Published on June 11th, 2013
Landing pages are an essential tool for converting your website's visitors into qualified leads. At its simplest form, a landing page fosters a non-monetary exchange between your company and the visitor. You supply them with quality content, such as an eBook or whitepaper, and they in turn provide you with their basic contact information via a form.
Despite being arguably the most important tool in an inbound marketer’s toolbelt, MarketingSherpa reports that 44% of B2B clicks are directed to a company’s homepage. Landing pages can be used in conjunction with social media, email, pay per click campaigns to send your targets directly to a specific offer and increase your conversion rate.
There are seven common, but deadly mistakes; sins if you will, regarding landing page construction and maintenance. While committing these sins may not necessarily result in your eternal banishment to the underworld, your lead generation will severely suffer if they are not addressed.
Here are the seven sins of landing pages, explained and compared to their cardinal counterparts.
The "Deadly" Sins of Landing Pages
1. Lust – Multiple offers on one page
Lust is the sin of intense desire. The landing page equivalent of lust is placing more than one offer on your landing page. As a company, you want this visitor to download every piece of content that you have, but you must not overload them. Your visitor was interested in one thing, which is why they clicked the call to action and landed on this page. Offering more than one piece of content runs the risk of confusing the customer. If you feel another piece of content is complimentary, there in an opportunity to place the appropriate CTA on the thank you page.
2. Gluttony – Your copy is too long
Gluttony is the overindulgence of something to the point of waste. It is usually in reference to food, but in the case of your landing page it’s your word count. The visitor is already interested in the content you have to offer them, that is why they are on the landing page in the first place. Keep it simple. Yes, you will want your body paragraph to explain the benefits that they will be receiving, but you do not want to overload them with information. Large blocks of texts can scare your visitors away, so stick to short paragraphs and bullet points.
3. Greed – Too many fields on your form
Greed, or the excessive pursuit of material possessions, can be compared to your landing page’s form being too long. You want every piece of information you can get obtain about this lead, down to what they ate for breakfast, but keep in mind the golden rule of forms: more fields = less downloads. Only ask for information that is necessary, and remember: if you wouldn’t fill out the form, chances are they won’t either.
4. Sloth – Main navigation is not removed
Sloth is simply laziness. Most, if not all of these mistakes can be caused by laziness, but failure to remove your main navigation is the most obvious example. Unlike most of your website, landing pages should not include any navigation bars. Once your visitor arrives on your landing page, you want them to stay there. Removing all links decreases the likelihood of them clicking away from the page. You want your landing page free from all distractions.
5. Wrath – Not enough landing pages
Wrath is the uncontrolled feeling of anger. After a fit of rage caused by repeated poor performance, it is easy to give up hope. But, as the idiom says, “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!” According to HubSpot, companies with 30+ landing pages generate 7x more leads than companies with fewer than 10. Furthermore, companies with 40+ landing pages generate 12x more leads than those with 5 or fewer. There is an extreme value in the quantity of landing pages, but don't forget that there is still no substitute for quality!
6. Envy – CTA is not consistent with content
Envy is the deadly sin of jealousy. Let’s pretend that your competitor’s eBook just received twice as many downloads as any ebook you’ve ever published. You’re desperate for leads, and you counteract your competitor by launching a campaign with CTAs promising a groundbreaking, content-packed eBook. When the hopeful visitor clicks through to the landing page, they instead see “fill out the form to request a call from sales”. Not only have you lost credibility, but possibly money if they came to your site through a pay-per-click ad. Moral of the story; always keep your landing page offers consistent with your CTAs.
Editors note: Okay, I admit that this example was a bit of a stretch, but the lesson is important nonetheless.
7. Pride – Failure to track landing page performance
Pride is defined as the excessive love of oneself. Pride is often viewed as a virtue rather than a vice in today’s world, but it was once considered the deadliest of all offenses, much like this landing page sin. Pride can result in the failure to acknowledge one’s wrongdoings and failure to make the necessary changes. To prevent this sin, make sure to always track your landing page’s performance! In order to optimize your conversion rate, learn which pages work best and apply those concepts to all of your future efforts.