Landing pages are the perfect opportunity to make a strong first impression on new visitors, and this makes them one of the most important components of an effective e-commerce marketing plan. Just as a unique, engaging landing page can substantially boost sales, even seemingly minor errors can make it difficult to reach your marketing goals.
In this article, we’ll take a close look at five of the most common landing page mistakes for e-commerce marketers. Optimizing your landing page will help you to generate more traffic and move more prospects on to the next steps of the customer journey.
Mistake #1: Not Adapting for Mobile Devices
Websites are typically created on desktops and laptops, so developers often spend less time improving performance on mobile devices.
While mobile users once made up a relatively small percentage of online shoppers, they’re expected to account for more than half of all e-commerce sales by 2021. Furthermore, users who have a poor mobile experience on an online store are 62% less likely to buy from that brand in the future.
With that in mind, it’s clear that mobile devices should be just as much of a priority as desktops and laptops. Brands in every niche need to focus on improving the customer experience for mobile users.
This includes minimizing loading times, optimizing images, and text for various screen sizes, and using as little text as possible to get the point across quickly.
The easiest way to evaluate your site’s performance is to visit it on your own mobile device. Some applications, like Xcode, come with tools that allow developers to simulate a smartphone or tablet while using a computer.
Make sure to test the site on as many devices and operating systems as possible in order to identify all technical issues. You can also gather feedback from your audience directly to learn more about their experiences.
Mistake #2: Including Irrelevant Visuals
Unique visual design is critical to the success of a landing page, yet many e-commerce vendors use generic or irrelevant content that detracts from their core message. All photos, graphics, and other visuals should be directly related to the value presented on the landing page.
If you’re trying to sell something, for example, the landing page should contain an image that clearly displays the product’s design. Adding stock photos or other pictures that don’t have anything to do with the item will only hurt sales.
If you don’t have a graphic designer in-house, don’t hesitate to pay an experienced professional who can take your website and landing page to the next level. User test questions can help to identify if visitors clearly understand the message of your images.
Similarly, landing pages should always be related to the ad that brought the customer to your site.
If they clicked on product promotion, the landing page should show information about that specific product. In some cases where you’re promoting several specific products or offers at the same time, creating multiple landing pages is the most effective way to maximize the average visit length.
Mistake #3: Not Using Social Proof
Brand messaging is obviously important, but internet users are accustomed to having products sold to them. With that in mind, online stores don’t have much credibility, especially during the first visit. Supplementing your copy with social proof and trust indicators will help generate more trust in your brand.
Social proof can be anything from social media posts to customer reviews, testimonials, or even case studies. It focuses on the value and practical application of your products instead of features, specs, or other details. In other words, you want visitors to think in practical terms and understand what the products can do for them.
If you sell phone cases, for example, a video of someone dropping their phone from eye level will be much more effective than a copy explaining the physical strength of the material.
Users want to know why your product is more useful than the alternatives and demonstrating how it has helped previous customers is one of the most powerful ways to communicate that information.
Like other landing page elements, social proof is most effective when it gets to the point in a few words. It should only take a second or two for readers to scan the page and understand the main points. You can always add more details to other areas of the site, but the landing page should be as straightforward as possible.
Mistake #4: Failing to Optimize Loading Times
E-commerce vendors often underestimate the importance of speed, especially if they think their site is “fast enough.” The reality is that every second counts when it comes to keeping the visitor engaged and interested in your brand. Reducing the average loading time by even a fraction of a second could help you convert a large volume of sales that could have been lost.
In fact, the majority of users will give up on a new site after just three seconds. After the first missed opportunity, just 20% of those users will give the brand another chance later on. That means that the three-second loading time will cut traffic by more than 40%.
This is particularly important when targeting mobile users, who tend to spend even less time on new websites compared to people using a desktop or laptop.
Given the importance of quick loading times, making your site faster is almost always a good investment. Optimizing site speed should be one of your top priorities if it currently takes longer than two seconds. PageSpeed Insights from Google is an excellent tool for analyzing your current speed and finding out the best ways to reduce load times.
If you’re interested in improving speed for mobile users, consider converting your landing page to Google AMP.
AMP pages load more quickly on mobile devices and are heavily weighted in SEO. Research indicates that the median AMP page takes less than half a second to load, leading to a significantly lower bounce rate for sites that make the switch. You can typically convert landing pages to AMP without making any major changes to the content.
Mistake #5: Making the Page Cluttered or Unclear
Landing pages are extremely powerful tools when used correctly, but they’re intended to push visitors to the next area of your site.
To that end, it’s crucial for every element to clearly direct traffic to a certain call to action, whether it’s buying a product, signing up for an email list, or just learning more about your brand.
If new users get 10% off their first purchase, for example, that offer needs to be clearly visible and differentiated from the rest of the landing page. It shouldn’t take more than a second or two for visitors to understand the purpose of the landing page and how they can take advantage of your offer.
Things like social proof, product images, and product descriptions are obviously important, but they should be secondary to the main draw of your landing page. Try to limit and break up text as much as possible through bullet points, concise slogans, short sentences, and other adjustments. Again, you can reintroduce these elements later on once customers have spent more time on your site.
A/B Testing to Build Efficient Landing Pages
If you’re having trouble identifying the most critical aspects of your landing pages, consider running A/B tests to compare multiple variants. Continually A/B testing your landing pages and other areas of your site will help you identify weaknesses and make the necessary changes. Run each test for at least a full week in order to generate a large enough sample size.
Landing pages might seem simple, but it’s easy to get off track quickly. These are just a handful of the most common errors that prevent e-commerce vendors from making more sales. Of course, optimizing your landing pages is an ongoing process—even if you’re satisfied with your current results, the most effective marketers can always find room for improvement.
About the author
Evaldas Mockus is an Experienced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and SaaS companies. Currently, he is associated with OmniSend, an e-commerce marketing automation platform built for growing e-commerce businesses. Follow him on LinkedIn.