Lately I’ve been building a bunch of landing pages for various projects, courses, and digital events. And ever since reading Marketing Made Simple by Donald Miller, I’ve been putting a lot more effort into them in hopes that they provide better information and convert. To make sure I cover everything I need to, here’s my check list.
I should mention that these are added in no particular order – it’s going to be whatever makes most sense for the landing page I’m building.
The Full Checklist
Before we get into the particulars, here’s the full checklist:
- Headline + text
- 2 CTAs
- Bio + Photo
- Trust Logos
- Long Form Text
- Email Optin / Content Upgrade
Each of these contribute to the purpose and story. Selling a course? What solution does this course offer and why are you qualified to teach it? Post-talk page? How can the audience learn more and why should they sign up for you mailing list?
Let’s take a closer look at some of these elements.
Headline + Text
This should be the attention grabber. What do you want people to know as soon as they get there? For my podcast course, it’s, “Build your audience and make money.” For my Gear page it’s, “Look professional at any budget.”
You want to grab the attention of the user and then provide some context with a paragraph.
2 Calls to Action (CTAs)
In Marketing Made Simple, Donald Miller says you need to make the ask as clear as possible. Having 2 CTAs towards the top (in the intro paragraph and in the main nav) means there’s no ambiguity in what you want users to do.
There’s one towards the bottom too, in some cases…like when I have a pricing table.
Bio, Photo, Trust Logos, and Testimonials
I’m grouping all of these together because they all have the same purpose: build trust.
The bio and photo helps users get to know me and what I do. The bio is generally the same, but slightly tailored for the page. So on my podcast course, I’ll talk more about my podcast credentials. On my book’s landing page, I talk about how I’ve been a web developer for 20 years, using HTML and CSS the whole time.
The trust logos are people or companies I’ve worked with. They tell the user, “look at the people who’ve already hired me.” These are often well known companies in the space*.
The same thing goes for testimonials. These will be from people who’ve worked with me or consumed the product I’m selling. I’ll try to get students from my courses, or people who’ve hired me.
I want the user to know that I’m not just some guy trying to make a buck. I’ve been doing [whatever it is I’m doing] for a long time and I will steer them in the right direction.
If you want to see me walk through a specific landing page I built, check out this YouTube Video:
Long Form Text
Long form text is several paragraphs, designed to answer most questions, tell a story, and hit some important keywords. I’ll use the area to explain why I made the page/course/product/etc. I’ll also address some of the common concerns, and spell out what you get.
Email Optin / Content Upgrade
Even if a visitor is not convinced to buy on first go (most aren’t), I’d still like them to take SOME action. So I’ll offer some piece of free content that drives home my message and allows me to capture their email address. Then I can continue to build trust in their inbox.
This is even more important if I’m not directly selling something on a landing page. Them signing up for the mailing list is the most important action they can take on those pages.
This is another opportunity for some long form content, as well as a way to directly address questions users have. I’ll mix in some actual questions with some helpful info (like refund policy, how they can pay, etc).
I try to answer as much of this throughout the page, but having a clear section for users to get all their questions answered is a nice to have, and adds some more SEO juice to the page.
Naturally every landing page is going to be different, but making sure I have these important elements in a check list allows me to most effectively drive home my message, encourage action, and help users fully understand the offering.
What do you include on your landing pages? Let me know in the comments!
*As well known as I can state. I’ve worked for Disney, for example, but it was through an agency so I don’t feel right listing them in my trust logos (and I don’t think I’m technically allowed to).