The traditional internet marketing model is simple:
Have a squeeze page on the homepage, that sits infront of a salesletter… And tacked in behind the scenes, you have a bunch of traffic-generation articles.
Fundamentally, this model is flawed.
Sure, it works to convert traffic into sales - but no better or worse than taking these same pages off your site’s homepage, and putting them into a subdirectory.
You might get more people visiting your sales letter (or squeeze page) if you put it on the homepage - but you’ll get fewer people visiting your site overall.
So what do you do with your homepage?
Give something away!
Give away some value somewhere. Offer articles, advice, free software, calculators, tools - whatever.
Ranking well in search engines is important - sure, you shouldn’t rely on it for ALL your traffic - but a sales letter is rarely going to rank well in search engines. It’s not optimised to rank, and (with the exception of affiliate links) it’s not going to attract links.
Links are a critical factor for improving your search engine rankings.
A sales letter on your homepage makes it harder to get links to your site.
That’s because there is no incentive for people to link to a sales letter.
Here’s an example of why it pays to build sites around content rather than a “pitch”:
Scott Bywater is a highly respected Australian direct response copywriter.
I know Scott’s invested a lot of time, effort and money into SEO for his web-site. His site’s older than mine, he has a better name in the industry, and is a far more prolific copywriter than I am.
I’ve invested practically no time into SEO - just setting up my Wordpress site initially.
All things being equal, Scott should outrank me for search terms like “copywriter“.
But I outrank Scott.
I have more links, for less effort and less cost.
The difference is that I’m running a content-based site (and at the bottom of each post, still offering a squeeze and a pitch on each post), and Scott’s running a Squeeze page focussed site.