Say you’ve spent a lot of effort on an ad campaign. This is nothing new – if you’re reading this, you probably have, whether that means time, brainpower, or money. You’ve done everything in your power to make potential buyers click that link, banner, or Facebook ad.
Once you get them to click, you’ve done half the work. You can’t sit back yet, though. The other half lies in where you take them once you’ve convinced them to tug on your hook.
You may think your homepage is good enough. Here’s the truth: It’s not.
If you want real conversions, you have to take your readers and potential customers to a landing page, not your homepage.
Why does it matter? You’ll find out.
But first, what’s the difference?
Homepage vs. landing pages: What’s the difference?
If you don’t know the difference between homepages versus landing pages, it’s time you did.
Homepages: gateways to websites
According to Leadpages, each type of page on your website carries a different purpose. The homepage is your home base. One of its major duties includes populating your “root domain” (i.e. the index of your website – www.example.com).
It serves as your virtual business card and contains permanent links to all corners of your site. Finally, it gives visitors other ways to contact you.
In short, the main page of your website is a combination of business card, welcome mat, storefront, and directory.
Landing pages: tools for driving conversions
Landing pages, on the other hand, have a more specific purpose. You design these pages with incoming traffic in mind, including where it’s coming from. They literally provide a place to “land.”
They also continue to prompt the visitor to action, which is in line with what your ad or CTA – your lead-in – was prompting.
Additionally, a landing page has limited options for navigation. You don’t want visitors clicking away from this page, you want them to act in a specific way. This might mean filling out a form, providing their email address, or some other information.
In a nutshell, both types of pages have their uses. However, if you want to maximize conversions, you need to direct traffic to a landing page.
3 Reasons landing pages do it better
Landing pages are better at conversions. Period. Here’s why you should direct your ad and CTA traffic to these little workhorses.
1. A tight focus
Your homepage receives lots of traffic from people who are all over the scale of buyer awareness. This page also has a lot of competing elements. It might have the navigation, contact details, welcome message, business overview, and more.
In contrast, a landing page has a tight focus that hones in on one aspect alone. This is whatever action you want the buyer to carry out.
2. Zero distractions
A tight focus means you’ll have zero distractions competing for the buyer’s attention. In contrast, on your homepage, that person might get sidetracked. They could see a different link that grabs their eye. They could scroll right past your offer.
On a landing page, the offer is the focus – the entire focus. There’s no possible way that the buyer will miss it. This gives you a better chance to nab the conversion.
3. Multiple versions to test
Converting the casual visitor into a customer isn’t easy. However, with a landing page, you can test out different versions and formats of pages to see which one gets the most bites.
Along with this plus, you can also use different types of pages to match up with your various ad campaigns and CTAs.
The keys to landing page conversions
Conversions happen under the right circumstances.
- You pique the buyer’s interest via some form of advertising.
- They click on the link, ad, or CTA.
- The link takes them to a corresponding landing page.
- The landing page makes them want to follow through – enter their information in exchange for some benefit, deal, promo, etc., that the ad promised.
- Once they submit their contact details, the conversion is complete. You can now follow-up with them. A casual visitor just became a potential customer.
This all sounds pretty straightforward, but how do you ease this process? How do you make it more likely that the buyer will follow through versus clicking away from the landing page?
You make that special little page work for you.
You make it do what a landing page does best. According to Kissmetrics, that means it’s targeted, focused, and relevant. It’s a destination that makes it natural for the conversion to happen.
1. Target your audience
Keep talking to the audience you lured to the page. Use language that appeals to them.
2. Focus on their deeds
Your audience has a need that led them to follow your breadcrumbs to your landing page. Keep addressing their needs to make your case. It should be the main focus of your web design. Shine a spotlight on it.
3. Stay relevant to the target’s expectations
Present the information your buyers/readers expect. Don’t veer off topic – stay in your lane.
For instance, are you offering a free e-book in exchange for their email address? Your page should be shouting, “Get your free e-book HERE!” There should be zero mention of your other e-books, your email newsletter, or your new products.
Remember: your landing page web design is crucial
When visitors “land” on your page, it has to have the right words and the right look. It should match up with your brand’s image as well as your ad campaign. Short of pointing a gigantic arrow at your offer, you need to hone your focus, target your audience, and stay on topic.
These pages can be crucial for your conversion rate. Instead of dumping traffic on your main page, direct it to one location. This lets you give visitors a resolution – an ending. “Do this, get this.” You’re following up on the promise of your click-through – and that’s big.
For more landing page know-how, including optimizing and managing your conversions, work with us at Thrive Internet Marketing.