The Top Landing Page Mistakes You’re Still Making in 2021 (and How to Fix ‘Em)

Let’s get to the point: There are some things that you just shouldn’t do with your landing page.

Landing pages are made of a bunch of elements that each play a part in the page’s success. It can get tricky to make sure you’re using all of ‘em right. So, one of your landing page elements could be throwing the whole thing outta whack without you realizing it.

Think of it as a big Jenga tower, but instead of blocks falling, it’s your metrics. Not as fun.

Whoops, there goes kitty’s KPI.

No worries if you do make a goof, though—if you have the tools to create a landing page, you have what you need to fix it. Let’s look at four of the most common landing page mistakes out there and learn how to turn them around.

Common Landing Page Faux Pas (and How to Make ’Em Right)

Peep these four landing page mistakes you’ll see in the wild and examples to follow to fix ‘em:

Driving all your traffic to one generic landing page

A landing page is like a funnel, not a bucket. You want it to lead people through the sales journey instead of collecting all of your traffic. Multiple landing pages tailored to different users will snag more conversions than a single universal landing page.

Check out the numbers. According to HubSpot research, companies with 31 to 40 landing pages get seven times as many leads as businesses with only one to five of ‘em. Businesses with more than 40 landing pages create 12 times more leads than the folks with one to five.

So, do you have to make 40+ landing pages for every campaign? Not necessarily—although it’s pretty easy to make tons of variants with the right landing page builder. But, your customers will be more receptive to your offer if you tailor your landing pages to their preferences.

If you don’t know where to start, Smart Traffic can help. After setting up a few variants of your landing page, Smart Traffic analyzes your visitor behavior to direct people to the most relevant version.

Dooly’s marketing team used Smart Traffic to send visitors to landing pages that highlighted different benefits. This approach helped the team cast a wider net without their copy feeling too generic.

One variant focused on the financial perks of their referral program:

The other pointed out how customers could help their friends through the same referral program:

Images courtesy of Dooly.

Dooly’s variants let them appeal to two groups of customers: One that values savings and another that puts generosity first. You’ve just gotta make a few tweaks here and there to switch up your landing page’s angle, then let Smart Traffic decide who will like each variant more.

Pushing monster-size lead gen forms

If you already make landing pages for top-of-funnel customers, you can get tripped up on your lead generation forms. Lead gen forms ask for a customer’s contact information to start nurturing them as a lead.

But if they ask for too much information, they could end up turning folks away. You also gotta account for your industry’s best practices for forms, like the ones covered in the Conversion Benchmark Report.

Think of every landing page as a transaction—both you and your customer should get something out of it. If you’re asking your customer for too much work through your lead gen form, they’ll turn that deal down. You’ll also need to account for the best form. 

So, how do you craft a lead gen form that encourages visitors to finish it? You have two options:

  • Use only a few fields on your form.
  • Guide your visitors through your form with the breadcrumb technique.

Thinkific has a great example of a simple form on this event landing page:

Image courtesy of Thinkific.

Their event registration asks for one thing: The visitor’s email. And that’s really all they need to keep in touch.

But what if you can’t avoid asking a bunch of questions? Try using the breadcrumb technique to break up your form fields and lead your visitor along. Lead gen forms made with the breadcrumb technique show a few fields with language that guides visitors through the process.

Let’s see how Mention uses the breadcrumb technique in their lead gen form.

First, they ask for basic details about the visitor’s business. They then explain why they need that information to put the form-filler at ease. Then, they ask for contact information by asking who they can contact about a demo.

Image courtesy of Mention.

Here, the breadcrumb technique softens the demands of a longer form by justifying why Mention needs that information. While the visitor has to provide a little more info than usual, they understand that it’s for their benefit.

Trying to close on cold audiences

Imagine you’re going on a first date with someone. A few minutes into the conversation, they pop the marriage question. Awkward, right?

Welp, you’d be surprised how many companies follow similar steps in selling their product. They set up their landing pages as tools only for closing deals. That method works great when your audience is already at that conversion funnel stage, but not so much when they’re getting to know your brand.

If your audience is in the initial awareness stage of the funnel, your landing page goal is to get them familiar with your brandnot to make an immediate sale. Otherwise, you’ll come off too pushy, like the weird date.

This landing page from Industrial Strength Marketing doesn’t ask top-of-funnel visitors to request the agency’s services. Instead, it offers free knowledge in the form of an ebook.

Image courtesy of Industrial Strength Marketing via Hubspot.

The goal here isn’t to get a sale right away. Instead, this landing page aims to begin an ongoing relationship with a lead gen form. In exchange for giving the agency their contact info, the visitor gets to learn about responsive websites.

Too many visuals

A new landing page is like a canvas for your design, but some folks go the Jackson Pollock route with pictures and colors everywhere. It’s a fun, creative exercise, but customers need easy-to-digest information.

Every landing page should have a visual hierarchy that guides the visitor through its content. It can be tempting to go all-out on your visuals, but you need to put them in a logical order and make sure you don’t have too many competing for attention. Draw your customers’ eyes to the essential parts of your landing page first.

Once you master the art of visual hierarchy on your landing pages, you’ll see that organized visuals don’t have to be boring.

Look at how Lyft combines a vibrantly colored background with a knock-your-socks-off copy layout.

Image courtesy of Lyft via WordStream.

This landing page is striking not because of image overload but because of a clear message. It presents a well-defined benefit front-and-center through a bold headline.

The Costs of a Landing Page Slip-Up (And How to Avoid ‘Em)

Landing page mistakes can lead to these pitfalls:

  • High bounce rates: Your bounce rate shows how many people leave your landing page without taking action. If people can’t find the answers they want on your page fast, they’ll get outta there.
  • Wasted money: Landing pages should make you money in the long-term—after all, they convert at a 65% higher rate than regular websites. If you don’t see returns on your investment, something’s up.
  • Lower conversions: The Conversion Benchmark Report found that the median conversion rate for a landing page ranges from 2.4% to 9.8%, depending on the industry. If your landing page metrics aren’t looking similar, it’s time to look over your pages.

If you catch any of these problems happening, you could have an issue going on with your landing page. But hey, don’t sweat it too much—instead, look at it as a chance to test and improve. Once you learn how to spot common landing page mistakes, you’ll have an easier time improving your pages.

Plus, landing page tools like Unbounce can help you avoid mistakes in the first place. AI-powered features like Smart Builder take out the guesswork of designing a landing page that converts.