know exactly what they want. They’ll have identified the non-negotiable features they need, they’ll know what style they’re looking for, and they’ll probably have a benchmark price in mind. In that respect, they don’t give a monkeys about the solutions you are bringing to the table – what they really want to know is, what are the benefits of buying that solution from you rather than from somebody else?
You want your landing page to convince people you’re worth having in their inbox, so reassure them you’re going to enhance their lives rather than provide a one-off solution.
It’s OK to mention your solution briefly, of course – that’s going to help your reader to know they’re in the right place – but don’t make that the basis of your copy.
Instead, talk about your fast delivery times, your sparkling customer service, the ongoing support you offer, your shit-hot turnaround times, the pain points you remove, or the challenges you help them overcome. The things that set you apart. You want your landing page to convince people you’re worth having in their inbox, so reassure them you’re going to enhance their lives rather than provide a one-off solution.
How to do it: Short and snappy wins, these days. Maybe hook out the key benefits of your product or service and have some bold-text bullet points. Or use them as sub-headings and talk about the benefits individually, with small paragraphs of text. Flag up anything and everything that makes you different to your competitors.
Write a kickass headline
We hate to break it to you, but nobody has the time to spend reading massive tracts of text these days. Recent research suggests the average internet user spends a mere 5.59 seconds looking at a website’s written content. Which sounds… well, depressing, really. But there ya go. What that means is you really don’t have much time to capture your reader’s attention, so your headline needs to be absolutely on point. It is, in effect, the most important 6-15 words of content you will write, and you need to nail it.
when it comes to writing your landing page copy, pay particular attention to those smaller elements that are likely to be additional attention-grabbers. Things like sub-headings and section titles… and, of course, those all-important CTA buttons.
The main headline should always be your priority, but you can use the ‘short and sweet’ maxim in other places to try and keep reader on the page. We are eye-flickers, skim-readers, waaaay too busy for this malarkey. So when it comes to writing your landing page copy, pay particular attention to those smaller elements that are likely to be additional attention-grabbers. Things like sub-headings and section titles. Image captions and bullet points. Shorter chunks of text and pull-out quotes. And, of course, those all-important CTA buttons.
Get those nailed, and your conversion rates will soar.
How to do it: To help capture the attention of the skim-reader, you should:
- Make your headline big, strong and clear
- Use compelling and persuasive language
- Stay away from cliches
- Consider using a testimonial or customer review as your headline
- Use subheadings that highlight the benefits of your product or service
Use plain English
The best conversion copywriters all have one thing in common: they keep it simple. You might be able to wax as lyrical as the best of them, but nobody who comes across your landing page is going to appreciate it if you do. In fact, your most powerful writing skill when it comes to landing pages is simplicity. Because simplicity sells.
You really don’t need to spend hours brainstorming or flicking through the thesaurus. You just need to write clear and simple statements.
Be creative, of course, but only if it’s meaningful. Don’t throw in words like ‘utilise’ and ‘leverage’ when what you mean is ‘use’. And get rid of all those marketing cliches that, when it boils down to it, mean sweet FA. ‘Integrated solutions’ don’t make you a ground-breaker – they align you with the homogenous lump of soulless businesses who are already singing the same tune. Be different. Be direct. And say what you mean.
How to do it: Keep your copy simple by:
- Using a simple sentence structure.
- Keeping sentences short.
- Using short words.
- Keeping language and wording straightforward.
- Being clear and succinct.
- Using the most basic words you can.
Be creative, of course. But only if it’s meaningful. Don’t throw in words like ‘utilise’ and ‘leverage’ when what you mean is ‘use’. And get rid of all those marketing cliches that, when it boils down to it, mean sweet FA.
Write like a human
You’re a human being. Your readers are human beings. So why would you want to sound like anything else? Nobody – absolutely nobody – is going to engage with a landing page that sounds cold, unfeeling or robotic.
As human beings, we only ever feel a connection with writing that speaks to our feelings, so stifling emotion in your writing is the worst thing you can do. Try to get away from the idea that you’re writing sales copy, and move towards the idea that you’re having a conversation. Pepper your landing page copy with the words and phrases you use when you’re talking to people.
The more personable and genuine you sound, the more likely your visitors will trust in what you’re saying. So write like a human, and watch your conversion rates go up.
How to do it: It’s simple, really. Just write like you would talk. If you’re funny, be funny. If you’re a bit woo, be a bit woo. If you’re sweary, be sweary. And if you break grammar rules when you’re talking, break them when you’re writing. Write as you, and use the first-person voice if that suits the goal of your landing page.
The more specific you are, the more believable your claims will be. And one of the best ways we can be specific is by using numbers to prove a point. As humans, we like to be able to quantify what we’re being told. So if you can boast about your turnaround times – and prove it with some figures – do it. If you have stats that show exactly how good you are, use them. But use them specifically.
Saying ‘thousands of’ whatever could mean anything from 2,000 to 999,999, and your readers are more likely to interpret that on the pessimistic side. They may even disbelieve you entirely. If you can prove you have 5,000 happy customers, say it. If you deliver within 24 hours, every time, say it. Don’t faff on with vague statements in an attempt to sound better than you are, because it’s more likely to have the opposite effect. Literally anybody can make a vague claim, and not all of them will be being truthful. So back up what you are saying with statistics and quantifiable metrics that make your claims irrefutable. Proof is persuasive. Use yours.
Don’t faff on with vague statements in an attempt to sound better than you are, because it’s more likely to have the opposite effect.
How to do it: Use statistics about your product or service that can be measured and proven. Use percentages in headlines. Hook out statistics in short passages of text. Use turnaround times as pull-out quotes. Use measurable statements as introductions to your CTA button, for example: ‘Join 5,000 other people who are benefitting from XXX’.
Ask, don’t tell
Nobody likes being told what to do. As human beings, we value having a little something called ‘free will’, and in fact we’ll often actively buck against being bossed around. We like to feel as if we’re making decisions by ourselves, for ourselves, and in our own best interests. So if you try telling somebody to take a certain action, it is more likely to bring out their bloody-minded side instead.
The CTA, or call-to-action, is what your landing page is all about. Everything else up to this point has been leading your reader towards this button. Your copy has been the fluffer. Your CTA button is the money shot. So you need to make it count.
As human beings, we only ever feel a connection with writing that speaks to our feelings, so stifling emotion in your writing is the worst thing you can do. Try to get away from the idea that you’re writing sales copy, and move towards the idea that you’re having a conversation.
An effective CTA needs to make the reader feel like they are making the decisions. You need to coax them towards clicking it, rather than outright ordering them to. It’s a good idea to use direct and straightforward language, but make sure you do it in a way that makes them feel they have the power.
How to do it: The CTA might be one of the few bits of copy on your landing page that your readers actually look at and digest. It needs to be direct, simple and easy-to-understand, and it needs to tell readers exactly what they can expect to happen next. Compare ‘Buy now’ and ‘Add to basket’. The first one is direct. The second one leaves me wondering what will happen once I’ve got ‘a basket’, when I only really wanted this one product anyway.
Test your copy
Very few conversion copywriters nail it the first time and you shouldn’t expect to, either. Publishing the best possible landing page requires a lot of testing and tweaking, and it’s worth investing the time in getting it right. You can switch up pretty much every element of your landing page – pictures, headlines, CTAs, design, flow – to test what works best for your audience.
Seemingly small things, like changing one word in a headline, can have a huge impact on conversion rates, and you’re never going to know what resonates most with your audience unless you do some thorough A/B testing.
How to do it: Put together landing pages with different variations of:
- CTA copy
- Lists of benefits
When you’ve gathered your results, make the appropriate changes to your landing page and send it out into the world for reals. Then sit back and watch the conversions come in. Make a note of what worked, and keep them in your copywriting bank for next time.
Getting the eyeballs
You know what a landing page is, you know why it matters, and now you know how to write some banging copy for it. So what’s next? Well, a landing page is pretty useless unless people are seeing it, so you need to get it in front of the right audience. Our next blog post looks at the ways – both paid and non-paid – in which you can drive traffic to your landing page.