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My client has a very well designed homepage, the SEO is as good as it can gets and he ranks fairly well in the serps, getting good traffic to his site.

THE PROBLEM

Even though he gets a (very) good amount of traffic to website he is not converting / getting nearly enough leads...(again homepage perfectly designed for this)

ADWORDS

The strange thing is his AdWords campaign with just a landing page, offering exactly the same service is converting incredibility well...talking about almost a 20% conversion rate.

What we are planning to do

I want to setup a pure clean landing page for the homepage with a navbar ontop as to keep other pages in picture.

How should I do this?

The problem is his homepage (index.html) is ranking well (but not converting) needless to say we want to maintain the ranking as it took 6-weeks of hardwork

if I'm going to put a landing page on the homepage what is the best approach to take:

  1. Setup a 301 redirect from index.html to landing page (but then users wont be able to view homepage atall which we dont want)
  2. Rename index.html to moreInfo.html and put the landing page as index.html with a rel="canonical" to moreInfo.html(the old home page) as to preserve rankings and link equity
  3. Option 3....I have no idea what else I can do??

Notes

Please note creating a sub-domain, or new page for the landing page is not an option as the client wants to see results and fast we got him good rankings in in 6-weeks but his leads are not coming in through organic...so we are dealing with a rather difficult customer here

  • 1
    I usually tell people that home pages are for branding and not for converting users. If your home page does not convert as well as others, that is perfectly normal and should be expected. However, I would want to see that people hitting the home page then click on another page. The metric I would look at would be pages visited per user landing on /. – closetnoc Nov 19 '15 at 0:55
  • It is hard to answer this without knowing what the home page is ranking for. If the home page is ranking well for the brand name, then making it a landing page probably won't hurt rankings much. If it is ranking for a competitive keyword, then changing it may make it rank much worse. – Stephen Ostermiller Nov 19 '15 at 20:08
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I had faced the same situation with few of my clients & make a lot analysis upon it. Firstly you should need the answer about why it happened.

Your Adwords campaign is configured for your TG (Including, Demographic, Age, Keywords, Interest etc) So you get the more leads from your campaign because the users landed upon it's already intent about to take the action. While In case of your Home Page (It gets more traffic from their Brand Name, Direct Traffic & Few Keywords) in which the mostly users are not your TG.

Now what's the solution in this case firstly Google already suggest that you can run your campaign with your Brand Name to take it as keywords & it's lower the CPC always.

You should do as -

1. If the content & CTA for the both pages (Home page & Landing page) are almost same then you should take your home page as landing page. (It's easily done with minor changes in meta & all is OK.)

2. If there are so many differences between them then put the navbar ontop of both pages. [ On Home Page - Put The navbar Of landing Page & ViceVersa ]

These two methods are my tested method & all is OK. While i confess here that why i had go with second option because of the landing page is suggested & created by my agency ;)

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301 redirect is not an option in this situation. That's the first thing NOT to do.

I think that best approach here is this second option

(Rename index.html to moreInfo.html and put the landing page as index.html with a rel="canonical" to moreInfo.html(the old home page) as to preserve rankings and link equity)

with this option, you are saving link equality and rankings. That's true. They can go up even more (and will) with this campaign that you are setting up.

That's the best thing you can do in current state. But, you need to focus on another mater in future ->

website he is not converting / getting nearly enough leads

If you can provide us here little bit more information, we'll see the core of the problem. Because, something went wrong in the first place.

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3- you can use server-side url rewriting to rewrite all /index.html requests to /new-index.html .

what will happen "overview" ?

everything will go well without any client-side redirect .

what will happen "technically" ?

when a client hit the server and requests index.html, the server will "internally" deal with that url index.html as if it were new-index.html

you can read about "url rewriting" for the server you are using for more info .

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If i understand you correctly you can do an A/B test first before completely changing your index.html page since the site have a descent amount of traffic you can easily gather data on your A/B test.

A/B testing (also known as split testing or bucket testing) is a method of comparing two versions of a webpage or app against each other to determine which one performs better. By creating an A and B variant and testing them against each other, you can use data & statistics to validate new design changes and improve your conversion rates. https://www.optimizely.com/ab-testing/

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With both of 301 or rename the homepage you will loose rankings. In my opinion, you've already done a first part of a task - your page (homepage) ranks. Now its time to optimize its conversion ability.

If you create a new landing page, you will be forced to accomplish the both parts of a task - you will be forced firstly to get the newly created landing page to rank for (the same) keywords, for which the homepage already ranks. And then you will be forced again to optimize its conversion ability. From this point of view, better optimize conversions on the homepage.

In most cases i wouldn't recommend to use homepage as a product landing+conversion page. But in your case it seems to be the mostly quick and workload saving way to achieve your goals.

The problem you have now is, that a homepage is something different as a good converting product landing page. But to accomplish your goal you should redesign your homepage on that way, like good converting landing pages look like:

  • product image,
  • product description,
  • call to action,
  • trust badges,
  • buy-now button.

All accessories of the homepage put below the fold, so above the fold will be placed only the selling block.

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I'm a little "suspicious" of the home page. You say it has excellent ranking, yet the traffic it attracts does not convert. That makes me think that your home page might be ranking for the wrong content, and that the "landing page" should really be your home page.

Of course, it's kind of hard to say without knowing what content is featured on each page and so forth, but what good is a home page that ranks well but does not perform? Yeah, you're getting traffic, but nobody's buying...You in business to show people things, or sell people things?

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