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In pay-per-click advertising, one important decision is: after the person clicks on your text ad on Google or Yahoo, what page of your web site are you going to have him land on?

A client was just asking me about this today. From my experience of working with multiple pay-per-click accounts over several years, I find that in MOST cases, it is better to have the person land on a customized landing page. This page should have sales text, some pictures, and a form for the person to fill out. And recently, I have found that adding an audio clip or a video to the landing page increases the conversion rate. And the landing page should have no navigational buttons to the rest of your site.

From experience I find that in most cases the custom landing page, with no navigational buttons, gets better conversion rates than having the person just land on your home page or on some other page of your site. The operational factor seems to be that if you let people wander all over your site, you’ll lose them.

However, in some cases I have seen better conversion rates when you land people on the home page of your site. I have seen this work in some home improvement industries, like where the product is very aesthetic and people like to look at photo galleries. In cases like this it can work better to have the person be allowed to browse the site.

The key is not my opinion or yours, but which way gets better conversions. The way to know for sure is to test both ways, side by side, as an “A-B test.” Then there’s no question.

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