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Top 10 Landing Page Mistakes

failIf you’re marketing online, buying media, etc…the landing page is your best friend. Whether you’re an etailer or direct marketer, or corporation if you have concrete goals for your SEM efforts landing pages pay for themselves over and over again.

Having worked on many optimization projects and roadmaps, I have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t (although I still get it wrong a lot and only testing yields the final result). Now, for your benefit…here are the top 10 landing page mistakes I see advertisers make.

  1. Landing page is inconsistent with ad campaign. When a user does a search, and looks at an ad, and clicks on a page, the page has to be consistent with every other element of the campaign. If not, they’ll bounce.
  2. Product pages for etailers – quick…give em what they want. If they typed in say “Nixon Watch” take them to the page with the best selling Nixon watch. Tell them it’s the most popular and x number of people have bought at your discount price. Big picture…multiple images of the watch, then your discounted price and call to action. Be sure to include a sidebar or something with other great deals or “customers purchasing this have also bought…(more bestselling market related items). Don’t promote the 80% of the 80/20 promote only the best selling items. No one cares about the rest.
  3. Not enough landing pages. Don’t be a cheapskate. You need a different landing page for each segmented campaign. Depending on your ad media you may need hundreds or thousands of campaigns. This could be simple things such as different headlines and keyword variations, but could also be completely different messaging and graphics. Right media-to-market-message is VERY IMPORTANT. Nothing will kill your sales more than a one size fits all approach. Even if it’s something as simple as personalized URLs. Really, I’ve seen pages that do great in one segment get killed in another. Graphics are important in this respect. You may have the same messaging but what you think is a graphical “improvement” can kill sales. Everything needs to be consistent with the ad that’s bringing the traffic. Otherwise, you’re just throwing money out the window.
  4. Scale. If an ad and creative are working, run the same ad in similar channels with minimal changes such as headline, price point, call to action, etc… If you really feel the need to change, setup a different ad and different landing page campaign entirely. Don’t mess with what’s working – scale it.
  5. Don’t be a follower. Follow what’s working to a point, but test new ideas. Spin selling or concept selling can help. For instance, Acai berry weightloss publishers are all doing the same thing. Yes, try what works, but experiment to with positioning and angle. Remember, first, best, or different is truth. If you can take a different angle on what everyone else is doing this can often work well.
  6. Irrelevant and inconsistent with the traffic generation campaign. Don’t mislead. Everything needs to be exactly what it claims otherwise you’ll pay more for online media. Don’t get me wrong, there are ways to keep things consistent and still accomplish your goals. It just requires more effort.
  7. Be open to new ideas. If you’re locked into an idea consider calling a consultant for a different perspective. I’ll give you an example. I was working with a bizop publisher looking to get a sale from the first hit on their page. I had a better idea. break the page up into multiple parts. 1.) “Enter your login details” (way to get name and email). 2.) “Tell us about yourself” (get remaining details, push sales message, and draw prospect deeper into the funnel). 3.) “Thank you for registering” ) now is time to send them to the sales message after getting all their details. Of course this depends on the product/market.
  8. Check and double check. There is nothing that will kill a landing or sales page faster than a wrong number or incorrect link to a buy or optin button. I’ve been guilty of this myself several times in the heat of the moment. Nothing makes you feel dumber than buying media and having the wrong phone number or URL. It happens all the time. I worked on a diet ad that got zero conversions. We couldn’t figure out what the heck was happening. I shot it over to a friend of mine for a look. He did the simplest thing…tried the form, only to discover it did not work. That mistake cost thousands. Same thing with wrong numbers.
  9. Don’t assume prospects know what to do. Spell out everything as clear as you can for instance…”enter your email below. When you do here’s what you’ll get. Here’s what to do once you get it, etc…” If you have a multi-step process spell out all the steps somewhere on the first page “step one, do this, step two, do this, step three, do this…here’s what you’ll get”, or, “here’s what to do now…Click the buy button. When you do you’ll get X”
  10. Follow up. Make sure, for every action you follow up and reassure prospects/customers they’ve made a good decision. This will increase sales and reduce returns. People need reassurance and letting them know they’ve made a good decision is always a good idea.
  11. Bonus – Arrows. I’ve tested this on over 100 campaigns. Arrows help tell people what you want them to do. Don’t believe me? Try it and prove things for yourself.

Questions? Drop me a line. Comments…be sure to ad your own. If you have tested landing pages and have real life data about what’s working for you I’d love to read about it.

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2 Comments »

  • windows recovery said:

    Great tips for getting better conversions on your landing pages. Landing pages are important, after all these are the users first impression of your site or specific marketing campaign.

  • Richard Tan (CEO, Success Resources) said:

    A landing page is a powerful way to generate leads for a product, service or company. Also called capture pages, they are a far more effective way of getting leads than promoting your website. Landing pages are squeeze offer pages optimized to promote offers linked to online advertisements. An ideal ad campaign clearly communicates to readers, expectations, advantages and next steps, so that they can act on a call to action.