7 Landing Page Mistakes that are Costing you Conversions

7 Landing Page Mistakes that are Costing you Conversions image tumblr inline mwl9idpoDG1rur54v7 Landing Page Mistakes that are Costing you Conversions

So you’ve built a landing page. Is it converting like you’d hoped it would? Do you think it could be more effective?

It could.

No matter how long you’ve had a landing page, there’s always room for improvement.

66% of companies test multiple landing pages on their website, only 13% think they’re doing it well.

This comprehensive article will discuss the top 7 landing page mistakes that are affecting your conversion rate. I’ll dive into why these mistakes matter, and give you the proven best practices on how to change them to get the best possible result from your landing page.

 

Warning!


The 7 mistakes I’m discussing in this article are the most frequent I see – the ones I know have hurt my own conversion rates. That said, A/B testing your landing pages is the only way to be sure these variables aren’t working for you. It could very well be that your business leads like a page full of text or still convert optimally with CTAs that don’t stand out. If you’re choosing not to engage with a third party landing page provider you’ll have to test your own landing pages thoroughly to be sure they’re optimized for your business.

Why do you need to optimize your landing pages?


Your landing page is meant to drive visitors further down your sales funnel.

Whether the goal of your page is to offer an ebook download, a great discount on your product, or entry to your shopping cart, an optimized landing page is what turns a common internet user, window-shopping the web, into a guy on your shop floor, trying on shoes.

Let’s put the value of optimizing your landing page in concrete numbers:

Landing pages facilitate conversion. Let’s say you’re an online retailer with 15,000 monthly site-visits. Your customers are spending, on average, $35 each time they buy. If your online site saw a conversion rate increase of 1% over that month, you’d see a $5,250 increase in revenue.

Now remember, fixing the mistakes I’ve included below can increase your conversion rates by more than 20%.

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Mistake #1: Too much Text


One of the most important factors of a successful landing page is its simplicity. This is one of the easiest mistakes to fall for, as well, as it’s difficult not to want to add more awesome selling points of your business or product. How can more reasons to buy actually hurt your conversion rates?

Because nobody’s reading them. Remember that you have 5 seconds to convince a landing page visitor to stay or traffic further. Yes, this is done through a clear and impressive USP or value proposition (see mistake #2), but it’s also done by the overall look of your landing page.

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I recommend you avoid paragraphs. In fact, I can’t help but recommend that Salesforce’s landing page (above) would be better off with a bullet-point list.

People skim everything online. Communicate to your market through:

  • Bullet-points
  • Bolded words
  • Headings
  • Images

Mistake #2: No Unique Selling Proposition (USP) or Value Proposition


The first thing a visitor to your page should see is the most valuable sales point you have. You also want to make this sales point unique to your business to communicate quickly and strongly what makes your business, or your product, stand out from your competitors.

Whether your USP is specific to the product you’re pushing, the promotion you’re offering (dollar values are great) or an awesome statistic from your business is up to you and your testing process.

People sometimes confuse USPs and CTAs. Your USP should be your main and unique selling point while your CTA turns their interest in your USP into the action you want.

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5 USP Formula Examples:

  • The easiest way to [product or business purpose]
  • The #1 provider of [service]
  • Save [dollar amount] in [length of time]
  • [Well-known-brand] gives you [thing], we give you [better thing]
  • Get [your service] Free for [length of trial]!

Mistake #3: No Image


For best results, make sure your landing page has at least one image.

The image needs to:

  • Communicate your content
  • Appeal to the eye
  • Flow easily with the page
  • Stand out without contrasting too intensely
  • Be evocative to encourage engagement

I recommend reading my article The Psychology Behind a Successful Facebook Ad Part 2: Images to identify the best images for your business. Studies show a smiling woman encourages the highest conversion rates, but test what works best for your business.

It’s important you keep your landing page simple and straightforward with little text. The right image can communicate an idea or elicit a certain response in your landing page’s visitor.

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5 Landing Page Image Ideas:

  • A smiling woman pointing or looking at your USP
  • An image of fireworks or something similar, making your USP an exciting announcement
  • A video still of your CEO or head of marketing, which will open a 30 second to 2 minute video introducing your product or business
  • An abstract but appealing mix of colors, words and shapes
  • An image of your product or screenshot of your online tool, showing it in action

Mistake #4: Bad Call-to-Action


There are three variables in your CTA that might make it bad. Fix these mistakes and you’ll be impacting on the most influential conversion-improver (is that a word?) variable out there.

1. Nobody’s seeing it:

A thousand articles have been written about making your CTA stand out. This means contrasting the color of the button with the landing page. It also means making it big and bold and eye-catching. If this isn’t already part of your creation process I have very little time for you.

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Contrasting the color is perhaps most important. Contrasting color helps your CTA stand out from the landing page, making it easy for people to see what you want them to do. This is common sense. Blue or green landing page? Try a red or orange CTA button. Any questions? Read my article The Psychology Behind a Successful Facebook Ad Part 1: Color as it takes an in-depth look at the effect of color in marketing.

2. It’s in the wrong place:

Alongside contrasting your CTA button’s color, it’s essential that you place your CTA where it’s visible. This means above-the-fold and on the viewer’s immediate eye-level.

Too often I see amateur landing pages with the CTA button at the bottom. Their creator has fallen into the trap of ‘I’ll put the Call-to-Action at the bottom, after they’ve read all the selling-points about my product.’

Your CTA should be one of the first things a visitor to your landing page sees. It’s essential that they know the focus of your page immediately. Once they know what they’re asked to do they can make the decision if the action is worth it.

Think of your CTA and your USP as partners. Your CTA tells the visitor what to do, and your USP convinces them to do it.

 

Pro tip: If your landing page is longer than a single page, test a scrolling CTA on the left or right side. This encourages click-through because if, at any point of the page the visitor is ‘sold’, they have easy access to your desired action.


3. You’re telling people what to do, not what they get:

Think of your CTA not just as a button for people to click, but an integral part of your sales process itself.

Landing pages are a dance, and your CTA is leading. If that CTA is too aggressive or demanding they’ll step on your page visitor’s toes and they’ll find a new partner. Sell your CTA and you’ll sell the action within it.

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5 Examples of Persuasive CTA’s:

  • Start your Free Trial
  • Find New Leads Now
  • Get the Free Guide
  • Request a Quote
  • Download yours Now

Mistake #5: No Clear List of Benefits


Some leads will convert based on their existing interest, your ad or lead generator, your first USP or your Value Proposition. These are great, but some will need a little more convincing. Not too much, but a bit more.

Whenever I give advice on landing page creation, I always recommend the person sit down before they start and write down four or five USP for their landing page.

Of those five USPs, choose the most appealing for your headline. The other three or four put in list form, or create four simple images with the USP inside them. Salesforce actually included their three key benefits in the paragraph I included in #1, and, once again, I’d be curious to see if they’d increase conversions by putting them in list format.

4 Benefit/USP Examples:

  1. The ROI from your service or tool
  2. The discount or offer you’re promoting
  3. Customer testimonials
  4. The 3-5 main services your business or product provides

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Finding the right balance between not enough information and too much is a difficult process – one requiring testing and your own solid judgment. You want your landing page to contain just enough information to convince a visitor to engage, and not too much that they’re overwhelmed and your bounce-rate increases.

Mistake #6: No Trust Symbol or Customer Testimonial


In the Psychology Behind a Successful Facebook Ad Part 3: Text, I took a look at the power of the word ‘proven’ in marketing (as in ‘proven’ success). It affirms a person’s interest. It reassures them they’re not being fooled by tricky advertising, shiny colors or flashing lights.

Trust symbols and customer testimonials can function in a similar way. If you’re using Facebook Ads or collecting traffic from social media sites in general, you’re talking to a lead who cares about social endorsements – thus the power of customer testimonials. The implementation of a trust symbol, money-back-guarantee or promise that any details collected won’t be sold is simply a comforting thing to your landing page’s visitors. They like knowing they’re engaging with a trustworthy company and not being taken advantage of.

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I put a little time and energy into this one, as I’ve found huge results from this variable in the past. I quickly found a couple different case studies in which adding a trust symbol or customer testimonial improved conversion rates. First, the addition of the Verisign trust symbol above, which Blue Fountain Media added to their landing page, increased conversions by 42% and improved sign-up-form fill-outs by 81%. The second was the integration of a ‘money back guarantee’ badge by the Understand Quran Academy, which improved overall sales by 32.57%.

So give it some thought.

Mistake #7: Entry Form is too Complicated


If you’re going to include an entry form on your landing page, it’s important you keep it simple. Neil Patel (founder of QuickSprout and KissMetrics) removed the ‘Revenue’ form field from his landing page and found a 26% increase in conversions.

When creating your landing page it’s worth keeping in mind the ‘risk vs reward’ maxim. People measure their own involvement on the basis of ‘is it worth it to me?’. Is filling out all these form fields worth what I’m getting from this business? Am I comfortable giving away this information for what I’m getting back?

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The risk vs reward idea is essential when you’re writing your value propositions, but it’s also important when deciding on how many form fields you’re going to include. You need to decide what information is essential for your business and what is just getting in the way of a conversion.

People generally have little issue giving you their name or location, but beyond that it becomes a bit more of a barrier.

You need to know your objectives, and create an entry form accordingly.

Some landing pages are built for lead generation. If this is the case it’s essential you get an email address from your page’s visitor. Keep your form simple, with only two or three fields.

If you’re engaging in email automation, it may also be important to get demographic information (like age and gender) to optimize your email segmentation. If this is the case, and you’re not just looking to encourage a sale or a free trial, offer something valuable, like an ebook, white-paper or run a lead-generating online contest with an optimized landing page.

Conclusion


You should now have a solid grounding in landing page mistakes you need to avoid. Remember to optimize as best you can, and then keep testing to uncover the top-performing CTA’s, images, text, value propositions, and page formats. Never stop optimizing!

Have you ever fallen victim to one of these 7 landing page mistakes? What happened when you fixed it? Start the conversation below!

By James Scherer

7 Landing Page Mistakes that are Costing you Conversions image tumblr inline mwl9t0Fean1rur54v7 Landing Page Mistakes that are Costing you Conversions

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