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  • Why Your Landing Pages Aren’t Working

    Landing Page If your search engine optimization (SEO) and other online marketing strategies are working and you have an increase in traffic to your site, but you are not getting the conversions you expected, look no further than your landing page. After SEO, landing pages are the essential element for high conversion rates.  Myriad reasons exist that inhibit visitors from becoming customers.  Assuming your products or services as well as your prices are competitive, that pretty much leaves your landing page as the culprit.

    Regardless of what you have been told or read, an increase in clickthroughs is not a guarantee of a higher conversion rate.  Once visitors reach your site, a conversion will occur only if they are (a) interested in what you are selling and (b) you make it easy for them to do just that.  So, at this point in the SEO process, all of the responsibility is on your shoulders.  Following are typical reasons your landing pages may not be converting for you.

    1.     Visitors are Confused

    This occurs when they get to your site and there is no obvious relation to what they expected to see.  If this is intentional, then you need to seriously rethink your SEO strategy.  These underhanded approaches may get you visitors but it is no wonder they are not converting.  You may not even be aware this has occurred if you rely entirely on an SEO firm who may be employing black hat SEO techniques. It is recommended you fix this as soon as possible so that your site is not de-indexed by search engines who do not like these misleading approaches.  If your landing pages are simply mixed up, this is an easy fix but it may take a bit of time for changes to be reflected correctly on search engines until they have re-indexed your site. However, sites with significant corrections can be resubmitted to search engines to speed up the indexing process.

    2.     Headline is Not Engaging

    You have seconds to grab and hold a visitor’s attention.  Their eyes will be drawn to the most prominent text on the page which will be your heading.  This is your chance to engage them in what your website has to offer them.  Tease them but not so much they aren’t sure what to expect in terms of content. Visitors don’t like to be surprised when they visit websites.  But they are willing to be enticed as long as you sufficiently appease their curiosity.

    3.     Lack of Relevant Content

    Beyond the headline is your actual content.  It should be relevant to what they are looking for based on their keyword search.  Avoid duplicate content – this goes for your own site as well as content on other sites.  Nothing is more frustrating to visitors than seeing the same information over and over.  Provide fresh content on a regular basis so that it stays relevant for your return visitors as well as new ones.

    4.     Insufficiently Optimized Content

    Are you using your keywords in your subheadings and as anchor text links?  Can your visitors quickly scan your landing page to see the content is probably relevant before they even begin reading? This is where optimized content is helpful.  When writing your content, keep both your customers and the search engines in mind so that you are providing the type of information that customers are looking for and that search engines determine is valuable.

    5.     Content is Too Technical

    Your content should be readable to just about any average visitor.  Content that is difficult to comprehend can cost you customers.  You don’t want visitors to become frustrated when they read your landing page content.  Even if your business is naturally technical, you can tone down some of the language and use layman’s terms more frequently.

    6.     Keywords are Wrong

    Broad keywords may be sending visitors to your site who are looking for something more specific.  Review your keywords to insure you are attracting targeted traffic for your site.  You want to look at long-tail keywords as well as negative keywords.  There are free keyword research and analyzer tools you can use to see if there are better keywords for your site.  Review of your keywords should be done on a regular basis since customer needs are constantly changing.

    7.     Error-Riddled Content

    If you are not a good writer, have someone who is double check your content.  Landing pages with obvious spelling and grammatical errors can dissuade visitors from making purchases.  They assume if you are sloppy with your website content, they can have no expectation you will provide good service or quality products.

    8.     Unprofessional Presentation

    From your layout to your color scheme, all site design elements should come together for a professional presentation of your business.  Use appropriate photos to enhance your image. Incorporate your business logo where appropriate.  A text-only site is too elementary for most customers to view your site as reliable.  You are in complete control of your site presentation so make sure that what your customer’s perception is matches what you put forward.

    9.     Page is Difficult to Navigate

    Poorly designed landing pages will cause your visitors to leave.  How your customers are expected to work their way through your site should be intuitive.  Don’t make them work for it or they will walk away.  Spread out your content even if this means having multiple landing pages.

    10.    No Call to Action

    Now that you have their attention, what do you want them to do?  Be brief but be clear.  Even if you just want them to read your landing page, ask them to “like” you on Facebook or something similar.  Do you want them to make a purchase?  Tell them exactly that.  A landing page with no call to action provides no incentive for your visitors to further explore your site or to return at a later date.

    11.     Critical Information is Below the Fold

    Remember you have only seconds to keep visitors attention.  If what they are looking for is not obvious, you can expect them to leave.  All important information should be kept above the fold so that visitors don’t have to scroll down the page to find what they seek.  Test your landing page on multiple browsers to make sure what you want visitors to immediately see above the fold appears as such regardless of browser used.

    12.     Contact Form is Not Customer-Friendly

    Customers should be able to get in touch with you easily and quickly.  If your landing page has a contact form for them to complete, keep it short, keep it simple.  You do not need a detailed customer profile to answer a few questions.  The longer the form, the more likely they will leave and check out your competitors.  Even with a short form, you can request specific information you need to prepare a follow-up conversation with the customer.

    13.     Poor Customer Service

    Along that same line, make sure you actually follow-up.  Don’t leave customers handing.  Give them a sense of how long they should wait for you to respond to their contact form or other way of submitting questions to you.  It’s okay if you require a 24 hour time frame, just let them know.  In fact, it is a good idea to inform them of your routine turn-around time before they submit the contact form.  You can include that above the form so they are likely to read it prior to completing the request for information.

    14.     Too Much Advertising

    If your customers see more ads than content, they may just leave.  It is alright to have advertising on your landing page, but there should definitely be more content on that page than ads.  Don’t surround your content with ads either.  Keep ads on the sides of the content or on the top and bottom, not all the way around because it is too distracting especially if you have animated ads.  Remember, visitors came to your site for content, not to see your ads.  In fact, savvy Internet users have learned to distrust sites that are predominately ads.  Don’t be surprised if one of your visitors submits your site to the search engines as a spam site.  Consider moving the majority of your ads to another web page you are not using as a landing page.

    15.     Slow Loading Time

    Don’t expect your visitors to be patient.  Anything that slows your landing page load time should be immediately removed.  This could be graphics or an imbedded video.  Whatever is causing the slowdown will certainly impact your conversion rates.  Visitors just will not hang around waiting for a page to load, no matter what is on it!

    16.     Failure to Test Prior to Launch

    Landing pages should be tested before you launch your full SEO strategy.  Test several versions to see which have the higher approval or conversion rates with customers.  There may only be slight differences on the pages, but it is those differences that can determine your conversion success rate.

    Routinely conduct a landing page audit to make sure visitors are getting to the right landing page for a specific ad or keyword and that the content they see is correct.  Once you have frustrated a prospective customer, you may never get another opportunity to win them back.  Be proactive so you don’t lose a customer over a mistake on your part that is easily corrected.

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