The landing page is the MVP of the online lead generation world. All the effort you put into social media, SEO, and content marketing brings people to your website, but it's your landing pages' job to turn those visitors into leads.

While many companies work with professional content strategists and copywriters to craft landing page copy, everyone involved in your content marketing strategy should have a basic understanding of what to look for in an effective page and how to troubleshoot a page that’s not converting well.

To that end, here’s a look at what three top marketing blogs recommend as best practices for planning and writing landing pages that work:

1. Copyblogger Says Plan Your Content

Compelling landing pages don’t come together by accident. Writing for the award-winning content website Copyblogger, Aaron Orendorff says there are at least three stages to the writing process: the before, during, and after that ensure you’re crafting copy that will actually convert.

Before you even start writing, you need to identify specific goals your landing page will help you achieve. Since the best landing pages focus on one thing, you should invest time in figuring out that one thing, whether it’s downloading information, email newsletter subscriptions, or watching a video.

Then Orendorff emphasizes that you need to pay attention to the different pieces you incorporate “during” the writing, such as your headline, subheadline, body copy, proof, and call to action. Each piece of the page has its own best practices you need to understand in order to make it as effective as possible.

Finally, the “after” of landing pages may surprise you by being just as much work as writing the page itself! Once customers make the decision you hope they’ll make -- specifying their name and email address to downloading something or signing up for your newsletter -- they need to be guided through “Thanks for signing up!” and “Here’s your next step” sequences that allow your customers to keep that momentum going.

If you want to refine your landing page copy even more, check out Copyblogger’s infographic, ABCs of Landing Pages That Work.

2. Copy Hackers Says Know When to Stop Writing

Copy Hackers founder Joanna Wiebe knows landing pages. So, we have to trust her when she says that two of the most important things to know when writing landing page body copy is to know when to stop writing and know when to keep writing.

Since the most compelling landing pages are concise and to the point and only talk about one thing, you have to balance your effort to give enough information without overwhelming (and boring) your prospective customer.

To keep her landing page copy balanced, Weibe writes to answer two questions for the whole page:

  • So what?
  • Prove it!

If you’re writing a page from scratch, use these two questions to guide the information you include. If you’re reviewing a page to publish on your website, read it with these two questions in mind and make sure they get answered.

Dive deeper into Weibe’s copywriting advice with the free Conversion Marketer’s Guide to Landing Page Copywriting.

3. Kissmetrics Says Scan for Flaws

Kissmetrics' blog manager Zach Bulygo takes a defensive approach to landing pages, recommending that you evaluate all your finished pages for flaws that kill conversion rates, especially if your conversion rate is below 13.28% for B2B or 9.87% for B2C.

While Zach shares seven insightful flaws to look out for, we find the following three to be the most common among websites we evaluate:

  • You ask for too much information. Standard contact information forms sometimes ask for 7-10 pieces of information, from name and email address to job title, annual revenue, or even a physical address. While it would be convenient to capture all this information before you speak to a lead, having to enter too much information is a turnoff to prospective customers. Figure out the minimum information you need to have a conversation (often name, company, and a way to contact them) and make your forms easy to find and fill in.
  • Landing pages take too long to load. Bulygo makes the case that since 40 percent of consumers abandon websites that take longer than 3 seconds to load, it’s vital that you work with your marketing partner to cut the clutter and test your page load time on multiple devices.
  • Your site lacks credibility. If customers don’t trust your presentation, they won’t trust you with their contact information. That’s why you need to work with a professional to make sure all of your landing pages meet the current standards for building trust by design.

If you could use more tips, don’t miss Kissmetrics' Beginner’s Guide to Landing Pages or our list of eight ideas to help you optimize your landing page copy.

Free Guide - 5 Proven Components of a B2B Online Lead Generation Campaign

Now we’d like to hear from you. What rules do you live by when you write or review landing pages for your company? Does any of this expert advice surprise you?