What Customers are Really Thinking When They See

Your Landing Pages

You may be surprised to learn that when customers click your URL in the search results, they aren’t specifically looking for your product or service.  Just like you don’t buy a drill because you need a drill – but rather you need a hole, visitors coming to your landing pages are looking for the result you’ll give them, rather than the vehicle with which to reach that result.

Too many landing pages are focused all around the benefits of what you have to offer. Throughout my copywriting and conversion optimization career, I’ve seen countless landing pages that claim to know exactly what I want, and then try to give it to me.

How many times have you seen benefit-laden bullet points like these?

  • Has a high content of alpha-linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid converted to DHA and EHA omega 3 fatty acids by the body (flax seeds)
  • The right way to train and get thousands of quality touches on the ball (soccer training)
  • Discover the art of preventative maintenance to keep your bike in prime condition (bike repair manual)

“So?” You say, “They Look Perfectly Fine to Me!”

They look like solid, well-thought-out benefits, don’t they? But all of them have one thing in common:

They’re not tailored to the results the customer is really looking for.

People take action based on emotion and justify it with logic.  The way to tap into those emotions is through writing in such a way that it helps them picture the end result of having used your product or service:

Generating Emotion via “Power Words”

The first step, emotion, is usually put into play when searching for the product or service.  The consumer likely has a problem or a question they want solved.  If you’ve crafted your landing page well, you’ll have considered what’s motivating them to buy.  Case in point:  Not Your Daughter’s Jeans – a brand of jeans targeted to women who want to look thinner while still looking chic and sophisticated.

Check out how their landing page uses emotional trigger words like “slimming”, “one-size-smaller”, “sleek”, “flattering” and “love”.  They follow this up with a hero shot of three slender women.

Here’s another example, from a pet insurance company.  Notice how they use words that inspire confidence on their landing page – trusted, loved, #1, affordable.  They also speak the language of the group by referring to them as “pet parents”, a term many pet owners consider endearing!  The hero shot shows two lovable pets looking at the quote form, and wherever one’s vision is directed, our eyes naturally follow.

Motivating Action with Graphics

One of the most common (and most overlooked) features of your landing page is going to be your call-to-action button.  I can’t begin to tell you how many of these I’ve seen that simply read “Click Here” or “Free Quote”.  While I’m sure these will get a decent amount of attention, the truly engaging call to action actually includes the action PLUS the expected result.  See here:

The “Create Resume” button – plus all the arrows directing the eye to it, make it nearly irresistible to click. Here’s another example of a previously beta service called Repixl that allowed for online photo touch-ups:

While the “Register” button probably doesn’t exactly command action, the “be the first to see” certainly does.

Building Outcome and Engagement

You’ve come this far with your landing pages, and your customers are likely to be brimming with curiosity and high expectations.  For the outcome and resulting engagement (such as referring friends, telling others, sharing reviews, etc.) everything now rests on the shoulders of your product or service.  No pressure, right?

Now that you have a better idea on how to tailor your landing pages around predictable results rather than just benefits, let’s look at those bullet points again, this time written from a results-based perspective:

  • Improve your cholesterol numbers, decrease inflammation in your body and put an end to feeling sluggish.  Get back the energy of an 18 year old, instead of an 80 year old. (flax seeds)
  • Strengthen core muscles and perform game-changing moves with your new-found agility! (soccer training)
  • Hit the trail at the first sign of spring without worrying about flat tires or rusty gears (bike maintenance manual)

Make Decisions Based on Data

Finally, it’s worth noting that whenever you make changes to your landing pages, you should do so based on the data you’ve already collected.  Knowing where your visitors are coming from, what they’re clicking, how long they’re staying and what they’re looking for are all vital to crafting the right kind of language and using the right kind of imagery to get them to act.

About Sherice Jacob

Sherice Jacob helps website owners improve sales and increase profits through compelling copywriting and conversion optimization. Follow her on Twitter @sherice, Google+ or LinkedIn to get more marketing insights.

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