The majority of paid traffic comes from users clicking on search, display and social adverts – all of which a company finances to promote their business. But how can you ensure people will convert from website viewers to customers?

Ideally, when a search user clicks on your paid advert, it’s because they think you are going to give them what they need.

Whether that is a deal or promotion, your products and services or a piece of information, the fact is the content on the advert led them to believe you are their answer. Yet, it is how you deliver the answer, that is key. This begs the question homepages vs landing pages – which is better?

No doubt sending them to a page littered with other irrelevant links and promotions will make them feel slightly lost: your homepage. Giving them a distinct answer gives you a bigger audience to work with for generating conversions: a landing page.

Follow the steps below for the best chance of sealing the deal with your paid traffic…

The Basics

Homepage or landing page? Which is best for driving paid traffic for higher conversions? For you to make the right choice, we’ll start at the beginning.

What is a Conversion?

Conversions are the most important factor in the success of your online marketing strategies. It means getting your website visitors to do what you want them to do.

Desired conversions include users buying your product, signing up for your newsletter, or filling out a contact form. These actions are vital to achieving your marketing goals.

Where Do They Happen?

Generally, conversions happen on landing pages. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean you will get zero conversions when directing customers to your homepage, it’s just, a lot (lot, lot, lot) less likely. But why?

Imagine you’re going for a relaxing weekend away. You have a friend who has suggested the place, a luxurious hotel and even has the courtesy to take you there. Only when you arrive, you are stranded amidst a crowded, busy town with no directions to or from, your actual destination.

It’s great you get to see lots of city sights but all you want to do is get to the hotel, stick your feet up and unwind – what you actually came for. Frustrated? Wished you’d gone somewhere else? Welcome to the mind of a search user when directed to a homepage.

homepages vs landing pages

What’s The Difference?

A website’s homepage is just the starting point – the gateway to the rest of your site. Excellent for flooding the user with lots of information, they function as an online, central hub for your business.

Homepages Are Built To:

  • Give an overview of what your business does
  • Link to the other important pages of your website
  • Tell your visitors the different ways to connect with you (such as contacting you via phone or in-person or following your social media channels)

They may be great for raising brand awareness and promoting your whole range of products or services, though it can make generating conversions a lot more difficult. If a user can’t find what they need straight away, they are likely to go elsewhere.

That’s where landing pages come into play. Clear and concise – these pages are purpose-built to give searchers specific content to not only fulfil their needs but persuade them to fulfil yours too. It’s a win-win situation.

From making a sale to contacting your company, when users receive the right information, you are likely to get the desired action to benefit your business.

Landing Pages Are Built To:

  • Receive traffic from a specific source (such as an advert or email campaign)
  • Encourage visitors to take one well-defined action
  • Focus on a single topic or offer throughout the page
  • Give users a simple navigation option (so they get all of the information they need on that page, but can go elsewhere if they are feeling a little adventurous)

The Problems With Homepages

Whether you think it or not, homepages witness dozens of problems when trying to generate website conversions. That’s not to say you shouldn’t optimise your homepage at all. As you’ve learnt above, they are just designed for very different uses.

Unfortunately for your marketing team, that means homepages are not suitable for your paid website traffic. Don’t agree? Outlined below are three key reasons why.

#1 – Search Users Are Impatient

It’s pretty simple. Most users don’t have the time or the energy to sort through the mountain of information you are giving them. If users can’t instantly see what they intended to when clicking on the ad, they will probably leave the page.

Want to learn more about eCommerce Site Search? Read: 9 Best Practices for eCommerce Site Search

#2 – Too Much Content Litters The Key Idea

It’s no good when you want to learn more about a specific topic and you another ten topic suggestions cluttering your mind. Although this is a great way of showing visitors all that you may offer, most of these will be irrelevant to the search user.

homepages vs landing pages

#3 – Users Have The Responsibility

Directing people to your homepage instead of a landing page makes satisfying their needs, hard work. They become responsible for navigating through your site, finding your landing pages and even controlling your conversion rate. Do you really want to put the success of your business is someone else’s hands?

If visitors are responsible for researching into your site, it won’t be you who encourages them to convert. Chances are, it won’t be them either.

How Landing Pages Solve The Problems

It’s evident specific pages need to be created for advert users, focusing on a single, key topic that attracted them to your site in the first place: a landing page.

Investing time and effort into producing these pages, can help to overcome the above problems to help drive more sales for business growth.

Solution #1 – Create Clear, Concise Content

Instead of feeling cluttered with information by a homepage, landing pages are designed to be basic and to the point. Giving users just what they need, in a simple and easily navigated format, makes conversions more likely to occur.

Solution #2 – Highlight One Topic Only

Generating content that links to the key idea on your paid adverts, ensures visitors get the relevant information they need. Remaining on one topic allows you to be thorough, though succinct in the data you give your users. Great for catering to the masses.

homepages vs landing pages

Solution #3 – Take Back Your Responsibility

By using a landing page you are doing all the hard work, only this time, it pays off for both the visitor and your business. Controlling the navigation of your users and the first content they see, inevitably means you have more power over the success of your conversion rate.

Conclusion: Do Landing Pages Really Matter?

If you answered “no”, you probably need to re-read this article. We cannot stress enough how essential landing pages are for making the best use of your marketing spend.

homepages vs landing pages

Particularly for smaller businesses, wasting finances could make or break the company. That’s why we advise more than ever, to really optimise every piece of marketing content you put out on the web.

Remember: you are paying real money for this traffic. It’s evermore important to make sure the information you are giving them is truly relevant – for your budget’s sake!

Planting the right content all in one page helps to increase conversions and grow your profits. Is your paid content directing people to the homepage? Go on, change it now.