Over the weekend I was doing a little competitive research with a potential client. We ran a couple of searches in his space and looked at a couple of the “landing pages” his competitors were using. The quotes are to emphasize that they weren’t using a landing page at all but just sent clicks to their homepages. I pointed this out as poor practice and he asked why the homepage wasn’t a good choice. So here is the answer:
You Know User Intent
Sending traffic to the homepage is bad practice because you should be able to send them to a BETTER page. If your customer is searching “buy Nike shoes” you should land them on a page where they can buy Nike shoes from that page with one click. If they search “what Nike shoes are best for running” you should land them on an informational page that talks about the different types of running shoes. Say you have “Nike shoes” as a keyword and send traffic to the homepage. You’ll make purchase harder for our first searcher and you’ll have searcher #2 wandering around your site looking for the right information. Remember these tips:
- Based on the search term, where is the searcher in the buying cycle?
- Which of my pages answers their question?
- Does that page make conversion (sale, lead, etc.) as easy as possible?
By answering these 3 questions you’ll land your users on a much better page. If you have a hard time answering these questions, you likely need to create some new landing pages. Just do it because the results are worth it.
When Is The Homepage Okay?
The only exceptions I would condone are for VERY broad keywords (if they are really this broad you probably should consider dropping them from your PPC, but that’s another discussion) and searches for your company/brand name. The reasoning behind this exception is that a search for your company/brand name doesn’t answer the above questions. Any others you can think of?