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Three Problems With Your Landing Pages That Are Costing You Sales Landing pages can convert much better if you avoid these three common mistakes.

By Hafiz Muhammad Ali

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Landing pages are an important part of the sales process online. They are one of the highest-converting digital assets you can use, but all that is irrelevant if they are not optimized for conversions.

It often seems like some companies can generate significant sales online while others struggle to achieve this. Often it comes down to which company is making costly mistakes and which ones are optimizing the landing page conversions. If you've paid for ads online before (or really, anywhere), you're already familiar with the concept of CPM, or cost per 1,000 impressions. Online, there is also the option to pay per click, known as CPC (or "cost per click"), wherein the number of impressions is irrelevant, but rather the ad purchaser pays only for clicks on their advertisements. The idea, and appeal, of CPC, is that individuals who click on an advertisement are going to be inherently more interested in the subject matter of that ad, and will, therefore, be much more likely to convert to a sale. This self-selection process certainly has merits, but in 2017 it is only part of the picture.

Take a look at these three landing page problems. If you can identify any of these in your own landing pages, take steps quickly to fix them as it'll pay for itself many times over.

1. Getting an ad click but not optimizing the conversion funnel
Getting a potential customer to click on an advertisement is only the first part of a successful online advertisement. Once they've clicked, it is imperative that the page they land on actually converts. The more effective a landing page is at converting traffic, the more effective (and cost-effective) the campaign will be. Think about it this way, if your CPC is $1, then your cost per conversion is $1 multiplied by the average number of visitors you need to convert. For example, a 20% conversion rate on the landing page would mean that it takes 5 visitors to convert one, making the cost per conversion $5. If on the other hand, your conversion rate is 5%, it would take 20 visitors to convert one, making the cost per conversion $20.

"Conversion" can mean whatever you want it to mean. Whether it is getting a sale, signing up for a mailing list, or whatever else you've determined is a worthwhile goal, the key is to design purpose-built landing pages, which are optimized to convert as efficiently as possible. In order to convert, it's important that your landing page has a clear, straightforward goal and a very clear call to action button.

2. Linking to your homepage
One of the most common mistakes that businesses make is to spend lots of money on advertisements on Google, Facebook, and elsewhere, only to have those who click on their advertisement end up on your company website home page. While it might seem to make sense that a home page would be a great place to drive traffic, the reality is this is rarely the case. Your website home page probably has lots of menus and features, the vast majority of which have nothing to do with the specific ad copy you spent so much time and money to develop.

Instead, it makes much more sense to create dedicated landing pages which are designed to be a destination for those who click on a specific advertisement. By tailoring a landing page for a specific ad campaign, you dramatically increase the relevance of the page to the specific visitor who clicked on the ad, which will also lead to significantly higher conversion rates.

3. Slow loading time
Another common problem found with landing pages is that it takes too long for them to load. Many business owners make the mistake of thinking that an extra second or two of loading time won't make a difference. This could not be further from the truth. Industry studies consistently point to a dramatic decrease in conversion rates for every second that a page takes to load. Nearly half of consumers expect web pages to load in less than two seconds, and studies have shown that every second delay in page response leads to an estimated 7% decrease in conversion rate.

There are a few things you can do to reduce the loading time on your landing page. First and foremost, you should have already switched from using your home page to a dedicated landing page. This eliminates unnecessary elements from loading. Next, you'll want to make sure that the landing page is as lean as possible, meaning no excess code, animations, graphics, or anything else that might slow down loading time. Beyond this, there are lots of technical things you can do to speed up the web page, but simply started with the suggestions above should get you most of the way there. It's also important to have a high-quality hosting service, as this is often the critical bottleneck that needs to be addressed.

By avoiding these three common landing page mistakes, you can expect to see a significant increase in the number of sales you earn on your landing pages.

Related: Sales Statistics: Focus On Those That Matter

Hafiz Muhammad Ali

Entrepreneur, Author, PhD in Entrepreneurship

Hafiz Muhammad Ali is an entrepreneur, founder of Omnicore, author of Digital Passport. With a PhD in entrepreneurship, his is a firm believer in lifelong learning. He is passionate about sharing his knowledge, experience and opinion on digital marketing, leadership, entrepreneurship and innovation. Ali invests in books and people.

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