How to write effective landing pages

Whether you want your web visitors to add products to a shopping cart or pick up the phone to book an appointment, your landing pages need to earn their place within your website.

Of course, design, navigation and structure all have their part to play in sending the right signals to your buyers and making them feel confident in your product or service.

However, the quality of your content will be the ultimate test.  When people are choosing products or services, what they need is good information – so you’ll also need to ensure the copy on your page contains the right amount of detail to make someone feel confident enough to take the next step in the buying process.

Long vs short copy

It’s natural to think that short copy is best.  After all, none of us has the time or inclination to wade through thousands of unnecessary words.  However, it’s important to make the distinction between unnecessary and necessary.

While short copy is appropriate when products are familiar or the cost/risk is low, some products and services simply do require more explanation.  When customers need more detail to feel confident in buying from your website, a longer page of well written copy is wholly justifiable, and likely to be welcomed by the visitor. This is particularly the case if you are an unfamiliar brand in a crowded marketplace, or there are a number of objections for your buyer to overcome.

How much information to give

You’ll need to ensure your copy covers all the key potential objections and gives a clear picture of the benefits of your product or service.  These may be obvious to you, but don’t assume that it’s just as obvious to your customers.  Make sure you use your on page copy to tell people what they need to know – don’t leave their burning questions unanswered. The more information you give your buyer, the more persuasive you can be.  It’s a question of knowing your customers well enough to be able to predict what information they need at what stage in the buying process.

Making long copy more readable

If you are concerned about the amount of copy you wish to place on a page, there are a number of steps you can take to make long copy more readable.

  1. Edit.
    Firstly, of course, the copy needs to be properly edited, so that the page is only as long as it truly needs to be.  Cut any superfluous words and tighten sentences so that you get straight to the point.
  2. Create breaks.
    Then look at the layout or structure of the text – simply breaking up your copy with interesting sub-headings in different fonts, sizes and colours will help.
  3. Use highlighters.
    You could also break up your text by highlighting a key sentence or quote by enlarging the font, centring it and using a different colour.  This is particularly helpful when using quotes such as customer testimonials.
  4. Add imagery
    Relevant, particularly inspiring, imagery can also help to make your copy easier on the eye.

Good landing page copy will connect with your audience as effectively as if they were talking to a really good member of staff.

You can evaluate your landing pages by asking customers for feedback, or gather data from Google Analytics which will tell you whether people are visiting your key landing pages and how long they are staying on the site for.

The ultimate test, of course, is whether your website visitors become customers.