Your Home Page is NOT Your Website

Gerry McGovern’s recent post on the decline of the home page reminded me of a similar post I wrote last year. 

However, while I wholeheartedly agree with the overall point he is making, the issue is not that

…too many marketers and communicators are destroying whatever credibility their home pages have left with customers by filling them with useless graphics and meaningless words.

While this may have been true a few years ago, the majority of web teams have moved beyond happy, smiling faces and marketing jargon to creating home pages that are useful and engaging.

The problem is simply that there is an undue emphasis on a website’s home page relative to the attention it receives from its users.

This is not surprising given that this is the main page by which the web team will be judged, whether it is by internal decision makers or external peers.

Your CEO (or other C-level exec) is not going to be too familiar with most of your website, but you can be sure he knows what the home page looks like. And may have some opinions on it…

The challenge is that the visitors to a website constitute a vast, silent majority while the opinions of those internal and external people who interact with and influence the web team have a far greater sway over where focus is placed.

The answer is, of course, metrics. If you can show that taking a holistic approach to your site and improving other parts of it can produce a higher return on investment than endlessly tweaking the home page, you will be able to keep your influencers happy and meet the needs of your visitors.

Good luck with that.