Anything and everything you see written around the web about landing page design is rules, rules, rules.
Do this. Don’t do that. A/B test these two things. But remove that thing immediately.
I think it’s safe to say we’ve got that generic advice down pat.
I mean, if you’re still wailing around with three different CTAs in one screen, I don’t even know what to say to you.
Just kidding. I’d tell you to pick one and stick to it for better conversions.
But there are other must-dos and must-not-under-any-circumstances-dos that we’re ignoring here. And these are the things that are silently killing our landing pages… much more so than A/B testing the color of a “Submit” button or playing around with the text that’s written on it.
And just what are those silent killers?
Let’s get down to it, and expose these criminals for who they really are:
1) Not Packing a One-Two Punch Under (or Near) Your CTA
We pay a lot of attention to the build up before the call to action, and rightly so.
If a reader doesn’t want what we’re selling after they’ve read through our on-page copy, they’re obviously not going to buy it with their hard-earned money.
But taking the time to carefully place a well-crafted one-two punch somewhere right around the CTA button can give the extra oomph it takes to push someone who’s sitting on the fence right over to the edge… so they do a face-plant right into your product offering.
(A graceful and painless face-plant, of course. We don’t want to hurt your landing page conversions.)
This Life Coaching 101 course provides an extra punch below their CTA by telling you exactly what you should expect-taking out the mystery of the unknown that we’re so afraid of sometimes.
That, and 2,500+ people have already taken the course. Social proof. Boom!
And if you can’t seem to come up with the perfect grabbing quote or emotionally reinforcing statement?
A testimonial will do just fine as a place-holder as you let your creative juices stir around in your brain until they create something great.
2) Having a Navigation Menu
I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve preached this particular piece of advice the across the internet. But, yes, I keep doing it.
Because here’s the facts, folks: when people click through to a landing page, whether it’s from an ad or your sidebar link or a call to action at the bottom of one of your blog posts, it’s because they’re genuinely interested in that specific solution that you’re promising in the teaser text that leads to that page.
So when they get to that page, that is THE thing they’re expecting to read about.
Not your About page, not the pricing options for another service you offer, and not more blog posts.
You’ve captured their attention for that thing and that thing specifically. So optimize on it!!!
Don’t throw them off track with a scent of something else that seems more interesting/less threatening/like yet another option they need to explore before making a decision.
Because I’m here to tell you from experience, chances are those other options aren’t going to enhance their attention towards the buying decision you want them to make, it’s going to dissipate it.
And when that dissipation happens, they’re as good as gone. And so is your money.
3) Being Vague
This might sound like a piece of generic advice; to demonstrate to you exactly how much of a problem it is, I want you to do an exercise with me.
Yes, right now. Don’t give me that look.
Open a new browser tab and go to crayon.co.
Under ‘Page Type’ to the top left, click on ‘Landing Page.’
Under ‘Traffic & Device’ select ‘Wicked High’ under ‘Traffic Level.’
This will show you some landing pages of pretty popular companies.
Now scroll down and try your best to forget anything you know about these companies and see if you could figure out how these companies would be helping you, or why in the heck they’d be someone you’d want to consider over their competitors.
Some will be good, but some *cough* most *cough* will be pretty freaking terrible.
These companies get away with it because they’re high-level and popular.
And we tend to want to get inspiration from (read: copy) them because they are successful. After all, it only makes logical sense, right?
If your landing page already gets wicked high traffic and you make loads of money from it, I’m happy for you.
But since you’re here reading this blog post, I’m guessing the outlook is a little less shiny.
And if that’s the case? You’ve got to be more clear. Your wallet is begging you to.
So don’t take their examples and be vague like them. Instead, mine through the examples and find the good ones to take inspiration from.
Note: Clarity does not necessarily mean wordy. I’m not telling you to ramble on and on.
4) Not Doing Heavy, Backend SEO
I hate SEO just as much as you do.
Probably more, to be honest.
Or, I should say I hate doing SEO because it’s monotonous and boring, but I LOVE the results it brings.
Overall site SEO is important, yes. But too often we let the site-wide SEO responsibility fall on the shoulders of our blog posts, and just kind of leave our landing pages be.
It’s great to optimize your blog posts for SEO, but let me tell you why only using your blog to build your SEO is a problem: people who are searching for and reading blog posts usually aren’t reading blog posts because they’re ready to buy something.
They’re reading blog posts because they want to learn something.
Which is an amazing strategy… to provide teachable value so when someone is ready to buy what you offer, you’re top of mind.
But while you’re busy educating your blog readers on everything under the sun, there are people searching on Google RIGHT NOW who are trying to solve the exact problems that you have solutions for.
And when they’re in problem-solving mode? It means they’re also in money-spending mode.
So don’t let that money go to someone else. Get it for yourself because you deserve it.
Suck it up and do that backend SEO.
5) Treating Your On-Page Content Like an Ad
So, yes, the pressure is on with your landing page conversions.
It’s your chance to make a sale, or at least get people to opt-in. (Depending on what the landing page is for.)
And too many times, well-meaning marketers feel that pressure and break under it… revolting to the shameful, slimy, sales-y versions of themselves.
Because they’re scared that if they don’t make that sale, then they’re toast.
You may have noticed some of this in the crayon.co exercise above, but will certainly notice more of it if you filter based on lower traffic levels.
While the pressure to make sales & not lose them online is real, getting all sales-y and using the same pitches that you’d use in writing ads for AdWords isn’t going to impress anyone… it’s going to send them running.
Because really, if you went to an agency’s landing page for AdWords help and all it did was talk about getting more leads, would you really want to buy in?
Or would you want to know more about the process, case studies, and best practices the company has actually done with real clients to get those promised leads?
6) Not Giving Another Thing to Say ‘Yes’ to After the Opt-in Happens
This is particularly good for landing pages created for lead magnets, but also works well with buy-ins.
After someone makes the decision to buy into what you’re offering, they’re as hot as they’ll ever be.
(Maybe not, but you don’t want to bank on the future, here.)
Chances are, they’re feeling good and confident about their decision, so offering something that’s relevant and helpful in relation to the thing they’ve just opted in for is a golden move.
It makes them feel even better about the decision they’ve just made, and makes them likes you more.
And if they haven’t bought in yet and have just opted in for a lead magnet, it demonstrates that you really are a wealth of helpful knowledge, which is really comforting to know when you do decide to buy from someone.
After I downloaded HubSpot’s On-Page SEO template, they immediately provided me with another option to help my on-site SEO: figuring out exactly which keywords I should be optimizing for.
7) Writing for the Wrong Education Level
I’m not talking about Associate vs. Bachelor vs. Master Degree, here.
I’m talking about education as it relates to what you do and how you work to solve the problems they’re having.
For example, I sell copywriting services.
If the majority of people came to my site wanting to know what copywriting is, I know I’d have a problem somewhere with my online funnel. Because I don’t sell to those people.
I sell to people that know what copywriting is, know that high-level copywriting is worth it, and have probably tried it enough to know that it isn’t their particular strong suit.
KlientBoost sells PPC services, landing page design, and A/B testing. But they know the people who come to their landing pages well enough not to waste reader time educating them on what those things are, or what they can do.
Their prospects already know, because they’re smart. (See me buttering you up? Shhh! Don’t tell sales!)
But can you imagine if you went from this blog post to one of their landing pages and saw that?
It’d be a bit of a turn-off, wouldn’t it?
So always stay on top of double-checking that your funnels are leading the people of the right education levels to your landing page, OR that your landing page copy adjusts to the people who just keep coming by.
Attack the Silent, Creeping Killers Before They Attack You
If you don’t pay attention to everything you’ve got going on (or don’t have going on) on your landing page, those silent killers creeping in your online closets could burst out and strike you at any time.
So pay attention. Put out your garlic. Hang out your hawthorn.
And when you hear those suspicious creaks and bumps?
Go in swinging, making sure you’re the one to do the damage first.
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