Imagine you have invited people to your home. You spent hours cleaning (even the dust bunnies under the couch). There is a well-stocked refrigerator and you are just waiting for the guests to arrive. You see cars drive up and people get out. They walk to your front door and leave.  

What would you do if this happened to you? My guess is you would check the front door to be sure there isn’t police tape marketing a crime scene, a “hazardous waste do not enter” sign or a large wild dog protecting your house. Ok, so maybe those examples are a bit extreme, but you get my point. if people aren’t willing to walk into your home, you have a problem which needs to be fixed.   

Now let’s turn our attention to your website. You have spent time (and money) creating a great mobile-friendly site. It is well stocked with blog posts and resources and you are just waiting for people to arrive. When you checking your analytics you see there is traffic coming to your site, but no one filling out your conversion form. Ok folks, it is time to check your front door, essentially figure out what is wrong with your landing page. 

Here are some of the most common landing page mistakes and how to fix them.

Your landing page is cluttered

Effective landing pages have one purpose.  That means one offer, one path and one call to action. When a visitor comes to your landing page they shouldn’t feel as if they are playing a version of “Let’s Make a Deal” trying to choose between Door Number 1 or Door Number 2.  

Instead of offering a choice between two options decide which one the visitor needs first. If they download the first option you can always send them the link to the second option in a follow-up email. If they come back for the second item now you know you have an interested prospect.  If both items are equally important then create two landing pages. 

As you are decluttering your landing page, get rid of navigation to other pages.  those are other choices.  In a study by Hubspot, they discovered companies can see a 100% improvement if they eliminate the distraction of the navigation. Leave your logo as a link back to your primary site, but keep the landing page clean. 

Your landing page is too subtle

Don’t make people guess. Tell them what they are supposed to do next, and why.  Write headlines which make clear, but bold promises like The Ultimate Guide to Great Headlines. Then design your CTA ( call to action ) buttons in bright, attention-grabbing colors. Use high contrast colors for the text in the button. Then command attention with all capital letters in an easy to read san serif font. Does it feel like you are shouting? Good.  The purpose of a landing page is to get someone to do something, so it is ok to be a little bit commanding. 

You are selling past the close

Someone is ready to take the next step but you think they need more information.Don’t make someone wade through all sorts of information to get to the submission form. Give them the option to download and leave.  You can always send them more information in a follow-up drip campaign or below the submission form.  If they aren’t convinced they need what you are offering, then tell them more, and give them another chance to download information when they get to the bottom of the page. 

Trim your sales copy, shorten paragraphs, create bulleted feature lists, and cut anything which isn’t benefit driven. One of my most effective landing pages had one sentence, a title and a place to fill in an email address. If you have someone at “hello” don’t keep talking until they are ready to say “goodbye”.

Your landing page is not mobile friendly

With a significant portion of your web traffic coming from mobile devices your page has to display properly or it won’t convert. To make your landing page more effective, simplify, simplify, simplify.  Remember this is the first step in the conversation.  If they take the first step, there is no chance to show them all that you have to offer. You need to make the first step an easy one.  

  1. Keep the form simple.  Ask for only the information you absolutely must have. Remember they are typing from their phone. If you require too much information they are likely to abandon the form before they complete it.
  2. Single column layout.  Sidebars look great on a desktop, but on mobile devices they drop to the bottom of the page. So keep in mind vertical hierarchy as you design the form. 
  3. Make the call to action button very prominent. Everything gets smaller on mobile devices so make sure visitors can find the call to action button.

What’s Next? 

The landing page is the first step in your inbound marketing program. Once someone completes the conversion form be sure the rest of your house is in order. If you would like tolearn more about landing pages, email campaigns join us for the next Marketing Boot Camp.