You have a competitor with a large budget. Or maybe a competitor that does more optimization testing than you. Have you ever been tempted to play ‘Follow the Leader?’ After all, you know the company does tests. Why not let them do the work and steal their landing page designs?
Here’s why: because that is insane.
There are principles of landing page optimization, but they manifest differently on every page. For example, the conversion process must be simple and easy. But what is simple for one audience can be a huge burden to others.
Have you ever been annoyed by a “helpful” video that automatically played when you hit the page? I know I have. But some people do find such videos helpful, and they are proven to increase conversion rates on many sites. But it doesn’t work on every site!
So you must test your pages. Ignore the competition. Your job is to beat them, not follow them like a lost puppy!
Here are three more reasons it is insane to copy competitors’ pages:
Difference #1. Value proposition
Customers choose you over competitors for a reason. There are unique and compelling aspects of your company that appeal to them. Those aspects are your value proposition – the reason your best customers purchase from you.
Your value proposition differentiates you. It says, “We have the best prices,” or “We provide the only full-service solution.” Notice those superlatives: “best” and “only.” They are exclusive. You are the only company that has these things.
If you don’t have something unique and valuable to offer, then your problem goes WAY beyond landing pages. Think: if there is nothing unique about you, then there is no reason to choose you over someone else. Scary, eh? But fear not. Since you’re still in business, you probably have a value proposition (even if you haven’t nailed it down).
Whatever it is, your unique value attracts different customers than your competitors. So why would you copy the results of a competitor’s tests? That’s like assuming a medicine that works for a rat will also work for you. Testing is safer.
Difference #2. Traffic sources
Your marketing is different than your competitors’. You might bid on similar keywords, but you have different:
- Site content
- Ad campaigns
- Email marketing
- Social media presences
- Promotions and events
It’s impossible for your marketing to mirror the competition. That means visitors to your landing pages come from different sources. Each source has a different audience with different demographics, interests and motivations.
They’re different people! Your competitor’s landing page will not work for them. You must test and design your own.
Difference #3. Audience
Here’s the point: you have a unique audience. It is not available anywhere else on the planet. This group has unique needs, interests, and motivations. You must offer a unique page.
Let’s say your big selling point is that you have superior service. You have 24-hour call centers, hassle-free returns, and a great warranty. Your prices are a little higher, but your customers don’t care. They’re not price shoppers. They pay 5% extra to avoid a hassle.
Your biggest competitor, though, has the lowest prices. Their call centers close at 4:30 and aren’t open on weekends. They only accept returns by court order. They spend millions of dollars driving traffic and testing landing pages. But they’re testing on an audience that is motivated by price.
A page optimized for a price-centered audience will not work for service-centered audience. Will the page get conversions? Sure. Will it be optimized for conversions, and earn as many as possible? Not a chance. You need to get ideas for landing page designs somewhere else.
Note: Pablo Picasso said, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” So if you see some interesting elements on other websites that you think could be helping, try it! Don’t literally copy the elements, just use those elements as ideas to try similar copy/designs on your site. Good luck and happy testing!