Here’s Why Your Startup’s Landing Page Isn’t Working (and how to fix it)

Written by Craig Morrison - Get free updates on new posts here.

If you’re reading this, it probably means you’ve either got a startup of your own, or you work on a team helping to develop a digital product.

Which means you already know how important it is to be constantly growing, and finding new ways to increase your number of active users, That’s why you and your team spend a lot of time thinking of ways to get more people to sign up.

Maybe you run Facebook ads, maybe you post your startup on Reddit and other communities. You might even pay influential bloggers to blog about your product and drop a link in one of their posts.

The point is, you spend a lot of time and money doing things to send people back to your product’s landing page… but it just doesn’t seem to be working. At least, not as well as it should be.

Some people sign up, but others visit, and then they leave, all within a few seconds.

What gives?

You’ve built a great product, you know you have. All your users love it, and are always telling you how useful it is for them.

Yet all that time, money and effort you put into marketing the thing seems like it’s been a complete waste.

So what’s the problem? Is it you? Your marketing tactics? Is your product too expensive? Not expensive enough? Is it because it’s free?


I can almost say with certainty that one of your biggest problems is your product’s landing page design.

The number one reason why your startup’s landing page isn’t working.

In my work as a Digital Product Design Consultant, I see a ton of different “takes” on landing pages. Some good ones, and a lot of bad ones.

Some are short, simple, one page sites which have a few lines about what the product does. Others are long, beautiful works of art, filled with custom illustrations and fancy scroll effects.

But, at the end of the day, there’s really only one thing that determines whether or not a landing page is good or bad…

What percentage of people does it convince to click that “sign up” button.

In my experience, fancy illustrations and beautiful visual design have little to do with it.

Instead, it comes down to one very important thing that is almost always the reason a landing page isn’t working.

Making the focus of the landing page the PRODUCT instead of the USER.

In order to be effective, you need a landing page that puts your user first.

For someone without any experience in marketing, putting your product first makes total sense. You built a product that you think people will want, so you describe it to them in order to get them to use it.

Seems like it would work doesn’t it?

Unfortunately, the answer is no, this isn’t how it works at all.

The reality is, visitors to your landing page don’t care about your product at all. All they are interested in is a solution to their problems that makes their lives easier/better.

This means that simply describing your product, and all the ways it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread, doesn’t really appeal to a visitor.

What happens is, they visit your landing page, take a glance at the first few sentences, and quickly realize that you’re not addressing their problems, so they leave in search of a product that does.

However, when they visit a properly designed (and written) landing page, the first thing they see catches their attention, and they get drawn further down the page until they are fully convinced to sign up.

For example, take a look at the difference between these headlines for a product that helps people grow their social media accounts by suggesting content to share.

Screen Shot 2017-03-01 at 11.03.49 AM

And this headline:

Screen Shot 2017-03-01 at 10.46.57 AM

Notice how the first one is just describing a detail about the product, while the second one is addressing a specific pain and benefit of using the product?

Which one of these headlines do you think performs better? Correct, it’s the second one.

So what exactly does a landing page need to include to make it effectively convert visitors into users?

The 5 key elements you must include on your landing page.

Regardless of the type of product you’ve built, or the type of users you plan on attracting, in order to have an effective landing page, it must contain these 5 key elements.

  1. Benefit Focused Copywriting
  2. Contextual Product Imagery
  3. Strategic Visual Design (not just to look pretty)
  4. Goal Focused CTAs
  5. Trust Indicators

Using these 5 key elements, placed in the proper order, will grab the attention of a visitor and lead them down a path which ends with them being excited and enthusiastic about signing up for your product.


  • Halmen Balazs

    thanks, great article. It will help me a lot with my future projects in Africa.