Knowing the difference between various page types—and how to use them—is a pretty big deal.
Your home page, content pages and landing pages all serve different roles, and using them all effectively is necessary to get the most ROI from your website.
Your home page’s goals are very different from a content page or a landing page, and each archetype revolves around a certain strategy to build the most effective marketing machine possible.
Each page serves a distinct role in the journey your visitors take to become buyers. Meaning, certain pages cater to people who are just becoming aware of your site and business. Others speak to visitors who are considering your offer. And other pages are geared towards prospects who are ready to make a buying decision.
All pages need to answer important questions at their respective location in the buying process. To start things off, let’s go through a couple of the most important page types and what prospects are looking for when they visit each one.
Your home page is the face of your business, and acts as your digital storefront. When people make snap judgments about your site and your business, you often have your home page to thank (or blame). This is your first impressions—make it a good one.
Depending on which study you follow, people spend anywhere from 2-10 seconds on most home pages before deciding to smash the back button and disappear forever from your sales funnel. Visitors are looking for very specific information (and feelings) when they visit your home page, and if they can’t find it in a few seconds, they’re gone.
Among other things, visitors to your home page are looking for:
In other words, your home page is about the customers. Not you.
Your home page needs to forge an emotional connection with potential buyers, either nudging them towards conversion or additional education (content). And yes, it has to do those things in just a few short seconds.
Your home page is often where people who are just becoming aware of your brand first wind up, and as such the messaging needs to serve as an “onboarding” process for your brand and what you can do for them.
Content pages continue educating visitors to gradually break down resistance to buying and create reassurance. Readers of your content pages are usually deeper in the buying cycle than those on your home page.
Content pages are often search-optimized and thus targeting specific issues or questions your customers have—questions that elevate you as a subject authority and name they can trust after you answer them.
While many people do use content pages purely for informational reasons and will never become buyers, many others are reading your content precisely because they want to buy, but still have some resistance that’s keeping them from pulling the trigger.
If your content pages are doing a good job, prospects will see you as the answer to their questions.
The biggest goal of your landing pages is to convert visitors to your site into leads or sales. The landing page is your sales pitch; as the final step, it’s also the hardest because it involves your prospects handing over either information or cold, hard cash.
As primarily sales copy, landing pages follow all the core tenets of conversion—telling a story, painting a vivid picture with concise messaging, and getting straight to the point. Landing pages are as compelling as possible, and should be written differently than your home page or content pages.
Landing pages are your primary tool for conversion because they target prospects at the deepest area of the buying cycle (although that’s not to say your home page and content pages won’t also bring in some leads).
Besides immediate lead-generation or sales, landing pages should also be optimized for search. Pulling people ready to buy directly from a Google search onto your landing page is incredibly efficient and should be your other main goal when designing landing pages.
Conversion rate also plays a role in page ranking on Google, meaning if a ton of people convert on your landing page, your landing page also climbs the search results. It’s a system that feeds itself, so make your pages super compelling and watch the leads and sales roll in.
Most businesses should utilize all three page types to see the most benefit. There are some situations where you could get away with just landing pages, but the majority of business sites wouldn’t feel complete without a full site to capture attention across all wavelengths of the buying cycle.
Create a superb home page, detailed content pages and hypnotic landing pages for the full digital marketing experience and maximum ROI.
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