When designing a website, the focus is invariably on what is typically the most unique page within the website: the Homepage. The Homepage (or landing pages if you have multiple) is the one that people want to make a splash with, the one that drives the brand messaging, content definition, and experience that the organization wants to achieve for its users.

To take a stab at quantifying how much time and effort went into the design of your homepage compared to the rest of your site, I’m going to guess 70%+ went towards perfecting your homepage, and 30% went towards developing out the rest of your site.

The following might surprise you.

Barely anyone is landing on your homepage

Assuming that you have an active blog, and are active on social media, a quick glance at your Analytics will illustrate that your effort on your homepage might have been… well, misplaced in your priority level.

Entrance page percentages for our site…
our  homepage was the entrance point only 6.5% of the time.

I’m willing to wager that less than 1/15th of your visitors come in to your site through your homepage (or landing pages), and that less than 1/10th of your visitors ever see your homepage (or landing pages). And also that there are at least 3 other pages that place higher in the list of entrance pages than your homepage.

Put another way, 94% of your site’s visitors are entering your website and seeing what is likely your “standard” interior page template as opposed to a unique homepage template. They are coming in from search engines and social media referrals (most likely). They are missing that crafted homepage experience that you focused so much of your effort on, and instead jumping into the “deep end” of your site, in the midst of your content.

Revisit your interior pages and evaluate them as if your homepage

What if you were to look at your most popular landing page, likely an interior page such as a popular blog post. In past articles we’ve discussed identifying your capture points and goal funnels; how well is this interior page accomplishing those same tasks? Have you managed to neglect many of your important branding elements, buried your goals and conversion points? How welcoming is this page and how well does it lead your visitors on to your goals and the next page(s) they should be reading?

I’ve visited lots of websites and blogs where, after I read the page that I was directed to I literally had no idea what to do next. I had come to the end of the line and wasn’t being led anywhere. So what did I do?

I bounced. The site had lost my attention. It’s time to revisit your mouse trap.

Change your design process

When we work with our clients we begin with an information architecture process. We identify the goals that we know the users are coming to the site to accomplish, as well as our goals for the user once they are on the site. This information gets used to develop the wire frames (schematic diagrams) that we design for major pages or page types within the site, and are used as a guide for the designer. We prioritize the goals, and strategically place them so that they are readily available to the user.

We want to direct the user’s behavior, so upon accomplishing their initial task, they can continue on to their second task (perhaps reading more on a subject), or accomplishing one or more of the tasks that we’d like from them (such as following us on social media, sharing the post, registering for something, contacting us, etc.).

We also think to ourselves: if a user can straight to this page:

  • will they understand the page
  • will they find what they’re looking for now
  • will they find what they’re looking for next
  • will they advance our goals that we’ve set out for them

And now that you’ve read our post…

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If you’d like to learn more on the subject please read our post, converting your website visitors no matter where they land.