Increase Conversions by Shooting Your Designer – By Tim Ash

by Alana Jones on April 21, 2010

I do not mean the title literally, so don’t send me hate mail. But, graphics designers are rarely trained in maximizing conversion. The best ones pride themselves on being non-conformists, and their ability to “think outside the box”. They are bored with doing regular production-oriented graphic design work and like to keep themselves entertained by doing something new and interesting on every project.

Maximizing profits requires putting aside your own corporate and personal needs and considering everything from the perspective of your visitors. Only they matter, and without them you would not have a business.

The key to effective landing page design is clarity.

The visitor should be focused on taking a simple path that leads to the desired conversion action. This simple path should arise out of the Zen-like stillness of your landing page.

Worst Practices

Unfortunately many landing pages are at the opposite end of the spectrum from this desired state because of the heavy hand of the graphic designer. They scream and demand the visitor’s attention. They are a visual assault on the senses that force the visitor to determine which of the many striking visual elements on the page is the important one.

Here is a short list of the more common visual transgressions found on landing pages:

Wild background colors – Many landing pages use dark and dramatic color themes. Often the background of the page or large sections of it are black or fully-saturated bright colors. Unfortunately these kinds of color choices often create a dark and brooding atmosphere, or imply something so exotic that it would only appeal to teenage male adrenalin junkies.

Garish text – Page text and headlines are haphazardly placed on the page and often use very large font in high-contrast colors. Font sizes are often enormous, and are further emphasized by the use of edging effects, drop shadows, color transitions and fades, and fill patterns.

Visual embellishments and flourishes – Even simple page elements such as box edges are emphasized y drop shadows, glow, or other effects. Simple round disks in bullet lists are replaced by colorful graphical checkmarks or other icons. Neutral background space to the sides of the landing page is often filled in with intricate patterns or photographic images.

Animation or video – All of the other design sins on the landing page pale in comparison to the aggressive use of motion, animation, and video. Images and text that pulsate or revolve; image slideshows that use wild fly-in transition effects; intricate animation sequences that draw the eye and full-motion video auto-plays on the page – yes, these attention-grabbing tactics are very powerful. Unfortunately they are rarely tied to the desired conversion goal on the landing page, and only serve to squander a few precious seconds of the limited visitor attention. Never deploy rich media on your page without testing it first to determine its impact on conversion.

“Boring” works. And it makes you a lot more money – that should make it a lot more exciting.

Tim Ash is the CEO of, the author of the bestselling book, “Landing Page Optimization”, and chairperson of

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

MaggieB April 21, 2010 at 10:08 am

I couldn’t agree with you more! I looked a long time before settling on my own pages. While I love the look of black with white blog pages they are hard to read and most potential readers will not linger long enough to even consider the affiliate offers.
.-= MaggieB´s last blog ..The Patchwork Quilting Trail goes to PADUCAH! =-.

Make My Own Website April 23, 2010 at 4:04 pm


You are a genius.

Another problem I see with many landing pages is they have too many links.

My landing page gives visitors 2 options:

1. The visitor gives me their name and email address in exchange for a valuable, free gift. Or….
2. The visitor leaves my website.

The fewer options a visitor has, and the more valuable the free gift is to them, the higher your conversion rate will be.

Thank You-

Matthew Zinda

David@Natural Sleep Aids April 24, 2010 at 3:26 pm

boy, you hit the nail on the head with this post. i hate the load obnoxious landing pages. I just bounce right off.

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