I am sure that for many of you, if you’ve ever tried to design a landing page before, you’ve wondered…
“How do I even begin?”
You have questions like:
- What information to include?
- How much information to include?
- In what order should I put the information?
- How do I structure the page?
- How many buttons/images/copy do I need?
And many more…
Usually there is an easy answer to all that: You go to a competitor’s website that you intuitively like and steal everything. You just change colors/ texts and images.
And you’re good.
Not exactly a scientific way to do this, but yes, it …could work.
There are 2 problems though
- You don’t know if it converts: You might intuitively like the page you’re copying, but do you actually know that it converts? No you don’t. But even if you KNOW that it does, guess what…
- Context matters: The fact that the page converts does not mean that YOUR page will.
So, what you should do is start with 3 very basic questions:
Who are you communicating with?
In other words, “what is your target audience and what do they know about your offering?”
This is an important distinction, because this information will determine what information you should focus on, how you should structure that information and how long your page should be
The 4 audience categories are the following:
- Problem aware: Aware they have a problem but don’t know that there is a solution
- Solution aware: Aware that there is a solution, but they aren’t familiar with yours
- Product aware: Aware of your product/offer, but don’t know if it is right for them
- Most aware: Aware of your product/offer/brand and they know they want it
Would you build the same landing page for the 1st category and for the 4th?
For the “problem-aware”audience, you’d want to start your page by addressing the problem, because at this point THIS is what they are all interested in. After connecting with them by describing the problem they’re facing, you’d want to hint to the solution. After that you could argue about why YOUR solution is the best. And finally, hard-sell your offering with a compelling call-to-action button/form. The page also, should be pretty long. The purpose of the page is to educate first and then to sell.
Now, for the “most aware” audience, things are dramatically different. Do you need to educate them? Do you need to tell them about their problem? You could. But you’d be shooting yourself in the foot. These people know you and your product, and they’re actively searching to purchase them now. What you need it to just make it easy for them. In that case you’d want a short landing page that gets straight to the point, talks about your product, removes all clutter and communicates trust.
What do you want them to do?
Do you want them to download a free app, or you want them to buy a $5,000 technical product?
You see where I’m getting at.
In these 2 cases do we need the same type of arguments and content? The same amount of persuasiveness? Do we need to demonstrate the same amount of trust?
Of course the landing pages for these products will be completely different.
It has to do with the complexity of the product, the resources (money/effort) needed to obtain it and the risk you’ll be taking by purchasing it.
As a rule of thumb, the more you have of these, the longer your landing page should be.
In much simpler words, when you invest in a product (your time, your money, your knowledge) you need to know much more about it before buying.
Where Is the traffic coming from?
Finally, you have to take into consideration something equally important: The traffic source.
The people who are landing on your page came in for a reason. If they don’t find answers for that reason, they’ll bounce.
Let’s see some potential traffic sources. What would you expect the landing page experience to be?
Banner ad in a website:
When people click on banner ads they may have no previous awareness about your business. They just see a tiny banner with a bold promise.A banner, because of its nature, cannot give much information or context to the user. That means that your page will probably have to do that, as well as deliver on the exact promise of the ad.
Google search results:
People coming through Google Search are usually problem-aware or even product-aware. You should first take that into consideration. Now, I search in Google for “team management software”. I get an ad that says “Jira® | Improve Team Performance | atlassian.com – Measure performance, report effectively, & get insights. Start a trial today.” I click. The landing page is the pricing page, which has only a pricing table with features. Rhetorical question: Did I expect that result? Did the landing page “deliver” on the ad promise?
If people came from your newsletter, it might not be of any use driving them to a landing page that introduces your brand, because…ummm… they already know it. Also much of the marketing message and context was delivered via the email they received. So, you can be much bolder and direct. These people are already hot and ready to buy. Make it easy for them by adding bold “call-to-actions”
The next steps
Now that you have this information, you hopefully know what and how much information to include. You also know what are the most important pieces of information to emphasize and focus on, visually.
At this point I would still urge you not to look at other landing pages, or templates for inspiration, but to try to conceptualize the first draft of your landing page, based on this information alone.
See if that helps.
The very simple tips on that article can take you a long way, even though they are only the first step in developing a solid landing page that converts.