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Landing page teardown: One takeaway that can make all the difference in your startup landing page copy

What will you learn from this post?

  • The one thing that will make your startup landing page copy 80% better
  • How you can improve your landing page by using the principles explained below

Teardown

Today I’ll analyze the landing page of http://motavera.com

Context: Motavera is a platform that connects students with small enterprises. It helps students get job opportunities at pre-selected companies. On the other hand, it helps businesses hire young talent fresh out of the university.

I’ve highlighted several problematic areas on the current Motavera landing page:

For each point I’ll give advice specific to Motavera and general advice that you can apply to your landing page.

Headline + subheadline (issue #1)

Issue

The headline + subheadline on this landing page don’t give enough information about the page. Therefore there is no motivation for people to click on one of the calls to action below.

Why it’s a problem

Because people only care about themselves.

They don’t care about your product.

The way to get their attention is to talk about their own issues and desires.

That’s why the top portion of your landing page should explain:

  • what the page is about
  • what value your product/service provides to people, i.e. what they will get or what they will be able to do with it
  • why they should stay and read more

All of this is known as the unique value proposition (UVP, unique offer).

Advice to Motavera

  • Use your headline to tell people:
    • What they can do on this website or what they will get
    • What the biggest benefit is for them. Why should they care about doing what your platform allows them to do?
  • Use your subheadline to support and clarify the headline

The multiple calls to action (issue #2)

Issue

The Motavera landing page has 3 calls to action on top of the page. This is confusing and it’s highly unlikely that they will be clicked.

Why it’s a problem

People hate making choices. Research has shown over and over again1 that making choices is tiring for the brain.

When faced with too many options and not motivated to choose, your website visitors will just ignore them all.

That’s why:
Your landing page has to have one single goal.

If you want people to act now, don’t give them choices.

Advice to Motavera

  • Decide what the goal of your landing page is. Is it to make people sign up? Is it to make them read more about the features?
  • Leave only one call to action in the top portion of the page and see how it performs

At first this might seem scary, because you’re “losing” your fallback options.

But these multiple calls to action are just distracting people and standing in the way of your conversions.

Focusing on the product (issues #3, 4)

Issue

The headline “Introducing the Motavera Beta version” doesn’t motivate people to read more about the product.

Why it’s a problem

Since your visitors are self-centered, they don’t care if you’re introducing something.

Words and expressions like “Introducing”, “The world’s next”, “The fastest/easiest/best way to X” don’t help your landing page.

Tell them how you will help them instead.

Advice to Motavera

Don’t talk about the platform, especially in the headlines.

Headlines are there to raise interest and make people read the paragraphs below them.

Use this particular second headline to point out another important benefit of using your platform.

Using “I/We/Our” (issue #5)

Issue

Most of the text on the landing page is talking about the company and the platform.

Why it’s a problem

The same reason that I described above: Website visitors don’t care about the product or the company.

That’s why text in the second person is more likely to make them pay attention and sign up.

Advice to Motavera:

Rephrase the “I/we/our” sentences to use “you/your”.

Unclear copy (issues #6,10)

Issue

Throughout the text I noticed several examples of unclear copy:

  • “reputable organizations”
  • “convenient and efficient manner”
  • “high quality students”

Why it’s a problem

Because people can’t connect these terms with anything real.

e.g. If they can’t imagine a “reputable organization”, they can’t imagine how great it would be to work for one.

And they wouldn’t want to sign up.

That’s why the best copy is clear and vivid. It makes the reader dream about things they want to have and do while reading.

Advice to Motavera

Clarify the text on your landing page. Ask “What is X?” for any unclear term until you can imagine it in your head.

e.g. What is a “reputable organization”? How is this ensured? Why aren’t others reputable?

Don’t be afraid to get too specific. e.g. “a growing tech startup in Missouri” is better than “a reputable organization” because the former is clear and vivid.

The UVP is buried in the text (issue #7)

Issue

The actual value proposition, the text that says what students will be able to do with the platform is buried in a paragraph.

Why it’s a problem

Few of the website visitors will read it.

The value proposition should be in a headline, not somewhere in the text.

Like discussed above, the top of the page is the place for your UVP.

Advice to Motavera

Use your headline + subheadline to communicate your value proposition.

This can be the base text for it:

“find volunteer, internship and employment positions with reputable organizations”

To come up with a headline:

  1. Ask “Why?”. Why do students want to find such positions?
  2. Say how this platform is better than the rest

Then you can use the base text (“find volunteer, internship and employment positions with reputable organizations”) as a subheadline. Just define what “a reputable organization” is.

Not saying how users will benefit (issues #8, 9)

Issue

The “Recruiters” and “Students” sections on the Motavera landing page focus on the platform, not on why this platform is suitable for these particular groups of people and how they benefit.

Why it’s a problem

It’s again because visitors of this website don’t care about the software.

A better idea is to help people identify. Tell them who the software is for. Paint a picture.

Advice to Motavera

You can try a “Is this program for you?” section instead.

Describe the exact profiles of the students and organizations that should participate.

Like so:

Is this program for you?

It is, if you:

  • are studying in the Truman State University
  • a senior
  • are looking to gain professional experience
  • want to learn from top experts in your field
    … etc.

Note: Don’t use the text I wrote above verbatim. I don’t know much about your potential users and I can’t write copy for them.

Telling people you will be asking for feedback (issue #11)

Issue

Giving feedback is not a reason for them to sign up. On the contrary, it might be a turn-off.

Why it’s a problem

Your potential users are not motivated to give feedback just for the sake of it.

This happens later on, after they have used the software and you ask for feedback or they find a painful problem and report it themselves.

What does someone imagine when you tell them you’re going to ask for their feedback?

That you’ll take some of their time to talk about your prodict.

Not seductive at all.

Advice to Motavera:

Use this section to point out a big benefit of using your platform. Don’t mention the feedback part.

Not taking advantage of limited availability (issue #12)

Issue

Talking about the future of the platform, instead of focusing on the limited availability of the beta.

Why it’s a problem

Same reason as before: It’s focused on the software which isn’t important to website visitors.

Advice to Motavera:

Take advantage of the fact that the availability of the beta is limited.

Create a sense of exclusivity.

Instead of talking about expansion, ask people who can’t use the platform now, but are interested in joining it, to give you their email.

This way you will have an actual overview of “customer demand”.

Tell students that they will be able to sign up for early access, e.g.: “Motavera is currently available in Missouri only. Sign up here to be one of the first to get job opportunities when Motavera is available in your area.”

I would advise you to place the email sign up form on another landing page to avoid creating more distractions.

You can read more about creating a sense of exclusivity on a startup beta landing page here: http://sansmagic.com/one-killer-landing-page-startup-beta-can-repeat-success/

Talking about the features (issue #13)

Issue

Talking about features instead of benefits.

Why it’s a problem

People don’t care about the features until they start using the software.

You have to sell them on the benefits first, because:

  1. Benefits trigger an emotional response in the human brain.
  2. A purchase is based mostly on emotional reasons, even though we don’t like to think it’s so.

To turn features into benefits just ask “Why do people need this feature?”

Advice to Motavera

  • Use the features section headings to get people’s attention, e.g. instead of “Features for students” say “With Motavera you will be able to…”
  • Turn your features into benefits by asking: “Why do people need this? How does it impact their lives?”

The beta signup form communicates no value (issues #14, 15, 16, 17)

Issue

The sign-up form at the bottom of the website doesn’t motivate the visitors to complete it.

Why it’s a problem

To make people fill in a form on your landing page, you have to do at least the following:

1. Peak the motivation

The text on the landing page has to get people excited about the product.

When they reach the place where they are supposed to take action (a button, a form), you have to peak this excitement.

Otherwise, they won’t convert.

That’s why, in the case of a form, the form heading has to reflect the motivation of the person for visiting: What do they want to do now? Why did they come to this landing page?

2. Reduce friction

What are visitors of the website worried about? That you’ll send them spam? That you’ll sell their email? That you’ll require a credit card number?

Alleviate their doubts if you want them to sign up.

3. Make a promise

The text on your call to action is VERY (yes, capital letters) important. Studies have shown2 that a simple change in the call to action text can have a huge impact on the conversion rate.

Use the CTA text to promise something in return to clicking.

4. Make you CTA stand out visually

Not only should your landing page have one single goal, but the way to complete that goal (the CTA) should be noticeable from miles away.

Advice to Motavera:

Here’s how to improve your form based on the above 4 points:

1. Peak the motivation

Change the form heading to remind people why they came on this page. What do they want to do now? What do they get in return to filling out this form?

2. Reduce friction

The text “There is a very short review process for new Employers” is implying that an employer might not actually get access. This is a turn-off.

Instead you can emphasize how fast the review process is, e.g. “New employers are reviewed as soon as 48 hours”.

3. Make a promise

Your website visitors didn’t come to this landing page with the intention to sign up.

The students came to find an internship, start building their future career, etc.

And the employers came to find new talent.

What will they be able to do when they sign up?

What will they get?

Change the call to action text to tell students and employers what they will get, e.g. “Find your job opportunity now” for students or “Post your job opportunity now” for employers.

4. Make you CTA stand out visually

I’m not a designer, but, in terms of conversion rate optimization, the button should be in a contrasting colour.

Takeaway: The one thing that will make your copy 80% better?

The “What’s in it for them” principle.

Throughout this post, I mentioned it a few times: People only care about themselves. That’s why you should talk about what they get or what they will be able to do.

When writing the text for your landing page ask:

  • Why do my potential users need this information?
  • What made them come to this landing page? What’s their motivation?
  • Why should they sign up/purchase/do something now?
  • Why should they trust me?

They didn’t come to learn about the features of your product.

They didn’t come to read about your company.

They didn’t come to sign up for an app.

They won’t believe you’re introducing something innovative just because you say so.

So, what’s in it for them?

About the author Gergana Dimova

I use my non-magical persuasion methods to help small business owners, digital agencies, entrepreneurs and consultants get more leads and sales. You can learn more about working with me here.

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