When it’s time to write a landing page, do you start by drafting the headline?
If so, you’re doing it wrong…
When it’s time to review your copywriter’s landing page copy, do you look first to the headline?
If so, you’re doing it wrong…
See, those may be fine approaches for the home page… or for the About Us page… or for the Contact Us page…
But a landing page is a different beast. Great copywriters know that we can’t approach writing a PPC, email or ad landing page the same way we approach writing a home page. Because landing pages are different. Here’s what makes them so:
Landing Pages Are Made to Prompt a Single Specific Goal among a Select Segment of Traffic
Landing pages take in specific traffic from 1 source or 2 similar sources… and they give 110% to convincing that traffic to do 1 specific thing. They’re like a resort island accessible only by private plane…
Compare that to home pages. Home pages take in loads of traffic from a thousand different sources. They’re like the airport of your website, welcoming the world and filtering visitors through to their various destinations…
The differences are clear, right?
- Different traffic
- Different number of page goals*
It’s those differences that make it easier to write landing pages. In particular, it’s the second difference – the number of goals, where landing pages have just 1 – that can dramatically simplify writing landing pages.
…Which brings us to a simple “work backward” trick for writing landing pages. WARNING: You’re likely to smack your head when you see how obvious this trick is…:
To Write a Landing Page Well,
Start with the Button
Start with the goal. The call to action. The thing you want visitors to a landing page to do.
Then, work backward from your button, writing ONLY copy that will convince people to click that button. Nothing else makes it on the page. Nothing. (You should tweet this tip!)
Let’s look at an example. Here’s an ad for Google Adwords:
That ad leads to this landing page:
As you can see, there’s a single call to action on Google’s landing page. And, if you scroll through the banners, you’ll see that the button doesn’t change – neither its copy, its color, its size nor its position on the page. The copy itself is minimal and focused on highlighting direct benefits while overcoming objections to clicking the “Get Started Now” button:
- Benefit: Grow your business
- Objection: What do I pay for?
- Objection: I can’t get started on my own
- Objection: Is it going to take a long time to get started?
The navigation is muted. And the banners – which you need to click to scroll through, which further minimizes on-page distractions – each make the act of getting started now more desirable… like “make changes anytime” and “advertise globally or locally”.
Do you see any icons on the landing page to share this page on Twitter or Google Plus? Do you see any testimonials about how great Google search is? Do you see any stock photos or images that aren’t directly related to making it desirable to click the button? Nope – because 100% of the focus is on getting visitors to click that button.
If your goal is to get peeps to click 1 button, doesn’t it make perfect sense to start with the button and work back from there?
BTW: This is also a great trick for writing emails. Start with the last line of your body copy – such as a text link to your sales page – and work backward from that call to action, writing a narrative that will logically lead to that call to action.
Start at the goal… and work back.
A simple trick on a hot summer day,
*Admittedly, your home page may perform better with 1 goal – not a half-dozen. But peeps love cramming loads o’ goals on their home pages for some reason…