13 Landing Pages to Scare the Crap Out of You on Friday the 13th

By | Google+ , April 13th, 2012 in Landing Page Examples | 19 comments
Ouf! Jason hacked your page to bits with a big knife! (Image source)

Usually we celebrate the awesomeness of landing page design. But today we’re taking a stroll down scary street to look at some examples of how it shouldn’t be done. I apologize in advance if anyone takes offense – but really, your pages scared me!

Note: The majority of these pages were found by clicking on paid search ads, and most of them should really be using standalone landing pages specific to the promotion, rather than a homepage. I’ll give a couple of quick comments on each below the images. Yikers!! I’ll try not to be mean, but it’s scary out there.

If you do find yourself getting frightened, you can see some good examples of landing pages here.

1. I think my eyes are bleeding

Why doesn’t it show a comparison photo of someone bald and someone with glowing locks? I don’t really care about your palm tree and lovely office. We know you’re wealthy! You’re a doctor… Probably should’ve used some of that cash to hire a designer. Or at least some glasses.

Tips

Hire an effin designer. Stat… You’re business is clearly worth it in a monetary sense, so present yourself accordingly on the web. And please show some before and after examples of hair replacement. We may not believe you, but we certainly expect it.

2. That reset button is what I’d click

Notice the big red button on the bottom left? Reset what? Your business idea? Your design skills? I just hope something magical happens when you click it.

Tips

Unlock the potential for what? Living in a cul-de-sac in a Florida gated community? Be a little more specific about what the purpose of the page and offering is.

3. Sugar hermaphrodites?

Okay, if rich men are your thing, go for it. Who am I to stop you – maybe I’ll be one some day. But unless I’m mistaken, shouldn’t they at least be men? Three of these look distinctly female to me :) Btw, I searched “get rich quick” for this one – I guess marriage/dating is one method.

Tips

I get that the hot women are there to help sell the idea (to the men) of using money to “get what you want”. But still, throw in a few statements of what the “service” provides. You’ll get more conversions if people know what to expect And maybe add a little class. #JustSayin.

4. Get a job!

I bet they don’t list that as one of the 101 brilliant ways to earn tons of cash from home. And could you please add a few more untrustworthy banners to the right-hand side please? It’s looking kinda empty. Jason!!!!!!? Help.

Tips

Just looks like a curated site of scams. So yeah, my advice is to get a real job. Sorry.

5. The internet makes money for you!

I love the use of two completely different logos on this page. Makes me think you really know what you’re doing.

Tips

Building a site that has the potential for someone to become a “member” does zero for your chance at making money. You still need a business plan/idea. The design is all over the place here and rife with cheap stock imagery. If you want people to sign up to build sites through your service, show them some examples/previews to get them excited.

6. Arrrrg navigation!

Take all the navigation away already. Focus on one product at a time and you’ll make more sales! Make money by laying on a tanning bed? I wish.

Tips

Landing pages shouldn’t have navigation on them! If you’re paying for ads then you should be thinking in terms of campaigns and promotions – so keep your landing pages focused on those single objectives. This is lazy advertising. People will just wander all over the place with those 450 links and never achieve your conversion goals.

7. War and Peace

If you can manage to read all of the copy on this site, you had better be ready to click something. That’s quite the commitment.

Tips

To quote Steve Krug – “Take your copy, cut it in half and remove 50% of what’s left”. JASON! We need your knife again.

8. Waterproof phones only

I’m including this one for the sake or irony alone. If you’re sinking in a boat and need immediate assistance, there’s a pretty good chance you’re not browsing the web. Maybe when you get to shore you can use a “dumb phone” to call for someone to come and trawl the lake for your lost smartphone.

Tips

Goggles? Wetsuit? Rake? Scuba gear? That’s all I’ve got.

9. Where’s the value proposition?

Not easy at all to figure this one out, and could you fit any more on the page? Getting a little crowded in there. Maybe Jason should slash a few bits of content away (and the navigation) so that it’s more targeted and focused on a single goal.

Tips

This page looks like Vegas. Waaaaay too much to do! I’ll say it again. Keep it simple, focused and use one landing page for each product. Sales will cometh. Promise.

10. These are not the droids you’re looking for

This is just a massive PPC fail! They are paying to advertise used cars and when you arrive at the destination page there are no results. #WasteOfMoneyFail

Tips

This is just dumb. If you don’t “know” that you have something in stock, don’t pay to advertise it!

11. Doctor’s waiting room?

Ever hear that people browsing the web are impatient? It’s true – and faced with this page that has no information about what you’re going to get if you wait is a little scary. And there’s no freakin’ way I’m clicking that link – #VirusMuch

Tips

WTF. This is like a 1996 flash splash page. Just load the site already. Don’t make me wait. Slow sites lower conversions. Don’t believe me? Read abut how faster sites convert better here.

12. Is this for kids making money?

Looks like you can play with toys while making wads of cash at the same time. Sounds like my kinda gig.

Tips

I hit the back button the moment I saw this site. Then I came back to look at it for this post. It’s beyond confusing. First off, I’d remove the banner looking thing at the top of the page as it looks like an advert which will make people gloss over it. And it has the most important info in it! What the site is actually about.

13. Who eats electronics to lose weight?

What’s more scary than a big fake movie guy with a giant knife? Knocking on a door that says come in, we have comfy sofas and free beer, and then falling 300ft out of a building (the door led to the outside on the 20th floor) cos they lied and what you wanted wasn’t behind the door. Where is this going? Good question. This page isn’t bad – the landing “experience” is bad. Why? I searched for “weight loss”. I know there are tablets for that, but not usually the 9-inch electronic variety. And the bunny ain’t gonna save you this time TELUS.

Tips

Stop bidding on irrelevant keywords…..


Scared yet? If you’re cowering under a blanket, you might want to check out these great landing page examples for some comfort. And if you’ve seen some shockers on your travels, please share them in the comments – we can all learn something from looking at bad examples.

– Oli Gardner

About The Author

Photo of Oli Gardner

Co-Founder of Unbounce. Oli has seen more landing pages than anyone on the planet. He is an opinionated writer and international speaker on Conversion Centered Design. You should follow Oli on Twitter
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Comments

  1. tapan says:

    Nice overview Oli,

    One request though, can you please take a quick glance to this site http://www.ezmaal.com it’s an online shopping site. Want to know what the site is missing?

    • Oli Gardner says:

      Thanks Tapan.
      Couple of things. Firstly, analyzing a *site* can take weeks – We deal with landing pages wihich are stand along promotional specific pages designed to help reinforce the buying power of a product (in an eCommerce scenario like yours).

      So I’ll just offer a few quick notes:

      1. The images on the site loaded really slowly – so much so that I gave up and hit the back button (that could be my internet so don’t take that for granted) but lots of people might be experiencing that. (note: not so bad on second visit, but keep an eye on it).
      2. No core value statement – what is this site? what are you selling/doing? Why should someone care? Make it really clear with a bold headline. You include more details in your page title (SEO) than on the actual page.
      3. Very unfocused. You are showing a bit of everything. If you are going to send ad traffic (or even social traffic) – send them to a page about one thing – not 100.

      That’s my 15 minute review. Hope it helps.
      Cheers
      Oli

  2. tapan says:

    Thanks a LOT :) Really appreciate your feedback.

    I didn’t thought that you’ll answer me back but really it was very helpful. Going to discuss all your above points with my seniors & will definitely try to work out on the answers of your questions.

    It means a lot to me sir.

  3. Ted Kolovos says:

    Oli, I really enjoyed these!! Great idea for Friday the 13th.

    Btw, I felt really compelled to press the reset button because it just looks cool.

  4. Ooooh, my eyes! My eyes!

  5. Justin says:

    Lmao. These are great examples of the typical website design strategy of throwing a bunch of c!@$ on a page and hoping it leads to business without any real logic or forethought to how a real person might actual engage (or not) with the site.

  6. Ocha says:

    How do you make that Friday 13th music sound in a comment. Some of these landing pages sure deserve it.

  7. Excellent collection of worst landing pages, I do believe that way of presentation is very important on the web.

  8. Number 10 looks like an Adsense Arbitrage site. This is where they would buy a lower valued “Renault” click from Google ADWORDS that would lead you to a page that just has a bunch of higher value “Renault” ads from Google ADSENSE. Being that you didn’t find the info you was looking for, you may be inclined to click on one of those ads.

    =PROFIT

    So yeah it looks ridiculous but people make money from it.

    By the way you are wreaking havoc in the serps for Landing page examples…u got the first FOUR spots. Good job

  9. Patrick says:

    As a wet behind the ears ‘n00b’ marketer Oli, these sites are a great example of what NOT to do. Absolutely invaluable and totally appreciated!

    If it’s not too presumptuous, i’d love for you to cast your eye over my latest site – I’m getting a fairly poor conversion rate from it……

    http://www.howtocombatcoldsores.com

    Thanks!

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  11. George says:

    Wonderful examples. Here is another beautiful landing page that I found interesting:
    http://www.dealhijack.com/deals.html?signup=1

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  13. […] 13 Landing Pages to Scare the Crap Out of You on Friday the 13th | Unbounce says: April 13, 2012 at 12:30 am […]

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