Admit it. The last time you redesigned your website you imagined that your site visitors would follow an orderly pattern. In your mind, it looks something like this:
- The visitor enters on the home page.
- They go to your "About" page and read all about how grandpa started this business in his basement 75 years ago.
- They click on a Product or Service page.
- They buy or fill out a lead form.
- You retire in Naples a very, very wealthy person.
The truth is...
The web is chaotic. Social media, Google, and dozens of other channels will send site visitors to pages you don't even remember creating. Your website has dozens, if not hundreds of "home pages." On our website, we have thousands of "home pages."
By "home page" I mean the page by which someone entered your website. Don't believe me? It's easy enough to check. Crack open your Google Analytics and load the LANDING PAGES report.
This report will show you all the pages where visitors are entering your site. Consider all of these your "home page."
The first thing a "home page" needs to succeed
Every visit to your website begins with the same question. If you don't answer this question correctly, visitors exit your site. And, to make this even more interesting, this question is asked and answered in a matter of seconds. It's almost an unconscious act on the part of your site visitor.
Here's the question...
Does this web page follow the "scent" I got from the original traffic source?
Bryan Eisenberg often talks about "scent" as being a critical factor in increasing conversion on your website. And, if you think about it, this passes the smell test.
Have you ever clicked on a link from Twitter/Facebook/email/wherever that said something like "Learn more about puppy dogs, rainbows, and ice cream" and the click sent you to a gambling web site? Smells bad, doesn't it? When the traffic source and the landing page messaging don't match --- it stinks and visitors exit.
No matter what channels you are using to send traffic to your website, the traffic source needs to communicate the same "scent" that is communicated on the entry page. Let's take a look at how Purina does it with this digital ad:
What do you think? Does the landing page follow the scent of the ad? I think so. Same lady. Same dog. Same colors. Same fonts. Same marketing message. Smells good, Purina. Well done.
Take a whiff of all of your traffic channels
Do you know what the visitor sees when they Google your company and then click on the result? Does the experience smell the same throughout? Do you consider the "scent" when you place links on your social media channels? Does your email marketing have a consistent scent from subject line, to copy, to landing page?
It all adds up, folks. Because nothing sends website visitors running for the hills faster than a "home page" that smells funny.