Okay. Totally not trying to be harsh or anything.
I recently received my Inbound and HubSpot certification, and I like to think I have the basics down on what makes a landing page, well, not suck.
First, it's important to know that the main purpose of your landing page is to generate leads. That's it. Nothing too complicated. You want to give them something cool (like a sweet call to action) so they come to your landing page, fill out a form, then send them on their merry way to a cool thank you page (with the offer included).
So let's stick to the basics, and when making a landing page, keep in mind the top 10 reasons your landing pages might suck:
1. They don't grab your attention.
Your headline is unengaging and doesn't grab the readers attention. The headline is either really confusing, really boring, or an awkward mixture of both. Examples include "How to do Marketing Good" and "2 and a Half Steps to Determine the Course of Your Third Quarter Marketing Process for your Marketing Coordinator When it Comes to Inbound Marketing."
2. They are confusing.
Your reader obviously clicked on your call to action which brought them to your landing page, but now they have no idea what the heck is going on. You either don't share with them what the value of the offer is, or you go on for 2,000 words explaining what the offer is, so they don't even need to fill out the form. Fail. Explain the benefits in a few, easy to read bullet points.
3. Your CTA is a lie.
Your call-to-action tells them to click to download an "Inbound Marketing Checklist," and once they do, they find themselves on a landing page for "10 Crafty Crazy Ways to Decorate Your Cubicle." So be sure the CTA they click on takes them to the correct landing page.
4. Your offer seems a little sketchy.
Let your reader know they can trust you, and provide a preview of the offer they are about to receive. For example, show them picture of the "cover" of the eBook they are about to download.
5. They are ugly.
Do I really need to explain this one? HubSpot has some great layouts that can make your landing pages pretty. Or manly. Or whatever works best for your buyer persona. Be sure to include relevant images, but don't overload the landing page.
6. It takes 10 years to scroll to the bottom.
Your landing page should be short and sweet, so be sure to place the content above the fold. Plus, what if your reader's scroll wheel on their mouse is broken? Then they have to find the tiny little arrow on the side of their screen and scroll down for an hour. That's just rude.
7. There is no form.
If you don't want to get any information from your lead, or get any way to contact them, then don't put a form on your landing page! But if in the event that you would like to create a fulfilling, meaningful relationship with a customer, then create a form with 3-7 relevant fields.
8. No one wants to share them.
Even if they wanted to, they couldn't, since you didn't include any Social Media Share icons. It's okay, it sucked anyways.
9. They don't take you anywhere.
Your landing page doesn't take you to a thank you page with the offer. Instead, it shows you a message on the same page that said "Thanks." Or in other words, it's really saying "We really don't want to make you a valued customer so we decided to not send you to a thank you page that included the offer."
10. They aren't linked to your call-to-action.
In this case, then steps 1-9 were pointless, since you would have a dead link, and no one would even see how much your landing page sucked to begin with.
So there you have it folks. If your landing page does suck, the good news is now you know how you can fix it. Make some changes and see if you can get at least a 20% conversion rate for your new and improved landing page that doesn't suck, and let me know if you have any other tips!