Landing pages are an integral part of inbound marketing. Get them right and you’ll convert your website visitors into leads. Sounds simple, right? Well, yes, landing pages are straightforward providing they contain the right type of content and design.
I’ve been writing landing pages as part of inbound marketing workflows for several years now and have seen many examples of good and bad landing page practice. This post provides you with an overview of my 6 top tips for writing landing pages that people want to read and act upon rather than wishing they hadn’t clicked on.
Tip 1: Make sure your headline’s compelling
Starting from the top, the headline is one of the first things that’s written as part of the landing page body copy. Like any headline or title, it needs to capture the reader’s attention and be clear and concise (no longer than a sentence and between five and six words).
As well as being one of the first things that’s written, the headline is also one of the first things that people read. If it doesn’t hook them, then they most probably aren’t going to read on. Don’t try to be too clever, I always focus on why the page content is of relevance to the reader, how what I’m writing about (be it a product launch or download) is going to benefit them and what they are going to get from the page.
Oh, and just one more point on headlines before I move on to my next tip, steer clear of using puns! You can get away with it in certain copy, like light-hearted news headlines or social media posts, but definitely not landing pages!
Tip 2: Write naturally
It can be tempting to overthink and overanalyse landing pages, I’ve done it many a time, however, it can result in your content lacking flow and a natural tone of voice. And if this happens, then chances are you’ve lost your reader right at the start.
The key to writing landing pages that sound ‘human’ is putting yourself in the reader’s shoes and making sure there’s a clear structure. Would you be compelled to read the copy from start to finish? Will the words resonate with them or come across as waffle and jargon? Is the next step you’re asking them to take the next natural step in the process?
Bullet points and subheadings are a great way to break up large chunks of text and help guide your reader through your content.
Tip 3: Use consistent language
There’s nothing more frustrating than clicking on a call to action to download a guide about one thing, only to be whisked off to a landing page that doesn’t bear any resemblance to the content that initially hooked you in. Make sure that you use the same terminology throughout your copy so, if you’re asking people to download a top tips guide, it isn’t then referred to as a helpful checklist on your landing page. They’ll immediately think they’re on the wrong page and click away because it seems as though what first enticed them there isn’t what they’re going to receive. They clicked that landing page for a reason so make sure what you’ve promised them is what they are going to receive.
Tip 4: Think benefits not features
As tempting as it might be to use your landing page to list all of the key features of your product or service, don’t do it, ever. Yes, it’s all very useful and there’s definitely a place for this type of content, but it’s not on your landing page. Instead, flip things around by focusing on the benefits. One of the questions I always asking myself when drafting landing page copy is, how what is the reader going to gain from purchasing the product or service over the competition? How can you help them overcome their pain points and challenges? This is the key to writing landing pages that resonate with your target audience (and the vast majority of content).
Tip 5: Incorporate proof points
It’s all very well saying you’re great at what you do, but the reader doesn’t really know that, especially if they’ve never encountered you before! That’s where proof points, such as a short customer testimonial or case study that illustrates positive customer experiences come in. As the content on landing pages needs to be concise, I wouldn’t recommend using a lengthy quote or case study, however there’s no harm in featuring a short, strong one to two sentence testimonial quote or a link to a detailed case study to back up your success rate/services etc.
Tip 6: Use call to actions
While call to actions tend to be at the bottom of landing pages, they’re actually one of the elements of landing pages that people do actually tend to read. So if you don’t already do so, you need to pay just as much attention to writing them as your headline. There’s lots of best practice out there about how to create the best call to actions around, but I always find that ensuring they’re concise, easy to follow, relevant to the rest of your content, logical and compelling, are the best boxes to tick.
These points are aimed at providing you with a quick overview of some of the basic key points I always address when writing landing pages.