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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Landing pages proving unpopular? Here's where you're going wrong

Improve website design by sticking to a theme
First impressions count when it comes to landing pages
By John Baron

If there’s one area of your website for which its importance cannot be stressed enough, it has to be your landing pages. You may have one landing page, you may have half a dozen or you may have a hundred – regardless of how few or how many you have, they’re the make-or-break pages of your site.

According to the world’s leading SEO specialists, when a person first arrives at your website you have about 30 seconds or less to secure their interest and make a sale. It’s a little like when a person walks into a store – more often than not their first impression will be what decides whether they stay to look around or leave. As such, a poor landing page will send your business right into the arms of your rivals, while great landing pages will win you the kind of customers you need to get by.

Are you finding that your landing pages are causing more quick exits than conversions? Here’s a look at some of the reasons this could be, as advised by SEO outsourcing professionals of the highest caliber:

 Messy pages

First and foremost, hitting a landing page that’s a complete and total visual eyesore is like walking into a store that hasn’t been cleaned or tidied for months – you’re not going to hang around for a long time. As such, your landing pages need to be flawlessly tidy, organized and to some extent rather minimalist to boot. You can leave all the flashy graphics, sounds and photos to your other pages once you’ve got their attention in the first place – keep it simple and your visitors will be thankful for your efforts.

Too much text

Another huge turn-off for almost all readers the world over is a landing page that presents ream after ream of text. We’ve all seen them – the Google search result says something like “Extractor Fan $49.99” but when you get to the page you’re expected to read at least 5,000 words of marketing spiel before getting to the point. Which of course you won’t – you’ll just go elsewhere to buy one. Give your readers what they want and don’t try to confuse them with too much text – they will get bored in no time at all.

Misleading content

And in a similar vein to the above, don’t fall into the habit of trying to lead folks to your website that are actually interested in something totally unrelated. It’s easy to target popular keywords and make false promises to get them there in the first place, but not only will they leave as soon as they find they have been misled, but chances are that they won’t have nice things to say about you to others. Stick to your products and services and respect your audience. This is the only way to make them want to come again and stick around for more.

Misleading content is not good for your SEO because it does not allow you to attract the right people. You could be ranking in Google for the wrong search terms, which may increase traffic to your website but will not increase your conversion.

No clear action buttons

Next up, have you actually made it clear enough what they need to do if they want to make a purchase? Never forget the importance of clear call to action buttons for those interested in moving forward. Keep your buttons well visible and tidy up your pages.

Overselling it

Last up, don’t ever get too carried away with the above point by plastering a thousand and one “Buy Now!!!” or “We’re Amazing!!!” banners and buttons all over your landing pages. Overselling it screams of desperation and isn’t even remotely attractive for readers. Try to be objective and never promise things you will not be able to deliver. Sticking to that will earn you points with your customers and they will be glad to come back to your site.

About the author: For more than 5 years, John Baron has been helping small and medium enterprises gain more customers through search engine marketing. Currently, John works for iSolutions Media Company as an SEO specialist.