Marketing Insights for Tech Creators

Stop leaving money on the table: The landing page conversion checklist

Here you are… thinking about it AGAIN.

Wasting precious brain space on it instead of working on your next big thing.

But you can’t help but wonder: What are you missing here?

You just can’t figure out what’s wrong. And it’s driving you cra-aah-zy.

Why isn’t your landing page converting?

Or at least why isn’t it converting *better*?

You’ve got everything in place:

  • A cool product
  • A good offer
  • The right targeting

… And yet the landing page isn’t converting as you hoped or expected.

It LOOKS good to you, but not all of your leads seem to share your opinion.

Clearly, they’re interested in your product.

If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be visiting your landing page in the first place. But once they’re on the page, they just.WON’

And no matter how hard you rack your brains & check those damn analytics, you can’t pinpoint what the problem is.

Sure, you could keep guessing what it might be and maybe you’d eventually hit on a solution.

Or, you can stop guessing and run through our easy-to-follow landing page checklist.

Go through this step-by-step guide right now (it won’t take you more than 5 minutes).

If your landing page isn’t meeting one of these criteria… you’ll know exactly where your conversion killers have been hiding.

Checklist: 10 rules for high-converting landing pages

First of all, what does a meaningful conversion rate look like?

The median landing page conversion rate is 2.35%. If you’re just getting started and already close to that number you deserve some kudos.

Where do you want to go? You might shoot for being in the top 25%. The average conversion rate for those folks is 5.31%. Nice.

While you’re at it, you might as well work to get your landing page in the top 10% bracket. Now you’re at 11.45% and the money is rolling in!

To get this kind of results (and FAST!), you need to make sure you check off these 10 rules for high-converting landing pages:

1. Your landing page has only ONE goal

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THE most common “sin” of landing pages is trying to cover as many goals as possible: getting people to try a free demo, urging them to buy your product, trying to make them contact you via email or a form…

And the easiest way to figure out if you’re making the same mistake is to check what the buttons and hyperlinks on your page say.

If you’ve got different buttons and hyperlinks with different calls to action, you have committed the “Multiple Goals Sin”.

  • Free trial
  • Buy now
  • Contact us
  • Subscribe
  • Send us an email
  • Call us now
  • Download this free resource
  • Social media buttons

These are just a few examples of what you may have on your landing page. Now here’s where the problem lies:

If you give your leads too many options to choose from, they’ll choose nothing.

On the other hand, if you guide them to ONE single action you want them to take, they’ll know exactly what they have to do.

That’s why very landing page should have one goal, and only one, and you need to develop the entire page around that single goal.

Here’s what you should do to boost conversions on your landing page”

Write your ONE goal down on a post-it and stick it where you can see it.

Then scan your landing page…

If your goal is to get people to download something, every section of the page should be guiding them toward taking this singular action.

If you have a limited-time free trial offer, make that your focus.

Does every section of your page take the reader one step closer to your goal? Great job if it does!

Do you see any information that doesn’t address or serve this goal?

If you do, delete it. It will only serve as a distraction, and by removing distractions you’ll increase conversions.

Your page should point to one, and only one, possible action.

2. The headline on the landing page matches the ad

It’s called message matching.

The text of the ad that brought the reader to the landing page needs to match the headline on your page. Sometimes, word for word.

Now you may think: isn’t it repetitive to see the exact.same.thing they’ve just read in the ad?

Yes, it is. And it’s a GOOD thing.

Because it tells people they’re in the right place. It shows them the ad was true (unlike most ads on the web). And it tells them right away they won’t have to waste their time digging on your website trying to find the information they’re looking for.

People clicked on your ad for a reason. And they expect to find exactly what they’re looking for.

If they land on your page and don’t see what they’re expecting, they’re more likely to quit or get frustrated. And that hurts conversions.

3. Every section of your page provides crystal-clear information

This can be a fun exercise (and a real A-ha moment trigger):

Scan your landing page as if you had no idea what the product or service has to offer.

  • Is there a section that’s unclear, confusing, or ambiguous?
  • Do you see jargon or complex terminology that some of your audience might not understand?
  • Have you come across an incomplete explanation or section?
  • Is there a logical gal between one section and the next?

The reader shouldn’t make an effort to figure things out.

Tell them everything they need to know about your product, your process, and your service.

Don’t cut out essential information just to make the page shorter. If you want your leads to take the action you want, you’ve got to give them all the information they need.

Readers who find themselves having to think too much… will eventually think about going elsewhere.

4. The images support the message and not the other way around

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As interesting as an image may be, its only purpose should be to support the text.

It’s the text that ultimately convinces readers to take your desired action. The benefits & features of your product. The way it solves a specific problem that your leads are facing. The way it makes their lives easier.

The visuals on your landing page should simply highlight the message, not eclipse it. They should guide the reader’s attention to the most important parts of your page:

  • How your product will help them solve a major problem;
  • What the product does to solve that problem fast & easily;
  • How your product is different from others on the market;
  • Why they should jump at the chance of trying your product right now.

The visuals on your landing page should one of two simple goals: they should either attract attention to a specific section… or they should serve as a “demo” for the claims you make (this includes product demonstrations, images of your product, 3D renders).

Use white space wisely.

Make white space your ally.

Use it to focus reader attention on the most important messages, to highlight individual bullet-list statements, and to make a bold CTA button stand out even more.

5. Product benefits are easy to see & easy to understand

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Benefits are your selling points, so they should be easy to spot.

There are various ways to make them pop out to the reader:

  • Turn them into attention-grabbing sub-headlines
  • Put together all the benefits in a bullet list
  • Add a colorful icon next to each benefit
  • Present them as an easy-to-follow infographic

But no matter how you choose to present benefits, the information should be clear, complete, and easy to understand.

When describing your product, don’t use vague words such as “really good”, “comes in a variety of colors”, and “handy to have around the house”.

You’ve created something unique, so why make it sound like every other product on the market?

Identify the most specific benefits of your product:

  • How it’s different from other similar products;
  • How it solves a major problem for the reader;
  • What features are most valuable to your audience;
  • What the reader’s life will look like after they start using your product.

Before people click a Buy button, start a free trial, or take 2 minutes to fill in a form, they want to know what’s in it for them.

Don’t be afraid to be specific.

Once the reader sees how your product is different and better than others on the market, they’ll be more likely to try it.

6. Your biggest claims are backed up by solid proof.

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This may not apply if you’re selling snake oil medication to a gullible crowd; but in any other scenario, you have to gain people’s trust.

That’s not going to happen if you cross your fingers and hope your claims and promises are believable.

People are increasingly suspicious of everyone selling stuff on the web. Can you blame them? With so many false claims and promises out there, it’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s a scam.

That’s why you have to give them proof.

  • Proof that your product works the way you claim it does;
  • Proof that they’ll experience the benefits you promise them;
  • Proof that your product is different from others on the market;
  • Proof that it’s worth their money and time.

You don’t have to jump through hoops of fire to prove all these things. There are simple, yet powerful ways to gain trust and turn leads into users:

  • Product demonstrations
  • Testimonials from users
  • Customer reviews & User ratings
  • Presenting the feature that provides a specific benefit
  • Listing major publications that featured your product
  • Estimates & statistics provided by reliable sources

Whenever you make a claim or a promise on the page, add a proof to make it believable. The more professional and trustworthy you are, the more people will trust buying from you.

7. You have relevant testimonials on the page

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As I mentioned earlier, testimonials are one of the most important forms of proof. They show that your product *really* works the way you say it does.

But there’s more to testimonials than that. And that’s why they get their own section on this checklist.

Not all testimonials are created equal

Make sure that every testimonial on your landing page are about the product you’re offering.

If you have multiple products or services, don’t include testimonials about them.

If you have testimonials about your company in general, don’t put them on this page.

If you have customers praising you & your team, place their testimonials on About Us.

Remember – every section of your landing page should guide readers towards ONE goal. And testimonials should land a hand, as well.

That’s why you should only include testimonials that talk about the product you’re offering on this page:

  • How good your product is;
  • How it solves the reader’s problem;
  • How it’s different from other solutions;
  • Why it’s worth the investment (whether it’s money or time);
  • The best things about your product;
  • How it makes life easier / better / richer.

Where do testimonials go on the page?

Some people place testimonials toward the bottom of the page, as if they were an afterthought.

While it’s good to have them at the end of your landing page, you should also have testimonials sprinkled around the page in key sections:

  • In the hero section
  • After presenting benefits
  • After listing key features
  • Anywhere near a call-to-action button

Testimonials should be used wherever is necessary to support a claim, build more trust, and guide people from “Maybe” to a confident “YES!”.

8. Your call-to-action button stands out.

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Don’t make it easy for people to ignore CTA buttons. Or, even worse, force them to search for it.

After all, the entire role of your landing page is to get people to click on the button.

And that’s why your CTA needs to be conspicuous, eye-catching, attention-grabbing… anything that makes it pop out on the page.

Unlike most other design elements, you don’t want a CTA button to blend “nicely” in with everything else. That doesn’t mean it has to be tacky or ugly. But it does need to be bold and colorful to attract attention.

What should the CTA button say?

Ok, so you’ve made the button big, bold, and colorful.

Now you have to add a short text that… well… calls to action.

The most common mistake is adding a generic message such as “Submit”, “Click here”, or “Sign Up”.

Vague calls to action are more likely to be ignored, because they don’t tell the reader what exactly they’re getting or why they should take the action.

A CTA that’s aligned with your one goal is much more likely to get clicks.

“Yes! I want to get [insert offer]”

“Get your free-trial”

“Buy [product name] now”

“Save 30% off [insert offer]”

“I want to receive the monthly newsletter”

These are all examples of how you can align your call to action to the goal of your landing page.

Just this simple change could instantly boost your conversion rate (and it only takes you a few seconds to do it).

9. The form on your page is short and easy to fill in

Not many people put a lot of thought into their forms and lose a lot of conversions without even realizing it.

Ecom shops have Abandoned Cart sequences for this purpose only: trying to get people to full in the form they’ve abandoned.

That goes to show how often it happens that a lead who’s genuinely interested in trying (or buying) your product quits cold turkey because the form is not user-friendly.

So how do you create user-friendly forms?

The #1 rule is: keep forms as short as possible.

Don’t ask for information you don’t need right away.

For example, if your goal is to get them to download something, asking for a first name and an email address is enough.

You can always ask for more information at a later time. But keep in mind that people want to make sure they can trust you before divulging too many details, or any details, about themselves.

If you’re selling a virtual product or service—such as an app, a plugin, or a CRM—don’t ask people to fill in a 13-field form just to get their hands on it.

If you can’t go below 10 fields, separate the form in two parts to make it look shorter (they fill in their personal details, then they click next to enter their billing info).

10. There are NO distractions on the landing page

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this is—once again—about serving the ONE goal of your landing page.

The only element that should attract the reader’s attention is the CTA button(s) on the page.

Any other buttons (or links) like “See our other products”, “Check out our blog” or “Like us on Facebook” will inevitably take a visitor farther away from your goal; perhaps never to return.

What you want to do is keep them on the page & engaged with the content as much as it takes to get them to click the CTA button.

Don’t allow any other distractions that may take them off the carefully-planned journey you’ve set up for them.

“Eyes on the prize” is the secret to any high-converting landing page.

Let’s recap!

Now you have a checklist you can use to revise or fine-tune your underperforming landing page. Here’s a quick recap of the 10 rules:

  1. The landing page aims at ONE goal only
  2. Ad text matches the headline on your page
  3. Information in every section is crystal-clear
  4. Visuals support text without stealing the thunder
  5. Benefits are easy to spot and easy to understand
  6. Big claims are supported with trustworthy proof
  7. Testimonials are relevant to the offer on your page
  8. The CTA button is the most eye-grabbing element
  9. The form on your page is short and easy to fill in
  10.  There are zero distractions on the landing page

Just by eliminating a couple of these common mistakes, you’ll likely experience a boost in your conversion rate. Even if you only find one thing that needs improving, you should still see better engagement on your page.

If you’re not sure how to fix these problems (or you simply don’t have the time for that), we’re here to help.

Sometimes, identifying these conversion-killers and turning them into customer-magnets can be more time-consuming than building the page itself. So if you want an expert set of eyes and a pair of conversion-optimization hands, let us know.

Your landing page isn’t converting well?

Let’s talk about it!