Written by James Scherer
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Homepages are Dead: The Rise of The All Landing Page Website

How are you directing people to your website?

Let me count the ways. Holler if you see one that doesn't need its own distinct landing page:

  • Google Search
  • Google Adwords or Social Advertising Campaigns
  • SEO Campaigns
  • Link Referral

See one? Perhaps you're thinking "Google Search"?

Here's the problem. It was actually a trick question - there's no reason to have any other pages on your website apart from landing pages.

This article will show you why each of those traffic sources should be answered by an optimized landing page and break down exactly why homepages are dead. I'll also give a few tips for how to optimize website pages being linked to internally (about us, contact us, etc).

Let's get rolling.

To download Wishpond's Industry Report: The State of Lead Generation, which covers a lot of the benefits of landing pages and gives you valuable insight into how brands like yours are finding success with lead gen, click here.


Google Search


Even Google search traffic should be sent to a landing page.

If someone types your company name into Google you have to ask yourself a couple questions:

  • Who is this person?
  • Why would they be typing my company name into Google?
  • When they arrive on my "homepage," what do I want them to do?

Now there's two possibilities, really. They're either someone who's heard about your company and they want to learn more about you, or they're an existing customer looking to login or go to a specific page of your website.

If they're an existing customer you should optimize, very simply, for them to log in. Add a link at the top right of the landing page which reads "Already a customer? Login here." or "Already a customer? Continue to our product pages."

If they're looking to learn something more about you, then that's exactly the kind of person you send to a landing page.

Here's an example of a landing page for someone arriving from a simple Google search to Influenster's "homepage."

homepages are dead

By the way, here's the html and javascript to add a scrolling button to your Wishpond landing page:

Button HTML (where #wpcSection is the section you want to send people to):

<a href="#wpcSection_8531591" style="background-color:transparent; padding:10px 25px; color:#FFF; font-size:13px; text-decoration:none; border: 4px solid #DC8A14; -moz-border-radius:0px; -webkit-border-radius:0px; border-radius:0px; display:block; text-align:center;">BUTTON TEXT</a>  

Javascript which makes the scroll occur:

$(function(){
   $(".scroll a").click(function(event) {
       event.preventDefault(); //stops browser updating url
       var id = $(this).attr("href");
       var divPosition = $(id).offset().top;
       $("html, body").animate({scrollTop: divPosition});
   });
});

Google Adwords and Social Advertising Campaigns


Your ad campaigns should be built around corresponding landing pages.

Sending ad traffic to your generic homepage means you're leaving money on the table. It means you're splitting the attention of your visitors any number of different ways.

Let's put it another way…

My girlfriend loves yogurt. But, as anyone lucky enough to live in a first-world country knows, there are a lot of yogurt options. You have every fruit flavor under the sun, fat percentages more complicated than US economics and that's before you start on the different brands.

Sometimes I take the cart around the entire shop before circling back to find her still standing there, wandering up and down the cold aisle picking things up and putting them back down.

There's a psychological term for this. It's called "information overwhelm", and it occurs when you're so stimulated your body just kind of shuts down. Like when you open a text book and your eyes immediately glaze over.

Too much content, not enough head.

A landing page cuts through information overwhelm. It delivers a single yoghurt possibility - the one you were looking for in the first place before WalMart threw 1000 options at you.

And that's why you need one, especially for an ad campaign.

If someone types in "Wordpress landing page plugin" into Google and your ad pops up but then simply sends people who click to your homepage, you're left hoping they'll find their way to the product page by themselves.

But chances are they won't. One of a couple things will happen: 1). They'll be frustrated by not finding exactly what they're looking for and they'll immediately bounce or 2). They'll get distracted by your About Us, Careers page or blog, and then bounce.

So here's the solution:

homepages are dead


SEO Campaigns


Most businesses active with an inbound marketing strategy have a list of keywords they're targeting. They've determined what their target audience is searching for and created SEO content optimized to appear when they do.

Let's say you have five SEO keywords, and you're ranking on the first page with a couple articles and a couple pages within your website.

Whatever URL's are ranking best for your targeted keywords should be optimized with landing page optimization strategies.

Why do you think that our article "52 Instagram Tips," which ranks in the first position for the search term "Instagram strategies," features a signup CTA so prominently at the top of the page. Or why we've added a 30% scroll popup, prompting a free trial, to the page?

Why do you think our landing page "Pinterest Contest," which ranks in the sixth position for the search term "Pinterest Contest," doesn't just send people to our homepage?

One of our developers used Google's "Custom Search" API tool to quickly and easily create a search tool which shows us where our domain is currently ranking for different target keywords. To see their walkthrough for creating a custom search engine (where you can choose what sites it delivers results from), click here. If you're interested in seeing how we did it ourselves, let me know in the comment section and I'll see what we can put together.


Link Referral


You don't control all the links to your website. You can't. You can try (and using UTM codes in your social posts, Q&A responses and guest contributions helps to see how people are getting to your pages), but you'll fail.

People are going to cite your articles and ebooks. They'll link to you from review websites and they'll share your blog content without clicking your share icons.

So how can you be sure that, no matter what link people click to get to your website, that the page they arrive on is optimized for a specific conversion goal?

Optimize them all.

  • Have a scrolling navigation bar at the top of every page of your website which features a contrasting CTA button for your primary conversion goal.
  • On "features" or "products" pages with more than one section have multiple CTA buttons which drive visitors toward the same conversion goal.
  • Re-format all your website copy to be easily read (bullet points, section icons, etc). Bold or encapsulate the information you want to be seen most.
  • Include customer testimonials for (and specific to) every part of your service. Have a different testimonial for each product page as well as customer support, careers, etc.

Top Tip: When in doubt about where to send people, use your pricing page. This is the "end' of your top-of-funnel, funnel. A/B Test your pricing page and optimize constantly to make sure it's as good as it can be.


Optimization Strategies for Pages You Might not Think to Optimize


Then there are those pages you might not think matter that much. They're not directly part of your sales funnel, so why would you have to optimize them for conversion?

That question is ridiculous. Why would you NOT optimize them for conversion? What do you lose by doing so? Think about what you could potentially gain.

We're talking about your…

  • About Us Page
  • Careers Page
  • Partners Page
  • Affiliate Page
  • Contact Us Page
  • Etc

You still want something from people when they visit those pages. You want them to contact your support team to solve an issue they're having, discuss getting set up, or talk about your pricing [;ams. You want them to apply for a job opening, become an affiliate or create a mutually-beneficial partnership.

These are conversion goals, people. Let's optimize accordingly.

homepages are dead


Wrapping it Up


Hopefully this article has changed how you think about your website. Everything can be optimized for conversion.

The stats are pretty solid on this: the more landing pages your business has, the more leads you generate, the more traffic you have and the better ROI you get from online marketing.

In fact, Dell (a company which has over 1,000 landing pages) saw a 300% increase in conversions when testing against unoptimized website pages.

If you need a hand getting set up with adding landing pages to your website or optimizing the pages you have, don't hesitate to reach out in the comment section!

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Written by James Scherer

James Scherer is the content editor at Wishpond. When he's not writing or designing for Wishpond he's risking his life biking around the city. Reach out to him on Twitter @JDScherer.