Avoiding 5 of the Most Common Landing Page Mistakes

Optimized Landing Page Template

Your landing pages are a vital link in the chain from “first touch” to “sale.”  Well-implemented landing pages can greatly boost your mailing list, provide you with plenty of well-qualified leads, and potentially even get your name out there as an important thought leader in your industry.

…But only if your landing page can convince people to “Click Here.”

By now, you’re probably already familiar with the standard layout for a basic landing page:  Headline at the top, two columns, information on the left and the signup button on the right, with a picture or two and maybe even a video.  There are millions of examples out there.

So instead of discussing the particulars of the layout, let’s talk a bit about 5 common mistakes we’ve seen in various landing pages.  If you can avoid these mistakes, you’ll be well on your way to converting more of your traffic.

1 – CTA / Headline Mismatch

Online shoppers weren’t born yesterday, so they’re understandably very wary of deception.  It’s important to avoid anything that gives even a whiff of impropriety.

One such mistake is when the pitch line on the CTA (call to action) button doesn’t match the headline on the landing page.   This makes it seem to the visitor like a bait-and-switch, and the more the two don’t match up, the higher the level of mistrust.

The two phrases should be near-matches, or as close as you can get.  So if your headline says “Get Your Free eBook About Widgets,” the CTA button on the Landing Page should at least include the terms “eBook” and “Widgets.”  It doesn’t have to be any more complex than that.

2 – Too Many Buttons

Except in very rare cases of extraordinarily complicated products, your landing page should be entirely self-contained.  Don’t include extraneous links or anything else to click on except perhaps an audio\visual presentation.  The idea is to provide as little as possible that could distract the visitor from the button you want them to click.

We find it’s best, in fact, to make the landing page a “blind alley.”  Remove the top navigation bar so that there’s literally no other links to click on besides the signup button.

3 – Random Social Proof Numbers

It’s become popular to put labels onto landing pages like “Over 9000 People Have Downloaded This eBook!”  It’s a logical enough bit of advertising; hey, it worked for McDonald’s.

Most studies, including our own, show that it really doesn’t work on landing pages.  A more traditional quoted testimonial + smiling picture turns out to be much more effective at inspiring conversions.  People care about social proof when it comes from actual people, particularly those they might know.  Download numbers are just statistics.

4 – Anything Below The Fold

Broadly speaking, your value proposition should be recognizable to a visitor within a matter of a few seconds if not instantly.  Ideally, the headline and subheading will convey all the most important information.  A landing page should be short and to the point; the more scrolling that is required, the greater the chance your content or [gasp!] your CTA button will be missed.

If your offer is so complicated that you’re having trouble fitting it on a single screen, it’s probably not going to perform well on a landing page. Exceptions might include highly technical fields, but even scientists have a limited attention span.

5 – Poor Content

It’s sad how often we see landing pages that look great, feel great, have perfect focus and design, and effectively convince us to download a document, only to realize that it’s completely worthless or obviously compiled from previous blogs.

We can’t emphasize enough how important it is that your landing page offers have substantial value.  If the content on offer is sub-par, or clearly created by the lowest bidder, the resulting disappointment will reflect badly on your company, product, and ultimately your reputation.  We recommend giving landing page offers even MORE time and attention than your everyday content.

So… Are your landing pages capturing as many leads as they should?

Capturing Leads