Just a heads up, the image above has nothing to do with this article, I just like it :o)
Landing pages play a pivotal role in any digital marketing efforts. They are often the first place visitors “land” (hence the name) on your website. So making a good first impression is vital.
The problem is, many businesses fall into common traps when creating these pages, inadvertently rendering them almost useless. The good news is, these mistakes are easily avoided/fixed.
However, before we do that, let’s quickly run through what landing pages are and how they help your business when executed correctly.
What are landing pages?
In short, landing pages are standalone web pages that are created for visitors arriving from a specific marketing or advertising campaign. They are built and tailored specifically for the marketing campaign it’s for. Basically, the visitor will “land” on this page after clicking a link you’ve placed in an email campaign or Google/Facebook Ad, for example.
Unlike a standard web page or piece of online content, landing pages are designed to encourage a visitor to take a specific action – usually by completing an online form or subscribing to a newsletter. In many cases, they mark the beginning of a marketing funnel, collecting leads at the start of the process.
As such, they are built with ‘conversion’ in mind. A good landing page will ensure that a high percentage of those who view it will take the specified action (convert), lowering the costs associated with each acquired lead.
They sound great, right? The issue is they are easy to get wrong. So let’s walk you through the most common mistakes and how to avoid them.
Common Mistake #1: Driving all of your traffic to a generic landing page.
We’ve already mentioned that landing pages are specific pages created for specific marketing campaigns. And yet, so many companies create generic landing pages that field leads from all sorts of different advertising campaigns.
Think about it logically, if you attract a visitor who clicked on a Facebook/Google Ad promoting an online course in baking cheesecakes, and they arrive at a page that promotes all kinds of baking courses, they aren’t going to bother to look for the cheesecake one amongst all the others, so they’ll ‘bounce‘.
You need to get specific. The more specific the landing page is, the higher the chance of converting visitors.
In practice, that means creating a landing page for each and every campaign you run. In many cases, you’ll need multiple landing pages for each campaign if you are using multiple marketing channels to drive traffic (e.g., email, social, Google Ads etc). And you may even want to build multiple landing pages per campaign/per channel to test them against each other to see which performs better (aka A/B Split Testing).
Will that mean a lot more work on the front end? Yes. Is it worth it? Most definitely.
It’s no coincidence that companies with 31 to 40 landing pages get seven times as many leads as businesses with only one to five. So make sure to tailor your landing page to the traffic source as much as possible. Otherwise, you’ll badly hurt your conversion rate.
Common Mistake #2: Overcomplicating the Call-to-Action (CTA)
As we now know, landing pages are built to convert, so don’t make it difficult for visitors to complete the desired action. In most cases, you are fishing for an email address, so make it as simple as entering an email address and pressing submit – nothing else.
Many companies make the mistake of asking for all kinds of details such as business sizes, addresses, names, occupations, etc. Avoid this at all costs, if possible. The longer the process is to take your desired action, the less likely someone will do it.
Remember, this is the top of the funnel. You can always qualify and categorise your leads lower down the funnel using automated marketing software. Alternatively, as mentioned above, you can always split test landing pages.
When at the landing page stage, try to focus on gaining the one piece of information you genuinely need and leave the rest until later.
Common Mistake #3: Trying to sell products or services to a cold lead.
When creating your landing page, it’s important to remember the ‘marketing rule of seven’. This general rule of thumb states that a consumer will interact with your brand at least seven times before making a purchase.
Your landing page marks the first or, at most, the second time a potential customer interacts with your brand. So why would you try to sell to them straight away?
When a lead arrives at your landing page, they are still in the process of ‘shopping’, working out who you are and what you do etc. Trying to push your products and services on them at this stage is marketing suicide and will likely have them figuratively running for the hills.
This issue closely ties in with mistake #2. Don’t try to run before you can walk. Don’t ask everything about them and try selling to them at this stage. It’s akin to going on a first date with someone and pulling out an engagement ring at the end of the evening. It’s not likely going to end well.
Focus on getting your visitor to take a quick and easy action (such as entering an email address) on your landing page. Once you have their information, you can get to work, behind the scenes, warming them up before any sales pitches.
Avoid these common landing page mistakes to harness this powerful marketing tool.
When executed correctly, landing pages are an excellent method for generating low-cost leads for your business. However, get them wrong, and you could suffer high bounce rates (people leaving quickly without taking any action, this can also have an effect on your cost per click if applicable and quality score, but that’s another story), poor conversion rates, and ultimately vast amounts of wasted time and money.
By following the advice in this post and avoiding these three most common pitfalls, you now stand a much better chance at developing successful landing pages.
This blog article was also published on our subsidiary website, Cakecrumbs.