Convert 10% of Visitors from Your Guest Post with These 10 Landing Page Tricks

Getting that guest blogging gig is one thing…actually getting subscribers and customers from it is quite another.

For example, if you land an article on a huge site like Lifehacker or Tim Ferriss’ blog, you are likely to create some serious traffic to your site.

The question is…is your site prepared to convert one percent of those visitors? Five percent? Ten percent?

Over the years I’ve seen some terrible landing pages and I’ve seen some really great ones. For those really great ones they always shared some common traits…ten in fact. And for each trait that you use in your landing page plan, you’ll have the opportunity to increase conversions by at least one percent…and perhaps even 10 percent if you use all 10.

Let’s get started.

1. Create an ultra-convincing byline with this 3-sentence formula

Pretend for a moment that you got a guest posting gig over at J.D. Roth’s Get Rich Slowly blog. Your guest post is going to be about how you got out of debt by following his 9 rules to mastering your money.

And let’s also say that this was your first guest post and don’t really know what to do once you’ve finished writing the post…

Well, what you have to do is write a killer byline.

What is a byline? It’s basically a short bio of you…the writer. Here’s what it looks like on Roth’s blog:

high quality byline

To create a compelling byline use the 3-sentence formula. Each sentence answers the following questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What do you do and for who?
  • What’s the call to action?

So in our example above your byline for J.D.’s blog could look like this:

This is a guest post by Your Name, lead blogger at yourblog.com. Your Name helps other people get out of debt.  Grab his free course on getting out of debt today.

Notice how everything is geared toward J.D.’s audience? And it’s that freebie that will be getting people to click that link to your site. It’s all about creating the right offer.

2. Create a landing page specific to that audience

Most people will send traffic directly to the home page. That’s a mistake.

If you want high conversion rates for your traffic, then you need to create a landing page designed specifically for the traffic that will be arriving on your landing page.

In this case you not only want to design a landing page that addresses J.D.’s audience…but you want to make this landing page have the same feel as did your guest post.

That means your landing page needs to be about getting out of debt.

Now of course, your website probably deals with an entirely different subject matter. Obviously you should be guest blogging for sites relevant to your industry. And besides, backlinks from related sites are better for your SEO anyway.

3. Write a truly killer headline with the 4 U’s

Create the right offer and a flood of traffic will hit your landing page. But if you don’t have the right headline…those people will flood right back out of your landing page.

The best method I’ve ever found for writing killer headlines is to use the 4 U’s approach:

  • Unique – Your headline needs to be original, so you’ll need to do your homework and find out what competitors are writing. A simple test to determine if your headline is not unique is to imagine someone else using it. If they can use it…then it is not unique.
  • Urgent – Next, you need to create a sense that time is scarce and that if the visitor doesn’t act NOW…he’s going to lose out big. You can create urgency by saying something is in limited supply…or a discount is only available for a short period of time…or your competitor is about to have this same secret.
  • Ultra-Specific – Next you need to be very precise about your headline. Is it eight steps? Does it take 10 minutes? Will it help you lose 42 pounds? Will it increase sales by 143%? The more precise, the more credible your headline.
  • Useful– Finally, your headline should promise the visitor that it can help them accomplish a practical goal that they care about.

Okay headlines will only use one of these elements. Good ones employ two. Great ones will squeeze in three. But killer headlines use all four!

In our example you could write “How the 9 Rules of Mastering Your Money Can Help You Eliminate $37,000 of Debt in Less Than 365 Days.”

Of course whatever you write, you have to be able to prove it.

4. Write killer copy using the PAS formula

While the purpose of the headline is to get people to stop…the purpose of the copy is to get people to do your bidding.

And the best way that I’ve found to do this is to use the PAS formula…or Pain-Agitate-Solve.

Here’s how it works:

  • Pain – Identify a real problem that your target audience has. It could be massive amounts of student loan debts…or burnout from trying to get a start up from off the ground. One of the very first lines of copy you write needs to say something like “Do you suffer from…?” That will identify your targeted visitors.
  • Agitate – Once you’ve identified the real and most important pain in that prospects’ life, next you need to stir it up. Identifying the pain will help you to relate to your prospect…agitating the pain will help get them to be emotional about it. Point out that if they don’t do anything about their problem that they are going to be poor, lonely, overweight, slow, fired…think in terms of the consequence they could suffer if they don’t act to fix their pain.
  • Solve – Once you’ve satisfactorily agitated your prospect…offer your product as the solution.

How much copy you write for each section depends upon the complexity of the problem. Something more complex will take longer both to identify and agitate…

However, if you did a good job with the first two, you won’t need a whole lot of copy to offer the solution. Your visitors should be begging for it!

5. Put call to action above the fold

Really effective landing pages will keep the headline, sub headline and call to action above the fold.

This doesn’t mean that everything needs to be above the fold. You are free to write a two-page post with dozens of bullets that does nothing but continually push home the benefits to the visitor.

Woot! does this superbly…

woot landing page example

The call to action is above the fold…but the copy continues below.

Just make sure the CTA is above the fold because most people will make a decision about what to do within the first 4 seconds of being on your landing page.

6. Put a short video on the landing page

I’ve seen conversions skyrocket from a simple video that explains the why and what of the landing page. In fact, Eye View Digital did a study that showed you can increase conversion by 80 percent!

Some of their own case studies even show this:

eyeview digital examples

What this does is puts a human face onto the landing page, builds instant credibility and engages those visitors who are power skimmers.

7. Request only the absolute bare minimum

High conversion rates on your landing page will only come when you make the requirements for subscribing very low. In fact, for every additional piece of information…and every additional field you add…you could be losing conversion points.

In the same vein, make it absolutely clear what you want them to do. And the best way to do that is keep it simple like Dejan SEO did.

home page example

Slide Deck, while I love their product, complicates their landing page:

slide deck example

They’ve got four actions you can perform.

Never complicate the conversion by thinking “Hey, since I have their attention I should ask them if they also want to join my podcast, download my free book and register for my upcoming webinar.”

That is a recipe for disaster. You’ll make visitors indecisive and go away.

8. Add social proof

You may have a problem tooting your own horn when it comes to your success because you don’t want to come across as stuck up…but trust me…it will help your conversions!

You can tell visitors of your successes quickly and easily in a variety of ways:

  • Subscriber count – Announce how many people already subscribe to your blog or email newsletter list.
  • Social media followers – Show people how many people are connected to you via social media.
  • Logos – Display the logos of reputable companies who’ve endorsed you.

trusted sources

These simple little additions to your landing page will help push many would-be fence sitters in your direction…thus increasing your conversion rate.

9. Use killer design

There is no doubt about it…a well-designed site will convert better than a poorly designed one. The killer design communicates professionalism, trust and security…

problogger landing page

where the poorly designed site does just the opposite…

bad landing page

In the end it’s worth hiring a good designer to design your landing page.

10. Test

The final tip for squeezing every bit of conversion success out of your landing pages is to test what you have. Use the tips above to create a control that you can start testing with (and can use as a baseline against future tests).

Then start testing everything. For example:

  • Headlines – Run A/B tests that compare two very different headlines that contrast two very different benefits. Challenge all of your assumptions!
  • Color – I’ve seen this in my own personal research…color matters! Don’t take it for granted, but test different color schemes to see which one boosts conversions.
  • CTAs – Create multiple calls to actions using different words. For example, “Try” versus “Join.” You’ll be surprised how much difference one little word can make!
  • Videos – Don’t just take my word for it…test to see if adding a video will actually increase conversions. You may learn that the audience coming down the pipeline doesn’t like videos.
  • Social proof – Perhaps people will respond when they see that large companies have endorsed you…but your conversions don’t budge when you add social media proof.

The truth is that everything can be tested…and that you should get in a habit of testing to learn more about your visitors and prospects. The more you learn the better you will get!

Conclusion

Each one of these tips has in its power to increase your conversion rate by at least one percent…use them all effectively and you could be converting over 10 percent of visitors.

That means if you just get 1,000 visitors from a guest post, you’ll land 100 new subscribers. Five thousand visits and you’ll get 500!

What other guest blogging landing page techniques can you share that will raise conversion rates?

About the Author: Neil Patel is the VP of Marketing of KISSmetrics and blogs at Quick Sprout.

  1. Neil, thanks for the great post.

    However, I wonder about this section:

    “They’ve got four actions you can perform.

    Never complicate the conversion by thinking “Hey, since I have their attention I should ask them if they also want to join my podcast, download my free book and register for my upcoming webinar.”

    That is a recipe for disaster. You’ll make visitors indecisive and go away.”

    This advice makes lots of sense for a lower-cost products that can be bought on impulse (Woot is a great example).

    However, other products have longer/irregular sales cycles or may require investigation before buying. Some buyers are more methodical than others in their purchase process, and some buyers may be interested in a solution but not have the need right at that moment.

    From experience marketing a SaaS product, I’ve seen that some visitors want to start a trial immediately, others visit a “How It Works” type page or see a demo before starting, others may opt-in to receive some nurturing and then eventually start using the product when they are ready.

    I suspect that if you only ask for the close, you risk losing quality leads who may just need some more info or time. I’ve seen you also can funnel less qualified leads into your sales process this way which is ultimately less efficient.

    So all that considered, does it not make sense to offer multiple CTAs in some scenarios? (Obviously visual hierachy is important when doing this.)

    • For SaaS companies you can, but ideally on different landing pages if the CTAs lead to different end goals. If you offer 5 different CTAs on the same landing page and it results in the same end goal, there isn’t a big issue. But if they all result in different end goals, it can start to get messy…

      In your SaaS example using multiple CTAs helps people get to the same end goal.

  2. The best tip is always to split test everything, what can be good for other is not always good for you and if you don’t split test you’ll never figure out what is really working and what’s not. Great article anyway and good points regarding the headlines and content!

  3. Great article Neil. This was very informative to me.

  4. awesome post! yes a/b split testing is essential to improving conversions, but there are some very tested and proven things like the list you provided above that usually improve conversions. we also find having, trusted seals: BBB, credit card logos, & secure badges improve conversions. pretty standard stuff today, but I am always surprised how many sites miss the obvious. also having easy contact info on the site is important to improving conversions. toll free # and and info@yourdomain.com in obvious spot is always important too.

  5. Hi Neil, this is great I particularly like your 4 U’s formula for title generation. Nice one.

  6. Honestly I don’t think the SlidDeck is converting bad

  7. Great post Neil!
    There are many posts which concentrate on writing good guest blogs, and conversely those which outline LPO tactics, but I appreciate how you highlighted the need to integrate and specialize the two.

  8. “Videos – Don’t just take my word for it…test to see if adding a video will actually increase conversions. You may learn that the audience coming down the pipeline doesn’t like videos.”

    how can you possibly test this in an inexpensive way?

  9. A great & informative post, thank you!

    One question – would you do a separate landing page for every guest post you write? If you do a lot of guest posting then you could end up with many landing pages. Could you develop a couple of landing pages for each of the key themes that you write about & then choose the appropriate landing page for the guest post. My concern is that for someone like me who has a significant ‘real life’ business (aside from my online business) the amount of time I spend in front of a computer is rather limited.

    Best wishes,
    Jen

  10. Really excellent article on converting visitors into subscribers. The best thing I believe is split testing, split testing proves to be very useful in all niche.

  11. Great article, very informative!!!

  12. Its really very good technique. Let me try it on my blog. Anyone can post their guest post at http://www.onlinearticlessubmission.com/ site. its totally free

  13. Great article about landing page.Thank you.olivier

  14. Great info! We’ve just begun to guest blog, so this will certainly come in handy. (First one being published tomorrow – yay!)

    However the comment about videos increasing conversion rates, I’m not so sure about. We’re considering taking the video out of our site, http://www.desktime.com because it doesn’t seem to be effective. I would totally appreciate any comments or insight that anyone might have.

  15. We’ve been telling our customers to scale back on the amount of information they request for years. Finally people have been starting to listen lately, largely due to articles like this floating around the web. Please keep informing people of the best practices in landing page design because we can feel the difference when dealing with the end users!! Thanks!!

  16. Excellent post , really interesting information you have provided here

  17. Informative Blog !!

    Thanks for Sharing

  18. Nice tips :)
    Really a strong call to action above the fold and proper landing page can increase no. of subscribes.

  19. Ce site est un ovni sur le sujet, lire un compte rendu aussi innovant

  20. Nice Post Neil.
    Apart from the tips and content. Landing pages are focused on a single objective.
    For instance: A landing page that asks for your contact details, through a form, in order to send you an email/newsletter or a landing page that asks your name and address to send you a free trial of a product. You can read more on this http://semlandingpages.com/blog/why-different-types-of-landing-pages/

  21. Great post and some fantastic tips there that can make all the difference. Keep up the great work.

  22. Thank you for the 10 tips you give us. I will now

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