Landing page copy is like a written elevator pitch. It quickly grabs the attention of the person you’re addressing and tells a story so compelling they need to know more.
The difference is that copy can work on tens, hundreds, or even thousands of people simultaneously, 24 hours a day (try doing that in an elevator). And it works at all stages of the funnel, from generating interest to making sales.
Writing effective landing page copy takes practice, but there are plenty of tips that will quickly boost your skills once you master them. We’ve got 13 of them in this article.
How to write effective website / landing page copy
1. Impress with a strong headline
Your headline in big, bold letters is the first thing a visitor will see when they land on your page. And you want to grab their attention and continue the momentum so that they read the rest of it.
2. Use the active voice
The best landing pages use an active voice to convey a strong and confident tone. This is where the subject of a sentence performs the verb’s action. A passive voice, on the other hand, sees the subject acted on by the verb.
Active: Ambitious companies use our email marketing software Passive: Our email marketing software is used by ambitious companies
3. Be positive
Let’s go back to the elevator pitch comparison. Imagine you begin your pitch by saying “I’m so glad I didn’t miss you in the lobby this morning!” This starts the conversation off on a negative note. It’s better to open with something positive like: “I’m so glad to bump into you this morning!”
Likewise, the best way to influence behaviour with landing page copy is to put across your message in a positive way. It takes practice to unlearn the habitual use of double negatives, but doing so can have a big impact on your copy by inspiring visitors to take a certain course of action.
4. Write how you speak
Have you noticed how your spoken words are more casual than the way you write? That’s because when talking in real-time, we don’t have the ability to draft and revise our conversations.
To write effective landing page copy, transfer this conversational tone to your writing. Your readers will feel more engaged when you write in a way that feels real and natural. So drop stuffy words and speak to your audience.
5. Talk like your audienceConnect with your target audience by using words, phrases and acronyms that they use. They’ll see you as a BFF because you know them. By establishing rapport, you’ll increase conversions and turn them into customers and raving fans.
Adulting With Pam, a lifestyle blogger, is great at this. Her millennial audience instantly knows what Pam is talking about while the rest of us are left a little puzzled. She engages her Gen Y audience with grown-up topics like buying your first home and paying off debt.
6. Write with conviction and certainty
Back to our elevator pitch scenario. Your speech won’t be effective if you don’t meet your listener’s eyes, speak in a shaky voice, and trail off with a hopeful shrug. To convince an audience, you first need to believe in what you’re saying.
If visitors to your landing page sense that you’re not confident, they won’t be confident handing over their email address either! Tell them that what you are writing is true and correct. Back it up with figures if you have to.
7. Put important information above the fold
When you pick up a newspaper, it’s typically folded in half. The top section you see first is known as the part that is above the fold, and it’s usually home to the most important stories of the day.
Do the same thing when writing your landing page by putting all the most persuasive elements at the top of the screen. This ensures visitors see them as soon as they land on your website.
8. Keep it simple
It’s well known that web visitors have short attention spans. Your landing page has only seconds to put your message and value proposition across.
9. Highlight benefits, not features
Visitors care about what you can do for them, not what you do. Write copy that explains how using your product or service (feature) helps your prospects achieve a certain goal or outcome (benefit).
10. Use action verbs
Action verbs like start, download, or get are an effective tool when writing landing pages because they persuade the reader to take action. Use them at the start of your sentence to get straight to the point. You’ll sound confident by not hiding behind introductory clauses.
Take a look at the screenshot below to see how SaaS platform Zendesk does this. Every sentence starts with a verb—you can see delight, engage, start, explore, and reimagine. This is a powerful way to encourage the reader to sign up for the service.
11. End with a clear call-to-action
So, you managed to deliver your pitch in the elevator. There’s a chime before the door opens and your target is stepping out. This is when you hand over your business card and arrange another meeting.
Similarly, once your visitors make it to the bottom of your landing page, use a call-to-action (CTA) to encourage them to take your desired action.
12. Bonus best practice: Make humour work for you
This tip deserves a special mention. Not all landing pages need to be serious. Bring a smile to someone's face with tasteful and appropriate humour.
13. And finally: don’t forget to test!
Consider creating multiple versions of your copy and using landing page A/B testing to see which is the most effective.
This idea is that you show website visitors different versions of your page. You can then track your website analytics metrics to see which page has the highest conversion rate.
You can easily use a tool like MailerLite to automate these tests.