Your website landing page, or first page, normally has one purpose; get your visitors to perform an action on your website. It may be that you’re selling a product, trying to get subscribers to a newsletter, have them download an Ebook, or simply sign a petition. With the fierce internet competition today, it’s crucial that your first page be a simple and easy to navigate as possible.
Mistakes That People Make on Landing Pages
Imagine your website as a real life business such as an ice cream store. You walk in and there’s awful music playing, the place looks like a dump, and the menu has an overwhelming number of items. Does this sound like a place you’d want to give your business to?
Now imagine the online example of the above. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been to websites that are like that, overwhelming to say the least, awful to look at, and often I have to immediately hit my mute button, because of the music that comes blaring at my eardrums. It takes seconds, and the experience is so bad that I’m out of there as quickly as possible. I don’t care how good your product may be, I’ll find some other way to get my information, without having to navigate a website that has lost all credibility.
What Should You Do to Enhance Your Website?
Your first page is your only chance to capture my attention. I don’t want to have to scroll, so what’s “above the fold”, is going to be my first impression. I’ve come to your site because I want information and if I don’t immediately see it, I’m gone. Let’s say I’m looking for a social media site. The site I go to looks like this below:
As you can see, I’ve not scrolled, but there’s still a lot of information for me to see. I also like the clean layout of the website, the use of cute characters, but more importantly, I can easily navigate to what I’m interested in. Now campare that to the one below:
This page is cluttered with information. On top of that the design in the middle keeps changing and I never get a change to read the entire message. They’ve used space for Facebook and Twitter twice and added YouTube and a RSS feed. The options of a Phone Call, Request A Quote or use the Live Chat have little meaning to me as a first time visitor and I’m very careful about giving out my information, which all of the above will be asking for.
Overall, I’d be unlikely to scroll or even stay on this page, as it’s offering me very little information and the design is not friendly. I would likely click on their Facebook page to see if I can get more relevant information, but I’d be more likely to go and search for something else. That’s a customer lost to this company.
Pages That Are Too Long
88% of people, according to recent studies, will not scroll down a page. This means your “above the fold” has to provide basic information and capture their attention. If they do scroll, and see an overwhelmingly long web page, they’ll be gone in seconds. On the other hand, if I have captured their attention at the top, some will read and other will bookmark in order to return at a later time.
Create a Great Headline
Your first line of text should be your best. It needs to capture your viewer immediately. Often this can be accomplished with no text, but a great picture or video. Concentrate on that first line and you’ll see your bounce rage decrease, people will stay on your website longer, and your conversion rates will go up. The saying, “first impressions are everything,” is true. You need to put a lot of time and effort into designing your landing page if you truly want to succeed. The more effective the above the fold information is, the more likely you are to capture the customer.