What kind of first impression does your product make?
Clean, elegant, performant? Or messy, dense, and slow?
Just-what-I-was-looking-for or WTF-does-this-thing-even-do?
Either way, you can improve that first impression, this week, by
- Using a solid template to identify issues
- Having a simple plan to address the top issue
- Taking the first step in your plan
We’ll walk through the whole thing.
Identify your landing page
Your main landing page is wherever most new visitors with product interest* hit your site.
*You might have a lot of organic search traffic coming to your blog. That’s great! But it’s not a landing page.
Maybe it’s your homepage, or a dedicated page you built for paid ad campaigns. You might have several that are honed to specific audiences, or you might not even know off the top of your head where people actually enter your site.
If you’re in the latter camp, just open Google Analytics > Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages. Pick the top entry that’s not a blog post.
This page should do an excellent job of making new visitors comfortable and introducing them to your product. Hopefully it already does. But there’s always room to improve …
The only landing page template you need
Go check out Lander. It’s a free-to-use Webflow template that breaks down the essential components of a good landing page.
(This 😍 resource is courtesy of Josh Tabansi.)
We could spend all quarter addressing and refining every last pixel. Let’s not.
Instead, start at the top and work your way down. Stop when you hit an element of Lander where:
- Your site is missing that element, or
- Your site has that element, but it’s not great
That’s what we’ll work to improve this week.
What to do (based on what’s wrong)
If you don’t know your product’s biggest benefit, or differentiator, or you don’t think you’re communicating it clearly, nothing could be more important to address.
Seriously, don’t worry what color your buttons are, or whether you should include social media icons.
There are a few steps you can take to improve this part of your landing page.
The best copy comes from actual people who love your product. Can you reach out to 3-5 longtime users this week? Maybe there are some you’ve emailed before, who would be happy to hear from you.
Have a quick conversation or email exchange about the PROBLEM that your PRODUCT solves. Start with these prompts:
- How were you solving PROBLEM before you started using PRODUCT?
- What was that like?
- Was there an obstacle, or something that caused you to hesitate before you decided to try PRODUCT?
- What would you do if PRODUCT wasn’t available anymore?
Capture their exact words. (Record the call if they’re okay with that.)
Your best “Biggest benefit” copy is just your happiest users’ own language, rephrased.
Suppose they tell you this:
Before I started using PRODUCT, we were using COMPETITOR. It was okay, but we had to manually tabulate widgets every day. The only thing I was worried about before I switched was the pricing – was I gonna get a huge bill after a busy month? I love that you don’t charge by the widget.
Your biggest benefit is probably that you let your users “Automate widget tabulation” and a key differentiator is “simple monthly pricing – we never charge by the widget.”
For today, though, just reach out and ask for the meeting!
If you already have some sufficiently different ideas for your hero copy, and you have at least 500 signups per month, you can A/B test your way into a higher-converting landing page.
The test will take longer than a week to run, but you can start right away. Here’s a checklist. Pick up at the first step you haven’t already completed. Get it done this week.
- Install testing platform (some landing page builders have this built in)
- Decide how many variations you can run (use CXL calculator)
- Pick the “differentest” variations to avoid wasting your time
- Write a quick summary of the experiment – URL, variations, copy, what you’re measuring
- Hand off for implementation (or DIY)
- QA the variations
- Launch! 🚀
- 🕓 Wait
- Stop the test and call a winner
Action oriented buttons
If your buttons say “Submit” or “Get Started” 😴, it’s probably worth refining them to
- Make them more interesting
- Squeeze in a bit more info about your product’s value
Ideas for copy could come from customer interviews as describe above ☝️
You can probably just do it in your head, though.
What is the moment when a user first gets value out of using your product? Is it the moment they launch their first Automated Widget Tabulation workflow?
If so, your button copy could read “Start Automating!”
If you have multiple ideas, follow the A/B testing instructions above. If not, update the buttons this week with your best guess, and don’t look back.
If your landing page is lacking social proof in the form of customer logos, it can be tricky to address.
Assuming you have B2B customers, but don’t have permission to add their logos to your site … you’ll have to ask.
You’ll make these asks in stages, so you can refine your approach as you go. That means your first step is to make a short list of customers who are likely to say yes.
This might look like “ask somebody on the sales team for a chat” or you might already have a relationship with a few customers. If so, once you’ve made your list, send a friendly email.
Explain you’re trying to improve conversion rates on your website. (They can probably relate.) Just ask if they’re open to the possibility of lending their logo, and if so what it might entail.
You’ll get responses ranging from “Yeah just go for it” to “Uhhhhh … that’s gonna be complicated.”
Iterate and identify a few more from the “Yeah go for it” crowd. Congratulations, you’ve got your logos!
If someone in the “Uhhhhh …” crowd has a logo you’re just dying to show off, ask if you can table the discussion until contract renewal. Vaguely mention the possibility of a discount. When the topic comes up again, they’ll be more amenable.
If you’ve got optimal messaging in the hero section of your landing page, and your buttons are action oriented, and you have compelling social proof, that is amazing!
For refining the rest of the page, customer interviews and A/B testing will get you there.
For prioritizing benefits and improving copy, send a short survey to existing customers. Give them the list of benefits, then ask “Which is most important to you, and why?” You get rankings and “in their own words” copy ideas.
If you used this guide to take one step toward improving your landing page this week, I’d love to hear about it. You can email bdh at briandavidhall dot com, or find me on Twitter.
(If you read this far but didn’t find a way to improve your landing page this week, I’d definitely appreciate hearing that, too.)