Reduce Friction for Better Conversions: Landing Pages 101

We look at reducing friction to increase conversions in this edition of our Landing Pages 101 series. And to achieve higher conversion rates, you need to make sure you reduce friction as much as possible.

#CarnegieConf speaker Oli Gardner explains friction as "the psychological resistance that your visitors experience when trying to complete an action. Friction is a conversion killer usually caused by unclear messaging, lack of information, or poor layout."

The conversion marketing glossary thanks to Unbounce.com

If your landing page is—or is just perceived as being—too hard to complete, you have too much friction. Your landing page’s sole purpose is to get a student to fill out a form and give you their information; make that as easy for them to do as possible.

Examples of landing page friction 

  • Long forms: Don’t ask for every little piece of information. The more you ask for, the greater the friction to complete the form. Keep it short and only ask for what you really need.
  • Message match: If your ad and landing page don’t match, that is hard to overcome. Someone clicked to the landing page for a specific reason; don’t try and bait and switch them. Confusing the user definitely causes friction. 
  • Lack of social proof: “Like” counts are a great thing to share if you have a lot of them. If you don’t  . . . well, don’t show them. It will make the user wonder why you only have 11 likes. 
  • Stop words: Don’t introduce words to your form or landing page that will cause the user to stop filling out your form. It may sound counterintuitive, but you don’t even want to say things like “we won’t spam you.” They may not have even been thinking about that until you mentioned it. Never use the word “submit” on your buttons. The user isn’t “submitting” to your will. A good way to come up with button copy is to ask this question to yourself. "I want to ________". What you answer to that question is a great start for button copy. "I want to register for this open house" Also, never have buttons on your form to clear entries or say no thank you.
  • Poor design: Design your landing page to be clear and concise. Don’t make it difficult for your user to figure out what to do with hard-to-read text or busy visuals.
  • Non-believable testimonials: If you are going to use testimonials, don’t include any that sound too good to be true and use pictures of the actual people giving the quote if you can. Even better if you can link to a real tweet. If there is anything remotely fishy about your testimonial, you are giving your user another reason to hesitate filling out your form. Hesitation is friction.
  • Distracting header and footer navigation: Don’t use your standard header and footers. (I talked about this previously in this series.) It will cause more friction and may prevent users from filling out the form—the main goal of the landing page.
  • Captcha forms: You may not encounter them much in higher ed, but as a general landing page rule . . . don’t, just don’t. These are a terrible user experience, and everyone hates trying to fill them out. And you can forget about it on mobile. You might as well change the headline on your landing page to “Go Away! We Don’t Like You!"

Every landing page should have a single goal. Everything on the page should help the user complete that goal. Causing friction increases the likelihood of the user not completing the goal.

More in our Landing Pages 101 series:

If you have any examples of more types of friction, please let me know in the comments or tweet @seo_george

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