Online marketers know that converting traffic into customers takes a series of steps, all of which have to be fully optimized to influence the visitor to buy: first you have to lead traffic to your website either through SERPs, social media, or paid advertisements; then traffic has to flow through your website and its various pages to the shopping cart, where they will ultimately make a purchase. At any point in that process, traffic could drop off, leading to a loss of revenue. Landing pages help to streamline the process – instead of directing traffic to your homepage or product pages where visitors could easily get distracted and not end up in your shopping cart, landing pages compress the steps and eliminate distractions. Traffic comes from an outside source to your landing page where they then fill out a form with their contact information or go directly to a shopping cart.
However, even landing pages carry the risk of having your traffic drop off. If your landing pages aren’t fully optimized, customers will not complete the CTA and will leave your website – then you’re missing out on qualified leads or potential purchases. If your landing pages just aren’t doing it for your traffic, make sure you aren’t making any of these mistakes:
- Your landing page isn’t mobile-optimized. It’s an easy one to forget, especially if you’ve already optimized the rest of your website for mobile. However, it’s crucial that your landing pages are mobile-friendly. If your CTA is asking for contact information, it’s much more difficult for visitors to fill that out by phone than through their laptop or desktop. Make the process as easy as possible so that they don’t give up.
- Your landing page does not meet the expectations of the ad that lead traffic there. The destination needs to be cohesive with the ad that brought traffic there. Whether you’re using PPC, social media, email marketing, or other portals, the landing page needs to match. You can do this by using the same headline and by coordinating the colors and theme.
- Your landing page is not followed by a “thank you” page. So your traffic converts and fills out the contact page with their information. What next? If they don’t see a “thank you” page telling them that they will be called or emailed within a specific timeframe, they will be confused about what just happened. Did their information go through? What should they do next? That kind of confusion could transform this qualified lead into a dead end.
- Your landing page has more than one direction. The greatest benefit of landing pages is that your traffic should not be distracted by multiple CTAs or navigation buttons. When you create your landing page, only ask for one thing! The more your page is optimized towards one goal, the better your chance will be of having your traffic reach that goal.
- Your call-to-action button says “submit.” “Submit” is one of the most common CTAs to put on a button, but it’s not one of the most effective. Ginny Soskey of HubSpot explains that using the CTA “submit” is too vague; your CTA button needs to tell the visitor exactly what will happen after they press the button. Soskey suggests “Download your eBook” or similar phrases that will leave no doubt as to what happens when your visitors submit their contact information.
- You didn’t A/B test your landing pages. Testing different versions of your landing pages that contain small differences has numerous benefits, but most of all, you can find out what works best for your audience. A/B testing can quickly guide you to the best design and content methods that will convert your traffic. And with proper testing, you can improve upon your old attempts.
- Your landing page doesn’t have enough content. In an attempt to put everything “above the fold,” content marketers often forget to add crucial information in their landing pages. But many customers will not be sold on a product or promotion until they have enough information to be comfortable taking a risk, even a small one. Although 80% of traffic never scrolls below the fold, there is still the 20% that will go searching for more information. Make a landing page that answers basic questions above the fold, then goes into more detail below it.
- You used cheesy stock photos on your landing page. Marketing Experiments found in their own A/B testing that a picture of a real person working at the company converts 35% more than a stock photo. Although stock photos look polished and professional, they come across as false to your audience. Using images of real employees conveys a sense of trustworthiness, and makes your business appear more human to your audience.
- The headlines on your landing page are terrible. Landing page headlines can work a lot like any other kind of headline. Lately, the content marketing trend has been using “click bait” headlines, or headlines that entice the reader to click on the link through inflated language or a sense of missing out. Instead, your headline needs to provide an answer rather than creating a question. Tell the reader the primary benefit or solution of following your CTA.
- You aren’t creating your landing pages with your audience in mind. There are a few ways that businesses forget their audience when creating a landing page. They might keyword stuff in an attempt to over-optimize for SEO. Or they might write content that does not fully answer the customer’s questions. A good way to ensure that you always have the customer in mind is by answering frequently asked questions. You can also show your landing page draft to one of your most trusted customers and hear their opinion on it.
For more information on how to create landing pages that convert, check out “How to Skyrocket Your Conversion Rate with Landing Pages.”
Hendricks, Drew. “5 Landing Page Mistakes That Are Killing Your Chances At Conversions.” http://www.forbes.com/sites/drewhendricks/2014/02/28/5-landing-page-mistakes-that-are-killing-your-chances-at-conversions/. (29 April 2014).
Soskey, Ginny. “Want to Get More Leads? Stop Making These 12 Landing Page Mistakes.” http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/landing-page-mistakes-ht. (29 April 2014).
Clark, Brian. “5 Landing Page Mistakes that Crush Conversion Rates.” http://www.copyblogger.com/landing-page-mistakes/. (29 April 2014).