When I’m asked to write landing page content, the client often has one directive.
“Keep it short! Nobody will read more than the headline and a couple paragraphs. Just get them to click!”
My philosophy on content length is simple. If I can, for example, shorten 300 words of content to 200 words without sacrificing the impact of the message, I’ll go with the shorter content. But I’ll never cut content to reach an arbitrary number based on the misconception that people don’t read.
Landing pages are no exception.
But before you develop your message and write the content, you need to understand the landing page’s job.
The Purpose of a Landing Page
The purpose of a landing page is to get users to take a specific action in support of a specific goal. With any advertising campaign – Google search, email marketing, YouTube ads, display ads, social media sponsored posts – a click should “land” the user on a hyper-focused landing page.
Your website’s home page is not a landing page. Neither are product or service pages. Those pages typically have distractions like navigation, social links, videos, calls-to-action, and information that aren’t directly tied to the specific goal of your landing page.
Distractions reduce conversions.
Conversions come in many forms, like filling out a form, entering a contest, or making a purchase. But every element of a landing page should be focused on getting each user to take the same action.
Basic questions landing page content should answer include:
- What thing of value are you offering?
- Why is that thing valuable?
- What pain point, need, or problem does that thing address?
- What is the positive outcome of using that thing?
- What action must the user take to experience the value and positive outcome of using that thing?
Factors that Determine How Much Content You Need on Your Landing Page
When people ask me how long their content should be, my answer is always the same. Content should be as long as it takes to make your point thoroughly and convincingly so the user will take action.
That could mean 100 words of content. Or 500 words. Or somewhere in between.
Don’t assume people have the attention span of a toddler. People will read longer content on your landing page if they’re interested but need more convincing. It’s your job to give them something worth reading.
Think of it this way.
If someone has been convinced to take action and doesn’t want to read every word on the page, nothing is forcing them to continue. They can hit the button, fill out the form, or make a purchase or donation.
On the other hand, are you willing to risk shortchanging the people who do need more convincing – just because you’ve been told everything should be short and sweet? That’s a dangerous (and inaccurate) assumption that will cost you conversions.
Here are some general guidelines to help you determine how much content you need on your landing page.
Keep your content relatively short if:
- You’re not asking for much. If you want people to download your e-book, sign up for your blog or newsletter, or purchase an inexpensive product, there’s minimal risk or cost involved.
- There’s a sense of urgency. Someone needs what you’re offering right now or your offer is time-sensitive and they’ll miss out if they don’t take action immediately.
- You’re advertising to existing customers. They already know you and have a certain level of comfort with your brand, so you can focus on the offer.
Longer content could be needed if:
- You’re asking for a significant commitment. If you want people to pay a lot of money (buy an expensive product or make a major donation), give up their time (schedule a consultation at your office), or both (register for and eventually attend an event), you need to justify that investment.
- There’s no urgent need. If you’re offering a “nice to have” and not a “must have,” the user might need a little more convincing to take action right away.
- You’re advertising to new customers. Take a little extra time to earn the trust of people who are unfamiliar with your brand.
How to Succeed with Longer Content
When adding content to your landing page, be strategic. Just like you shouldn’t keep it short to adhere to some arbitrary word count, don’t make content longer just for the sake of adding words.
Use your content to overcome objections and misconceptions. Provide data that demonstrates the value of what you’re offering and supports your claims. Share testimonials, success stories, or reviews. Explain the consequences of not taking action.
Of course, large blocks of text are a bad idea in any online or print format, landing pages included. To break up your written content and make your landing page easier to scan:
- Use photos and graphics that are relevant to your message.
- Use strong headlines and subheads that elicit an emotional response and preview what the user will read next.
- Add a video that’s consistent with your message and offer. Research has shown videos on landing pages can increase conversions by 86 percent.
If your product or service, offer, and audience warrant longer content, include your call-to-action in different areas of your landing page. This is especially important for mobile users who need to scroll to see every element on the page. Users should be able to take action with little or no effort.
Every landing page should be campaign-specific. Focus and consistency are key. Your home page and product and service pages are for organic search, not conversion-driven campaigns.
If longer content makes sense, structure the page in a way that guides the user on a journey that’s compelling and easy to follow. Deliver your message in digestible chunks. Regardless of how much content you have, make your call-to-action obvious and crystal clear.
“Long or short” is the wrong question to ask when it comes to landing page content. Think about your offer, your audience, what you need to say to convince them to take action, and how to present this information visually. This will ultimately determine the success of your landing pages and advertising campaigns.
Need help developing content for your landing pages? Have previous campaigns underperformed? I can help you develop a message that resonates with your audience and maximizes conversions. Let’s talk.