How to Write Reader & Conversion-Friendly Landing Page Copy

How to Write Reader & Conversion-Friendly Landing Page Copy

by | Sep 26, 2017 | Website Content

A landing page is chock-full of marketing ROI potential.
If you do it right, a landing page has the power to work miracles.
It can pull your visitor toward your brand, continue to pique their interest, and, finally, accomplish the Big One.
It will convince them to hand over their personal contact details.
They’ll become a quantifiable lead.

You can’t get there, though, without knowing how to write good landing page copy.
This is basically copy that expertly guides the visitor, meets their expectations, persuades them, and builds trust with them –all at the same time.
Because this is quite a Task, with a capital “T,” we’re going to divulge some tips for writing landing page copy that can do it all.
First, there’s something you need to understand.
how to write landing page copy

What a Landing Page Is (and What It Isn’t)

Some people use their homepage or contact page as landing pages. This is a huge mistake.
The most common use for a landing page is giving visitors a place to “land” after they click on one of your ads.
You’ve piqued their interest – they want to learn more. You got that click. But, if you take them to your homepage after telling them about an offer or deal in an ad, that’s confusing.
That’s like taking them to an ice cream shop with 100 flavors but abandoning them at the entrance. You’ve given them no reason to try the ice cream – no idea which flavor is the best and no motivation to go inside.
You’ve got to give guidance if you want them to convert.
Your landing page, therefore, is all about the call-to-action. Because you’re trying to get the reader to do something, every other piece of information on the page needs to line up with that CTA.
In short, every element on that page must work hard. No cop-outs or lazy writing, here. Every single sentence is important.

Landing Page Copy, Deconstructed: 5 Elements of a Razor-Sharp Page that Works

Landing page copy is composed of a variety of elements. Each will contribute toward urging your visitor to take you up on the CTA.
Before you begin, though, you must know the answers to the following questions, according to Kissmetrics.
They’ll give your page its direction and purpose:

  • What am I offering? – You’re directing traffic to this page because you have an offer they can’t refuse. What is it? This is your CTA. Whether it’s “Sign up now!” or “Get your free download!,” it’s the most important part of the page. You must know what it is before you can start writing, according to Copy Hackers.
  • How will the visitor benefit from the offer? – If you take too long to tell the visitor about the benefits, they’ll fail to care. They’ll leave, because they won’t know what’s in it for them. Tell them, and tell them quickly.
  • What do visitors need to know to accept the offer? – Make sure they understand the offer inside-out so they’ll have no hesitations about proceeding with the CTA.

Once you’ve got your answers, you can move on to writing the page. The most critical elements are the headline, the description, the benefits, the social proof, and the call-to-action.

1. The Headline

No matter what kind of copy you’re writing, a good headline is indispensable. It’s no different for landing page copy.

  • Make your headline echo your CTA. – Your visitors need to know exactly what you want them to do, and why they’re on the page, from the first few seconds. Make it abundantly clear and echo your CTA in your headline (and vice-versa). For example, if the offer is a discount on software, your headline should say something about that software. Tying into that, your CTA should be akin to “Get your discounted software today!”

Look at how HubSpot’s headline echoes their CTA on this landing page for one of their products:

  • Go bold. – If you can make a bold claim in your headline, do it. However, you must be able to back it up. If you can’t provide evidence, don’t say it.
  • Get to the point. – Avoid filler words and fluff. These deaden your copy and make it harder to read. For instance, here’s a clunky headline: “In Order to Go the Distance, You Can Get a Faster Car.” Omit the filler phrases “in order to” and “you can.” The slimmed-down, leaner headline is more impactful: “Go the Distance. Get a Faster Car.”
  • Be clear and simple. – Again, confusion is your worst enemy. The point of your entire page should be crystal-clear from the headline on.
  • Spend enough time on your headline. – Your headline sets the tone for the entire page. Spend enough time on this piece to make sure it’s really good, and the rest of the landing page should follow suit.

2. The Description

The next three elements – the description, the benefits, and the social proof – go hand-in-hand. Often, the description is composed of the latter two elements. The benefits show your prospective lead what’s in it for them. The social proof shows that it does what you say it will do.
Basically, this is the space where you tell the person why they should follow through with the offer. Here is where you can provide evidence for your claims. You can also list compelling statistics, or generally show why what you’re offering is so great for them.
The better your descriptive copy, the better it will lead visitors to the CTA.
Just remember there are some basic best practices to keep in mind:
A) Shorter and simpler are always better. – No matter what, always remember you’re taking up the visitor’s time as long as you have them on your landing page. You must make it worth their while. Unbounce calls this ROTI – “return on time invested.” If visitors feel like you’re waffling, waxing poetic, droning on, or wasting their time, they’ll leave without converting.
B) Break up information into chunks with bullets and sub-headers. – Just like elsewhere on the net, users are skimming and scanning your page, not reading in-depth. Optimize for this tendency and break it up. Use short paragraphs, bulleted lists, and bold sub-headers to both organize and enhance the readability of the page.
For inspiration, take a look at how Adobe Photoshop breaks up their landing page and describes their product:

C) Make the most important facts noticeable. – Again, you’re dealing with short attention spans. If you want your visitors to read the most important facts about your offer (i.e. “Join thousands of people who have already signed up!” or “75% of customers said they saw improvement with XYZ”), you need to use them in sub-headers, highlight them, or some similar tactic. Don’t bury them in your copy, because those things are valuable information that will help a visitor convert.
Check out how Clue, a women’s health tracking app, highlighted one of their stats:

D) Stay on topic. – All of your landing page copy elements must work together for the single purpose. They need to help you achieve that exchange between you and your potential lead: your offer for their contact details. If even one sentence has nothing to do with your CTA, get rid of it. You need to be on topic down to every line, word, and letter.

3. The Benefits

It’s not about you, your product, or your service. It’s about the benefits they can provide to your potential lead.
One big mistake you can make on the landing page is to go on and on about how great your solution is without relating it to the customer. Of course, you think your solution is great – it’s your business. Why should the customer agree? Why should they care?
The truth is, they won’t. Not until you can tell them how great your solution is for them.
This is why you need to be benefits-focused, always, on your landing page. Tell your potential leads exactly how and why your product/service/solution benefits them. Relate it to their lives, their work, their family, their goals – whatever it improves for them on a personal level.

4. The Social Proof

Social proof is arguably the most effective form of evidence you can provide. Social proof is the internet’s version of positive word-of-mouth. It works because people are more likely to trust their peers’ opinions rather than company claims.
Here’s a perfect example of social proof on Interior Define’s landing page for a 15% discount:

Note the inclusion of testimonials. The all-great-and-powerful testimonial is the epitome of social proof. You’ve got a mix that includes a satisfied customer, a glowing review, and a peer recommendation – all in one package.
If you have testimonials, they’re perfect to use on landing pages. This is proof that what you’re claiming is true.
Think of it this way: Your prospects don’t know you from Adam. They have no reason to trust you, unless you give them a reason. Testimonials show them people who do.
Frame a powerful testimonial with copy that highlights it. Make sure you note who the person is, and if you can, put a face to a name.
A good example is how CoSchedule used a testimonial from a trusted authority:

5. The Call-to-Action

We’ve come to the ultimate piece of your landing page.
This is what influences every other element. The CTA is the entire point, and if you don’t have a good one, you need to get back to the drawing board.
Here are some tips on how to craft a strong CTA for your page.
Start with a strong verb. – A strong CTA starts with an equally strong verb. Good ones that inspire action include “try,” “download,” “start,” “get,” “begin,” or “subscribe.”
Starting your CTA with a strong verb is essentially a command, if an informal one.
For instance, for a CTA like “Download your free trial today!”, the “you” is implied  – “[You] Download your free trial today!”
This is far harder to resist than saying, for instance, “Our free trial is available now!”
Notice that the first example is user-focused. The second, meanwhile, focuses on you, the brand (“our free trial”), which, again, is not what you want to do.
Photo service Shutterfly uses a line that starts with a sturdy verb: “Make My Book”.
It’s a good CTA because it’s simple, it uses that strong verb, and is in command form. Said verb leads off in no-nonsense fashion (handily, it’s also the name of their custom book-making service):

Use numbers, if applicable. – If you can, make your CTA even sweeter with numbers. For instance, “Download your free trial today and make your workflow 2x as effective!”
This gives your visitors a great reason to follow through.
Show enthusiasm. – An exclamation point after your CTA makes it pop out. That’s because, in general, you should be using this punctuation sparingly, if at all, in the rest of your copy.
Plus, an exclamation point evokes enthusiasm for this great deal you’re offering the prospect. That’s a positive emotion, which may make the person feel more positively about following through.

7. The Whole Picture

If you wrote your landing page copy the right way, you should have had the whole picture in mind while creating each piece.
This is the final big tip: Don’t write your headline, your CTA, your descriptive copy, or any other element in a vacuum.
Always be thinking about how each individual part fits into the whole, like a puzzle piece. Each does a lot of work to contribute to the effectiveness of the picture, but none of them work on their own.
Your great headline won’t convince anyone to convert if your CTA is confusing. Even if you have a fantastic CTA, poor or clunky writing in your descriptive copy will sink the ship.
To create a landing page that’s a useful tool, you have to make sure all the parts work.

Every Detail Contributes to Fantastic Landing Page Copy

Once you’ve got the basic elements of a landing page handled, you’re on track for success.
Your page will not just be a place for visitors to land after clicking an ad, it will be a lead-generating tool that will work overtime for you.
Keep in mind that your landing page is only as good as the time you put into it.
A page you slapped together in 20 minutes will rely on chance to garner leads – You’re probably only worried about how your product or service sounds.
A thoughtfully-constructed page relies on strategy.  – You’re jumping into the potential lead’s headspace, trying to understand what matters to them.
You know which path is proven.
Do the work, write like you mean it, and you’ll see results.
Writing landing page copy isn’t easy.
If you need experts to take the reins and handle it, Express Writers is here for you. Try us on for size today for better copy.
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