Why Your Landing Pages Aren’t Converting (and how to save them)

No matter what industry your business is in you have to have an online presence in order to find new customers and make sales. One way to accomplish both of those goals is to use landing pages to target segments of your audience and engage them with specific offers that you’ll think they’ll respond to. Because of their ultra focused and targeted nature, landing pages can easily become the lifeblood of any business. With an increasing number of landing page generators that give you the ability to have a landing page up and running within minutes, it seems all too easy to create a high converting landing page and just watch the money pile up.

Ultra focused & targeted landing pages can easily become the lifeblood of any business. @Top_Affiliate

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But don’t be fooled, whether or not landing pages will add value to your bottom line completely depends on how well you utilize this deceivingly simple marketing tool. Landing page creation is one of the most critically important and one of the most botched aspects of any business’s online presence.

The solution to your landing page woes is truly simple to understand and actually quite easy to implement. Just like everything else in your business, landing page design starts with a clear understanding of what your visitors are looking for when they’re considering taking action on a landing page and then delivering on those wants.

So here are the top reasons why your landing pages aren’t yet successful and what to do to save your failing sales funnel.

1. What your landing page delivers is inconsistent with what your advertising promised.

The visitors that you send to your landing page got there because they were advertised to in some way. Whether you sent those visitors an email with an offer in it, you posted an ad on a website, got referral traffic from a similar website or any other of the multitudes of options when it comes to online advertising. The point is that your ad copy appealed to them and they clicked through to your landing page because they wanted to see more of whatever offer you advertised to them.

Let’s say for example, a user is searching for “how to bake a cake” and your ad pops up and says “learn to bake a cake in 10 minutes with our amazing tips”. The user likes what your ad is promising and clicks through to your landing page expecting to see these amazing tips that will have them baking like a pro in ten minutes. However, what greets them instead is an offer to get access to a generic baking newsletter with no tips posted on the page and no mention of getting underway in ten minutes anywhere. They’re greatly disappointed and hit the back button.

The business owner just paid $2 for that failed click and is wasting their advertising budget because their landing page doesn’t match the message of their ad. Obviously, this is a failed experience. Sadly, this is an extremely common mistake and an oversight that kills ad campaigns that could be successful.

Now, let’s consider the alternative, that same user sees the same ad for the same search term and this time the landing page promises to give them 5 of the best baking tips that will let them get started in ten minutes and they’ll also get a delicious secret cake recipe as a bonus in exchange for the user’s email and first name. This time the user is getting exactly what they wanted and without hesitation signed up for the tips and recipe.

Always make sure that your ad copy is properly setting your visitor’s expectations as to what they’re actually signing up for and what they will see once they click. This way you don’t waste advertising spend, your visitors will have a positive user experience with your brand and are much more likely to convert.

2. Your landing page is full of distractions.

Your landing page is not an extension of your website, it's an extension of your brand.

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Your landing page is not an extension of your website, it’s an extension of your brand. What that means is that the number of actions a visitor is able to take should be limited to as few as possible. This is to ensure that the visitor’s focus is not taken away from your offer. Distractions such as a full navigation menu copied from your main website, banner ads, related links section, contact us links, etc. should be removed.  As a general rule, the number of actions a visitor can take should be convert + 1. And the plus one is usually a privacy policy and terms of use link.

Now, most people feel a bit apprehensive about having such a focused approach to any customer interaction, business owners want a broader way of interacting with visitors because they think that if people don’t convert then they can still click thru to the website’s home page or go to the products page or something else.

But in reality, having a broad approach on a landing page simply distracts and confuses users who may otherwise have quickly converted instead of browsing around on your website and then leaving. Even if that user takes note of your website and has every intention of coming back, the truth is that they’ll most likely never come back on their own. Having the ability to contact them again in the future is much more valuable than them trying to remember you after a single visit. This is why your landing page needs to be solely focused on gathering their information or beginning the sales process in some way and nothing else. It may be scary at first to focus in on a single goal but your business will be better for it.

3.Your opt in form doesn’t stand out.

This piggy backs off of the previous point of keeping your visitor’s focus on converting. However, you still need to have the necessary design elements that people expect from any web page (your logo, an image of some kind, bullet points or some other outlining of the benefits of your product or service and a call to action). Otherwise, all you’d have is a form sitting on a blank page. Now, a common mistake that business owners make is focusing too much attention on the design elements and the opt in form and offer get lost in translation.

Think of your landing page design elements as simply supporting your offer and your form. The design portion of the page is simply there to help legitimize your brand and your offer so it’ll convert better. Your visitors should be able to clearly understand what your offer is and how to opt in within seven seconds of your page loading.

4. Your visitors don’t trust you.

Trust on the internet. It almost sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s critically important that your visitors trust your brand or they’ll never convert, no matter how well designed your page is or how enticing your offer seems.

An easy way to build trust with your users is to go through the steps to ensure that your landing pages are, in fact, secure. Your hosting company will be able to recommend safety products and be able to set them up on your servers for the most part. After your pages are secure, tell your visitors that they are by prominently displaying those nifty little security badges near your opt in form. This builds credibility and will help people feel more comfortable with giving you their personal information.

Also keep trust in mind when drafting your page copy. So instead of saying that your product or service is “used by over 1,500 entrepreneurs around the world” your product or service should be “trusted by over 1,500 entrepreneurs around the world”. Telling your visitors that your current customers trust you or that you’re a trusted brand in your industry will automatically help your conversion rates. Make sure that your page copy drives home your value, trustworthiness and offer specific benefits in as few words as possible. This will keep your page copy efficient and impactful.

5. You’re asking for too much and/or giving too little.

Even if you’re knocking it out of the park with all of the above points, if your offer isn’t great, your landing page won’t convert. And even if your offer is great, if you’re asking for too much in return, it still won’t convert. So let’s take a look at how to construct your offer so that your visitors feel good about what they’re getting but more importantly, that they feel comfortable with what they’re giving you.

Landing pages are most commonly used as a way to introduce your brand to a prospective customer and get them used to doing business with you in a minimally committal way. This is your time to prove to them that you’re better than the competition and give great value. You can accomplish that goal by, well, giving great value. Whether that’s a free trial of your service with no credit card required, a free ebook that usually costs $10-$20, a webinar where you’ll be taking the time to teach something or bringing in an expert to teach something valuable, a set of mp3s or videos you’ve created or whatever else you have of value to give.

Giving value accomplishes several goals up front. You distinguish yourself as a valuable ally to your customers, your paid products will be seen as more desirable, it helps to build trust and creates a positive impression in your visitor’s minds so when it’s time for them to give you something they’ll be much more willing to do so.

Increasingly people are treating, and selecting, brands using the same value systems that they use to select their friends our business partners. Make sure that you’re viewed as the good spirited, generous friend that makes them feel good and not the self serving, self centered friend that makes them feel used. Which brings us to the information collecting aspect of your landing page. So, you want to make sure that the information you’re asking for is of equal or lesser value than what you’re giving away. If you’re offering a free 5 part course that will help your visitor’s golf swing forever, it’s reasonable to ask them not only for their email and name but maybe a couple of pieces of additional info like:

  • How long they’ve been golfing for?
  • How much do they make annually?
  • How serious are they about their game?

This way you’re able to get to know your visitors and can achieve sales goals more easily later on because you better understand who you’re selling to.

This also feels like a fair trade because you’re helping them achieve something valuable to them for free and the data you’re mining from them is consistent with the value you’re giving them anyway. As a good rule of thumb people are more willing to give you information if they think it will benefit them in the long run and if you’re asking them questions that they enjoy answering like details about their hobbies, interests, accomplishments, ideas and values. So if you do need more information from your visitors for your business, try framing your questions in ways that make it sound like you’re genuinely interested in them and they’ll feel more comfortable with giving it to you.

Generally speaking people will over estimate their own value & underestimate the value of others.

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Generally speaking people will over estimate their own value and underestimate the value of others. This the barrier that your landing page must overcome. Just remember that your goals are to gain your visitor’s trust, give them value, keep it simple and build a genuine relationship. If you’re able to accomplish those goals, not only will your landing pages start converting but you’ll be building a customer base that values your brand, views your business as an ally and won’t be easily swayed to go to a competitor when they come knocking.

To your success!

Stephen Ralph

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