Homepage vs. Landing page: more performant paid campaigns through conversion centered design

Homepage vs Landing

For effective online campaigns, it is imperative that the landing page behind a campaign matches the advertising promise and has a clear user path geared towards conversion. In reality this is unfortunately not always the case. Often left bspw. SEA ads to the homepage or a – sometimes only moderately appropriate – subpage of the company’s website. There is a lack of specific landing pages. Since you i.d.R. pay for every click, this way you burn cash.

In this article, I’ll explain the difference between a homepage and a landing page, and show you how to take your conversion rate to the next level with Conversion Centered Design.

The difference between a homepage and a landing page

As homepage we call the start page of a company website. It is your entrance, comparable to the entrance area and shop window of a store. As it is usual in stores, you should give the user a first overview of your products or services at this point. services and convey a positive first impression of your company. The goal is to get the user to "come in" and look around further.

For Landing pages there are different definitions:
In the broadest sense, every page you "land" on is a landing page. It makes no difference whether this is a click on an organic search result, an ad, a link in a mail or on the website itself.
In a narrower sense (and in the day-to-day operations of the agency), we mean a page that has a specific goal – that is, through which we communicate a single message in a clear and targeted way. This message is i.d.R. in advance via an online campaign, z.B. an SEA ad announced. With the landing page, we want to take this campaign promise and encourage the visitor to perform a single action. Accordingly, a landing page is completely focused on conversion.

The only goal of a landing page is to convert your visitors into customers. Here are a few suggestions on how you can achieve this in concrete terms.

The structure of a landing page – Conversion Centered Design

Even if the structure of landing pages is not always the same, our experience shows that certain page and content elements are used again and again. These reflect the message of the online campaign in terms of content and appearance and must lead the visitor clearly, specifically and quickly to the goal, the call-to-action. What exactly are these, we explain here . When designing these elements, you can take advantage of the principles of Conversion Centered Design:

1) Attention

The basic prerequisite for every conversion is that a user stays on your page – i.e. does not bounce. Accordingly, you need to make sure that the user understands at first glance what you are offering and feels comfortable on your site. For this, his attention must fall directly on the relevant areas of the landing page.
Try the following test: Show your landing page for 5 seconds to a person who does not know it yet. Then close the page again and let the person tell you what your page is about or what it is all about. what the offer is – that is the 5 second test . It gives you an initial feedback on whether your campaign promise is clearly in the user’s field of attention.

If the user has now decided to stay on the landing page, he must be specifically directed to the call-to-action. That’s why we don’t use the term "landing page" in the creation of landing pages.d.R. on links to other pages (z.B. by a navigation or further links), so that the visitor is not diverted away from the landing page. Does your homepage have e.g. 48 referrals or. links, then we speak of a Attention ratio from 48:1. Our goal is to minimize this ratio to 1:1 in the best case.

2) Context

The first visible part of the landing page must pick up the context, i.e. the campaign promise of the ad. It is important to know where the visitor comes from. Depending on the marketing channel (Google, Facebook, Twitter, newsletter) the user has a different context. The Context binding must be as high as possible, so that the page visitor has the feeling of having made "a good click".
As the figure shows, you can emphasize this context much more concisely on a landing page than on a homepage, where the campaign promise probably blurs with the other content.

Context between the headline in an ad and on the corresponding landing page.

3) Clarity

The text and the information hierarchy have the task to convey the promise from the online campaign with an explicit clarity. This is less about the "general" value proposition and more about the Clear campaign promises the measure. Here less is often more. You should not include any information that is irrelevant to the campaign promise or. irrelevant to the campaign promise or conversion goal on the landing page.

With regard to the layout, you can achieve clarity by working with sufficient whitespace and by using different sense units clearly differentiated from each other on the landing page (e.g.B. by a changing background color or dividing lines).

4) Congruence

You can achieve the best possible congruence by ensuring that every element on the landing page is clearly focused on conversion. The campaign promise must be supported by each element. Also for this reason, you should refrain from using elements that don’t pay off on this promise.

5) Credibility

You increase the credibility of the message by means of testimonials, seals of approval, references, ratings, sales figures and similar elements. The aim is always to give the user the to convey security , that he has made a good and solid decision and that he is in "good company.

6) Conclusion

The closing is the final element of the landing page. As a rule, this Call-to-action a form that asks for the visitor’s data or makes a purchase. You should always strengthen the conclusion by means of positive influences. For example. the reference "we will answer your request within the next three hours" is better than no reference at all. This promise must then of course be kept.

7) Continuity

After the deal is before the deal. By means of targeted and contextual continuity you can keep the visitor on a Thank you page to perform a social share or sign up for a newsletter. However, maybe you offer him a download or use the thank you page for a (contextually meaningful) upsell. Getting the continuity right is an art, depending on the campaign and landing page, and should be approached and tested carefully. All too often, this winning element is forgotten.

Your advantage when using a targeted landing page

So if you’re running an online campaign, you should always aim for a Targeted landing page refer. The principles of Conversion Centered Design make it clear that a homepage i.d.R. does not lead to an optimal conversion rate. So set a clear focus for your visitors.

In addition, you create the flexibility of each landing page on the individual context to be able to customize. You can e.g. Address visitors who come via Google Ads differently than those who became aware of you via your newsletter or a Facebook ad.

Depending on the source and the approach, the landing page addresses the target group accordingly.

The targeted Tracking and the analysis of the landing page , The visitor sources and on-page behavior allow you to constantly optimize the landing page and thus increase the conversion rate further and further. A landing page offers you the perfect opportunity to clearly distinguish A/B testing run two versions of the same page competitively for a period of time and test defined changes for their impact on the conversion rate. If you bspw. you suspect that the text in a call-to-action button is not optimally aligned with the target group, then we test it alongside a competing variant. Now, if we determine after a defined time that there is a significant difference in conversion, we change the button text to. In this way, you can test and optimize individual elements or the interaction (then we speak of multivariate tests) of different elements in live operation. How to carry out A/B tests in a targeted and continuous way, we explain in this article.

A landing page is never really "finished". So to use their full effectiveness, you should make your landing page continuously question, analyze and of course test, test, test!

Written by

Hellen studied communication design and business psychology and has been working in online marketing since 2014. As lead conversion rate optimization& UX she prefers to deal with the topic of performance marketing and the associated landing pages.

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