When you write landing pages to rank on search, there can always be the odd one that takes an age to get just right.
Maybe it’s a new client, maybe it’s writing for an area you know very little about, maybe you’re just not feeling it today.
Here are six tips to speed up the process of writing landing pages without reducing quality. I’ve tried to make them tips that aren’t too obvious.
Don’t Start Writing Until You’ve Completed The Research.It’s often tempting to want to start writing as soon as possible. You do a bit of reading, get some information and think you’ve got enough to make a start – perhaps a compelling first couple of lines and a call to action.
Then you need to do more reading, you get more of a feel for the client and the page and write a bit more. Rinse and repeat. This method is hugely inefficient.
You find information that makes you want to reshape what you have already written, the writing itself is stop start rather than full of momentum. Do the research, make notes, get a real feel for the topic and only then start writing. It will be quicker and produce better pages and the deeper understanding will make future pages easier.
Mix Up The Order You Write In.If you have several pages to write for one client the sensible approach would seem to be to write all these consecutively. I find that approach actually makes me slower and the pages can suffer.
If you have just finished one page then immediately embark on another very similar one it is hard to find the right balance, to right something that is different enough. The memory of what you have just written is too fresh, it feels as if that’s what you’re trying to write again, making it different and still maintaining a flow is a struggle.
A better approach (well, for me at least, it’s worth trying if nothing else) is to move on to a completely different page for a separate client. This way, you hit every page fresh. If you’ve done your research, they should still be easy to write, you still have that writing flow built up from producing another page, but there is no issue of it being a clone. As for the next page from that initial client – write it tomorrow, the memory of previous work will be fresh but not overwhelming.
Love The Thing You’re Writing About.Let’s face it, those of us who produce landing pages write about some pretty niche topics, things we wouldn’t necessarily choose to spend our time producing copy for.
Finding some way to genuinely love the thing you’re writing about, to be an advocate for it makes the process so much easier. I write for a motorhome dealer, I love the fact they remain a family business despite being one of the UK’s largest dealers, I think their Google reviews speak of true customer service. If I had a spare £100,000 I’d be buying a Burstner from them.
It might be their prices, it might be their ethos, it might be the awards they have won or that they have been around for longer than anyone else. Do your research (that word again) and get to the point whereby you’re writing pages desperate to impress the reader, this is the company they really should be choosing.
Think In Listicle Format.This one works even if you don’t then write in listicle format. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with listicles – they can rank well, they are easy to write but they’re not going to win you a Pulitzer Prize (though that’s probably true for any search landing page).
What getting into the habit of thinking in listicle terms does is get you good at coming up with a series of points related to a theme. This is perfect for landing pages. Whatever you’re writing about, you can think of the X Reasons Why Someone Should Buy It From This Particular Company. Maybe it’s price, quality, experience of the company.
Get a few points listed and you’re halfway there – then all that remains is writing that killer intro to gain the reader’s interest and turning the listicle points into proper sentences and paragraphs. After all, you can’t have a listicle as an end product. Who does that?
Have Handy FactsSimilar to the listicle point, and building on the research entry, having a list of handy facts is beneficial.
Whatever you’re writing about, aim to generate a good list of facts. How long have the company been in operation? Which awards have they won? What review score do they have?
Often, you can widen the criteria – if I’m writing about a car dealer that specialises in Fords I make sure to have facts about what awards Fords have won and positive reviews about their models, perhaps with a pull out quote or two copied.
Your copy becomes richer and falls into place – you have facts to mention, these facts might involve outbound links and you may get a great quote or two to drop in. It becomes not just you saying how great the product is, but others, cold, hard facts.
Having facts also shows the company that you have done your research, you have put effort in to make a thorough page for them rather than just rewriting the About Us.
Let The Site Do The Work.Landing pages have to rank but they also have two do a good job of persuading the reader to do something, even if that something is just to spend more time on the site getting a feel for the company.
What the page doesn’t have to do is have every single bit of information and go into endless levels of detail. I have seen landing pages for metal suppliers that listed, in paragraph format, every available width, grade, tolerance and however else you can differentiate lumps of metal.
It was boring to read and a level of detail that was not necessary. Who was it for? The person who landed on that page would either know exactly what width, grade etc they required or they would be less sure on the specifics. Either way, the landing page needed to show the company could deliver on their needs and why they stood out; it did not need a complete catalogue of products.
Any half decent site has a wealth of information. In this example, there were pages listing all the products, neatly arranged by sortable tables and with filters. By all means give an example of the range on offer, we have grades from X to Y, but don’t recreate huge swathes of information that is better arranged elsewhere.
Hopefully this has been some help – I’m off now to write a landing page about flat roof repairs. The glamour!