Joe Putnam said something interesting on Search Engine Journal in 5 Lessons From Expertly Designed PPC Landing Pages:
…make sure you don’t send visitors to your homepage, which may be the biggest advertising faux pas a lot of businesses make when it comes to PPC landing pages. It’s a very common mistake you don’t want to make.
That was #5 of a very good addition to SEJ’s Paid Search 101. And it makes sense. I can understand both sides, too.
Businesses spend a lot of money and time designing a homepage. It’s tempting to pile all the possibilities on this page to amplify the content and get lots of value from it. But it’s a bad idea because it is overwhelming. Homepages are good places to have the various links to what people may want to do. They should be designed with those people in mind who need stuff like a log-in or a link to specific information.
PPC visitors are people you have already filtered by paying for an ad they clicked on. You know what they are interested in — whatever your ad emphasized. It makes sense to create a specific landing page for each ad. It also makes sense to have a call to action on that page.
Testing should be part of every PPC campaign because it allows you to tweak intelligently. Making the step of dedicated landing pages with appropriate CTAs might seem like more work, but it gives you much more feedback and more data to compare. As you develop campaigns and dedicated landing pages, keeping track of what works is a lot easier because you know who followed through on an action once they visited your site. Those people are further into the funnel and deserve attention.
Website design and development isn’t a separate department from marketing because it all works together.