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7 Landing Page Mistakes to Avoid

| September 28, 2015
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I have a question for you.

And I want you to be honest with yourself.

Have you talked talked to an end user of your website, product, or service in the last week?

If you’re like most people, you probably haven’t. You’re probably only talking to other people in your company (most most likely the people who sit near you).

And if that’s the case, you’re working in an echo chamber. You’re assuming the world’s a certain way, but you have a really biased perspective.

And that’s unfortunate.

Talking to your customers and prospects will help you understand their needs. And if you’re not listening, then you’re missing out on valuable insights that will help you design landing pages that convert.

In this webinar with Tim Ash, founder of SiteTuners, we talked about the top 7 landing page mistakes he sees people making, and how you can avoid them. Here’s what he shared with us.

1. Unclear call-to-action

The question your visitor is wondering is, “What am I supposed to do on this page?” And when they land on your page, it should be immediately obvious.

landing-page-mistakes-cta

Not only should the CTA clearly state what they should do and what will happen when they do it, it should also be easy to spot!

2. Too many choices

The common belief is that more choice is better. But here’s the thing: it’s only good in specific circumstances.

If you really care about something and you’re willing to invest time in a discovery process, then more choice is good. For example, finding movies on Netflix or discovering new music on Pandora. Those are things that we want to do.

But in general, we live in an attention economy and too many choices actually kills our ability to make a decision.

landing-page-mistakes-choice

Sorting through all of those choices and figuring out what to do is hard on our brain. Limiting the number of choices you give to your visitors makes it easier for them to choose. Like Steve Krug says, “Don’t make me think.”

3. Asking for too much information

If you ran a brick and mortar store and a potential customer walked in, would you ask them if you could hold their credit card while they shop? Probably not.

Or let’s say you were in a bar, would you walk up to a total stranger and say, “Hey, can I have your phone number?” It probably wouldn’t work very well.

Why wouldn’t it work? Because you haven’t built any trust with that person, and you don’t have the right to ask for financial information or telephone numbers that early in the relationship.

And yet we’re all guilty of doing that sometimes.

landing-page-mistakes-too-much-info

We ask for way more information on our forms than we actually need. Before you add any form fields ask yourself this question: is this information absolutely necessary to complete the current transaction?

4. Too much text

Nobody reads on the web. And if you want higher conversion and retention of information, get rid of as much text as possible.

Let’s look at this from the perspective of your visitors. When they land on your page, they’re asking a simple question: “Do you really expect me to read all this?”

landing-page-mistakes-read

Instead of making your visitors read a wall of text, only include the most important information to get them to take the desired action.

And remember: the human brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text. Including relevant images on your landing page will help you communicate more effectively with your visitors.

5. Not keeping your promises

Most of the mistakes we’re talking about happen on your landing page. But this one is about what happens before they get there.

People don’t just magically show up on your landing page, they get there from somewhere else: a social media post, a search engine result, a PPC ad, or any number of different places.

And that means by the time they get to your landing page they’ve already formed expectations. The problem is this: there’s often a big disconnect between what visitors think they’re going to get, and what they actually get.

If the thing you deliver on your landing page doesn’t match the expectations they developed upstream, they’re going to end up disappointed.

But they have an expectation that gets set, and unfortunately, there’s often a big disappointment. There’s a disconnect between what they thought they were going to get, and what you give them.

6. Visual distractions

Every extra element you add to the page decreases the importance of everything else on the page. By minimizing distractions, you increase attention to what’s most important.

Back in 2009, Twitter used to ask users to take 7 different actions on their homepage. Here’s what it looked like:

twitter-2009

Even though you could do all these things on Twitter’s homepage, they really only wanted you to do two things: sign up or sign in.

One of the ways they’ve increased their conversion rates over the years was to remove all of the extraneous elements and really focus on driving the two primary user behaviors that matter to them. Here’s what their homepage looks like in 2015:

twitter-2015

From your visitors perspective, they’re asking: “What am I supposed to look at here?” Get rid of any visual distraction that would prevent someone from taking the action you want them to take on your landing page.

7. Lack of trust

In real life, you can look at a person, see how they’re dressed, talk to them, and interact with them over time.

But our visitors don’t have that luxury.

The people who interact with our landing page are completely anonymous, and they make first impressions of us in 1/10th of a second.

That means you have to establish trust and credibility right off the bat. The best way to do this is through social proof, testimonials, professional design, and by consistently delivering useful information to your visitors over time.

What next?

Well, if you want to learn exactly how to build trust online, eliminate visual distractions, optimize your forms, and create high-converting call-to-action buttons, then check out this free on-demand webinar with Tim Ash, the founder of SiteTuners.

Tim will break down exactly how to fix these mistakes, and give you before and after examples to illustrate what to do. Click here to get access now.