Are Your Customers Getting Lost in Your Landing Page Links?
June 14, 2016
- Landing Pages •
- Site Optimization •
Aden Andrus• June 14, 2016
It takes a lot of work to get the right traffic onto your landing page—once they’re there, you want to keep them there!
Unfortunately, this is easier said than done.
There are a lot of reasons why people do or don’t convert on your landing page, but one of biggest reasons people leave your page is because you invite them to leave.
Yes, you read that right.
As marketers, we do everything we can to build credibility, answer potential questions and sell our audience on the idea that our offer is exactly what they are looking for.
That’s a lot to ask out of one page, so we resort to a classic website technique: we add links.
Now don’t get me wrong, links are awesome for a website or a blog post like this. They give people easy access to additional content and information, demonstrate that you know your stuff or give people ways to connect with you.
Links are great.
Just not on a landing page.
While links can do a lot for your website, they actually hurt your landing page performance.
Remember, a landing page is fundamentally different from your home page—that means you can’t do the same thing on both and expect great results!
Unfortunately, the more landing page links you have, the more routes off your page you are creating. The more routes off your page, the more likely people are to get curious, confused or simply distracted…
…and then they don’t convert.
What Are Marketers Linking Too?
With this in mind, it seems like your average landing page shouldn’t have any links, except ones that point to a form or some other extension of your CTA.
However, this isn’t the case.
Here are a few landing page statistics:
- 96% of landing pages have at least 1 off-page link
- 40% of landing pages have 1-3 off-page links
- 28% have 4-6 off-page links
- 14% have more than 10 off-page links!
- 67% of off-page links lead to another company page
- 15% of off-page links lead to a social media page
Obviously, 10+ off-page links probably isn’t a good idea for most landing pages, but clearly the average marketer believes that their landing page needs 1+ off-page links.
The question is, are they right? Let’s take a closer look at where these links are going.
For landing pages with at least one off-page link, 56% of them have link from their logo to their home page.
No surprise here. Logo links have been a staple of website navigation for years—but do they make sense on your landing page?
Well, it depends.
Logo links add credibility to your landing page. In essence, they are a company’s way of saying, “This landing page belongs to us and we approve this message.”
As a result, a logo link can actually increase your conversion rate. Landing pages typically ask for personal information and people want to know that they are giving their information to a legitimate company.
The downside to this is that people may click off of your page to verify that your company exists and then get distracted on your website (with all of it’s own extra links).
And, if you don’t have your tracking set up right, it can be difficult to correctly attribute the lead source for leads that click off your landing page and later convert on your website.
If you can’t track which campaigns are producing which conversions and sales, it’s going to be difficult to decide which campaigns deserve your marketing spend.
So, don’t just assume that your logo needs a link. Test it and make sure!
If your logo link isn’t contributing to your conversion rate, you probably don’t need it.
Privacy Statement Links
A close second to the logo link, privacy statement links show up in 48% of pages with off-page links.
In most cases, privacy statements are less of a marketing decision and more of a legal requirement, so getting rid of your privacy statement may not even be an option.
Unfortunately, off-page privacy statements can increase the risk of a potential customer getting lost (or overwhelmed by the size or implications of the statement) and abandoning ship.
Depending on the legal requirements in your industry, there are a few potential ways to handle this situation:
Open the privacy statement in a new tab
If you set up your link right, the privacy statement will open in a new tab.
If you avoid having any clickable elements on your new page (for a great example, check out this page), that will make it easy for the user to read your privacy statement and then close the new tab and return to your landing page.
It’s not perfect, but it works.
Use a lightbox
Lightboxes are essentially on page popups that trigger when a user clicks on your link. They make it easy to add content to your page without forcing your user onto a new page.
Here’s a great example:
See? Nice and simple.
Simplify your verbiage
Your privacy statement doesn’t always have to be full of technical mumbo-jumbo to do the job. You may be able to write something that’s a little more user friendly for your on-page disclaimer and then use one of the previous techniques to provide access to the full statement.
Contact Us Links
Coming in at 21% of landing pages with off-page links, links to a contact-us-type page are the third most frequent off-page link.
In general, this isn’t a very good idea.
Think about it, if the goal of your landing page is lead generation, a “Contact Us” link doesn’t make any sense. Lead gen pages are basically marketing-driven “Contact Us” pages, why add in a distracting link to another page with the same purpose?
If your goal is to sell a product, a contact us link may have more value, but it’s still a distraction from the primary goal—selling the product.
After all, if the only way they’re going to buy is if they check out your “Contact Us” page, their odds of buying after they call probably aren’t that good anyways.
About Us Links
Similarly, many landing pages have links to an “About Us”—16% of landing pages with off-page links fall into this category.
Here again, the usefulness of a link to your “About Us” page is debatable.
If you’re getting a lot of traffic from your landing page to your “About Us” page, maybe that information actually needs to be on your landing page.
That way, your audience doesn’t have to search for the info they need to convert and you eliminate the need for a potentially distracting off-page click.
What About Social Links?
Altogether, links to Twitter, Facebook and/or LinkedIn are found on 35% of landing pages with off-page links.
Is this a good idea? Probably not.
Sure, social media links can help with brand perception or credibility, but let me put it this way, here’s what happens when you add links to sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn:
The average adult has an attention span of just 8 seconds. Throw Twitter and Facebook into the mix and you may not even make it that long.
So, unless your audience really needs to see your Facebook page to convert or you are in desperate need of extra Tweets, it’s usually best to leave social links off of your landing page.
If they love you, they’ll find your page and like it later.
So, do links belong on your landing page or not? It all depends on the goal of the page and the type of link.
In general, most landing pages could stand to cut back on the landing page links. However, there are times when certain links may make sense.
That being said, if you are considering an off-page link, it’s best to test whether or not it is actually producing value for your page. See if there is a way to put the off-page content on your landing page. Or, if you can, eliminate the link and see how your conversion rate fares.
By the way, if you’d like me to take a look at your landing pages and give you some recommendations on how you can improve your link usage, let me know here or in the comments. I’d love to help!
Are you a fan of landing page links? Hate them? How have you seen landing page links help or hurt your conversion rates?