It’s tough when you’ve worked hard to establish the trust of your visitors and have earned their clicks, only to see them navigate away after a subpar landing page experience. This can be frustrating up to a point where you legitimately question your ability to deliver conversions. Landing pages are a tricky business, even if they seem quite simple. While there are many ways to optimize the conversion rate of your landing page, there are just as many (if not more) reasons why your landing page is not converting. The greatest offenders routinely include:
#1: Your Call to Action (CTA) Is Underwhelming
I’ve written about this before as one of the key landing page best practices, but it never hurts to go at it again. Why? Because of the CTA’s overall importance. The CTA is what you want your visitors to ultimately do, whether it’s to register, buy, subscribe, or something else. One of the main reasons why landing pages fail to convert is because the CTA is underwhelming and does not draw attention. The majority of prospects will give your landing page a quick glance and then give up if what you’re asking is either unclear or not tempting enough.
What You Can Do:
Design-wise, make your CTA button visually distinct from the rest of the page so people know exactly what to click on. A large(r) size, contrasting color, central positioning, demanding or actionable copy—these are all elements that will make your CTA button stand out. If need be, use visual cues like different lines, shapes, or images to draw attention.
Don’t forget that your CTA includes the overall message of the landing page, not just the button itself. A converting landing page is concise and on-point, grabbing visitors’ interest almost immediately. Be clear about what you’re offering, and highlight the benefits to get your point across. This includes having a compelling headline and clear formatting where content is easily consumed (bullet points are always welcome).
Here’s an example of a CTA done right:
By focusing on a direct message that exhibits the benefits of your offer and makes your calls to action obvious and appealing, you’ll go a long way in increasing your conversions.
#2: There’s Too Much Friction
A conversion-first landing page needs to have only one goal; pretty much everything else is a possible distraction for visitors to navigate away. Even with the best landing page creators, there’s a temptation to let your audience know ALL of the good things you offer. However, with multiple (often interactive) elements on your landing page, you are basically giving a way out for your visitors instead of nudging them toward your offer. Including more imagery, forms, or copy about your product or service goes against every principle a landing page stands for. I have yet to meet a person who enjoys filling out forms or going through large blocks of text when looking for something in particular.
What You Can Do:
Eliminate the navigational menu, unnecessary links and forms, and anything else that might be a distraction. It’s best practice to have your CTA button as one of maybe two available links (if not the only link).
Here’s one example that does a good job in many regards, but also has room for improvement:
The design and layout are appealing (even if the headline is awkwardly blended in with the background), the CTA and benefits are crystal-clear, and the included form fields are only those necessary. However, the navigational links provide way too many possible exits for a visitor to click and move away from the ordering form.
#3: You’re Not Using All the Available Help
When it comes to the things to do and to avoid with landing pages, A/B testing is something that you should absolutely be taking advantage of. This is a great feature that is offered by many landing page builders, and allows you to test your copy, images, CTA, layout, and everything else to perfection.
By testing different versions of a landing page at the same time, you are doing your due diligence and making sure you have the most effective landing page possible. The thing is, what works or doesn’t work for a specific brand and audience can sometimes go beyond the basic A/B testing capabilities.
What You Can Do:
Add to your testing arsenal tools like heatmaps and eye trackers. These will provide you with a full picture of what’s happening on your landing pages. In particular, tracking tools can give you a conversion boost by showcasing which parts of the page see the most activity. That way, you can detect where your visitors are getting stuck, as well as what really works about your landing page so you can make necessary changes and bring in more conversions.
#4: You’re Forgetting About Your Customer
You can do everything as you are “supposed to” in order to make your landing page shine, and still see high drop-off rates. Yet, for all the effort put in, doing it by the books doesn’t necessarily cover all the aspects as to why a visitor would just give up on you. It’s a cold, hard truth that visitors won’t sign up if they feel they don’t fully understand or benefit from your offer. The key word here is “fully.” Would you sign up for an online class or a lecture you can’t attend? No, and why would you when there’s nothing for you to gain.
What You Can Do:
Assume the role of the visitor and try to cover every angle as to why they might drop out. Think beyond a simple form request: What would make you convert? It’s important to follow up on all the little things that actually matter so much. With landing pages, there is either enough friction to prevent the conversion or plenty of encouragement to make it happen. For instance, send a recording for a live event so that visitors have the incentive to fill out the form even if they are unable to attend. Or, give a sense of the commitment required, so people know exactly what they are getting into. The image below shows an example that highlights the fact that the ebook offered only takes 25 minutes to read.
Also, testimonials were placed in front of the CTA button to add credibility and prompt more visitors to download the free ebook. The result was a 64.53% increase in downloads. Think about what encourages more people to convert and try to incorporate it.
Don’t Be Afraid to Test and Experiment
Landing page conversions can feel elusive because there’s so much going on. Optimizing them to be as effective as possible is all about taking this advice to heart, then testing and experimenting. Every brand and audience is different. By focusing on capturing your viewers’ attention, answering their questions, and maintaining their interest, you’ll increase your conversion rates and create deeper, longer-lasting relationships for your business.