Homepage v Landing Page
imagine you're an alien who lands on earth and your spaceship crashes in this forest. Where do you go? What do you do? You will probably stumble around for a while. Get lost among the trees and if you're lucky you'll find a road and hitchhike to the nearest town. Now how about landing here? You're still in a forest but now there's a trail, you start walking down it and soon enough you find a road you just need to walk on it and you'll be in town in no time. Amazing. This metaphor is useful in understanding the difference between a homepage and a landing page. The home page is intended to help users explore various areas of a website to find the information they need. A landing page on the other hand is designed to help them take a singular action. Now that we have discussed the difference between a homepage and a landing page, let's take a look at an example. This is the homepage of California clothing company, marine layer and as you can see it does contain some of the key elements of...
a landing page has a clear C. T. A. For example. But the main difference is that the purpose of this home pages to help you discover different things, different categories, different articles of clothing, different products that you might be interested in shopping for. So that includes the presence of a global navigation as you see here and a bunch of different links, links leading you to all the different categories and products, something that a landing page that is much more conversion centric might not have or should not have. It's also a very sort of long page with a lot of information about both. The products that marine layer cells and also just additional information about the brand including where their stores are located, some information about their masks or even some of their recycling efforts. And as you can see the bottom also contains a pretty robust footer. So all in all the homepage of marine layer like most homepages is designed with the purpose of having you discover new products and find new things not necessarily convert into a one singular action when they promote their product on marketing channels such as facebook, this is their ad right here, they do not point to the homepage. Instead marine layers adds point to this landing page. Let's take a quick look to see how it's different from their homepage we saw earlier. So we just took a look at the marine layer homepage. Now let's take a look at a landing page. This landing page is for the Catalina cardigan in cream, one of the products that they sell. And as you can see the main difference between this page and the homepage is that they are driving to one singular action, adding the item to the bag. Um As you can see by the C. T. A. Or call to action button here on the right as you scroll down the page that C. T. A. Is sticky. So it makes it easy for anyone who is on this page. Too easily click and add this to um to their bag or to their cart and shop for this product. In the next section we will discuss in more detail what makes for a successful landing page. The C. T. A. Is a part of that. Um and how landing pages and high converting landing pages are critical to a high converting website when you're pointing traffic to your site. Especially if you're paying for that traffic via google adwords or facebook ads, you should ensure that your page is focused on getting users to take one singular action. Like in the marine layer example we just walked through so now that you know how important landing pages are how do you make them convert for you? We'll address that in the next three sections. But before we do let's do some quick demos first I'll show you how you can use google analytics to understand landing page conversion rates and then I'll show you a couple of online tools that can help you build affordable high converting landing pages in this section, I am going to show you a report that you can use in google analytics to understand the performance of the landing pages on your site. Once again we are in the google analytics demo account, you can access this account by clicking on the link that I added to the course folder or you can google google analytics demo account and it's super easy to find. Once you access this account you can click on behavior and under the behavior tab site content you'll find a report that is specific to landing pages very briefly. This report just lists out the key landing pages on your site. Actually if you keep scrolling down it'll just show you all the landing pages that you have in whatever order you choose. So in this section right now it's sort of based on the session. So the pages that have the most traffic highest to lowest but you can also choose to sort it by any of these dimensions from new users to bounce rate two goals completed which we'll discuss in a second before we dig into this report. One thing that I want to clarify is how google analytics defines landing pages. So for google analytics a landing page is the first page in a session meaning that you it's the first page that someone would access when they navigate to your site. Whether that be a homepage. Product page, a blog post whatever entry pages that first page in the session that is considered according to google analytics. Their landing page. So let's say in the case that you are accessing the google analytics, merchandise store and you type the U. R. L. For that store directly in your browser and you hit enter and access the merchandise store homepage in that particular case. The homepage is also the landing page. I just want to clarify this because I know we just covered the difference in terms of design and conversion centric conversion eccentricity of a landing page versus the homepage. But in a case where someone goes directly to a site and their first entry point is the homepage. The homepage is the landing page according to google analytics. Let me explain a little bit further and I promise it will make sense in a second. As we scroll down this list, you'll see that the first landing page that we see here is slash home Meaning that the majority of traffic or to be exact 52% of traffic in this particular time period is navigating to the homepage as a landing page. So they enter the site through the homepage. You think about. It even tells you a little bit about the kind of person that is uh that is visiting this site. People who navigate directly to a site means that they know the U. R. L. By heart means that they probably know the brand really well and they're coming to purchase something or are familiar with it already. They're not discovering it through some other way. So that tells you a little bit something about the google merchandise store user, it's likely a lot of employees or people who are very familiar with the google brand. So before we dig deeper into this report, I'm very quickly going to change and to make sure the date range is the same that we've been using consistently throughout this course. So january 1st 2019 to december 31st 2019. That's correct. Great. If we scroll down um I'm going to show you two or three things that I use routinely when I'm using this report. The first one is the change in conversion here. So this dropdown allows you to look at this report for a variety of goals. In the first google analytics section that we covered, I showed you how to set goals in the admin section of google analytics. So a goal can be anything from completing a purchase to signing up for an e newsletter to becoming a registered user, for example, you can set these goals and then use this report to understand how your landing pages are performing based on those goals. Purchase complete is by far the most common goal, especially for e commerce sites. And so that's pre selected here. You'll notice that this conversion rate 4.14% should be the exact same one that we see for the e commerce section. That's right 10.14%. The e commerce module in google analytics a little bit more advanced and not everyone has it installed. But if you do have it installed. The cool thing about that module is that it will tell you at the landing page level how much revenue you are driving per page, which is really interesting. It can help you prioritize resources in your team. So if you have access to that module, I highly recommend that you that you utilize the e commerce conversion in this particular report so that you can see this additional data if you don't have it, it's likely that you at least will have goal one which is purchased complete. So I would just select that other things that you can do here that are really interesting. If you click on secondary dimension, you can select additional dimensions so that it just enhances the richness of your data. So in this case, let's say the majority of traffic is landing in the homepage. So people are mostly coming in through the homepage, let's say you want to say, okay, well where is that traffic coming from? So in other words, what is the channel, the marketing channel that is driving traffic to the homepage. So you can click on this as a secondary dimension and then suddenly you have a much more robust set of data. You can see that the majority of traffic hitting the homepage is actually coming through organic search, which is interesting. I would have predicted that it was coming through as direct traffic, but it looks like the google merchandise store does well. From an SEO standpoint, it's optimized for organic search. It's no surprise they invented organic search. So the majority of the traffic coming in landing on their homepage is coming in through there and then secondarily it's coming into this page right here slash google redesigned shop by brand Youtube. One thing that you'll note if you're comparing one versus another. So we, we talked about the sort of difference between a homepage design that is meant to help you discover products, understand what's available etcetera versus a landing page design, which which is meant to have you take a very specific action. So landing pages are typically higher converting than home pages for that reason because they're more focused on having you do the thing that that the company or the brand or the marketer wants you to do. You can see that's very much the case and the data here. So this this page slash google redesign has a .16% conversion rate for organic search versus a 0.10 or 0.1 conversion rate for the homepage and you'll see that it will repeat itself this pattern over and over again. If you look at the data that the homepage has a much lower conversion rate than the rest of the landing pages and having gone through the landing page module, you at this point should understand why the homepage is not as high converting as other landing pages, other things that you and the final thing that you should know about the support to. If you're a little bit confused about what these pages are, you can always go in here to the merchandise store and say, okay, I just want to see what this is um and type it in and then you can say, okay, so that is kind of like the Youtube category page. That's what this is, this is talking about in case you don't know when you're looking at your own data and you're wondering and then if you want to dig deeper into that particular page and understand his performance, you can always click on it and take a look at that data on a standalone basis. The other thing that you can do if let's say you're running facebook campaigns and they're pointing to a particular landing page on your site and you just very quickly want to see how that page is performing, how it's performing over time here in this, in this graph up here and then how it's performing um for whatever time period you want. You can also, you can either like in this in this list of landing pages that we saw earlier, you can scroll to find it or you can just type that you are L string in this search bar and click search and you'll find it easily in that way as well. Great. So that completes the last and the final tour of google analytics with this landing page. Report. This is one of my favorites. It can really help you understand the performance of your landing pages so that you can continue optimizing them and improving conversion rates for your site depending on what content management system you're using or CMS, you might have the ability to create landing pages from the template that you're using or you might not regardless, there are various tools out there where you can use to very easily and very cost effectively create high converting landing pages. Lead pages is one of these tools. So lead pages allows you to create a free account so you can start a free trial and just test it out for, I think it's two or three months before you can commit. So I recommend that you do that if you're interested in testing out some of their high converting landing pages, but I'm just going to show you very quickly how you can easily build landing pages with lead pages? So um first they sort of walk you through the process, one by one, you can create a landing page, you can create a full marketing website, you can also create a pop up, which is typically a really great way to increase conversion rates though. Pop ups can be really annoying and there's a lot of debate around whether or not pop ups are a great thing to have on your website. And then finally, you can create an alert bar. So in this case, let's just say what we're creating a landing page, It'll ask you what your objective is. Are you trying to generate leads? Are you trying to make sales or are you trying to do something else? So I'm just gonna say uh that I'm a B2B marketer, so business to business and I'm trying to generate leads in exchange, offering something in exchange for visitors, email address. So I'm gonna go ahead and click here. I apologize for that. Then it will ask me, what am I offering visitors? I could be offering a free resource of free consultation and newsletter, a discount or coupon an entry or give away or it could be even inviting them to a webinar or an event in this case let's say that I'm offering a boy paper or just an e book, so it's a free resource. And then finally it'll sort of ask you what layout you want. So um these are very different. High converting layout, sleep pages is constantly sort of testing the conversion rate of their layouts. And so when you decide to do business with them, you can pretty much trust that they're going to serve you something that works really well. So I'm just gonna go ahead and pick the first one here and they're gonna slowly load my experience, let's say I'm going to call this um the page one, awesome. So um as you can see every single one of these elements is completely customizable, so you can click here and you can change the text to anything you want. Now let's say I'm gonna uh promote an e book of Puerto Rican recipes because my site is targeted towards um Puerto Rican women. So best Puerto Rican recipes on the internet, whatever that might be, you can change, you can change the font. Um you could basically just completely make this your own based on your brand, um based on your brand and your copy and your messaging, and then finally you can edit the image to have this be for the specific piece of content that you're offering. So once you're done, you can publish this. And then basically you have a link right here and Apple, which is my site um dot l pages dot co is what I can use and I can publish this page, I can link to it from my social media, I can promote this on my own, even my own website and like within my blog as a banner, I can link to it from from basically wherever I want. Um This is what, by the way, this is what is called a sub domain. So annabelle dot something dot something else. Uh And this is one of the things that a lot of marketers do is um in order to create easily create landing pages, especially if you work for a really large organization that has a very large code base and creating a new page might be really difficult or cumbersome. Um you can create a sub domain off of your domain where you're landing pages live and they kind of live separate and it allows you to move really quickly. So um that's what lead pages does and I'm just gonna go ahead and hit publish, even though this is obviously, I haven't finished designing it, but designing it is really, really simple and this tool allows you to do follow this exact same process, copy the link again and use it anytime follow this exact same process for almost almost anything that you need from a marketing standpoint to help you improve conversion rates of your landing pages. So you can see here, of course I didn't finish designing it, but if I had this page is now live, um I don't have to do anything other than just like tweak it a little bit, but it doesn't require any custom coding or anything at all, it's already like ready to use. So again, lead pages is one of the tools that you can use online that can very affordably allow you to build high converting landing pages for your business