In a webinar hosted by UserTesting.com, SiteTuners CEO Tim Ash likened having a poorly designed landing page to welcoming your site visitors with tall castle walls instead of a red carpet. He stressed that it’s a mistake to focus on traffic acquisition and ignore landing pages. He enumerated seven landing page mistakes that make it difficult for visitors to complete what they’re trying to do.
When the page has no information or has too much information, visitors ask “What am I supposed to do on this page?” The desired conversion action should be clear and prominent, so customers instinctively know what they’re supposed to click on.
2.Too Many Choices
We live in an attention economy, and too many options make it hard to think and make a choice. Visitors will only wade through a lot of choices if they really care about something and they’re willing to invest time in the discovery process.
Too many clickable links on a page is overwhelming. Category level images (composites of images that represent a particular category) should be used instead of presenting all the choices at the top level. These categories radically reduce the number of choices and serve as information scent that visitors can follow.
3.Asking for Too Much Information
Trust and relationship with visitors should be built overtime via progressive disclosure. This means forms should be short and simple so they’re less imposing. A form field should only be added if it’s absolutely necessary to complete the transaction as asking for unnecessary information only narrows the sales funnel.
Online marketers should aim to unbalance the scale by giving as much as possible and asking as little as possible.
4.Too Much Text
Nobody reads on the web. Strip the page down to important information first and use bullet points and sub-heading for higher conversion and retention.
Put text designed to increase search engine visibility lower on the page. At the top of the page, the user experience should be highly visual. The focus should be on the experience of real people and not of Google spiders.
5.Not Keeping Your Promises
What’s promised upstream should be what the visitors see on the landing page. Align the messaging on the ad with the promise made, and carry that to the landing page.
If there’s a lot of visual clutter on your site, visitors ask, “Where am I supposed to look?” Remove entry pop-ups and other unexpected visual distraction. Rotating banners also have the same effect, as motion yanks visitors attention and makes it impossible to focus on anything else.
7.Lack of Trust
Trust can be established through the appearance of the page and through client logos, media mention, and other trust marks. Important trust marks should be placed above the fold as only 15% of people will scroll down below it.
These mistakes can be fixed easily but page designers will need to take off their rose colored glasses to see their landing page from users\’ perspective. Tim reminded online marketers that they need to be critical and be the biggest defender of website visitors and not of their companies.