Search Engine Land published a post on the 8 Dimensions of Excellent Landing Pages. I’m going to underscore three of them, 2 that from the night vision goggles of a web copywriter absolutely stand out over and over again, and the 3rd which I think is just a gem of a tip if you are responsible for the final design and delivery of a killer LP:
1. Excellent content, what SEL calls “Depth.” Hear-hear! Landing page copy shouldn’t be full of trickery or over the top pitches–that’s not really a landing page. And it should be literate–which goes along with SEL’s tactic for making a visually appealing LP. Visitors that clickthrough to your LP are looking for information they can actually sink their teeth into (which, btw, must match the promised info from where they originally clicked). If the page is promoting a product, make sure it delivers the product USP–what makes it different from competitors’, with big chunks of usable information on that product. Format LP copy for maximum readability–remember, web users dally for mere seconds on a website before they make one of two choices: you DO or DON’T have what they were looking for. Make it clear ASAP that what they were looking for is right in front of their face and make it accessible.
2. Take compelling risks with the copy, or what SEL call’s “Boldness.” Anyone that dabbles in marketing via landing pages should know that the beauty of a LP is its flexibility — the form is amenable to quick alteration. Testing is a given. So you load some high-octane conversion copy that tanks your conversions– change it, simple as that. And sometimes that change can be as simple as swapping out a headline. A landing page is the perfect vehicle for pushing the envelope with interesting content and copy. Test carefully and change when appropriate.
Okay, those are the biggies when it comes to sculpting copy for your LPs. Now here’s SEL’s tip I thought was a standout that anyone responsible for the final LP product should consider:
3. What about the non-coverts? or as SEL calls it, “Non-conversion value.” Most landing pages, even very successful pages, have a relatively low conversion rate–we’re talking single digits in most cases. Many marketers simply forget about those visitors that have clicked through to the LP, but fail to convert. Do you put too much emphasis on your final conversions? Because SEL offers a simply excellent tweak that may actually make converts of your potential non-converts after all: provide a “subtle link” to your main website. Yes, usually extraneous links from your LP are a big no-no, but this is a smart strategy worth testing. So when some visitor doesn’t appreciate getting caught on a LP they have an “escape-hatch.” Maybe they’re not ready to buy, but their initial interest IS worth trying to harvest. This of course means you should also have a useable and equally professional website to send them to….
The biggest mistake some marketers make is believing that the copy is the end-all be-all of the LP conversion process (OR that it doesn’t matter at all). Guess what? It ‘s just one component in a much bigger package. If you don’t understand all the elements of a successful LP I urge you to read SEL’s post, as well as dig into some other excellent LP sources. The ultimate resource is Marketing Sherpa’s Landing Page Handbook. If that’s too pricey, you can find plenty of online sources, as well as very affordable books on the topic of landing page design and delivery.