Why Your Facebook Ads Should Never Point to Your Home Page
Are your Facebook ads pointing to your website’s homepage?
We’d better have a look at why that isn’t such a great idea and what you should do instead.
The ROI of Facebook Ads
Facebook and Instagram are the best platforms to run digital promotions for most businesses. Both are owned and operated by Facebook and managed through the Facebook Business Manager. No other platform even comes close to garnering the results that Facebook gets when it comes to advertisements. In almost every case, Facebook ads beat Twitter and LinkedIn ads for return on investment.
Of course, maximizing the effectiveness of your Facebook ads takes expertise. You should have the Facebook pixel installed on your website in order to track the behaviour of visitors once they arrive on your site from the promotion. Not only do you want to track the cost per click for their visit, but you also need to have clear calls to action that can be traced from your promotion and through your sales funnel. When your ads are set up effectively, you’ll be paying not just for clicks, but for the resulting actions you want customers to take on your website.
Think of it this way: $0.27 per click is all well and good, but if people don’t respond to your call to action and the cost per conversion is $9.45, you’ll need to take that into consideration when you calculate your ROI.
In order for your campaign to be successful, first you need an excellent service or product that people care about. (Hopefully you already have that!) Next, you need an enticing ad to draw people to click to visit your website. That might be a video or a graphic, and it’s a good idea to run A/B testing to suss out the effectiveness of your ad creatives. Third, and perhaps most important but often forgotten, you need a fluid user experience that compels people to respond to your call to action.
A Seamless User Experience
Without a user experience that transitions smoothly from the ad to your webpage, you won’t successfully convert browsers into responsive customers. When someone clicks on your ad, the experience needs to flow continuously to provide the key information that they need. That need guides them to take the desired call to action.
So here’s a little secret that will help your Facebook ads succeed:
Make sure your Facebook ads always point to a specific promotions page and not to your website’s home page.
By pointing your ad to a targeted promotion page or product specific landing page, you’ll see an increase in conversion rates. That’s the reason why you’re running your ads in the first place, right?
Take a Walk in your Target Customer’s Shoes
Think about the overall user experience from browsing on Facebook or Instagram to clicking on an ad.
Facebook and Instagram users are not actively searching for your products or services. When a user clicks on a Facebook ad, it’s usually on a whim. Something catches their interest in their newsfeed, in a story, or in a native banner. They aren’t giving it substantial thought. It’s usually split second impulse. The image or video looks cool so CLICK.
Now the pressure is on! You have very little opportunity to continue to hold their interest before they bounce away from your site. Once they arrive on your website from the ad, everything needs to make sense from where they’ve just been drawn from, ie. from the ad creative they just clicked on while using social media. You only have a few seconds to keep them interested in your target message before they lose focus and bounce.
In fact, 15 seconds is the maximum time a user will spend deciding if they want to stay on your page or leave. They’ll either go back to social media or they might start a new Google search with the idea you’ve just given them and then they might end up buying from your competitor. Uh oh!
The Purpose of a Homepage
Now, think about your website’s homepage.
Your homepage is probably a broad introduction to your business and your overall value proposition, not the very specific product or service that your potential customer has just clicked on.
It’s not going to seal the deal from the promotion they’ve clicked on. And frankly, why should it? That’s not the purpose of a homepage.
If someone was actively looking for your business using Google, then arriving at your business’ homepage makes sense. A homepage is meant to be a broad introduction. It’s not meant to convey the exact call to action your Facebook ad is targeting.
When someone clicks on an ad, they need to quickly:
- Recognize the relevance of the information that’s provided, both in the visual aesthetic and and the written copy (flowing smoothly from the ad)
- Be able to digest the important Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How
The ‘who’ is them! Explain ‘why’ your product or service is the perfect solution for their specific wants, needs, or desires. The ‘how’ should be as easy and painless as responding to your clear call to action.
There should be nothing else on your page to distract from this. Everything should be focused on that easy objective. A dedicated landing page keeps your message targeted and personalized and doesn’t interfere with the overall purpose of your homepage.
Additionally, a great promotion page builds trust!
When your Facebook ad points to your homepage, it’s just not consistent enough to build that trusting relationship that makes it easy for the customer to buy from you. Would you really want to click on an ad only to be sent to a website where you have to dig around to find the product or service the ad was offering? Or would it be a much simpler and more enjoyable process if you clicked to the ad and were then given the exact information that relates to that ad. Whether the ad is about downloading an offer, signing up for an email list, or purchasing a product or service, the easier it is for your customer, the better!
That’s why you need a well-crafted landing page. It doesn’t have to be a separate ‘landing page’ from Leadpages, but it does have to be targeted to flow smoothly and specifically from the ad you’re running.
Your targeted promotion page or product-/service- specific landing page should always be focused on a single objective or call to action that matches the intent of your ad. This gives the user a consistent message that’s free from distractions and your call to action should be crystal clear.
The number one way to waste your money on paid ads is by creating an offer that isn’t consistent between your ad and the landing page where people arrive. When those components don’t flow together seamlessly, people feel distrustful about the ad that just tricked them into clicking. And that’s the last thing you want! But it’s exactly what happens if the user experience doesn’t flow smoothly.
Businesses should not waste their hard earned money on ads that point to ineffective homepages. You really can’t afford to not invest in creating high-converting landing pages.
Here are some interesting statistics. The average landing page only converts at a rate of 2.35% while some of the top landing pages convert at over 11% according to a study conducted by WordStream. That’s a big margin!
It’s also important to use a different landing pages for every advertising campaign that you run. If you’re selling multiple products or services, one landing page won’t be able to handle the all of the message differentiation that you need. And you need to be very careful about including multiple calls to action on a single promotions page. It becomes very unclear for your users. Each input funnel should offer a relevant experience.
In addition to A/B testing your ad creative, it’s a good idea to also A/B test your landing page. Switch up the style, language, and placement of your call to action to see how customers respond.
Here’s a quick lesson from the US Navy: KISS aka. Keep It Simple Stupid. It’s a systems principle that reinforced by the fact that processes work best if they’re kept as simple as possible. The more complicated you make it for a user, the more likely you are to lose them. This couldn’t be more true than when it comes to creating sales funnels for your business. By using a stand alone landing page, your sales funnel becomes streamlined and simplified:
Ad >> Landing Page >> Call to Action (cart, sign up, etc.)
So, if you’ve got a good cost per click but your conversion rate isn’t high (but your cost per conversion is) then it’s time to focus your attention on tightening up your your landing page.
The Bottom Line
There are more than 2,070,000,000 Facebook users, and for each and every one of those 2 billion people, Facebook collects all the information you would ever need to identify your ideal customer. That massive quantity of data is pure marketing gold. It allows marketers to hone in on and advertise to highly qualified leads in only a few seconds.
You just need to make sure that once you’ve grabbed their attention, you have a killer landing page that converts.
The point? Facebook advertising works! But you need to know how to craft the perfect Facebook ad campaign for your brand and that absolutely includes your landing page. If you need help creating Facebook ads and landing pages that convert, get in touch with us today. We offer a free marketing consultation and we’d be thrilled to look at your business and help make some recommendations about what would work best for you.