This checklist was originally created for a popular Internet Marketing forum in early 2012 and has since received 4000+ views and 150+ positive reviews. Many of the people that have stumbled upon it have let me know that they don’t think it gets the attention it deserves, and I agree.
Over the next couple months I’ll be rereleasing a section of the checklist each week with updated tips and more in-depth explanations of why each item on the checklist will help you increase conversions.
Get notified of new posts by using the form in the sidebar, or subscribe directly using your favorite RSS reader. At the end of the series you’ll be able to download them all together in a printer-friendly pdf.
If you have any questions or would like to debate the validity of a particular point, I encourage you to leave a comment here or in the comments sections of the corresponding post.
Getting Started: Background and Research
Before you jump into creating your landing page, you need to do your homework. In fact, these points are something that should have been taken into consideration long before this point. If you have yet to find answers to these questions, don’t neglect to answer them now, or your business will almost certainly fail.
Write down answers to these questions now and as you piece your landing page together. Check back frequently to make sure your actions are in tune with your objectives, your offer and, most importantly, your audience.
_____ Define your audience.
Who are the people that will be receiving your message, what are they like, and what problems do they face? You can shine some light on this question by either analyzing your own traffic, or using a service like Quantcast to see the demographics of authority sites in your niche.
_____ Create Personas.
This helps to visualize your customers and get in their heads a little bit more. Create your personas before you start writing or designing your landing page, so you’re able to better imagine how your various personas will react to your page. I’ve included an example persona for a skin care product below. It seems like a silly exercise, but it works wonders.
-21 year old
-Has had bad skin for a long time now, and was teased about it in high school.
-She has desperate for a solution to her skin care problems, but due to tuition costs, can’t afford to pay for expensive skin care systems. Her mother, on the other hand, has money to spend.
_____ Define your offer and benefits.
What exactly will you be offering to visitors of this page? In what specific ways will readers benefit from your offer?
_____ Define Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Without going into too much detail, your USP is a brief description of what you have to offer, and why it is better than all your competitor’s. This is probably the most important step, and will be one of the main focuses of your landing page. If you are unable to define your USP, it’s probably a good idea to go back to the product development stage and figure out a way to give your customers something they won’t be able to find anywhere else.
_____ Define the goals of your landing page.
At this point you should a deep understanding of what you’d like to accomplish with your landing page. It’s still a good idea to write it down now, so you don’t lose focus once you dive in. Go for the direct sale, offer them something in exchange for their contact info, get them to download your software, or something totally out of the box. Whatever it is, don’t attempt to accomplish it all with a single landing page. With goals in mind, you can define a metric to rate your success by (conversions).
_____ Define Your Traffic Sources
If you’ve been able to successfully define all of the above, you’re now in a good position to figure out the best way to drive traffic to your page. The more you can figure out about how you’re going to generate traffic at this early stage in the landing page creation process, the better you’ll be able to cater the copy to your visitors. For example, if you’re able to come up with your Google Adwords ad copy and keywords before you start writing your landing page, you’re able to define expectations and get a better idea of what part of the buying process they’re in.
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