Create a value proposition for a landing page

1. Write your copy before trying to match its length to the available space in your page template.

Jumping straight into your page template biases you toward fixed lengths of content and forces you to think about imagery and layout—when you should only be working on communicating your value prop. Copy informs design, not the other way around.

2.  Distill a series of bullet points that are your first attempt at writing copy for your entire landing page.

Consider it a story. You should end up with many bullet points. Then, repeat the exercise again, but this time you are allowed only half the number of bullet points. Repeat this process until you have distilled it down to 1 or 2 bullet points—the truest essence of what you’re trying to say.

3. Read your copy out loud while walking in a circle.

Use your bullet points from the previous exercise or the copy from an existing landing page. The purpose of reading it aloud is to uncover a more conversational tone which may (or may not—it’s an exercise) help you communicate in a way that’s easier to understand. Walking in the circle will interrupt or distract your process, which helps you to identify areas that are difficult to read.

4. Run a 5-second clarity test on a site like Usability Hub.

You show an audience a screenshot for 5 seconds, then ask them questions to see how much they can recall. A good question to ask is “What do you think that product or service does?” Their responses generate a word cloud-the larger the word, the more it was in the answers.

5. Repeat the 5-second test after you’ve designed the above-the-fold experience.

By that stage, you should have added images, video, branding, etc.