Recently we created and tested five different landing pages for brand specific keywords and ads. The winning page in this A/B/C/D/E test achieved a 148% increase in conversion rate. Taking the customer insights gleaned from the first test our follow-up multivariate was able to add an additional 15% lift in conversion rate and even more learning. For this client having a landing page on his brand terms instead of sending users to the homepage was a huge win.
If you’re like most online properties the majority of your search engine referral traffic is coming to your site via brand related keywords. It’s not debatable that the majority of these queries are navigational. This is fortunate condition.
In most cases there is great value in buying ads on brand keywords. Messaging to your audience in a persuasive manner seems to be well worth the click. However, homepages rarely parlay these persuasive messages. The fact is they’re not supposed to. The other issue with conversion rates from homepages is that the homepage is a fountain of irrelevance.
Why do homepage landings suck for conversion?
• Homepages are foremost a navigational tool, not a marketing tool
• Homepages try to be everything to all people rarely speaking clearly to the users primary goal
• Homepages are compromised by business politics and real estate battles.
• Homepages often present information in corporate hierarchy and language not customer POV
• Homepages are often “owned” by IT, not marketing
• Homepages spend too much time trying to reflect “brand”
These are all problems that negatively impact the rate of conversion and engagement. Create your homepage in the opposite manner. Of course, most of us just can’t redesign the homepage. The good news is that landing pages can come to your rescue. Creating a page aligned to fulfilling the primary goals of your visitors (usually a fairly homogenous intention set) rather than presenting the multiple goals of your business will improve your results.
Start by radically simplifying your homepage and use it as a landing page. Remove 60% of the copy and links that are present. Take away anything that isn’t relevant to a top layer of self-segmentation necessary to start a conversion flow. Reinforce your ad messaging and your brand elements without getting in the way of the user. Think about the “why” not the “what.” Then test!
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