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10 Common Landing Page Mistakes (and How to Fix them)

How to Avoid a Conversion Crisis

Every landing page that you create has one specific purpose, or at least, that’s how it should be. One of the biggest mistakes marketers make when designing landing pages is making them too busy. By asking the user to do too many things, instead the user does nothing. This costs your money as well as valuable conversions.

While this is perhaps the biggest mistake you could be making, there are other common landing page mistakes you could be making.

1. Call-to-action (CTA) is unclear

The CTA is the centre of your landing page and the sole reason for the page’s existence. If your CTA is unclear and your viewers do not know where to click next, they will simply click away. A boring or generic CTA will leave viewers unenthused or willing to learn more about your company.

When designing a landing page, always make the CTA front and centre. Limit the number of links to your social media pages and other website pages. These additional links will only confuse viewers, making them unsure about where to go for the information they want.

Make your CTA as clear and pointed as possible. If you are offering a free ebook, do not mention a free trial period or demo. Save those for another landing page.

2. Copy is uneven

Landing page copy is a delicate balance. Too much and your landing page looks heavy. Too little and viewers will not get enough information.

A great landing page has no more than 100 words. Anywhere between 75 and 100 words of paragraph copy (not including headlines or other link-related copy) should be plenty of copy to sum up your company and further explain your call to action.

3. Heavy copy, rather than bullet points, is used

Having trouble staying within that 75-100 word range? Is your copy still looking bulky and heavy?

Ditch the paragraph format and opt for a bulleted list. Research shows that viewers respond better to bulleted lists because the relevant information is already pulled out for them. Viewers usually do not like to spend too much time on a landing page, so if you can speed up the reading process, you will better your chances of converting leads.

4. CTA is miles from where it should be

By now, you know that the best landing pages are easy to skim and fluid.  Viewers should not have to go on a hunt for information. Everything should be displayed right in front.

This is especially true of your CTA. A CTA below the fold has a lower chance of being seen because not everyone will scroll down. If they have to go looking for the CTA, they simply won’t. Be sure your CTA is above the fold and set apart from the bullet points or paragraphs. If viewers do not care to read your copy, then they can jump right to your website.

5. Poor choice of images

A high-quality image looks professional and sparks the interest of viewers. A seemingly random or low-quality image will only inspire laughter.

When choosing an image, remember:

  • If using an image of people, all people should look clean and professional.
  • Viewers look in the direction of the person in the image. If the person is looking left and your text is to the right, viewers might not look at your text at all. Direct the person depicted towards the CTA.
  • Use stock photos only when necessary.

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6. Make the most of a headline

Your headline will be the first thing viewers read so it is up to you to make it count. Do not simply summarise your company. Give viewers a reason to read on.

Let’s say you work for a higher education institute. Try a few of these headline tactics:

  •  Loss aversion: “Don’t miss out on another job opportunity – Get a free ebook on how to make your application stand out.”
  •  Question/Control: “Passionate about your education – We are too.”
  •  Benefit: “Go further with an Advanced Diploma of Accounting – Learn how here.”

All of these tactics give viewers a good reason to keep reading.

7. Implying abundance

If your product or service will always be around at a certain price, why should people rush to buy from you? Creating scarcity is a great way to get people to act on a deal or discount before it is too late.

Scarcity drives demand, so consider adding one of the following to your free offers:

  • An expiration date
  • A short trial period

An expiration date gives viewers a set time to use the offer, so they are more apt to do so.

A shorter trial period (14 days as opposed to 30) will encourage viewers to actually use your product during the trial period. Thirty days is a long time, and by week two, users might forget all about the trial. By the end of the 30 days, they do not remember how useful they found your product, and they will not bother renewing their memberships.

8. Using videos to carry the landing page

A video can be a nice touch to a landing page, especially if you are in a creative industry, but if your only feature on your landing page is a video, you will not get very far with conversions. Many people simply do not want to take the time to watch.

If you do choose to include a video, make sure it is relevant. Keep it short and under one minute.

Remember that not everyone will have the bandwidth needed to support a video. Include a video if you wish, but make sure your copy can explain enough on its own.

9. Button colours are dull or uninspiring

It may seem silly, but the colour of your link buttons is important to the success of your landing page. Colours that stand out against your background colour will catch the viewer’s attention and show them right where to click.

There is no right or wrong link button colour, but remember to contrast the button colour with your background. If your background is black, a brown coloured button will not show up well know. Instead, you might use a bright yellow, orange or blue.

You might also use colour associations and emotions such as:

  • Red: Love, appetite, often used in restaurants.
  • Blue: Trust, security.
  • Green: Earth, budget-friendly.

10. Testimonials are uninspiring

A strong, positive statement (social proof) from a past client can do wonders for your company. As word-of-mouth plays a big role in generating solid leads, the testimonials on your landing page should inspire further action in viewers and give your business added credibility.

Use testimonials that are direct and detailed. A review that reads “This property development company rocks” is nice, but you want a review that says why your company is so great. A more direct review, such as “This property development company went out of its way to find me the perfect home, and they guided me every step of the way through the buying process,” better explains why your company is valuable.

The first part demonstrates great customer service while the other assures viewers, especially first-time home buyers, that you do a complete and thorough job with each property sold.

With each testimonial, display the real name and, if possible, real headshot of the person who gave you the review. If you do not have an image of a reviewer, do not use stock images. These tend to discredit your testimonials, and viewers might not believe the reviewer is a real person.

There is no exact art to landing page design. Most of it revolves around trial and error. Start A/B testing and see what works best for your viewers.

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