How to Create Landing Page Content That Drives Sales
You won’t find a magic formula that delivers customers to your business via the internet. You can’t copy a template, change the landing page content and assume your business will prosper. Every business, it seems, has to figure out for itself what works.
Still, best practices exist. Every landing page needs certain elements to be successful, even though those elements can look very different from page to page. So while there’s no magic formula that works every time, a framework in which to operate does exist. But first, let’s agree on the definition of certain terms.
What You Need to Know First
When talking about landing page content, you must understand the key terms. This article defines these terms as follows:
- Web page. A website page is a page on your website. The Home page is your root or base page, from which visitors can access your other pages (for example, About or Contact). Due to the nature of search engines, visitors may not always enter your site from your Home page.
- Landing page. This website page is not the same as your Home page. It’s a specially-created page that may not even be accessible through your website navigation menu. Its job is to get visitors to follow through on a call to action. It’s the focus of this article.
- SEO. Search engine optimization is the practical science behind ranking high in a search engine results page (SERP) to draw more traffic to your website. SEO encompasses many techniques because what works best is constantly changing, based on the search engine algorithms.
- Search engine algorithms. Each search engine, such as Google or Bing, uses a formula to determine which website or web page ranks higher than the others on a SERP. The algorithms are controlled by search engines, and they change from time to time.
- PPC. Pay-per-click advertising is a standard internet model for advertising. For PPC to work, you build an ad that shows up when someone searches for a specific keyword or keyword phrase. You only pay when people click on your ad — but you pay whether they buy from you or not.
How Does a Landing Page Work?
If you’re running a PPC campaign, the ad should direct all traffic — on the click — to a landing page with content that reaffirms what the ad claimed. If you’re using an email marketing campaign, the technique is different, but the result should be the same: a clickthrough that sends the email recipient to a landing page. Never send a potential customer to your Home page from a targeted marketing campaign because it often contains too much information, too many things to do and very little direction.
Your landing page content, on the other hand, is a targeted message written to connect with the person who landed there. If a person clicks through to your landing page, he already has an interest in a product or service. All you have to do is persuade him to act. That’s the purpose of a landing page.
The Elements of a Successful Landing Page
Since landing page content is by nature rhetorical — in other words, its purpose is to persuade a person to act or behave a certain way — the language needs to connect to the specific target audience. The best way to connect and to get people to act is to reach them on an emotional level. To do that, every landing page needs to feature elements such as:
- A re-enforcing heading. If your PPC or email campaign promised a solution to a problem, the heading should reiterate the problem and promising solution. This technique lets visitors know they landed in the right place.
- A sub-heading that promises an answer to a problem. The sub-heading is eye-catching and is the second thing a visitor is likely to read. It should contain an “umpf” factor that supports the reason the visitor has clicked through to the landing page.
- An engaging photo that visitors can relate to. Think about what a customer will look like when he buys your product or service and uses it successfully. What’s the outcome and how can you capture it in an image or video? The landing page content isn’t complete without graphics.
- The benefits of your product or service. How does what you’re offering to solve people’s problems? Why should someone buy from you and not your competitors? In short: what’s in it for them?
- Social proof. You need testimonials. You need photos of smiling customers to accompany those testimonials. And they need to be real and verifiable. If potential customers see that others have used your product or service and rave about it, that’s strong marketing medicine.
- A strong call to action. Don’t litter your landing page content with lots of options. Your landing page needs but one distinct call to action, whether it’s to sign up for your newsletter, buy your product or service, contact you for a special offer, whatever. Your call to action needs to be compelling and unavoidable. The best calls to action add time-sensitive reasons for acting right away.
So How Much Landing Page Content Do You Need?
There is no magic number that ensures success. If you’ve included all the required elements, your landing page can be 250 words or 1,000 words. The answer often depends on your target market, as it does for many business decisions. Do they read at length? Do they prefer video? Do they really need a lot of reinforcement or are they ready to buy when they click through to the landing page?
Your best bet is to cover your bases. Make sure the elements are covered completely. Make sure every graphic is needed and adds to the story you’re creating. Just like on every normal web page, everything you put on a landing page should contribute to the purpose of the page. If you think your landing page content is too long or too short, test it on different audiences. A/B testing is a staple of marketing. But that’s another subject.