6 Questions Every Landing Page Must Answer

Nicholas Scalice

A Landing Page is a focused, appealing and engaging web page, built for a specific audience with one primary objective that compels the visitor to take action.

Nicholas Scalice

founder, Landing Page School

Overview

 

The primary difference between the average web page and a landing page, is that landing pages are more focused because they’re built with one specific audience in mind and one specific objective in mind unlike visitors to a web page where the motive of the visitor could be to contact you or learn more or start a live chat, send you a message, check out your blog etc. on the other hand, landing pages are designed to direct the visitor: this is what you should do, you should do it right now.

Focused

In a world where we have smaller screens and shorter attention spans and more choices than ever before, everyone’s on their mobile device, it is really important to be laser focused because people are in a hurry and they don’t have a lot of time. So you need to get your point across quickly.
 

Appealing

Landing pages are also appealing, the opportunity exists to make your page much more relevant because you already know your audience and you can give them a more relevant experience.
 

Engaging

Provide engaging content which influences the decision of the visitor to take action – whether that be to get them to opt in for a free lead magnet, sign up for a free conference, or try to buy your product or service.
 

Perfect for testing

Landing pages are perfect for qualitative testing or A/B testing, testing is the backbone of every great conversion optimization program. Testing pages and slowly tweaking them over time, you’ll be able to continually improve how they perform and how they covert.
 
 

Six Questions

 
 Very often we focus on the main elements that make up a typical landing page, a headline, a testimonial or trust logos or the call-to-action.  In order to think about the way the landing page converts, instead of focusing on the actual elements like the headline or the testimonial, we should focus on the questions behind those elements. The questions that those elements are meant to answer for your visitor. Some of the questions may be conscious questions, however, some are subconscious questions asked by your visitors and those are answered in a fraction of a second in most cases. This is another reason to get good at getting your point across and answering these questions quickly with your landing page.
 
So in order to set your landing page apart from the competition, it is important to lay out your landing page and your copy and all the different elements in a way that answers the visitors questions quickly leading to the conversion.
 
Here are the six questions that your landing page should answer:

01

Clarity (What is this about?)

02

Relevance (How can this help me?)

03

Affinity (Do I like this?)

04

Influence (Do other people like this?)

05

Trust (Do I trust this?)

06

Action (How do I get this?)

Clarity

 

“This” in our questions refers to whatever the landing page is offering, whatever problem it’s trying to solve. For example, if the page is for a personal injury attorney, and you’re trying to generate leads by offering a free consultation – it is important for visitors to understand what the page is about, it’s also important for them to see how it is relevant to them, they immediately like the overall layout and usability (UX) of the page and the page should also demonstrate how the law firm has helped other people in a similar situation.  It should also invoke a sense of trust and security to the visitor, and finally, It should also show the visitor what they need to do to get help right away.

Those are the six questions, and how they relate to clarity, relevance, affinity, influence, trust and action.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks that leads to visitor frustration, is when the visitor lands on the page and it is not immediately clear what the page is about, or what the big idea is. So the answer to the clarity question is to create a clear and compelling headline. Your visitor will know what the page is about straight away from the headline.

Our copywriters know how to construct a clear message and how to eventually move your visitors perception beyond this and towards the essence of the problem they are trying to solve, for example, Uber’s main service is getting the visitor from A to B, but the experience involves getting the service when and where you want or need it without relying on a rigid schedule or having make your way to a bus stop or a taxi rank. So now we’re focusing on the experience (the convenience) rather than just the features. This is a valuable skill to acquire that adds interest to the headline and helps create more compelling reason to read on.

Relevance

 
 How can this page, product or service help me? What’s in it for me? Looking at a page from a topology perspective we’ll see that any way we can address a specific issue a visitor may have, or can relate to, will help with your conversions. For example, and invoice generating app can be given relevance by making the assertion that the visitor will look more professional and this will result in the visitor getting paid quicker – so this looks beyond just the initial features and more towards the value that they can provide.
 
When you are trying to make your copy more relevant to your audience, the more you know about them the easier this is going to become. Usually we use personas, or avatars which helps us understand the visitor’s predicament and how we can best serve them.
 
 

Your job is not to write copy. Your job is to know your visitors, customers and prospects so well, you understand the situation they’re in right now, where they’d like to be, and exactly how your solution can and will get them to their ideal self. – Joanna Wiebe

 

Affinity

 
Do I like this? One of best ways of answering this is by designing a visually appealing landing page, a page that looks professional and one that is easy to navigate and easy to engage with. It needs to load fast and if you run into any issues with speed or performance or usability this could negatively impact the perception of your product, your service or your brand even if you did a good job of understanding the customer and writing good copy.
 
First impressions are critical and visitors can calculate whether they like your page or not in as little as 50 milliseconds. Ensure maximum usability for desktop as well as mobile devices, especially mobile devices these days.
 

There are many useful tools you can use to make sure your pages are working properly such as try my ui, UsabilityHub, lookback, GTmetrix, hotjar and BrowserStack.

Test every element your page, make sure that button works, that the form works or information such as click to call phone numbers are accurate.  These things will help your visitor to like the page and will help to get them to convert.
 
Writers should also learn some fundamentals of design that will help them understand the importance of space, color, size and responsive pages even if they are not the one building the page, it is still an important skill to have because it factors into whether the visitor likes the page and whether they are likely to convert.
 

Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent. – Joe Sparano

The design of your page shouldn’t get in the way of the offer – it should merely support it.

Influence

 
The question of “do other people like it?” or the question of Influence, in other words, does the page convey social proof that lets the visitor put them-self into someone else’s shoes and see how their own problem has been solved by someone else with this product or service. One of the best ways to convey social proof is through testimonials The combination of crowd-sourced statistics and individual testimonials is one of the most powerful ways to convey influence.
 
 It doesn’t just have to be testimonials, there are some tools, e.g. Proof and some others that help to influence your visitor enabling them to let their guard down by providing social proof.

 

Proof Widget

When we are uncertain, we are willing to place an enormous amount of trust in the collective knowledge of the crowd. – Robert Cialdini

Trust

 
“Do I trust this?” This one is obviously about conveying trust throughout your page. As the old sales saying goes: “People buy from those they know, like and trust”. So even if what you are selling is free, for example a free book or a free consultation, it’s still really important to build up trust with your visitors.
If they don’t trust that you’re going to deliver on what it is that you promise, then nothing else matters.
 
There are a lot of different ways to add trust to your page, through good design, the logo, the copy, but one of the quickest ways to boost trust is to use trust icons or logos or what is known as trust seals.  Well recognized logos are great for adding trust, but if you are just starting out and haven’t had time to establish a client base, it is helpful to use other forms of recognized symbols such as credit card logos – Visa, Mastercard etc. or if you have a checkout process you can include security seals from Norton or McAfee or TRUSTe which have in some cases been proven to boost conversions so it’s a good idea to test.  You can also try more generic icons such as badges that offer free shipping or 100% satisfaction guaranteed. These can be tailored to the service or product that you are providing.  So the bottom line is that you want to add confidence boosting trust icons that put people at ease and assure them that they are making the right choice.

If people like you they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you they’ll do business with you. – Zig Ziglar

Action

 
“How do I get this?” This one deals with getting the visitor to take action, after all, that’s really the end goal. We want our visitor to take some predetermined action whether it be to fill out a form, give us a call, download and ebook, complete a survey, buy a product or something else.
 
When designing your page make sure it’s very clear what it is you want your visitors to do.  Make sure the offer and the Call-to-action is set up in a way that it is compelling and it is interesting. Try not to label your call to action with ambiguous text such as Learn More or Submit.  It is much more compelling to exactly describe what will happen by clicking the button – e.g. “Show me the experts”.
 
If you are adding a form, asking for contact information at the very end is a good conversion optimization technique where you leave the contact information towards the end of your form so that your visitor enters the most basic questions first – and by the time they get to the part where they need to add contact information they are already more committed to signing up for your product or service because they have already added some basic information. In short, if the visitor has already clicked a button and then selected an option or entered some other information, they are more likely to finish the process.
 
If we consider the Fogg Behavior Model (B=MAP) and apply this concept to your landing page, the offer, whatever it is that your are offering, the value of the offer, that is the motivation. For ability, you want to make sure that your page is usable – if people want to redeem the offer and they need to fill out a form, they need to have the ability to do so – it needs to be usable.  For the prompt, that is going to be your call to action. Telling people to get started, it’s usually a button and you need to make sure that it directs the visitor to what they need to do to take action and how they’re going to get the offer.
 
This concludes our answers to the six questions.  In our next post we discuss how you test your landing page, discussing tools and methods for testing.
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