Case Study: Landing Page Do’s & Don’t’s

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As a marketer, landing pages are your best friend. They’ll help you convince visitors to take a specific action or, “convert”.

If you’re new to landing pages, be sure to check out our knowledge base article here. When you’re ready, keep reading and let’s examine our first landing page together!

First Things First

Before we get started, let’s define a few terms. We’ll use these terms and ideas throughout this article, so it’s important you understand what they mean. Already got the basics down? Great! Feel free to skip right ahead to our critique.

Landing Page

Landing pages are special webpages that you create for a single purpose. This purpose is called your, “conversion goal”.

Landing pages can either be long-form (like this example), medium-length (like this one), or extremely short (like this). Often, a really short landing page is called a, “squeeze page”. Today, we’ll look at a medium-length page and ask ourselves how likely it is to encourage a “conversion” from users.

Conversion

Conversion is an extremely important concept. When a user arrives on your landing page and does what you want them to, they’ve “converted”. The ratio of visitors who convert vs. those who don’t, is known as your, “conversion rate”.

Conversion Rate

In our critique, we’ll be analyzing whether the text on the landing page and the overall design are likely to result in a high conversion rate (lots of visitors converting).

Copy

Any time we talk about, “copy” we’re talking about the text on the page. Copy is an important landing page element. Landing page copy helps to persuade visitors to convert. In other words, if you have really great copy, you can expect to have a high conversion rate.

Why do Email Marketers Need Landing Pages?

Landing pages are great at getting users to sign up for an email list. By presenting them with a well-designed, persuasive page, visitors can easily join your list and begin receiving emails from you. You can share links to your landing page on social media, drive traffic using ads, or simply include a link on your main website:

Once someone joins your list, you can then begin sending them email marketing messages. However, it all starts with a high-performance landing page that adds subscribers to your list. In this critique, we’ll analyze one page that attempts to do exactly that.

Landing Page Critique:

The Job Seeker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Let’s look at Kickresume’s fantastic landing page that they’ve built in order to give away a free eBook, “The Job Seeker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. We really like this page, so let’s start with all the things these folks are doing right. But first, click here to check out the page and think about what makes it work. When you’re ready, keep reading and let’s talk about what this page does well.

What We Love: #1 Dedicated Header

A landing page should be a standalone page that serves a singular purpose. Kickresume has done a fantastic job of keeping visitors on-task by cutting down on any unrelated links in the site header. Instead of including links to their website, their about page, or other unrelated sections of their website, the header only includes links that take users around this specific landing page.

 

Aside from the Kickresume logo and social icons, users can only click on “Get the book”, “What’s inside”, and “Authors”. This helps to keep them on the landing page and (hopefully) pushes them towards a conversion.

 

On this page, the only possible actions a user can take is to receive the free eBook or leave. This is a great way to increase your conversion rate on a page. Ideally, the Kickresume team would remove the social icons (the Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and G+ logos) in order to keep more visitors on the page.

What We Love: #2 Great CTAs

A Call To Action button (CTA button) is any button or link that asks a user to convert. On this page, the team wants their visitors to, “Get the book” and all of their CTA buttons are written in this way:

“Get the book” is much more specific than something generic like, “submit” or “Continue”. We also love how they’ve encapsulated their sign up form later on.

Encapsulation (surrounding a call to action with a visible border) is a great way to attract your reader’s attention. They’ve done this twice within the page. Once, at the top before any of the main body copy begins, then again at the bottom after users have read through the page.

Finally, notice how within the CTA forms, the headline and the button copy match up. They both reference a specific action (getting a free book) and for anyone quickly scanning the page, it’s very obvious what this page is trying to give away.

However, their CTA forms are not the only thing these folks have done right. We also love the way they’ve written their page. We’ll explore all the great things they’ve done with their copy in…

What We Love: #3 Outstanding Copy

Remember: ‘copy’ refers to any of the text on a landing page or in an email. On Kickresume’s page, they’ve put together some really outstanding copy. Let’s start at the beginning, where their subhead includes some powerful social proof:

By mentioning the massive amount of people they’ve helped, Kickresume successfully makes their page more credible. Wouldn’t you want to find out what they’ve learned from helping over 300,000 people? If you’re in their target audience, you just might.

In fact, that’s another thing that the Kickresume team does exceptionally well— writing their copy for their target audience (job seekers). Throughout the page, the copy uses very specific language that their audience will likely respond to. The bullet points are written in casual language and promise benefits that are very relevant to job seekers:

When writing your own pages, aim to keep the copy relevant to your audience and full of information that they will respond to. As much as possible, cut out off-topic copy— every word should be written with conversion in mind.

And, with that in mind, let’s talk about some of the ways this page could be better.

What We’d Improve: #1 Remove Irrelevant Copy

We do love this page. However, if it were us designing it, we might change a few things. And the first thing we’d do is remove the ‘Authors’ section.

This is a huge section that takes time to load, space on the page, and gives readers more copy to read through before making a decision. And, at the end of the day, it doesn’t appear to be particularly relevant to Kickresume’s readers. After all, visitors to this page are interested in finding a job— why should they spend time and energy reading about the authors? Remember, your readers are interested in the answer to one question and one question only: “What’s in it for me?”

What We’d Improve: #2 More Social Proof

Earlier, we mentioned how much we love the, “over 300k people,” social proof. However, why not push that further? After all, social proof can be a powerful motivator when you’re trying to push people to convert. We’d have liked to see Kickresume sprinkle in just a little more.

This could be accomplished in a number of ways. For example, how about a section titled, “We’ve helped our customers find their dream jobs at:”. Beneath this headline, the page could include six or seven logos of companies that their customers now work at. This shows readers that Kickresume knows how to get people hired.

Alternatively, the team could include a few testimonials from folks who’ve read the book already. Again, this serves to make the page more credible and will likely help to boost the landing page’s conversion rate.

In Conclusion: Fantastic Page with Room for Improvement

Overall, we love this page. It’s well-written, well-designed, and likely brings home a respectable conversion rate. However, by tightening the copy and adding a little more social proof, we feel that the Kickresume team could see even more sign ups! What do you think? What did we miss? How else could Kickresume improve their page? Let us know in the comments below.

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Dave Bender

Dave Bender

Director of Operations at Sendlane
Dave is Sendlane's Project Manager. Raised in sunny San Diego, he has worked in all aspects of Internet Marketing for the last 12 years. He has acquired a deep understanding and knowledge that covers SEO, PPC, Social Media, and Digital Marketing.
Dave Bender