5 Easy Ways To Improve Any Landing Page (CXL Review #5)

A well-optimized landing page can be a goldmine for any online business.

It can help you launch new product lines, attract new customers, and grow your business on auto-pilot.

Sadly, many landing pages spectacularly under-achieve and fail to convert.

That's why I've put together 5 tips to help you improve any landing page. 

1. Have a consistent message

How does your audience arrive at your landing page?

Is it from a PPC or social network ad campaign? Is it from Influencer marketing? Or are people arriving on your page from organic search traffic?

Imagine if your PPC had a CTA that said:

Our free demo shows how you can shave hours off your working week

But your main CTAs above-the-fold is “Book a free consultation”. This creates a disconnect for your prospect. Now they have to stop and engage their analytical brain.

Are they even on the right page? Where is the free demo that they were promised?

If they can’t find the info about the free trial quickly they’re going to leave and never come back.

That’s why having a consistency of message is important throughout the sales funnel. It also reinforces the unique value proposition and takes advantage of the mere effect we discussed in our previous blog post.

Use Google Analytics or map out your promotional materials to learn how - and why - your users are arriving.

2. Draw attention to key areas quickly

“The 5-second test” is an effective quick check for your landing page.

As the name implies, you let somebody look at your landing page for 5 seconds. They are then asked questions which include:

  • What do you think this page was about?
  • What product do you think this company sells?
  • What’s your first impression of this brand?

Even if the user likes the look and feel of the website, if their first impression is off then the messaging has to work very hard to “sell” them on the product or service.

Here is Peep from CXL.com applying the 5-second test to a few websites.

Capture attention without saying anything

A great way of capturing attention quickly is using a visual pattern interrupt. Consider the following image.  What stands out in each frame and why?

This works much faster than words and takes advantage of our physiological need to group things together. The above image is especially useful when thinking about how your main CTA button can stand out on the page.

The power of compelling copy

The 2nd way to capture attention is through copy. Legendary marketer Joseph Sugarman refers to this as the “
Slippery Slope”. Users can’t help but read the next line and are primed for action.

Here’s an example of some great landing page copy from
Moz Pro:

I’m fairly certain this would score highly on the 5-second test. What do you think?

There's a lot of heavy lifting done in only 22 words...

It positions their product - an SEO toolset - as the solution to a problem - SEO is tricky.

It also mentions two benefits of having the toolset - increased rankings and search engine visibility.

To complete the effect, the CTA button stands out with a contrasting color. And the copy explains exactly what the user stands to gain from clicking it - a 30-day free trial.

This might seem pretty rudimentary. However,  just this past week I’ve seen above-the-fold CTAs that aren't specific and use words like “Explore”...

3. Know what a landing page should contain

There are many landing page templates available these days and that's not always a good thing. It stops people thinking about what the page should contain. And more importantly - the role it plays in your marketing funnel.

An effective landing page should:

  • Shorten the journey from click to conversion
  • Follow up on promises made in the ad source
  • Speak to user’s motivation and address barriers
  • Answer important questions and creates clarity
  • Create a clear path to the conversion goal

If your landing page fails on any one of these points, it will leave money on the table.

4. Be just the right length

Something that many people struggle with is knowing how long a landing page should be.

A good rule of thumb is for it to be as long as you would take explaining the product or service in real life.

For example, a stepladder should need a lot less copy than a complicated financial derivative like a bond or index-tracked fund.

How aware are they?

In addition to things like the complexity of the product and its price (i.e big-ticket items usually require a lot more copy) we also need to consider the stage of awareness the prospect is at.

That’s because our goal as marketers is to “join the conversation the prospect is having in their head”.

So if they’ve just watched a 1-hour webinar about the need to source US-based drop-shipping suppliers, your landing page doesn’t need a section on “What is dropshipping”.

In this example, they are probably product aware (or solution aware at the very least) so you don’t need a lot of copy to sell access to your US database.

This is a great graphic from cxl.com that shows the amount of copy needed decreases with awareness.

5. Balance the emotional with the analytical

It’s often said that a customer decides to buy with the emotional side of their brain, and then justifies it later with the analytical side.

While this is true, everybody is different.

Some people will buy based on imaging what their life will be like once they have the product. Others will buy after reading the specs and comparing them with equivalent products.

I mentioned the reMarkable home page recently on this blog, and they do a great job of this.

They have benefits throughout the copy such as replacing paper and being able to annotate PDFs.

But they also have this wonderful comparison table:

At then right at the end of the copy they have the list of technical specifications.

This is great structuring, because once you start presenting facts and figures we stop heeding our emotions and turn on our analytical brains.

There’s also the danger that it will bore a large part of your audience so leaving it until last is a really good idea.

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