This is a guest post by James Scherer. James is a Content marketer at Wishpond, and Landing Page Conversion expert. You can contact James @JDScherer.
This article will dive into five fatal landing page errors you might be making and how you can amend these errors for landing page success online.
Landing Page Error #1: More than one Call To Action
The whole point of your landing page is to encourage a single conversion. In fact, a landing page (by definition) is a page with a singular objective.
Confusion over this matter is the cause of the most common mistake in landing pages around the web: multiple CTA’s.
It’s a tempting mistake to make, as many newcomers to the landing page scene can’t help but think “More calls to action equal a higher chance of engagement!” The issue is this: more calls to action actually equal more distractions, not more conversions.
Here’s what a struggling landing page might look like:
Landing Page Calls to Action
Multiple buttons for the same conversion aren’t necessarily a bad thing (test it for yourself). The problem arises when you include multiple links with different conversion goals.
Believing that a CTA button to another landing page will double the chance of engagement is a mistake. All it will do is dilute (and decrease) your overall conversion rates.
This is especially true if you’re running campaign-specific landing pages (like a landing page specific to an online advertisement). Trying to drive ad traffic to the rest of your website or other landing pages will dilute that traffic and increase bounce rate.
Landing Page Error #2: Stock Photos
Without a graphic designer, professional photographer or backlog of awesome images, it can be tempting to go the stock route with your landing page images- particularly with the many stock image sites available.
Images do improve Landing page performance, however stock images can actually hurt conversions on your site.
Why are stock images bad for your page’s conversions?
Stock Photos increase a page’s bounce rate by 30%.
- Reduced credibility: Traffic to your brand’s landing pages need to form a good first impression. Your image is the primary reason for a good perception of your brand. Stock images (being the first thing people see) have a terrible effect on people’s initial estimation of your business’ credibility.
- Unable to relate: We relate far easier to people who look like us than we do models or stock images. While models can be effective in retail (as we want to be like the people sporting a business’ products), they work against the objectives of B2B and SaaS companies by effectively alienating the consumer. Stock images don’t work for either business type.
- Lack of Effort: Many possible customers are informed enough to know that stock images are far easier to find than real-world images or “real-people” photos. They equate that kind of laziness with a general lack of professionalism and assume your entire business is run in the same way.
Landing Page Error #3: Asking too Much
Personal details are still a valuable commodity, be cognizant of what information you are asking for on landing pages, and how you are asking for it.
Landing Page Ask vs. Give
It’s essential you balance your landing page’s “ask” with your landing page’s “give”. Basically, the amount of form fields you require leads to fill out should be directly proportional to what you’re offering.
For instance, most ebooks, case studies, and reports ask leads to share a name and email address. Webinars require registrants to provide an email address and perhaps “job title” or “sector you’re in”. Whereas conferences can solicit much more information, in addition to a fee.
Here’s an example of a sign-up form which may be asking a bit too much for what they’re offering:
Offer vs. Segmentation
Another essential ratio for LPO is “offer vs segmentation”.
Your marketing team often works closely with your sales team to optimize your sales funnel. Perhaps surprisingly, it turns out you should never be closer than when optimizing your landing page’s entry forms.
Your sales guys (and gals) will find more success with a lead when they know a lot about them. They can call them by name, talk about that lead’s specific frustrations in business, prioritize leads based on job title (or size of business) and a hundred other variables that increase close rates.
It may be worth sacrificing your conversion rate in order to generate more information from the leads you do get. Getting 100 leads from a landing page and closing them at a rate of 50% is far better than getting 300 leads but only closing them at a rate of 10%.
Sometimes including more entry form fields in your landing pages will (while decreasing conversion rates) actually result in more sales down the line.
Remember however, that the offer vs segmentation ratio that works best for your business is something you need to test, as each sales team works differently.
Landing Page Error #4: No Outside Voice
To be entirely honest with you, customer testimonials, trust symbols and brand logos are my favorite elements of landing page optimization. I’ve seen them have huge effect on a business’ online success, and missing out on them can be huge mistake.
Why Customer Testimonials?
- They increase the visual nature of the page, making it more appealing (and not with stock images!)
- They feature people that your landing page traffic can relate to, meaning the rest of your landing page’s message will be more trustworthy as well
- They can be detail-oriented and specific, giving KPI’s and case-study-like metrics in real-world terms relatable to your target market (i.e. “Our business boosted our site visitors by 63% in two weeks – resulting in an ROI of 312%. Fantastic!”)
Why Trust Symbols and Brand Logos?
- Landing page traffic completely unfamiliar with your brand will start to trust you when they see a business (or authority) they trust has trusted you in the past
- Seeing the respectable brand logos you’ve worked with in the past means they’re not the first fools to fall into a ponzi scheme or disreputable business
Customer testimonials (and trust symbols/brand logos) are the new word-of-mouth marketing, something we all know has always been the most effective form of brand marketing possible. There’s nothing better than a previous customer or previous brand willing to stand up and tell your possible clients “Trust me, this business is worth engaging with. I tried them myself and couldn’t’ be happier with the results.”
Landing Page Error #5: Poor Color Contrast
Colors impact your landing page visitors unconsciously and can have a huge effect on the success you find online.
- The right amount of color contrast can focus your visitor’s attention where you want it
- Too much contrast can increase bounce rates or even outright scare your landing page traffic
- The right colors can calm your landing page visitor, ensuring they have a good first impression of your business
- The right colors can elicit an action, encouraging landing page visitors to “act now” rather than later or not at all
- The right colors can appeal to your target market and turn off visitors who you don’t actually want as customers
Which color (s) you use will depend on your site and category, continually test your landing pages and colors to optimize performance.
Landing Page Color Facts
Here are a few things to keep in mind about Landing Page colors:
- Purple is the favorite color of a large minority of women, but 0% of men
- Brown is the favorite color of a large minority of men, but 0% of women
- Blue is the favorite color of the majority of both genders and is always a good one to fall back on
- Men respond well to red and black whereas women prefer softer colors
- Youthful and energetic can be communicated with blues, greens, and oranges
- Sophisticated and professional can be communicated with greys, whites and blacks
Color contrast can actually encourage a conversion when used intelligently (and encourage a bounce if used badly).
CTA Button Best Practices
- A CTA button that contrasts well with the rest of the page is easier to see and attracts the eye better – resulting in higher conversion rates
- A CTA button that contrasts poorly (or is visually glaring) with the rest of the page increases the chance of traffic
- Contrast between images and text draws attention to both, and ensures that people are focusing on what you want them to
- Utilizing colors that contrast well with each other (like grey and blue, or orange and purple) increase the visual appeal of your landing page, making it look more professionally done and trustworthy
Remember that all Landing Page elements needs to be tested in order to find what works best for your business and your specific target market. Continually test your pages to optimize performance and conversions.
Have you found unexpected success with your landing pages after changing a certain element? Start the conversation below!