Your company probably has a website, but are you also making use of landing pages? If you’re not, you’re missing out on a proven conversion tool. A landing page is essentially a single page dedicated to one product or service. Your reasons for having a landing page may be to sell something, get your visitor to start a free trial or create an account, promote brand awareness, or grow your email list. No matter what you’re hoping to accomplish, the most important aim of your landing page is to have a purpose that’s clear to your visitors. Visitors usually arrive at a landing page by clicking on a pay-per-click ad or a link from your website. If they’ve arrived, you know they have at least some interest in what you’re selling. The trick is to have an effective landing page that gets the results you want. Of course, that’s easier said than done. Here are eight reasons why your landing pages may not be working:
1. Your words are all wrong.
You have little time to capture your visitor’s attention on your landing page, so make your copy shine. The first thing people see is your headline. It’s important to make this interest-grabbing, but it also needs to have a clear, understandable message. Your headline should match the feel and message of wherever your visitor clicked over from, whether that was a pay-per-click ad, a blog post, or another source. The words you choose for your headline need to resonate; if you select the right words, you’ll get your visitor to read more of your landing page copy. On average, 8 out of 10 people read headline copy, but, unfortunately, only 2 out of 10 continue reading the rest of the page. The point of your headline is to get your visitor to keep reading your landing page and eventually click on your call-to-action (CTA) button. Effective headlines should be short and punchy and focus on the benefits to your potential customer. The little details are important as well: Use title case, readable fonts, and easy-to-read colors for your text. Aside from a weak headline, some marketers make the mistake of putting too much text on their landing pages. In this digital age, people tend to scan and will be put off by large blocks of text. Remember your priority is to have a clear message; you don’t want your CTA lost in the shuffle.
2. You have an ineffective CTA.
No matter how punchy your text and gorgeously designed your landing page, if no one clicks on your CTA (call-to-action) button, your efforts were for naught. Your aim is to get your visitor to click that button. To do so, try to keep your CTA above the fold (what people see on a page without having to scroll). Website visitors have notoriously short attention spans and won’t put much effort into figuring out what action you’d like them to take. Don’t confuse them with competing CTAs on your landing page; ask for one specific thing. The design of your CTA button matters as well. Make sure the CTA is big, and use directional cues, such as arrows or a person pointing or looking at the button. Utilize color to make it stand out on the page. Highly contrasting colors work well, combined with whitespace around the button to make it pop. Text on the button needs to be to-the-point, easy to understand, and action-oriented. Use your CTA to get your visitor to take the action you want. In the example below, there’s no way visitors can miss online-music-streaming-company Spotify’s bright pink CTA button. It’s just begging to be clicked.
3. There’s no demonstrated value.
People will quickly leave your landing page if they can’t readily see how it will benefit them. It is not the place to sing the virtues of your company. A landing page needs to be all about your visitor and how you can help them. You want to offer a solution to your potential customer’s problem. A landing page is where your company’s unique value proposition (UVP) should shine. Tell your potential customer what makes your brand so special, and differentiate your products and services from the competition.
4. It doesn’t look good.
As with everything on the Internet, appearance counts. A boring page will lose visitors quickly, and there is an art to designing a powerful landing page. It’s important to use harmonious colors, maintain an uncluttered feel, and use an image or video for added interest. You’d expect a photo company to have a relevant, eye-catching image on their landing page, and Blurb does not disappoint. Their headline is simple: “MAKE A PHOTO BOOK,” followed by a supporting headline, “Pictures tell a story words never could. Tell yours with a professional-quality photo book.” The picture of the frazzled new parents peering out of the photo book drives the message home.
5. It lacks trustworthiness.
The visitor who found their way to your landing page may not know much about your company, so it’s important that you convey trustworthiness—and quickly. You can do this with social proof. People often don’t want to be the first to try something, so if they see others have already tested out a product or downloaded something, they’ll be more inclined to try it for themselves. You can demonstrate social proof through customer testimonials—either written or video—showing the number of users or downloads of your product or the number of social shares, such as tweets or likes. You can also showcase your credentials and even feature badges, demonstrating that your site is secure or that your company is accredited by entities such as the Better Business Bureau. Wix.com, a website development company, has a clean, focused landing page that elegantly displays social proof by claiming that 72 million people have already used Wix to create their websites.
6. You have cluttered navigation.
Your landing pages should be free from distractions, so get rid of any extraneous elements to keep the pages simple and clean. Elements like sidebars and headers, which are necessary for your website, have no place on a landing page. You want to keep your message front and center and not risk visitors hopping to another page. Nothing should detract from the message of your landing page.
7. It’s not mobile-friendly.
Research from GlobalWebIndex found that 80% of online adults own a smartphone, and nearly 50% own a tablet. These days you cannot afford to ignore this huge sector of potential customers, and your landing pages need to reflect these users. To make your landing pages mobile-friendly, it’s essential that they’re easy to navigate (even with one finger). Your visitor shouldn’t have to scroll in search of your CTA. Also, be sure to use short forms that don’t utilize a lot of drop-down menus that can be cumbersome on a mobile device. You can also offer the option for people to sign up using their social login accounts, such as Facebook and Twitter.
8. You never test your results.
As with all marketing strategies, you need to test and tweak accordingly. A landing page is not a one-and-done proposition. You’ll need to continuously test what is and isn’t working. Try changing one element at a time to see what produces the best results. Play around with different copy, colors, fonts, images—anything that can be altered. You may be surprised at how the smallest variation can produce big results. It’s not as simple as build-it-and-they-will-come. People aren’t going to magically stumble upon your landing page. You need to entice people to end up there. If no one’s arriving on your landing page, then reevaluate your pay-per-click ads, your website, or anywhere else from which traffic is being directed. Of course, capturing your potential customers’ interest enough to get them to your landing page is only the first step. Don’t waste the opportunity once they’re there.