However, creating a landing page is always a balancing act. After all, you are not necessarily testing the actual product but rather a visual and written depiction of it. In executing any landing page test, the aim is to avoid both false negatives and false positives, meaning you bypass a page design that could influence the validation of your idea in an unintentional way. At the same time, clarity and speed take precedence over design and aesthetics when trying to quickly gain insights into consumers’ perception of your idea.
Let’s take a look at six tricks to help you test a business idea with minimal effort and maximum results.
Pick A Company Name
Leads rarely convert because of a new company's name, so for your test, naming a domain should be a simple task you don't want to spend too much time on. The name can include an insightful suggestion, a unique selling point, or the product itself. Suppose your business idea is to sell cat hammocks; a simple word like “Happycat” may be sufficient for this stage of concept testing.
. Your domain can have the same name as your business idea, but don’t worry if it deviates a bit. Purchasing a domain, you have to simply test your domain ideas and check whether they are still available using a domain provider like Google Domains or others, such as GoDaddy or Domain.com. When creating a name the best thing to do is to follow the trial and error principle: Choose what’s available and fits your naming idea (you’ll want to check for availability across a series of different domain types, e.g. .org, .com, .co, .io, .app, etc), instead of chasing expensive, top-level domains.
Pick A Landing Page Design
The whole idea of concept validation via a landing page is to save time and reduce upfront effort, so refrain from designing a landing page from scratch. Instead, you can use a design template or an easy-to-use page builder and customize the template to your needs. Page builders allow you to adjust headings, subheadings, colors, and images to create a more unique web page style—so give your idea the face it deserves.
Remember that the fidelity of your landing page’s design should depend on the type of consumer you want to target and their respective expectations of design and functionality. Let's say you are selling a new digital app, a platform for social engagement targeted at a “Gen-Z” audience. In this case, you presumably have to invest more time in design and user experience than if you are developing a B2B software for pharmacists.
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Now, there are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to different services related to the complexity of the page you would like to build. With Carrd, you can create a highly streamlined, single-page lander that includes a name, a headline, and a CTA. Alternatively, explore template services like Webflow, Leadpages, and Unbounce, which provide you with website templates and even allow you to edit your design with HTML and CSS.
On a side note: You can also purchase all-in-one solutions such as Wix. Such offerings allow you to create a domain, host your website, and offer templates to select—all in one stroke.
Craft A Killer Copy
Since the primary goal of a landing page is to successfully communicate what your product is and what purpose it serves, the language you use will be at the heart of your website.
The copy must highlight the unique selling proposition, the intention you want to evoke in website visitors, and the call-to-action (CTA). Are you speaking to a potential customers’ pain, dream, or are you providing a solution? Make sure you chose the right words and style for your intention in each section:
- The headline above the fold
The headline is the first thing the visitor notices on your page. According to recent studies, the optimal headline is six words long. So, try to be as clear, short, and sweet as possible. Feel free to be playful, creative, and noteworthy with your word choice. Our "cat hammocks" might get the headline: “The seat the royals of the house deserve."
- The call-to-action
The main trigger on a website that prompts visitors to take action is the CTA. This button, designed as an interactive UI element, can be linked to contacting customer service, a demo request, or product order, depending on your specific goal. Connect copy logically with your headline and subheadings, and make it as compelling as possible. Typical CTAs include "Sign up for our newsletter,” "Get in touch," or "Start now.” We would probably choose something like “Make your cat happy now,” or “Launch your cat lounge” for our hammock project.
If you intend to save time or need some creative help for your website copy, you can either pay a writer dedicated to content marketing or use alternative ways to create website copy. One of those tools is Jarvis, an AI copywriting tool helping you automate texts such as testimonials or feature descriptions. And with Copy.AI, you can start a seven days trial period allowing for a short website copy creation.
Use Visuals To Elevate Your Landing Page
Let’s not underestimate the power of imagery. A modern, clever logo and captivating mock-ups strengthen your message and ignite the interest of your page visitors to learn more.
- Logo design
There are several ways to get a unique logo. If you want to find quick design sources, you can use 99 Designs to find a quick logo. Or you can just quickly create a simple graphic or wordmark logo on Canva or Figma and use it for the landing page.
You might want to include images to spark an emotional connection with the website visitor, for example, in the header. You can get them from resources such as Pexels, Pixabay, or Unsplash. Now, instead of using pictures that don’t precisely fit what you’re trying to sell, you can work with illustrations. Leaving some space to imagine and interpret, they rule the digital aesthetic of today. Find some cool illustrations on Icons8, Glazestock, and Undraw.
- Wireframes and sample designs
Mock-ups or wireframes of software and apps can give the customer a better idea of what it will look like once they purchase the product, exemplifying a digital solution on a desktop or iPhone screen.
Creating wireframes may be time-consuming, but trust me, it’s good to include them, even if it's just a rough draft. This is basically because potential customers can understand an abstract idea much better and imagine its useful functionalities with visual guidance. Tools like Figma or Canva help you create a mock-up in a few steps.
Live Customer Help
Even during validation already, offer live chat or an alternative messaging feature. This way, you can directly address any questions that arise, engage in a follow-up, or explain details to customers (or potential investors) if they want to learn more about your business. If you integrate Drift or LiveChat into your landing page, you can connect the visual box with a clear CTA offering diverse contact options (because of multi-channel rules!).
Additionally, it’s good to generate a sign-up form. Even a beta or sign-up list can help you get your hands on valuable customer data. Then, you can progressively drip onto your leads, even if they don’t have any immediate questions.
The contact form for concept validation should always be kept short and not hunt for any sensitive data. Customers are willing to give out personal data, but they aren't exactly looking to sell their soul. So, be soft. Only ask for the necessary information, such as name and email address, to get in touch and leave a field for comments, questions, or personal messages. With tools like Typeform and Calendly, you can easily integrate such forms.
Test Several USP In One Stroke
A landing page for business validation is also perfect when you are deliberating between two competing value propositions for the same idea. In that case, rather than using both in one page, make two different pages for the same idea, use different copies to capture the different value propositions, and see which one performs better.
There are many things and tools to consider when creating a landing page, but remember that the point is to reduce the likelihood that you will get false positives or negatives that obscure the true value of your business idea. That’s why sticking to the basic design and copy rules, adding an enticing CTA, and finishing up your page with some attractive imagery, should be enough in the majority of cases.
About the Author
Aayush Gupta, a venture designer at Create.