Do you have a landing page that is under-performing or not converting at all? If so, consider the fact that many landing pages out there follow three extremely flawed approaches for content creation. If your landing page falls into one of these three categories, it’s likely that any promotions, ads or other monetary boosters you try will fail as well, sinking more of your hard-earned money into a failing endeavor. Similarly, it’s unlikely that changing the design or aesthetics of your landing page will help.
Three Bad Landing Page Copy Strategies
So what are these three horribly horrible approaches to creating landing page copy?
1. Guessing at What Your Lead Wants to Read. This is how many landing pages are done: simply trying out random messages that might or might not have worked on other landing pages, to see the results. Unfortunately, this takes a lot of time and ultimately, costs you a lot of money in sales. Sure, guessing right the first time can be extremely easy and lucrative, but what are the odds you’ll guess right? Do you really know what you consumer wants to read, or are you too close to the sales aspect of the product to listen to the true consumer needs? Remember, guesswork is costly and most of the time, flat out wrong. If this is how you created your landing page, it’s time to reevaluate your under-performing copy.
2. Looking to the Competition. Okay, so every online marketer looks at what their competition does in order to keep their finger on pulse of the industry, but some of us use the competition as our basis for research. Figuring that the competition has done their marketing homework, we “borrow” from their landing pages and rewrite copy in the same vein as their copy. We figure, “They must know what they’re doing, so I’ll just do the same, we have the same demographic, after all.” But what if they are just guessing? Or what if they are dead wrong? You just anchored yourself to your competition’s success and furthermore, there’s now nothing to truly differentiate your two landing pages. Why should customers go to you instead?
3. Cliché Ad Copy. Finally, many marketers will turn to tired, old, boring and used cliché messages that they think sound good, they don’t. These messages don’t scream, “Buy me now!” They scream, “Help! I was written by a lazy marketer who might also be extremely corny!” Your message and copy need to mean something. If you aren’t the best-selling product, don’t call yourself that. Empty copy leaves prospects guessing. Be specific in the problems your product solves, it’ll be that much more impressive.
What’s the Right Way to Approach Landing Page Copy?
Now that you know the wrong way to approach writing copy for your landing page, what’s the best way? A little technique called Voice of Customer, or VOC. VOC is a marketing technique that relies on knowing your customer demographic in order to create viable copy that speaks directly to them in a language they prefer. VOC writing relies heavily on your understanding of your prospect’s problems and pain points, in other words, what do they need solved and what problems do they have with the solution you’re presenting.
When you know this, you can market the product or service in a manner that speaks directly to the lead, thereby eliminating friction. When you know their wants and needs, you can prioritize them accordingly, deconstructing each bit of friction with every line of copy on your landing page. This brings greater satisfaction to the lead as they read down the landing page and ultimately, all but guarantees the sale.
Someone recently asked me what a great landing page consisted of. Before I began to rattle through my list of essential checkpoints, they modified the question and said, “Answer in two words.” I thought for a split second and then responded, “Content and Images.” Okay, that was three, sue me.
Still, my point remains. In order to have a really successful landing page, you really only need two things (aside from the obvious i.e. call to action, hosting site, URL, the ability to exist, etc.). When it really comes down to it, content is going to drive the traffic and then the sales and images are going to keep the viewer invested in the landing page. Done deal, right?
Doing Content Right on Landing Pages
Not so fast. It should be obvious by now that you can’t just slap up any old content up on a landing page and expect it to work. The content has to be done correctly. This means a few things:
– Content Focus. For starters, the content has to be very specific. Landing pages aren’t the place to write novels or go off on tangents. Tell the viewer where they are, what they can do here and what you want them to do. Get them in, get them informed, get their order/email/etc.
– Keywords. Of course you’re going to need keywords to rank on the SERPs, but don’t just keyword stuff. Use LSIs to trigger that oh-so important semantic search algorithm.
– Digestible Chunks. Don’t write huge paragraphs or walls of text. Keep it short and to the point, creating a lot of white space and nothing that will swallow your viewer whole.
– Pleasing Font. No comic sans, no 20 pt bold, no Times Romanâ€”stick to Verdana if you want to be safe, but don’t be obnoxious or boring with your font choice, color or size as a general rule.
– Proper English (or whatever language you’re writing in). If there are spelling mistakes, grammatical mistakes, punctuation mistakes or anything of the sort, I’m leaving and I’m taking your viewers with me. These types of errors scream “amateur” and “scam artist” and will drive your leads to a better landing page (probably not owned by you!).
Don’t Forget to Optimize Images
And if content has to be done right, it follows that images can’t just be slapped up there either in order for landing pages to have the “bare essentials” for success. Here are some pointers to make sure your images are being all that they can be:
– Properly Sized. Images can’t be too big or too small. They should be scaled to fit on any device screen (responsive websites are the best way to do this).
– Alt Text. While not exactly essential, it is important to your keyword ranking and ultimate ability for your landing page to be found through a Google image search. Make your alt txt on images the keywords for your landing page.
– Content Appropriate. Make sure the pictures not only match what you are talking about, but are also situated in the right area on the page. For example, don’t talk about blue elephants at the top of the page and then post a blue elephant picture at the bottom.
As you can see, it doesn’t take many elements to have a killer landingpage, but what it does take has to be done properly.
There used to be a set schedule for internet marketers that despite a few tweaks here and there, was pretty much universal. You knew that emails should go out with the proper timing so that come Monday morning, they were at the top of a person’s inbox as they slid into work. You knew that social media posts were best delivered at five minutes to or five minutes after the hour so that you could catch people just coming back from lunch or a meeting. You knew that the best time to launch products that had restrictive marketing timers was about 11pm for the 24-hour counters.
In short, there was a schedule for internet marketing and as long as you pretty much stuck to it for most of the time, you’d have some success.
The Consumer is Always On
But now, things are a lot different. The worker isn’t checking his emails at 9 am when he gets into the office, he’s checking them Sunday night, Monday morning, Tuesday midday and Saturday all day. Social media accounts are being checked at all times, with alerts ringing off even during meetings. The difference here? The wide array of devices that people use to connect to the internet.
You have your desktop for when you’re at home, your laptop for when you’re commuting, your tablet for when you’re commuting light and your smartphone for when you’re commuting between devices. On the toilet, in the bed, watching TV, at the movies, there is no place that the consumer isn’t plugged in anymore. The consumer is always on.
And that’s great for internet marketers, we have a direct line to our clients and leads 24/7, 365 days a year. They even sleep with their phones under their pillows! This ought to be like shooting monkeys in a barrel (which we’ll assume is easier than shooting fish), right? Well, sort of.
When to Contact the 24-Hour Customer
The problem that arises here is that if the customer is always on, when is the best time to contact them with your marketing campaigns? When is the best time to post on social media for maximum engagement and reach? When is the best time to send an email so it doesn’t get shifted to the bottom of Gmail’s “Promotions” compartment?
These are the questions and here are the answers: no one knows. Sure, there are some educated guesses, but overall, there are no more “rules” on the best times to send out your marketing campaigns to interact with and reach your audienceâ€¦ that is, no more “general rules.”
Metrics and Analytics – Do Your Homework
The fact that the consumer is always on should make our lives easier, but it doesn’t. Not if you want to take full advantage of the opportunity before you. Sure, you can keep on posting at your standard times and if they are working for you, great! (We know for a fact that most of them aren’t, especially Facebook which has drastically changed the way it deals with reach, now it makes more sense to post constantly, instead of just once or twice a day).
But if you really want to dig in and capture the market like a pro, you’re going to have to look at your metrics and analytics. Don’t just find out what time your viewers are on, they’re always on. Find out what times they are interacting and engaging with your posts. While this might not be the easiest task, there are some tools that can help you get started.