10 Deadly Landing Page Mistakes that are Costing You Conversions Nicci Troiani Getting visitors to your website is a chore, no doubt. But your hard work to build a social media following, rank for your top keywords, and develop a paid advertising strategy can be quickly squandered if your website isn’t doing it’s job to convert. So, how do you make sure that your landing pages are more than just a spot where potential customers and clients land when they click the link? Avoid these 10 deadly landing page mistakes that can kill your conversion rates: The Mistake: Sending All Traffic to Your Home Page If you’re sending all of your online traffic to your homepage, you’re missing out on a big opportunity to connect with more customers. Home page visitors arrive from all sorts of sources. They could be coming from an email, social media, google search, or even just by typing your web address in their browser. Home page visitors are also at various stages of the sales process. They could be a customer, a prospect doing research, or an opportunity who is ready to talk to your sales team. Because of these variables, home page messaging is a bit more general. Here’s an example of Life Time Fitness’s home page. It includes everything a visitor might be looking for, from programs & events, to finding a club, to shopping in their store. Life Time Fitness also has an Adwords campaign for the keyword “yoga classes.” They know that visitors from their “yoga classes” Adwords campaign are interested in yoga and want to sign up for a class. Life Time Fitness doesn’t waste time talking about their cardio equipment or juice bar on their Adwords landing page. Instead, they focus on getting visitors to sign up for a free intro yoga class: When running a marketing campaign, you know a lot more about where visitors are coming from and where they might be in the sales process. Instead of sending all traffic to your home page, create individual landing pages for each marketing campaign. With a dedicated landing page for each marketing channel or campaign, you can have a more relevant conversation, smoothing the path to conversion. The Mistake: Inability to Track Lead Source Did the ad you ran in your local paper generate any leads? Did you bring in any customers from your Facebook ad campaign? Without lead source tracking, you have no way of knowing the ROI of your marketing campaigns. Creating a unique landing page for each campaign is a simple, straightforward way to track the lead source of your prospects. With lead source data, you can see which campaigns are producing the most customers and how much you spent to acquire those customers. When testing a new lead channel or marketing campaign, you’ll also know right away how they’re stacking up to past efforts. With lead source tracking, you can more intelligently allocate spend to the channels that produce the most customers at the lowest cost. The Mistake: Failing to Identify the Intent of the Page The job of a landing page is to get visitors one step closer to becoming customers – but they can’t take that step unless you’re clear about what they should do next. Your landing pages should do more than inform visitors, they should help to continue the conversation. A straight-forward call to action on each landing page will help visitors take the next step in your sales process. Examples of a call to action are: Demo our software Download the ebook Schedule a consultation Start your free trial Buy now Sign up Create a new account Access the report Listen to the podcast There are a lot of distractions online, so the more quickly you can help prospects progress in the sales conversation, the more likely they are to convert. The Mistake: Messaging That’s Misaligned Each campaign has its own messaging and context, and if you aren’t adjusting your landing page content, your visitors are more likely to bounce. For example, if you’re running a Facebook ad to your Facebook followers for a free consultation, you could adjust your copy to: “Thanks for liking us on Facebook! Fill out the form to claim your free report.” This works much better than directing people who click on your Facebook ad to your home page where they may have to hunt for what they’re looking for. Relevant messaging can reinforce the content in your banner ad, email, or print ad, letting visitors know that they’re in the right place, helping them to convert. The Mistake: Distracting Navigation Too many links in the header of your landing page can distract from the main action you want visitors to take. A landing page cluttered with links in the top header and sidebar pulls attention away from the main call to action. Try sticking with just a homepage link in the main navigation. GoToWebinar does a nice job of simplifying their Adwords landing page. They remove the top navigation in favor of a logo link to their home page and a sales number to call. This helps funnel visitors into the main call-to-action of the page – sign up for a free account. GoToWebinar’s home page design GoToWebinar’s landing page with clean top navigation The Mistake: Absence of a Form Before you can convert a website visitor into a customer, you need to be able to contact them. A form on your landing page is essential to getting the conversation started with potential customers. Here’s an example of a landing page form from Kissmetrics: Landing page form tip: Align the ask with the offer. If the intent of your landing page is to download an ebook, filling out more information than a name, company and email address may deter prospects from downloading the offer. However, if the offer is for a free sales consultation, you can ask for a bit more data – like industry or number of employees for example – to help qualify leads upfront. To know for sure what works, track your forms and test. For instance, if many people are visiting your landing page, but few are completing the form, it could be that the offer and the data you’re asking for are not aligned. The Mistake: Self-Centered Copy Take yourself out of the equation, and put the user first. “What’s in it for me?” is what every visitor is asking when they hit your landing page. For example, if you’re a manufacturing company, you might want to talk about how you’re the fastest parts producer in your industry. But before you take that approach, ask yourself, “so what?” Instead of hearing about how you provide the fastest turn-around, you can tap into your prospect’s pain-point of delayed projects. Speed is nice, but the benefit to your customer is what really matters to them – never missing a project deadline again. Another example is Square. They could have listed all of the features of their software. Instead, they make it all about the user with one main benefit – start selling today. The Mistake: Taking Too Long to Get to the Point The faster you can get to the point and convey the benefits to visitors, the more likely they are to follow through on the call to action. “The fold” is that imaginary line on a webpage where visitors need to start scrolling. Your most compelling content should be accessible above the fold. At the same time, don’t try to cram everything above the fold. Use the space above the fold to hook visitors and magnify your call to action. Use the rest of the page to provide supporting details. image from http://www.sitepoint.com/retain-users-good-design/ For example, say you own a gym and are advertising 30% off memberships to local businesses. Above the fold on your landing page might have your logo, the heading “Sign Up Today to Save 30% on Employee Memberships,” a video that calls out the main benefits of signing up with your gym, a grid that shows monthly and yearly savings, and a form to capture sign-ups. Below the fold might include more detailed content, like a list of amenities, additional pricing details, and testimonials from current customers. The Mistake: Lack of Social Proof You can have stellar web copy, clean design, and an enticing call to action, but if you can’t build trust right away, visitors aren’t going to convert. Authentic customer reviews, testimonials, and even tweets lend credibility to your brand. For instance, Freshbooks uses customer testimonials and social proof from major publications to add credibility to their landing page. The Mistake: Not Following Up Once you do the hard work of getting visitors to your landing page and convincing them to convert, you want to make sure you give them every chance of becoming a customer. Integrating your landing pages with a small business CRM can help you increase the number of leads you turn into customers. Set up a follow-up workflow for each of your new leads so you can nurture them into customers – even if they aren’t ready to buy today. Creating a landing page that converts to sales may sound complicated, but with a little guidance and a few simple tricks, conversion rates will soar. Take a good hard look at your landing pages to make sure you’re avoiding these costly mistakes – and squeezing the most ROI out of your marketing campaigns.