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"Landing Page Checklist from
How to Develop a Landing Page (2008)"

Landing Page Checklist from How to Develop a Landing Page (2008)

by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson, Editor, Web Marketing Today

How to Develop a Landing Page (3rd Edition, 2008)
Reprinted from Appendix 2 of this completely revised and rewritten book.

The landing page checklist below is unique in its scope and detail. There is nothing quite like it anywhere. The checklist is designed to help you assess what you have already done and what is left to do on any given landing page. For each item you'll find the page number where the subject is discussed in Dr. Ralph Wilson's newly-revised How to Develop a Landing Page (3rd edition, 2008).

This free checklist may make landing page development seem deceptively easy. Yes, it is an extremely helpful and comprehensive list. But success is found not in knowing what to do, but why and how to do it. Landing page development is an art, supplemented and refined by scientific testing. My hope for you is that you learn from some source just how to execute what is outlined here -- whether from articles or in seminars, from the excellent MarketingSherpa Landing Page Handbook (2nd edition, 2007, $497, 273 pages), or in the pages of How to Develop a Landing Page (3rd Edition, 89 pages, at a tiny fraction of the MarketingSherpa price). Because if you can put this knowledge to work on your landing pages, you'll reap many, many times the profit you are currently experiencing.

Note: No single landing page can or should incorporate all these elements. Use only the ones which seem to fit your industry, site, and product or service.

Preliminary Factors

_____  Clarify a single objective for your landing page, avoiding multiple goals. (p. 10)

_____  Budget time and money adequate to producing an excellent landing page. (p. 13)

_____  Prepare a landing page list for your site. (pp. 13-14)

Copywriting Factors

_____  Research current or potential customer base. (p. 15)

_____  Write persona profiles on basis of customer research. (p. 16)

_____  Define your value proposition or Unique Selling Proposition (USP). (p. 20)

_____  Develop a strong landing page headline. (pp. 21-25)

_____  Ensure strong congruence between the ad (or ad group) and the landing page in wording and graphics. (p. 23)

_____  Employ Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI) on your landing page to lower the landing page bounce rate. (p. 24)

_____  Focus on customer benefits. (pp. 25-26)

_____  Enhance the customer's desire. (pp. 26-27)

_____  Create a rationale for the purchase. (p. 27)

_____  Use a problem-solution model. (pp. 27-28)

_____  Highlight features of the product or service. (p. 28)

_____  Anticipate each common objection to the purchase. (p. 28)

_____  Avoid unsupported or unsupportable claims. (p. 26)

_____  Determine appropriate landing page length for your product or service. (pp. 29-31)

_____  Address fears of identity theft and credit card security. (p. 31)

_____  Provide full contact information. (pp. 31-32)

_____  Develop a guarantee in order to add "risk reversal" to your motivators. (pp. 32-33)

_____  Offer a free trial. (pp. 33-34)

_____  Outline your returns policy. (p. 34)

_____  Add trust logos to inspire customer confidence. (p. 34)

_____  Tell your "story" to build trust. (p. 35)

_____  Edit effective testimonials. (pp. 35-36)

_____  Add product reviews to your site. (pp. 36-37)

_____  State your offer clearly. (p. 38)

_____  Offer free shipping. (pp. 38-39)

_____  Include add-on incentives to sweeten the deal. (p. 39)

_____  Employ the principle of scarcity. (pp. 39-40)

_____  Write a strong caption for your call to action or order button. (pp. 40-41)

Design Factors

_____  Survey industry norms for landing page look and feel. (pp. 42-43)

_____  Avoid elements that lower your Quality Score. (pp. 42-33)

_____  Include your "critical elements" above the fold. (pp. 44-46)

_____  Convey feature(s), benefit(s), and/or value(s) through your graphics. (p. 47)

_____  Place the "hero shot" to the left of your text. (p. 47)

_____  Use a caption under your hero shot. (p. 48)

_____  Make your hero shot clickable. (p. 48)

_____  Study click patterns with CrazyEgg. (p. 48)

_____  Use enough photos to answer questions and show functions. (p. 48)

_____  Avoid distracting photos and graphics. (pp. 48-49)

_____  Supply excellent quality product photos. (p. 48)

_____  Place graphic with the shopper's eyepath in mind. (p. 49)

_____  Use typefaces that are 10 point size or larger. (pp. 49-50)

_____  Avoid the use of italics, underlining (except hyperlinks), centering body face, and unrestrained colored type. (p. 50)

_____  Use a white or very light background. (pp. 50-51)

_____  Limit column width to 50 to 60 characters. (p. 51)

_____  Utilize scanable features such as headlines, subheads, lists, and boldface. (pp. 51-52)

_____  Use a single column format. (p. 52)

_____  Avoid unnecessary outbound links from the landing page. (p. 52)

_____  Avoid clutter, use white space and clean design principles. (pp. 52-53, 59)

_____  Use small windows or dynamically expanding text to answer customer questions. (pp. 53-58)

_____  Don't require registration before the sale. (p. 58)

_____  Design your order button for appropriate size, color, wording, and placement. (pp. 58-59)

_____  Use audio to engage the customer. (pp. 60-61)

_____  Employ video to enhance the sales process (pp. 61-63)

_____  Acquire avatars or spokespersons to engage the customer. (p. 63)

_____  Ask on lead generation forms only what is needed, omit reset buttons, and include a link to your privacy policy and "About Us" information. (pp. 63-64)

_____  Provide instant contact tools. (p. 64)

_____  Employ coupons to motivate slow shoppers. (p. 64)

_____  Extend a new offer on your thank you page or e-mail. (p. 64)


_____  Select and sign up for a testing tool such as Vertster or Google Website Optimizer. (p. 71)

_____  Test the most important landing page elements from the top 10. (pp. 70-71)

_____  Set up an ad tracking system. (p. 72)

_____  Optimize your Google AdWords title and text. (p. 72)

_____  Avoid errors from simultaneously optimizing both ads and landing pages. (p. 73)

_____  Test usability on your landing page and through to the sales confirmation page. (p. 73-74)

_____  Study scrolling behavior using ClickTale. (p. 74)

_____  Analyze and optimize sales paths. (p. 75)

_____  Maintain a journal of test results. (p. 75)

Segmenting and Sales Paths

_____  Segment your visitors. (pp. 77-79)

_____  Develop a sales path for each persona. (p. 79)

Copyright © 2008, Ralph F. Wilson. All rights reserved. This checklist may distributed to individuals electronically so long as there is no change whatsoever to the content, links and graphic, and so long as the copyright statement and permission is left intact. All rights are reserved except as granted in the previous sentence. For any other use contact the author at Web Marketing Today.


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