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I Went to Your Homepage and All I Got Was This Lousy Conversion Rate

Nice T-shirt. Terrible way to spend your inbound marketing budget.

There’s a simple point to be made here. When you’re sending multiple streams of inbound traffic to your homepage (or registration page, cart page) the original upstream ad message gets lost in a flood of generic multi-channel multi-product communication that dilutes the experience to the point where the visitor just does the browser shrug and leaves.

For the record, the browser shrug is the physical embodiment of real-life disappointment, akin to a simultaneous clicking of the back button whilst saying “meh” out loud.

It sounds a bit like a modern-day women’s tennis match.

A great example of the crowded marketplace that is a homepage vs. a focused landing page can be seen in this comparison post about Campaign Monitor. Where the landing page has 1 interaction point vs. 412 on the homepage.

Inbound marketing sources typically include email, PPC, banners (display ads) and social media. Each of these sources should be treated with the respect the ads deserve – which means a nicely tailored landing page for each.

Stop wasting money and time sending traffic to your homepage.

Exception

There’s an exception to most rules (don’t eat yellow snow is fairly safe however). If you’re selling a single product or service that’s very focused, then sending traffic to your homepage is totally OK – just make sure you do actually spend some time testing your home page to make it convert better. Remember to edit ruthlessly and refine your messaging to really explain with clarity what it is you do/offer.

You should still use a landing page when you are running promotions (particularly private ones for affiliates and such) so that you can keep your homepage clear of all the clutter.

That’s all for now.

Oli Gardner

About Oli Gardner
Unbounce co-founder Oli Gardner has seen more landing pages than anyone on the planet. He’s obsessed with identifying and reversing bad marketing practices, and his disdain for marketers who send campaign traffic to their homepage is legendary, resulting in landing page rants that can peel paint off an unpainted wall. A prolific international speaker, Oli is on a mission to rid the world of marketing mediocrity by using data-informed copywriting, design, interaction, and psychology to create a more delightful experience for marketers and customers alike. You should follow Oli on Twitter
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  • Chris

    I have to say, I'm all for eating the yellow snow if you know that the yellow part is delicious lemonade ∴ there is no exception to the rule that says there is an exception to every rule. Srsly.

  • and yes, I'd love a t-shirt.

  • oligardner

    *Actually* laughing out loud.
    Remind me not to ask you to go collect water on a winter camping trip…

  • oligardner

    When we have our rewards program in place I will have to give that some thought :)

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  • hmmm. A home page is pretty much all I have…. I’m only targeting a few keywords and am working on the SEO just for the home page. Should I change this?