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A boring landing page: The secret to increased sales and conversions?

OK, that headline got your attention! Let’s rephrase it to say that the key to effective web landing page design is "clarity."

Visitors to your web site should be focused on taking the simplest path that leads to desired conversion actions. Unfortunately, too many landing pages fail in this objective because of their appearance and graphics. Consider these design transgressions:

Garish, gimmicky text – Headlines and copy haphazardly placed, often using high-contrast colors and employing drop-shadows that clutter up the page, add to the overall visual “pollution.”

Dramatic background colors Dark, ominous imagery – or at the other end of the scale, highly saturated bright colors – run the risk of getting a reaction that’s far removed from what you’re hoping to accomplish … unless your target is teenage adrenaline junkies.

Visual embellishments Even simple elements like box edges are over-emphasized with irritating glow effects, fades, and fill patterns. Eye-tracking studies show that attempts to lure the viewer’s attention employing these design devices fail time after time.

Gratuitous animation or video The aggressive use of “motion”-like pulsating images and text, fly-in transition effects, and auto-play video might be powerful on their own, but rarely are tied to the conversion success of a web site. Save the visual high-jinks for your personal MySpace page or some other place where you can indulge your “inner-designer” fantasies.

The takeaway message? “Boring” works better because it’ll make you more money … which, of course, makes it a lot more exciting in the end.

And one more thing: These same factors hold true when optimizing mobile web landing pages, too.

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