There is little dispute that the use of landing pages can skyrocket the success of your paid traffic campaigns but, as with all things digital, there are many potential pitfalls that can turn a perfectly viable campaign into an ad-spend bottomless pit.
At Clickthroo, I get to see a wide range of landing pages to include the good, the bad and the downright ugliest that the web has to offer. One thing I have noticed though is that many of the best high-converting landing pages tend to do the same things well whilst avoiding the pitfalls. With this is mind I have decided to compile a brief list of 7 of the most common landing page no-no’s for you to consider.
1. Too Much Text, Not Enough Text or Badly Formatted Text.
When you are constructing a landing page, you may only have a few seconds to display your message.
Put yourself in the reader’s shoes. Would you stick around to read line after line of boring text? If you can’t read through it without getting distracted, then how can you possibly expect your customer to?
Of course, you may find that text is perfect for selling your project. If your text is well written, inspiring and interesting to the reader, then this may well be exactly what you need to get the potential customer to take action. Otherwise, avoid long-winded sales copy and opt instead for USP-based bullet points.
Too Much Text Can Easily Intimidate New Visitors
2. Branding Inconsistency and Message Mismatch
If you are buying traffic with banner ads or email marketing, ensure that there is a consistency in the branding from the banner or HTML email creative through to the landing page to avoid potential trust issues.
Likewise, ensure that the message in your ad copy clearly runs through to the landing page copy. This is good for both conversion rates and, in the case of paid search, quality score.
Nice form, but what do you actually do?
3. No Clear Call To Action, Or Too Many Of Them
Yes, that’s right. Your landing page MUST have a clear call to action.
You can follow everything else on this list and make all the changes in the world, but if you don’t have a clear call to action and you aren’t making it clear what you want from your reader, then you are leading them down a dead end, and most likely to a different website…
Make sure that your call to action is simple, easy to follow and sticks out like a sore thumb from the rest of the page.
Also, try to funnel your visitors to a single call to action. Using more than one call to action on a single landing page can lead to confusion and can dilute the impact of your main objective (and let’s face it – there will be plenty of time to upsell once you have those all-important lead details!).
Finally, ensure that your main call to action is above the fold – don’t make your visitors think!
No call to action above the fold
4. Lack Of Social Proof
There is a high chance that many of the visitors to your freshly published landing page are not yet familiar with your brand and subsequently require a degree of reassurance to raise the level of trust they have in you.
This ‘fear of engagement’ may be negated through the use of social proof to include real testimonials (including video testimonials), current company partnerships, press quotes and the presence of social media account icons and/or widgets.
Sing Your Connections From The Rooftops!
5. Navigational Distractions
If you have a landing page that you feel isn’t converting as well as you’d like, then there is a chance that your potential customers are being distracted away from the real objective of the landing page.
Ensure that you aren’t losing easily distracted customers by removing any navigational ‘temptations’. Your landing page should be a tunnel with walls on all sides, guiding the customer to taking the required action to meet your objectives.
6. Too Many Options
The Paradox of Choice – Why More Is Less
More often that not, offering a wide range of choice to a reader can be nothing short of overwhelming.
By offering too much choice, it is easy to confuse a reader which usually leads to a lack of action and leaves the potential customer walking away scratching their head.
In these cases, it is generally easier for the customer to make no decision at all, through fear of making the wrong decision.
If you are trying to inspire someone to take action, don’t spoil them with too much choice. Fewer options can make it easier for a customer to make a decision.
7. Failure To Test and Track Results
The single most important mistake on our list is the failure to test!
You should always look to test the different elements of your landing pages and track performance to achieve the best possible results. Don’t base your landing pages on what you estimate will work or entirely on best practice guides (like this one!).
The only true way to maximize the success of your landing page marketing campaigns is to test, track, and optimise everything.
It is worth taking the time to check over this list and make sure that you aren’t making any of these common mistakes. You may just see some incredible results even with seemingly insignificant changes to your landing pages.
P.S. Don’t forget to split test any changes you make from this list and remember to track the results!