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How to Avoid the 6 Biggest Mistakes in Landing Page Copywriting

Advertising should be creative, but this does not necessarily apply to landing pages. You have a defined goal, a call-to-action button, and to achieve that goal you should make life as easy as possible for your visitor.

The landing page text plays an essential role in this strategy. The right words in the right place can serve as a path to guide a potential client. However, one wrong word can test, or even abruptly end, a relationship which has only just begun.

Advertising should be creative, but this does not necessarily apply to landing pages. You have a defined goal, a call-to-action button, and to achieve that goal you should make life as easy as possible for your visitor.

The landing page text plays an essential role in this strategy. The right words in the right place can serve as a path to guide a potential client. However, one wrong word can test, or even abruptly end, a relationship which has only just begun.

We have compiled the 6 biggest mistakes in landing page content below with some advice on how to avoid them.

1. An unconvincing title

Perhaps you’ve heard statements like “50% of your time should be devoted to the article, and 50% to the headline”. News sources understand the veracity of this rule particularly well, because eight out of ten people read the headline, but only two of them go on to read the rest.

Therefore, you can have a great landing page – but if the title is unconvincing, the remaining content won’t be seen. This means, of course, that 99.9% of your content will go unnoticed!

Most headlines praise what the company produces, and they revolve around that product or service. Or even worse, they can be just a generic mix of advertising phrases.

But how can a headline be important if it fails to talk about your product?

It’s about what the customer can do with your product. Identify that with precision and your problem is solved. What is your specific USP – your unique selling point?

In some instances, a mix of a title (headline) and a sub-heading (subline) can be helpful.

An excellent Bonativo example runs as follows:

Headline: Your weekly market is now online

Subline: Fresh, seasonal food delivered straight to your home. Find out what we offer in your region.

The subline builds on the headline which is not descriptive enough to stand alone.

2. No clear call to action

The death of any campaign: It’s a fatal mistake not to have a clear call-to-action, usually in the form of a text button.

Clarity does not mean you have to yell at your landing-page visitor. Uncertainties should be eliminated and the use of the page kept simple.

Avoid leaving generic words such as “Send”, “Search”, “Download” or “Buy” to stand by themselves. And don’t assme that just because everything was labelled that the user understands what happens when he presses the button.

A good trick is for the button press to trigger an internal dialogue. For example:

I would like to …

  • Download the e-book as a PDF
  • Book my dream vacation
  • Find cheap apartments

It’s best to define the ultimate call to action you intend to include on the page before you start working on your landing page text.

Write the rest of your text afterwards, always keeping your goal in mind so that all of the written content on the page shares the same conversion goal.

3. A call to action that generates negative thoughts

You should avoid including negative context in your call to action. A classic mistake is actually trying to create confidence, but unfortunately producing the opposite effect.

Example: We do not send spam.

Two seconds ago, the visitor to your landing page had not thought of spam. Now he suddenly wonders what on earth he might be sent, and now it becomes unclear whether the elements of your page will speak for or against you!

Therefore, you should formulate your privacy position positively. If you can highlight important parts of the message, this can have a very positive impact:

We respect your privacy and protect your data.

So avoid causing unnecessary doubt.

4. Unreliable testimonials

Each landing page needs so-called social proof  – clear evidence that the benefits of your brand, product or service are widely recognized.

But how credible are customer testimonials like this?

“This is the best product I have ever used. It trumps the competition in every respect. “

Michael M., Mannheim

Such statements undoubtedly come across as marketing babble, for two reasons:

  • Superlatives always sound like exaggeration. Avoid words like “best” and “fastest”.
  • The description is generic and could apply to many completely different products.

It’s not necessarily bad if a customer’s statement is a little ‘over the top’. However, its core message or assertions must be true.

The more individual and fact-based the testimonial, the better. The information must be readily understandable for your target group. Here is an example of a satisfied Hubspot customer:

Testimonial CEO Groove

The description of the customer’s own problems (long waiting times for implementation with a previous product, and then limited output) and the benefits (everything gelled within two weeks) provide insight into an individual experience. At the same time, a large proportion of Hubspot’s target group will be able to relate to this experience.

This is straightforward plain-speaking.

Of course, even more trust is built by via the attribution – Groove CEO, Ethan Griffin @ venues (plus a friendly photo) – which avoids a simply anonymous reference.

5. A feature list that fails to communicate the benefits

Don’t get lost in feature jargon that no one understands. For example, how many people are interested in position- and acceleration sensors?

Most ordinary people will have less imagination than the creative people who work in product development, marketing, PR, or on landing page texts. Their question always is: What would I gain from this?

Apple is very good at talking about the benefits of a product rather than just its dry features.

This page for the Apple Watch explains the benefits of a SmartWatch very well:

“Throughout the day, Apple Watch measures your workouts, tracks your activity, and helps encourage healthy routines. All adding up to a better you.”

And by the way, the Apple copywriter has not just slapped a shabby “Learn More” under the paragraph, but offered two meaningful links instead:

Learn more about Fitness>

Learn more about Health>

Landingpage Apple Watch


6. A landing page text which discontinues the conversation

Imagine you had clicked the preview of my article and suddenly found it was not about landing page texts, but about which button color creates more sales.

You would be confused, right?

When you create a teaser text, a newsletter-email, a Facebook post or an AdWords ad, you actually start a conversation with your audience.

Your landing page must build on that concept. Use the same words, and focus the start of your page so it will link with the ideas presented when leaving the previous medium. This coordination of traffic source and landing page is called a Message Match.

Remember: you’re not looking to win any promotional awards, you want to sell something.

Landing page text: The verdict

The attention span of web users is decreasing, yet they are subjected to more attempts than ever to grab their attention. The following measures will help to ease this problem:

  • Define only one objective for your landing page and formulate a call to action (CTA) for your visitor which will achieve this.
  • Invest plenty of time creating a compelling headline. This is where the CTA journey begins.
  • Create content that provides clarity – and don’t use jargon or creative gimmicks that will only generate blank looks and increased bounce rates. A plain list of features won’t automatically communicate added value.
  • Use content to build trust. Avoid showing off (via overuse of superlatives), or using words with negative connotations (see the spam example).
  • Look for a message match. The text of your landing page and your advertising (email, AdWords, social media) must be coordinated and cohesive to avoid confusing your visitors.

Have your customers been convinced that your product adds value? Now you know how to communicate this added value on your landing page.

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About the author

Ben Harmanus, Unbounce

Ben Harmanus is Community & Content Marketing Manager at Unbounce, sellers of a landing page construction kit. He enjoys producing relevant content that optimizes the user experience on web pages, and exchanging information with the community. You may see Ben as a speaker at conferences such as the CampixWeek or the virtual Digital Marketing Kickoff. As a social media enthusiast, he can also be found on networks such as Twitter or LinkedIn.


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