Whenever we start a new landing page optimization project we like to start out by checking out all the other sites in the same industry/niche market. It helps us to see what else is out there and gets us inspired to see what the competition is doing (and not doing) these days. This week we focused on landing pages for internet start-ups.
We made some basic notes on some of the elements that stand out to us. But there is one part of the landing page that every single internet start-up seems to screw-up on their landing pages (usually their home page): What is it your freakin’ product does for ME?
Use headlines to grab them by the throat
It’s nice to know that one of your buddies at mashable wrote an article about you, and you get to put their logo on your site as a solid trust element. Kudos. But no “real people” outside of “the valley” gives a flying fig newton about what they say, nor how brilliant you are. (no offense, we like mashable, but we’re not “real people” either.)
Real people, those average visitors that you are begging God to fall in love with you and your product, only have their internal radio tuned into one station: WIIFM. “What’s In It For Me”.
Out of the 3 sites we reviewed, I think Addroid did the best in terms of quickly explaining their benefit. But even then, they could improve their copy on the landing page as well.
The “real people” for your market may be different than the “real people” for ILoveTacos.com, but they are still tuned to WIIFM like everyone else on the planet.
Attention, Interest, Desire and Action
Your landing page optimization strategy needs to follow A.I.D.A: Attention, Interest, Desire and Action.
Attention & Interest: You should have a short and shocking headline that is read first on your page. Get their attention with it. Then with a little more copy, get them to say “Hey! This may benefit me and my needs, I should invest 57 more seconds to see if I likey.”
Desire: Hit them hard with their love language and get them frothing at the mouth with desire. You’ve got them interested at this point so don’t screw it up! You can do this by sharing benefits of your product. In other words, what do THEY get out of this relationship. Share with them benefits, not features of your products. Usually, a benefit comes from the result of a feature.
Feature v. Benefit: A 500GB hard drive is a feature. The fact that you can store 1,857 hi-resolution photos of your kid’s first birthday, slapping herself silly with chocolate cake without making a dent in available storage, is a benefit.
On PEERS.ME, the headline reads “Sign Up!”. Not sure if that’s going to snap me out of my Facebook induced hypnosis. Actually, isn’t that a command? You’re telling me to do something, without getting my attention nor my interest. Where’s the benefit on this page? On the form page it has “Network Account” in big print. What the H – E double hockey sticks does all of this mean to a visitor tuned into “WIIFM”? Nothing.
Think about the prospect, not the product
Look at everything you have on that page, and see if it can penetrate through the 67,000 thoughts per hour that your prospect is thinking about. Does it help them? Is it clear? Is it motivating? Is there a bang? Heck, even a small spark will suffice.
It takes time to come up with a pithy statement that says the benefits that hit right to the heart of the prospect. But it is worth the effort to take that time, because you have less than 3 seconds to grab someone by the medulla oblangata to get their heart racing just enough to get them to ignore their twitter feed and take notice.
Action: If you’ve done your job properly, alls ya gotta do is: GET OUT OF THE WAY! Have one (repeat: 1, uno, ein…) call to action on the page. And put it above the “fold”.
If you are one of the designers for a site we’ve bashed, and we’ve offended you, please note we rant in love, with a goal of taking us all higher, even if it is a jarring slap in the ego. We know it can sting, we have to slap ourselves from time to time as well. Seriously, if the grammar police investigated our blog, we would be hanged. And if you’re ever in San Diego, let us know, and we’ll buy you a beer and tell the tales of the stupid things we’ve done…
For our landing page inspiration blog posts, we like to run though and point-out the good “best practices” on the pages, as well as highlight some of the elements that we would recommend testing.
Please use the comment area below to post some critiques and questions. Please add your thoughts on elements that should be pointed out on the pages. Often times, there are more gold nuggets there to find.
To see our comments, just rollover the images and our good/try notes will popup.
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