Marketing campaigns aren’t easy. In such a noisy world it takes a lot of energy, talent and persistence to even get noticed by the audience you want. More still to get them to your landing page. And once there, the last thing you want is for them to bounce right off because of simple-to-avoid mistakes. And yet that’s often exactly what happens.
While landing page optimization is both an art and a science, there’s no excuse to flub the basics. Let’s walk through a few common problems that are easy to spot and resolve.
1) Not Using A Landing Page
This one seems more obvious than the others, and yet I see it time and time again. You pour your heart and soul into amazing creative that pulls in visitors like bees to sweet nectar. Except you lose them as soon as they land on your website. Why? Because instead of a landing page intentionally designed to convert, you’ve dumped them ignominiously on your site’s home page with nary a clue what to do.
Don’t be that marketer.
To maximize your marketing investment, make sure you drive traffic to a landing page purpose-built to convert the visitor. If they need to navigate away from the landing page you’ve sent them to in order to convert, you’re probably doing something wrong.
2) The Important Bits Live Below The Fold
I get it. Not everything can be above the fold. But this doesn’t give you license to proceed with reckless abandon. At a minimum, make sure visitors can understand the steps they need to take with just a glance at the above-the-fold content. This typically means that a clear call to action and at least the first field of a form are both immediately visible. If you can get the entire form AND the submit button there, all the better.
This is often much easier said than done, and of course, things quickly get more difficult on mobile devices…
3) No Responsive Design
We’ve been preaching the gospel of responsive web design for a number of years now, but May 5, 2015 was a game changer for those who haven’t listened. On Cinco de Mayo Google announced that in the US, “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers.”
If you’ve not yet heeded the call, this milestone represents a tipping point that’s unlikely to reverse. If your landing pages aren’t responsive, you’re frittering away hard-earned visitors.
Yes, in some markets mobile traffic is still a minority. And this may very well be the case for yours. But such a state is not likely to last. It’s best to get ahead of the curve and convert your ancient landing pages to ones that use the principles of responsive design.
One last point on this subject: if you think your landing pages are already responsive, make sure you go out and test them on a few different smartphones. Some responsive designs implemented years ago may need an update or refresher to work across today’s devices.
4) Too Many Calls To Action
Generally speaking, each landing page should have one, and one only, call to action. If you’re driving people to a landing page for heart screenings, don’t ask your visitors if they want to learn more about your adult CPR class, or solicit registrations for a birth center tour.
Start by keeping your landing page simple and focused on the primary objective.
There is, however, some flexibility here: It can be OK to solicit newsletter subscriptions (for example) on your forms, or even introduce promotional offers (for example, a discounted breastfeeding class for people registering for a birth center tour). As a general rule start simple and only add options to your landing pages once you have optimized a basic page that you can test against. This is the only way you’ll actually know if your landing page embellishments are helping or hindering.
5) Too Many Link Distractions
You invest a lot in your site design. The amount of time you’ve spent crafting the perfect IA and navigation structure speaks to the importance you place in them. And your footers are just as intentional. Frankly, the prospect of ditching them all on your landing pages makes you queasy.
But you need to do just that. Take the Dramamine and ditch the baggage: One link on your landing pages, and one link only.
Even if it means ditching some familiar elements of your site design. Landing pages serve one purpose, and should offer a single clickpath that gets the visitor to complete the action you want them to take. Trust me, the more opportunities you give visitors to click off your landing page without converting, the more you’ll see your conversion rates drop.
6) Not Enough Information
These days many of us worship at the altar of brevity, but such blind fealty to an ideal often leads us astray in our landing page designs. Your visitors need enough information on the page to convert, and for some campaigns, this can be quite a bit.
Get it on the page. Even if it means making your landing page longer.
I know it runs counter to what many of us have been told, but trust me. More meaningful content often leads to more conversions.
This Is Just The Beginning
Clearly, we’ve just barely scratched the surface of landing page flubs, foibles and faux pas…and the corresponding tips and opportunities for improvement that they represent. There’s so much more to cover that we’ve decided to host a webinar on the subject. Please consider joining us at 1:00 PM CT November 18, 2015 for an in-depth webinar on landing page optimization. Crafted specifically for the healthcare audience, you’ll learn the optimization secrets that convert visitors into patients. And you’ll get early access to our landing page optimization checklist designed especially for healthcare marketers.