5 Landing Page Mistakes You Absolutely Need to Avoid

Wednesday, February 18, 2015
By Karen Cioffi

Just about everyone knows the importance of having a website. And, the landing page is the first thing a visitor will see on your website. So, it’s essential to have it reader and search engine optimized.

As a website owner there are certain mistakes you need to look out for - below are five of them:

1. Overwhelming content

Your website landing page shouldn’t have too much information. Keep it simple and to the point. The visitor needs to very quickly ascertain what your site is about and the benefit it has for her.

In addition, search engines don't like long landing pages.

Read your content carefully and get rid of extraneous content.

2. Too many call-to-actions (CTAs)

Everything on your website should be short and sweet, especially your landing page. Give the visitor only ONE option (CTA) at a time. Too many choices creates ‘visitor anxiety’ - this is always a no-no.

Anxiety or confusion always leads to a ‘NO’ response on the part of the visitor.

You want to make the process as easy as possible.

Note: A call-to-action is the action you want the visitor to take. It may be to sign up for your mailing list, to sign up for a special event, to buy your product or service, or some other desired action.

3. Your landing page heading doesn't reflect the website's theme/niche/industry

Suppose you came across a website titled Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained.

Now, quickly, what do you think the site is about?

Investment? Real Estate? Health? Sports?

Get the idea? The title is non-specific. It's confusing.

Your domain URL, website name, page titles, and so on, should all reflect the topic of the site.

This matters for two major reasons: (1) lack of clarity or focus makes the search engine's job more difficult to define and categorize your website and (2) it's confusing for the visitor.

4. Your sidebar is jam-packed

It’s not wise to distract or confuse your visitor by having too many sidebar tidbits or ads. Again, keep it simple. Keep only essential sidebar content. Eliminate ads.

You might also consider getting a one-column theme – it has no sidebars. Heavy-hitter marketing sites are now using this type of theme.

5. Your color design has a dark background.

The best color scheme for your website is a light background with dark text. It's much easier to read, which makes it more reader friendly.

Use these five tips to make your website landing page reader and search engine optimized.

Karen Cioffi is a former accountant who is now a multi-award-winning author, ghostwriter, freelance writer, editor, and author-writer online platform marketing instructor. She founded and manages Writers on the Move (a marketing group), and presents online writing and marketing workshops and webinars.

Karen has published 12 writing and marketing eBooks, the most recent, Article Marketing: Increase Website Traffic with Properly Formatted and Search Engine Optimized Content.

In addition to this, Karen’s website, Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing, was named Writer’s Digest Website of the Week, June 25, 2012.

Join Karen Cioffi's upcoming online class, Get Traffic to Your Website with Inbound Marketing! Visit our classroom page for details and enrollment.


Margo Dill said...

WHenever I see a headline like this, I always think: OH NO, I wonder how many of these I do wrong. . .:) LOL Thanks for getting us straight, Karen. Great advice.

Karen Cioffi said...

Margo, I hear you. There are so many dos and don'ts it can make your head spin. Good old marketing! LOL

Sioux Roslawski said...

Karen--Thanks for the great tips. I agree with Margo--I read it with some nervousness. How badly do I screw up, I wondered.

Thanks for the post.

Karen Cioffi said...

Hi, Sioux, the best advice I can give is to write for your audience. Keep keywords in mind and just give your readers great value. It's almost impossible to keep up with Google's whims, but the one constant is to provide valuable content.

I hope this takes a bit of the edge off. :)

Renee Roberson said...

I too was a little scared when I clicked over to my website's landing page after reading your post, Karen! Luckily, I think I'm sort of middle of the road on it right now. I do plan to transition from a GoDaddy template website to a Wordpress site in the next year, which hopefully will help with some of this.

Karen Cioffi said...

Hi, Renee, Gee I didn't mean to scare everyone. LOL

It is a good idea to make that switch though. WordPress is just so search engine friendly and it has tons of great plugins. And, it really is pretty user friendly. Good luck with it!

Renee Roberson said...

Karen, at least we can honestly say you got our attention :-) And in a good way, I think!

Karen Cioffi said...

LOL I sure did!

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