landing page mistakes to avoid

August 15, 2022

By Onder Hassan

5 Landing Page Mistakes To Avoid & What To Do Instead

The sole aim of a landing page is to turn visitors into subscribers and leads for your business.

You work hard to build your organic search traffic and relationships with promotion partners. Paying for Ad traffic costs you money. 

With these factors in mind, it makes perfect sense to ensure you have the best chance of converting that traffic into leads.

landing page example framework

So what are the key things to focus on to increase the number of opt-ins your landing pages generate?

Throughout the years at OptimizePress, we’ve looked over thousands of websites and observed what works to help provide the correct tools for our customers. We have pinpointed exactly what makes a good landing page.

In this article, we will discuss the main pitfalls to avoid, which will also give you a hint of the things that do work and should focus on when building your pages so you can avoid losing time and costly errors moving forward.

We’re going to list 5 of the most common things that you should never do when building your landing pages.

Let’s get started…

1. A Bad Headline Will Lose Visitors Within Seconds

The most 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 experiencing a loss in conversions.

According to an article published by the Nielson Norman Group, the typical time that it takes for a visitor to leave a page is 10-20 seconds, unless the page has a clear value proposition to hold their attention for longer.

headline examples

Harry Dry's Copywriting Examples Inspiration page gives you plenty of headline inspiration

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

Put simply, a headline is the single 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 entice them to purchase or take an action.

How to fix bad headlines

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 OptimizeFunnels Split Testing feature. 

Keep a Swipe File of your favourite headlines from ads and landing pages to help you get inspiration for the types of headlines you can use in your business.

Swipe Library - Landing Page Mistakes

We’ve created our very own Swipe Library that gets constantly updated with the most recent ads and sales funnels to shortcut this process.

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

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.”

For a more in-depth walkthrough of the mechanics of constructing headlines that convert, be sure to check out one of our articles.

Optimisation Tip

Use text decorations such as bolds, underlines and animations to draw attention to  important keywords in your headlines and body content.

2. Using More Form Fields Than Is Necessary To Capture Customer Data

The common misconception when it comes to getting customer information is to get as much data upfront in order to better target them later on with relevant information.

While this is certainly true, the beauty of email or form management is that many of these tasks can be managed in the backend depending on your email service provider.

The biggest challenge for many website owners is finding a healthy balance between getting enough data and turning your visitors off completely.

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 conversions. 

The purpose of an opt-in form for example is to capture a visitor’s name and email address as it’s the most important information needed for communicating with them further.

Going beyond this with more fields can potentially reduce email opt-in rates, which will result in fewer email subscribers and losing lots of revenue in the process.

landing page with mistakes

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.

So in the case of form fields, the more you make people have to think about information, the more likely they are to abandon the process.

Of course, this could vary depending on your niche or industry, so it’s essential to test and analyse the results.

How to fix this

Include form fields that are absolutely necessary for the conversion process.

Examples may include using just an email field rather than a name and email when giving away a lead magnet. 

Or removing the physical shipping address in an order form if you’re selling a digital product. 

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

Test them out with your original pages using the OptimizeFunnels Split Test feature to see which converts best. 

Split Test Optin - Landing Page Mistakes

The less information you collect on opt-in forms, the higher the probability of your customer taking the desired action you want them to take.

Once you have subscribers on your email list use your email service’s built-in tools to help you segment your subscribers into different interests to help you get a better understanding of your customers and better target them with information.

If your business requires that you get more information about your customer upfront, then it’s much better to use a survey, which you can embed on OptimizePress pages. 

Here are 2 of the most popular services below for more information:

www.surveymonkey.com

www.wufoo.com

Optimisation Tip

Use text decorations such as bolds, underlines and animations to draw attention to  important keywords in your headlines and body content.

3. No Clear Call To Action

Another key element that is commonly missed and can result in landing page mistakes is not having a clear call-to-action on what you would like your visitors to achieve.

A page without a clear direction can cause your visitors to leave your page and suffer a loss in conversions due to confusion with not knowing what to do.

Ideally, every element on your page should lead to one desired goal. 

This is vital to understand, especially if you’re new to landing pages - without a clear objective on what the page is aiming to achieve, it will not give you the results you’re looking for.

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

Are you collecting an email address?

Would you like visitors to like and share?

Are you delivering a specific message in the form of a blog post?

Are you attempting to make a sale?

Focusing on more than one objective on your page will increase confusion and decrease the likelihood of your visitor and customer taking the desired action.

As the saying goes: If you confuse you lose!

What to do instead...

Spend some time brainstorming some ideas; making sure that the page is as clear in its objective and as simple to understand as possible. 

Your page must have a clear call to action. If you confuse your customer at any stage of the sales process, it will disrupt the flow and increase the chances of your customer abandoning the page.

Every page should be about the opt-in or the sale with no links to social media channels or website menus to distract the visitor from taking the desired action.

Look at pages currently used in your industry to help give you a clear idea of the types of designs and things being offered that are actually working.

todd herman call to action

This is a great example of Todd Herman making his call to action clear and concise. Ensuring that the message of “getting access to the mentoring guide” is direct and to the point, with a button to show exactly how to get access to it.

Know what it is you want to achieve on your page. Whether it’s giving away a free lead magnet or selling a digital product, it’s important that you get clear on this and make it your key purpose when promoting it on your page.

The simpler it is, the better it will perform. If you’re currently stuck or unsure, be sure to take a look at our huge library of "done for you" landing page templates, which are pre-optimised for conversions. As an example, this simple but effective landing page has all the elements needed to turn visitors into subscribers.

business landing page

4. Limited Understanding Of Your Potential Customer

In short, understand your customer so you can write good headlines and a compelling sales message. 

This will help communicate your message and assist in solving their problem.

One of the biggest mistakes to make is to lose focus of the visitor and focus on your product or solution. 

This is generally done by listing the features of what the solution can do.

The reality is, that your visitors do not care about the solution but rather what that solution can do for them - the benefits.

What your customers will want to know is how your product and service will solve their problems. 

It's incredibly important to get clear on how your services will benefit your customer, which will, in turn, help you create a more compelling and useful product and a business that ultimately delivers.

Solution:

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?

It’s crucial to bear in mind that the customer is always thinking “What’s in it for me?” (Wiifm)

Use that understanding to help focus your attention on the benefits of your offer and not its features.

quora research

Identify Forums, Facebook Groups, Reddit Groups, and questions asked in Quora to help give you a solid idea of the most common problems people are having in your industry.

Once you have a good grasp of who your customer is and what they’re looking for. Not only will this help you with your landing page content, but will massively simplify the process of coming up with the right messaging to sell to your customers.

5. Not Optimizing Your Landing Page For Speed

A slow-loading website is one of the key reasons why a visitor will leave your page.  Studies have shown that if your page does not load in under 3 seconds, a user is highly likely to "bounce" from your page (this means they leave without taking any desired action).

This has become a major ranking signal in the eyes of Google with their ‘Core Web Vitals’ update in June 2021.

It’s more important than ever to focus on site speed in order to improve your chances of ranking in Google’s search engines and provide a better SEO and site experience for your visitors and potential customers.

Looking at it from Google’s perspective, it makes sense to only list websites that load quickly as it will ensure that visitors coming from search will have a smooth and seamless experience.

This in turn will reward you with better rankings and attract more visitors to your website, which will greatly increase the chances of converting them into subscribers and later, customers.

Core web vitals assessment criteria

Thankfully, with the release of the ‘Core Web Vitals’ update, Google has provided assessment criteria to help with ensuring your websites are correctly optimized.

How to fix landing page speed optimization

You should start by using a platform that follows Google’s Core Web Vitals assessment criteria to help you optimize your site quickly and simply.

At OptimizePress, we understand that not all of our customers will have the technical know-how of the different processes required in order to achieve the desired result. 

So we’ve included this feature directly inside our OptimizePress platform. You can take a look at the different options available by going to the OptimizePress > Optimizations area in the main menu.

Optimizepress core web vitals

No matter the platform you are using, there are a few simple steps you can take to optimize your page load speed:

Use a host designed for business websites

If you're hosting your site yourself (using WordPress or a similar platform for your landing pages), you should be aware that not all hosts were made equal.

Many hosts will offer ultra-low priced hosting (sub $10/month) but the cost of this is felt in terms of site speed - these hosting providers pack 100's of sites onto each server and impose strict restrictions which slow site performance.

We recommend SiteGround if you're just getting started, and Kinsta if you're ready to scale your business.  We've used these platforms ourselves at OptimizePress and found they offer a good balance of affordability and service.

Optimize your page images

Reducing the file size for any images used on your landing page is an easy quick win when it comes to landing page optimization.  Ensure your images are no larger than 2x the size they are on the page (to account for retina screens) and run images through Tinypng to reduce file size.

Minimise video use or use video facade

If you embed videos on your page (perhaps to help boost landing page conversions and convey your offer) you will often find these negatively impact load speed.  That's because a lot of the video content is loading (buffering) in the background.

To help avoid this, you should not load the video content until the video is interacted with.  This is sometimes called a "video facade".  If you're using OptimizePress, the OptimizeBuilder includes an option for you to turn this on to help your videos load faster automatically.

Run your page through PageSpeed Insights & GTMetrix

To get an idea of how your page is performing, you should run three quick tests:

1. Open your page in a fresh browser or private browser window. Ensure you're not logged into your site and have cleared your cookies and cache.  This gives you an initial feel for how quickly your page loads.

2. Run your page through GTMetrix. This will scan your page and give you a score - and recommendations on how to optimize your page further.  If you're using a hosted platform you may not be able to tweak many settings but WordPress sites have much more flexibility.

3. Run your page through Google PageSpeed Insights.  Treat this one with care as their site scanner can be notoriously varied in how it reports your page speed, but again it will give you some recommendations on what to improve on your pages.

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For a more detailed breakdown of Core Web Vitals and how to set this up using our platform, be sure to check out our previous articles:

Optimizations Update To improve Core Web Vitals

How To Improve Core Web Vitals In WordPress

In Closing

It’s important that you spend time helping your audience and caring about their results. 

Avoid complicated form designs so as to help better guide your customers in taking the desired action.

Focusing your page on performing one job to avoid confusing your visitors will greatly enhance your page and improve your conversion rates.

Prioritize your customer and list how your services will benefit them and make their lives better.

Finally, ensure that your page is optimized for speed as per Google’s guidelines to provide a great visitor experience and increase engagement.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this post and found the guidelines useful. If you have any questions or have personal experiences of your own, please share them in the comments.

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    2 replies to "5 Landing Page Mistakes To Avoid & What To Do Instead"

    • Ken

      Thank you for sharing this article, I’m recently learning to use data tools like: Google Analysis and the like, it’s a headache, thank you for your article for saving me!

      • Onder Hassan

        You’re very welcome Ken. If you have any questions, please let us know and we’ll do our best to help you further.

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