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Your Home Page is Not a Landing Page

Posted by The Marketing Intern on December 8, 2009

No CheeseI don’t get it.

Like every other human being on the planet, I perform on the order of about a gazillion Google searches per day. Many of my fellow marketers will be pleased to learn that I even click on the paid AdWords links if the content seems relevant. But I’m almost ready to give that up entirely. Why? Because very few people ever do it right.

Case in point: I had the good fortune recently to successfully trick a young woman into agreeing to marry me. (I had to trick her, you see; it was the only way she would have ever said yes.) The other day my gullible love and I were planning our wedding, and we decided to do a Google search for “Wedding DJs.”

Relatively innocuous. The results page popped up with something to the effect of seven gabizillion results. Well, we wanted something that at least appeared professional, so I checked out the paid links. The one at the very top caught my eye:

Non-Cheesy DJs - Boston

Perfect! I thought. I hate cheesey DJs. I want my wedding reception to be wholly cheese free. In fact, I’m what you might call anti-cheese. Or pro-everything-non-cheesy. This is clearly the service for me. I clicked the link. This is where it took me:

Murray Hill Talent

Now, this isn’t a horrible homepage, as homepages go. But it’s a huge letdown when you get here from an ad claiming that Murray Hill is the non-cheesiest DJ service in Boston. This page makes absolutely no reference to an un-cheese factor, no Cheese Quotient ratings, no reviews by former clients saying that these guys definitly did NOT bring the cheese to the party. Cheese squares, Cheez-Its, holiday cheese balls… no mention of cheese (or lack thereof) anywhere. What the feta is going on here?

Point is this: When you’re running pay-per-click ads, you have an opportunity to project your company in an interesting, quirky light that makes you stand out from organic results and other ads. But don’t let your clickers down! If you’re going to pay money to use a lighthearted message to attract viewers to the homepage of your not-so-lighthearted site, then you can expect to pay a lot of money for very minimal results.

Instead, create a landing page. It doesn’t take long, and you can customize it with the same lighthearted tone without having to change the content of your entire site. But better than that, you can structure your landing page to have one specific call to action that your prospects can click while they’re being entertained. And I don’t need to tell you that your prospects are more likely to click a call to action when they’re being entertained, do I? I didn’t think so.

Oh, and for the record, we decided to hire a band. 

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