In-Depth Tutorial: Rapid Conversion Landing Page

Food Gardening Network

What, you may wonder, is a Rapid Conversion Landing Page (RCLP)? With the Mequoda Methodology, an RCLP is a site page that has been optimized for a target keyword phrase and that serves as an important conversion element for capturing email addresses of new site visitors.

An RCLP is essentially a “sales letter” designed to “sell” a free, digital-only item—in exchange for the “buyer” handing over an email address and double-opting-in to receive email messages from you. Done correctly, an RCLP will get highly ranked by the search engines—such as Google—and when linked to internally at your site from relevant pages and linked to from external relevant pages, you’ll create a power page that helps build your email list.

Said another way, RCLPs are used to entice a user to enter into a low-risk, low-friction transaction. We call it a Rapid Conversion Landing Page because it’s designed to rapidly convert readers to free email newsletter subscribers.

Or consider this analogy: You walk into a shopping mall and go to the Information Desk, seeking advice about which stores at the mall sell food items as gifts. Imagine the Information Desk is like Google, and the shopping mall is the Internet. When the Information Desk attendant directs you to three different possible stores to get that food gift for your favorite aunt, that’s like when Google gives you results from your online search. Then, as you saunter around the shopping mall and find the three recommended stores, you discover that one of them is giving away free samples of cheeses and meats that they sell in a packaged gift tray. Bingo! As long as the samples are decent, you’re more likely to do business with this store.

Rapid Conversion Landing Pages sort of work the same way—you offer a free sample of your content, in exchange for users handing over email addresses. The free digital-only item needs to be valuable, in and of itself—comprehensive-enough useful content, no bait-and-switch, that is truly FREE! Free items can be digital reports, white papers, videos, presentations, charts, checklists, or downloadable software, for example.

Please review these additional Mequoda articles to help you create, promote, and refresh an existing freebie:

With this In-Depth Tutorial, we review a Rapid Conversion Landing Page that is effective and fully compliant with Mequoda’s best practices. We’re featuring a Rapid Conversion Landing Page from Food Gardening Network—a page that is worthy of emulating if you, too, want to build a huge email list.

Food Gardening Network Rapid Conversion Landing Page

Food Gardening Network—a publishing venture wholly-owned and operated by Mequoda—was founded by home food gardeners and for home food gardeners in the spring of 2020, and the mission is to serve gardeners with tips, tools, advice, and recipes for growing and enjoying good food at home. Food Gardening Network is the premier resource for food gardeners of all skill levels, for creating and maintaining your own food garden at home—with everything you need to ensure that you grow, harvest, and enjoy fabulous food!

When Food Gardening Network launched, deploying effective Rapid Conversion Landing Pages at the website was an essential part of the strategy to be Google-friendly and user-friendly—and to build a big email list.

Let’s take a look at one of Food Gardening Network’s Rapid Conversion Landing Pages, and we’ll review it based on our checklist of core components that can help any website design a page that helps capture the email addresses of site visitors and delivers really valuable content for any home food gardener!

Rapid Conversion Landing Page

https://foodgardening.mequoda.com/freebies/the-best-way-to-grow-tomatoes

Food Gardening Network Rapid Conversion Landing Page

Food Gardening Network’s Rapid Conversion Landing Page quickly and clearly displays the FREE offer for page visitors to get the tomato-growing freebie. This page is clean and uncluttered and includes a classic image to represent the cover of this free digital guide.

And for Food Gardening Network, creation of its first freebie, The Best Way to Grow Tomatoes: 7 Top Tips for Growing Your Own Tomatoes at Home follows all Mequoda’s best practices about identifying a highly searched and reasonably competitive primary target keyword phrase—“best way to grow tomatoes”—and creating a valuable digital guide around this topic to help build its email list. Tomatoes, as it turns out, are the #1 home food gardening item—grown by 86% of home food gardeners, far outpacing #2 cucumbers (which are grown by 47% of home food gardeners).

Rapid Conversion Landing Page Nameplate & Main Navigation

Food Gardening Network Nameplate and Navigation

Food Gardening Network’s Rapid Conversion Landing Page—just like other pages on the site—displays a persistent top-of-page nameplate and navigation. And whichever main-navigation item you’ve clicked to visit (in this case, Freebies) is highlighted in green color, so you know which page you’re on.

Always ensure that you keep this persistent top-of-page treatment on your site, so that site visitors know where they are and can quickly navigate elsewhere. Plus, it’s a great way to consistently display your brand name and tag line—“Food Gardening Network: Growing Good Food at Home” here.

Finally, top-right of this section includes Food Gardening Network’s affiliation with the Mequoda Publishing Network (the logo is a clickable link) and sign-in and log-out functionality, along with the readily recognizable magnifying-glass icon for intra-site search.

Rapid Conversion Landing Page Meta Description

Food Gardening Network Meta Description

While this page’s meta description copy doesn’t appear on the page itself for site visitors to see—it’s “behind the scenes” in your Content Management System (CMS)—the meta description tag is an important HTML element that provides a brief page summary that search engines often use to display as a snippet with the search engine results page (SERP) listing, to give users an idea about what’s on the page and how it relates to their search query.

For this tomato-growing freebie’s RCLP, Food Gardening Network has successfully created meta description copy that:

  • Is custom-created specifically for content on the page;
  • Is no more than 156 characters long, including spaces (it’s 151 characters long);
  • Contains the primary target keyword phrase “best way to grow tomatoes”;
  • Contains two proximity keyword phrases “growing tomatoes at home” and “types of tomatoes to grow”;
  • And avoids using quotation marks (can cause HTML problems).

Great job by Food Gardening Network’s RCLP!

Rapid Conversion Landing Page Headline

Food Gardening Network Headline

For Food Gardening Network’s Rapid Conversion Landing Page, the page headline follows Mequoda’s best practice of including the freebie’s name in the headline, The Best Way to Grow Tomatoes. And this headline is tagged, for HTML purposes, as H1—signaling to search engines that this copy is important and further helping the page to get ranked for the primary target keyword phrase “best way to grow tomatoes.”

Rapid Conversion Landing Page Sub-Headline

Food Gardening Network Sub-headline

For Food Gardening Network’s Rapid Conversion Landing Page sub-headline, Mequoda’s best practice is to ensure that the sub-headline is tagged as H2 for HTML purposes and is full of benefit copy. Bingo! Success on both counts here—using words and phrases such as “easier,” “answers to your questions,” and “bountiful and delicious tomato crop!” do a great job of conveying benefits!

Rapid Conversion Landing Page OFIE

Food Gardening Network OFIE

For Food Gardening Network’s Rapid Conversion Landing Page, Mequoda’s best practice is to serve OFIEs on the page—OFIE is an “Order Form in Editorial,” an email-capture element. To get maximum benefit from OFIEs, please follow these best practices:

  • OFIE should appear every 300-400 words on the page, as an interruptive element that boosts email-capture rates;
  • OFIE should have a benefit-driven headline;
  • OFIE should include an image of the freebie being offered;
  • OFIE should contain three data-collection fields—first name, last name, and email address.

Great job Food Gardening Network in following OFIE best practices!

Rapid Conversion Landing Page Copy Elements

Food Gardening Network landing page copy

Food Gardening Network’s Rapid Conversion Landing Page also follows some basic page-wide best practices for copy, including:

  • RCLP copy should be 800 words or longer—Food Gardening Network’s RCLP for its tomato-growing freebie is almost 1,200 words long.
  • RCLP copy should contain a density of the primary target keyword phrase of 1-3%—Food Gardening Network’s RCLP for its tomato-growing freebie has primary target keyword density for “best way to grow tomatoes” of 1.87%.
  • RCLP copy should have at least three section headers tagged as H3 for HTML purposes—Food Gardening Network’s RCLP has seven H3-tagged sub-headlines.
  • RCLP images should contain alt-text tags that use the title of the freebie—Food Gardening Network’s RCLP has the alt-text tag of “best way to grow tomatoes” for the cover images of the freebie.

Food Gardening Network has successfully used copy elements on its RCLP!

Rapid Conversion Landing Page User Comments

Food Gardening Network RCLP comments

Near the bottom of Food Gardening Network’s Rapid Conversion Landing Page is a place for page visitors to comment on the topic of the page. A well-designed page will encourage reader feedback, and when comments start coming in, Google gives credit to the page for being engaging—helping your SEO efforts. Some user comments will be feedback, praise or criticism, and some comments will contain questions—please be sure that you answer any questions, to keep the engagement going! And don’t delete critical comments, unless they are vulgar or inappropriate. Otherwise, healthy discussion through commenting is good for the page.

Food Gardening Network has lots of comments on this Rapid Conversion Landing Page, and they’ve done a great job of answering questions—keep it up!

Rapid Conversion Landing Page Footer Items

Food Gardening Network RCLP footer

The footer on Food Gardening Network’s Rapid Conversion Landing Page—just like the nameplate and navigation at the top of the page—always displays for page visitors at the bottom of the page, no matter what page you’re on. The string of logos, all clickable to other websites, features the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and related publishing industry associations to which Food Gardening Network belongs. Displaying these logos conveys credibility to page visitors and builds confidence that Food Gardening Network is ethical and legitimate (BBB’s logo) and an experienced and professional publisher (all the publishing industry logos).

The footer’s green section gives some basic navigation items (be sure to always include a link to your “Privacy Policy & Terms of Use” in the footer), includes contact information (both postal address and email address), discreetly displays clickable links to social media presences for Food Gardening Network (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest), presents a clickable link to the parent Mequoda Publishing Network, and asserts the copyright symbol and statement. Finally, for new and non-logged-in visitors, the footer displays a free e-newsletter sign-up section—yet another way for collecting email addresses of new site visitors!

Food Gardening Network’s Rapid Conversion Landing Page footer gives page visitors basic information about navigating and how to contact Food Gardening Network—and it inspires confidence in the brand.

Rapid Conversion Landing Page Mobile Responsiveness

Food Gardening Network mobile responsiveness

In today’s world, all website pages should be designed for mobile responsiveness—and Food Gardening Network’s Rapid Conversion Landing Page is no exception. Please make sure that all your pages are designed for a good mobile-user experience. And in the case of Food Gardening Network, you never know when a gardener will pull out a mobile phone while out in the garden to check about a gardening technique or tip—so, you want the mobile experience to be a good one!

With Food Gardening Network’s Rapid Conversion Landing Page on a mobile phone—just like the desktop experience—the page is uncluttered and beautiful! The near-top-left hamburger menu allows you to get to all the navigation with a fly-out menu. And the page headline—which is a link to the data-collection page for collecting email addresses—is visible and clickable without scrolling.

When you scroll down not too far, the freebie cover image displays—followed by the OFIE that allows for data-collection of items necessary to deliver the freebie to users.


Food Gardening Network mobile responsiveness

Any mobile user who visits Food Gardening Network’s RCLP will find an easy-to-use format that allows for quick ordering of the freebie.

Food Gardening Network Rapid Conversion Landing Page Test Ideas

Continuous improvement should be part of all business processes—including the design and function of your Rapid Conversion Landing Pages. But refrain from constant tweaking and—for the most part—ignore the urge to follow your own instincts or those of your staff. This page is designed for prospects from your target audience, so keep that in mind.

What’s best is to save up ideas for improvement and make them all at once in a batch—seeking breakthrough tests that can deliver bigger results—you’ll drive yourself crazy with perfection obsession if you’re constantly trying to make changes.

Additionally, you should consider conducting website usability lab testing when planning to redesign your Rapid Conversion Landing Page, or any other set of pages on your website. Typically, these usability labs will define 3-5 tasks that users should be able to complete in a given section of your website. This will help determine if the redesign you’re planning meets users’ needs.

For Food Gardening Network’s Rapid Conversion Landing Page, please resist the tendency to over-design the page—visitors need some visual enticement, but too many graphics can distract from the goal of getting visitors to hand over email addresses. Here are some ideas for improvement that might boost conversion rates:

  • Test a completely different freebie for the “best way to grow tomatoes” primary target keyword phrase—this is the most work, because you would need to outline how, and why, a freebie with different content might appeal to more prospects.
  • Test a different freebie cover image.
  • Test a different OFIE treatment, including headline, color/design treatment, and placement of data-collection fields.
  • Test a shorter version of the page, to see if not as much “selling” copy is needed to get prospects to act.

Summary

Food Gardening Network’s Rapid Conversion Landing Page is a great example of how to showcase a freebie that is aligned with a primary target keyword phrase that has high online search volume and reasonable competition—build this page with new site visitors in mind, and you’ll ensure that you entice prospects to hand over email addresses in exchange for access to a valuable free digital product!

Here’s a performance checklist you can use, to ensure that your own Rapid Conversion Landing Page follows Mequoda’s current best practices.

Mequoda’s Rapid Conversion Landing Page (RCLP) Checklist

Element Criteria Done?
Create or update a free digital-only item to offer Item is aligned with a primary target keyword phrase
Item contains primary target keyword phrase in the title
Item has value and isn't just a "tease"
Meta Description Copy Is copy custom-created, specifically for content on this page?
Is copy no more than 156 characters long, including spaces?
Does copy contain the primary target keyword phrase?
Does copy contain two proximity keyword phrases, if possible?
Does copy avoid using quotation marks?
Page Headline Does headline contain the freebie title?
Is headline tagged for H1 as HTML?
Page Sub-Headline Is sub-headline tagged for H2 as HTML?
Does sub-headline include benefit copy?
OFIE (Order Form in Editorial) Does the OFIE appear every 300-400 words throughout the page?
Does the OFIE have a benefit-driven headline?
Does the OFIE include an image of the freebie being offered?
Does the OFIE contain three data-collection fields—first name, last name, and email address?
RCLP Copy Elements Is total page copy at least 800 words long?
Is the density of the primary target keyword phrase between 1-3%?
Does RCLP have at least 3 sub-headlines that are tagged as H3 for HTML?
Do images on the page have alt-text tags that include the title of the freebie?
User Comments on Page Has the page been enabled for user commenting?
Mobile Responsiveness Ensure the mobile version of your RCLP is clean, uncluttered, and mobile-responsive.
Test, test, test! Consider breakthrough tests that can make a big difference.

Print Checklist

Bottom Line: If you want to create an effective Rapid Conversion Landing Page—just like Food Gardening Network’s—follow this checklist, and you’ll have a great starting place for creating an engaging page that is a powerhouse for your email list-building strategy.

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