In our latest LIVE episode of Test. Learn. Grow., our host Myles Biggs is joined by Level Agency’s VP of Group Accounts, Brad Stephenson and B2B cross-functional team leader, TJ Bruno. Listen as they go head-to-head in a debate-style discussion to tackle a long-held argument between marketers – is it better to send paid media traffic to a business’ organic homepage or to a dedicated landing page?
Rather listen than read? In this podcast episode, listen as our host Myles moderates Level Agency’s Level Agency’s VP of Group Accounts, Brad Stephenson, and B2B cross-functional team leader, TJ Bruno, as they go head-to-head in a live debate to settle, once and for all, what is best when it comes to driving paid media traffic – the organic homepage or a dedicated landing page?
Why Send Traffic to your Homepage?
While it is a nice idea to be able to create and manage a dedicated landing page for every campaign, every message, every possible paid traffic scenario imaginable – for some organizations, this is simply not feasible when resources are limited.
In some instances, it can be beneficial to focus on driving paid search to a well-built, robust homepage rather than spending large amounts of money (and exerting twice as much manpower) on a network of underperforming landing pages.
- Although about 27% of a company’s traffic comes from paid sources, on average, more than 53% of all traffic typically comes through a website homepage. With almost twice as much revenue generated from organic search than any other channel.
- Search engine optimization (SEO) is an integral part of any business website. It helps people find your website through search results by optimizing your web pages with words and phrases users are searching for. Most landing pages don’t help a website’s SEO, as Google and other search engines view them as separate sites to your organic landing page. Any traffic that may come to your landing pages, therefore, does not impact your domain authority.
- You can easily craft personalized experiences based on user searches on the homepage via dynamic content based on UTM parameters.
- Landing pages require you to have the right resources (manpower and budget) to ensure that you can maintain a technical ecosystem with various content that is on brand and has the most up-to-date information. You can more easily manage one homepage.
A great homepage is a catch-all for traffic that comes to your domain. It’s how most visitors will find you organically. An effective homepage experience with personalized content, clear differentiators, proof points like testimonials and awards, and easy-to-complete lead capture forms, can be a highly effective place to drive your potential clients for a lot less time and money.
Why Send Traffic to a Landing Page?
Your homepage is a hub. It’s a jump-off point to the rest of your site’s content. A landing page is a destination. At the end of the day, it’s where you want visitors to end up.
Businesses with 10 to 15 landing pages tend to increase conversions by 55% compared to those with fewer than 10 landing pages. This is because, unlike the home page, landing pages are designed to drive a conversion.
- Minimal distractions – dedicated landing pages help to keep your users focused, unlike a homepage which will have a variety of things that a user can interact with.
- Prompts visitors to take specific action (fill out a form, complete a transaction etc.)
- Highlights a very specific product or service to focus attention
- It is designed to receive traffic from a variety of sources, or one specific source where that traffic is related to the specific product or service
- Building dedicated landing pages don’t necessarily take too much time to build. There are programs, like Hubspot, Marketo, and Unbounce available to help.
- Landing pages are easily customizable and allow you to perform tests (copy test, creative test, placement layout)
In essence, a great landing page is a place where visitors can channel their excitement over something new into immediate action, providing immediate results for you.
Now…What we REALLY think about Organic Homepage Vs. Landing Pages
Whether you’re sending paid traffic to an organic homepage or specific landing page, you need to customize a client’s experience based on what they’re looking for and where you know they are in the journey with your service or product offering.
No one paid media campaign is the same, so you need to understand the end goal, what you want the customer to do, and then put together a plan from there.
Depending on the campaign and how your organic site is built, your website may very well be the right place to guide a potential client over a landing page because it allows the chance for them to explore your brand further while still converting.
In the example TJ presents with Nike, if a client is searching ‘Nike Running Shoes’, Nike would already have an existing, robust product page on their website, so in this instance driving traffic to that part of website could easily serve as a conversion point without having to create a new landing page that exists outside the website ecosystem.
However, any time you can pinpoint the exact action you want a visitor to take, and this does not live on the website already (perhaps because you don’t want it to). For example, if you want potential clients to download a content document, then creating and driving clients to a specific landing page would be the optimal choice instead. This way, you can sell those visitors on a specific product with highly targeted messaging aligned with their intent and place them on the buyer’s journey.
At Level Agency, we focus strongly on achieving Performance Creative when it comes to building new landing pages. We ask the question, “Does this page achieve the following?”
- Build trust
- Create value
- Inspire action
If not, then should we really be drawing clients away from our main site, is this the correct strategic move?
Knowing when to choose a landing page or a homepage can save you money and an even more valuable resource – time. At the end of the day, both pages are powerful tools. It’s just that they’re simply better to use in different situations — and they produce the best results when they’re used together.
If you want to learn more about how Level Agency manages homepages and landing pages to our client’s advantage, please reach out. We’d love to hear from you.