Biz Tips: Will Your Startup Pass The Landing Page Test?

Biz Tips: Will Your Startup Pass The Landing Page Test?

GROWTH:

Will Your Startup Pass The Landing Page Test?

Let’s assume you want to want to choose a project management tool.

You could search Google and visit some websites from the result pages. On landing on the homepages of the websites, you have to decide which option you will pick based on how they communicate their offerings. The project management tool you would pick will possibly be the one with the best landing page.

The same logic applies to why I would buy a shoe from Jumia and not this other site (read the case study).

In that article that I published on TechCabal, I shared the concept of how good website designs influences buying decision and how to leverage it to your advantage.

So, what’s the secret of successful landing pages?

It is important to realise that the “job-to-be-done” for the landing page is to communicate that you have a good understanding of your target audience’s problems etc and convince them that your product is the perfect fit for the problem they intend to solve.

By the way, your target users did not see all the hard work that went into building the product, the only thing they could see is your landing page. Therefore, you owe users the responsibility of communicating the value of your product to them, the best way possible. Unfortunately, most companies fail at delivering this experience for their website visitors.

In another article, I shared the secrets that startups need to differentiate their services with a good landing page. It starts by asking (and answering) these 5 questions in order to arrive at your startup key differentiator

  1. Who is my target market, audience or niche?
  2. What do I offer them (in a nutshell)?
  3. How is what I offer them different from what others offer them?
  4. What would they say is the most important thing I help them do or outcome I help them reach?
  5. How do I help them do that thing?

Landing page lessons from 20 Nigerian startups.

To drive home the lessons in this post, I evaluated the websites of 20 early stage startups in Nigeria. All the startups were part of the Google LaunchPad Start Lagos event that held sometimes in November 2017.

I was one of the 100+ mentors invited for the program (I was a growth mentor). Special shout out to James Lethem, Aniedi Udo-Obong, other Google Developer team members and all the awesome mentors at Google Launchpad start Lagos.

Few days before the bootcamp started, I went through the websites of all the startups that made up the batch to evaluate how each startup articulated its unique selling proposition (USP). I learnt a lot from each of them, but my top 5 picks, based on how well they communicated their USP were Wallet.NG, Tuteria.com, CameraMan.NG, GetWedded and OffCampus.

Overall, my top choice at the time was Tuteria.com and I will share some of the things they did right with their landing page as well as where they could improve.

NOTE: Since I did this review in November, 2017, some of the startups have changed their business models and landing pages to incorporate the lessons learnt from diverse mentors at Google Launchpad Start Lagos event.

Landing page lessons from Tuteria.com.

1. Have an audience in mind and provide a clear call to action.

A good landing page shows that you have a good understanding of your customers. Because if you do, you will speak to their needs and expectations. Tuteria understands this; you will notice how they smartly used sliders on the homepage to address these multiple audiences they are targeting. These audience include students looking for lessons and professionals looking forward to learn new skills.

Often time, entrepreneurs believe that their customers include everyone and tend to generalise by appealing their content to nobody. Instead of making this mistake, Tuteria did a good job of creating multiple landing pages with a clear, strong call-to-action and choice of imagery that complement the messages. Let’s start with above the fold of their homepage. (The “above the fold” is the first part of the website that you see)

Even though there is no visible call to action button, they included a subtle invitation for the user to perform an action (in the search box) by adding the message; “what do you want to learn?”

2. Explain how your platform works and “show” how your product address concerns of target customers.

When you scroll down, you’ll see that they did a good job of explaining how their platform works in a step-by-step process. They dedicated a section to address major concerns of their users upfront (e.g, by stating how the programme is flexible to users’ schedule and how the tutors are professionals) and, they also complemented this with testimonials of their satisfied customers.

3. Clearly communicate what makes your service stand out.

There are others things that stand out from their landing page. Let me point them out from the picture below:

They include:

  1. An “hello bar” appears when you scroll past the above the fold section of the landing page. It displays the menus to internal pages (landing pages). The bar makes it easier for users to navigate to specific programmes, especially if they do not know exactly what they were looking for before.
  2. They also included the logos of major media coverage they had in order to show their brand recognition.
  3. The “become a mentor” button aptly speak to the second audience that Tuteria needs to attract, i.e tutors. Like most marketplace product, Tuteria faces a “chicken-and-egg” problem because they have 2 audience, yet they manage to prioritise their primary audience while still leaving cues for their secondary audience (tutors) to self-identify.

What Can Tuteria Improve on?

For their kind of services, there is possibility that some visitors are not ready to sign up yet but might require clarifications before making a “purchase” decision. When users take the micro-commitment of communicating with them, it is a clear indication they could be converted to paying customers easily.

My team applied this micro-commitment strategy to increase lead size for Probitybooks.com by 80% and was able to convert many of them to paying customers. We used a free tool called WhatsHelp.io that allows users to chat with customer support on popular messaging and communication channels like facebook messenger, whatsapp, viber, line, SMS and phone). Drift’s profile feature is another tool that is a perfect alternative.

Landing page lessons from the other startups.

There are several lessons you can learn from the landing pages of the other startups, one can also learn from their “mistakes” or specific areas they can improve on. Here are the top random suggestions below:

1. Communicate clearly to your users.

According to Will Hoekenga, one of the primary functions of your website is to leave visitors with a clear, concrete idea of what your business is and how it can solve a real problem they have. This agrees with what I shared in my post on startup differentiation. Also, when you are targeting two audiences at the same time (like Tuteria, CameraMan.NG or Zyncar.co) you need to know which of them to prioritise. This is usually a tough call, but you still have to decide who your primary target customer will be (here is a good guide on writing copy for 2 groups).

Tuteria and CameranMan got this right by leading with the the end-user, however, Zynar lumped its audiences (product owners and app testers) together and this made the message seem cluttered.

2. Don’t ask for too much commitments upfront.

It is not always a good idea to ask users to submit too much data upfront. For example, GetWeded has a nice landing page but requires users to fill a form with too many fields which could reduce conversions. By removing some of the form fields, they can improve their conversion by up to 160% according to this study.

(Post-event, I noticed that GetWeded team has significantly redesigned their landing page experience. First, they switched their primary audience to people that want to wed and now target vendors as secondary audience. Also, the user onboarding has also been simplified. Thumbs up to the team)

Finally,

You have to understand that your landing page is the first thing you need to focus on as you build your business. A good landing page does not mean that you have to invest a lot of money; instead, it should show you clearly understand your target audience.

For example, I recently completed a “landing page makeover” for the agritech startup I co-founded, called probityfarms.

Before we did this makeover, we invested into customer research and identified 2 core audience for the product:

(1) first time farmers and

(2) advanced farmers/cooperative groups

……. and we decided to create the new homepage to speak to these audience.

It was not a big-budget redesign at all. All we did was think through what we wanted to communicate and translate that to the landing page.

The takeaway for you is to note that the “secret” of the most effective landing pages start with getting the messaging right. You can try this for your landing page and see the difference it makes to your business. Here is one more helpful advice to improve your landing page and also a link to much more tips from the queen of product copywriting, Joanne Wiebe.

I invite you to leave a comment with a link to your website and hopefully I will give you candid recommendations to make your landing page better (limited to the first 7 comments).


Will Your Startup Pass The Landing Page Test? was originally published in Marketing And Growth Hacking on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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