We all know landing pages are the bread and butter of growth marketing but are yours as optimized as they can be?
I mean really, truly, 1,000% optimized?
The one constant of growth marketing is that nothing is constant. Your landing page may be at its best today, but tomorrow something could change, a new variant could test better, your target market wants something else. The possibilities are endless.
Here’s a 7-step formula to make sure you’re converting as much as humanly possible, every time.
Step 1: Know Your Target
Hold on, I know what you’re going to say: “I know my target audience.” But do you really?
Do you know…
- What time they wake up in the morning?
- If they drink coffee or tea?
- If they have any children?
- Where they live?
- What their job title is?
- What company they work at?
- What motivates them at work?
To get your landing page converting at the highest possible rate, you need to know your target audience to the core. When they see your landing page, they need to feel like you’re reaching through the screen and speaking directly to their innermost thoughts.
Why? Because emotion sells. Trigger a response in them, something that aligns with their internal motivation, and they will convert.
Step 2: Set Up Analytics
Before you launch your landing page, setting up a conversion goal in Google Analytics (or your chosen platform) needs to come first.
The important thing is that it’s only one goal.
The purpose of a landing page should be to do one thing and one thing well.
Common examples are:
- Getting an email address (such as in exchange for an ebook or coupon code)
- Signing up for a free trial
- Booking a call or meeting
- Buying something (digital or physical)
But really, a conversion goal is anything you want it to be.
Step 3: Write Clear Copy
To be effective, your landing page needs to tell a story. It needs to evoke an emotional response in the reader to spur them into action.
That comes down to nailing 3 things really well:
1. State Your Value Proposition
Everything you write on your landing page needs to connect to your overall value proposition.
In other words: What’s in it for your customer if they give you their email in exchange for your free ebook?
Sure, they get an ebook. But why is that valuable to them? Will it save them time figuring out a problem? Will it teach them a new skill? Is it a list of new suppliers to potentially source business from and make more profit?
Whatever it is, every sentence on your page needs to connect back to that why. Why would Person X care about what you’re offering? What’s in it for them?
2. Use Emotional Storytelling Techniques
More than stating value, your words also need to convey emotion. You need to light people up and get them ready to take action.
There are a few ways you can build emotion on your landing page:
- Focus on transformational elements. What will happen to your customer when they take action? Tie in your value proposition.
- Use testimonials from others who can attest to this transformation. For example, “I got my life back thanks to Joe’s time management training seminar. Now I feel in control of my own time and finally free!” You get the idea.
- Use images and photos that convey emotion.
3. Express a Sense of Urgency
Include copy and visuals that tell the user how long they have left before the offer disappears forever. It adds pressure to the decision and when combined with great content, dramatically increases conversions.
This is because it forces the brain to act: to buy or not to buy? More often than not, human brains want to avoid losing an opportunity. Multiple studies by psychologists have shown people feel the pain of a lost opportunity twice as much as the joy from gaining something.
For example, winning $10 feels like … winning $10. But losing $10 feels like losing $20. You feel the sting of loss more than the joy of winning. This is known as loss aversion.
For marketers, it means that people are mostly hard-wired to not take risks. Your landing page needs to convince them that the potential gain they will get from buying your offer will far outweigh the potential loss they could feel if it doesn’t meet their needs.
A sense of urgency helps with this as it switches the “loss” they could experience into a fear of missing out.
Step 4: Add Images and Video
The human brain loves visual information. It craves it.
After reading something, you might remember about 10% of it 3 days later. However, add a visual to that copy and multiple studies show you’ll remember 65% of the content, according to data compiled by Brain Rules.
One of the highest converting visual types is video. It is the top format used in content marketing, according to HubSpot.
For a landing page selling a product or piece of software, a short demo video can drive conversions by giving people a short, snappy introduction to you.
You also can create videos for social media. Either quick, 15-second videos for attention-grabbing platforms like Instagram Stories or TikTok, or longer ones, such as tutorials or product walkthroughs for your YouTube channel.
If you have the budget for it, video is one of the top ways to make your landing page stand out and convert.
Step 5: Sprinkle on Social Proof
The level of social proof you need depends on your offer. For a free ebook, some good copy making the customer feel understood — and an easy sign-up form — is usually enough to do the trick.
But for a paid product, you’ll likely need more, such as:
If your target customer’s dream is to quit their 9-5 job and start their own firm, highlight testimonials from users who did exactly that using your software or service. It immediately gets their brain thinking, “If that person can do it, so can I.”
Step 6: Evaluate Your CTA
Listen, you may think your call to action (CTA) is the best thing since sliced bread but if there’s one rule to growth marketing, it’s everything can always improve.
Sure, your landing page may be converting at a highly respectable 3.5%, but is that all it could do?
You’ll never know if your CTA could push conversions higher unless you test it (more on this in the next section) and constantly tweak your page’s copy.
Your CTA could be a simple email subscribe, buying a product, booking a consult call or anything else. Whatever it is, evaluate it by asking yourself:
- Is it clear what I want the customer to do?
- Is it easily actionable?
- For example: if I want them to book a call, am I offering an instant booking experience?
- Is the form/signup link/purchase page working correctly?
- Any technical glitches?
- Does it work on all desktop, tablet and mobile devices?
- Can I further simplify my CTA?
- Either by removing words or using plainer language?
One way to optimize your CTA is to A/B test it but you should use other methods, such as hiring a market research firm or focus group of your target customers to provide feedback on it.
Step 7: Run A/B Tests
Whenever you change anything on your landing page, it should always be part of a test.
The second rule of growth marketing? ABT: Always Be Testing.
While the basic premise of A/B testing is to have 2 options of a single variable and run them against each other simultaneously, the test isn’t over when it’s over.
Once one test ends, launch a new one on a different variable of your landing page.
If the first test is to optimize your headline, make the next one related to your CTA, and so on. Test, choose a new variable, repeat.
The key for a successful A/B test is to ensure it runs long enough to give you accurate results.
Don’t get discouraged by early negative results or too encouraged by positive ones. Give the test enough time to reach enough people to give you a proper sample size to work with.
Landing Pages Are Dynamic, Not Static
As growth marketers, we’re always looking for that percentage bump, a new app to fiddle with and always more data.
Sometimes we need to go back to the basics. These strategies are the building blocks of a solid landing page and if you can get each of these steps aligned with your target audience, that’s 99% of the growth game.
Whenever you’re feeling stuck with your landing pages, run through this checklist to get back into a high-converting shape in no time.