5 Common Landing Page Design Mistakes to Avoid

Image by copyblogger.com

A landing page  is the first web page a visitor arrives at or “lands on” when they come to your website.  The goal of each landing page is to promote or prompt  a specific action from each user (filling out a form, providing an email address and/or phone number). Traffic should be sent to these pages via several channels: PPC, a link in an email, good sales copy, etc., with the main goal of turning prospects into sales leads. This is commonly achieved by great page design, eye catching “call to action” buttons and strong images and videos.

One key concept that small business website owners often fail to grasp is that every page on your site should be a landing page. It takes little more than a quick glance at Google Analytics to realize that most of your visitors don’t land on your home page!  That’s right, if you look at your visitor behavior metrics (in Analytics, navigate to “Content > Landing Pages”,  you’ll see that most people arrive on your content pages (blog posts, videos, product pages, etc.). It’s critical to understand the long tail of search.

Once armed with this knowledge, you’ll see your website design and content strategies much differently. Most small business sites focus all their engagement and conversion elements  (trust icons, testimonials, web forms, calls to action, etc.) on their home page- neglecting most of the traffic! Having a crappy landing page design can absolutely kill your conversion rates. If you’re not treating every page like a landing page, with a specific topical (keyword) focus and conversion elements,  do it now. And be sure to keep it simple, providing a clear call to action with a persuasive message that’s strong and to the point.

A poorly designed landing page is like dumping off your best prospect at your doorstep (with cash in hand!) and not letting him or her in. If you’re going to have a bad landing page you might as well set yourself up for disappointment. Alternatively, you can start treating every page like a landing page and know that you’re getting the most leverage from your hard work and time spent developing content.

Here are 5 common mistakes you want to avoid when creating or redesigning your landing pages, courtesy of copyblogger.com:

1. Blowing the headline

Landing pages live or die by the quality of the headline. It’s your two-second chance to overcome the swift and brutal attention filters we’ve developed due to information overload and poorly-matched promises.

Often, a better headline alone will boost the effectiveness of your landing page, and even overcome some of the other mistakes below. Split-testing different headlines is relatively painless, and can bring you much higher conversions compared with multiple other tweaks.

2. Using your regular site design

Most of us who use content marketing as an attraction strategy use a content management system, such as WordPress. That means we’re using design themes for the visual presentation of our sites.

While your typical sidebar and header approach to a blog post is fine, when it comes down to traffic hitting a landing page with a singular focus on specific action, all of that extraneous stuff causes confusion, distraction, and reduced conversions. Lose the clutter and create the cleanest page possible when you want some action.

3. Asking for more than one thing

The idea that more choices make people happier has been proven to be a psychological fallacy time and again. This “paradox of choice” reveals that when given multiple options, the decision ends up being not to choose at all.

An effective landing page asks for one specific action, and that’s it. And don’t forget to actually clearly ask for that one specific thing, which is an even bigger conversion killer if you don’t.

4. Ignoring basic aesthetics

Why is it when some people decide to ask for some action, they lose their minds on the appearance of the page? Bad fonts, garish colors, cheap highlighting, and silly clip art do not make for better conversions in most cases. What they do is crush your credibility.

While using your standard blog theme is distracting and confusing in the landing page context, there’s no need to become the typographical equivalent of a carnival barker, either. Great landing pages use fonts, colors, and visuals that are tailored specifically to the audience and action you desire, thereby enhancing the experience and boosting conversions.

5. Being lazy

Did you know that web users spend 80% of their time above the fold? Does that mean people won’t scroll down the page? No, it just means you can’t take it for granted that they will (instead of leaving).

Don’t be lazy about grabbing and holding attention. Don’t assume everyone instantly “gets” the benefit of your offer the way you do. Don’t overestimate your credibility. In short, don’t drink your own Kool-Aid. Think about it from their perspective, and you’ll realize you might not be all that (until you unequivocally prove you are with compelling copy).