Why You Will Lose Money Even If Your Homepage is Awesome

Why You Will Lose Money Even If Your Homepage is Awesome

So you own a business and want to make some money on the Internet. You get a website built and ready to go. You’ve looked into Search Engine Marketing (SEO) but can see that it can take months before you see results, so instead you decide to go with Google AdWords Pay Per Click (PPC). You set up a PPC campaign to direct traffic to your website – done! Traffic instantly flows onto your home page.

30 days later – huh!? You haven’t made a single sale! And your PPC budget of $5,000 has just gone to waste. What went wrong?

Sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone. Hundreds of online businesses are faced with this kind of problem every day. This typically happens because they are fixated on driving website traffic, with little to no attention paid to what to do with the traffic after it arrives.

Understanding the function of your homepage

To make most of the traffic arriving to your website you need to show visitors exactly what they expect to see. A common mistake is to drive visitors to the homepage with the belief that they will navigate to pages of interest on their own. Wrong!  The primary job of your homepage is not to convert visitors into leads or sales, it’s to act as a directory to show visitors what your business is about. However, if your PPC advertisement says “Red Boots” and directs visitors to your homepage, which lists information about red boots as well as red t-shirts, red socks, red dresses, red pants and red hats -you have just succeeded in confusing and annoying your potential customers. They thought they were being taken to a page just about red boots, which is all that they’re interested in!

Remember: The homepage’s job is not to convert, but to direct traffic to inner pages.

A simple solution – create landing pages!

What you really need is a dedicated landing page specific to each type of PPC ad in your campaign. This will meet your visitors expectations 100% of the time once they click through to your website. No confusion and no doubt. No matter how great of a design your homepage has, if you don’t communicate the message a visitor expects right away, you will not convert them to a customer. It would be like entering a Woolworths looking for the soap section but there are no aisles and only products everywhere!

Is it time for you to stop wasting your PPC budget by getting some landing pages created?

Landing page best practices to get you started

For maximum conversions, follow this simple checklist during the creation of your landing page.

  • Be specific – Have landing pages for specific ads and never direct users to homepage (unless your PPC campaign is for branding purposes).
  • Consistency – Ensure the headline of the PPC ad matches that of the landing page as this will communicate relevancy – visitors will know they have landed on the right place
  • Focus – Each landing page should have only one objective. For example, to gain more form enquiries – that’s it. It should not be to gain form enquiries, newsletter subscriptions, enter blog, download eBook, etc.
  • Design – Landing pages should match the theme of your website to build brand credibility and visitor trust.
  • Copy – Ensure all your copy is focused on benefits not features and laid out in easily-digestible chunks. No big blocks of eye-straining text.
  • Experimentation – A certain headline that works today may not necessarily work tomorrow. Always test different headlines, offers, copy, design, layouts etc to keep up to speed with your customers. The world’s most successful e-retailer, Amazon.com, does over 100 tests a month!

So now what?

If your business invests in PPC traffic, it may be time to take a deeper look at your online strategy to ensure that every click and dollar counts.

If you’re unsure about how effectively your landing pages are optimised, leave a link to one below with details on what you want to achieve from it. The first 3 submissions will get my personal analysis and review on how it can be improved to get you more conversions – free of charge!

Happy landing page optimisation!

  • Posted at 10:28 pm, April 19, 2012

    Amy, your post is timely as we are trying to improve on our landing pages before embarking on a PPC campaign. We sell custom made ball gowns and quinceanera dresses in a multitude of styles, so we have numerous opportunities to create specific ads. Here’s one page that we’d be grateful for a critique: http://www.quinceaneragalleria.com/Purple-Quinceanera-Dresses-s/1875.htm

  • Posted at 4:48 pm, May 4, 2012

    Hi Katherine,

    Let’s firstly start off with what’s good:
    – The page is very targeted towards the purple dresses – excellent!
    – You have methods which allow visitors to sort by items
    – Clean, easy to read layout – perfect!

    Things that could be done better:

    – Free Shipping – is a huge selling factor, why not try experimenting with displaying it differently, such as a banner in-between the navigation at the top and the breadcrumbs. See http://www.asos.com as a good example (they have 3 banners at the top, but you can adopt to have one)
    – “Compare” link could be made more clearer and a stronger call to action style button
    – Why should users view or consider clicking on a specific dress? What are each dresses particular selling qualities? Is the material silky and smooth? or light and crisp? communicate this with your visitors. You will not only position yourself as an expert but also give them a clearer direction on where to go.

    Hope this helps 🙂

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