004 Does My Landing Page Suck?

In today’s episode, we’re gonna talk about landing pages. Do you need one? How do you make it effective? And Is there a formula to make sure you get the highest conversions? We’ll break this down for you and cover the elements of a landing page and how to optimize it so they don’t suck. We will also go through a live landing page assessment so make sure to listen until the end. 

Links in this episode:

Episode Notes:

Long Landing Page vs. Short Landing Page

Maybe I’m a difficult customer, but to me they just look so spammy. We are talking about those unnecessarily long pages, with sort of cheesy copy, the “but wait, there’s more” kind of thing, right? I guess my take is you can say it using fewer words and vertical pixels, while still saying everything you need to say. 

Can a Homepage Be Considered a Landing Page?

Any page that’s the starting point for a high percentage of sessions is a landing page. It may not be a campaign-specific, dedicated landing page, so making changes to it and optimizing it may be more challenging, but it still is a landing page.  

Should You Use a Page Builder Like Leadpages, Unbounce, Instapage?

Sani: Not as much as the amount of content around “best platform for X” would lead you to believe. That goes beyond just landing pages. It’s much better to spend the time polishing your message and offer, and only then you should figure out which platform to use. In most cases, it’ll be the one you’re most comfortable with. Whatever works for you, unless it’s horrible, or slow, but with modern platforms that should not be the case.

Core Elements of a Landing Page

So usually the most common elements you’ll see in a landing are:

  1. An offer – your unique selling proposition 
  2. A hero image or video
  3. The benefits of your offering
  4. Social proof
  5. A single call to action which is tied to your conversion goal

I’ll add two things that could hurt your page.

Number one, reduce anxiety as much as possible. If you’re selling a product, state shipping terms, or available payment options as early as possible. Your return policy – if I’m buying from a brand I’m not aware of, I need to know these things. If you’re collecting emails, no spam guarantee. The last thing you want is users not converting because of some policy you haven’t stated clearly.

And number two, no distraction. If you have a dedicated landing, perhaps you don’t need a full menu there. Ideally, the purpose of a landing page is to get your users to take an action you have pre-defined, any other path could be a distraction. 

Writing Landing Page Copy

There are 2 parts of a landing page above the fold and the supporting information below it.

Above the fold:

  1. Title – explain what value you offer
  2. Subtitle – Get specific and explain how you’ll create ot
  3. Visual – show off your product in action to help your customer visualize it
  4. Social proof – add credibility by citing real number of members, reviews, or downloads
  5. CTA – your one goal, make this step super easy. It can be a click through button. It can also be combined with email capture.

Optimizing for Conversions

This is where using a framework to assess the page can get you on the right path quickly. The one I really like is the LIFT model, it was developed by a CRO agency called Wider Funnel, and the reason I like it so much is because of how simple it is. Most similar frameworks are not that easy to explain to people who don’t deal with landing pages, or conversion rate optimization.

This is where LIFT model is different. You have your value proposition, which determines your conversion rate potential, and then you have three conversion drivers in relevance, clarity and urgency, and two conversion inhibitors in anxiety and distraction. 

More of the drivers, less of the inhibitors, and of course work on that killer value proposition, and you’re likely to have a great landing page.

Of course, this applies to both above and beyond the fold content, but below the fold is slightly different, this is not the “first impression zone”, it’s where longer copy gets to shine, how do you work on that?

Below the fold:

I’d say below the fold section is a little more flexible and can accommodate more content. The purpose of above the fold is to earn the customer’s attention, but below the fold is equally important as this is where you earn their trust and eventually the sale.

  1. Features – position your features in a way that makes the value for your customer concrete and how it can address their objections
  2. Social proof  – use existing customers to inspire action
  3. FAQ – this is your chance to answer the most common questions that you might’ve missed.
  4. 2nd CTA – repeat your CTA and you can also add a quick recap of your key offer, value or their customer and social proof
  5. A note from your CEO –  this is probably an optional step but it’s a good way to tell your brand story directly from your founder or ceo. People love buying from people

Assuming there’s enough traffic, this is where scroll maps can help you. There are all those different blocks of information, and you want to know which ones work in guiding the user towards converting and which ones don’t. 

A scroll map will tell you how far the users scroll before giving up on the page. Use can use Hotjar to setup scroll maps, and it really couldn’t be any easier, all you need to do is add the tracking code to your landing page, either directly or through a tag manager, Hotjar will take care of everything else. Then when you look at the report, it’s as simple as “X % of users have scrolled this far”. It’s a nice way to identify the conversion killers and work on them.

Best Practices To Increase Mobile Conversions

Use your phone. When you’re setting up a landing page, you’re using a computer to do it. Step away from the large screen and go through the page using your phone. If you can forget everything you knew about the page, even better. This is the best way, THE ONLY good way to improve the mobile version of your landing page.  

Optimizing Landing Page For Speed

One of the great things about landing pages is that they can be independent of the rest of the website. If you have CMS that’s bloated and slow, making the landing pages load faster than the rest will not only be easier and cheaper than doing the same to the other pages, you can also use it to convince the decision makers to improve other key pages.

And when it comes to performance, and loading the important elements quickly, no bloat and if you want specific metrics, focusing on Core Web Vitals is a great start. That will make sure your page loads fast, and is responsive and visually stable while loading.

Landing Page Assessment

We’re looking at Rev.com/transcription. This is an app I’ve used before and their transcription service is top-notch. 

Feedback on Copy

  • I think the main headline is okay but could be better. Their edge is that they use professional transcribers which means accurate data and their turnaround time is quick (12hours). So instead I’d suggest Accurate transcripts in 12hrs*
  • Their subheadline lists the cost and turnaround time which is also helpful. But I’d add there:  Our 50,000+ professionals transcribe your files 24/7 with 99%+ accuracy, 100% guaranteed.
  • Social proof is there 
  • CTA: I’d probably try Start Transcription
  • They didn’t include a lot of visual here but I like how Descript had a short demo gif/video of how their app works
  • Below the fold, I think they have all the ingredients there. I also like that they have the price and calculator/esitmate.
  • For social proof, I’ll probably want to see all notable companies at once glance, for instance, Amazon/Microsoft/Visa are hidden unless you hit the Marketing tab
  • Features: They have a 100% guarantee and if you like at each feature, they mention a scenario which might pose as a problem to you. Ex Rush orders, Perfect for tight deadlines
  • Then they end about 5 FAQs so that’s really helpful.

Feedback on Performance:

  • Lift – Value proposition is clear, social proof is there, lacking sense of urgency, but perhaps that’s not necessary for their potential customers because they already know how much time they spend doing the transcriptions themselves
  • Pagespeed – Not great, mobile score is 13 and LCP score is above 10 seconds in the lab test and this is due to some huge third-party libraries, maybe those could be loaded a bit later, so they do not block page rendering, between Zendesk and Fullstory there’s 1 MB of JavaScript, that’s a lot. 
  • Mobile – I love their above-the-fold mobile. No clutter, gives you all you need to know, and the information is very digestible. Number of reviews, turnaround time, price, accuracy rating, if you’re looking for a transcription service, those are the first things you need to know. 

Recap and Final Thoughts

I just want to highlight the importance of reframing your landing page copy so it’s focused on the value for the customer. Here’s an example:

  • Value =  Help you rank higher on Google
  • Objection = I suck at SEO
  • Title = You don’t have to be an SEO pro to rank higher on Google
  • How = With AHREF’s website audit, you can stop guessing and find out exactly what’s holding your website back from ranking.
  • Social proof = Recognized as Leader in G2’s 2021 Winter reports
  • CTA: Start your audit for just $1/day*
  • Visual:  Watch a demo

Focus is the key. The main difference between a landing page and the rest of your website is just that – focus. Landing page should have one goal and everything in the page should guide the users towards completing that one goal.

And when it comes to performance, maybe you have a CMS that’s slowing you down, a landing page does not need to have that extra weight. If you’re sending a lot of traffic to your landing pages, probably even paying for it, make sure you don’t lose out because the page is slow.

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