Tuesday 12 November, 2013

How to Build a Train Wreck Landing Page That Converts at Zero Percent

Want to create a horrible landing page that won’t convert? It’s easy – people do it every day. The internet is littered with train-wreck landing pages that aren’t making anybody any money. Here are the key ingredients.

Totally Irrelevant

Here’s a great way to boost your bounce rate – make sure that your landing page has nothing to do with the advertisement leading to it. Create an ad that says, ‘Click here to learn my powerful secrets to building an awesome website,’ and then when they hit your page, it’s something about internet marketing tips.

Takeaway – Make your landing page relevant to the ad that leads to it.

Too Much Going on

You’ll really turn people off if your landing page is filled with junk content that doesn’t lead them to take action. Put all kinds of random images and Flash videos that take forever to load. Turn it into a total jumble of stuff that’s not totally relevant to your offer with a bunch of links going out.

Takeaway – A good landing page is clean and simple. It has one purpose – to lead the visitor to take action. Any design feature that doesn’t do that should be removed.

Design that’s Painful to Look at

If you can create an eyesore landing page that actually hurts to look at, it’ll be impossible for people to read it and take action. Put brightly colored text on a dark background and use fonts that are impossible to read. Your visitor will get a headache and click away in a heartbeat.

Takeaway – Your landing page should be easy on the eyes. Make the headline and other text attention grabbing but not annoying. Never put light text on a dark background.

Too Much Information

Tell your visitor, ‘All you need to do to get these benefits is sign up with this simple sign-up form!’ Then ask for their name, email address, contact information, favorite pizza topping, grandmother’s maiden name, first make and model of car, and the combination to their bike lock. Give them a whole list of stuff to enter and if something is entered incorrectly, it clears all fields and makes them do it again.

Takeaway – Make it as easy as possible to sign up. Only ask for the essentials – name and email address. If you ask for more, make it optional.

Do What?


Finally, don’t call the visitor to action. Put a tiny button somewhere that looks like ordinary text and doesn’t say anything at all. They’re smart and they’ll know what they need to do.


Takeaway – Beat your visitors over the head with your call to action multiple times throughout the page. Tell them exactly what to do even though it may be painfully obvious. Make your button big, obvious and button-looking.


If it’s your dream to build landing pages that drive visitors away, follow the above steps to a T and you’ll get nothing at all for your efforts.

Bob Steele

Bob Steele

Bob Steele is an entrepreneur, software developer, marketer, and author living in the Denver metropolitan area. He’s an avid outdoorsman who loves skiing, hiking, fishing, boating, and just plain having fun. His interests include games, space, technology, physics, cooking (well eating actually), economics, business, internationalism, and team sports. With over thirty years of professional consulting experience, Bob has been exposed to many diverse business models and has gained a sensible approach to life. Bob’s company, WaveCentric is focused on commerce, marketing, and entertainment related products.

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