6 Common Landing Page Mistakes that Destroy Your Conversions
Landing pages are a place where all conversion optimization experts seem to focus their sights. However, it isn’t always easy to operate one.
CRO people can’t be experts in all areas, such as design, SEO, marketing psychology etc. The know-it-all unicorns are a fantasy and we all know it.
Sometimes though, mistakes slip through the cracks and land on the pages and end up turning visitors away. That is why I narrowed down 6 common landing page mistakes that destroy conversions with tips how to fix them.
1. Blurring the features or benefits line
Posting features of your product or service yields no value to the customer. Make sure you understand your customers and your customers understand the benefits.
Everyone wants their product to have a lot of features, but that makes the product difficult to sell. It is even worse when a feature is a benefit in itself.
This is basic, but still for some the border between feature and benefit is blurry.
As a customer, you want to know immediately what you get out of the deal. Benefits sell, as HelpScout boasts.
When you go to the gym, you don’t go for the joy of exercising. You go because you enjoy the end result: weight loss, getting ripped, better stamina etc. Because of the benefit, people start to enjoy the process in itself. Gyms don’t advertise 8 Squat Racks just for YOU!, but they make sure to scream Get that beach body you want.
But, there’s another side of the story. For example, if you advertise a sales CRM software, a feature “expressive timeline with detailed data for large teams” sounds great for an expert aware of the benefit. That person is already searching for features that will match his or her needs.
It’s a tricky game – you need to verify whether your target audience already knows the benefit or not. CRO professionals looking for A/B software will be skeptical towards a value proposition that says “Choose the most profitable design changes with simple tests,” as they already know what A/B tests are for. They want a feature, e.g. a possibility of filtering out specified visitor segments.
2. Inconsistent personality on the site
Brand design and language that is inconsistent in its personality results in confusion. The bias cannot be controlled and brings bad experiences.
“Our Sign-up page sucks,” a CEO yelled. “Let’s hire someone who’ll do it right,” a CEO thought.
The “expert” was told to work only on the sign-up page, did what she or he had to and left with a wad of cash in their pocket.
What’s wrong in this scenario? The “Too Many Cooks” syndrome. If you do not have frameworks that cover your brand, chances are that professionals won’t get you. They might mess up the continuity of your message as a result.
Most fresh brands and startups do not know who they want to be yet. Adding external aides to the process of growth can mess up consistency.
Look at the examples below – it’s an exaggeration, but we’ve seen that process happen already.
A potential customer will be surprised by the sudden change of tone on the register page. This might throw them off the track completely: “Is this still the same page? Some of it looks familiar…”
Consistency goes a long way. Your CTA’s suffer from the lack of it – 50% of pages might offer “Free trial” CTA’s, whereas the other half boasts “Free 14 day plan”. These communicate two different things, even though the end result is the same. It doesn’t matter what you think, it’s what your customer or visitor understands.
Establish a consistency plan both in language and design. Make sure your customers know where they are, who is speaking to them, and what they can do.
3. Disregarding data
Track data on people coming to your website and learn what they do to spot mistakes and conversion opportunities.
Most of you have Google Analytics set up, good. It’s a necessity to keep track of traffic and activities on your page.
You see how many people enter the landing page, what’s the bounce rate, what’s the conversion rate, stuff like that. We all love it – I do.
But imagine you have a high bounce rate on your landing page – what’s your solution for that? You’ll start a thorough analysis of every element? Start A/B testing everything that’s possible? That’s inefficient.
That’s what I would do a year ago, but after I learned how to combine Google Analytics with our tool, I stopped wasting time. Here’s why.
Google Analytics only shows you that an event happened, but Session Recordings show you exactly where it happened and why it happened.
Someone left? I watch a recording showing what that person did before leaving and where they left. Every click, every mouse scroll, all events that took place. After watching few recordings we can notice a pattern and a perfect hypothesis for an A/B Test.
A/B tests are a must in landing page design, but coming up with hypotheses is difficult. That’s why recordings are so valuable: they provide you with real data with real problems on your website.
There’s a baffling case study that I keep mentioning because it’s so simple. Guys called Getbadg.es used our tool to find out why people dropped out of their sign-up form. Recordigns shown them that people were clicking on the Register button in the navigation when filling out the form. Visitors thought it will finish the register process. It only refreshed the page, so frustrated they were leaving like crazy. Getbadg.es removed that button and their conversions spiked up by 40%.
Would you be able to connect the dots that the bounces happened once people were entering the register link FROM the register page? That takes a lot of guesswork – Session Recording done that for them. Simple and clean. Go to our sign-up and get a 14 day trial, so you can do it yourself.
Discover how people behave on your landing page. This is the only way you can come up with efficient improvements.
4. You want too much from them
Do not place too many different CTA’s or banners at once or it will make your visitors confused. Do not require too much information in sign-up forms.
Shotgunning your visitors with banners and CTA’s will not work at all. The logic “the more they see, the more are likely to click in something” is invalid.
Don’t tell me it’s obvious – this mistake is still committed by many. Look at the example below:
It doesn’t look too bad, it actually looks familiar. Even though the offer is ridiculous. But, there are three problems right there: the three CTA’s that require different actions.
You can click:
- Sign up – it means you will set up an account in that service,
- Free trial – it means you will go on a free trial. Do I need an account for that? Or does it mean it will register me a free one that goes on free trial immediately?
- Cheap booze – does it mean I will get a discount? Do I need an account for that? Does it start an account? Does it start an account with a free trial and 30% discount?
One click, plenty of questions.
Steve Krug with his book “Don’t make me think” advocates that we shouldn’t force users to make too many decisions at once. Even though the result for you will be the same – a sign-up, to users it looks completely different.
Why should we simplify choices? The unique framework of websites made people think in a different way – let’s refer to what Steve wrote.
A potential user in search-mode enters a website with one goal in mind and is ready to take steps to reach that goal. Every page is one step. They want to take minimum steps towards their goal.
Placing more steps per page makes them branch out – users begin to think which branch will take them to their goal. From your side, as a manager of the website, it doesn’t matter – just start going, you’ll reach your goal no matter what branch you take, we optimized it!
But the user doesn’t know that and that makes them confused. It’s easy to avoid. Design your pages so your users will have to take only one step per page towards their goal.
5. You do not show your product right
Showcase your product on the landing page – once you do it, make sure it’s visible and not vague.
Nobody wants to buy a cat in the bag. The ad for the cat might read that it’s the most sophisticated feline in the world that is capable of performing tricks. But without a picture of said cat there still will be that thought in the back of your head – what if it’s hideous? Maybe it’s dead?
But does it show at least one menu it designed? Does it show the dashboard? Does it show what you get?
Not at all.
A potential client would want to see these things even before registering for a free trial. That makes them take one step less. What if the menus are in reality ugly? What if the dashboard is so complicated that learning it is not worth it? The questions pile up and make a client distant from the purchase.
It’s rare to find a landing page without a product screenshot. However, it’s easy to find landing pages with screenshots that don’t show anything valuable. It’s slapped on there just to tick it off the “to-do” list.
Treat your landing page like a display in a store and show what you offer. Look at your current screens and ask yourself “Does it show what we have?”
6. You disregard testimonials
Include testimonials from successful clients and show their brand logos. Update testimonials to show continuous success of your product.
To avoid cluttering up the design, client testimonials are somewhere down below the fold. It’s bad, as they are an element of a landing page that is one of the best ways to convince people to use your service.
Your potential customers can relate to problems that your clients faced and solved with your tool. Someone had a problem with SEO and you have an example that solved it? Great! The potential client will look at the testimonial and consider it as a solution to their problem. You’ll become a means to achieve the solution, thus a necessity.
Show your customer success stories. Don’t make them vague, testimonials such as “It was great working with you, such a nice and lovely experience” are completely pointless. Remember, show a problem and a solution in a quick way.
Don’t just slap some copywriting next to a stock face without a real name. It doesn’t work and shows your lack of credibility.
Remember, testimonials are powerful and you should capitalize on them. If your product is good, then it’s self-sufficient marketing.
So here they are, 6 most common landing page mistakes. The terrible 6. They are out there and nobody wants to do anything with them. It hurts conversions and makes you lose money. All it takes is realization that you need to improve.
My final advice is: go to your page and think. Think if you touch any of the mistakes. If you do, fix that.
PS. Start recording your website if you have no idea what to improve. That’s a great start. Find the sign-up button or link and do it.