The 8 Questions That Create Perfect Landing Page Copy

Since you’re reading this post, I think it’s safe to assume that you’ve taken a crack or two at writing landing page copy. It’s probably also safe to assume that you’ve come to the realization that writing highly effective landing page copy can be quite a daunting task.

If I’m right, then you’re in luck! These 8 simple questions will kick start your writing and guide you through the process of crafting high impact landing page copy that converts.

The questions are divided into two groups: 4 you should ask yourself before you start writing your first draft, and 4 you should ask yourself after you’ve written your first draft.

But let’s kick things off with a case study!

Case Study: Saxo Bank PPC Landing Page

You can skip straight to the questions if you prefer. But the case study will be used throughout the post to clarify points made along the way.

Client: Denmark-based online investment bank Saxo Bank.

Product: An award-wining online currency-trading platform sold via their sister site Forextrading.com.

Landing Page: A PPC landing page that pitches a free trial version of the currency-trading platform.

Optimization Goals:

1. Increase number of trial account sign-ups.
2. Reduce cost per conversion.

Results: “Treatment A” generated 99.4% more trial downloads and reduced cost per conversion by 48.4%.

Control Version and Diagnosis: The most important finding, revealed in the initial diagnosis, was a serious lack of relevance and value proposition. This created a high level of friction causing most prospects to bounce rather than engage in the subject matter.

Treatment A: The most significant adjustment is the copy itself. Treatment A focused heavily on conveying the value of the offer to potential customers. Moreover, Treatment A dealt with friction by giving prospects relevant information and solid, credible arguments why they should sign up for the trial.

testing landing page copy

Questions to ask yourself before you start writing your first draft:

1. “What’s the purpose of my landing page?”

Confusion is one of the great conversion killers. The more you ask your prospects to consider, the more likely they are to end up doing nothing at all.

Define one clear goal for your landing page – one specific measurable action you want your prospects to execute – and focus your landing page copy on building momentum for that one action.

If the goal is a trial sign-up, direct your copy towards achieving that one goal. Give your prospects solid, credible arguments why they should sign up for the trial:

What’s the purpose of my landing page?

2. “What, precisely, am I offering my prospects?”

Lack of clarity is also one of the great conversion killers. Every extra second your prospects have to think in order to understand your offer increases the chance that they’ll get irritated and move on to your competitor.

Make sure you understand all the aspects of the offer your presenting – every feature, benefit, selling point, term, and condition – before you even start writing a single word.

If you’re creating or optimizing a landing page for a client, sit down with the product managers and make sure to go over all the details. Getting it right from the start also has the benefit of saving you time on drafts and proofreading.

3. “How will my prospects benefit from what I’m offering them?”

Your prospects are busy, and they are not going to spend several minutes trying to figure out what your offer will do for them.

So don’t waste their time – tell them right off what’s in it for them. Take the time to write all the features and benefits down and make a prioritized list based on what you know about your target audience. Then select key points to emphasize and form a solid, credible value proposition.

How will my prospects benefit from what I’m offering them?

4. “What do my prospects need to know in order to accept my offer?”

Is there any important information that’s critical to the offer – special circumstances they need to be aware of or maybe an incentive that will make them act now? Are there any specific points of anxiety or friction that you need to mitigate?

The better you know your target audience and understand their motivations and barriers, the easier it will be for you to give them the right information.

In the case study, the control version did not provide any information on the trial version. However, since downloading the trial version is the goal of the landing page, it’s pretty important to let prospects know what to expect from the demo.

What do my prospects need to know in order to accept my offer?

Questions to ask yourself after you’re done writing your first draft:

1. “Have I given my prospects a good reason to accept my offer?”

Read your copy and make sure that you’ve covered the most important selling points, features and benefits. If there’s anything you’ve left out – you know what you need to do!

2. “Have I summarized the strongest selling point/points in the title?”

Your title is the most prominent part of your landing page. Moreover, it’s the one part of your copy you can be 99.9% sure your prospects will read.

You can’t afford to lose any qualified leads at this point, so don’t try to be quirky, funny, or cute. Choose the safe way and tell your potential customers what they’ll get out of accepting your offer. That way, there’ll be no doubt in their minds that it’s worth the effort to invest time in reading the rest of your landing page copy.

Have I summarized the strongest selling point/points in the title?

3. “Is there anything I can leave out?”

Some landing pages work best with a lot of copy – others with very little copy. But one thing is for sure: no landing page works with too much copy!

The more specific and targeted your landing page is, the better. So go through your copy, look for redundant passages and edit ruthlessly. Also, consider if some passages might work better if they were summed up in bullet points. Bullet points are a great way of creating white space and making heavy passages easier to swallow.

4. “Will the design support the copy?”

Design and copy go hand in hand. The presentation of the landing page has a huge impact on the copy and to which extent it will be read. So make sure that both copy and design support each other and the goal of your landing page.

To illustrate this point, I’d like to show you a very simple example from a case study where I generated a lift of 9.02% in click through rate by simply adding a little more white space between subheads and paragraphs:

Will the design support the copy?

Time to start writing!

Alright – you’ve got the 8 questions to kick start your writing and conversions. Now all you have to do is get cracking on your next LPO project. But remember – always be testing! It’s the only way to gain certainty that your landing page copy does in fact have high impact on your potential customers…

About the Author: Michael Lykke Aagaard, is a self-employed, self-confessed split test junkie and landing page fanatic who’s obsessed with finding out what really works in online marketing. He’s Danish and hails from the fair city of Copenhagen. You can follow him on Twitter, or check out more of his work on his blog, Online-Tekstforfatter.dk, or his website, Landingpages.nu.

  1. Wow, excellent post with some awesome insight, thanks for taking the time to be so detailed here Michael.

  2. Fantastic post with great graphics, Michael. Thanks for sharing your insights.

  3. Hi Dev – thanks! I’m stoked you like the graphics! I was a bit concerned about whether they’d work or not.

    - Michael

  4. Hi Michael!

    Great post, nice and persuading insights come with it. Hope to get to employing some of these guidelines soon.
    I also want to say thanks to the whole team of Kissinmetrics for the general high quality of the posts – I look forward to them every day, even if I don’t get around to reading them all.

    Keep up the good work!
    Regards from Germany

    - Freddy

  5. this was total awesomeness. thanks alot.

    deffo – insightful and actionable :)

    Shaqir

  6. Some posts have nice “ideas” while others actually tell you something and show how it works in action, which is exactly what you did here Michael. This was awesome and impressive. Thanks for taking the time to produce this study.

    Marcus

  7. Hi Marcus – thanks man! That’s an awesome comment – especially coming from you!

    - Michael

  8. Bernard Delacruz Feb 23, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Good and easy-to-apply tips. Thanks.

  9. Woh! Excellent breakdown of techniques!

    I’ve seen some of these “tips” before, but the examples here made them much clear. I’ve got a landing page text to write for a client and I’m going to apply your method here. Thanks for sharing, Michael!

    Greets from Brazil,
    Jens

  10. Hi Jens – thanks for the kind words!

    Awesome that you’re going to try out this LPO copy approach.

    Please let me know how it goes!

    - Michael

  11. Hi Michael,

    Thank you for clearly pointing out these guidelines. I just started learning about PPC and with my self-confessed still-thin understanding of its concepts, even an effective ad copy becomes useless when its corresponding landing page doesn’t sell.

    It’s my first time here in KissMetrics’ blog and I probably should hit the RSS button. :)

    Cheers,
    Bibiano

  12. Hi Bibiano – thanks!

    You’re completely right, the landing page itself is crucial to the success of your PPC campaigns.

    You should definitely hit the RSS button, KISSmetrics’ is one of my absolute favorites when it comes to online marketing and optimization, I read it every day!

    - Michael

  13. Some great tips Michael, thanks for sharing. I’ll be bookmarking this for future reference.

  14. Hi Sam – thanks!

    My pleasure, I’m glad you could get some inspiration from my post.
    - Michael

  15. Hi Michael,

    Thank you for this post. Informative and helpful with practical points to action. Thank you for all the graphics which made the point even more powerful. I will now definitely have to review my landing page as these exact questions have been burning on my mind for some time now. Thanks again.

    Best regards,
    Christo

  16. Hi Christo – awesome!

    It’s great to hear that you’re going to use the 8 questions in practice.

    I’d love to get your feedback on how it worked out for you!

    -Michael

  17. Thank you for the great article !

  18. These are great!

    I really had a hard time with my landing page copy until I started writing stuff down ahead of time, and now I think it will be even better having such a great list of questions to go off of.

    Something I would add would be asking yourself things like

    “What does my prospect turn to their spouse in the middle of the night and say, ‘honey we need to fix this’?

    “What’s been holding them back already? Why haven’t they fixed this sooner?”

    “What guarantees would they like to see to make more comfortable signing up?”

    “Are my most important points at the beginning of each paragraph, in subheads, or bullet points?”

    Of course, the conversation could go on for days because there’s so much involved in the copy conversation, but I love this article! Shared, bookmarked, and filed away for the next time I write :-)

  19. Hi Tommy – thanks for your comment and the additional questions!

    Thanks for sharing and bookmarking the post!

    - Michael

  20. Hi Michael,

    3. “Is there anything I can leave out?” – this is pure gold and something every copywriter needs to make his or her top priority. Redundancy kills conversions.

  21. Thanks for the tips, really usefull, i espacially liked the case studies!
    This article was tweeted on @imarkscore account which analyses the interactive presence of canadian firms.

  22. you wrote:
    “However, since downloading the trial version is the goal of the landing page”
    and on the screen, you have
    “no download or install required”

    :)

  23. Great post, thanks. Have you also seen a correlation between the amount of content and conversion rate?

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