This article is a continuation in our comprehensive landing page copywriting guide.
If you've not read the prior sections, be sure to head back to the guide hub by clicking here.
If you’re here I’m assuming you know your audience.
You have, at the very least, a basic understanding of what they love about your product or service.
You know their primary pain points, how you help solve them, and the features of your product/service they find most valuable.
With that in the bag, I want to run over a few key considerations and general landing page best practices before we get into the details.
These are higher level approaches that should inform your overall approach to crafting better LPs.
Landing Page Best Practices #1 – Your opinion doesn’t matter
You might be the founder of a multi-million dollar company.
You may well have grown your brand from absolutely nothing to an industry leader from your grandparent’s basement.
But you are not your customer.
They don’t care about your credentials.
They don’t care about your hardships.
And they don’t care about your opinion.
What they do care about is the problem that’s keeping them awake at night and how you can solve it.
So take your ego out of the equation and give the end-user what they want and need to hear.
This is why your up-front research is so damn important.
Seriously, this isn’t a landing page best practice. This is a general marketing best practice. Your customer is the only one who matters.
Figure out how you can serve them to generate revenue.
Landing Page Best Practices #2 – Measure everything related to revenue
You wanna know if this process will make a difference, right?
If it moves the needle?
So you’re gonna need to measure everything.
You’ll wanna know, as a start;
- The traffic to the page you’re optimising
- The conversion rate
- Heatmap scroll level
- And how many of the people who convert on the page eventually end up paying for your service
You’ll want to know all of this before you action any changes.
That’s gonna be your benchmark.
When you’ve made the changes, check to see what’s happened to those metrics (over a similar time period).
You should see a change, hopefully positive.
But that change is gonna tell you whether these new amendments are on the right track and if you should pursue this new messaging.
Landing Page Best Practices #3 – Trust your research data – it reigns supreme
This is a tie-in with the above.
Your opinion (and that of your marketing team) isn’t important. But the opinion of the consumer is.
So you need to start everything with the basics of research to understand what it is they want, need, desire, and despise.
This (unfortunately) isn’t the piece to go into detail on this research cause it’s an incredibly long and laborious process.
So here’s what I’m gonna do.
I’m gonna outline a couple of research methods you should be using to understand your audience and link out to a few choice pieces that explain how to do it well.
These are the best way for you to understand what it is your customer wants.
All you’ve got to do is select your best customer (those with the longest time using you, highest LTV, best engagement or whatever your primary revenue metric is), get them on the phone and ask them questions about how and why they use your offering.
These can be quite time consuming, so you really want to focus your efforts on the ideal, most profitable customer segment.
Watch this if you need a little help with the approach.
A second-best method of getting word right from the horse’s mouth.
Again, you want to try and limit respondents to those who are your ideal customer segment – those with the greatest revenue per user/LTV.
However, you’ll also be able to do this on a much larger scale because a single survey can be sent to hundreds of your ideal customers with a single click.
Read this for a great breakdown on the age-old open vs closed question debate.
Support and sales team interviews
The sad fact is the internal teams for most brands simply don’t communicate.
Your sales and support team (the guys and gals talking to customers every single day) have a wealth of information about what they want and need from you.
Asking these people for the most frequent issues is almost as good as speaking to the customers yourself… almost.
Take a look at your analytics reports with particular focus on the user journey and points of most significant drop off rate.
Often, you’ll find that low converting pages are struggling because they’re part of a confusing journey. Sending a user from a page that focuses on A to a page that explains B is confusing and will lose customers.
I also like to identify a couple of higher-performing similar pages to see if there are any common traits or trends among them that can be implemented on the page you’re optimising.
Probably the best single resource for analytics analysis and setup for landing pages.
If you’re a brand new company with no customer base to draw from, fear not.
You can get a leg-up on the competition simply by reading reviews on third-party review sites.
A few sites you’ll want to consider are listed below.
Hell, you can even pick up some insights from Amazon book reviews that cover the problem you’re trying to solve.
If you want to check out a great guide, check the piece I created on conversion copywriting for Crazy Egg which still ranks #1 for the term conversion copywriting.
Landing Page Best Practices #4 – One page, one purpose
What’s your page trying to achieve?
That’s a key question to ask yourself at the start of this process.
Your page should have literally one goal. It could be to book a demo, sign up for a trial, download a resource, or even to drive a sale.
It should be one of these things. No more.
Seriously, it pains me to see pages that have 4-5 different goals and actions.
I’ve seen pages that should be focused on securing a trial, yet have full sections devoted to blog content, resource downloads, and weird links to find out more about the founder.
A singular focus reigns supreme.
It helps keep all of your messaging aligned and focused on the major pain point/benefit that best appeals to your targeted segment.
Landing Page Best Practices #5 – Pick a specific audience segment and page
A lot of brands focus their optimisation efforts on their home page.
Problem is, your home page is going to be viewed by the full gamut of potential customers. And that makes it real-fucking-hard to ensure it appeals to them all.
A better use of time is to build segment-specific pages and drive targeted traffic to them. Take HubSpot for example.
They have a tonne of different services aimed at different businesses, industries, and segments within those industries.
Do they smash it all onto one single landing page?
They build out specific landing pages that focus on specific features/benefits that appeal to specific businesses and needs (more on this later in the breakdown).
You’ve got to try and do the same.
The more specific you can make the targeting of your page, the more likely you are to see it convert.
Landing Page Best Practices #6 – Work backward
Start at the end.
Figure out what you want people to do and work backward from there. It makes the whole process so much easier when you know what you’re building towards.
Building a new house begins with drawing the plans for the final design. The builder goes in with an image of the finished product before the first brick is laid.
That’s what you’re aiming for here.
Know what you want to achieve and what success looks like. Work backward from there until you find your start point.
Landing Page Best Practices #7 – Clarity over all
This is one of the things that a lot of folk overlook.
Clarity reigns supreme.
In everything you do with your landing page, you need to make sure that a few things are crystal clear for the user.
- The message – or more accurately what you want to communicate to the user.
- The action – Your CTAs shouldn’t be clever or witty. Just tell the reader what to do and what they’ll get.
- Your images – They need to help clarify your message in your copywriting and, at the same time, but easy to understand themselves.
Clarity over all. This is one of the most important landing page best practices. A lot of great messaging is lost because someone, somewhere decided to try and make the message sound “smart” or “sexy”.
Thing is, there’s nothing sexier or smarter than a clear message that makes sales.
So finally, after over 1000 words of preamble (albeit important preamble), let’s get into the actual process of running a quick copy and messaging audit on your page.