How to Create Landing Pages That Convert The Best
Jeanne San Pascual, Psych-Based Copywriter
15 November 2018
Having landing pages that convert the best is every online entrepreneur’s dream.
But why is it so important that your landing page converts?
Because it only means that the product or service you’re promoting on your page is being bought by people.
If you can do that successfully again and again, then congrats to you! You now have a thriving business that sells. Learn how to do just that by reading my tips below.
The Basics of Landing Pages That Convert
If you look at landing pages that convert consistently, they do a number of things well and they make sure to do those repeatedly.
The key to ensuring that your landing pages fare equally well is to see what’s working and to test accordingly (such as through Optimizely or Unbounce).
Although most conversion concepts apply to the majority, there will nevertheless be rare cases or industries that a commonplace knowledge won’t hold true.
Getting people to take action after reading your landing page is a combination of getting most, if not all, of the following elements right:
- A killer headline that entices your visitors to read your message
- Relevant and compelling offer
- Trustworthy social proof
- A strong call-to-action
- Design-savvy layout
In this article, we’ll be discussing each landing page element to make sure to give yours the best fighting chance to succeed!
Start With a Persuasive Headline That Reels Your Audience In
For the most part, the success of a landing page rests on how strong your headline is.
In fact, David Ogilvy says: “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
Although a good deal rests on your headline, don’t feel pressured.
There are different ways to craft a foolproof, persuasive headline which I’ll mention below!
You can go by the attention-grabbing route or use humor or a clever punchline to get your target audience to pay notice. But with landing page headlines, the goal is to really just be effective.
You don’t just want your prospects to pay attention to your headline—you want them to read through your message as well.
After all, what’s an amazingly written landing page copy if your readers don’t go past the headline?
Don’t make them say after reading your headline, “That’s neat, but I got other things to do.”
Anytime you get that reaction, that just means that your headline isn’t doing what’s it’s supposed to do. Your landing page headline should make people want to read about your message.
And you can do that by crafting boredom-free headlines.
Don’t just settle for the worn out and battered message, “Save time and money” as Joanna Wiebe of Copyhackers implores.
As she puts it—it’s lazy, overused, and pretty much meaningless. So why use it in the first place?
Even though it seems benefit-oriented, it won’t do the job of differentiating you from the host of other businesses who can provide the same products or services.
The Key to an Effective Headline
Powerful headlines are especially crucial for PPC ads.
Always put some thought in your headlines because they’re the gateway to your message.
That’s why it’s important to pique their interest with an in-depth message they can resonate with.
This means you need to have a clear idea on what the most pressing benefit you can feature in your headline.
Know the “what” and the “how” of the gist of your message and you’ll have a striking headline that wins over your clients. Remember to be specific and targeted in your message—keeping your audience in mind will help as you craft your headline.
Make sure your headline has the following characteristics as well:
- Your value proposition should be clear and evident in your headline.
- It should be relevant to their needs or desires.
- Lastly, it should be empathetic to your target prospects’ problems.
When you incorporate most, if not all, of the above attributes to your headline, your readers are more likely to read through the rest of your landing page.
“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
– David Ogilvy
Types of Landing Page Headline Formulas You Can Use
Now that you’re familiar with the steps of writing an effective landing page headline, it’s time to get acquainted with the different formulas you can use to craft yours.
The first formula is to steal your message straight from your customers. Look at your current testimonials and find one that encapsulates the message you want to convey.
Here’s a remarkable example by LKR Media:
Most people think that newsletters are a bore and that hardly everyone reads it. LKR Media turns this view around by featuring a customer testimonial that proves how theirs is different.
Another amazing headline tactic to try is to use cliffhangers. This is when you provide a teaser in your headline and state the rest in your landing page’s content.
It works because it stimulates people’s curiosity and compels them to read through the rest of what you have to say.
A proven method you can try is to state your value proposition in your headline. Let them know how you can solve a particular pain point for them and they’ll no doubt be raring to read more of what you have in store for them!
Listicles is another surefire way to craft a killer headline for your landing page. Introduce new secrets or hacks they can learn and you can bet, they’ll stay until they’ve read your message in its entirety.
Here’s a wonderful listicle headline by Drip in their landing page for a free course:
High-Converting How-To Headlines
The last headline approach we have in our arsenal is a how-to headline considered to be the third highest converting.
This type gets your readers to their desired outcome from the state they’re currently at. All you have to do is to teach them how to achieve a specific benefit through a step-by-step process they audience can follow.
Some example topics that would be great with a how-to headline:
- Grow your business
- Create your own blog
- Increase your productivity
- Make more money
- And virtually anything with your target customers’ desired benefit that can be taught through a step-by-step process
The thing with this headline is that you have to follow through on your promise. Be detailed in your content and strive to
Below is an awesome example by Majestic Property that manages to use a how-to headline paired with an equally compelling benefit.
Make Your Offer Relevant and Irresistible
Every landing page is offering something—whether it’s a paid product or a free resource. Otherwise, what’s your landing page for in the first place?
An excellently crafted offer won’t just get you a sale or an email, it’ll also help move down your prospects into your funnel. Once they’re in your funnel, it’s much easier to turn them into paying customers and to sell to them whenever you have a new promo or offer.
For that to happen, your offer should be at least these two things: relevant and irresistible.
Relevance is important because if your offer doesn’t suit what your audience needs or wants, getting every other aspect won’t mean a thing. They still won’t buy or give their email.
Making your offer compelling is another critical factor. You have to be able to understand that what people want and what they say they want are two different things.
To pinpoint what they really want, look at the things they spend on.
You’ll know if your offer is appealing enough if people are willing to pay for it.
Here are some example ideas:
- Paid offer: A solopreneur coach who mentors women wanting to start an online business can offer a $7 workbook as a tripwire. The workbook is meant to walk her audience through on how to set up their first business.
- Free offer: A digital marketing agency can offer a free 30-minute consultation to share a few marketing advice based on the current social media performance of a fashion brand looking to expand their reach.
In the above examples, you’ll see that both offers aren’t only relevant but also appealing to their target audience.
Take It a Notch Higher: Make Your Offer More Compelling With These Tips
Now that you’ve got those two things down pat, back up your offer with the right selling approach.
If you’ve already drawn up an enticing offer, you can make it more appealing by inviting them to buy. Not all things warrant a hard sell and you’d be better off treading the path of least resistance.
Another way to make your offer more irresistible is to tell a story your target customers would respond to.
But don’t just stop at telling them a story—make sure to help fulfill theirs as well.
Don’t make the mistake of starting your promotional and marketing efforts until you’ve made a compelling enough offer. This is to ensure that no matter how overcrowded your field is, your customers will still have a reason to choose you!
“Not all things warrant a hard sell and you’d be better off treading the path of least resistance.”
Have a Trustworthy Social Proof
As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post, adding a form of social proof will provide a ring of truth to your claims.
The easiest way to do this is to include testimonials in your website or sales page. However, don’t just do it the way most do by putting a slapdash of recommendations that don’t really add any value to their brand.
A credible, persuasive testimonial should have any of these three things:
- Mention of a specific benefit of one of your offers
- Support or agreement of one of your claims
- Favorable product comparison from your competitors
Now, you don’t have to have all of the above in just one testimonial.
If you manage to do that, that’s superb. But what you’ll commonly find are different testimonials that meet at least one or two of the above.
Featuring several testimonials that have one or two of the above attributes not only builds credibility but allows you to expand your audience reach.
The said qualities should be evident in your customer testimonials, Facebook reviews, case studies, and any other materials that feature or require social proof.
All of these will no doubt nudge visitors closer to taking you up on your offer.
As long as you can leverage people’s need for informative social influence, you can help them be less skeptic of your landing page offer.
Combined with well-crafted sales copy, a powerful testimonial can easily be the tipping point that moves your customers into action!
Craft a Killer Call-to-Action That Compels People to Click
When it comes to your call-to-action, it’s crucial that it’s interesting and intriguing enough to make people go, “I want that NOW!”
This might seem like a tall order at first but it’s perfectly doable with the tips I’ll be mentioning in this section.
One way to do this is to ditch the generic CTAs. You know, the “Sign Up,” “Submit,” “Free Trial,” and the like that has proliferated all over the web.
There’s nothing wrong with them per se. It’s just that they don’t make for a striking, actionable message. With such types of CTAs, it’s easy to bypass the click button when you’ve seen the exact same words used a hundred times.
You can make your CTA button copy much more powerful if you use a more relevant message. For example, the CTA HubSpot used below in their lead form shows this perfectly.
People who want to grow their email list will definitely be more compelled to click on the button since it will help them “Convert More Visitors.”
Don’t Hint More Work For Them
Another amazing tip you can try is to keep from introducing more work into your CTA button copy.
People are inherently lazy and most won’t click your button if they as so much thought that there will be loads of forms to fill out. That’s why it’s essential that you remove any hint of additional work required in your wording.
For example, compare the two buttons below. Which do you think converted better?
If you answered the top button, then you’re correct.
The “Add It to WordPress Now” actually led to a 15% decrease in conversion rate.
Why? Because people think it’ll entail more work. Not everyone is familiar with WordPress and for those who aren’t, it’s easy to see the action as daunting.
Another way you can reduce the appearance of more work in your landing page is to have your opt-in section have
Simply put, don’t ask people to fill out a mile-long questionnaire if you’re only giving out a free checklist away. They should only do what’s proportionate to what you’re offering.
The takeaway here is to make your CTA button copy as low-effort as possible. That’s one sure way to get higher clicks!
Make Your Landing Page Layout Design-Savvy
When it comes to your landing page layout, go for something design-savvy that will ensure an excellent browsing experience for your readers.
First off, make your design easy to navigate. Use a theme or layout that’s responsive.
Remember that people on the web nowadays have patience as thin as a spider web. Either use something that’s simple and loads fast or optimize your page if it has a lot of elements such as high-res images.
Keep your design as uncluttered as possible as well to keep your message easily readable. Don’t make the mistake of overwhelming your visitors visually as this can distract them from understanding what you want to communicate.
For your CTA button, make sure that it stands out through the following ways:
- Choose a color that contrasts with your page’s background so your CTA button is easily visible. You can use a color wheel to see what complements each other.
- Don’t use a black or white CTA button. If you have a white background, choose more striking colors such as red and orange to grab your readers’ attention.
- Size your CTA button decently. Don’t make it too big or too small. You want the text to be readable but not too large that it swamps all the other elements near it.
Lastly, write your copy with the design in mind. You need to plan early on how you’d like the content to appear. This ensures that you get your message across in the exact structure you meant it for.
Keep the above design tips in mind and you’ll have a landing page that’s in visual harmony with your copy.
The result? Better conversions that you can replicate time and time again!
Final Tips to Creating Landing Pages That Convert the Best
To recap the recommendations above, you must have a strong headline that invites your visitors to read the rest of your message. You must also have a relevant offer that fits the needs and wants of your target audience.
Don’t forget to add a trustworthy social proof in the form of testimonials to lend credence to your claims.
The next step is to end your message with a powerful call-to-action that compels your readers to take up your offer.
Lastly, have a design-savvy layout that complements your copy. It should do the job of highlighting and emphasizing your message instead of bogging it down.
If you’re in doubt about your page design, it’s always best to just keep things simple.
Get those things right and you’ll have a landing page that converts the best!