Landing pages are essential to the success of almost any digital marketing campaign. They’re how you convince customers to keep moving forward once you’ve gotten their attention with an ad, article or another form of advertising.
As a result, the design of your landing page can make or break a campaign. Some oversights are serious enough that they can almost ruin a page that is otherwise perfectly put together.
These eight deadly sins of landing page design are so severe that they can throw off any website. Avoid them at all costs. If you keep these things in mind, there’s a better chance you will convert new visitors and see an increase in sales.
1. Slow Page Speed
Your visitors have a lot of options. If your page takes too long to load, they can always click away and look for something else.
Every second counts. Research from Google shows that slow page speed can increase your bounce rate by 32% as load time grows from one to three seconds. Further increases in load time make the problem even worse.
If you want to maximize your conversion rate, make changes that boost your site’s speed — like minified code and compressed images.
2. Irrelevant or No Visuals
Visuals add interest and make your landing page easier to parse quickly. They give your customers something to grasp onto when scanning the page for info. As a result, good visuals can go a long way in explaining what your company can provide.
Bad or irrelevant visuals, on the other hand, can do the opposite. They may confuse your customers, suggest they’ve made a wrong turn or associate your brand with values you don’t necessarily stand for.
A complete lack of visuals eliminates this risk but is tricky to pull off. Minimalist landing pages are possible. However, avoiding visuals means giving up on a valuable design element that can tell visitors a lot about your brand quickly.
3. Vague Language
Customers should know right away what your landing page is offering. If your language is too vague or unclear, they can easily get lost or confused about what you’re trying to provide.
Ideally, your language will be as specific as possible. This works best if you have a particular offering in mind — like a product, service or free resource. The anchor text on your call-to-action should make it clear where the link is going — whether that’s to a specific product or to a page that offers contact info.
4. Not Designing With Audience in Mind
A successful landing page has to center on the needs of the audience. Anticipating customer desires and designing a landing page that meets them is essential if you want your site to be effective.
King Door, a California-based garage door company, is a good example of this. The page highlights a few different offerings from the company — including services, residential and commercial products, and new deals.
These links are built with divergent audience needs in mind. They provide quick access to services for a range of different customers, based on what the company knows about its base.
5. Cluttered or Unclear Design
A landing page that is too complex can make it hard for visitors to know where they should go — or even why the link they clicked on brought them to this page in the first place.
This landing page from Zoho, the developer of a customer relationship management platform, shows off some simple-but-effective design. Black text on a white background communicates the company’s benefits, while a simple lead form provides customers with a way to move forward. Everything on the page — from the text to the palette to the visuals — does exactly what it needs to.
6. Many Calls to Action
Too many calls to action can create a similar problem — distracting or confusing customers, throwing them off or even pushing them out of the sales funnel.
Shopify’s landing page shows the benefits of keeping it simple. The lead form is front-and-center, and it’s clear what filling it out will do.
You may need to bend this rule slightly if your business serves both consumers and businesses. It’s not uncommon for companies to include multiple CTAs or links for customer groups with different needs. Typically, however, less is more — keeping the number of CTAs low will be best.
7. Too-Long Lead Forms
Asking for too much information at once can create a lead form that’s overwhelming — and may even encourage customers to think twice about signing up or handing over their info.
Sometimes, however, you’re going to need a lot of information from first-time customers. In situations like this, there are design strategies you can use to make your lead form a little less overwhelming.
This form, from Lyft, starts with just the phone number and whether or not the user has a car. Rideshare services naturally need some serious data from potential drivers — including name, phone number, email address and info on the kind of car they drive. Asking for this all at once would create a pretty hefty lead form. So, most rideshare services break it up and ask for just a bit of info at a time.
Other sites use different strategies. E-commerce businesses, for example, often use tab-style or accordion forms that compress sections while a user isn’t actively working on them.
8. No Mobile Version
Right now, about half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. As a result, landing pages need to be designed with cellphone use in mind. Otherwise, you may find that your landing page — which looks and runs fine on desktop — is slow, broken or unresponsive for about half of your visitors.
There are a few different approaches you can use to build in mobile support for your landing page. If you create a smooth mobile experience, you will go a long way in making a landing page that works.
Avoid These Pitfalls to Create Effective Landing Pages
Without a good landing page, you can’t run an ad campaign that works. Any of these design mistakes, even by themselves, can be enough to sink a website. If you can keep your visitors’ experience in mind while you design, you can avoid most of these potential issues.
A landing page that loads quickly, looks good on mobile and guides the visitor to the CTA or will be the most effective. If you find that your pages aren’t getting potential customers to convert, looking for and correcting these design sins is a great place to start.