Landing Page Copywriting:
The 5 Essentials That Convert

Katie Armstrong
Content Coordinator

Okay, so what’s the deal? Right when you think you have this whole “landing page copywriting” thing down, you realize, maybe you don’t.
That’s okay, it can happen to the best of us.
You don’t need to have a throbbing, creative brain that skips around, holding hands with a wordsmith, to have success with landing page copywriting.
Sure, it helps, but if you pay attention to the essentials behind great copy, even the most creative-less writer will be able to swim in a bigger pool of conversions.

If you don’t look like this, go back three spaces – image source

To take some pressure off of us all, the first thing to understand, is this — you will never arrive at a permanent and perfect solution (that one’s on the house.)
What works one day, might not work another. And what works today, I hope you’re not planning on using a year from now.
So, what’s the copywriting solution when your back is against the wall and you’re experiencing a conversion stall?
You have to “get with the times” and rework the foundational essentials that will help you to see the kind of copy your landing page needs (or doesn’t need) to convert.
Ready, get set, start!

Essential #1: Have Tea and Cookies With Your Customers, Regularly

It isn’t enough to just have an amazing product anymore. That old saying, “a product will sell itself,” is prehistoric, and if you’re still listening to that, you might want to spend a little extra time on this part.
[Tweet “Knowing your customer is key and the bottom line to landing page copywriting that converts.”]
This doesn’t mean go demographics-deep and call it quits. You want the background noise.
Where are they from? How do they talk? What’s going on in their minds? In their lives? Why are they here? What do they need? Think, intimacy.
These are going to be your points of persuasion, what your entire landing page copy will be catered to and centered around.
Man Packs does an excellent job in knowing their customer beyond the basics and it shows in their relevant, engaging, and persuasive copy.

landing page copy

Next years Christmas gift?

After landing here, who wouldn’t want a manpack of delicious man-goods? Heck, I’m ready to sign up just to fit in.
What is the key to great copy? Knowing your customers, and then, getting to know them some more.
Not sure where to start? Create a survey, conduct a focus group, make some phone calls, schedule a Skype date — do whatever it takes, talk to them, get their words.
If you’re the shy type, good news, there is a solution. Try reading relevant book reviews from Amazon, making notes of what is said, both positive and negative.
Upfront, understanding your customers might take some time, but keep in mind, the amount of time you put into your customers, is the amount of conversions you will get back from them.
After your third pot of tea, it’s time to split the “awkward” cookie and leave — and don’t forget to say “Thank you,” little do they know, your customer just wrote your copy, for you.

Essential #2: Know Your Copy “Team” And Not Just The Headline

[Tweet “What’s a landing page headline with no support? A total letdown.”]
When too much emphasis is given to one part of your copy, neglect starts to happen across the rest of your copy.
It’s easy to get caught up in your headline — I mean, it’s the first thing that persuades your visitor to stay.
Did you like how I just did that?
Your headline is the first thing that persuades your visitor to stay, not the only thing.
I’m not sure who’s responsible for spreading the rumor that a headline is a “fix all” to better conversion but, spoiler alert, it’s not.
Having a good headline is important, yes, but having only a good headline will get you in trouble.
There is no “I” in team.
Let’s take a look at Maple’s landing page optimization copy.

cro landing page copywriting

Not sure what’s going on here, but I do love maple

What do you know?
Close to nothing. They put all their eggs in one basket — the headline — and with no support, no “team,” you bounce.
It’s time to bring in the big guns. Meet, the copy “team.”

  • Button: This is the mother of moments, the purpose and drive behind the whole team. The call-to-action. Anxiety is at it’s highest here, so, be calm and specific, relevant to your form headline.
  • Form: This is a crucial moment before the trigger-pull. The form needs to be effort-worthy and non-intimidating. Avoid long forms full of pointless work and unnecessary personal info.
  • Form Headline: At the butt of neglect, the form headline needs to provide value and relevance about what’s to come. It needs to be clear and convey your goal with a “no hassle,” “risk free,” delivery.
  • Social Proof: This is the “trust-building” and “peer pressure” part of your copy. You can use testimonials, case studies, etc., to create a positive emotional response to what you’re offering. Who doesn’t want to be a part of something that everyone else is doing?
  • Body copy: The body copy is the meat of your landing page. It supports both your headline copy and subhead copy, expanding on and explaining the what, why, and how — concentrating on benefits, outcomes, and/or results — pointing towards your goal and the visitor’s goal.

*Avoid TMI (too much Information) syndrome, know your needs — long copy vs. short copy?

  • Subhead: Think of the subhead as a transitioning statement. You want it to support the headline copy and entice the customer to carry on to the body copy.

Notice how the button came first and the headline came last?
The button is the goal, your call-to-action. By starting with the goal, the whole team has a direction.
As long as the copy team picks up on that, conversions will be good.

Essential #3: You Said You Had Caramel. Why Do I See Chocolate?

Message Match — A promise made by your ad copy, kept by your headline copy, and supported by your subhead copy.
Let’s bring back our two points from above:

  • Subhead: Think of the subhead as a transitioning statement. You want it to support the headline and entice the customer to carry on to the body copy.
  • Headline: This is the first element people will see on your landing page. It should reflect the message that convinced them to visit (via PPC, social media, e-mail, etc.) and include your unique value proposition.

Now take a look at a couple examples to see what a good message match and a poor message match might look like.
I came across this PPC ad from GigMasters after searching for ways to plan an office party.

ppc copywriting

Sounds like a party…

It looks like their ad copy (the message) is promising to provide an easy way to find, book, and rent everything needed to plan an event.

Let’s check out their landing page…


headline copywriting

Yup, it’s a party!



Their headline copy is an exact message match to their PPC ad copy, reassuring us that we’ve come to the right place — a landing page of their word.

Here is another PPC copywriting example that I came across during my party planning search…


ppc ad copy

Can you go wrong?

Bobgail promises a team of experts that can help me plan an unforgettable party, no matter what the party is for.

Let’s jump to their landing page…


landing page headline

Yes, yes you can.

Oh no, what happened?

Where did the team of experts go? Where are the plans for an unforgettable party?

With expectations high, this landing page copywriting brings in the yawns compared to the promises of their PPC ad copywriting.

This is an example of a poor message match.


Essential #4: “I’ll Have What She’s Having…”

Who hasn’t been persuaded by a good review or a few thousand likes?

Since we’ve all been lead by the crowd at one point or another, it should be pretty easy to understand the impact social proof can have on conversions.

When a visitor lands on your page, they come guarded with doubts and worries.

Does this really work?
Is this just another cheap alternative?
Can I trust that they’ll deliver the quality that’s described?
And, if I have a problem, will they be there to help fix it?

They want to know that they can trust who you are and what you say.

Having viewable testimonials, ratings, press coverage, etc., can cater to these concerns and eliminate the battle in their mind — immediately establishing a level of trust between them and you.

Nothing is more effective at this than customer testimonials — their personal blood, sweat, and tears, poured into your copy.

According to a study by Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange (OTX), 78% of Americans report that online reviews help them decide whether they should purchase a product or not.

Let’s take a look at Nestpick’s landing page, a website that helps you relocate, find, and rent a place to live, before you even get there.


testimonial landing page copywriting

Todo, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.

As you can imagine, there might be a lot of concerns and worries about this kind of service.

Can I trust this? Is this safe? Will this actually make my move easier or cause me more grief?

And, notice their testimonials?

They don’t pick just any testimonials, they pick testimonials that will cater to these customer fears, doubts, concerns, and hesitations — eliminating that “battle of the mind” we talked about a few lines up.

Sidenote: notice that orange bar in the bottom, right-hand corner?

That’s a chat bar and that, too, introduces another level of trust.

I might have no intention of ever using that, but the fact that it’s there, tells me that they care and it instills a sense of comfort.

Long story short, there is no copy that you can write, yourself, that will outshine and speak like the copy from your smiling customers — get it, show it, own it.


Essential #5: A/B Testing — The Only Test Worth Retaking

[Tweet “The smallest change in copy can result in the biggest growth in conversions.”]

What does that mean?

Test everything.

Unbounce and ContentVerve came together and ran an A/B split test for one of Unbounce’s PPC landing pages — proving the power of copy change, both big and small.

For three weeks, they tested a one-word CTA copy change.

The result?

A 90% increase in the click through rate to their payment page.

Don’t believe me? Take a look


cta copywriting


The simple change from “your” to “my” in their button copy, made all the difference.

And, they would’ve never known the power behind that one-word change, had they not ran an A/B split test, revealing the data.

Fortunately, this change worked for them — but, don’t get caught up thinking every change will.

This is the value behind constant and consistent A/B testing — it can help you and it can save you — keeping you from making a change that will cause a devastating hit to your conversion rate.

If one copywriting word can influence a 90% jump, how much more should you be A/B testing all of your copy changes?


cro increase copywriting

With a 90% jump, the possibilities are endless – image source

[Tweet “There’s no such thing as a “set it and forget it” motto in the world of landing page copywriting.”]

Even the landing page copy king has to revisit ground zero to keep his landing pages converting.

In knowing these essentials, you know the key to constantly awesome, landing page copy.

Tuck them away and, when you need them, bring them out to play.

If you have the copywriting down, you might want to move on to design…

P.S. If you took home something new, or just enjoyed the read, make sure to share.