It’s believed that it takes users (who have no idea of what your site does) exactly three seconds to orient themselves and make up their minds as to what they should do next. This is called the “three-second” or the “blink” test and passing it is crucial for your landing page success.
Asking a good question on the landing page is a great way to orient a user and steer them into taking the desirable action:
- Questions may prompt users to stop and think. In our era of information overload when people click links, close tabs and move on in a matter of seconds, it is crucial to find a way to get the visitors to pause and actually look at the page. Asking a question triggers a natural answering reflex in human beings. We have an instinct to answer which is related to our need for completion. Unanswered questions are incomplete, so humans subconsciously try to answer (complete them). Thus, a well-placed question on the landing page can decrease immediate bounces and trigger more conversions.
- Questions get through a person’s defense mechanisms and anxiety. When seeing a question, people forget about feeling anxious and focus more on the question. Thus, asking a question may eliminate that anxiety and people may be more willing to take an action and commit (opt in).
First, Some Question Tools You Should Be Aware Of
Researching niche questions is a great content marketing tactic on many levels: It increases your chances to rank in Google’s quick-answer boxes, helps you optimize your content for longer phrases and inspires new content angles.
My favorite tool for question research is SERPstat which helps you to filter your keywords so you only see searched questions:
(Also, this feature is free)
There are more tools I recommend for question inspiration:
All of them are better for general content marketing research. For landing page optimization, use them for inspiration while keeping the following don’ts in mind:
- Avoid open-ended questions. An open-ended question is the one that cannot be answered with “Yes” or “No”. In most cases, the question on the landing page should be obvious, meaning it has an obvious answer that would prompt the visitor to take the most desired action.
- Avoid generic and hard questions: Likewise, the purpose of a question on the landing page is not to make the visitor think. The real purpose is to lead into the action. So avoid philosophical, rhetorical, metaphorical questions as well as negative assertions.
- Avoid giving too many options: It’s a well-known fact that for a landing page less is more. That being said, giving too many options to answer the question may confuse the visitor which would be counter-effective. Again, make the answer or the choice obvious.
So now that we know the don’ts, how about dos? Let’s discuss those by reviewing a few great examples of landing pages that ask good questions:
1. Introduce a personal story
Landing on a page, prior to deciding to take an action, the usual question we ask ourselves is “What’s in it for me?”
Code Academy addresses this usual concern perfectly: First they echo the question on the landing page and then they answer it using a personal story from a user.
2. Define the target customer
First Site Guide takes a similar approach but instead of answering the question, “How can this site help me”, they answer the question “Who is this site for“, right above the fold in a straightforward manner.
3. Make it impossible to answer no
Derek (creator of Social Triggers) uses a lead generation popup asking, “Want to learn how to get 5,000 subscribers for free?” – eliminating any way to reject the offer and making the next step “ridiculously obvious“.
Derek also mentions what a user will lose, not just what they will gain by providing a secondary button: “I reject the free eBook.”
Another example of a question with an obvious answer is the one asked by Grigoriy Kogan… What I liked about this example is the extended copy:
I also like Greg’s wording on the button a lot… There are a few more creative options here.
4. Try a first-person question
This landing page breaks our “avoid open-end question” rule masterfully by showing that any marketing rule is questionable until you test it on your own site, under your own conditions.
In some cases, especially when talking about personal (emotional and psychological) problems the possessive determiner “My” may work much better than “Your”. In fact, Michael Aagaard saw a 90% increase in click through rate when he switched his call to action to the first-person.
The same trick may as well work for the landing page heading urging the user to stop and read further.
I believe this trick best applies to medical, coaching, book selling, etc. businesses where an intimate connection with the potential customer is crucial.
5. Go straight to the point
EUNIC app uses the question to quickly state the purpose of the app. The question-answer format is inviting and action triggering; the positive statement is unlikely to provide the same effect.
6. Pique curiosity
Netflix offers the visitors to discover what’s next – spurring their curiosity and encouraging them to move forward.
When it comes to the landing page, curiosity is the powerful weapon triggering action. It makes your landing page emotionally charged, which is one of the best ways to get your visitors excited about the offer.
Even if the user fails to perform an action, curiosity is likely to get them to remember the brand and the offer as piquing curiosity helps audiences “better retain messages“.
7. Play with your brand name
The Sumome landing page question also piques curiosity (which is the power of it) but it also introduces a word play involving their business name which promotes brand awareness even further.
Are there any more great examples of landing pages asking spot-on questions? Please share in the comments!