4 Experts Reveal How to Craft High-Converting Landing Pages
Ever wonder what takes a landing page from good to great? We interviewed 4 experts to find out.
By Kelly Forst April 21, 2020
Landing pages are a fantastic tool to help you grow your list, increase sales, and deliver content your audience will love. But how do you create a high-converting landing page?
What do high-converting landing pages have in common? Do they use videos, amazing copy, or images?
To answer these questions, we reached out to expert copywriters and content marketers for their best advice, resources, and tips.
Here’s what they shared.
Write convincing long-form copy with the P.A.S.T.O.R. formula.
Julia McCoy, Founder of Express Writers and Educator, Content Hacker™
Putting together a high-converting landing page comes down to not just one, but several items that are critically important.
One of the most comprehensive formulas I’ve found that offers a guiding light for putting together any kind of convincing long-form copy comes from How to Write Copy that Sells, by Ray Edwards: P.A.S.T.O.R.
Here is what that formula stands for:
- Person, Problem, Pain: Identify the person you are writing to, the problem that your product or service is intended to solve, and the pain your person is experiencing.
- Amplify: Stress the consequences of what will happen if that problem isn’t solved.
- Story and Solution: Tell the story of someone who has solved that problem, using your solution or even a solution like yours. This must be 100% genuine!
- Transformation and Testimony: Articulate the results that your product or service will bring, providing real-life testimonials to strengthen your case.
- Offer: Describe exactly what you are offering for sale, focusing on the transformation instead of on the deliverables (the “stuff”).
- Response: Ask the customer to buy, with step-by-step instructions telling them what to do next.
This lineup of six steps is exactly what I would recommend following if you’re putting together a comprehensive landing page. Keep in mind this is an ancient formula, so add these more modern ingredients: custom-designed brand imagery, videos, and good page design elements that match the copy. One of the highest-converting pages I’ve put together is for my evergreen sales course, The Expert SEO Content Writer. I’ve put about 15 revisions into this page, and we’re currently testing the video placement. The conversion rate is about 8-10% from organic traffic and visitors (no paid ads or paid traffic whatsoever).
Use the P.A.S.T.O.R. formula to guide comprehensive content! Once you can map a real solution to a real pain point and do it in a way that is clear, easy-to-understand, and a ‘no-brainer’ for your audience — you have a landing page winner!
Drive visitors to take one specific action.
Eddie Shleyner, Lead Copywriter at G2 & Founder of Very Good Copy
The best landing pages are focused. That is, they’re designed to compel visitors to take a single action. So every element, every word must persuade the audience to do just one thing. For example, if you want visitors to subscribe to your email newsletter, the page should be dedicated to selling the value of your newsletter — not your product or, for that matter, anything else. Your product pitch should come later (i.e., in the newsletter).
You can also take it a step further and eliminate all links besides the one you want visitors to click on. So get rid of the header navigation. Get rid of the footer. Get rid of any button that could distract visitors from the ultimate goal: a conversion. Doing this turns your landing page into a “squeeze” page. As in, a page designed to squeeze visitors into taking a single, specific action.
Confusion is the biggest conversion killer.
Alex Cattoni, Founder of The Copy Posse
When it comes to high-converting landing pages, copy is Queen, and context is King! Not only do you need a powerful hook and something irresistible (and valuable!) to barter for that email address, but your messaging needs to be congruent with your traffic source. If you’re messaging is incongruent or doesn’t speak directly to your audience’s level of awareness around your pain, solution, and brand, you’ve lost them forever.
Confusion is the biggest conversion killer, so your landing page needs to clearly answer the following questions in the mind of your prospect: Why am I here? How can you help me? Why should I listen to you? And, what do I do next? Don’t confuse or distract with unnecessarily lengthy language or multiple calls-to-action (CTAs).
Quick conversion tips:
- Shorter headlines work: Well over 50% (I’ve seen up to 80%) of web traffic is mobile. Optimize your landing pages for mobile by using shorter headlines and ensuring your CTA is above-the-fold on mobile devices.
- Use scarcity & social proof: If applicable, use real scarcity and social proof on your landing pages. In a recent test, opt-in rate increased 6% by displaying the number of people who have already claimed the free gift.
- Test button color: In a recent test, both an orange and red button increased opt-in rate by over 5% (over the green control), and subsequent sales page conversion rate increased by 4% and 9% respectively.
3 questions all fantastic landing pages address
Andra Zaharia, Freelance Content Marketer, The Content Habit
From my experience, all high-converting landing pages answer 3 fundamental questions in a specific and empathetic manner:
Who is it for?
The copy and choice of visual elements — like images, videos, and graphics — and social proof — like testimonials, logos, and metrics — indicate that the product/service/message is for the reader.
The altMBA homepage does an excellent job covering all these fundamental elements and it performs especially well when it comes to answering this first question.
What is it for?
The copy is benefit-driven rather than feature-driven, and shows the reader what they can achieve if they choose to sign up.
Turning to another example built by Seth Godin and his team, we see a mix of objective goals and nuance that both challenge and inspire the reader to make an internal decision to commit to bootstrapping and enroll in The Bootstrapper’s Workshop.
Why should I care?
This is where the differentiation points come into play. The contents of the landing page must be tailored to proactively answer the most common questions and address the doubts that might pop up in the reader’s mind as they go through the page: How is this different from other solutions out there? What makes this worth my time and money?
Providing articulate and compelling answers to these questions proves that you have a deep understanding of the problem your prospects are facing and can provide a solution that works for them.
The Story Skills Workshop beautifully illustrates this important element that every landing page should include.
A good landing page sets clear expectations and delivers on them. Its contents stem from a deep understanding of the customer’s problems which guides the copy, choice of visuals, and even the flow of the page. In my opinion, a high-converting landing page starts with thorough research and customer development interviews. They make a huge difference!
Create your own high-converting landing page.
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