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Optimizing Homepages: How a clear objective can increase conversion

Think of your homepage as a large house. Your visitors arrive and should be warmly greeted and drawn inside. Then you guide them to the room in the house where they should go and ensure they feel at home.

But if your guests feel at all unwelcome or are left to wander about the place on their own, then you are a poor host whose guests may not want to return.

Every homepage needs to guide its visitors to a specific place. As a marketer, you should ask yourself, what is that place — that main objective of my homepage? What is the dominate message it is trying to communicate to visitors? Until you are clear on that and every element on your page supports that objective, your visitors will experience anxiety, and your page will underperform.

In this Quick Win Clinic, Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director, MECLABS Institute, looks at a homepage submitted by Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity that has no clear objective. Its visitors become lost somewhere in between the disjointed pictures, ads, video and phrases. Watch now to get ideas for clarifying a homepage’s objective to increase clicks and performance.

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About Daniel Rodgers

A lot of news that you will not see in the paper. A lot of technology that is coming out that will not see in the paper.

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Our keyword tool is updated periodically. We recently updated it once more.

For comparison sake, the old keyword tool looked like this

Whereas the new keyword tool looks like this

The upsides of the new keyword tool are:

  • fresher data from this year
  • more granular data on ad bids vs click prices
  • lists ad clickthrough rate
  • more granular estimates of Google AdWords advertiser ad bids
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With the new columns of [ad spend] and [traffic value] here is how we estimate those.

  • paid search ad spend: search ad clicks * CPC
  • organic search traffic value: ad impressions * 0.5 * (100% - ad CTR) * CPC

The first of those two is rather self explanatory. The second is a bit more complex. It starts with the assumption that about half of all searches do not get any clicks, then it subtracts the paid clicks from the total remaining pool of clicks & multiplies that by the cost per click.

The new data also has some drawbacks:

  • Rather than listing search counts specifically it lists relative ranges like low, very high, etc.
  • Since it tends to tilt more toward keywords with ad impressions, it may not have coverage for some longer tail informational keywords.

For any keyword where there is insufficient coverage we re-query the old keyword database for data & merge it across. You will know if data came from the new database if the first column says something like low or high & the data came from the older database if there are specific search counts in the first column

For a limited time we are still allowing access to both keyword tools, though we anticipate removing access to the old keyword tool in the future once we have collected plenty of feedback on the new keyword tool. Please feel free to leave your feedback in the below comments.

One of the cool features of the new keyword tools worth highlighting further is the difference between estimated bid prices & estimated click prices. In the following screenshot you can see how Amazon is estimated as having a much higher bid price than actual click price, largely because due to low keyword relevancy entities other than the official brand being arbitraged by Google require much higher bids to appear on competing popular trademark terms.

Historically, this difference between bid price & click price was a big source of noise on lists of the most valuable keywords.

Recently some advertisers have started complaining about the "Google shakedown" from how many brand-driven searches are simply leaving the .com part off of a web address in Chrome & then being forced to pay Google for their own pre-existing brand equity.

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