5 Reasons to Use a Landing Page Instead of Your Homepage
If you’re wondering why use a Landing Page vs website, read on. We've got the answer for you.
If you are:
- Running a PPC campaign
- Promoting a product, eBook, email subscription through social media and SEO
- Advertising on radio, television and print
- Writing guest posts on 3rd party blogs or magazines
You need to use a landing page instead of dumping people to your website.
What you’ll notice about this list is that each item has a specific goal, to get people to take specific actions: to buy your product, subscribe to your in-house mailing list, download an eBook, case study or white paper, or view a video.
If you’re doing any of the above, the worst thing you can do is send people to your home page. You need a focused landing page dedicated to the particular action you want people to take. In fact, you need several.
Let me explain.
A Landing Page Focuses on Conversion
A website is an overarching view of your company and products, with lots of possible paths your visitors can take.
On the other hand, a landing page allows you to focus your visitor’s attention exclusively on converting them to the action you want them to take.
For example, if you are running a PPC ad for a plumbing service, and your ad offers “20% off washing machine installation,” dumping them on your generic plumbing services web page will lose them. If they don’t see the specific offer you promised in their ad, they’ll think they've reached the wrong place and they’ll hit the back button.
Or they might get distracted and click on the “about us” page.
You’ll lose a potential customer.
A landing page allows you to fulfill the promise of your PPC ad. Going back to the plumbing example, when your visitors click the ad, they’ll get to your landing page with the headline “Get 20% off washing machine installation!”
Then they’ll get specific details about the offer, either through your body copy or through a video you've placed that explains the offer.
Finally, you’ll direct them to a call-to-action to download a coupon for 20% off washing machine installation, and an appointment setting form so they can schedule a technician to come in to install the washing machine.
Your home page can’t do that. This is where a website fails and a landing page succeeds!
You Can A/B Test a Landing Page
If your goal is to convert visitors into customers, you want to make sure you progressively increase your conversion rate. There are important economic reason for this, but the main reason is to improve the return on your marketing investment.
A landing page makes it easy to present 2 or 3 different versions to find out which one converts at a higher rate.
Once you've found the winning landing page, you can choose that one as your permanent landing page, and then conduct additional experiments to test new versions to see if you can increase conversions even more.
It’s next to impossible to do this on your home page.
Think about it: your website was probably created after negotiating with various departments within your company. Many times after hard fought territorial battles. Conducting an A/B split test on a website home page will disturb the status quo. Again, the website loses and the landing page wins!
A Landing Page Removes Distractions
Related to the first point above, a landing page allows you to remove the distractions that a home page has. You can remove sidebar elements, the navigation bar, teasers, or anything unnecessary to your conversion goals.
A typical website home page, such as the OpenText home page, has multiple distractions:
- An image slider with 3-5 images and links to additional content
- A navigation bar
- 3-5 (or more) teasers directing you to even more content
- A news section
- A blogs section
How can you possibly convert anybody into a customer with all of that screaming for your prospect’s attention?
The answer is you can’t.
You need a landing page on your website to remove the distractions OpenText knows this, so it provided a focused landing page promoting its white paper on Enterprise Information Management.
Note the prominent video providing a teaser on the content in the white paper, and a large form just to the right of the video so you can enter your information and download the white paper.
Create Different Landing Page Versions for Different Ads
If you’re running a PPC ad you’ll often target different keywords, messages, and products. Landing pages allow you to create different versions to match each ad.
This is important because when prospect clicks on your ad, they’re looking for something specific. The ad promised them something, and they expect to see that promise fulfilled on your landing page.
You can create different versions of your landing page to match each ad, but you can’t create different versions of your home page.
Create Different Versions for Organic Search
If you’re trying to target specific keywords for an SEO campaign, I recommend you create unique website landing pages for each keyword.
These should contain the following:
- Keywords in the URL
- Keywords in the title
- Keywords in the page synopsis
- Keywords in the body of the landing page
To rank for your targeted keywords, each page should be dedicated to that keyword or keyword pairing.
Your website’s home page contains too many competing keywords. This waters down the effect of each keyword, and makes your home page a terrible place to rank for the various keywords you've identified as part of your marketing strategy.
The Hybrid Home Page / Landing Page
If the reasons we just provided aren't enough, consider this trend: more websites, especially those of edge technology companies who sell 100% online, are structured like landing pages.
Take these as an example:
These businesses do all of their business online. They know what works. If they’re turning their home pages into landing pages, it must be for a reason, right?
So next time you run a PPC ad, or run a social media promotion, create a specific website landing page, don’t dump them on your home page. And happy selling!