5 Landing Page Mistakes that Are Drowning Your Conversions

by George Mathew

Last updated on September 6th, 2017

Getting people to your landing page is half the journey; making them sign up is a different animal altogether. There are many factors that play against us, keeping us from letting that happen.

The first problem is that users are busy and impatient. Most of them won’t care to read through the entire thing. If it’s something that they can’t grasp easily, they’ll leave.

That’s why we should focus on making the ad copy and the landing page as similar as possible. Visitors don’t want to think too much, so we shouldn’t make them think.

Another reason landing pages should be simple and easy to understand is the short attention span most people seem to have. You may have just 5 seconds to make an impact.

It doesn’t end with this. There are other mistakes that can sound the death-bell for conversions. Let’s dive in.

miss target placeit

Source: Placeit.net

1. Disconnect between the ad and the landing page copy

“Want to know how to deal a serious blow to your landing page conversions? Have the landing page look different from the online advertisement the consumer just viewed and have the landing page contain a different message/keywords,” Peep Laja, of ConversionXL, explained.

To get more conversions on your landing page, you need to give visitors a scent that they can follow. The design of the ad and the landing page should flow from one to the other, creating a consistent experience for visitors. Otherwise, conversions suffer.

Here is an example of an advertisement by Perfect Audience


It kills two birds with one stone.

Facebook Web Retargeting Made Simple Perfect Audience

The first advert shows a $60 free credit, which would make anyone click through. The landing page still uses the same imagery, same background, color combinations, etc. However, the $60 credit is sidelined to the copy and the offer presents the “Free trial” as the unique selling point.

This was probably done to ward off “tire-kickers,” or people who are just wasting time and aren’t really interested in buying.

Another good example is from Basecamp.

give readers a scent


But this type of consistent flow isn’t the norm. There are tons of examples with a striking disparity between the ad copy and the landing page—so striking,you would think the people behind the advertisement and the site designers are from two different worlds.


disconnect between landing page ad copy

The advert above says Project Management software.


The landing page seems to have come from another planet. There is not a hint of “Project Management” here.

2. Not using a dedicated landing page

Using a dedicated landing page for each of your ads improves conversions. Here is an example.


Making a dedicated landing page for each of the services they offered helped a landscaping company get business from their website for the first time since they went online. After setting up these dedicated landing pages they received over 77 inquires through search in a 12-month period.

When the guys at Vero, a company that helps marketers send more efficient emails, set up a dedicated landing page to generate sign-ups for one of their programs, they found that the conversion rate increased by 50%.



A landing page is about getting the visitor to do one thing. Don’t expect the visitors to sign up for your newsletter, like the fan page, and promote it on social media all at the same time.

Making your homepage your landing page can confuse readers. You should make a different landing page for every advertisement campaign you run.

3. Weak copy (Copy is not specific and active)

Copy is one of the most powerful things that can make or break the bank.

According to Dave Ogilvy, “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

Starting from the headline, the copy should address what it can do for the reader. It should spell out the reader’s main points and carry it through to the end.

It doesn’t mean that the copy needs to be short. Marketing Experiments ran tests that have shown up to a 220% increase in conversion rates when long-form copy is used.

Your copy should reflect the benefits of the service. It should tell the visitors what’s in it for them.

In the example below, Pentaho rambles on about the features of the free report.

clear cta


If the wording is changed to show how all this benefits the user and the conversation is more customer-centered,conversions will definitely increase.

4. Lackluster or generic CTA (impact of verbs, action words)

Nothing is a more visible sin on a landing page than a lackluster call to action (CTA).

Including verbs and adverbs in your CTA’s will result in higher clickthrough rates, according to Adam Rifkin’s research.

Research by Dr Robert Cialdini, of Arizona State University, found that people are more likely to take action when minimal parameters are set. For example, a donation request that states, “Would you be willing to give a donation? Every penny helps,” is 50% more likely to get donations than one without the last sentence.

Marketers need to stop using the word ‘submit’ on their forms. It doesn’t conjure up an image of the benefit that the reader is standing to gain.

When you develop a CTA, these are the goals that you need to keep in mind:

Make it actionable by introducing action statements. See this CTA by Amazon:

good cta


Take the “click fear” away by introducing a trial or using other risk-reducing statements. For example, this ad from Crazy Egg offers a risk-free guarantee:

perfect landing page

Express what it does for the reader. See for example, this benefits-oriented personalized CTA:

benefits oriented cta

For additional help, here are 21 examples of CTAs that work, by Kathryn Aragon.

5. Too many goals confuse readers

too many goals


I just can’t understand the purpose of this many call-to-action buttons on a single page. It’s as if they want to generate paralysis-by-choice in their readers. Your landing page should offer just two options: to convert or to leave the page.

“User behavior, either through an online testing service like usertesting.com or mouseflow.com or a heatmap service like CrazyEgg.com will show you precisely what the user’s actions were and where they might have gotten hung up in the process.” Neil Patel

There’s more to conversion rate optimization than meets the eye. If your landing page is not converting, you may need some feedback so you can understand where users are experiencing difficulty.

Here’s how to find out what your users want from you.

“Hold surveys, in-person talks or phone calls with prospects who look like your current customers demographically and psychographically. If it’s pet owners, talk to 10 pet owners and ask, ‘What do you want to know about pet sitting? What do you need to know before you sign up?’” suggests Rand Fishkin

Design your landing page, using this feedback as your guide. It will help you get sales and leads.

SumoJerky asked its customers to find the reasons they weren’t buying Beef Jerky. After analyzing the reasons for rejection, he wrote this email to prospects.

Subject: your office snacks

Hi [First Name]

Ryan Luedecke here, CEO of Sumo Jerky. Just started a new office snacks service & thought [Company Name] would be a great fit. I know office snacks can seem a bit of a distraction, so wanted to make a quick case why it’s a good business decision for you:

-No late afternoon productivity losses and mood killing side effects (i.e. food comas and sugar crashes) of other office snack foods

-Employees get legitimately excited about trying new jerky every month. Here’s what [Customer] from [Company] said about our latest jerky delivery: “[Quote]!”

Can I sign you up to try it out?


As you can well see, it addresses all concerns that a potential client may have. From initial failure, the business now generates a healthy $12,000 in revenue every month.

Addressing concerns and designing a product that answers the problems are sure-fire ways to get success.

Tell us what you think

How was your experience dealing with landing pages for your site? Did you make these mistakes? Share with us the failures and successes you had with your landing pages.



Get updates on new articles, webinars and other opportunities:

George Mathew

George has marketed million dollar startups with his skills and has contributed to ace Conversion Optimization blogs like ConversionXL. You can hire him for your content marketing needs.


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