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5 Conversion-Killing Mistakes Your Landing Page MUST Avoid

By Rory Witt    |    November 14, 2016

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In theory, a landing page is built with one purpose, and one purpose alone: to capture a visitor’s information. Names, email addresses, places of employment, job titles—it’s all fair game.

But while their purpose is clear-cut, execution often falls flat on its face.

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Yes, it’s a painful (that had to hurt) reality, but it’s one that the majority of digital marketers must accept—due to a handful of all-too-common mistakes, most of the landing pages they’re producing are preventing meaningful conversions, rather than inviting them.

Care to make certain that you and your team aren’t destined to do the same?

Below, you’ll find five of the biggest landing page mishaps. Keep them at the forefront of your mind the next time you’re tasked with building out a winning landing page either for yourself or a client:

1) Painfully Slow Page Speed

Truth be told, loading speed is one of the most sizable killers of landing page conversion on the Internet. In fact, if your landing page fails to load within five seconds, on average, 74% of the people you worked tirelessly to attract will bounce before consuming any content.

Not quite sure where your page speed stands?

No worries—using Pingdom or Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool, you can quickly get a sense of how smoothly your landing pages are loading on both desktop and mobile devices.

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If you don’t like what you see, you might need to do the following:

  • Remove Cluttered Code
  • Upgrade Your Hosting
  • Minimize 301 Redirects
  • Resize and Compress Images

Whether you’re the one in charge or you toss this kind of work over to your “Tech Guy,” do your absolute best to get your landing pages loading in under five seconds. Though it might seem impossible now, the best have theirs loading in less than a second.

2) A Jumbled, Messy Design

If yours is like 48% of tragically misguided landing pages, your landing page contains multiple offers. Even more shocking, 84% of landing pages come fully equipped with navigation bars—this is the stuff that creates jumbled, messy designs.

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Do things the right way—in order, design your landing page around the following elements:

  • 1st Element Primary Headline
  • 2nd Element Hero Image (or Video)
  • 3rd Element Bulleted List of Benefits—NOT Features
  • 4th Element Social Proof
  • 5th Element Call to Action (CTA) Button

Seriously, if you take nothing from this post, please remember that the more clean, crisp and well-organized your landing page, the better in will perform.

Design plays a big role in this.

3) Soft-Spoken Headlines

Direct response copywriters seem to always be talking about writing headlines, don’t they?

Well, there’s a reason for it—whether it be for a blog post, website or landing page, headlines are largely responsible for earning clicks.

Are yours currently failing to perform?

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If so, there’s good news, here—of nearly everything mentioned on this list, headline edits are by far the easiest to make. As such, don’t sit idly by, thinking that things will magically change over time—courtesy of Unbounce, try one (or all) of these landing page formulas on for size:

  • Get the [Rare, But Relevant Adjective] Power of [What Your Product Does] Without [Pain]
  • [Adjective] & [Adjective] [What You Are/SEO Keyword Phrase] That Will [Desired Results]
  • We Promise You This: [Highly Desirable Promise of Results]

* Note: For more landing page headline formulas, click here.

4) Media-Rich Options

Well-written copy is a must-have for any landing page, but with 90% of the information that comes to the human brain being visual, it’s a good idea to feed visitors the kinds of messages their minds are most accustomed to interpreting—visual messages.

Yup, you guessed it—this means high-quality video clips, images and screenshots. Needless to say, forget to include them, and you’re landing page will fail to impress.

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And one more thing—make sure that the media you include shows your product or service in action. Landing page copy should get directly to the point, but so too should any on-page media.

5) Confusing Calls to Action

Calls to action are meant to be singular in purpose and straightforward.

That said, the majority of landing pages not only ask visitors to do multiple things, but the CTA buttons they use aren’t effective.

The result? Confused, annoyed and bewildered, visitors choose to do nothing, instead.

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Avoid this train wreck of an outcome by first understanding the thoughts CTAs should summon within an user’s mind. Unbeknownst to most, the purpose of a landing page CTA is to inspire action by mimicking the conversation that’s already taking place in a prospect’s head.

For example, the real-life copy (no joke) below doesn’t make for a good CTA button:

  • Bad Example ‘Shut Up and Take My Money!’

It’s easy to see why the above CTA copy fails to deliver—it’s crude, focused on the pain of handing over hard-earned cash and simply isn’t something any reader in their right mind would be thinking to themselves before making a purchase.

On the flip side of things, however, these ones are good to go:

  • Good Example #1 ‘It’s Now or Never!’
  • Good Example #2 ‘I’m Ready for Results!’
  • Good Example #3 ‘I’ve Got Nothing to Lose!’

Can you see the stark differences between the first CTA and those that followed?

When you’re able to use your CTA to insert yourself into the thought process of a fence-sitting buyer, you drastically increase your chances of conversion.

When Everything Comes Together

But enough with the dreadfully bad—below, you’ll find a few clickable examples from a variety of industries that’ve managed to build incredible, game-changing landing pages:

  • Basecamp – A web-based project management tool
  • H.BLOOM – Custom floral arrangements
  • SellMax – Automotive trade-in professionals
  • WebProfits – A team of conversion optimization specialists

As the old adage goes, “Imitation is the finest form of flattery.”

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Because of this, feel free to swipe and save what you like from the above landing pages, while also injecting your brand’s own creativity where you see it most necessary.

Wrapping Things Up

Roughly 3.4 billion people around the world now have access to the Internet. Though certainly a blessing for each of them, this means that your business’ landing pages now must face an ever-expanding number of competitors.

With each of you vying for the attention of hopeful buyers, your landing page must stand out to prospects. Whether yours seeks to drive leads from organic search, PPC or social media, by avoiding the five mishaps discussed here, your landing pages will perform in peak condition.

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