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Provide a Direct Path

Do not, I repeat do not, send search engine users to your home page without a very convincing reason. The home page of a web site acts as a mall directory does for an offline business. Both home page visitors and mall directory viewers are shown possible directions in which to begin their shopping experience. If online consumers use a search engine to direct them to a topic but don't see it addressed on the web page they visit, they'll abandon that site. The home page isn't a good landing page because it's too general. It's another set of directions.

Landing pages aren't necessarily part of your main web site. They can be, but it's not required. Pretend you own a flower shop. If your site currently has a page about calla lily floral arrangements, buy calla lily–related keywords and set this as the corresponding landing page. Or, you could send search engine traffic to a promotional page that's hidden on your web site. Because this might be a temporary offer, you won't want this landing page indexed by search engines; use the robots exclusion protocol. It's a text file that you place on your server that instructs search engine spiders to not index a specific area on your site. It would be embarrassing if you remove the ad listing but consumers continue to find this landing page because it appears in the natural search results.


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