landing page conversion

Do you have a sneaking suspicion that there might be something wrong with your landing page? Are your bounce rates just straight up surprising you?

You’re not alone. There’s often a single variable that can throw an otherwise optimized landing page a-kilter.

In this article I’ll be taking a look at five of the often overlooked reasons your awesome landing page might be struggling for success.

1. Entry Form Misplacement and Unbalance

Your page’s entry form is an incredibly important part that is often ignored and put to the side (literally!). Why is this? I mean, we’re usually talking about a page designed for lead generation. Why isn’t the part of the page that actually generates the leads more important?

Optimizing your entry form for conversion means putting time into testing it. One of the chief causes of a lead bouncing off your lead generating landing page is that the ratio of risk vs reward is too high. In other words, you’re not providing enough value to your possible lead that they feel it’s worth them submitting all their details.

The hierarchy works like this:

  1. Registration for a conference or event: Worth every detail you can get as well as an entry fee. Don’t skint with this one.
  2. Sign up for free demo or a call: Worth email, name, job title, size of business and company name.
  3. Case studies and industry reports: Worth email, name, job title and (perhaps) a zip code.
  4. Ebooks, webinars, podcasts and whitepapers: Worth email and name. Don’t push this one too far.

Intelligently balancing the amount of information you’re asking for with the amount of information you’re offering is how you optimize your entry form for conversions.

Also important is the placement of your entry form.

People read landing pages (and every website) in an “F” shape. They start at the top left (which should be your headline/USP) and travel to the right. Then they drop down and start at the left about halfway down the top fold. After that it’s straight down the left side until they have to start scrolling.

What does this mean for entry form placement?

It means your entry form needs to be on the bottom right of your top fold. Why? Because if a person on your landing page sees your entry form before they see your USP and short benefit list they’re likely to bounce.

Basically placing your entry form on the left totally screws up your risk vs reward ratio. You’re “asking” for a conversion before you’ve convinced somebody it’s worth it. Even if you only have a single box (email address), you’re still asking too much because you haven’t communicated any value yet.


2. Above-the-Fold Confusion

This can be a difficult one to measure, and as a result I recommend running your landing page through CrazyEgg’s heat-mapping at least once. What this will do is show you, in concrete terms, what people are focusing on on your page (or where their scroll is stopping).

Your highest value variables need to be above the fold. In other words, they need to be visible before a possible customer scrolls. This means that (depending on your tests) the top of your page needs to have your USP, 3-5 benefits, an image and your customer testimonials as well as your entry form.

Here’s what I recommend for non-lead gen pages:

landing page conversions

A/B test for yourself if customer testimonials generate higher conversions than big brand names at the bottom of your top fold. Also test if more benefits outweigh the size of your image.

And here’s what I recommend for lead gen pages:

landing page template

3. Unbelievable Customer Testimonials

Customer testimonials are a powerful tool when used correctly, as they communicate trustworthiness better than any other variable on your landing page. Trust equals sales down the road, and that’s a fact that’s getting more and more true each day.

People need to know that you’ve worked with someone before, that person has found success with you, and that (overall) they’re not about to be swindled.

Customer testimonials can also ruin your business’ trust levels when used badly or dishonestly.

If you’re citing a 800% ROI (through a customer testimonial) without stating how it works, people will be skeptical. In fact, if you cite anything that sounds remotely less than savory, your conversion rates will suffer.

Here’s what I recommend:

  • Undersell: If you have, legitimately, been providing an ROI of 87% on average, quote 72. You want to be sure that you can actually deliver on what your landing page is spouting.
  • Get specific: An ROI of 87% of an environmentally friendly diaper (or whatever you guys sell in ecommerce) that uses 94% recycled materials is far more believable than an saying it’s a round 100% (this sounds made up).
  • Play modest: Customer testimonials that aren’t 100% favorable can actually increase conversion rates as they sound more believable. Try something like “I was initially skeptical of AcmeSaaS’ quoted ROI. But, after working with their awesome customer success lead Alex, we actually beat the quote!”
  • Feature faces and full names: Your customer testimonials will be worth far more when your landing page traffic knows they’re coming from real people. Communicate “real” with an actual headshot next to the testimonial and a full name beneath it.


4. Failure to Stand Out

Something you need to remember is that your business is not the only business seen by your traffic that day. No matter your business (B2B, Ecommerce, whatever), your possible customers are shopping around. They’re on your competitor’s websites before and after they’re on yours.

You need to be sure yours stands out, and this is more challenging than it sounds.

Does your landing page have any of the following?

  • A top, large font headline with the words “advanced”, “better” or “customer”?
  • An image of a person working in professional dress working or smiling at the office?
  • An image of technology like an ipad, computer or smartphone?
  • Three or four icons of the same color with corresponding benefit sentences?
  • A “brands we work with” section with eight business logos?

So does everyone else.

The issue with this is that all five of these things are best practices, and the Wishpond blog has been telling you that you need to incorporate these variables for months now.

I’m not going to stop now. All these variables are important to your landing page’s success.

Using them in different ways, however, is how you stand out from your competitors.

Here are a few recommendations to test:

  • Throw up an eye-catching color scheme that your competitors aren’t using
  • Come up with a new, different, and creative USP
  • Use a customer testimonial and corresponding photo for your main image instead of the stock-like one you’re using now
  • Make your brand logos black and white to show a little more modesty than competitors
  • Change up your benefit list’s bullet-points with playful icons that stand out.


5. Multiple Calls-to-Action

This issue is one I see most commonly, especially among people new to landing page optimization. Multiple calls-to-action is when your landing page has a couple different ‘asks” on the same page.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of pushing a final conversion at every step of your sales funnel. After all, it’s the real-world sell that actually puts food on your table, not the lead.

The issue with this is that it’s not always worth putting a “dollar CTA” (or a final conversion link) on your lead gen landing pages. While this may generate a few real-world conversions every once in a while, it will also be increasing that page’s bounce rate.

This is because people are intimidated by too many “asks”. They’re trepidant to begin with, and forcing the issue too early will often cause them to balk and bounce.

Here’s an example of what I see far too often:

multiple CTAs landing page

Let’s say this landing page had a corresponding online advertisement (Facebook, Google, etc). The ad would have been promoting the value of your ebook, not the value of your business’ service.

Because of your intelligent sales funnel, you recognize that not very many people who visit your page are coming from within your business’ website. They’re coming from other sources. Pushing your free trial or “how to buy” links will simply scare them away and reduce overall conversion rates.

However, I recommend you test this for yourself. You may be finding that the increase in overall bounce rates is worth it when you consider the value of a free trial.



Hopefully that’s given you a few insights into the mistakes that can be hurting your conversion rates without you even knowing it.

If you’ve been multivariate testing your landing pages, remember that even if you’ve found an improvement in your conversion rates, that page may still not be optimized. Often when testing three or four variables at the same time you’ll see a conversion increase but won’t know exactly what’s causing it. One of your variables may actually be dragging your conversions down, but not enough for the test to result in an overall drop.

This is why I recommend split testing instead. Results come faster and you can be more confident of those results.

If you have any questions about landing page optimization, don’t hesitate to let me know and we’ll see if we can figure it all out!

By James Scherer

Read more: