The best landing pages all accomplish one basic but critical goal: they convince a visitor to take action. Whether it’s buying a product, registering for a webinar, downloading an eBook, or signing-up for a newsletter, landing pages are all about conversion.
There are just as many things a landing page should do as it should not do to increase conversions. Ignoring the many nuances of the user experience can send a visitor away from your page almost immediately and cost you business.
Avoid these 10 landing page mistakes to build pages that convert:
1. A long form process
The best landing pages make forms easy-to-use and as short as possible. Give as much as you can, and ask for as little as possible in return. Only ask for information that is absolutely necessary to complete the current transaction. Nothing makes a visitor want to leave your landing page more than having to fill out a lengthy contact form that captures information that seems unnecessary. While this information may be invaluable to you, asking for too much personal information in your first encounter can cause a visitor to click-away to a competitor.
Landing page testing has proven that people do not like pop-ups (or unwelcome surprises) of any kind. Even if it’s not an advertising pop-up, the majority of visitors have a knee-jerk reaction to close a pop-up as quickly as possible. This annoyance and the perception that your site is spammy can cause visitors to have a negative reaction to your offer, even if it’s a product or service they want to buy.
Flash intros are often visually compelling, but they keep visitors from immediately viewing your offer. Although not as annoying as pop-ups, flash intros force visitors to take another step before accessing what may be a product or service that they can’t live without. Cut to the chase. Don’t lose them with flash when you’ve already succeeded at driving them to your landing page.
4. Ineffective headlines
Considering the fact that visitors will spend only a few seconds on a page, benefit-driven headlines are critical to make them want to read on to learn more about your offer. When you lose prospects on the headline, even the best landing page design may not be enough to convert a visitor into a customer.
5. Content that competes for visitors’ attention
Placing multiple offers on one page is another common landing page mistake. This essentially makes you compete with yourself and it disorients visitors. Be clear about your business priorities and have a single dominant conversion goal (all others should be clearly secondary in terms of their visibility and prominence). Short attention spans will compel prospects to click-away from a page that seems too complicated.
6. The same design as your main website
Your main site has navigation links that could distract a visitor from the specific offer on your landing page. If visitors can click on your “About Us” page, they may get lost in the rest of your site and then be gone forever. The best landing pages include your branding but also focus visitors on the task at hand. A micro-site is often a good compromise if you must include deeper supporting information, but at least keep the navigation limited to a single level.
7. Ignoring basic aesthetics
Gaudy landing pages that misuse colors, fonts, images, and highlighted copy are immediate turn-offs. Regardless of the content, a clean design will at least keep a visitor wanting to learn more about your offer. Don’t be tacky.
8. Copy that is difficult to scan
It’s no secret that most of us have short attention spans. Break up the copy and highlight the benefits of your offer with subheads and bullets. Important information should go first since the rest will probably not be read anyway.
9. Bad stock photography
Although industry-specific stock photographs can be visually appealing, overused or poor stock photography can turn off visitors if they perceive your business to be just like everybody else’s. It’s fine to use high-quality images that are specific to your business, but don’t just decorate your page with generic images.
10. Not having a strong call-to-action
In addition to the headline, the call-to-action is one of the most important pieces of a landing page. It’s often what separates the best from the worst landing pages. It’s what ultimately makes a visitor click-through to your offer, so it should always include a benefit statement. It’s always better to only ask visitors to take one specific action on the page. If you absolutely have to include more than one, the first CTA must be prominent and above the fold to help visitors prioritize.
The last tip: show some customers your landing page design and content before you publish it. They’ve already bought from you and can probably talk about the benefits of buying your product or service even better than you can. Put their ideas to good use and tweak your content as needed. Then make it live, check analytics regularly, and never stop testing.
Need help building the best landing page for your business? Novo Writing is your one-stop shop. From developing a concept to writing the copy to creating content for the offer, we can manage the entire process for you. We work closely with several talented web designers so you only have to deal with one company for a complete solution. Contact us to schedule your free consultation.