Website Optimization – Every Page is Your Homepage

A website has many doorsBecause the virtual world was modeled on the real one, we often forget that there are some striking differences between the two. We imagine websites as shops or houses–like virtual buildings that exist on a city street somewhere. We think of a website’s homepage as the front door. From the homepage, you can click your way deeper into the site, as if you were walking through a department store. While this metaphor is easy to relate to it can be misleading.

Why Search Engines Matter

In late 1990s, the growing popularity of search engines changed the way websites could be accessed. You no longer had to start at the front door and walk in. You could literally teleport right to the section of a website you were looking for. You could skip the front door. If you wanted find the where red and purple socks were being sold, you could simply type, “cheap red and purple socks” into Google and land directly on the page you were looking for.

Every publicly accessed page on the internet suddenly became a potential access point. There were as many ways to enter a website as there were pages available in Google.

Today, most of us have been using search engines for over 12 years. The only problem is, we’re still obsessed with homepages. We’ll spend hours and hours updating our homepage, but neglect the deeper pages on our site.

Optimise Your Deep Pages

Here’s a question for you: How many times have you been to the homepage of wikipedia? Most people find wikipedia articles by searching for a topic in Google and they never visit the homepage.

It’s very likely that your homepage is not always where people land on your website (provided you have more than 1 page). What do your deeper pages look like? What if I had no previous introduction to what your website was about and I landed on one of your deep pages. Would I understand exactly where I was and how to get what I was looking for? Remember, you’ve got just a few seconds to hook a website visitor before they click away.

And it’s not just search engines that provide back entrances to your site. There could be links out there on other websites that link to your deep pages. Or perhaps people sharing links on Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler and other social networks.

What will visitors find when they land on your ‘about page,’ or your ‘store page,’ or your ‘photo page?’ Will they find what they are looking for? Will they understand the purpose of your site? Make sure you offer the same kind of information, content, and easy navigation on your deeper pages as you do on your  homepage and you’ll gain more traffic and happier visitors.

Are your deep pages optimized? What are your thoughts on thinking of every page of your site as a potential entryway?

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