The 10 mortal sins of landing page design

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Landing page design is a discipline where you can let your creative genius fly. But it’s always worth getting to know the DONT's first.

The 10 Mortal Sins of Landing Page Design


So you have already spent a third of your marketing budget on strategic planning, tools and resources to generate more leads. And you are fully aware that you have to fight for the user's attention in the online jungle. Therefore, you made sure that every single aspect of your current lead generation strategiesfrom content production and management platforms, to copy and adsis optimized to perfection.

Zooming out to take a look at the big inbound marketing picture, lead generation is only the first step in the journey towards acquiring actual customers. What comes next is the intelligence to “catch” those leads and get them further down the buyer's funnel. One of the most essential components of that nurturing process is a well-optimized and responsive landing page.

Anatomy of a nice landing page

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Landing page design is a discipline of diversity, where you can easily let your creative genius “fly”. Nevertheless, no matter the scope of “DOs” that you decide to include, it’s always worth getting to know the “DON’Ts” first. We have listed the ten common mistakes of landing page design which, you surely have to avoid, unless you want your lead nurturing efforts nipped in the bud.

#1: Your Landing Page Takes Ages to Load

Basics, right? Of course, the loading speed of any website plays could be a deal breaker for the user experience. Not to mention it also impacts the site’s rankings in search. Did you know that nearly half of the web users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less, and they tend to abandon those that aren't loaded within 3 seconds? Before you start insisting on that fancy flashy elements on your landing page, think again. So, would you rather have a simple and fast landing page, or something extravagant which most people won't have the patience to see?

#2: You Don’t Convey a Clear Message

A rule of thumb in landing page design. Still, many businesses can’t comprehend that a single idea/message per page is way more effective than a distractive page with eclectic bits and pieces of content. Your company might have a number of products or services, but one landing page should serve as a means to convert leads around one product, idea or service.

#3: Text Here, There and Everywhere

So you managed to grab the user’s attention and got him curious enough to click on your link. Congratulations! Now here comes the not-so-good newsthe decision to spend time on the landing page, or abandon it right away will be taken in a matter of milliseconds. Yes! It's not a mistake, it reads milli-seconds. In that sense, think about filling up all the space with text, text, text. How much time will it take before the user presses the X button?

Again, depending on the message you are trying to convey, you might have to educate the lead further. But who said it always needs to be by means of traditional text? How about the good old saying that “A picture is worth a thousand words.”?

#4: A 4-Year-Old Would Have Picked Better Visuals

Visuals are a powerful tool to trigger some basic human psychology reactions and emotions. However, these vary from positive to negative, from attractive to repulsive. Keep the images pleasing and inviting and choose wisely:

  • Be bold and creative, BUT…
  • Keep the consistency around your brand identity and elements (position and size of logo, colors contact details, etc.)

Hint: Get to know the concept of Conversion-Centered Design (CCD) better.

#5: Your Landing Page Doesn't Meet Users’ Expectations

This is one of the most common reasons for looking at those annoying 90%+ bounce rates on your landing page analytics board. Whatever the tactics for generating leads are (an ad, a link in a social media, an email campaign, etc.) make sure to always align the description of the link with what the user will actually find. Your ad promotes John Grisham’s new book? Then that’s exactly the thing a user should see on your landing page.

#6: An Unappealing CTA Button

Continuing with the same book example, you might want the user to either directly go and purchase the book, or start by reading a sample of pages for free. Here comes the importance of defining the user’s next step via the so-important Call-To-Action button. Again, there are many psychological processes which can be taken into consideration when deciding on the exact appeal (You might consider a read through Joanna Wiebe’s article on the subject matter).

#7: No Indication For What To Do Next

Never forget that a landing page is just one of the many steps of your lead's journey. For the sake of successful lead nurturing, make sure to not only provide the best user experience, but to also give a clear direction for “what happens next”.

#8: Poor Navigation

Rule #1 of usability is Steve Krug’s famous statement: “Don’t make me think!”. With reference to landing pages, this means not letting the user get lost. Every single click and its triggered action must be as simple and straightforward as possible. Thus, avoiding the possibility of spoiling the user’s experience and consequently chasing him off the page.

#9: Too Much Information In Your Form

For you, the Marketer, the need to acquire as much user data as possible is natural. Despite the temptation however, Landing Pages’ forms should be the last place to ask your leads for too many details. Otherwise, you risk ruining that initial trust by bringing up some privacy issues and “losing” the lead.

#10: Your Landing Page Is Mobile Unfriendly

eMarketer estimated that in 2013, 73.4 % of the Internet users accessed the Web from a mobile device. We’ve been witnessing the tremendous growth of mobile devices for the last couple of years. Two out of three users will come to your Landing Page from a mobile device. Failing to optimize your page accordingly and provide the appropriate experience will undoubtedly have a fatal consequence to your genuine lead nurturing efforts.

Knowing the 10 Dont's of landing page design, take a look at the 5 Do's.