Have you made these common landing page mistakes? Here’s how to correct them.

Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)

If you have a business website, then you should know the power of a great landing page.  Landing pages are one of the most powerful tools in your marketing artillery, and, if used correctly, can be one of your biggest referral sources for new business. Why?  Because they can be so specific to your user’s exact needs.  Plus you can have an (almost) unlimited number of them so that even if your general business offering is quite broad, you can create a new landing page for each product segment or service, and for each individual marketing campaign. 

Let’s say, for example, you have an online plant and gardening supplies business.  You probably have a homepage and an about page which describe your business as a whole, but you should also have individual landing pages for specific product segments, for example, a page dedicated to succulents, one for cacti, one for gardening tools, one for compost, and so on.  You may wish to go even further and have several landing pages on the individual types of succulents, cacti, etc. Not only will you be able to speak directly to your cacti enthusiasts about the detail they are interested in, making your page super-relevant for your audience, you will also be able to tie this into specific marketing campaigns around this topic, for example sharing a link to it on social media or paid advertising which directly targets this audience.  If I am a cactus fan I may scroll past social posts from you showing gardens and wellies but you are far more likely to spark my attention with a beautifully shot cactus picture and a helpful link to your landing page.

And if that wasn’t enough – landing pages are also excellent for your SEO.  They expand and enrich the content on your website, highlighting you as an industry expert with highly relevant content that people engage with.  And your chances of ranking on Google massively increase for a landing page when compared to your generic homepage, because you are able to target more specific or niche keywords.  The person who googles ‘buy garden supplies online’ is unlikely to be served your website when you are competing with the national garden centres on Google, but you stand a much better chance of being found if the person types ‘buy mammillaria cactus online’.

Our advice on landing pages is simple:

  1. Have a landing page
  2. Have lots of landing pages
  3. Make sure they are set up to WORK!

You would be amazed at how many businesses don’t take advantage of the potential referral source of landing pages.  Either they don’t have any at all, or they do have a couple but they are so poorly designed they are almost ineffective.  If you go to all the effort of driving users through to a landing page, it’s such a wasted opportunity if they leave as soon as they get there.  It’s a loss of income for you.

Read on for our list of the six most commonly-made landing page mistakes, and how you can avoid them.

1)    Your page layout is bad

A landing page will likely be the first time a user comes across your business and you need to be absolutely clear what you want them to focus on when they get there.  People have a staggeringly short attention span when they open a new web page (about 2-3 seconds) so don’t confuse them with a cluttered layout, multiple sections to read or dated design.  Play it safe with a clear, crisp design, plenty of white space, a single focus above the fold and clear font.

It’s a great idea to use a professionally-shot, high-quality image and a large font with a clear headline to present your key selling point.  But a poorly shot photo will do real damage and if any images you use aren’t optimised for a quick page load it will really affect the success of the page.  A slow-loading landing page is a killer – people will leave before they have even begun. So talk to your web designer about reducing image resolutions to fit the page size.

2)    Your CTAs aren’t optimised

A CTA (or ‘Call To Action’) is the action you want a user to take while they are on your page.  Most commonly this is a button (For example ‘read more’ or ‘shop now’) but it also may take other forms such as links to other areas of your website, a contact form, a voting button/survey or a link to your social media account.

If you don’t make it absolutely clear to your audience what action you want them to take, don’t be surprised if they take no action at all!

Make sure your CTA is clear and easy to find – this is usually above the fold when a page loads and it also may be repeated several times if it’s a longer page.  Make sure the message on the button or CTA is crystal clear and succinct, so people will know exactly what will happen when they click on it.  A contrasting colour is a good idea, it needs to fit in with your style guidelines but be clear and bold enough that it stands out at a glance, without people needing to thoroughly read the surrounding text.

Finally, the message of your CTA needs to be appropriate to your business and suit an audience who is just coming across your website for the first time.  For example, if your business sells something relatively low value such as stationary or beauty products, a ‘buy now’ CTA button may work well for you, as many people are willing to make an impulse purchase of £10-20.  If your products are higher value, however, perhaps you sell fine art or garden summerhouses, then a ‘buy now’ button may not work well for you as most people want to research possible suppliers and products thoroughly before they make their buying decision.  In this case, your CTA could be designed to entice the user to stay on your website longer (linking them through to your full product range, blog or about page), keep in touch with you (newsletter signup or social follow) or to order something free/low value such as a sample, or free brochure in the post.

3)    You’re not using video

Video is a massively under-used tool on landing pages.  If you have the means to produce one it can be a solid investment – research suggests that video can boost conversions by a whopping 80%.

The type of video you produce will depend on your industry – for some businesses a video of the owner speaking to camera to introduce their company will work well, for others it could be product demonstrations, before and after shots, customer reviews, or showcasing products.

If you do decide to use video on your landing page, either use a professional videographer to produce and edit it for you or, if you want to produce it yourself, try and ensure your lighting, sound quality and editing skills are up for the job.  A poorly shot video will probably do more harm than good.

4)    You’re not inspiring trust

The content of your landing page should be geared towards achieving the “know, like and trust” factor.  After reading it you want the user, who may not have even heard of you before now, feel like they know a little about you, like you, and trust you enough to take the next step – and click on your CTA.

A great way of inspiring trust very quickly is by presenting customer testimonials.  A glowing review will do wonders for your landing page, people respond much more positively to past customers reviews, rather than you talking yourself up – I’m sure you have used reviews on Amazon and other shopping websites to get a feel of the quality in real life.

But beware – there is a right way and a wrong way to display a testimonial.  Testimonials should be relevant to the product and well written – single word reviews (even if that word is ‘great!’) aren’t ideal, you need to find customers who can eloquently write a few sentences accurately describing the level of quality service/product they have had from you.  Go for at least 3 testimonials if you can, more is even better.  Some companies are tempted to write fake testimonials rather than get genuine ones from past customers (or maybe they don’t have any past customers?) but this always looks a bit fishy and the last thing you want to do is give potential customers suspicion that they can’t trust you.

Always, always, ensure your testimonials are genuine.  Keep a bank of recent, relevant testimonials to hand which can be used throughout your website and ensure that you display them with a name, a location (if you are B2C) and preferably if you are B2B, a photo, position/organisation and link to their LinkedIn profile or website so that people can follow up with them and see their work.

5)    You haven’t performed A/B testing

Maybe you have read this far and are pleased that your landing pages tick all these boxes and are looking pretty good – well done you!  I’m sure that these landing pages are already great converters for you.  You may still have room for improvement though if you haven’t yet carried out any A/B testing.

To get the most out of each of your landing pages, you should be regularly revisiting them and tweaking them to make updates and improvements.  By conducting A/B testing, you will be able to find out what version of your landing page most appeals to the audience by seeing how long they spend on the page, which CTA gets the most clicks, which one gets the best conversion rates and which one sees the fewest bounces.  This may sound a bit technical, but it’s really helpful to understand how all the different elements of a single page can come together to provide the most number of leads for you and your business.  (And bonus, the better the experience you provide, the better Google will score and rank your page so it’s also good for SEO).

A/B testing involves changing one element of your page at a time, for example, the headline, and running the two different versions at the same time.  You can then monitor your traffic to each and see which gets the best results.  There are loads of tools online such as HubSpot, VWO and Crazy Egg which can do this for you.  Apply this methodology continuously to your landing pages and you will see a steady improvement in how hard they work for you and how many leads they generate.

6)    You’re not maximising the social media opportunity

People may really love what they find on your landing page (and they should, when you’ve put in all the hard work to make sure it is exactly what they want to see) so why not make it as easy as possible for them to spread the word?  Most people when they create their landing page content, forget the all-important social sharing icons.  Add in the icons for the social sharing sites your target audience most commonly use, so that in one click they can post it on their social media pages and spread the word about your business.  This type of sharing also acts as an endorsement or testimonial of your business, even if that person has never bought from you, so you benefit from the digital word-of-mouth.  Make sure you also include an email share icon for people to send directly to their contacts via email.

If you implement all of the learning in this article, I have no doubt you will have killer landing pages that provide you with a significant increase in leads.  If you need a little help with getting all of this working on your website, please do contact us and we would be happy to help you set up landing pages that really convert.

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