In 1958, a man spent 3 days walking around car manufacturers trying to find a powerful value proposition to use in his advert.

After talking to engineers for hours and hours, he couldn’t pinpoint the selling point of the car. Nothing stood out enough to grab a reader’s attention. Nothing excited him.

5 pm arrived and it was time for him to leave and fly back to the United States. Frustrated that he couldn’t come up with a top selling tag line, he climbed into his chauffeur driven car, took a deep breath and sighed.

The car he sat in was a Rolls-Royce, hand built, still with a light scent of newness.

His driver sensed the man’s apathy, made small talk and set off on their way to the airport.

While they were driving, a ticking noise grabbed the man’s attention and became a prominent sound in the car. So much so that he couldn’t keep his mind off of it.

TICK…, TICK…, TICK…, TICK…

The sound took over the man’s thoughts. It was crystal clear. Nothing else could be heard in his head.

He asked the driver: “What is that ticking sound?

The driver replied: “That’s the sound of the electric clock

The man sitting in the car was David Ogilvy… at that moment in time, he crafted what’s arguably considered as the most famous headline in the advertising industry.

“At 60 miles an hour, the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock.”

Here’s one of his famous adverts.

Landing Page mistakes that are killing your conversions | Ogilvy Advert

Image sourced from Swiped.co

Now imagine if that was a landing page in today’s world.

I must clarify that the above is a fictional story about the event. David Ogilvy says the headline was a quote from the Technical Editor’s write-up in ‘The Motor’, a British motor magazine.

The point is this, your landing page only has a few seconds to grab the users attention just as the print ad did in 1959.

In the world of Digital Marketing, there are many factors that can make or break your business. With newer and more advanced technologies being launched to make our lives as entrepreneurs and webmasters easier, it’s very easy to get side-tracked and to lose focus on what’s important.

We’re often told that in order to get more traffic to our websites and increase our conversions, we must focus on a few key processes that will make all the difference. Looking at Pareto’s 80/20 rule: 80% of our results will come directly from 20% of our actions.

So, what are the key things to focus on in order to increase traffic and boost conversions?

According to MarketingSherpa’s Landing Page Handbook (2nd Edition), approximately 44% of all clicks from B2B companies are directed to the business’ homepage, not a special landing page.

So, it’s clear that landing pages are the heart and soul of a business.

5 Landing Page Mistakes That Are Killing Your Conversions

A solid and well-optimised landing page will increase traffic, minimise visitors leaving your site and boost your conversions. At OptimizePress, we consult and troubleshoot customers sites daily and have pinpointed exactly what makes a good landing page. With this information, we are able to see exactly what makes a poor landing page, so we can avoid mistakes and cut out any errors moving forward.

While there are a number of elements that determine the success of a landing page, we will discuss the main pitfalls to avoid. We will also give you a hint of the things that do work and that you should focus on when building your landing pages.

We’re going to list 5 of the most common mistakes we see on landing pages.

Let’s get started…

Poor headlines

Another crucial element that will determine the success or failure of your page is your headline. This is because your headline will be the first thing your visitor sees when landing on your page. Failing to grab your visitor’s attention will result in a visitor leaving or a loss in conversions.

Also mixing too many headlines with an opt-in form headline will confuse people about what you offer.

According to an article published by Econsultancy:

“A headline, rather than the actual story itself is responsible for determining an article’s content and goes against traditional journalism.”

Psychologists have known all along that first impressions count. Headlines and a good sales message are no exceptions.

[headline style=”1″ font_size=”20″ font_style=”italic” align=”center” headline_tag=”h2″]“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” ~ David Ogilvy

[/headline]

Put simply, a headline is the most important part of a sales message. It’s so important that newspaper outlets often pay thousands for good writers to construct a good headline. This is especially important when looking to attract readers and enticing them to purchase or take an action.

As with David Ogivly’s headline, he spent 3 weeks researching Rolls-Royce and swiped 25 different headlines all from reviews.

Spend time learning about good headlines; studying examples in Magazines and Newspapers and begin writing and testing good headline variations on your pages using the OptimizePress PlusPack Experiments feature.

The more time invested in learning about constructing powerful headlines, the more successful your landing pages will become.

Here are some useful “fill in the blank” examples to help get you started:

  • “Great New Discovery Helps You <Benefit>.”
  • “How To <Benefit> In Only <Timeframe> Starting From Scratch.”
  • “The Quick And Easy Way To <Goal>.”
  • “A Complete Guide To <Benefit>.”
  • “Here’s How To <Benefit> The Right Way.”
  • “Take Control Of Your <Problem> Starting Today.”

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Recommended Reading:

The Ultimate Guide To Search Engine Friendly Landing Pages

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Numbers + Adjective + Target Keyword + Rationale + Promise

Headline example: The 5 Tools To Make You More Productive Daily

Landing Page mistakes that are killing your conversions | How to craft the perfect headline

When using headlines on your landing page you must make them stand out.

Here’s an example of a landing page that has too many headlines. The content and video are actually well produced. The call to action is good, but the headlines section is just too busy and distracting.

Which headline stands out more than the other?

Landing Page mistakes that are killing your conversions | Too Many Headlines

Read how Highrise got 30% better conversion after split testing headlines.

Landing Page mistakes that are killing your conversions | Headline Split-Test

Don’t ever be set on one headline. To get the highest conversion split test to prove your results.

Complicated forms

In short, the easier you make things for your visitors, the better experience you will provide for them in addition to increasing the likelihood of conversion. So perhaps having just an email field rather than a name and email. Or, removing the physical shipping address in an order form.

According to Steve Krug in his phenomenal book ‘Don’t Make Me Think’:

“Your objective should always be to eliminate instructions entirely by making everything self-explanatory, or as close to it as possible. When instructions are absolutely necessary, cut them back to a bare minimum.”

Of course, these will vary depending on your marketplace, which is why it’s important to test and analyse the results.

Review your current forms and identify areas that could be trimmed and simplified.

Test them out with your original pages to see which converts best. The less complex you make your pages and the easier the navigation, the higher the probability of your customer taking the desired action you want them to take.

As a general note, the purpose of an opt-in form is to capture a visitor’s name and email address as it’s the most important information needed for corresponding with them further.

Here’s an example opt-in form with too many fields:

Landing Page mistakes that are killing your conversions | Too Many Optin Fields

If you would like to capture more information, it’s much better to use a survey, which you can embed to our pages or wait until the contact has signed up and then ask for more information.

You can also hide “information gathering” by using Survey to ask specific questions.

Good UI states:

Human beings are inherently resistant to labor intensive tasks and this same idea also applies to filling out form fields. Each field you ask for runs the risk of making your visitors turn around and give up. Not everyone types at the same speed, while typing on mobile devices is still a chore in general. Question if each field is really necessary and remove as many fields as possible. If you really have numerous optional fields, then also consider moving them after form submission on a separate page or state. It’s so easy to bloat up your forms, yet fewer fields will convert better.

Landing Page mistakes that are killing your conversions | GoodUI Optin Split-Test

Image source Good UI.

Too many options, not goal specific

In addition to complicated forms, not having a clear direction on what you would like your visitors to achieve would cause them to leave your page and not take action.

Offering too many choices will cause your audience to hesitate in their next action. The famous Jam study pointed out the adverse effects of choice.

Landing Page mistakes that are killing your conversions | The Jam Study

Image source from ConversionXL.

Your first goal before writing your landing page is to decide what you would like to achieve.

  • Are you collecting an email address?
  • Are you delivering a specific message in the form of a blog post?
  • Are you attempting to make a sale?

Spend some time brainstorming some ideas; making sure that the page is as clean and as simple as possible.

The simpler it is, the better it will perform. If you’re currently stuck or unsure, be sure to take a look at our MarketPlace for landing page templates.

Confusing features with benefits

In short, understand your customer so you can write good headlines and a good sales message. This will help communicate your message and assist in solving their problem.

One of the biggest mistakes to make is losing focus on the visitor and to focus on your product rather than the solution it provides. This is generally done by listing the features of what the solution can do and not its benefits.

The reality is, your visitors do not care about the solution but rather what that solution can do for them. What your customers will want to know is- How will your product and service solve their problem?

So it’s important to get clear on how your services will benefit your customer, which will, in turn, help you increase the conversion of your landing page.

Spend some time researching your market, your customers and their problems. Some useful questions to ask:

  • What are they discussing?
  • What problems are they having?
  • What solutions have they tried?
  • How can you help solve their problem?

Tie your features back to the benefits. Try Selling Benefits instead of features.

People tend to care less about features than they do about benefits. Benefits carry with them more clearly defined value. Resource.

Landing Page mistakes that are killing your conversions | GoodUI Benefits Split-Test

Sounding like a salesman

Finally, to extend on point #4, it’s important that you focus on helping your visitors by providing value versus simply going for the sale. It’s counter-intuitive and often an easy mistake since we run a business and want to make conversions.

But ultimately, your customer is the backbone of your business and customers can sense when you’re being authentic or salesy.

As was said by Brad Blanton in his book ‘Radical Honesty’ –

“Manipulation never works to get the result desired, but it always seems like it’s just about to work. When you get what you said you wanted by manipulation, it is never enough.”

Write copy on your pages like you are speaking to the person. Forget fancy words.

[headline style=”1″ font_size=”20″ font_style=”italic” align=”center” headline_tag=”h2″]“I don’t know the rules of grammar. If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language.” ~ David Ogilvy

[/headline]

In Summary

  • Avoid complicated form designs so as to help better guide your customers in taking the desired action.
  • Focus your page on performing one job to avoid confusing your visitors.
  • Focus on the customer and list how your services will benefit them and make their lives better.
  • Finally, avoid sounding like a shady salesman and be their trusted guide to get them to where they want to go.

Do this and you will not only have a thriving and successful business, but fans will love and appreciate you in a level that you never thought possible.

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I  would like to thank Onder from our support team for his research and contribution in writing this blog post. 

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Tell Us What You Think – Please Comment Below!

Thanks for reading this post. We would love to know if these tips can help improve your landing pages. Please drop a comment below and tell us how you plan to avoid using these same mistakes.

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    14 replies to "5 Landing Page Mistakes That Are Killing Your Conversions"

    • Simoni Venturini

      Thanks David! Great!

    • Everson Cruz

      Top!

    • Kevin Sass

      Very good way to explain the basics 👏👌

    • Andrew Lock

      nice job David, great advice.

      • David Frosdick

        Cheers Andrew! Thanks for taking the time to pop over here and read 😊

    • Jorge Luis Teran

      excelent

    • Dan Guillermo

      Excellent! Very good information on landing pages, specially the headlines

      • David Frosdick

        Glad you liked it Dan. Headlines take a lot of effort, something everyone can improve on 😁

    • Jason Harrison

      Great post David!

    • Adrian Bold

      Excellent summary, David. Thanks for taking the time to write this article on landing pages and for sharing.

      • David Frosdick

        You are welcome Adrian! We fond some good resources to back our points in this post.

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