In this guide, I’m going to teach you how to turn a blank page into high-converting landing page copy.
This process is ideal for selling a singular offer, whether that offer is a service, physical product, SaaS tool, or anything else.
If you have something you want to sell, and you want to write incredible landing page copy to sell it, this is THE guide for you.
Let’s get started.
1) Identify Your Landing Page’s Singular Objective
I already clarified this in the intro, but it deserves it’s own point, because this is one of the most common mistakes I’ve seen over 7 years of writing landing page copy.
You can’t effectively sell two things at once.
You’ll see as we go through the rest of this guide that each piece of our page builds around a singular offer and singular audience. If you want to be effective, you have to stay targeted.
So go ahead, write out THE goal of the page. What action do you want the reader to take?
There are quite a few goals you might want to build a page around:
- Contact form submission
- Product sale
- Email subscription
- SaaS trial signup
- Direct call
- Click-through to a followup page
- Etc, etc, etc
Once you’ve identified your objective, keep it in mind through the rest of the writing process.
Every piece of your landing page copy should facilitate that objective.
2) Identify Your Landing Page’s Target Audience
Just like you need a singular objective, you also need a singular audience.
You can’t effectively speak to two different audiences at once.
Imagine being asked to give a speech to a hundred people. Half the room is made up of local business owners, and the other half is made up of 5th graders from the local elementary school.
How do you deliver a speech that will resonate with both audiences?
And while it might seem like that’s an extreme example when compared to the two audience segments you had in mind, it’s a lot closer to reality than you’d think.
Pick a singular audience to address through your landing page copy, and if you absolutely need to address another audience as well, create a second page targeting that audience.
3) Map Out A Linear, Narrative Journey
The goal of website copywriting is to drive action.
You need to take the audience from point A – the state they are in when they land on the page – to point B – the state where they take the desired action.
In some cases, this journey might be simple.
For example, if visitors arrive on your page knowing they need a new mattress, all you have to do is convince them that your mattress is the right choice for their needs.
In other cases, the journey is a bit more complex.
For example, if visitors arrive on your page because they are interested in finding better email marketing software, there’s going to be a bit more to it. You will need to walk them through all your key features, explain how it makes life easier for them, and show them why your software is so much better, it’s worth going through all the hassle of migrating over.
Whether simple or complex, our goal here is to create a linear customer journey that takes them from point A to point B as quickly and effectively as possible.
Here’s a good place to start:
- Value Proposition
- Problem & Solution
- How It Works
- Features And Benefits
If you cover each of these things, your landing page copy is 90% ready.
Let’s go through each one.
4) Start With The Value Proposition
A value proposition is a statement that summarizes what a business is offering, who they are offering it to, and ideally, what makes their offer special or unique.
Think of it as an elevator pitch, but you don’t have a full elevator ride. You have less than 15 seconds to grab the reader’s attention, convince them your offer is relevant to them, and get them to continue reading.
Your value proposition needs to accomplish three things:
- Clearly define the offer
- Specify who it’s for
- Differentiate your value
Here’s a great example from Brillmark.
Notice that it requires a headline, subheadline, and two paragraphs to accomplish this. That’s okay. You aren’t limited to a headline and subheadline. You have an entire screen’s worth of real estate to say what you need to say.
If you are struggling to get started, just begin with the following template:
I help [audience/niche] to [achieve result/solve problem] by [service/product].
You probably won’t finish here, but it’s a good standard to measure what you write against. Does what you came up with do a better job of defining the offer, specifying who its for, and differentiating your value than the template version?
If not, it’s back to the drawing board.
5) Describe The Problem & Offer A Solution
As I mentioned previously, you only have 15 seconds to reel people in. That’s why you need to start with the value proposition. You can’t afford to bury the lead.
But once you have them reading further, you’ve bought yourself some time.
This is where you want to dive into the problem your offer solves.
Putting together a business product, service, or other offer isn’t easy. It requires a lot of work, and it’s usually in response to a need. There is an issue somewhere that isn’t being solved… or isn’t being solved at a satisfactory level, and that’s why you did all the work to put together your offer.
That story is copywriting gold. Don’t leave it out.
For B2B business offers, this is often really practical stuff, like in this example from sr4 Partners.
It’s a real problem… a really expensive problem. But you don’t really feel a ton of emotion attached to it, because that’s not really how people tend to engage with B2B services.
Business owners are often aware of the challenges their business faces and are actively looking for solutions.
B2C, on the other hand, is an entirely different ballgame. With B2C you can often go beyond addressing the problem. You can actively agitate it.
Here’s a great example from Ramit Sethi, who has always done a great job of agitating the problem through relatable personal stories.
This is especially powerful when your product solves a problem that people aren’t consciously aware of or urgently seeking to solve.
When Ramit’s customers woke up today, they probably weren’t thinking about how they need to be able to talk to people more easily. And even if they had something related on their mind, it probably wasn’t an urgent need that caused them to seek out help.
Instead, they happened upon Ramit’s sales page and now suddenly, they are starting to become aware of this problem they didn’t realize they had a moment ago. Ramit’s goal here is to make the reader remember and relive every moment of self-doubt, every moment of hesitation, and every moment of anxiety, thus making the problem urgent… making it something they consciously want or even need to solve.
The reader is then in a prime position to be sold the solution.
6) Explain How The Solution Works
Once you’ve addressed the problem and proposed your solution, it’s important to go a step further.
Explain how the solution works.
If the reader is still with you at this point, it means that the product/market fit is there. They resonate with the problem you solve. They want to have it solved.
So what’s the holdup?
They don’t know yet if YOU and your offer can or will actually solve the problem for them.
How do you solve it? How does your offer solve it? What should they expect if they hire or buy from you?
The only friction between you and the purchase is uncertainty, so we want to reduce uncertainty as much as possible.
Don’t underestimate any tool in your belt here. You’d be surprised at how the littlest things can make a huge difference.
Sure, explaining specifics parts of your offer or technology might not be a huge selling point, but anything that reduces uncertainty helps.
Sure, explaining that once they hire you, you’ll send over a questionnaire and invoice might not seem like a selling point, but anything that reduces uncertainty helps.
Sure, anyone can throw up fake logos or testimonials on their site, but most people are going to assume good faith, and anything that reduces uncertainty helps.
Keep your breakdown succinct and in layman’s terms, but don’t discount how setting expectations and reducing uncertainty can help you close more sales.
7) Connect The Benefits To The Features
As you explain how your service, product, or SaaS tool works, you are going to start listing out the features.
These are the individual pieces and facets that make up your offer, and there are two ways to present them.
The first way focuses on the features themselves. This way is very preoccupied with the offer itself and the business behind it. It focuses on the special technology or extra effort each feature requires.
And it’s wrong.
Nobody cares… well, nobody except you.
Your potential customers only care about their own needs. The ONLY reason your features will interest them is if they provide additional benefits to them directly.
And THAT is the way you need to present the features… connected directly to the benefits.
Here’s a perfect example from Ugmonk.
Look at how the features of this product are described.
- “The tees are then enzyme washed for added softness.”
- “The garment dye process creates subtle variations of color, making each tee truly unique.”
- “Since the tees are pre-shrunk, they will fit the same on day one as day one hundred.”
Each feature (bold) is connected directly to the benefit (underlined) it provides.
If the description had merely stated, “The tees are then enzyme washed,” only a small segment of readers would understand how that benefits them.
For most readers, it would be meaningless:
- “Enzyme washed” – is that good or bad? Is that a bonus or just a standard way of doing things?
- “The garment dye process creates subtle variations of color.” – cool, I guess?
- “Tees are pre-shrunk.” – does that mean I need to order a size up?
Without directly highlighting the benefits, your features risk being a meaningless addition to your pitch. With the benefits, they can be a huge asset to your landing page.
8) Include As Much Proof As Possible
We talked previously about reducing uncertainty, and while explaining how it works and what to expect next can go a long way, you need more than that.
You need proof.
Proof is everything when it comes to sales.
Quantitative proof is big in certain industries, especially B2B. Showing case studies or actual data from previous clients demonstrates that you bring more than a sales pitch to the table.
Here’s a great example from one of my own landing pages.
Think about how much weaker this would have been if it had simply said: “Your content piece drove more sales for my business.” By including a real number, it lends a ton of credibility to the value of my work, which is the goal of “proof”.
Perhaps even more important than quantitative proof is qualitative proof aka social proof. Social proof is a huge sales driver across every industry. More than 70% of consumers will trust the recommendations of people they don’t know.
Since it’s in testimonial form, the example above combines both quantitative and qualitative proof, which is the best of both worlds.
In addition to displaying proof on your landing page, you also want to pull your landing page copy directly from the proof. Some of the best copy you’ll ever write will be pulled directly from the language of your customers.
9) Keep The Focus On The Customer
We humans are obsessed with ourselves. We’re the heroes of our own story, and it’s really easy to forget that we aren’t the main character in everyone else’s story as well.
One of the most common problems I see in people’s landing page copy is a focus on themselves.
- They focus on what their brand does
- They focus on what they personally find special about their brand
- They focus on the unique tech or processes that make the brand different
- They focus on themselves
The brutal truth is that your customers don’t care about you, and they don’t care about your brand.
What they DO care about is themselves. They care about their own needs and desires.
Your offer is only interesting to the extent that it meets their needs and desires, and you should keep that in mind through every line of copy on your landing page.
- Does your value proposition sound great to YOU or does it sound great to your CUSTOMER?
- Does your problem and solution story appeal to YOU or does it appeal to your CUSTOMER?
- Does the feature you just listed only matter to YOU or does it matter to your CUSTOMER?
You have to keep the focus on the customer through every line of copy.
10) Write Like You Are Talking With A Friend
Another common mistake people make when writing landing page copy is to get overly formal.
I don’t know why this is so common, but it’s a phase that nearly everyone seems to go through when they first attempt writing copy. I think it has something to do with how our subconscious views professionalism, but regardless of the reason, the result is the same.
When most people try to write copy, they end up sounding like a kid playing at business.
There’s a lot of buzzwords. A lot of jargon. A lot of overly formal sentence structure.
It’s awful to read.
What you want instead is for your copy to read like you are talking to a friend. It should be casual. It should be relaxed. It should be laid out in layman’s terms.
If you find yourself writing formal copy, take a step back and think through how you would explain the key points you are trying to make if you were simply talking to a friend. In fact, you mind find it helpful to record yourself explaining your offer to a friend verbally and then transcribe the conversation as the base for your copy.
Another helpful strategy is to step away from something you’ve written for 24 hours and then come back and reread. You might not realize how formal it sounds after you’ve just written it, but you will have a better chance of catching the problems after a brief period away.
11) Remove The Fluff
Continuing on our theme of common mistakes, something that all new copywriters struggle with is fluff.
Fluff is content that doesn’t actually communicate anything important. It’s a filler statement.
These statements often look like unnecessary generalizations:
“Your personal and professional development is the key to a profitable and enjoyable long-term copywriting career.”
Vague “add-on” statements that sort of sound good but don’t actually provide any value:
“Many clients go on Linkedin and simply type in “copywriter,” so you want your profile to show up in that list. You want to convince them to get in touch. Include “Copywriter” in the title of your profile to help increase results. Make sure to include client work and projects that showcase your skills. Position yourself as a problem solver in your niche.“
Unnecessary intro sentences:
“Longform content is one of the tried and true SEO strategies”
This type of content is harmful in any context, but when it comes to landing pages, it’s especially damaging. You have a limited amount of space and time to drive a reader action, and every line on the page needs to be pulling its weight.
A good editor is the safest way to avoid fluff. It’s difficult to spot when you’re the one writing it. Consider bringing in some affordable editing help on your first few landing page copywriting attempts.
12) Show And Tell
When it comes to some products and services (but mostly products, SaaS included), a picture really is worth a thousand words.
And while saying “show them a picture” may not seem relevant to a guide on copywriting, the truth is that you can spend hours trying to say something when what you should be doing instead is showing it.
In fact, for certain businesses, the best copywriting you can write on the page is “put ____ picture here”.
After all, your goal for this page isn’t write great copy. Your true goal is to meet the page’s objective, and if images, graphics, or screenshots can be incorporated to facilitate that objective, you should be able to make that recommendation.
There are three areas in particular where showing can be better than telling.
- Product quality
- User experience
- Complex value propositions
Product quality is fairly straightforward. It’s one thing to claim that your product is made with great materials and beautifully designed, but the pictures speak for themselves.
User experience is a bit different. It’s difficult to explain user experience with either copy or pictures, but pictures allow you to demonstrate that the user interface is streamlined, clean, modern, and/or minimalist, all of which can make the user feel like the product will have a good user experience.
The final area is complex value propositions. Sometimes it’s very difficult to sum up the offer and value through words. Having a key picture or better yet, a video can communicate much better than words.
The above example from Descript is one of the best examples I’ve seen in a long time, and it’s a great example of a value proposition that would be difficult to communicate via copy alone.
This one, in particular, is a bit of a crossover with our previous discussion of user experience. What makes Descript so special is the user experience… the ability to simply highlight and manipulate text and have the audio changed as a result.
Reading that is one thing. Seeing it really makes the value of it sink in. That’s the power of showing.
13) Don’t Be Afraid Of Repetition
Out of everything you are going to say on your landing page, there are going to be a handful of key points that matter the most.
These could be:
- Specific details of the offer
- Key features
- A specific problem you solve that competitors don’t
Whatever these key points are – the stuff that matters most – don’t be afraid to repeat them.
Repetition is an incredibly powerful persuasion technique.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that simply repeating something multiple times has a profound persuasive effect. The human brain is wired to observe patterns and will be influenced by patterns even when there is an obvious motive behind the pattern.
Don’t assume that just because you’ve said something already that it doesn’t need to be stated again. In fact, state the most powerful pieces in your narrative as often as you can.
14) Always Be Closing
This is a staple from the sales world, popularized in the classic film Glengarry Glen Ross.
And while there are some key differences between direct sales and copywriting, the “ABC” mantra is as relevant to your landing page as anything else in this guide.
You never know when the reader is going to be ready to buy, but when they do, they need to be able to convert immediately. They shouldn’t have to go searching to meet the objective for the page.’
On a landing page, meeting that objective usually looks like clicking a button or filling out a form. And that means you need buttons spread throughout the page.
If they are ready to contact you from the opening value proposition, they should be able to immediately click and do so. They shouldn’t need to scroll down for 5 mins to find the conversion button.
This same rule applies to every key section of your page. The reader should always be just a few seconds away from being able to act on your key objective.
You can accomplish this in a number of ways:
- Add CTA buttons throughout the page
- Add a sticky button that scrolls with the reader and stays visible
- Create buttons that auto-scroll the page down to a form or other action element
You’ll probably find other creative ways to do this as well, but those are the basic methods.
Get Our Free 47-Point Landing Page Checklist
With this guide, you should feel confident writing your own landing page copy from scratch.
Your first attempts will likely fall short, but with some practice, you’ll find yourself replacing formal, fluffy content with targeted, persuasive copy.
One of the best ways to practice is to write and then evaluate your copy against a checklist of objectives, and we’ve created a free 47-point landing page checklist for that exact purpose.
However, practice might not be an option for you especially if your spending a lot of money driving traffic to your landing pages. In this case, you might want to hire an agency that can help you improve your copy fast.
Jacob McMillen is a website copywriter and marketing specialist. He enjoys pretending to think in his spare time and will absolutely steal your dignity on the basketball court. Connect with him on Twitter.
Leave us a comment.
Subscribe to our blog
Subscribe to our blog
Get weekly PPC & CRO advice sent straight to your inbox.