Friday, 22 May 2015

4 Stupid Mistakes You’re STILL Making On Your Landing Page

Are you still making these landing page mistakes? Image by Brandon 
Grasley via Flickr.
Believe it or not, many of the world’s most aesthetically beautiful 
landing pages fail miserably when it comes to conversion. Why? 
Because when you focus too much on design and not enough on your 
customers, it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture and fall into 
common conversion-killing traps.
In this post, I go through four of the worst mistakes you can make on 
your landing page, with real-world examples. Fixing even one of these 
mistakes should result in a serious conversion rate improvement – so 
let’s get started!

1. Not showing the product

Let’s take a look at this landing page for iMenuPro – an app that allows 
restaurant owners to design menus online:
Click for full-length landing page.
It’s a nice enough page, right? Solid design, pretty engaging content 
and it even has a bit of personality. But there’s one crucial thing 
missing: they never show the product.
iMenuPro is a menu designer, yet we never see any actual menus 
that have been designed with the tool. Believe it or not, this is an 
incredibly common mistake.
If this seems like a huge oversight to you, it should. Neglecting to 
show your product is the #1 cardinal sin of landing page design, and 
here’s why: humans aren’t just visual learners, they’re visual 
purchasers. 'Do you show & tell? If I can’t see myself using your 
product, I can’t see myself buying it.'

If I can’t see your product or what it does, how in the world am I 
supposed to want it? Imagine trying to buy a car that has only been 
verbally described to you.

The solution

Show your product up-front and clearly. Make it the hero shot of your 
page. And when possible, show your product in action.
This technique, called context of use, helps show prospects how your 
product works and helps them envision themselves using it:

This is precisely the reason that ShamWow has become a household 
name – they show their product in action with real people, in real 
situations you can relate toShowing and telling will help you convert browsers into customers.

2. Not explaining what you do

It’s all too easy to forget one of the main purposes of your landing page:
educating your prospects.
Many prospects who visit your landing page know nothing about you, 
your company or what it is that you do. It’s your landing page’s job 
to fill in the blanks. When you don’t do that, you get a page like this:
Click for full-length landing page.
Marketing Genesis is a paid seminar for aspiring marketers – or, at 
least, that’s what I think it is. They never actually say.
If you carefully read a few hundred words into the text, you’ll 
eventually infer what Marketing Genesis is, but it takes some effort. 
They’re assuming that I know something about their business, but 
I don’t. They make this same mistake dozens of times throughout 
this page:
The main headline on the page tells me to “Register Now,” but I don’t 
know what I’m registering for yet.
The CTA asks me to click for tickets, but again, what am I getting 
tickets to? They even assume that I know where the event is taking 
place (hint: I don’t).
If you’re thinking, “how could someone possibly forget those things 
on a page?”, you should know that this sort of thing happens with 
shocking frequency.
When you’re elbow-deep in the goings-on of your own company, it’s 
easy to forget what it’s like to not know about your company.

The solution

When in doubt, treat your clients as though they know truly nothing 
about you.Explain what you do, why you’re better than your 
competition and how your product can improve your potential 
customers’ lives.The people at Webflow do a brilliant job of this – 
take a look at their homepage:
Click for larger image.
Even though they’re selling a relatively high-tech product, their opening 
headline tells me exactly what they’re all about in just a few words: 
“Professional-looking websites without writing code.”
That’s the kind of quick sales pitch we’re looking for.
Note: explaining what you do does not mean telling prospects about 
everything you do. As we’ll see below, you want to test making your 
copy as minimal as possible.

3. Using lots of paragraph text

If there’s one immutable truth about your customers, it’s this: whether 
you’re Apple or a mom-and-pop shop, nobody wants to read the long 
paragraphs of text on your landing pages.
Take for example this page from Newschool of Architecture and Design 
in San Diego:
Click for larger image.
They seem like a lovely university, but they fall into a common trap: 
they’re over-explaining.
In order to get my questions answered, I need to read through at 
least a few paragraphs of relatively dry copy. I’m willing to bet that 
many potential students would rather leave the page than put in the 
effort. It might feel like your business is too complicated to explain 
quickly but in reality, even the most complex businesses can be to 
be boiled down to a series of short, benefit-driven sentences.
If you absolutely need to write a longer page, communicate your 
unique value proposition up front and don’t write a word more than 
you have to.

The solution

Be kind to skimmers and impatient users by cutting down on text, 
focusing on the key points of your service and providing visual 
examples. If you routinely have issues with including too much copy, 
try writing your copy first before even looking at a landing page 
template. That way, you’ll be sure to design a page that complements 
your copy and only includes the words you absolutely need. Not sure 
what you need? You should test that.

4. Making users choose (or even think)

Many businesses have multiple buyer personas, which makes 
marketing to them kind of tough. How do you tailor a landing page to 
drastically different groups of people while still resonating with your 
ideal customers? We’ve all heard it before: Try to appeal to everyone 
and you’ll appeal to no one.
As a solution to this, many companies add a click-through page that 
asks users to self-select what kind of customer they are. For example, 
take a look at this landing page by PerfumesForABuck, an ecommerce 
outlet for cheap fragrances:
Before you can see any product, you’re forced to choose between 
jewelry for men, women and gift baskets. Until you choose, you 
can’t see anything about the business or their products – and that’s 
When you force users to choose before seeing content, a strange 
thing happens: many prospects leave and don’t come back. Forcing 
choice adds friction – you’re putting extra work on the visitor, and 
the visitor doesn’t like work. They shouldn’t have to think.

The solution

Even if you have a segmented customer base, you can market to all 
of them individually without forcing them to make choices. It just 
takes a little finesse.
If you’re marketing to multiple personas, create separate ad 
campaigns for each one and drive those separate campaigns to 
customized landing pages.
Instead of buying clicks for “perfume” in AdWords, buy clicks for 
“men’s perfume” and send the traffic to a dedicated landing page. 
This eliminates choice from the equation and helps drive more 
targeted, valuable traffic to your site.
'Don’t make users self-select. Do the heavy lifting with PPC 
& customized landing pages.'

Wrapping things up

It’s tempting to run tests on granular stuff such as your call to 
action and headlines.
But doing so can lead you to lose site of the bigger picture: at the 
very least, are you explaining what you do and showing people 
what you have to offer?
If you’ve made one of these mistakes, count yourself lucky. An 
error like this is ahuge opportunity for improvement. And many of 
the mistakes outlined above are relatively easy to fix.
So fess up. Are you making any of these mistakes? I want to hear 
in the comments!
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