Sooner or later you’ll need to test every new landing page to make informed design improvements. Things like call to action text, colour and placement will need to be refined over time until you find the right combination, for example. But it takes time to collect the right kind of data to make such calls.

Not all design tweaks need to be left until the test results come rolling in, though. If your landing pages are guilty of the following design “mistakes,” then you might want to go ahead and change them before you start testing (do not change anything during tests). Here are six of the most common design mistakes we see on landing pages – and six of the fastest to fix.

 

#1: Not matching the headline of your ad

Matching the headline of your ad instantly tells a user they’ve landed on the page they wanted to. This is important because too many ads lead to generic landing pages, which is not only frustrating for users but damaging to your conversion rates and other vital metrics. This starts with having a dedicated landing page for each campaign/ad message and keeping a consistent message throughout.

 

#2: Not capturing your entire message above the fold

The concept of designing above the fold isn’t as relevant as it once was in web design. That said, it remains very important with landing pages. You don’t need everything above the fold by any means, but try to capture the overall message for users to see right away.

lumosity

Lumosity captures the emotion and benefits of using its platform in less than 20 words

Save the features and additional info for further down the page. Focus on getting your headline, any sub-heading and primary description right to capture the overall message/emotion of your campaign. Reinforce this with visuals and your call to action. Get those right and users will know and feel everything they need to from one glimpse of your landing page.

 

#3: Not expanding on your initial message

Some users will be so impressed with your initial message they’ll convert right away. Others will need a little more convincing and this is why you need to expand on your message further down the page.

If emotion is key above the fold, things get a little more practical as users scroll down the page. Move on to the benefits on your product/service’s features. You can break these up with other elements that evoke emotion and reinforce the benefits you’re trying to communicate – something you may want to test and play around with at a later date. Think of this process as answering the question of users who ask: “okay, but what’s in it for me?”

 

#4: Asking too much on your forms

Many of your landing pages will need some kind of form but it’s vital you keep them short. Don’t ask too many questions and really hone in on the action you want users to take. You can get whatever information you need from users later but don’t create any unnecessary friction at the first point of contact.

airbnb

Airbnb’s mobile form asks the only question that matters

#5: Not using trust/security symbols

There are countless types of trust and security symbols you can use to reassure people about your brand. They could be awards you’ve won, security measures you use, customer testimonials, social proof or various other symbols that endorse you.

unbounce

Unbounce earns trust by showing some of the biggest names to have used its services

 

The best method depends on the kind kind of product/service you’re promoting and the nature of your campaign. Either way, trust is a vital influence on people’s buying decisions, so do what you can to earn it.

 

#6: Not having a backup call to action

Don’t get us wrong when we say this. It’s imperative your landing pages have a single, concise message. However, you can’t expect every visitor to commit the first time they see your landing page. What you can do is provide a backup call to action – something like a newsletter signup – designed to keep them involved with your brand. If they’re not ready to commit 100%, meet them half way with an action that doesn’t ask quite so much from them.

 

The points we’ve looked at today are common best practices we see missed time and again. They’re not a replacement for testing but they’re quick changes you could make today that are widely known to improve landing page performance. So check these against your latest landing pages (before testing) and then start collecting data for the long haul ahead.