Wondering if your landing page is leaking conversions? The landing page might not be at fault.

A leaky landing page is one of the worst things that could happen to your marketing funnel.

What’s even worse is when you don’t know which part of your landing page is causing the leak. You see traffic coming in but your call to action button is collecting dust.

So what do you do?

You start to think — is your headline too vague or is your lead capture form too intrusive? Is it your image or the call to action button copy that’s not doing it for your visitors?

Heatmap data and user recordings will help you get to the bottom of the matter, but, what if the data doesn’t point to any conclusive culprits?

Then, my friend you need to look at the bigger picture.

Even if your landing page is the one losing conversions, it doesn’t mean the page itself, and the elements on it are to blame. What most marketers often overlook is the fact that landing pages don’t exist in a vacuum, yes, a landing page is a standalone page, but it is still one part of the conversion process/journey/funnel. To fix a leaky landing page you need to remove the magnifying glass from your landing page and look at the journey in its entirety.

Where are your users losing interest? Before you do that lets do a quick recap of what the conversion journey entails.

Conversion journey pit stops

The first pit stop in your user’s conversion journey is the ad or an email/blog link, this could be a paid ad or a link to your landing page which you’ve prudently included in your emails or blog posts. Then comes the landing page, the lead capture form on the page (it counts as a separate stop because the user has to actively perform an action on it), then comes the confirmation/thank you page and then the process starts again.

Because the conversion journey is a circular process that basically never ends, at least until your business is alive and thriving it’s best to divide the journey into two parts and then see if all the puzzle pieces snugly fit together.

The thing that separates both parts from each other is the click — specifically the click that users perform on your ads.

Pre-click- the motivation stage: this includes the search phrases the user types in the search engine and the paid ad or blog link they click. At this stage the user is self-motivated to find a solution to their problem but they’re unsure of how to do this and have multiple questions in their mind.
Post-click — the persuasion stage: this includes the landing page, the form, and the confirmation/thank you page. At this stage you should answer all the potential questions visitors might have, address their concerns, and create clarity for your offer.

Every single step in the conversion journey could potentially cause friction for users, not just the landing page. For the landing page to successfully persuade visitors to fill the form and click the call to action button, all the pit stops at the pre-click and post-click stage should work properly.

Optimizing your landing page to fix leaks doesn’t simply involve looking at the landing page in isolation, because landing pages don’t work in isolation — they work in combination with all the other steps.

Take a step back and look at the entire conversion journey. Make a connection between all the components of the conversion journey — answer user questions, clearly explain your offer and then see what happens.

Let’s look at a conversion journey in action and figure out if there’s friction at any step.

We’ll begin with a google search for ‘landing page best practices’, I don’t want to stray too far away from the topic at hand:

SERP for landing page best practices

Even though it’s on the second position I’ll click the WordStream ad because they’re promoting a free guide of tips and examples which is what my Google search intent was.

I’m not clicking the Leadpages ad, because I don’t want to do a free trial of Leadpages. I’m interested in best practices- that’s an advertising fail on Leadpages’ part, they have the search phrase in the headline, but the ad copy gives me the impression that I would be signing up for a free trial which isn’t something I want to do. Yes, the destination URL has the search phrase in it, but someone doing an organic search (not the one I’m doing currently, because I have intent to examine) won’t really have time to notice the URL.

Hence, my click on the WordStream ad. This is what happens post-click:

WordStream landing page
  • The landing page is message matched with the ad
  • The headline is clear and effective
  • The CTA button contrasts with the background, and has personlized copy on it
  • The image is sort of relevant.
  • The form is huge, too huge for a free offer. They want to me to enter my phone number and my monthly online advertising budget for a free guide — really? Why?

FRICTION.

And I’m gone, and so are most of the other users.

Let’s try with a display ad now:

Squarespace ad

The Squarespace ad seems interesting, plus I’m currently trying to create a website so let’s click.

Here’s the landing page:

Squarespace landing page

Even though this is connected to a paid ad, this is not a true landing page, notice the navigation bar on top — yep, that goes against the definition of a standalone page created for a single offer. But, let’s consider the page for the purpose of this post.

The message in the ad and headline match, the rest of the page elements do a good job of convincing me to click the CTA button, so that’s what we’re going to do next:

Why am I being shown templates? Where’s the form for the free trial?

FRICTION.

So, even after the CTA click on the ‘landing page’ the user exits, because they fail to see what they expected to see.

Consider the entire conversion equation

If you’re looking to get more conversions for your campaigns, don’t randomly start making changes to your landing pages assuming there’s something wrong there. Look at the big picture, analyze each part of the user journey and fix the part that leaks.