A landing page is a place you send traffic when you really want some action. And no, this has nothing to do with Craig’s List personals.
It can be a sales page, an email opt-in page, a video landing page, or even a content landing page designed to rank well in search engines. As you might have guessed, there are a lot of ways to screw these up.
Here are five of the most common mistakes people make with their landing pages. More importantly, I’ll tell you how to avoid making them yourself.
1. Blowing the headline
Landing pages live or die by the quality of the headline. It’s your two-second chance to overcome the swift and brutal attention filters we’ve developed due to information overload and poorly-matched promises.
Often, a better headline alone will boost the effectiveness of your landing page, and even overcome some of the other mistakes below. Split-testing different headlines is relatively painless, and can bring you much higher conversions compared with multiple other tweaks.
2. Using your regular site design
While your typical sidebar and header approach to a blog post is fine, when it comes down to traffic hitting a landing page with a singular focus on specific action, all of that extraneous stuff causes confusion, distraction, and reduced conversions. Lose the clutter and create the cleanest page possible when you want some action.
3. Asking for more than one thing
The idea that more choices make people happier has been proven to be a psychological fallacy time and again. This “paradox of choice” reveals that when given multiple options, the decision ends up being not to choose at all.
An effective landing page asks for one specific action, and that’s it. And don’t forget to actually clearly ask for that one specific thing, which is an even bigger conversion killer if you don’t.
4. Ignoring basic aesthetics
Why is it when some people decide to ask for some action, they lose their minds on the appearance of the page? Bad fonts, garish colors, cheap highlighting, and silly clip art do not make for better conversions in most cases. What they do is crush your credibility.
While using your standard blog theme is distracting and confusing in the landing page context, there’s no need to become the typographical equivalent of a carnival barker, either. Great landing pages use fonts, colors, and visuals that are tailored specifically to the audience and action you desire, thereby enhancing the experience and boosting conversions.
5. Being lazy
Did you know that web users spend 80% of their time above the fold? Does that mean people won’t scroll down the page? No, it just means you can’t take it for granted that they will (instead of leaving).
Don’t be lazy about grabbing and holding attention. Don’t assume everyone instantly “gets” the benefit of your offer the way you do. Don’t overestimate your credibility. In short, don’t drink your own Kool-Aid. Think about it from their perspective, and you’ll realize you might not be all that (until you unequivocally prove you are with compelling copy).
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About the Author: Brian Clark is founder of Copyblogger and CEO of Copyblogger Media. Get more from Brian on Twitter.