How I Increased My Client's Conversions By 519% - A Copywriter's Insight

My trembling fingers hovered over my mouse's left button, the cursor flickering over the Adword Analytics panel like an attention-deficit moth around a flame. Click. 519%! Party poppers exploded, a mariachi band started playing, and the crowd went wild. At least, in my head. Now I finally had hard proof that my copy does, in fact, get the job done. Now it was time to write this blog post.


I'd like to introduce to you the method that helped me significantly improve my client's landing page conversion rates. Languex is an online translation company that allows people to transform documents of different types into dozens of languages. But they were struggling to get their expensive Adwords traffic to...well, actually do anything once they visited the page.

Note: The conversion rate increase was from 1.34% to 8.29%, comparing the week before I rewrote my client's landing page with the week after. To see the before/after, check the bottom of this post. Oh, if you'd like a free, annotated critique of your website or landing page, visit this link.


FACT 1: FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT

...And my immediate first impression of Languex's site was not positive. Stock imagery combined with inconsistent design elements and salesy language immediately made me feel distrust for the company. It needed a more 'human' touch - from the tone of voice through to social proof to the logo and slogan.

With some industry and customer research (Google-fu and survey data), I dug deeper into who we were talking to - and why they would care. This allowed me to speak directly to the prospect's most pressing pain points. I also advised my client on taking a newer, cleaner approach with the layout and design of the page.


FACT 2: Landing pages NEVER exist in isolatioN (ADWORDS, DUH)

Nor does any stage of the sales funnel. When a visitor clicks on your ad (or another entry point, like a promoted post on Facebook or website link), they do so for a reason. When they arrive on your landing page, the overall messaging of the page (even the visual elements) should be consistent with the messaging of your ad. 

My client was clearly struggling. Multiple Adword ad groups directed to the same, generic landing page. This caused a messaging mismatch that increased bounce rates and reduced conversion rates. Not good.

I helped create some consistency between his Adwords ads and the landing page - starting with the headline (they should be similar if not identical) and the same, key USPs in the ad and above the fold on the landing page.


FACT 3: QUALITY COPY IS CRITICAL, ORDER IS FUNDAMENTAL

What? Huh? So what I'm essentially saying here is that communicating the right things is important, but communicating the right things in the right order is vital

Think about it like this.

You're selling adult diapers (shh...this is your life now). Would you ask your customers to buy and try without telling them about how they work or letting them ask their friends about your brand?

(if you said yes, you'll never make it in the adult diaper business. Sorry to smash your dreams. Your dad's going to be disappointed).

When a prospect arrives on your page or discovers your product or service, they have a very clear sequence of questions they're asking themselves. Your job is to predict what these questions are, and answer them in the right order (not an exact science, but there's some technique to it - see Copyhackers). 

I re-structured my client's landing page to answer the right questions at the right time, turning a repetitive, erradic sequence of copy (akin to talking with someone who has schizophrenia) to a smooth-flowing conversation that answers the right questions at the right time and keeps people reading. 


FACT 4: SELL THE SIZZLE, NOT THE SEITAN

Sorry, I recently went vegetarian, so there'll be no carnivorous marketing analogies here (relax....that was a joke).

This one is simple, but critical. Languex was communicating in an almost entirely descriptive manner. Features over benefits. I transformed these by thinking from the prospect's perspective. E.g. is it "We translate documents quickly", or "Languex helps you communicate with the world better"? This principle laid the foundations for the revamped landing page that I created for Languex.


FACT 5: THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS PERFECT

Honestly, there are still many things I'd change on Languex's current landing page. There are even more things that I'd run tests on. Frankly, I can do my best with my first draft and suggestions but, after that, the client's resources and desire to continue optimising limit the potential progress in conversions. If you want to see the best results for your landing pages, this is a major takeaway that'll transform your results from "good" to "great".

 

Free Critique: If you'd like me to help improve your website/landing page conversions, I'd be happy to give you a free, annotated critique of what you've already got. Just visit this page and fill in a quick form (just your name, company, and URL).


BEFORE & AFTER

Without further ado...

Kill Your Landing Page Conversions By Forgetting These 4 Elements

I’ve seen countless of landing pages just wasting opportunities to convert their visitors by neglecting the content. And you’re right – most landing pages DO have a headline and call-to-action. But just having them isn’t enough. They actually need to perform their job well. Here are four elements you need to include in your landing pages to maximise your conversions.

A Captivating Headline

Captivating? What the hell? Yeah, captivating…like ‘her gaze from across the ballroom was captivating’ kinda captivating. Your headline needs to CAPTIVATE your visitors. An ‘interesting’ headline simply isn’t enough. You have precious seconds to win them over with your headline. You can make yours captivating using…

  • The testimonial – That’s right, you can use a testimonial as a headline. It’s an amazing combination of social proof and benefits-oriented text. The right customer testimonial sings your praises, talks about how your product or services improved their lives, and shows evidence (numbers or statistics) to prove it. Example: Highrise.
  • The empathiser – Empathising with your prospect proves you know them well enough to solve their problems. It also builds trust and engages them in a relevant conversation. Example: Muzzle.
  • The promise – What key benefit will your prospect get out of using your product/service? Narrowing down to focus on how you’ll improve their lives is a powerful way to keep your audience reading. Example: Teambit.
  • The gift – In marketing, reciprocity is a powerful force of persuasion. Give your audience something free, and they’re far more likely to reciprocate. It could be a free trial, product, or useful information. Example: Kissmetrics.

 

HOLY CRAP! Social Proof

The kind of social proof that makes them go “HOLY CRAP, I want that to be me!”. Customer quotes and testimonials are so extraordinarily powerful because SOMEONE ELSE is blowing your trumpet for you – and that someone else is likely very similar demographically to your reader.

  • Get benefits – Social proof that discusses how your product or service improved their lives for the better is a powerful way to win your prospects over to your side and keep them reading. Example: Chownow.
  • Relates to readers – The testimonial-giver should fit the demographics of your target audience and relate to their situation or predicament, or else they’ll fail to relate and are far more likely to bounce from your page. Example: Taskforce.
  • Show statistics – Cold, hard proof of the results you can deliver is an effective way to reinforce the case that your business is the right choice.
  • Use photos – Images – especially of people – will connect with your readers and build trust. Even better, use images of real customers that demographically match your target audience. Example: Booker.

 

Engaging, Relevant Media

Put the damn generic stock photos away. Chuck the low-res screenshots in your PC’s recycling bin. Wipe the cheap Fiverr explainer animation you had done 4 years ago from your memory. Your landing page is precious real estate. The media that appears there needs to seamlessly fit with your brand’s identity, inform your readers, and complement your landing page copy. Use…

  • Real people – Cheesy stock images will often damage your chances. Use real images of employees and customers will help you engage with the people you want to engage with. Example: Articulate.
  • Product shots – Whether it’s a real-life product or a digital tool, show what you’re offering. Whether in image, GIF, or video, people want to know what you’re selling them. Show the most important aspects of your products. Example: Mailcube.
  • High-quality – Low res, badly-cropped images will damage your brand image. Make sure the media you use is well-captured and high-quality.

 

A Desirable, Compelling Call-To-Action

This is probably the most important element of your entire page. Your landing page – by nature – IS BUILT for your call to action. So are you really going to waste the opportunity with a dull, ‘subscribe or ‘purchase’ button? You need a CTA that’s truly going to compel your readers to click. Here’s how…

  • Offer something – The principles of reciprocity are powerful. Give something for free – e.g. a free trial, a gift, a taster of your tool/services – and your prospects will be far more likely to give you what you want (normally, their contact details). Example: Netflix.
  • Use action words – Start, Discover, Learn, Save…powerful action words that communicate a key benefit will be sure to increase your landing page conversions. Example: Manpack.
  • Use time-sensitivity – Few things encourage urgency of action as time. Add a time limit to your offer to encourage your visitors to take action before it’s too late.
  • Make it stand out – Your call-to-action should be visually distinctive. That means a large size and a colour that contrasts with the rest of your website. Example: Openmile.

I hope the above will help you in creating a high-conversion landing page! If you have any comments or questions, add them below.

 

 

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