Yes, I know why you include so many words on your marketing landing pages. It's because you really, really, REALLY want your visitors to get it. You want them to understand all that it is you have to offer them and how choosing to do business with you is really going to change their lives. You want to use all of the information you can to persuade them to stick with you, to continue on the journey to being your customer. Problem is--they don't read them. I know you worked hard on it, and I'm sorry.
So, what do you do now? Throw it all away? Doesn't there need to be some explanation about the page and how the user will benefit from continuing on? Why, certainly yes. Your pages must still persuade users to work through the conversion process. But, they must do so in ways that fit with how people use the web. It's time to get out that "red pen" and make a couple of changes; namely employing a less-is-more approach.
If you've got paragraphs of content on your page, I'll make you a bet that I could summarize the meaning of what you're trying to say (or simply what you should say) in half as many words or less. These landing pages shouldn't be blog posts. Site users are not looking to be debriefed on all of your thoughts about your products and your company. They are looking for concise information that can be instrumental in helping them to complete their task.
Idle chatter is all of the words that aren't necessary for the visitor to be persuaded or to take the action they are looking to take. It includes self-promotion, needless instructions that should be self-explanatory, things the visitor already knows, and information that is useless at that specific point in their visit.
Let's take a look at a real landing page example from the web and see how we might be able to improve their text to make it more likely to be read and useful to the site user:
Headline: Snowmobile Clothing, Riding Gear, Aftermarket Parts & Accessories
Body copy (120 words):
Our store specializes in products for the avid snowmobile rider and his sled. We have a passion for snowmobiling and take pride in the product lines we carry and customer service we offer. With thousands of in-stock products located in our inventory warehouse, we supply snowmobilers with the best brands and products in the industry. Everything from snowmobile clothing, helmets, goggles, avalanche & survival gear, aftermarket snowmobile parts, and accessories. We have top brands like Klim, Castle X, FXR Racing, 509, Slednecks, MotorFist, Arctiva, HMK, Coldwave, SLP, BOSS & many more! Thank you for visiting our online store. We hope you enjoy our website and selection. As always, Ride Safe and Have Fun!
Let's look at this bit by bit...
Our store specializes in products for the avid snowmobile rider and his sled. This should already be known from viewing the site ID, tagline and navigation, which is supposed to be more prominent in the visual hierarchy of the page than the text. By the time they get to reading your text, this is already old news and will just frustrate them to have to read information they already know. Eliminate.
We have a passion for snowmobiling and take pride in the product lines we carry and customer service we offer. This is promotional marketing talk that users don't believe when they read it. All of your competitors claim the same things and none of it translates through the computer screen. Eliminate.
With thousands of in-stock products located
in our inventory warehouse, we supply snowmobilers with the best brands
and products in the industry. The first part of this sentence
provides our first bit of useful information for the user. It's valuable
for the user to know that you have your own warehouse that will ship
things immediately instead of ordering from a third party. The second
part of the sentence is more marketing talk because "best" is just an
opinion. Edit to give undeniable facts (like which brands you sell) instead of opinion fluff.
from snowmobile clothing, helmets, goggles, avalanche & survival
gear, aftermarket snowmobile parts, and accessories. Again, this should already be apparent from the site ID, tagline and navigation.
have top brands like Klim, Castle X, FXR Racing, 509, Slednecks,
MotorFist, Arctiva, HMK, Coldwave, SLP, BOSS & many more! There's
the useful brands; although these should be cut down to include just
the most popular. The human brain likes groups of three to five things
in lists. More than that, and users feel overwhelmed.
Thank you for visiting our online store. We hope you enjoy our website and selection. As always, Ride Safe and Have Fun! It's all topped off with more fluff that isn't useful.
After taking out all of the text that isn't useful, adding some reassurances and summarizing it in a way that makes the text flow, we're left with the following 33 words:
Backed by our quality guarantee, you can shop safely and securely for in-stock brand name products from Klim, Castle X, FXR Racing and more, shipped immediately and directly to your door.
We've got one-fourth of the number of words to communicate what's important to the user. They are much more likely to read this--and you're more likely to get the sale.
Mike Fleming specializes in Analytics and Paid Search for Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. You can follow Mike on Twitter at @SEMFlem. Mike enjoys playing, writing and recording music along with playing basketball to get his workout in. He resides in Canton, Ohio with a girl who threw a snowball at him one day…then married him.
Mike and the team at Pole Position are available to help clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Contact them via their site or by phone at 866-685-3374.
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