Jim Yaghi

What Questions Should a Landing Page Answer?

First-time visitors of your website need to see answers to critical questions. These answers counter the visitor's resistance to proceed. Here we identify the key questions and learn to create to-the-point landing pages that convert well.

Web visitors are impatient to get answers. Therefore, Landing Pages should convey information quickly. So let’s have a word about writing short copy.

 

To-The-Point Communication

Linguists tell us that all communication can be summarised into two elements:

  • A Noun Phrase
  • and, a Verb Phrase

Noun Phrases contain a noun. They answer the question: “Who?”.

Verb Phrases, on the other hand, contain a verb. They answer the question “What?”.

Regardless of language, anything you want to say can be summarised into a single sentence made up of only a Noun Phrase and a Verb Phrase. Everything extra simply clarifies what came before it.

One phrase elaborates on the phrase before it. Similarly, one sentence elaborates on the sentence before it, one paragraph elaborates on the paragraph before it, and one chapter elaborates on the chapter before it.

Which means we can seriously abbreviate any blog post, article, landing page, or book to a SINGLE sentence and still be able to communicate the same message.

A simple sentence is short and it answers the questions: “Who?” (noun phrase) and “What?” (verb phrase).

The following are all examples of Noun Phrases:

  • John…
  • The boy…
  • John, the boy…
  • John, the boy, who is wearing a green jacket and playing under the tree over there…

Each of the phrases above, only answers the question “WHO?”

On its own, a Noun Phrase is useless. It does not make up a complete thought.

A Verb Phrase is required.

Following are all examples of Verb Phrases, starting with the most simple and going to the more complex:

  • …is talented
  •  ”…is very talented
  • …is very talented with a sword
  • …is very talented with a Samurai sword

Each of the blue examples above answer the question “WHAT?”.

No idea can be communicated correctly without both a Noun Phrase and a Verb Phrase.

Of course, you’ve probably noticed the examples above aren’t all pure Noun or Verb Phrases, right? That’s because a Noun Phrase can have other Verb and Noun Phrases nested inside it which enables us to elaborate on a noun or verb with more information.

“John” is a Noun Phrase. But we might want to clarify that John is a boy, and that he is the person wearing a green jacket, and that he is playing under the tree we point at.

Similarly, “is talented” is a Verb Phrase. But we might want to clarify the kind of talent is in sword-use. We may further elaborate by saying the particular type of sword talent is of a Samurai variety.

Elaboration is optional. It uses more words. So when we want to say something quickly, we drop descriptive words, adjectives, adverbs, and superlatives, and avoid complex sentences.

The best Landing Pages get right to the answers.

On the other hand, bad Landing Pages use complex sentences and keep elaborating on originally unclear ideas. Complex phrases, which are too common in unclear writing, significantly dilute the reader’s attention.

For example, inexperienced copywriters may combine the most complex Noun Phrase with the most complex Verb Phrase, like this:

John, the boy, who is wearing a green jacket and playing under the tree over there is very talented with a Samurai sword.

But are all those words necessary? Not really. We could simplify the sentence to say:

John is talented.

The two sentences get across the same message. Only the first has a lot of unnecessary detail. Which makes it difficult to consume.

So when writing your landing page, get right to the point. Answer “WHO” and “WHAT” before everything else. You will achieve maximum impact with your sales message when you enable visitors to consume the main idea in a single glance.

 

Make Your Landing Pages Read Like News

All news articles open with a sentence that provides a short summary for the rest of the article.

Reporters write this way, because they know their readers scan news. The summary sentence at the very start of the article gives readers the means to decide whether or not to continue reading.

Similarly, when writing Landing Pages for your website, you want to give a quick summary to qualify the visitor within 5 seconds of their arrival.

In news, the first sentence answers the following questions:

  • Who
  • What
  • When
  • Why
  • How
  • and, Where

Landing pages, in the first few words, must answer a similar set of questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What will you give me/ What can I do?
  • When will I get it?
  • Why should I do what you want me to do?
  • How will your solution give me what I need?
  • and, Where am I?

 Let’s see how you can answer those questions on YOUR Landing Pages:

 

Who?

Your brand or logo says who you are. It should sit proudly at the very top of all landing pages. Branding visually backs up whatever you say in words. Even if your brand is not well-known, the logo identifies you to the visitor so that you’ll be recognised in future communication.

 

What?

Visually represent your product, service, or benefits. A small graphic of the product communicates what the visitor can expect the product to look like. It converts your words into a tangible. In short, it makes the benefit “real” in the visitor’s mind.

 

Why?

Here you want to quickly tell the prospect why they should continue to the next step in the conversion process with you. How are you different from the competition available online? Why should they buy from you?

Provide a comparison with other options to prove you are different. Is your price lower? Is your product easier?

 

When?

Use words to get across when the prospect can expect to receive your product or the results you promise. If you have a seal that guarantees fast delivery, then display that on your landing page. Any third party evidence that can help you get across speed is crucial on a landing page.

 

Where?

Most visitors arrive on your landing page as a response to some kind of advertisement. The first question on their mind is, “Where am I?”  Reassure them they are at the right place by creating congruence with the ad they may have responded to. You can achieve this in any  number of ways.

For example, if they responded to an ad that was posed as a question, answer the question. Or use the same language, words, or use the entire ad copy in your headline. You can also use the same colours, images, or logos on both ad and landing page.

Anything that will show the visitor they are at the right place will help answer the question “WHERE?”.

 

How?

Visual cues direct visitors’ attention to hot areas of your landing page.

Use over-sized order buttons and colours to guide the visitor. You must visually communicate how they can get what they want from you.

Similarly, Arrows, colour contrast, and over-sized form fields focus the visitor on interaction areas that allow them to gain access to information you offer.

 

Answers Required to Convert

Now that you have your visitor’s attention, it’s time to elaborate… briefly!

Before someone will click a “buy” button or subscribe to your mailing list, they form resistance. “Why should I trust you?” they may ask. “Is this like, xyz?”, “How do I know this will really help me?”, and so on.

How you address their objections is key to attaining a high conversion rate.

Proof elements are integral. The resistance the visitor has may be only small, but to counter it you have to go BEYOND rational.

Common objections include:

  • Will I get what I’m promised?
  • Will the product work?
  • Is my credit-card/email address safe?
  • Can I get this easier or cheaper elsewhere?
  • What does the product look like?
  • How much does it cost?

Don’t limit yourself to using didactic sales copy. In fact, hard-selling, over-exaggerated claims will quickly lose the sale.

Instead, smartly use testimonials, bullets, screen-shots, and quality and safety seals to remove their resistance.

Also, proof-read your copy to remove spelling, grammatical, and punctuation errors. If you ignore this step, you will create suspicion that you are unprofessional and antagonise the prospect’s resistance further.

Finally, ensure the reward significantly outweighs the cost. It is the only way to get them to take an otherwise painful action (eg, spending money, providing their email address).

 

Test Your Landing Pages Before Going Live

Your landing page is now ready for advertising. But before you go live, you should test it for clarity.

Here’s an excellent tip to test your landing pages from the lenksi.com blog:

  1. Find 5 honest friends who are willing to help you out
  2. Show them your landing page one friend at a time
  3. Ask your friends to answer the questions: “Where are you?”, “What can you do?”, “Why should you get it from me?”, “How can you get it?”, and “When will you get it?” … I also sometimes ask, “Would you do this?” so I can hear any of their hidden objections.
  4. Write their answers and study them to see if your landing page has communicated exactly what you want

After you’ve studied your friends’ responses, make any necessary corrections and repeat.

Good luck!

Landing page tricks that increase your sales and conversion can be learned at the YaghiLabs Internet Business Academy in Module 4 (Friendly Websites) .

Enrol here:
http://jimyaghi.com/ylacademy

 

~jim

Landing Page References and Many Thanks to:

     

     

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    About Jim Yaghi

    Jim Yaghi is an advertising consultant and traffic expert, with a background in Artificial Intelligence.
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