We all know the Greek legend of Achilles — the greatest warrior in Homer’s “Iliad,” who gained invincibility after his mother bathed him in the River Styx as a child.
Unfortunately for the famed Greek soldier, his mother missed a spot when she dunked him like a mozzarella stick into the river of the dead.
That spot was his heel.
Years later, that teeny-tiny vulnerability would be his undoing, when a poisonous arrow struck him in that heel during the Trojan War, ending his life.
As dramatic of an analogy as this is, your landing page campaigns have weaknesses like Achilles’s heel too. And like him, you may not know these weaknesses exist until it’s too late.
To avoid certain conversion rate disaster, make the following fixes to these minor landing page vulnerabilities a new part of your landing page strategy.
1. Your landing page loads too slow
In today’s high-speed world, we like our food fast, our news in 140 characters, and our TV on demand. So when we click through to your landing page, we don’t want to wait longer than a split second for it to load in our browsers.
According to Kissmetrics, 47% of all people expect a web page to load in two seconds or less. And if it takes longer than three seconds, 40% of people will abandon it.
If those numbers sound scary to you, they should. The potential effect on your bottom line is disastrous — especially when you consider that for every one-second delay in load time a page experiences, conversions can drop by 7%.
That means if an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, they’re losing out on $2.5 million over the year.
The team at Conversion Conference found that by speeding up page load time by just two seconds, they were able to boost conversions for an e-commerce business by 66%.
So, how can you do this on your landing page? Here are a few quick fixes.
- Optimize your images. According to Google, images often account for most of the downloaded bytes on a web page. That means if they’re too big in file size, they’ll slow down the load time of your page drastically. If your site runs on WordPress, you can use this nifty tool to optimize your images. If it doesn’t, this guide from OSTraining will help you optimize your images for speed. And remember, if the image serves no purpose, just remove it altogether.
- Use a fast web host. If you launched your site with a smaller-scale web host, you might want to consider upgrading. Often, many sites outgrow their first host or plan as they get older, and their fan base increases. Figure out how much bandwidth you need, and check to make sure your hosting provider can meet those needs.
2. You’re not using a custom URL
If you use a third party to create your landing pages, like Instapage, for example, many times you’ll be given the option to publish with a “.(Brand name)” URL or a custom URL.
Leaving “.Instapage” in the URL of the landing page you create is great for our branding but bad for yours. Without your own “.com” or “.org” custom domain, you come off as unprofessional, which can make prospects wary to do business with you.
Case in point, the page below was built using Instapage software, but RemZu failed to purchase a custom domain; something that is likely creating skepticism in their visitor's minds:
Getting your domain is easy, and in many cases, it’s super cheap. Get yours from GoDaddy for as little as a dollar, and follow these steps to remove the “.Instapage” from your landing page URL.
3. You’re breaking the left margin
Running vertically up and down the left side of this article is an imaginary line that our eyes use as a home base when reading, commonly known to all of us as a “margin.”
We take for granted that aligning everything left makes the article easier to follow since this is the way most content — online and offline — is organized.
Now watch what happens when text is centered. It’s a lot harder to read,
isn’t it? That’s because your
eyes have to scan to find the beginning of the next line. Your eyes can’t
automatically revert to the left margin to read the next sentence.
The same goes when text is justified right.
Even though we’re using a margin here, it’s not the one
most of us have grown up following.
Now you might be thinking, “When would I ever do that?”
Well, let’s say you’re including an image on your landing page.
Not to pick on environmental blog GoGreen.org and this particular article, but this is how not to align photos in your content.
See how the left margin isn’t consistent? It makes the first few paragraphs of text really annoying to read. And since your goal on your landing pages is to make conversion as easy as possible by removing as much page friction as you can, this is something you should stay away from.
If you absolutely need to align your photos left, do it like this:
The “price” photo is aligned left, but all the content is indented, so as not to break the reader’s viewing pattern.
Most of the time, though, you’re better off aligning your photos right.
Now, that’s not to say you should never stray from the left margin. Many great landing pages do, for one reason:
To draw attention to a specific point.
Notice how in this article about boosting customer lifetime value, we centered important business equations. This stands out to the reader, proclaiming “I’m important. Remember me.”
Use this technique, but sparingly. The more copy you center, the harder it becomes to read, and the less emphasis it will have on the visitor.
4. You’re using too many form fields
There are two categories of landing page forms on lead capture pages: long and short forms. Generally if you want to capture higher quality leads, you use a longer form with more fields; if you want to capture more leads you use a shorter form. But that’s not always the case.
Sometimes longer forms outperform short forms. Sometimes vice versa. It can depend on the audience, the industry, the stage of the buyer’s journey the prospect is in, and a ton of other things.
A good rule of thumb when creating form fields is to think to yourself “Do I really need all this information at this stage of the buying process?”
If the answer is no, remove it, and capture that information in a later step if necessary. The less personal information we have to give up about ourselves, the more likely we are to convert.
By deleting just one form field, Expedia was able to boost profits by $12 million. Experiment with yours to see what results it will bring.
5. Your copyright information is outdated
Keeping your copyright information up-to-date is so easy to do, that I would probably have a hard time finding a landing page that doesn’t say “Copyright 2015” on it, right?
Actually, the first ad I clicked on while researching this piece took me to a website with old copyright information (a law firm page, no less):
While it’s often an afterthought for most designers, old copyright information like this can have an enormous impact on user trust — which is one of the main driving forces behind conversion rate.
You see, when someone visits a landing page that says “Copyright 2014,” they think to themselves “What else on this page is outdated? Is this all the right contact info? How about pricing — is it still the same as it was in 2014?”
Whether or not it’s true, including outdated copyright information on your landing page can give the impression that it hasn’t been updated since the year listed.
It’s such an easy thing to do that you have no excuse not to keep it up-to-date. If you’ve been using the same landing page for years, go check right now to make sure you’re not scaring away prospects with old info.
6. You’re using a low-quality favicon
Another subtle way to create mistrust in the mind of your landing page visitors is to use a low-quality favicon.
Short for “Favorites Icon,” a favicon is the branded logo you see in the upper left-hand corner of your website tabs above the address bar.
Creating one for your website is easy if you’re familiar with image editing software (if you’re not, hire someone for five dollars to make one for you), and it’s a great opportunity to take your branding up a notch.
That is, if you do it the right way.
Do it the wrong way, and you risk coming off as unprofessional as you would with outdated copyright information.
Since people view websites on a variety of displays today, in order for your favicon to look good on all of them, you need to either:
- Create a 16x16 favicon in addition to each one of these sizes, or:
2. Create one favicon using vector imaging instead of raster imaging
Raster images are made up of tiny colored squares called “pixels” that come together to form one big photo — kind of like a mosaic. For the most part, they’re fine to use in a lot of your content.
However, when you use raster imaging to create a 16x16 pixel favicon for desktop browsers, it’s going to look all grainy when it’s scaled up to fit the display on a different device.
Vector images, in contrast, are made using mathematical equations. Because they’re not comprised of a specific number of pixels, they can be scaled to fit any size display.
In the photo below, the “VS” on the left is what your raster favicon would look like when maximized to fit a different display. The “VS” on the right is what your vector favicon would look like.
See the difference?
Your prospects will too, and the quality of your favicon will affect how they view your business.
Save your landing page campaigns
By adding these quick fixes to your landing page strategy, you’ll ensure your campaigns won’t share the same sad fate as our legendary hero Achilles.
Now that you know what not to do, start putting your knowledge to good use by creating your first landing page today for free!