The Internet is an interesting thing, isn’t it? Even 10 years ago, I wouldn’t have imagined this thing would be the central hub of our modern society. When you think about it, nearly everything today relies on the Internet in some fashion.
Even with our dependence on the Internet and how smart buyers are, it amazes me how many websites are still either poorly designed, poorly written, or a combination of both.
As online marketers, we depend on people coming to our websites so that we can try to sell them something, be it a t-shirt, pack of pens, wedding invitations, services, cat calendars, or anything in between.
In 2011, U.S. consumers spent more than $200 billion online, and that number is expected to hit $317 billion by 2016.
Needless to say, there is a lot of cash up for grabs online. And yet, there are still many websites out there with poorly designed (and poorly performing) landing pages.
The landing page is one of the best places to quickly convert a customer. Sometimes, we’re just looking for an email address. But more often than not, we’re looking to make a sale.
So why have a messy landing page that isn’t producing any money—or as much money as it could?
To help you cure the Bad Landing Page Syndrome, I’ve put together what I think are the five mistakes that are ruining your landing page conversion rates.
1. Your headline sucks
If your headline doesn’t grab your consumers’ attention within two seconds, you can almost guarantee they are going to click away. This is your chance to tell consumers what’s going on and why they need to stay. If need be, use a subhead to further explain, but only use one if it makes sense.
2. You have too much up for grabs
Consumers love choices, particularly in sets of three, but a landing page is no place for choices. Give them one thing and one thing only. Landing pages with more than one option are proven to be unsuccessful. And make sure you clearly ask for what you want—this is a landing page after all. If you don’t ask them to convert, they won’t.
3. Your landing page looks like the rest of your site
Every piece of information on your landing page that doesn’t directly relate to your offer is an opportunity for your consumers to get distracted. Remove all unnecessary elements, including your main navigation and sidebars. If the content on the page isn’t helping to make the sale in that moment, it should disappear. Plain and simple.
4. Your call to action is not above the fold
Most consumers are only looking at content that’s “above the fold,” or what’s on screen without scrolling. If your offer is at the very bottom of the page, there’s a high probability your consumers aren’t seeing it. Even if it’s a button that shoots them to the bottom of the page, your call to action needs to be seen at the top.
5. Your landing page looks like a scam
Even though a landing page should be stripped down to the barebones, it shouldn’t lack a professional aesthetic. This isn’t a place for a plethora of fonts and colors (there’s never a place for that, actually) or cheesy stock photos. Make sure the page has some resemblance to your main site, otherwise yours consumers might not recognize it and discredit your authority. Your brand voice, product shots, and a couple of testimonials are must-have elements to let consumers know they’re in the right place.
Landing pages are a tough thing to master. In reality, there probably isn’t a “mastery level” of landing pages, because things are always changing. However, there are elements that will remain constant.
If you can nail down your headline, one irresistible offer, a to-the-point professional design, and properly placed calls to action, you’re more than on your way to a great landing page.
Just when you think you have it down pat, it’s time to start A/B testing and tweaking things for better performance. It’s a never-ending cycle, but it’s a fun one that can teach you a lot about your consumers and your business.