Tim's introductory lesson in tuning your site is that your web visitiors should influence the design of your site. Not your ad agency, or your webmaster, or your marketing department, or your I.T. people, or even your boss. The people you make your money off of should be responsible for telling you how they want everything laid out to make their life easier.
Be careful when you try to cram multiple elements into your design as well. Each element in itself may look and work great, but if not put together in the proper context, you'll end up with a page that looks like frankestein. Basically, a lot of piecies sewn together that just don't fit right and don't belong togther. Usually makes for something pretty ugly.
Most importantly he listed his 7 deadly sins to landing page design:
- Unclear call to action (CTA). Make whatever you want the user to do when navigating to your page VERY obvious. Small or unclear CTAs get lost in the mix.
- Too many visual distractions. Don't surprise people with pop ups or gimics. If the information is so valuable, work it into your design.
- Too much text. Human beings are not web spiders, they won't stay long enough to read more than 300 words.
- Lack of Upstream Continuity. You need to make sure links and indexing of your site match the intent of your site. Don't offer things like reviews and then link them to a subscribe page. Keep your promises. Give the review and then offer subscriptions as the main CTA on the review page.
- Long Forms. Remove all of your non required fields. If you don't require it, don't ask for it.
- Invisible risk reducers. Let users know they are safe on your site. Don't hide those messages in the footers.
- Lack of trust indicators. Drop names and well known logos into your pages to help your credibility and trust, even things as generic as "As seen on TV".