Do NOT send your website visitors to this page

Effective marketing tells a story, leading your prospects along a path to a specific action you want them to take at the end. That could be requesting a Lead Magnet, booking an appointment, making a purchase, or a similar objective.

I’ve written about optimizing your website to capture leads. Your site must provide the platform to guide visitors to your objective. You also have to be ruthless about eliminating “holes” along your marketing path – places where people can be distracted, or confused about what to do next.

One very common mistake is linking your ads or social posts to your website’s Home Page.

One very common marketing mistake is linking your ads or social posts to your website's Home Page. Click To Tweet

Your Home Page shouldn’t be the entry point for all visitors!

You put a lot into your website, and it’s natural to want to give visitors a choice for viewing your content. The Home Page seems like a good starting point.

But the Home Page is by nature a general introduction to your business for general visitors. By contrast, you create ads or social campaigns for a targeted audience and for a specific purpose.

If someone clicks on your ad, it’s because that message speaks to them in some way. You should capitalize on that interest by continuing with that specific theme. If you throw them back into the free-for-all situation that’s your Home Page, you lose control of the message.

If a visitor came into your bookstore looking for a specific book, you wouldn’t point them to a whole shelf. But dropping a visitor from a targeted ad onto your Home Page is like that – you’re making THEM do all the work.

You CANNOT assume that every visitor will be able to find what you want them to find, no matter how simple your site layout and navigation. If it’s not in directly in front of them, there’s always a chance they’ll get lost. (And yes, this can happen even on a single-page website.)

Dropping a website visitor from a targeted ad onto your Home Page makes THEM do all the work. Click To Tweet

Use a Landing Page instead

Landing Pages are specific arrival locations for targeted links. (Technically, your Home Page is a landing page for general visitors, but as we’ve discussed, it’s not one to use with targeted marketing.)

A well-executed landing page continues the story you begin with your ad or social post. The visitor seamlessly continues along the path you’ve laid out for them with fewer distractions. You can even modify or remove the website navigation on specific landing pages so that they can’t be distracted.

Overall, design your landing page for the ONE specific action you want the visitor to take. Minimize links to other pages, especially in text. Once the visitor has completed your desired action, only then should they be completely free to move around your site.

Along with your marketing content, be sure to include a Call-to-Action on your landing page to prompt visitors to complete your objective. Ideally, they should be able to do this on the same page, so also place any sign-up or purchase forms on the page if you can.

Design your landing page for the ONE specific action you want the visitor to take. Click To Tweet

Other Landing Page Tips

  • Use the same language, graphics, colours, and fonts as in your ads. This provides visual clues that the visitor is in the right place.
  • Use Analytics to track your objective. Track the percentage of visitors who take your specific action to gauge the effectiveness of the page.
  • Consider Landing Page publishing services like LeadPages or Unbounce. These services let you quickly design and publish landing pages that you can integrate with your site. They provide many advantages, including proven-effective templates, lead capture forms, objectives tracking and analytics, and split-testing (so you can test different versions of your marketing story against each other).
  • For Lead Capture, consider a Squeeze Page. A squeeze page is a very specific type of landing page with no navigation – in order to proceed forward the visitor MUST take your desired action. Usually this is filling out a lead capture form. Squeeze pages can be very effective, but be careful! Most advertising platforms (especially Google and Facebook) have policies against specific implementations of squeeze pages. Be sure your site is in compliance or your ads may not be approved.
  • Be aware that Landing Pages have a high Bounce Rate. (Bounce Rate is the percentage of visitors who view only the one page they arrive at and then leave.) Remember that the ad is driving the visitor to the landing page, where your content will either hook them or not. If it doesn’t, most likely they will leave instead of looking further. So don’t judge landing page performance based on Bounce Rate. A more effective metric might be Average Time Spent on Page – if that’s low, then you know the content isn’t holding people’s attention.

More marketing optimizations for your website next time!

Optimizing your website is just one of my “9 Ways to Get More Clients in 7 Days or Less!” Click here to request a copy of the free report.

About David Raitt

Many professional service providers lack access to good information on actually running a business. I love to help business owners learn online marketing strategy and make great decisions about growing your practice.

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