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7 Deadly Sins for Landing Pages May 12, 2010

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Trends.

While doing research for a potential client recently, I came across a webinar on landing pages. Initially, I expected this topic is a slice of a piece in the long tail. Turns out that, actually, there is quite a bit of information published on landing page optimization. It even has its’ own acronym – LPO. Makes it legit for me. Tim Ash enumerates on the 7 sins and how to avoid them; he also has a book on the subject.

Here’s a synopsis from my notes on

7 Deadly sins and ways to avoid them

1) Unclear call to action (CTA) – make it simple, keep it above the fold.

2) Too many choices – group choices, use visual shortcuts

3 Too much information (TMI) on forms – simplify, only ask what is needed

4) Too much text – think inverted pyramid, make heading & headline clear

5) Not keeping promise – connect with ad content, match with visitor intent, repeat ad words, use clear information

6) Remove visual distractions – make it boring; use only relevant images

7) lack of credibility/trust – make trust marks visible and prominent, answer ‘why should I buy?’, use client badges, logos

Note the running time for the webinar.

While this is not a definitive list, it is a useful reminder on what to avoid when developing integrated campaigns across multiple platforms. Consistency is key and content is king.


1. Joseph A'Deo - June 1, 2010

The lack of trust marks is, indeed, a serious problem — thanks for pointing it out. I work for VeriSign so I obviously have a slightly different perspective on the security industry than most, but sites with encryption (SSL or EV SSL) and/or trust marks simply get more conversions (fewer abandoned shopping carts). Even sites that use third party shopping carts, like those through paypal, can benefit from security marks like the VeriSign Trust Seal, which offers malware scanning and authentication services to sites that don’t need encryption. There are so many solutions out there, and the technology is so essential, that it’s really an unavoidable must.

Edwin Ritter - June 3, 2010

Thanks for your comments and taking the time to reply. Glad you enjoyed the post. I agree that having the trust marks will improve conversion/reduce abandonment rates. As you mention, the technology is available and fairly straight forward for sites to use these. At this time, I would expect all sites that provide on-line transaction to provide this and use encrytped connections.

2. caiuniversity - June 25, 2010

I found your comment on too much text to be valuable and reassuring. I come across alot of sites that have so much to say and don’t quite know how to 1. only include relevant information or 2. keep the call to action clear through the text. I think it ties into your observation of asking too much from visitors on forms: I know as soon as I see a form that has more than the most basic fields I lose interest and respect for the site.

Thanks for such a useful post.

Edwin Ritter - June 28, 2010

Thanks for your comments and I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Customer Support types like to get much more information than is required when a customer is filling out on-line forms. Keep the customer in mind and make it quick & easy to fill out. From my experience, when I see a form with rows and rows to fill out, I bail. Not going to do that. Short, to the point is best. Getting that accepted as a best practice going forward is a good thing.

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