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5 Mistakes That Kill Landing Page Optimization

When you think about increasing the profitability of your website, driving more traffic is usually the first thing that comes to mind.

However, this isn’t the only solution.

Instead of spending countless hours attracting new visitors, you can achieve better results by improving the conversion rate of your existing visitors. This can be achieved by making some significant tweaks to your landing page.

When you consider that conversion rates typically range from one to three percent, there’s usually a lot of room for improvement.

Like most marketers, I’ve made every mistake in the book when it comes to landing page design. Mistakes are OK, as long as you learn from them and move forward.
If you think you’re making one of the following mistakes, be sure to create new landing page variants and test them against the control version.
Former U.S. President Barrack Obama managed to raise an additional $60 million for his presidential election campaign as a direct result of A/B testing his donation landing pages.

Focusing on Features Rather Than Benefits

If you’ve spent months developing a new product, it’s understandable that you want to tell the world about all its intricate features.
In reality, customers don’t care about your product, they only care about what benefits it will bring to their lives.

Buying decisions are emotional rather than logical, so when you discuss the cold hard features and neglect to mention how it will positively impact the lives of your buyers – you’re not going to get the conversion.

The two strongest emotional drivers are:

1. The desire to avoid pain.

2. The desire to move towards pleasure.

The sales copy on your landing page must leverage one or both of these emotions if you want to maximize conversions.

For a blatant example of these principles at work, consider the fitness industry. The most powerful marketing always emphasizes the emotional benefits of being in shape.

In this ancient 1940s version of a landing page, legendary bodybuilding entrepreneur, Charles Atlas, talks about feeling embarrassed and being unable to get a date due to his skinny physique. He’s not selling a bodybuilding course, he’s selling the feeling of masculinity.

Lack of Social Proof

Especially if you’re driving cold traffic from paid advertising, people are not going to purchase from you unless they trust you.

If someone is unfamiliar with your brand, they will look for social cues on your website to determine whether or not you’re authentic.

Reviews and customer testimonials are essential social proof elements for any landing page.

When you consider that four times as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it, it’s clear that video reviews are one of the best forms of social proof.

Unlike text reviews which can easily be faked, video reviews are viewed with more credibility. They also give prospective customers a chance to relate to existing customers (all of your video testimonials should pertain to your most common buyer personas).

For a good example of video reviews on an eCommerce product page with a consistent buyer persona, check out pro-aging cosmetics brand, Boom by Cindy Joseph.

No Urgency

By conveying urgency on a landing page, this is one of the easiest ways to increase a consumer’s buying temperature.

If there isn’t a reason to convert immediately, people have a tendency to procrastinate and subsequently, forget about your offer.

Promoting a limited offer and showing a countdown timer on your landing page is a great way to encourage conversions.

For ecommerce businesses using the Shopify platform, I highly recommend installing the Hurrify app onto your most popular product pages. When people can visibly see that time is running out, they’re more likely to act out of FOMO (the fear of missing out).

If you’re promoting a webinar, you might want to highlight that spaces are limited on your landing page. If you’re promoting a special deal, state the end date for your offer in bold.

Poor Aesthetics

If you show up to a corporate job interview in the clothes you’d wear to the gym, you can expect to get rejected.

Sure, it would be nice if the interviewers only cared about your experience and qualifications, but that’s not the way the world works.

The same principle applies to landing page design. Even if you have the best offer in the world, no one is going to convert if the design looks unprofessional.

Some of the most common landing page design problems include:

  • Inappropriate font size
  • Inconsistent fonts
  • Low quality product images
  • Haphazard layout
  • Jarring color schemes
  • Unexpected sounds
  • Too many pop-ups

Lack of a Single Conversion Goal

Forty-eight percent of landing pages have multiple offers. This is far from ideal.

A landing page should have one sole purpose: to achieve a conversion. Whether it’s a purchase for your ecommerce product or an e-mail list opt-in, the entire landing page should be orchestrated around this goal.

When you have too many elements at play, people get distracted. I like to think about this using the analogy of roadblocks on a highway.

Your landing page should be designed to create a smooth journey for your visitors all the way to the CTA button at the bottom. When you have links in your right column or multiple offers appearing, this is like a moose wandering onto the highway and impeding your visitor’s progress towards the goal.

Research indicates that you can improve conversions by 100 percent simply by removing the navigation menu on your landing page.

If you’ve sent people directly to your landing page, you don’t want them interacting with your menu and looking at your about page anyway.

Can you think of any other common landing page optimization mistakes? Please let me know in the comments below.

About the author


Aaron Agius

Aaron Agius, CEO of worldwide digital agency Louder Online is, according to Forbes, among the world's leading digital marketers. Working with clients such as Salesforce, Coca-Cola, IBM, Intel, and scores of stellar brands, Aaron is a growth marketer - a fusion between search, content, social, and PR. Find him on Twitter, LinkedIn, or on the Louder Online blog.


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  • Hello Aaron Agius,
    I`ve really spent some good time on reading your valuable post about landing page optimization.

    Facts show that 5 out of 100 visitors to a page are likely to convert. However, all these statistics apply only to sites that spend a lot of time and effort in optimizing their landing pages.

    The conversion rate will be very low for a site whose pages are not optimized. It can become a lost opportunity to get a potential customer if a visitor does not convert.

    If you have email marketing, PPC and other such campaigns running, it can also lead to a lot of expense. Hence, if you are serious about your business site doing well online, you have to optimize your landing pages.

    Thanks so much
    -Omar Saady

  • Great article
    I agree with this, my site has nice slider call to action, no pop ups, clean logo and is a fully registered trade mark.

    The thing I find very annoying is pop ups within a second of landing on the website, if visitors likes your website products you do not need any pop ups, maybe a subscription box when the visitor leaves.

    When I created my website, i did this in what i expect when i visit someones websites, my likes dislikes, do not put your dislikes on a site you create and build.


    • Hi Robert, Thanks for reading. Great approach in thinking like a customer when designing your site. Agree that pop-ups the moment you arrive can be distracting and put me off. Cheers, Aaron

  • I was relieved find that “some of the most common landing page design problems” does not include “absence of fancy graphics or other eye candy”, since my home page has none. You could call it “minimalistic”. Hey — it works in modern art.

    • Hi Peter, Thanks for the read. Sometimes a minimal design is the best option. Flashy graphics will never replace solid products or services. That being said, aesthetic appeal is still an important aspect. Lucky for you, the minimalist look is in! Cheers, Aaron