A landing page is your goldmine. People come to the page and your goal is to convert them. You either want them to buy a product/service or input their contact information.
It is not easy to get people to act, though. You need to engage them and get them excited about what you are offering. An effective landing page without the following mistakes will do that for you.
Mistake #1: Unattractive and Unclear Headline
The headline of a landing page is the first thing that people look at and many times, it is what makes them stay or leave the site. An unattractive headline will make people hit the back button in less than two seconds. One that is clear and engaging will lead people to learn more about how they can benefit from the site.
Take this site as an example. Not only is Perfect Crush not a good headline, it is unclear what the headline really is on this page. Is the headline JOIN 100% FREE or is it Find Your Crush Today? All of the messages sprawled across the page can be confusing.
A landing page headline should be clear and engaging:
Find Your Crush Today at Perfect Crush – 100% FREE
It says the same thing, but the new headline is short, clear, and meets the goals of the site’s visitors (finding love for free).
Mistake #2: Too Much Text on the Landing Page
40% of Internet users abandon a website page in the first three seconds. They want to be able to look at a page, scan it for information, and act on it quickly. When you have too much information on a landing page, people move on to another site.
This template for a landing page is not what you want for your site. Look at all of that text! Who wants to read all of it?
What people will see on this page is Which Will Give You the Best Mortgage Rate? No Credit Check, No SSN Required, Just Free Quotes and 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed. If they move on from that, they will see Get Started, Online Application, Fees Worksheet, Live Chat and Find Your Best Rate. That is it. Do those pieces of information make someone act? Maybe, but it is unlikely.
A landing page needs to be clear with minimal information that evokes emotion. It must attack the visitor. Most landing pages spew information on the page, because they don’t know which information is most important to their list.
Make sure that information overload diminish the emotional message of using your product on a landing page. This can be a serious conversion killer.
Instead, get creative with your offers. See what works best for your audience.
Then you can determine what phrases excite your prospects into taking action. You want to spark impulsivity in your visitors and that is why you cannot make them spend a lot of time reading. Give them what they need to know quickly and easily, and they will be more likely to convert.
Mistake #3: Many Landing Pages Croak with Ineffective Images
Ineffective images do not show your visitors what they want and need. People want to see their goals. They want to be able to see that their dreams can come true. The old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words must have been written with a landing page in mind.
You wouldn’t use this toad on your page, right? It does not give the viewer anything he/she wants, unless he/she wants a toad.
Now, look at this image:
People want money, right? However, is this a good image for a landing page?
It can be, but it’s not all the page needs. The dollar sign does not give people the whole story. Plus, this is not a high quality graphic. The dollar sign does not have pull on our emotions.
What about the image? What does it show you? Money and a home… People looking for help with buying a home will see that they can get money for a home on the site. Maybe the quality could be better, but would you choose the first or second money image if you sold real estate?
With an image, you give people hope. The text you use to complement the image will make the sale or bring in the lead.
Mistake #4: Poor Landing Page Design
Poor landing page design is a leading reason that visitors hit the back button immediately. Usually, the biggest mistake people make with designing a landing page is putting too much on the page (images or text). Another fail for a landing page is not making it flow.
As Hicks Law states, every choice you provide increases the amount of time needed for a decision. Landing pages work when you do not overwhelm customers.
You want to take your visitors on a journey to their goals. You present their problem, give them hope for a solution, and then give them the solution (the call to action). If you mix up this flow, people can end up getting confused or uninterested.
You can choose a top to bottom flow, so people need to scroll down to get to the call-to-action (CTA). There is also a left to right, so that the important text is on the left and then the images and call to action is on the right.
Which one you choose depends on your message. Those who have a longer message to entice their visitors will opt for top to bottom, while those who have a shorter one will use the simple left to right. Think about how hard you have to work to convince your audience to convert to decide which is best for you.
Mistake #5: Using a Slider
This goes along with the poor landing page design, but warrants its own section. Sliders have been popular on sites, but they are not effective for landing pages. Research has shown that people ignore it like banner ads. You can use the space more efficiently to convince people to convert.
As much as the pretty slider may make you think it attracts your audience, it is probably doing nothing more than wasting their time. Time is of the essence when it comes to conversion.
Mistake #6: Using Long Lead Generation Forms
Piggybacking on the time factor, using long forms can decrease your conversion rate. Remember, you visitors are acting on impulsivity. The longer it takes them to act, the less likely they will be to act.
Create forms for lead generation that are as short as possible. If you do not need a lot of information to capture the lead, do not ask for it. You can get the rest of the information you need to make a sale when you connect with those leads later.
Here is a good example of a short form for lead generation:
If you don’t believe in shorter fields, then learn from Expedia. They analyzed their web forms and found that one extra field cost them $12 million every year in sales. Do not get their life story on a landing page. Get their basic information, and build the relationship over time.
Mistake #7: Not Including an Alternative Contact
Some people do not want to enter their personal information on a website. As much as you may tell them that the site is secure, they will not convert online. They usually want to speak to someone on the phone.
Not including a phone number means lost leads and business. Make sure the phone number is with the lead generation form or on the checkout screen after people click on the CTA. It should be easy to find and mobile enabled. Mobile phones take up 17% of web usage these days, and that percentage is growing. To make it easier for your visitors, ensure your site is responsive (mobile-ready), so all they have to do is tap the number.
Mistake #8: Not Including a VeriSign Trusted or Norton Secured Image
You can sign up for VeriSign at VeriSign.com, which will redirect you to Symantec’s site. Norton Secured has replaced VeriSign.
Mistake #9: Not Including a Money Back Guaranteed Image
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles from Stuart Miles from FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Again, people want to feel safe when they are making a transaction online or inputting their personal information. Offering a money back guarantee can increase sales by 32.57%. Just be sure that you will commit to your policy. If you do not want to provide a money back guarantee, do not offer it.
Mistake #10: Choosing the Wrong Color for the CTA Button
Amazon, L.L.Bean, and REI use orange CTA buttons.
There is a reason they use that color – it is effective. Will orange be effective for you? It depends. The background for these sites are white, so the orange stands out. You need a button color that stands out from your site’s background. Green is another popular color and it does well with darker backgrounds. It may be a good idea to do A/B Testing to test out which color works best for you.
Try These Suggestions for Better Conversion Rates
Have you made any of these landing page mistakes? If so, it may be the reason you are not seeing the conversion rates you were expecting. For most of these, you do not need to create a new landing page from scratch. You can just make a few adjustments to make a huge difference in your results.
Let us know what changes you have implemented to your landing pages that have made a difference in the comments below. We would love to hear about your success with landing pages!
Featured image by Ludóvic Peron