Conversion isn’t magic. In fact, it’s very much a science of the mind, but that doesn’t mean it’s always straightforward.
Writing compelling copy that keeps the sales process moving requires deep insight into your audience – and each step of the buyer journey has a set of particular requirements.
Landing pages are essential elements of conversion because they give your users access to exclusive content or offers, yet they still have to convince the audience to fill in the lead-capture form to proceed.
Typically, these stand-alone pages capture leads that have clicked on a CTA or an ad that promotes an asset or a product, so their content should be targeted and structured accordingly.
Below you’ll find some best practices that will help you build landing pages that accelerate your buyer’s journey.
1. Keep It Clean & Easy to Navigate
Needless to say, nobody likes to read a page that requires a lot of effort for the wrong reasons.
Plus, because landing pages are typically a stepping stone in the buyer journey, they shouldn’t require leads to spend a lot of time on them.
In fact, the truth is that most readers will typically just skim the text.
Still, that doesn’t mean that the content should be lackluster – on the contrary, you should make use of the following.
Headlines & Section Headings
Elements like these can go a long way towards structuring the information on a page because they help summarize the information that follows them.
That way, the reader can simply skim the headlines for something that’s of interest to them.
If they don’t see anything interesting, they can just skip to the next section or proceed to the download, instead of wasting their time reading information that they don’t need.
Not all of them might be worth a thousand words, but pictures always make a page more easy to digest.
Whether it’s a photo of someone using your product, a screenshot or an infographic, an image will surely be more engaging than a block of text.
You can also give captions to provide more context.
These pretty much speak for themselves. Calls to action, as well as actionable phrasing in general, are more likely to convert.
Use CTAs in your copy to urge the reader to proceed with the buying journey, download the asset, or even check out some of your other offerings.
If you need to mention multiple benefits or elements that all have to stand out, these are the way to go. Bullet points are great for separating information into easy-to-digest fragments.
They also bring out the individual elements of your enumeration and make them easy to spot at a glance.
A huge wall of text can scare away even the most interested lead.
That’s why you should split your copy into easily digestible paragraphs and space them out nicely to make the text easier on the eyes.
2. Keep Content Consistent with the Prospect’s Experience (Continue the Conversation)
While you should use every opportunity to promote your organization as a whole, a landing page is not the place to do it.
Since landing pages generally lead to a specific asset or offer, they should strictly focus on that.
Imagine clicking on a CTA in a promotional email that offers a guide to marketing automation, for example, and landing on a page that looks like an “About Us” section.
Seems pretty jarring, right?
That’s why you should keep your landing page consistent with the content your lead previously viewed.
Everything else can be introduced at a later time.
3. Focus on the Offer That You’re Promoting
As we established earlier, a landing page usually has a single goal, whether it’s to get a lead to sign up for a free trial or request a white paper.
That purpose should always be in the back of your mind while writing the copy, as well as any questions the lead might have about your offer.
For example, don’t focus on the long-term benefits of your software if your offer is a 15-day trial. Instead, mention features that make an immediate impression and yield results immediately.
Similarly, if you’re giving away a white paper, focus on what that material will help the lead accomplish instead of the actual product’s benefits. The key is to always match your copy to your offer.
4. Use Actual Numbers to Illustrate Benefits
Every marketer knows that cold, hard numbers convert much easier than general positive statements about your product or service.
Whenever you mention a benefit, check to see if you have any statistics supporting it.
Based on your company’s guidelines, you could even research some figures online if they’re relevant to your product. (For example, mentioning the monthly number of malware attacks if you’re promoting an asset related to cybersecurity software).
For even more visibility, use a bold font to attract the lead’s gaze, but make sure that it doesn’t stand out more than your CTA.
5. Stay Above the Fold
When a lead comes to your landing page, they’re there for a reason: to get the asset or offer they’re looking for and maybe get some extra information along the way.
That’s why, ideally, you should try to keep your copy on the short side.
If you really need to include extensive information, try to put the essential part above the fold, then continue downwards with any additional details.
The majority of your visitors will most likely skim the page and then proceed to the form anyway, so make sure that everything that’s of value is visible upon accessing the page.
Make it engaging by adding a compelling headline and adding a CTA that stands out.
6. Feature Customer Testimonials
Consumers will always look to other consumers when it comes to getting the scoop on a product or service, which means that testimonials are a great conversion tool.
They show your leads what a real user thinks about your product and give the entire copy more credibility. Plus, a quote definitely attracts the reader’s gaze more than a regular block of text.
You can even use a phrase from the review as a headline and include the (positive) rating the customer gave your product.
So the next time you get positive feedback from a client, make sure you get their consent to use it for your marketing materials.
Such testimonials can go a long way when it comes to making your landing pages as convincing as they can be.
7. Don’t Use Too Many Links in Your Copy
Links are a great way to catch a reader’s attention, but using them on a landing page means potentially distracting the lead from claiming the actual offer.
Ideally, on a landing page, the CTA should be the only button the prospect can click to avoid derailing the customer journey.
8. Write in a Natural Tone
This is something that many copywriters lose sight of, especially if they’re writing for a B2B campaign.
Language should always sound natural in your marketing materials, even if it’s on the formal side.
Don’t be scared to use contractions, be funny, and even “tweak” some grammar rules if the wording sounds more natural that way.
Also, while avoiding slang is recommended, make sure to use simple words instead of their more “sophisticated” counterparts (e.g. use “promising” instead of “auspicious”).
9. Make Sure the Form Complexity Matches the Asset Value
Now that the internet has conditioned everyone to expect instant gratification, you can’t put too many obstacles between a lead and the material they want, especially after they’ve already clicked on a CTA.
That’s why your lead-capture or conversion form should be easy and fast to fill out, even on mobile devices.
This is something that copywriters might not always be able to influence – but if you can, go for it.
So how can you strike a balance?
Try to determine exactly what information your team needs to qualify the entry as a legitimate lead and don’t ask for anything extra.
Ideally, the value your lead gets out of the requested material should feel appropriate in relation to the effort they spent filling out the form.
For example, don’t ask for all their contact info, the size, and industry of their company, and what they had for breakfast if you’re only offering a two-page infographic that’s basically an ad.
10. Don’t Be Afraid to Be Original
Nothing bores a reader faster than a bland landing page. That’s why, as long as you stay on-brand, experimenting is always a good idea.
Unique landing pages are pretty hard to come by, so if you manage to create one, chances are the leads will remember your brand.
It also makes your visitors want to explore more of your website, which increases your chance of conversion.
The Winning Recipe…
… doesn’t really exist.
Obviously, what makes a good landing page depends on your industry, the type of offer you’re making, your audience, and many other elements.
If you take into account these best practices and sprinkle some creativity on top, your landing page will surely become a cornerstone of your conversion process.