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Treating every page like a homepage: The shifting values of website design and management

Tagged in:  Design, SEO
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It is fair to say most organisations put a lot of focus on their website’s homepage to draw people in and capture their attention. It's viewed as the doorway to an organisation's online presence and the primary means of communicating who they are and what they do.

At its core, this is a model tied to the print-based world and works much in the same way that contents pages of magazines and brochures are there to aggregate and highlight content, helping readers navigate through the publication.

Yet whilst a high proportion of users may still enter an organisation's site via the homepage, particularly for websites of popular well-known brands (e.g. Apple, Samsung, Nike etc), those organisations that rely on generic non-branded organic search traffic for all or most of their visitors get rather less traffic through the homepage.

This is thanks largely to today’s user behaviour via search, social media and mobile activity, with the result being the interior pages of many websites directly accessed nearly as often, if not more so, than a site's homepage.

Think of it this way: How many times have you been to the homepage of Wikipedia? Most people find Wikipedia articles by searching for a topic in Google and never visit the homepage at all. 

I’m also willing to bet that you got to this very article through some non-homepage channel. Am I right?

This is why you have to create informative landing pages, ones which explain the product or service and also sell the brand, take a look at this landscape garden designer in manchester page for a good example.

With this in mind, it is more important than ever every possible landing page is well designed, visually appealing and easy to use if traffic is going to be converted into something valuable.

It is more important than ever landing pages are well designed, visually appealing, and easy to use if traffic is going to be converted into something valuable.

Ask yourself this: If a user landed on one of your website's many possible landing pages, would they understand exactly where they were? Would they know how to find what they were looking for? 

Remember, you’ve got just a few seconds to hook a website visitor. Otherwise, they will be gone just as quickly as they arrived (without even navigating to your beautifully designed homepage). 

Jawbone and their website is a great example of how to implement landing pages well.

Prior to 2012, Jawbone was primarily known for its JAMBOX wireless speaker, music and Bluetooth headsets. However, last year they entered the wearable tech market with the release of Up, a wristband and app that tracks how you eat, sleep and move to "help you feel your best". 

Given Jawbone were entering a totally new market and targeting consumers who may not be familiar with their brand, they needed to establish a web presence for the Up wristband.

One tactic employed centred around non-branded product search terms, such as "fitness wristband" or "lifestyle wearable", with specific landing pages created for the Jawbone Up optimised for these key search terms.

Page design was obviously a clear focus, with the results in this example exceptional. The pages are solely dedicated to providing potential customers with the exact information they are looking for as quickly as possible and without difficulty. In fact, you could easily be forgiven for thinking the Jawbone Up landing page is actually a homepage/website unto itself, rather than one of many product pages of a larger brand.

With many customers never even navigating to Jawbone's homepage, simply linking directly from search results to the Up landing page, the importance of a well designed landing page incorporating all of Jawbone's key messages for the Up wristband cannot be understated.  

To this end, every page of a website has the potential to be a homepage - at least in the sense of being the doorway to an organisation on the web.

As a result, a change in mindset is required for many web administrators and digital marketers in terms of how they manage their website, with greater emphasis to be placed on ensuring that every possible landing page is a brilliant representation for the keywords and external links that drove someone to that particular page. 

To be fair, homepages are still an extremely important element of any website and form, in many cases, the face of an organisation’s online presence. However, it has increasingly become a way for companies to brand themselves online rather than act solely as an access point (which is exactly how Jawbone use their homepage).

Shifting to a content model such as this isn't easy. It requires a wholly different content marketing and design approach, not to mention different workflows, and an in depth and ongoing understanding of consumer behaviour.

However this isn't something new. Everyone knows that search engines drop visitors everywhere but your homepage. Sometimes however it is the obvious that is overlooked.

To learn more about our web design services, discuss a new business idea, or simply talk about a project you think we will work well together on, we'd love to hear from you. Contact us on 020 7284 9730 or via email at [email protected] to discuss further.


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