13 Top Landing Page Mistakes

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A successful conversion starts with a great hook and ends with an offer that can’t be refused. However, more often than not, the majority of effort and budget is dedicated to obtaining that ad click, and the landing page it leads to is little more than an afterthought.

While this is great for the marketing consultant who you’re paying for each click, this doesn’t translate to customers either buying or signing up for your product or service.

The good news is that it’s not all that difficult to identify key mistakes made in a landing page, as we encounter numerous examples every time we venture online. If your are looking for more information you can learn how landing pages can fit into your marketing arsenal. Listed below are the 13 most common, and fixable, mistakes made:


1. Failure to impress

This could be the first time that your audience is viewing your product or service, which means it is crucial to create a positive impression when they arrive at the landing page. This first view needs to clearly introduce your product or service as an interesting and exciting proposition. Are your potential customers willing to spend more time to understand?

The most reliable assessment of this first impression is analysing the result of real visitors to your page. If the average time-on-page figure provided by Google Analytics is less than, say, 10-15 seconds, then it’s likely that visitors are leaving your site based on their first look at your landing page.

There are a few other quick checks you can do yourself to identify any potential issues: 

  • How much information is being communicated? The initial view should be simple and clean, with clear and concise messaging sharing your value proposition.
  • How modern or current does the site appear? If it looks like it was created some time ago then it’s unlikely your visitors will stick around to see if you’re still in business.
  • Is the product or service unique, or sufficiently differentiated from other providers?

2. Your value proposition is lacking

Your landing page needs to focus on the value proposition to the potential customer and satisfy the question of “What’s in it for me?”. It’s therefore important to not only clearly articulate the benefits of your product or service, but also ensure that your proposition is tailored to your target audience.

Key points to remember when writing your value proposition include:

  • Focus on your customer, not the details or technical specifications of your product.
  • Highlight the most significant benefit to your customer, and make sure the rest of your messaging aligns with this key proposition.
  • Use simple language and a verb to give your proposition life, such as “win”, “beat”, “get”, etc.

3. Inconsistency between advertisement and landing page

There is no quicker way to turn your audience off than leading a successful click to a completely unrelated page. Your visitor has chosen to find out about a certain product or service, so presenting a landing page on a completely different topic will seldom result in conversion, regardless of the merits of the actual product.

Similarly, there is limited success in overstating or over-promising in your advertisement and under-delivering on the actual product. Your aim should be to accurately communicate your product and target the right buyer from the first click. Try to maintain their interest and satisfaction throughout the purchase.

Consistency should be maintained by considering the following:

  • Keep descriptions of your product or service concise so that they can be used in both short-form advertising and as a headline on your landing page.
  • Maintain the same or similar language, tone, layout, colour scheme, font, etc. as much as possible.
  • Ensure the value proposition and branding aligns, to demonstrate that you’re confident in what you’re providing

If you are looking for further reading on the topic, learn how personalizing your advertising and landing pages are the next progression in digital marketing.


4. Poor site to mobile conversion

The rise of mobile and other handheld devices means that your customers are just as likely to visit your landing page through these avenues as they are from a laptop or PC. It is therefore crucial that your advertising and landing page is configured appropriately for all devices, to ensure both usability for your audience and maintain credibility for your product.

It’s particularly important to consider the types of users and the nature of activity that each device will be used for, and making sure that your advertising and landing pages is consistent. For example, the mobile user is more likely to be using their phone on the move, and therefore will have less appetite and ability to read much text or view complex images or videos. Conversely, the desktop viewer will likely have more time to investigate your product and service and require more detail to make their decision.

As mobile conversions are often created after a website is developed, listed below are key considerations to keep in mind:

  • Avoid too much text or any graphics and videos which slow loading the page
  • Ensure that everything is sized appropriately, i.e. images fit within the page, font size is large enough to read on a small screen, and the page doesn’t extend too far down, requiring excessive scolling
  • Simplify the “sign-up” or “buy” process as much as possible to make it easier to complete using your thumbs!

Craving more info? Find out here how you can increase your mobile conversions.


5. No clear target customer

No matter how witty your content, or how visually attractive your image or layout, there is no way that your advertisement or landing page will appeal to everyone. Find your niche!

Design of your advertisements and landing pages should consider the following to identify separate groups of individuals:

  • Key differentiators, such as gender, age, nationality
  • Social or financial demographic
  • Profession or industry

While it may seem counter-productive to sell the same product or service in multiple ways, the reasons behind a purchase will differ widely between groups, therefore highly relevant offers made to a smaller number of people will ultimately be more successful than vague or generic offers made to a greater population.


6. Text overload

No matter how simple your product or service, images are far more effective and efficient at communicating compared to text. Our brains interpret stories similar to the way they interpret real experiences, and images make for the best story as they are processed 60,000 times faster than text.

In addition to static images, it’s worth considering the use of videos or infographics to give your message some depth, however any visual stimulant will improve the structure of your page.

Discover what visuals you need on your landing page.


7. Inappropriate or irrelevant images

Before selecting images for your landing page, make sure to avoid images which are:

  • Irrelevant – as tempting as it may be to promote your product or service with flashy or luxurious images (think palm trees and sandy beaches), if these do not have any relevance to your product then you are just as likely to confuse your potential customer. Make sure you do include images of your product or service in action, as an image will explain exactly what you’re selling better than any written description.
  • Distracting – similar to irrelevant images, distracting images divert the attention of your customer from your call-to-action and they’re less likely to result in conversion 
  • Small or low quality – high resolution images which are easily viewed contribute to your effective messaging of a high-quality product.
  • Stock images – it’s important if you want your product or service to be seen as unique and worthy to your customer, then you need images which are unique and specific to your product.

Where possible, if you are able to use images of living things (think people, animals) then you are able to create emotion in your storytelling which will create a stronger connection with your customers than any inanimate object will achieve.


8. Slow page loading

Once you’ve landed on the optimum structure and most effective use of text and images, it’s important to note the impact this has on the speed of loading your landing page. Research has shown that if your page takes longer than five seconds to load, more than three quarters of potential customers will exit your page.

Test the speed of your site using tools such as Google’s PageSpeed Insights or Pingdom to obtain an honest appraisal of the speed of your site. This may be achieved through cleaning the underlying code of your site, minimising redirects, compressing images, and upgrading your hosting.


9. Complex or competing call-to-actions

A “call-to-action” or CTA is an instruction to your customer to act, such as to “sign-up” or “buy”. When used correctly, these give a clear message to your audience about what you are offering and how they can take action to accept your offer.

However, many sites complicate the use of CTAs by overpopulating with multiple options, which lead to general confusion about the right path to take. When faced with multiple options the customer needs to spend more time to consider your offer, and increases the likelihood that they will become bored or lose interest in your proposition.

A well-designed landing page will provide a single CTA near the top of the page, it will describe the action to be taken, and clearly articulate what the customer will receive.


10. Lengthy “sign-up” and “buy-now” forms

As tempting as it is to learn all there is to know about your new customer as soon as the respond to your CTA, it’s important that you don’t overwhelm them with lengthy “sign-up” or “buy-now” requirements. This is particularly important where your visitors respond via a handheld device, where you run the risk of losing your potential customer at the last hurdle.

A good opt-in form will stick to the basics necessary to complete the transaction, such as basic contact details and specifics of the product or service they are interested in.

There are other steps you can take to learn about your customer which are less intrusive, particularly at this crucial first step:

  • Consider Google Analytics and other software which can form an understanding of your customer based on how they interact with your advertisements, landing page, and wider site. This links back to creating targeted advertising and landing pages which appeal to specific groups of individuals, which gives you an insight into their lifestyles and interests without asking them outright.
  • Incentivize your audience to participate in providing their information, such as offering a prize or discount on your pricing. This initial financial impact will be repaid many times over if you’re able to achieve this first opt-in and retain the customer for future purchases.
  • Play the long-term game by learning about your customers over multiple interactions, which are more likely to help if you can enable a stress-free first opt-in.


11. No alternative opt-in offered

Even the best-designed sites with the most exciting and popular products are going to have visitors to their landing pages who choose not to opt-in. This may be due to a number of reasons, such as lack of time at that particular point in time to opt-in. Therefore it’s worth providing an alternative option to provide for further interactions with your visitor.

The quickest and simplest options could be to:

  • Obtain an email address or phone number for future communications
  • Give the visitor the opportunity to follow the company on Facebook, Instagram, or some other social media account
  • Create a simple log in via using their email address or social media profile 

12. Information gaps

While advertisements and landing pages are most effective when they are simple and to the point, some customers will require additional information to opt-in, particularly for higher value items and for more complex products and services.

Consider linking further pages to your landing page which fill these information gaps in a succinct and interesting way, which further engage your visitor and support your value proposition. This information could take the form of additional narrative of the technical specifications or detail of services provided, testimonials from customers, answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs), and additional images or videos of your product or service in action.


13. Failure to plan beyond the landing page

Once you’ve invested all that time and money attracting the attention of the customer through advertising and successfully obtaining that first opt-in, it’s important to maximise your return as much as possible. It’s much easier to repeat a sale to an existing customer than to attract new customers.

Common steps taken by successful companies include a mix of regular communication such as marketing emails, social media interactions, blogs and special offers for their customer base.

Finally, ensure that every other aspect of your relationships is as stress-free and satisfying as possible.

  • Fulfil your obligations as efficiently as possible. Ensure that products are shipped on a timely basis or that you follow up with your customer with additional information before they have time to wonder when you’ll be in touch.
  • Make sure that your product or service exceeds the expectations of your customer. This may be achieved by additional benefits received that you haven’t included in earlier information, or giving the customer a little something extra that they weren’t expecting.
  • Personalise your interactions wherever possible, from the way your product is packaged through to your written communications.
  • Give customers the opportunity to provide feedback, and take action to respond to and resolve any criticism. After all, the most effective and cost-efficient advertising will be through word-of-mouth from happy customers!

What common mistakes do you find on landing pages? And what advice would you give to make a landing page as appealing as possible. Add to the discussion below with your thoughts.

Posted 2 July, 2017


Copywriter, Content Writer, Proofreader, Marketer.

Dunja is the Content & Email Manager at Freelancer HQ (Sydney). She is an Oxford graduate, and is the mother of a pet parrot called DJ Bobo.

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