Roving Report: Landing Page Assignment Review

Man scoring a goal at indoor football or indoor soccer

Here on Wealthy Web Writer, each month Managing Editor Heather Robson creates a new Practice Assignment to give you the chance to fine-tune your skills. You can also submit your work to be in the running to receive a review during live webinar.

If you want to participate in future assignments, just go to the website and search for “Practice Assignment” to find the current one.

This is a write-up of Heather’s critiques of practice landing pages. The entire webinar is HERE if you want to watch it.

The assignment was to write landing page copy for a company called Soccer Express, which sells support materials to soccer coaches. (You can refer to the original assignment here.) Heather chose five submissions to review. For each one, she pointed out its strengths, and talked briefly about what could be stronger.

It’s a valuable and insightful tutorial on how to write landing pages that get results.

Submission #1

Heather noted that this first submission included a lot of good elements, then stepped through each part of the landing page.

Headline

The headline had good energy, but Heather noted it was “a bit generic.”

It could be stronger if it tapped into the language of the ad the reader had clicked through from. She suggested something like, “Better soccer coaching — improve your next practice in under 30 minutes.”

“This signals to the reader, ‘okay, I clicked that ad and I’m getting exactly what I expected.’ You want the visual cue to be immediate, so they feel like they’re in the right place,” Heather explained.

Including the phone number is good, as it builds trust and credibility.

Main Copy

Heather noted that this submission was off brief by including a link to the video since the client wants the reader to sign up first, to capture their name and email address, before making the video available.

Heather pointed out that the description of the video pulls language from the brief, which is good, but suggested digging a little deeper into that language. The writer could have provided more specifics or dug into the audience’s language a bit more.

For example, using the phrase “ball movement,” the writer could have taken the broader concept and teased it into something more specific.

Heather suggested, “tips on ball movement including two easy-to-learn moves that will have your strikers laughing past the defensive line” as an example. That would generate more curiosity (“what are the two moves?”), provide more color, and add specificity and urgency.

It’s a good idea to expand on the brief, she noted, and “make it more benefit oriented in your writing.”

Opt-In

Heather noted that the language at the top of the opt-in comes from the brief, “but the structure here brings it off brief a little bit.” The brief only promises access to the video, plus email tips if they sign up.

The other items the writer included are products the company sells, but Heather advised caution, noting that “the reader could construe that they would receive all these things from the free sign-up.”

Heather liked that the bullets were little soccer balls, and noted the writer’s good instincts in providing that little extra detail, commenting that clients will usually notice touches like that.

All the right elements are included in the sign-up form, but Heather found the use of the arrow a bit confusing. Is the arrow supposed to point to a button? Is it supposed to be the button?

“Generally I wouldn’t use an arrow as a button because it looks like it’s pointing away from itself,” Heather added.

In case there was a button that got lost in formatting the document, Heather recommended submitting to the client both a Word and a PDF document. The PDF will look better than the Word document, but the client can edit Word directly, so give them both.

Heather liked the inclusion of, “recognized by U.S. Youth Soccer.” “It’s good to look into what kinds of credentials the client has and bring them into the landing page,” she commented.

But, she added, don’t include the link. Since this is a landing page, remove all distractions and don’t send the reader to someone else’s site.

Guarantee

Heather liked the guarantee, which builds credibility. But when you’re including an email address, she noted, you should always mask it with a text link. This cuts down on scraping and spam emails for the client. Even better would be a contact form.

Keywords

Including the keywords is a nice touch. “Keywords are very important in terms of Search Engine Marketing, so it’s good that you’ve included them.”

“Overall, really good work,” Heather commented. “You stuck closely to the brief and showed good understanding of landing page structure and purpose. You included some nice elements. The copy is easy to read and you have a good sense of building credibility, so I think you did nice work.”

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Susanna Perkins

Susanna was dragged back, kicking and screaming, into freelancing after losing her job in the banking meltdown in March, '09. One 3-month stint in an appalling temp job persuaded her to get serious about establishing herself as web writer. In March, 2012, she moved to a small town in Panama with her husband and three small dogs. After enjoying the writer's life in the culture of "buenas" and "mañana" for 2-1/2 years, she's returned to the US. At least for now.

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