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Classic landing page mistakes you’re probably still making

Here we will discuss Classic landing page mistakes. One of the biggest clashes in design has been the question of whether to strip down your landing page to the point where it’s so minimal that it has no navigation at all. Proponents argue that the only thing on a landing page should be the call to action button, so as to eliminate all distractions and increase conversions; opponents will say that’s too extreme. So how do designers know what the best course of action is when it comes to landing page design?

In general, your landing page should absolutely be as minimal as you can make it because distractions (ie. anything that takes users and leads away from your page goal) will cost your site money.

Remove navigation

One of the reasons this discussion still exists today is the fact that many landing pages still have navigation bars, sad to say. Just16% of all landing pages are free of navigation, which is alarming because of all the lost conversion opportunities. Designers who include navigation on their landing pages aren’t looking out for the best interests of their clients.

If you happen to have a client who insists on navigation on the site’s landing page, it’s your job as the designer to educate him. Point him to numerous studies like this one, backed by hard data, that show that taking navigation away from a landing page increases conversion rates. This is true for any type of content that the page is offering, from free trials and demos to ebook templates and content-creation kits.

Sure, your client may push back because of various reasons such as disbelieving the data, branding (company logo on the navigation menu), or refusing to prioritize the importance of removing the navigation on a landing page. In all these situations, gently persuade your client by consistently impressing him with case study after case study:

  • Child-minding site Mindersincreased its conversion rates by 90% after removing navigation
  • Kitchen tool-maker Yuppie Chefincreased its conversion rates by 100% after removing navigation

The Light Phone site gives you two simple options: pre-order, or scroll for more information.

Drop stock images

With the navigation menu gone, the next thing on your list to ax is stock images. These dreaded and generic nightmares that celebrate insincerity will hurt your clients’ conversion rates, too. Stock images fail to inspire trust on a landing page because it’s almost like a business concealing who’s behind it.

So on your landing page, be sure to use real images of the people behind the product or service, as nothing inspires conversions like credibility.

Further, be sure to place images on top of the landing page headline. This is highly important, as marketing guru David Ogilvy himself found when he conducted research, headlines underneath images are read by 10% more viewers. Of course, when more people read your page’s headline, more continue reading down the page.

Now that you have images under control, you have to make your page’s flow work its way toward the all-important call to action button.

Irving Farm’s site uses real photographs to pack the site with the company’s brand personality.

Focus on calls to action

One of the hardest things to possibly design on a landing page is the call to action button. It requires a lot of thought and consideration because it is the star of your page, the whole reason it exists. If your page flow and information architecture make your offer persuasive and clear, then visitors should have no problem clicking on the button.

There are a couple of things to get right.

First, there’s the color: it should feature good color contrast so that your visitors can easily find and click it.

Then, there’s the size: it has to be big enough to be easily read.

You can also add a directional cue next to the button to make it all the harder to miss.

Don’t neglect the button copy. It should be persuasive and use a sense of urgency. This means using action-based words like “hurry,” which is also one of the most persuasive words in the English language, and “now,” which also speaks of urgency.

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