Creating converting landing pages is a constant struggle, isn’t it?
You want them to look great and awe visitors.
At the same time, you also want each page to entice them to buy, sign up or convert in any other way you, right?
And often the most natural solution to achieve the two is to follow the so-called best practices. After all, if something has worked for others, it surely must work for you too, right?
Many of those practices are nothing more but myths. We believe they work but all they often do is actually hurt conversions.
Just take a look at these few for example. If you’ve been working online for a while, you’ve probably heard every one of them.
Perhaps you’ve even implemented them.
And they might have impaired your landing page’s conversions.
So without further ado, here are 4 landing page design myths that might actually hurt conversions.
Myth #1: Call to Action Must Be Always Above the Fold
Back in 2010 Jakob Nielsen said:
“Web users spend 80% of their time looking at information above the page fold. Although users do scroll, they allocate only 20% of their attention below the fold.”
He also wrote:
“Long pages continue to be problematic because of users’ limited attention span. People prefer sites that get to the point and let them get things done quickly. Besides the basic reluctance to read more words, scrolling is extra work.
The real estate above the fold is more valuable than stuff below the fold for attracting and keeping users’ attention.”
This therefore suggests that it only makes sense to place the call to action above the fold.
After all, you want that 80% to see it, right?
And get hooked by it.
Not to mention, act on it.
Recent case studies prove that Calls to Action below the fold often outperform it’s above the fold counterparts.
For example, according to this research by Clicktale, the length of the page has no influence over whether a person’s going to scroll down the page or not (source).
According to the research by CXPartners, faced with little content above the fold, users tend to explore the page further.
And so there goes the myth of users not scrolling pages.
OK Pawel, great people scroll. But what about conversions?
You see, there’s plenty of data to prove that too.
Neil Patel for instance found that a longer version of his landing page converted 7.6% better (source).
Not to mention that leads from the longer version were better and more qualified.
Conversion Rate Experts improved Crazy Egg’s landing page conversions by 30% by …. Making it longer!
And, ContentVerve reported a research in which a below the fold CTA performed 304% better than its above the fold counterpart.
Of course the above doesn’t mean that you should jump off and move all your CTAs to the bottom of the page. But when you’re working on the next landing page, be weary that they don’t necessarily have to sit above the fold to convert.
Myth #2: Your Most Important Content Should Be Above the Fold
Many designers still believe that you should place the most important information right at the top of the page.
Why? Because, as I already quoted above, there’s a belief that users don’t scroll and thus won’t see it otherwise.
But such thinking is so frickin 1999…
Just take a look at this data:
Usability tests conducted by Huge, a design agency, proved almost every of their participants have scrolled the page. And that’s regardless of whether there were any cues enticing them to do so or not.
While researching engagement with online advertising, Microsoft, Yahoo and Chartbeat discovered that 65.7% of engagement happens below the fold (source).
And according to data by Luke Wroblewski, many users begin to scroll before the page even fully loads:
While pixels above the fold are viewed for the least amount of time:
So next time you begin to stress out over how to cram all your content above the fold, stop. Take a deep breath and remember:
As long as your content is engaging, users will scroll it.
And so, there’s no point to worry about it.
Myth #3: All Users Follow the F Pattern When Consuming Web Content
You know, I quote this research often too:
According to Jakob Nielsen, users scan web content in a F-shaped pattern.
As per Nielsens explanation:
- “Users first read in a horizontal movement, usually across the upper part of the content area. This initial element forms the F’s top bar.
- Next, users move down the page a bit and then read across in a second horizontal movement that typically covers a shorter area than the previous movement. This additional element forms the F’s lower bar.
- Finally, users scan the content’s left side in a vertical movement. Sometimes this is a fairly slow and systematic scan that appears as a solid stripe on an eyetracking heatmap. Other times users move faster, creating a spottier heatmap. This last element forms the F’s stem. “
But turns out that’s not the only pattern we follow. For instance:
When presented with text-heavy content, we often follow the Gutenberg Diagram:
We typically start off with the upper left area. That’s the part of the page that’s going to get the most attention.
Next we tend to sweep down across the quadrants to the bottom right area.
These two areas receive are strongest attention.
The remaining two however receive very little attention unless complimented with strong design elements.
And you can see designs targeting this diagram everywhere:
We also often follow the Z-Pattern layout
And as the name suggests, when scanning the page our eyes follow the shape of letter z.
Many SaaS landing pages follow this pattern to communicate their apps key benefits.
For instance, here’s how GetSocial do it:
AdEspresso uses it too:
This pattern works best if you want to communicate few simple points but want to do it in a graphical way.
And so, depending on what type of information you want to communicate, you may have to design your page to follow different patterns than just the F-Shaped one.
Myth #4: Once a Page is Completed, It’s Done
As a professional copywriter, this myth is my personal gripe.
You see, for many people, once a landing page goes live, it’s done.
Be it design, copy or even the offer, they can’t change.
But the truth is:
It’s bloody hard to get a landing page right for the first time.
It doesn’t matter how in-depth and comprehensive information you give to designer, writer or marketer, it’s still damn hard to predict every single variation that could affect conversions.
That’s why you need to test your designs after they’ve gone live.
Run A/B tests, split tests, try out different hypotheses to improve conversions. .
And for Heaven’s sake, involve the people who created the page in the process. Nothing infuriates us more than seeing poorly written headline tested against something we created.
So what’s the biggest lesson from this post?
And then test it again.
Don’t rely on best practices or follow other peoples’ test results. What has worked for them will most likely not work for you anyway.
Your page is different. So is your audience. Business. Product, offer and millions of other things.
And thus, you gotta to test your landing pages to find what works for your audience.