Design or copy, what’s more important to your landing page success?


When trying to create the perfect landing page, you might have caught yourself wondering what the most important focus of your finite resources should be. Landing page design, or copy…?

Should your time be spent ensuring the design is nothing less than perfect, with every inch of white space carefully thought out and considered? Alternatively, should you spend your time writing (and then rewriting) your copy to ensure it entices your visitors to take the desired action?

Well, the good news is, that the debate has now been settled.

Answer: Copy is always more important than design when it comes to landing pages.

Surprised? Many of you reading this would no doubt have thought that creating the most perfectly designed and eye-catching landing page that evokes action would have the most sway over conversions. However, it turns out it’s the copy that you should be focusing your efforts on.

According to research carried out by leading landing page specialist Unbounce, “copy boasts twice the impact on conversions than design does”.

Now, you might be thinking that this will vary by industry, however, the guys over at Unbounce tested that theory, and there was almost no difference across all industries.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re running an eCommerce store or a restaurant. Copy holds around twice as much influence over conversions as your landing page design.

Industry - What’s More Important to Your Landing Page Success

How did they get the data?

Unbounce is lucky enough to have more than a decade’s worth of landing page data, totalling billions of individual conversions. For their design analysis, they looked at 36,928 English language page variants active between March 2019 and March 2021. They took snapshots of these landing pages and trained various image-based learning models to predict their conversion rates.

To evaluate copy, they extracted the written content of each landing page. They trained a machine-learning model (or, to get a lil nerdy, a deep learning-based natural language model) to predict conversion rates from the copy of each page.

To compare the relative importance of copy versus design on landing page conversion rates, they created a new predictive model by combining the results of the best performing image- and copy-based models. They did this across all 36,928 pages in our dataset and averaged the contributions to give them the “relative importance of design” and “relative importance of copy.”

Does that mean forget about making landing pages beautiful?

No, of course not. Ugly, counterintuitive, or overly complex designs for landing pages will still harm your conversion rate. You should still stay clear of the most common landing pages mistakes. So yes, you still need to work on perfecting those bright, attention-grabbing CTA’s and action evoking graphics to make sure your leads convert.

You’ll also need to keep in mind your target action and factor it into your landing page. Whether it is nudging leads into making phone calls to your business or you’re trying to convert individuals into email newsletter subscribers, you need to design your landing page elements so that they point users in the right direction.

Follow landing page design best practices – Then focus on the copy.

Still, while the aforementioned design considerations are important, it’s clear that copy is the most crucial element on any landing page. So once you’ve covered your bases with the design, focus your energy and resources on perfecting your words to make sure you’re getting the best and most qualified leads and conversions possible.

If you don’t happen to be a natural wordsmith, the good news is that there are hundreds (if not thousands) of freelance copywriters that you can find and hire for your project.

While you might baulk at having to pay for something you’ve traditionally done yourself, you can relax a little bit with the knowledge that it’s all about the copy when it comes to conversions, so your investment will likely pay for itself, several times over.

When creating the perfect landing page, focus on getting the copy spot on.

To sum up, if you think it might be time to create an entirely new landing page for your business, then always aim to invest as much time and resources into producing the best possible copy.

That’s not to say you should disregard the importance of good landing page design, just don’t worry too much about it. Instead, focus on finding the best copywriter you can and make the most of both the design and the words to create the best possible landing page experience.

This blog article was originally published on our subsidiary website, Cakecrumbs.