5 Dangerous Threats to Your Landing Page Conversion Rate
You want higher conversion rates on your website, but things just aren't happening. You know the problem, or at least you think you do. People land on your page, and then bounce within 30 seconds. What's happening? You're not getting the user's attention, he becomes confused as soon as he sees your page, or your headline (or ad copy) is atrocious. So, you get to work testing and tweaking. You constantly make changes to your headline. Nothing works. What gives? Here's what gives. You might be making one of the following mistakes:
You're Screwing Up The Headline
If you don't grab your reader's attention within 10 seconds, you've lost him. Headlines are one of the most important aspects of a good landing page. It has to be believable, but also a little audacious. That might sounds like a contradiction, but it's not.
If your headline isn't audacious, it's boring and users on the Internet will not be bored. They simply won't. They'll move on and forget about you. At the same time, people have been burned from too much late night T.V., so they know hype when they see it. You can no longer tell them to "set it and forget it," and expect people to follow you into the closing room to finish the deal.
One of the best ways to be audacious, but still believable is to structure your headlines with a potential promise, instead of an outright guarantee. For example, "How Facebook Marketing Could Ruin Your Business." Notice that the headline says "could" and not "will." Words like "may" and "might" are powerful motivators. Users don't always believe that something will or won't happen to them - especially if they don't know you. How could you know that Facebook marketing will ruin someone's business? You don't, and intelligent users know this. However, there may be conditions under which Facebook marketing is a very bad idea.
Rather than telling people that you have a blanket answer for everyone, and that Facebook marketing is inherently bad, you're basically telling users that Facebook advertising is bad for some people but not others. This is very believable. After all, if Facebook ads were totally ineffective or ruining businesses with excessive ad spend, then no one would be using them. The reality is that many businesses are using Facebook ads, and they're using them effectively. So, a business might look at strong headlines like "Facebook will ruin your business" as simply marketing hype. It's too "over the top" to be believable.
There Are No Trust Signals
Trust is key. If your site visitors think you're conning them, it's all over. Make sure your website is professionally designed. One-off website designs work best. Don't just install a Wordpress template without customizing it. Don't leave the "sponsored" footers for search engines to find. Don't make your site look like it exists for the sole purpose of capturing email addresses. You need to be a real company, with a real physical address, phone number, and there should be contact people (preferably with photos and bios) behind those domain email addresses.
Another way to build trust signals is to avoid selling people on your landing page. It seems counter-intuitive, but try to push people away from your landing page. Instead of asking for a user's email address, give users a survey right on your landing page that will generate an instant report for them to download once they're done filling it out. The report could then tell them whether Facebook ads are appropriate for them or not based on their answers to the survey questions. Make it a legitimate survey and disqualify people from your mailing list before they ever get on it. If you offer an alternative to Facebook ads, allow people to sign up for your email list and send them a report telling them why Facebook isn't right for them. Then, tell them the benefits and drawbacks of your service. Make sure the type of person who gets your report will really benefit from it. Users love it when you're upfront and honest with them and are willing to push them towards a competitor when you really can't help them.
You Have Bad Spelling and Grammar
It should go without saying, but spelling and grammar are essential. Unless your users are mostly low-literacy users, they're going to notice spelling mistakes. That's not good for business. Spelling and grammar issues make you look unprofessional.
You've Got Crowded Landing Pages
Does your landing page look like the Las Vegas strip of advertising? If so, think about parring it down a bit. Your navigation menu should be clean and intuitive. It shouldn't look like an ad and it shouldn't confuse users (i.e. they shouldn't perceive it as advertising when it's not). Too many times, websites use graphics and cute images for links. Users often mistake these "cute" links for advertising and ignore them. Then, they get lost on the website, leave, and never return. Give your users no more than 4 things to do on your landing page. Ideally, there will be only one course of action to take on the landing page (aside from the navigation menu).
There's No Real Call To Action
The offer is probably the most important part of your landing page. Your headline draws users in. Your offer compels them to take action. A strong offer doesn't mean a complicated or convoluted offer. Often, the simplest offer is the best. "Want to know more? Sign up Below" is a good, clear, call to action. "Take the survey. Get instant feedback," is another great call to action. Good calls to action are usually written in the active voice. In this context, the active voice usually starts off with an action word and directs users to take some type of action. "Get," "Type," "Go," "Start," "Take," "Download," and "Buy," are all examples of good action words you could use in your call to action.
Where To Go From Here
If your website is a mess (you know if it is), get that fixed up. Work on the design. Make it look professional. Spruce up your "about us" page. Fix your navigation menu. Then, clean up your landing page. Make it simple, clear, and easy to navigate. When you send users to your reformed landing page, you should notice a significant bump in sign-ups. If you use a survey prior to asking for an email, some marketing studies show a 400 percent improvement in sign-ups.
What else have you discovered that hurts landing page conversion? What have you done to fix it?