10 Things You Should Never Do to a Landing Page

Lilach Bullock on Lead generation, Landing pages,


When it comes to landing page design, there’s a tendency to think in terms of ‘do’s’.

“To optimise your landing pages, do this. Do that. Try this.”

Landing Pages

And that’s all sensible advice that you should follow. But there are a lot of do’s pertaining to landing page design, and with the best will in the world you’re not going to remember all of them. Sometimes, when it comes to key takeaways, the best advice to take to heart isn’t what you should do – it’s what you shouldn’t.

Sometimes it pays to focus on the negatives. If you can eliminate the following mistakes from your landing pages, the world will become a better place. Readers will be happier because they’ll be finding the information they were looking for and you’ll be happier because you’ll be captivating your visitors, and all that mutual happiness leads to people wanting to learn more about your brand, products and services.

Your landing pages deserve to be great, so cut out these common mistakes and watch your conversion rate climb.

Mistake 1: Forgetting about mobile

Mobile Landing Pages

“I would never forget about mobile! Mobile is a huge part of my marketing strategy!”

Sure, it is, and no one in their right mind would deliberately overlook mobile. And yet with landing pages it can happen so insidiously. You’re playing about with a cool landing page template and you discover all the clever stuff you can do with parallax images and hover effects and auto-play video and suddenly you’ve got this amazing looking page...on desktop. Then you go to check it on mobile and realise that the video buffers and the images take hours to load.

“Still, desktop is where customers actually buy, right?”

Keep telling yourself that if it helps you sleep easier at night. It doesn’t matter how slick, epic and immersive your landing page is – if it doesn’t work on mobile, it doesn’t work.

Do not link to anything else or anyone else on your landing pages. Ever. Do not link to your own site, do not link to a peer-reviewed study and do not link to your Instagram, even though it looks beautiful. You landing page exists for one purpose and one purpose only: to complete a singular goal, namely capturing leads. Everything else is a distraction and an-off-ramp that loses the lead.

Mistake 3: Requesting TMI

Landing Page Optimisation

For a lead capture form to work, you need to obtain certain information from the prospect. A first name and an email address are the bare minimum, but there may be additional fields to fill in. That’s fine, but don’t fall into the trap of requesting TMI. Not only is too much information intrusive, but it’s a surefire way to lose that lead. Reader patience is finite. Don’t test it.

 Mistake 4: Getting lazy

You offer a lot of different products and services, so it’s only natural that you should recycle some of that content rather than creating each landing page from scratch, right?

Sorry, but recycling existing pages, or lumping several similar products onto a single page isn’t just lazy – it’s ineffective. Creating completely unique landing pages isn’t just desirable from an SEO perspective: it will also allow you to accurately track the conversion rate for each product and to identify areas for improvement. How important is it to have multiple landing pages? Put it this way, one study found that companies with more than 40 landing pages receive 12 times more leads than companies with five or less.

Mistake 5: Confusing benefits with features

Your product is great, so the more bullet points you can include extolling its virtues and killer features, the likelier the reader is to buy, right? Not so. There’s nothing wrong with outlining primary features, but don’t confuse these with benefits. You’re not here to sell anyone features: you’re here to ease a problem, remedy a cause of friction and deliver happiness. The product is merely the mechanism by which you make this magic happen.

Mistake 6: Getting your readers to submit

Just because you’re using a submission form on your landing page doesn’t mean it should read “Submit”. If you understand sales psychology, you’ll appreciate the danger of using a word that has associations with weakness, defeat and loss of control. Your readers don’t Submit – they Learn More, Try Now and Start Today.

Mistake 7: Including a footer

All of your other web pages include the same footer, so you should probably include it on your landing page for the sake of consistency, yeah?

Nah. You really shouldn’t. It’s not just the sidebar you banish – the footer can go as well. It’s an unnecessary distraction, because anything that gets the reader craning to read the small print or worse still clicking on links is taking them away from what they should be doing – focusing on the call to action.

Mistake 8: Forgetting to say thank you

A complete stranger has just read an entire page of content you’ve written and then voluntarily handed you their name and email address and you’re not going to show them gratitude? After completing a capture form, the next thing that newly acquired lead should be seeing is a thank you in some shape or form. It could be a form-based thanks or it could be a unique page; what counts is that it’s there, because that’s how you show someone that their gesture is appreciated and that’s how you make the first tentative steps towards building a relationship.

Mistake 9: Putting the right info in the wrong order

Information order

Creating a good landing page is like telling a good joke: there’s a natural order that you need to place each element in. Mix it up by putting your punchline too early – or rather you CTA in the wrong place – and you ruin everything. This doesn’t just apply to words either; your images, callouts and buttons also need to be ordered correctly. Place your CTA directly below a dense wall of text, for example, and there’s a risk it will be overlooked. People don’t read web pages in a linear fashion remember – they skim them. Make sure that key information flows in a logical order and is easy to absorb.

Mistake 10: Using fake testimonials

A testimonial doesn’t have to be false to be fake – it just has to feel inauthentic. A real testimonial with a stock headshot? That’s fake. A testimonial without a name attached? From the reader’s perspective, that’s also fake. Testimonials you’ve buffed and polished till they read like press releases are also fake. If you’re going to use testimonials on a landing page, they need to be genuine in every possible way. Fake or doctored testimonials don’t ring true and damage your brand.

Each of these landing page mistakes is easy to make, but mercifully each one is also easy to fix. Eliminate them and you’ll witness a tangible improvement in your conversion rate.

When it comes to landing page design, there’s a tendency to think in terms of ‘do’s’.

“To optimise your landing pages, do this. Do that. Try this.”

Landing Pages

And that’s all sensible advice that you should follow. But there are a lot of do’s pertaining to landing page design, and with the best will in the world you’re not going to remember all of them. Sometimes, when it comes to key takeaways, the best advice to take to heart isn’t what you should do – it’s what you shouldn’t.

Sometimes it pays to focus on the negatives. If you can eliminate the following mistakes from your landing pages, the world will become a better place. Readers will be happier because they’ll be finding the information they were looking for and you’ll be happier because you’ll be captivating your visitors, and all that mutual happiness leads to people wanting to learn more about your brand, products and services.

Your landing pages deserve to be great, so cut out these common mistakes and watch your conversion rate climb.

Mistake 1: Forgetting about mobile

Mobile Landing Pages

“I would never forget about mobile! Mobile is a huge part of my marketing strategy!”

Sure, it is, and no one in their right mind would deliberately overlook mobile. And yet with landing pages it can happen so insidiously. You’re playing about with a cool landing page template and you discover all the clever stuff you can do with parallax images and hover effects and auto-play video and suddenly you’ve got this amazing looking page...on desktop. Then you go to check it on mobile and realise that the video buffers and the images take hours to load.

“Still, desktop is where customers actually buy, right?”

Keep telling yourself that if it helps you sleep easier at night. It doesn’t matter how slick, epic and immersive your landing page is – if it doesn’t work on mobile, it doesn’t work.

Do not link to anything else or anyone else on your landing pages. Ever. Do not link to your own site, do not link to a peer-reviewed study and do not link to your Instagram, even though it looks beautiful. You landing page exists for one purpose and one purpose only: to complete a singular goal, namely capturing leads. Everything else is a distraction and an-off-ramp that loses the lead.

Mistake 3: Requesting TMI

Landing Page Optimisation

For a lead capture form to work, you need to obtain certain information from the prospect. A first name and an email address are the bare minimum, but there may be additional fields to fill in. That’s fine, but don’t fall into the trap of requesting TMI. Not only is too much information intrusive, but it’s a surefire way to lose that lead. Reader patience is finite. Don’t test it.

 Mistake 4: Getting lazy

You offer a lot of different products and services, so it’s only natural that you should recycle some of that content rather than creating each landing page from scratch, right?

Sorry, but recycling existing pages, or lumping several similar products onto a single page isn’t just lazy – it’s ineffective. Creating completely unique landing pages isn’t just desirable from an SEO perspective: it will also allow you to accurately track the conversion rate for each product and to identify areas for improvement. How important is it to have multiple landing pages? Put it this way, one study found that companies with more than 40 landing pages receive 12 times more leads than companies with five or less.

Mistake 5: Confusing benefits with features

Your product is great, so the more bullet points you can include extolling its virtues and killer features, the likelier the reader is to buy, right? Not so. There’s nothing wrong with outlining primary features, but don’t confuse these with benefits. You’re not here to sell anyone features: you’re here to ease a problem, remedy a cause of friction and deliver happiness. The product is merely the mechanism by which you make this magic happen.

Mistake 6: Getting your readers to submit

Just because you’re using a submission form on your landing page doesn’t mean it should read “Submit”. If you understand sales psychology, you’ll appreciate the danger of using a word that has associations with weakness, defeat and loss of control. Your readers don’t Submit – they Learn More, Try Now and Start Today.

Mistake 7: Including a footer

All of your other web pages include the same footer, so you should probably include it on your landing page for the sake of consistency, yeah?

Nah. You really shouldn’t. It’s not just the sidebar you banish – the footer can go as well. It’s an unnecessary distraction, because anything that gets the reader craning to read the small print or worse still clicking on links is taking them away from what they should be doing – focusing on the call to action.

Mistake 8: Forgetting to say thank you

A complete stranger has just read an entire page of content you’ve written and then voluntarily handed you their name and email address and you’re not going to show them gratitude? After completing a capture form, the next thing that newly acquired lead should be seeing is a thank you in some shape or form. It could be a form-based thanks or it could be a unique page; what counts is that it’s there, because that’s how you show someone that their gesture is appreciated and that’s how you make the first tentative steps towards building a relationship.

Mistake 9: Putting the right info in the wrong order

Information order

Creating a good landing page is like telling a good joke: there’s a natural order that you need to place each element in. Mix it up by putting your punchline too early – or rather you CTA in the wrong place – and you ruin everything. This doesn’t just apply to words either; your images, callouts and buttons also need to be ordered correctly. Place your CTA directly below a dense wall of text, for example, and there’s a risk it will be overlooked. People don’t read web pages in a linear fashion remember – they skim them. Make sure that key information flows in a logical order and is easy to absorb.

Mistake 10: Using fake testimonials

A testimonial doesn’t have to be false to be fake – it just has to feel inauthentic. A real testimonial with a stock headshot? That’s fake. A testimonial without a name attached? From the reader’s perspective, that’s also fake. Testimonials you’ve buffed and polished till they read like press releases are also fake. If you’re going to use testimonials on a landing page, they need to be genuine in every possible way. Fake or doctored testimonials don’t ring true and damage your brand.

Each of these landing page mistakes is easy to make, but mercifully each one is also easy to fix. Eliminate them and you’ll witness a tangible improvement in your conversion rate.

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Lilach Bullock
Professional Speaker, Lead Conversion Expert, Social Media Specialist & Occasional Diva. Proud mum
UK https://www.lilachbullock.com/