Home vs Landing Pages – and how to optimise them.

I’ve encountered some confusion recently about the difference between home pages and landing pages.

It’s this…. Your home page encourages prospects to browse, whereas your landing page persuades them to buy.

Home Page

Your home page is the initial hook. It draws prospects in and encourages them to navigate through your website and explore your offerings.

It needs to be beautiful, persuasive and relevant.

Recently I’ve seen home pages with almost nothing on them, no graphics, no content, they’re bare. I assume that the reason for this is beating statistics. Statistics tell us that on average a customer spends seven seconds on your site so your home page bounce rate needs to be low.

This means that business owners are creating home pages with the singular purpose of driving prospects elsewhere.

I’m sure these home pages are fulfilling their purpose but what a wasteful first impression.

How would a shop convince buyers to enter with nothing in the window?

At the very minimum your home page should explain what your company does, what’s on your site and include navigational links to help prospects find what they need.

A few home page design essentials:

1. A search bar or drop box. Drop boxes are better. I’ve visited many sites that included a search bar which failed to show my requested term. This is deeply irritating for the time-pressured prospect. Drop boxes give limited options and guaranteed results every time.

2. Easy access to other areas of your site. This includes tabs and links to internal pages incorporated into your content. Include as  many ways as possible for consumers to get around your site. The customer journey needs to be effortless.

3. Tell clients what a little bit about who you are and what you do. Explain the services or products you provide. It’s surprising how confusing some sites are, especially when they provide services. If you only consult, say that. If you play an instrument but don’t teach it, be clear.

4. Engage prospects with relevant graphics, meaningful content, catchy typography and testimonial boxes. Anything that sets you apart from your competitors and encourages readers to click through the rest of the site.

The Landing Page

The landing page has a completely different purpose to the home page. Prospects arrive on it because they already know what they want.

This is where you need to minimise browsing possibilities and push conversions.

The whole page should be a call to action and completely specific to your potential customer’s needs.

If prospects are on it fantastic, you’re almost there, one step away from a sale. It’s now your job to convince them that your service or product is what they’re looking for.

 

1. Feature a prominent call to action button. Make it clear that in one easy click you can end their search.

2. Make your landing page simple and brief. Focus on one thing and keep to the point.

3. Teach your visitors something. If you’re selling a product provide instructions. Maybe offer a sample of the product or a discount. Give prospects something that sets you apart from your competitors.

4. Testimonials! Don’t hide your light under a bushel. Build trust by letting prospects know how great your existing clients think you are. People love assurances.

5. Create urgency. Don’t let your customers stop and consider their action. Encourage them to think that they need your product or service immediately. A simple call to action like ‘Buy Me Now’ will often suffice.

6. Give them something free, for instance a free download or a free 30-day trial if you’re offering a service.

7. Optimise your landing pages, there’s no point in having a great landing page if no-one’s going to see it.

8. Test your landing pages continuously. It’s a great idea to test different landing pages and see which ones work better. That way you’ll know whether to drive your customers elsewhere.

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