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4 landing page mistakes that you must avoid

An effective, high-converting landing page is one of the biggest assets for any online business owner. Unfortunately, and unintentionally, a lot of landing pages are designed to lose leads and lose money. With the right techniques and tactics, anyone can optimise a landing page and increase the conversion rate. A simple 1% increase in conversion rate may result in thousands of pounds of additional income — depending on your business and the volume of traffic you receive. What’s the first step to optimising your landing pages? It’s avoiding common mistakes. Here are 4 landing page mistakes that you must avoid if you want to improve and increase the number of customer enquiries.

1. Too many elements

A landing page is a standalone page with only one objective. That objective can be to get more sales, increase leads or to make customers reach out to you via a phone call or email, download of an eBook, and so on. The problem stems from trying to “get the most out of a landing page”, some end up including too many elements. There can’t be something for everyone on a landing page. It must be extremely targeted with a single objective for one type of audience. If you have too many elements, you may confuse visitors and end up achieving nothing.

2. Visitors can’t easily spot the call-to-action

What if you have only one objective but its call-to-action (or CTA for short) is muddled and hard-to-find? That’s an equally big problem. Take a look at the following landing page.

landing page example

As you can see, there is only one objective and CTA, i.e., to get the brochure via email. But the CTA does not stand out at all. From the positioning, through to the colour and the size of the CTA button, everything is wrong on this landing page. The landing page needs to be designed in a way that makes the headline stand out to convey the most important message to visitors, and secondly direct the attention of the visitor to the call-to-action, once they have read the other information – visitors should not have to search for it.

3. Slow loading speed

The loading speed of the landing page is an important factor for two reasons:

  1. A slow-loading website will not rank well on search engine results pages. Google is mobile-first, and because of this, the load-speed of a website is a very important search engine ranking factor now.
  2. A web page that takes too long to load will result in bounced traffic. If a web page does not load within 5 seconds, approximately 74% of visitors abandon the page out of frustration. As a result, you lose traffic, credibility and, of course, money.

4. Unappealing, uninteresting, and dull headlines

All the text that goes into the landing page is valuable and must be carefully written. However, the headline has the most importance as it grabs the reader’s attention immediately and entices them to read more. The headline should have the following qualities:

  • It should be interesting and very engaging
  • Keeping the headline short and snappy is best
  • The headline should have clear benefits for the reader
  • The headline should also be well targeted, focused on the type of audience you are targeting.

How can you write interesting headlines that help with conversions and sales? Here are a few tips:

  • Use the Headline Hacks by Jon Morrow to come up with interesting and proven headline ideas.
  • Be mindful that some headline ideas you may come up with could be too “click-baity” (click-bait means headlines that attract people to read, but the content is either unrelated, or is trying to sell you something). If you think a headline might sound click-baity, you may have to optimise it to suit your niche and target audiences.
  • Use tools like BuzzSumo to identify headlines that most resonate with your audience.
  • Make sure your headline ‘does what it says on the tin’ for website visitors. For example, take a look at the following headline:
Great headline example

With the above headline, you would expect to be able to download 19 work-out cheat sheets – don’t offer something and then not deliver!

Analysing Basecamp’s well-crafted web page

Creating a well-optimised landing page is as much as science as it is an art. You will have to continue testing different elements to maximise results, but some principles stand the test of time. Basecamp has a particularly well-designed homepage and landing page that you should analyse to draw inspiration and get ideas. Here, take a look.

Basecamp example

There is only objective on this page: to get users to sign up for a free 30-day trial. Notice, there are no barriers here. Visitors just have to enter their email address and click the green CTA button. It’s as easy as it gets. The headline is interesting, unique, and instantly grabs your attention. The rest of the text is concise and well-targeted. Even the text in the image speaks to the target audience and highlights the problems they face on a regular basis. It’s relatable. Moreover, the page loads in less than half a second. All the bases are perfectly covered for a high conversion rate. Let us know in the comments below what other landing page mistakes you have come across over the years.

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