Forget the Homepage! Here’s What to Focus on Instead
- Wes McDowell
- April 30, 2018
Why do homepages get so much attention in the design process, even though they’re proven to be terrible at converting visitors to customers? I wanna show you the “secret weapon” pages you should be focusing on instead.
Hey guys, Wes McDowell here, from The Deep End, and in this video, I wanna show you where the bulk of your attention should go on your website. What I’m talking about are conversion-focused landing pages. There’s always a lot of confusion around what exactly a landing page is, and how its different from your homepage, so let’s clear that up.
Most businesses assume that their homepage is how everybody HAS to find their website. But the truth is, any page on your website can be an entry point into your business. And the more you can tailor those individual pages to a specific person, or a specific product or service, the better it will work. In short, THAT is what a landing page is all about. It’s meant to be specifically about one product, service or offer, and move visitors toward a specific action. Like calling you, filling out a form, or making a purchase.
On the flip side of that, a homepage is terrible at completing conversions, because it just isn’t focused. It usually has to multitask and represent everything you offer. For instance, let’s say you own an accounting firm, and you handle bookkeeping, and tax prep, and financial reporting. And to further complicate things, you work with private individuals AND you work with businesses too. With all those services, your homepage is trying to speak to a lot of needs, and a lot of people.
But what if you had a page for bookkeeping, and one for tax prep for individuals, and one for businesses? And what if each of those were written and layed out specifically for your ideal customer in each category? Wouldn’t you rather each of those pages be your customer’s entry point into your site, rather than the more generic homepage? You absolutely do, because when that happens, in your customer’s mind, you go from being a generalist to a specialist in exactly what they’re looking for. So right now, I want to help you develop the landing page strategy that’s going to work best for you.
But before we get there, let’s talk about the 2 different landing page types. The first is product-specific, and the second is customer-specific.
For product-specific landing pages, you’re basically making one offer featuring one of your products or services. Lets look at a recent client of mine as an example. Poms & Associates is an insurance brokerage and they offer a lot of different services. When we researched all the keyword phrases they could be found for in internet searches, we found that there were quite a few services they offered that lots of people were actually searching for in google every month. And even better, a lot of those terms didn’t have a lot of competition, meaning that they could rank in a high position without too much effort. So we developed a simple landing page strategy for them which laid out the top ten service pages they needed, and which keyword phrases go with each page. From there, it was just a matter of putting some persuasive copy on each page, with the help of a good copywriter, and using those keyword phrases we decided on within the text on the pages. So now, when someone searches for “risk management,” they won’t be taken to the general homepage which talks about everything in general terms, but rather it goes to the page thats specifically about risk management, and speaks to those concerns directly. Which is just a much better experience for that customer, and much more persuasive too. As you can imagine, they get quite a few more consults booked as a result of closely matching their content to what the visitor is looking for.
So now lets talk about customer customer specific landing pages. These are very similar to the last type, but with a slight twist. They talk about one product or service, or a group of closely related products geared toward a very specific customer type. And I’m not gonna leave you hanging, I of course have an example of this as well.
We recently wrapped up a project with Kasho. They’re a beauty brand that specializes in very high-end salon shears. During discovery with them, we found out that while all their shears are on the higher end price-wise, some were much higher priced than the others. We learned that these premium models were almost exclusively purchased by more senior stylists, in their late 30s and up. The more base level models were almost always bought by more junior level stylists, usually in their 20s. So the landing pages we created for them each went after one of these markets. One for senior stylists, with messaging related to their expertise and status, and the other for the juniors with messaging geared more toward building their future with a shear they can use forever. Not only was the messaging different, but the products we chose to feature on each page were different too. The seniors were shown the more expensive models, while the juniors got the more entry-level shears. We then recommended a series of facebook and instagram ads that were targeted toward the 2 customer types separately that of course led to the corresponding landing page. And they’ve been seeing pretty incredible results from these 2 landing pages. They each convert to sales about 3 times as much as the more general homepage, which is laid out in a similar way, but has to speak to everybody.
And since the messaging is so important to get right on these landing pages, here’s a pro-tip. I highly recommend enlisting a seasoned sales copywriter to handle the copy on those pages for you. Trust me, its going to be money very well spent, and we’ll get a bit more into that in the pricing section.
So now that you know why landing pages should be your focus in your next site, let’s talk about what needs to go into a successful landing page. Now obviously the specifics will change based on your offer and your audience, but generally speaking, every landing page should include a few key elements.
And each one of those elements should reinforce your offer, and make an airtight case for it. You’ll want to include conversion-focused sales copy that addresses your customer’s pain points, followed by introducing the solution to it, which is of course, your offer. Next, you need to take all those objections you came up with in the last section, all the reasons why your customers might say no, and address each one. This works best if it’s naturally worked in somewhere. You can do this in a video, or in an FAQ section for instance.
For example, let’s say you’re a dentist, and you know that people are staying away because they’re afraid of the pain involved. You could make a quick video where you talk about the cutting-edge pain-free methods you use. So you’re basically treating that objection like a myth that you can bust. Or if it were a price objection, you could have a whole mini section on the page devoted to the payment plans you offer.
Ideally, you’d also want to include some reviews or testimonials right here on the landing page as well. It’s one thing to talk about yourself in glowing terms on your website, but it hits much harder when it’s one of your customers doing it for you. And here’s another pro-tip: Get at least one video testimonial or review if you can. There’s an authenticity in video that written text just can’t duplicate. If you can get someone on video who’s genuinely excited about what you did for them, that excitement will be infectious and inspire others to take you up on your offer.
And of course, all of this content is meant to drive one specific action, or conversion. So what is that action you want people to take based on your landing pages? Do you want them to pick up the phone and call you? Do you want them to schedule a consultation or appointment? Buy something right then and there? Whatever that action is, put it front and center, don’t be shy. There needs to be a big, bold button that takes them to the next step, whatever that is. And that button needs to stand out from every other element on the page. Most web designers understand this, but just make sure you let them know you want a true landing page structure with a single call-to-action.
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