Are You Using the Right Words on Your Landing Pages?

Today's website review makes for a great example because the page we're looking at does so many things right. On this landing page, design and layout are on point and this gives us an opportunity to hone in on some of the finer details of copywriting.

Watch the video to see what we find and how you can improve the clarity and wording on your own landing pages.

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Getting The Big Picture Right

The website we're looking at today is this one. In many website reviews, we talk about design, layout and avoiding visual clutter and distraction.​ Clear, focused visual design is crucial for any website that's supposed to convert well, so it's no wonder it comes up often.

The easiest way to make sure you have these big picture design fundamentals in place is to leave design work to designers. And the cheapest way to do that is to use pre-designed templates and themes.​

Once you have a clear and focused design in place, the words on your pages become the most important lever for conversions.

Readability Before Copy

There's one more design factor we need to touch upon: readability.

It doesn't matter that your words are well crafted and persuasive if they are too hard to read. In addition to the comments I made in the video, you can check out this post to learn more about readability: 3 things you can do to improve any landing page.

With that said, let's get into the tips for improving your words:

Avoid "Me, Me, Me" Messages

​We all care most about ourselves. That's why in our messages, we are prone to the "me, me, me" pattern.

"Look at my amazing product!"

"Marvel at my great website!"

"I put so much work into carefully crafting this offer!"

​The problem with this, of course, is that such a website is made for an audience of one: the website owner.

If you want to make your website appealing to your visitors, you need to switch from "me, me, me" messaging to "you, you you".​

Don't Rely on Empty Benefits

As marketers, we are always told that we should advertise benefits, not features.​ Not all benefits are good benefits, though. Not all benefits will convince your readers to sign up or make a purchase.

The worst kinds of benefits are empty benefits.

What is an empty benefit?

Let me give you an example:

"Our product is fast and easy! Get it now, it's cheap!"​

There are some claims that are so common that they don't sound very appealing anymore. Everyone claims that their thing is fast, easy to use and will help you save time and money. Don't rely on such claims as your main benefits.

If your main benefit is something that no one would ever take the opposite position to, it's empty and weak. Typically, this type of benefit tries to appeal to everyone and ends up appealing to no one in particular.​

Are You Saying the Same Thing Again Same Thing Again?

It's important to have a clear focus in your message, but not to point where you keep repeating yourself.

Look at the copy on your page and for each heading and each paragraph, ask yourself: what's the core idea that's being communicated here?

If you find that the exact same core idea is being communicated over and over again, just in different words, your page suffers from redundancy.​ Cut out those repetitions to make for a cleaner, shorter (and probably more effective) page.

Know Whom Your Page is NOT For

​You need to know your target audience.

That's not news to you, if you've been doing online marketing for a while.​

But what about this:​ you need to know who isn't in your target market.

See, even if we try to focus on a target niche, most of us can't help but try and please everyone. Sure, my online course is made for beginners, but it's also for more advanced users. For men and for women. For young and old. Really, everyone's welcome!

We wrongly believe that we can reach more customers by appealing to a wider audience.

Here's an exercise to fix this problem: write down a description of some people whom your offer is most definitely not for. Then, write your copy in such a way that it's unmistakably clear that it's not for them.

By excluding some people, your offer becomes more relevant and interesting to people in your target audience and you'll end up attracting more, not fewer, customers.​

Your Turn to Write Better Words

Which of these tips can you apply to your website today? Let me know in a comment!

Also, if you have any questions about today's review or any suggestions, comments are welcome!​

Shane

P.S.: If you'd like to get your website reviewed in a video like this as well, you can submit it here. Our list of submissions is long, but if you get lucky, we might pick your site for a future video!

P.P.S.: To learn more about the super simple "5 second test" mentioned in the video, click here.

Author: Shane Melaugh

Shane Melaugh is a co-founder and the CEO of Thrive Themes. When he isn’t plotting new ways to create awesome WordPress themes & plugins, he likes to geek out about camera equipment and medieval swords. He also writes about startups and marketing here.

  • Alison says:

    Awesome Shane – I really enjoy your website critiques as always pick up new ideas or issues that need to be done on my own sites.

  • Steve says:

    The entire message is confusing, It’s not a website, it’s a single web page.

    What type of website am I going to see built in those videos? A single web page/landing page/? or a fully functioning site with several pages?

    The image as no direct connection to the headline for me. A masterclass in what? WordPress? Html, PHP, or another type of site?

    If I was a newbie or struggling to have that professional look and feel,
    I would be looking to have that very question answered right there and then.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Great input, Steve! These are some questions and objections that would be great to address on a landing page like this.

  • Ambrose says:

    Thanks for the tips on what NOT to do. I picked up what to do or not do by researching a lot, but it is good reinforcement when you hear someone else say it. btw, I used Thrive Themes to style my landing page. Thanks for the great templates and copy writing advice!

  • Mary Jaksch says:

    This is very interesting, Shane. One thing I noticed was that the landing page didn’t state whether this is a free – or a paid product.

    If it’s a paid product, a long form sales page might be better because the reader is left with some question – as you rightly pointed out.

    In fact, even if it’s a free product, some bullet points about the product would be useful.

    I suppose the main question is really what the site owner intended with this page. To get more subscribers? Or to sell a product?

    Maybe we could have a statement by the site owner in your next site review so that we see what she or he wanted to achieve and then see if the look and function of the site matches the goals.

    Keep on going with your excellent articles, Shane!

  • Gerhard Paasche says:

    Hey Shane, great share as usual. My first five seconds I had a hard time realizing what this landing page is about. I knew is is about a masterclass and that it is an over the shoulder view, but it is not really inviting to my eyes. For me The bold lettering should tell a short story what it is about. It should be the Bare Bones core sentence and the rest can be added subtopics giving more info. I would have got the purpose if there would have been a headline like “YOUR WEBSITE could look like this” which would incorporate the prospect to be first as you mentioned.

  • Pierre L says:

    I love this. These are great writing tips. I myself have been blogging for 6 years and have had no focus because I did focus on selling my product and self-promotion primarily. However, I recently learned that I should share the wealth of knowledge that I have and passive aggressively promote my work. The “I” to “you” method works psychologically. Great tips and points.

  • Kimberly G says:

    Shane, you guys are seriously amazing! I am very much enjoying the critique of the websites/landing pages that you are doing. It is showing me some of the things that I am doing wrong with my copy and etc. Kudos to you all!

  • Daphne says:

    Great tips and info! I am thinking of updating, fine tuning my website and your tips are really usefull.

  • My 5-second test was reading what was in bold too. I read “Peek over my shoulder…so you can do the same! By watching…step by step videos!” and something about building a website in my peripheral vision. Great feedback on this man’s site!

  • Pete Rose says:

    Thanks Shane for a very informative post. This is probably the most important aspect of crafting landing and sales pages that we can do to increase conversions. Marketers should remove the ‘I’ and ‘ME’ from their sales pitch. This also applies to conversations and sales presentations.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Very true, yes. It’s something that’s easily overlooked, but once you pay attention to it, you can see this mistake everywhere.

  • Mark says:

    Thanks for the copy writing tips Shane.

    I think we all noticing that it’s easy to slap marketing sounding words on a page and not so easy to craft successful marketing copy on a page. Big difference. Would you agree?

    Anyway, as mentioned in the video critique, Rob is on the right track when it comes to page appearance and a little off track when it comes to copy. If he follows the copy writing suggestions he’ll very much grab his visitors attention and have a successful landing page.

    It was mentioned in one of the comments that it wasn’t clear whether the videos are free or not. In Rob’s defense, it’s clear to me that the videos are free as noted in both of his calls to action…

    “Sign up below to get free instant access today…”
    “Sign up below and start watching the FREE Video Tutorials…!”

    Clear, yes. Obvious, no.

    What Rob might like to do is MAGNIFY the FREENESS of his video tutorials somehow, either in the headline, or elsewhere in the body copy, that way his visitors won’t have to do any detective work to figure it out.

    One last minor issue I have.

    It’s great that Rob shows a picture of himself in the author section. I think it needs a little contrast to punch it up a bit. (I worked in a print shop for twenty-five years and was responsible for noticing things like that.) The flat greyscale image isn’t a deal breaker but an improved image would make anal visitors like me not get distracted because of it.

    Rob. Follow Shane’s advice and knock it out of the park!

    Shane. Keep up the great work! We all benefit greatly because of it.

  • Christian Dietrich says:

    Everything you said is true. This is critical at high level (I wish I had such a great website as this). Thank you.

  • Ravi Chahar says:

    Hey Shane,

    I would definitely go with the proper words. The landing page a website has a major impact on its visitors.

    It’s important to focus on what you want to show. People just jump into that unseen world of stupid promotions.

    They should try hard to understand their audience.
    Thanks for this informative article.
    ~Ravi

  • Thank you for reviewing my personal site Shane…!

    I have been going over all of the great suggestions you made and have made a few changes accordingly.

    I also really appreciate the constructive criticism from the comments section. This was definitely a humbling experience and well worth it.

    Thanks,

    Rob

    • Jenny Smagala says:

      Hi Robert,
      Thumbs up mate! Excellent job making changes suggested by Shane (Top teaching video as always – thanks, S.M) and the readers who left helpful comments. The new landing page is much more inviting; is easier to read, and clearly states what your subscriber will get from your free videos. I’m sure more people will take up your offer now!

      Thanks Robert for submitting your site for public appraisal, so that we can all learn what we need to do for our own sites. I have lots of work to do! Your “humbling experience”, combined with Shane’s insights and guidance, may well inspire hundreds of better landing pages! Now there’s a great thought!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Glad you found this useful, Rob. And even better that you went ahead and put it into action right away. :)

  • Johan C says:

    Thx for this post Shane ! I liked your input regarding the page and as you pointed out empathy is really important as well as knowing who your audience is ! Good critiques. Thx

  • I learn so much from your videos. These alone are worth the price of my membership.

  • Harry Heijligers says:

    Hi Shane,
    It’s always great to listen to you! You are so knowledgeable! This led me to the question: when do you launch an online training? For example about Online Marketing, Content Marketing or Web design? I think that this would be one of the best trainings in the market if you would provide such a training. So please, for when is that scheduled?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you, Harry!

      We may be releasing some courses next year, yes. Depends on how smoothly things go on the software side. :)

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