Should I go long or short-form? Is there too much content on my landing page? Should I write more copy?
If you find yourself asking these questions over and over again, you’re in luck! Because this article will help you find the answer – every time.
When it comes to landing page length, marketers seem to be divided into two groups: those who swear to long-form, and those who swear to short-form.
But the truth is that there really is no one-size-fits-all solution that works every time. It depends on what you’re offering, and what you want your potential customer to do.
In my experience short landing pages work well with:
Low-scrutiny offers where there is little commitment and perceived risk related to the conversion goal.
…and long landing pages work well with:
High-scrutiny offers where there is a higher level of commitment and perceived risk related to the conversion goal.
Let me show you a few examples from real split tests
Here’s an example from a case study where a short landing page outperformed a longer variant:
This is a PPC landing page I did for a Scandinavian gym chain, and the goal is to get potential customers to buy a gym membership.
The gym chain is well known, and the offer is simple and inexpensive. So there’s a low level of commitment and perceived risk involved, and the shorter landing page got most conversions.
Here’s an example from a case study where a long landing page outperformed a shorter variant:
We’re looking at a PPC landing page of which the goal is to get potential customers to sign up for a home energy audit.
The company is not that known, and it’s a complex offer that could result in a large investment in insulation. So there’s a high level of commitment and perceived risk involved, and the longer landing page got most conversions.
The correlation between scrutiny and landing page length
In my experience, the amount of information needed to get the conversion is proportional to the level of scrutiny related to performing the conversion action. In other words: The higher the scrutiny level – the more information is needed to get the conversion, and the longer the landing page should be.
Ideally, your landing page should be aligned with your prospects’ decision-making process and the level of scrutiny they put into it.
The gym membership was an example of a low scrutiny offer, where it took a relatively small amount of information to get the conversion. Here, the shorter page was best aligned with the decision-making process of the prospects.
And the energy audit was an example of a medium/high scrutiny offer where it took a considerable amount of information to get the conversion. In this case, the longer page was best aligned with the decision-making process of the prospects.
3 tips for finding out how long your landing page should be
1. Review your landing page and ask yourself these 3 questions:
1. “What do my potential customers need to know in order to accept my offer?
2. “Is there any important information I’ve left out?”
3. “Are there any friction points or anxiety issues that I need to address?”
The answers to these questions will help you find out whether your landing page is aligned with the decision-making process of your prospects. If you have a very long landing page, you might want to consider whether there is anything you can leave out. Vice versa – if you have a very short landing page, consider if there is anything you need to add.
2. Get the answers from your customers themselves
Instead of spending hours guesstimating what’s in the mind of your customers – why not get the answers “straight from the horses mouth”?
If you approach your current customers in the right way and ask them the right questions, you’ll find that they’ll happily provide you with priceless information and insight you can directly apply to your marketing efforts. Some of my best CRO cases have involved treatments built on answers from customers.
Veteran marketer and Revenue Coach, Kristin Zhivago, has developed an extremely effective method for conducting customer interviews. Do yourself a favor and read her book Roadmap to Revenue – it’s truly one of the most insightful marketing books I’ve ever read.
3. Always be testing!
As the examples in this article have clearly illustrated, the amount of information you put on your landing page has significant impact on your conversion rate. And there really is no one-size-fits-all solution that works every time.
The only way to gain certainty that you have in fact aligned your landing page with the decision-making process of your prospects and found the right length, is to test in real life.
Make sure that all content on your landing page is relevant to the conversion scenario and guides your prospect towards the conversion goal – this will steer you along the right track from the get-go.
I usually start out by stating the main value proposition and summarizing the most important aspects, benefits, and selling points at the very top of the landing page, above the fold. After that, I provide information that has less impact on the decision-making process. In other words, you can divide your landing page into “need to know” and “nice to know”.
This will provide your prospects with a quick overview of your offer and also make it possible for spontaneous types to make a quick decision without robbing the more thoughtful types of the opportunity to acquire detailed knowledge. For more on structuring your landing page, check out my recent guest post on Unbounce.com.