Our guide to Better Landing Pages

Most digital marketers agree that landing pages can make or break any marketing campaign, be it Pay-Per-Click, social media, email, or display ads. Once you get people to click, the landing page has to convince your visitor to complete the conversion.

To assist in the goal of landing-page success, a number of software platforms exist to help marketers test these landing-page elements. Visuals, calls-to-action (CTAs), layouts, offers, buttons, and many more elements can be tested. Software can help you conduct A/B tests and create new landing pages on the fly as a result.

Testing different layouts — moving the location or your form or changing the size and colours of your buttons — can help you snag more conversions like purchases, downloads, and signups. Just a tweak with the placement of a key visual element might lead to a significant increase in landing-page performance.

Unfortunately, when it comes to the actual words on the landing page, marketers tend to rush the process, going with a combination of gut feelings, past campaigns, and cursory competitive reviews to piece together landing-page copy. This method may lead to costly mistakes and wasted time until the “right” message gets discovered through trial and error.

Despite all the conveniences afforded users with software and testing, they all overlook what accounts for the biggest factor — the absolute biggest factor — in landing-page success: the words that go on the page.

FATAL APPROACHES TO LANDING-PAGE COPY
1. Guessing:
Trying a variety of random messages to see what works. As advertising great Claude Hopkins wrote in Scientific Advertising in 1923, “Guesswork is very expensive.” Sure, the right message may be found eventually but not before a lot of money has been spent and time gone by.
2. Borrowing from competitors:
Not flat-out stealing, but making a landing page just slightly different from the competition’s, under the assumption they know what they’re doing. Some of the most successful landing-page copy comes directly from customers. It’s not creative writing — it’s sales writing. But what if their assumptions are wrong? Then you’re also starting off with the wrong message.
3. Recycling messages:
Using tired, cliché messages that make vague promises to no one, e.g., “World-class software solutions for changing times.” Nonsense cliché messages are signs of laziness and only lead to boredom — and who wants to buy a service or product from a lazy, boring company? It’s anyone’s guess what this software does
in these changing times.

The point of marketing is to solve a specific problem for a customer. To do this, the first requirement as a marketer is to understand the pain or the problem that prospective customer has, and then to tell them how the product or service you are marketing in question remedies their problem.

SO YOU NEED THE VOICE OF THE CUSTOMER RESEARCH
As a marketer beginner you need the basic methodologies to perform primary and secondary research to assist in landing-page copy creation.
Most marketing research methods require the use of surveys and interviews, others require detailed planning, while some require nothing more than structured eavesdropping. The fact remains that the more research conducted, the better, but for landing-page copy you need only use a few of these options. Depending on the
project, you may employ all the methods or just a few.
It’s best to aggregate all the research sources into a final report for future use. It can also serve as a creative brief for future projects — until the market or the product, service, or company changes.
1. Internal company sources
2. Formal surveys
3. Customer interviews
4. Focus groups
5. Amazon and other Market Place site reviews
6. Question and answer sites
7. Blog comments
8. Social media
9. Good old fashioned Google searching
10. Competitors’ content and messages
After the research phase is complete, the analysis begins to create a hierarchy of needs that’s prioritised by customers. Depending on the products or services, multiple customer profiles may emerge, each with different priorities.
NOW PUT THE RESEARCH INTO WORDS
The data should drive the creation of:
1. Headlines
2. Subheads
3. Bullet points
4. Call to actions
5. Testimonials

CONCLUSION
Market research data should make landing-page copy creation a breeze compared to the alternatives. In fact, one could argue the writing is more like putting the pieces of a puzzle together. Copywriting best practices still matter, and research is at the core of all good copywriting.
Market research leads to better landing-page experiences for target markets, which translates to improved conversions, more money, and less wasted time for marketers.

Loosely taken from ‘The secret weapon for great landing page copy’ a guide from Wordstream.

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