Now and then we deal with a potential client who has decided their homepage needs fixing.
But it’s our job to make sure that our clients are investing in areas of their website and online marketing that will matter and make a difference, not just to do as asked. Lots of businesses get hung up on thinking that their homepage is to blame for the poor performance of their website. It’s easy to blame right, after all that is the front of your website, isn’t it?
Okay, why doesn’t it matter?
Well, unless you’re dealing with a website that only has a single page, this isn’t accurate at all. Yes, it’s the default page listed in search engines, but mostly for really brand related terms – like your company name. Home pages traditionally are summary pages, or a mashup of content that links to important pages throughout the website. It can serve as a place for visitors to orientate themselves if they become lost, (assuming they don’t just leave), due to horrible site architecture or bad navigation implementation.
More than likely, you want to appear in search engines for more than just your company name, keywords are likely to bring traffic to your site and to do that you should be focusing on building a page around each long tail phrase.
Every page on your website should fulfil a purpose, it should have a goal or aim for existing. When you take this approach of viewing a website, you see a website for what it really is, a collection of information.
Let us give you an example
So let’s say our website in question is for a very helpful local Vets. Our site is full of content, grouped into specific topics like so.
This shows us a couple of things. First, with a little deduction, we can assume that if we wanted information on cats, we could try the following link.
But more importantly, it shows visitors that if they are specifically looking for information for a particular type of animal, they will be certain to find it within its relevant category.
Search engines are very intelligent
Search engines are autonomous machines that catalogue the internet, sometimes referred to as Spiders, Crawlers or Bots. Their goal is to provide users who are searching for information, with the most relevant, up to date material, as specific to their search query as possible. They read content, decide what it’s topics are and how relevant they are to that topic in the grand scheme of things by creating an index of web pages for specific topics, phrases and statistics.
To further explain, if our users are searching for something specific, and in this case, our site has a page that specifically answers that question, we would expect to be one of the most appropriate listings in the search results.
Now take note. We expect this page to be shown, answering a very specific question for a search visitor, not the home page. The homepage is entirely irrelevant to this user.
If a similar process was used on an e-commerce website, for example, you could answer product specific questions, on the same page that allows a visitor to make their purchase; you have a landing page that captures visitors, provides useful information and delivers the conversion opportunity all in one go.
This is why your homepage doesn’t matter as much as you think it does, it doesn’t solve problems, it rarely answers questions. It’s not that relevant to somebody who knows what they want to find.
If you already have traffic, whether it’s paid for through PPC or naturally generated by referrals, prioritising how fancy your homepage looks may not make much of a difference to performance at all.
Get in touch with us for an audit and we’ll give it to you straight. No nonsense, just better results.