I got a call a few weeks ago from a colleague who was frustrated by a landing page that simply wasn’t converting.
His marketing team had followed “best practice” in terms of design and layout… and even many aspects of copywriting… and yet leads were non-existent.
So I went ahead and recorded this landing page critique video in which I “debug” the page and make some concrete suggestions on how to boost response.
In this video, you’ll discover:
- Why “best practice” landing pages fail – and what to do about it
- The profound secret of a dead copywriting legend to ensure you aim your message correctly
- 3 questions EVERY landing page must answer.
- How to maximise the value of your “above the fold” space
- Why the right copy in the wrong order can slash response
- Concrete copywriting suggestions for driving leads from qualified prospects
- And more…
If you’d prefer to read, here is a full transcript of “How to Debug a Non-Converting Landing Page”
Hi, it’s Will Swayne from Marketing Results. I hope you’re doing well.
I had a call the other day from a colleague who asked me to take a look at this landing page, and give some ideas on conversion.
The issue as he described was…
“We’re getting a reasonable click through rate from Pay-Per-Click and banner Ads, however the conversion rate on this landing page is nonexistent. What would I suggest to improve things?”
First, I’ll give you a little bit of background on this service so you can understand the context. Then I’ll give you my ideas on why I think it isn’t working, and then what I recommend they try instead. This video will contain a few generally applicable concepts and ideas that you can apply in, more or less, any sort of landing page. So let’s get started.
So the service that’s being promoted here is aimed at cafe owners and restaurant owners. Redmako is actually a hospitality registered training organization, so they’re specialising in that area. And what they’re aiming to do is target the owners of cafes and restaurants, and propose that they actually train some of their staff or find them staff to be trained as chefs or cooks and specifically, in this certificate 2 qualification.
The process that they’ve used is to have this landing page and some ads, like this.
Losing control of your kitchen? Take it back with 2Hats, the solution to the kitchen crisis – download our eBook.
So people would click on the ad – which is working okay. And then they’d come and look at the landing page.
The landing page has a header image with the headline – “Losing Control of Your Kitchen?”
Then a call-to-action to download an eBook.
When you sign up to the eBook, you receive this document which explains a little bit more about 2Hats and what it is.
It’s basically about training two individuals in a business in order to solve what they’re calling, “The Kitchen Crisis” by having enough chefs to do the work required. And you may or may not be aware that there’s a real shortage of chefs and cooks around in Australia at the moment, hence the relevance of this offer.
So let’s take a quick look at the eBook now. If I dig into the eBook, I find that the big benefit here is that the cafe or restaurant owner will receive cash benefits from the Federal Government of up to $10,500.00 per apprentice that they take on, and the apprentice themselves could receive up to $20,000.00 in trade support loans. So that’s a pretty massive benefit.
The desired action after I read this eBook is for the cafe or restaurant owner to call Redmako and say, “Look, I’m interested, can we talk? How does this all work?”
Then they’ll sell the service on the phone. So they’ve sort of gone for that two step approach, selling or giving away the eBook first, and then nurturing and educating the prospect to get them to request further information. So that’s the background, now let’s look at why I think this isn’t working.
But before we do that, let’s just look at one little slide from a well known copywriter by the name of Eugene Schwartz.
Schwartz had a concept called Levels of Awareness, and here are the five levels.
- At level one, the prospect knows the product, knows what it does and want’s it.
- At level two, the prospect knows the product, but doesn’t yet want it.
- At level three, the prospect wants what the product does, but doesn’t know there is a product that will do it for them.
- At level four, the prospect doesn’t have a desire, but a need.
- And level five, the prospect is completely unaware of the need, or won’t admit it to themself.
So where is the prospect here? In talking with the owner of Redmako, I think we’ve established that the prospect wants what the product does, but doesn’t know there is a product that will do it for them.
So what do they want? They want to have a trained workforce of chefs or cooks in order to power the business. There might also be some level four here – they’re not quite aware that the whole root of their problem is caused by not having enough chefs. They do know that chefs are sort of hard to find, hard to keep, hard to retain, keep under control and all that sort of stuff. So they’re probably somewhere in that three of four zone. I think this landing page kind of comes almost in at level one or two. So it assumes the prospect knows what 2Hats is, and that they’re just going to want it. And that, I think, is the fundamental disconnect here.
So let’s go back to the landing page and talk about a couple of other issues with it.
We start with what we call – “The above the fold space” – we see there’s an image here of someone in some sort of anguish. And we see a text message interchange between the chef, and presumably the business owner, though we’re not told that.
“Can’t make it this morning.”
“Your shift starts in 30 minutes and we’re fully booked. We need you this morning.”
“Had a big night. Sorry, can’t do it.”
This sort of interchange requires quite a bit of deciphering by the viewer, and that’s a bit of a problem.
Then the headline is, Losing Control of Your Kitchen? Take it back with 2Hats; the solution to the kitchen crisis. We still don’t really know where this page is heading.
Three good questions to ask about any web page or landing page are – Where am I? What can I do here? and Why should I do it?
Even the ideal prospect, that has a real problem, come to this page – they may not be able to work out quickly what it’s all about, and what’s being offered. And then, they’ve got to read further to figure it out.
I won’t go into this all, but they are talking about the problems these cafe owners might be experiencing and then mention the 2Hats eBook. Well again, this is a brand name, 2Hats, that the prospect is probably not familiar with yet, so there’s no reason for them to download that eBook.
And then you’ve some fake scarcity “limited to the first 200 signups”, normally, people are not going to believe that, and for good reason, it’s a digital download and that will sort of work against you.
I actually wonder if you need to go with a two-step approach? In other words, do the eBook first and then nurture and then go to an inquiry. I think, as the next step, I would suggest going into a direct inquiry, because the problem is pretty acute, and the prospect already has the problem, and they are looking for solutions, and they’re open to solutions. Then I think you can just give the initial inquiry straight up, and you don’t need to, necessarily nurture with an eBook. Now that may or may not be born out in practice. If it’s not born out in practice, then you could always go back to a two-step, and nurture from there.
If you did go back to a two-step, then the title for your eBook needs to be a direct problem solving title. So, “How to Ensure You Always Have Enough Chefs to Run Your Cafe”, or something like that. So you’re not really proposing the brand name of the solution, you’re just proposing an answer to that problem, and that could be a reasonably effective title.
Okay, so that’s a bit of a diagnosis.
Another point around this page is, as you get down to the bottom, they talk about the benefits for your business of supporting the 2Hats campaign;
- Increased productivity
- Improved quality of food
- Highly professional staff
- Low food waste
- Total cost of sale
… and all that kind of jazz. I think that’s pretty important to the cafe or restaurant owner, and should be much higher up the page.
So how would we change this?
Let’s have a bit of a look at a very rough draft that I put together. This is one I prepared earlier, as they say.
First of all, we want to use this above the fold space really well. And we want to hit them in the eyes with the big benefit. The pre-headline I’ve suggested here is;
“Attention cafe and restaurant owners: are you frustrated because you can’t find enough trained, reliable chefs to run you kitchen? Help is at hand…”
So it’s very direct. The cafe or restaurant owner, they’re quickly going to either stick around on the page or go elsewhere if this is the problem they are facing.
And then we hit them with the big benefit.
“Gain access to government cast incentives of up to $10,500 per apprentice.”
Then for the supporting information below the fold;
You could have a headline like;
“Is a lack of trained cooks undermining your business?”
Then go into these problem statements at the top. I’ve said here, “More emotion.” The copy is pretty dry at the moment. If you’re experiencing or are concerned about an inflexible workforce, low employee productivity, low professional standards… things like that, it’s pretty dry, so get more emotional language in there.
Are you exasperated because you can’t find trained chefs? Are you frustrated because of bad behaviour by poorly performing staff? Is this something you’re not able to deal with?
Get those emotional words in there and then bring your benefits up higher on the landing page. Greater productivity, better food, a more motivated work force, reduced cost of sale, more profit at the end of the day – work out what the biggest benefit is for the target prospect, and put that one first, and then work backwards.
Remember the three questions; where am I, what can I do here and why should I do it? Why should I do it? That’s really the proof element, so you might put a testimonial of one of the many people that this business has helped in the target market. And then at the bottom, you might put, “why work with us? The Redmako difference”.
And talk about some of those reasons to choose you; industry specialization, high completion rate, all that kind of stuff. And then yes, have another call-to-action that will, of course, lead back up to the form at the top.
So those are a few of the things that I think could really work here. Certainly give it a try and it will give you some more data points. I think that will get some leads flowing for sure, and then from there, it’s really just testing and tweaking to increase volume.
The only other thing is, you want to make sure the ads that you’re using to drive here, have the same focus as the landing page. So you avoid the curiosity driven ad which is essentially what you’ve got at the moment, and you hit them with problems and results. Problems the prospect has but doesn’t want. Or results the prospect wants but doesn’t have.
Thanks. I hope this is useful and I hope anyone watching this can use this to improve their landing pages. Let us know how you get on.