Your homepage isn't as important as you think: How to identify & optimize your top landing pages

Website pages
Take a moment to consider: What’s the most important page on your website?

Was your answer the homepage? That’s a common belief for many website owners, and traditionally web design workflows supported the concept of a homepage as the primary focal point. It’s where a website design typically starts, and it often takes up more time and effort than other pages throughout a project. This is for good reason—it’s still a crucial page on any website and deserves significant attention.

However, changes in marketing over the years (including the rise of inbound strategies) have challenged the idea that the homepage is always the most important page on a website. People are going to access your content on their own terms. This is the basic concept of inbound marketing. Depending on your company’s marketing strategies and goals, it’s likely that users are coming to your website through interior pages just as often, if not more frequently, than through your homepage. In fact, some users may never see your homepage!

You should to be able to identify the popular landing pages on your website and optimize them on the same level as your homepage in order to maximize their potential. Let’s find out how.

How are users getting to your website?

To start identifying your top landing pages, consider the different ways someone might arrive at your website.

Search engines

Search engines generate a high volume of traffic to websites. Most of the time people search for specific content and not just a company’s name. This means they are more likely to end up on an interior page of your website that precisely relates to their search query rather than to a more general homepage. Learn more about search traffic.

Marketing campaigns

Any marketing campaigns you run might generate website traffic to pages other than your homepage. Are you promoting a link to a specific landing page or offer? If a campaign narrows in on a specific topic, it’s better to send users directly to that information on your website instead of the homepage.

Inbound marketing materials

If your business is engaged in inbound marketing, you’re likely generating a variety of content to push people to your website, such as:
  • Content offers that link to related website content
  • Social media posts linking to featured content
  • Blog posts that interlink to other posts or main website content

Third-party referrals

You might have noticed traffic to some of your pages coming from other websites through blog posts made by other companies, partner websites, or online directories. Furthermore, users might be sharing content across social media, online chat, and text messages. Learn more about referral traffic.

What does the data say?

Out of all these possible entry points to your website, tracking and analytics is the key to narrowing down your top landing pages and determining how best to optimize them. You can use data to evaluate your website as a whole and identify trends. Take a close look at the following statistics:
  • Landing or entrance pages: This will show you which pages on your website are the top entry points.
  • Time spent on pages: Once users get to those pages, how much time are they spending there? This will help you to determine the success of each page.
  • Bounce rate: Are users coming to a landing page and immediately leaving your website? If so, it’s likely this page will benefit from optimization.
  • Referral sources: Where are your users coming from? Determining this helps you to add context to your data and develop a better understand of how users are finding your content.
For more information on analyzing this type of data, check out our article on using analytics to improve your marketing strategy.
Real life example: Analytics from the TBH Creative website over the past year show that the homepage accounts for less than 20% of landing page traffic. This means that  80% of visitors to our website are coming in on pages other than homepage. That’s a lot!

How do you optimize your landing pages?

Once you’ve identified the main entry points for your website, it’s time to optimize those pages to maximize their value for your visitors (and to make them better aligned with your marketing efforts). One way to approach this is by splitting your focus into two parts: content and design.

Evaluating content

Analyze from a goal-based perspective. While it’s important to optimize all of your website content, your top landing pages should be given special attention to ensure that the content is supporting the goals of a page. If it’s a landing page for a downloadable content offer, is your content giving the user an accurate preview of what they will receive? If it’s your company’s products or services page, can the user find the information they need to make a purchase? Take your goals into consideration and then use the data you collected from your analytics to determine any issues with your page that need improvement. For example, if users aren’t spending much time on the page, that’s a sign that they might not be finding the right information.

Optimize your navigation. While some landing pages might serve as standalone content, every page on your website should still connect to your website as a whole. This means that your most important content, such as contact information, should be easily accessible no matter where your user is on your website. Navigation plays a large part in this factor and special attention should be given to structure.

Interlinking is crucial. If your top landing pages have a high bounce rate, your users might be confused about where to go next. Use your popular pages to push users to other relevant content and towards the action you want them to take. This can be done with strategically placed calls-to-action that will guide users through your website.

Evaluating design

Reinforce your brand. Your brand should be carried through your entire website and be prominent enough on every page that visitors immediately know what website they are on no matter what page they enter your website through. Do this by incorporating your logo and styles (including  color palette and typography) into all pages. Taking this extra effort will help create a cohesive and consistent experience for users as they navigate your content.

Enhance your interior pages. Are your most visited pages just using a basic interior page template? If so, consider customizing the design for these pages. Spend the time and effort you would on your homepage on these top pages in order to improve the user experience. Determine how adjusting the design could better present your content in a more engaging way.

Overall, by taking these steps to determine what are truly the most important pages on your website and optimize them, you’ll improve the overall experience your visitors have with both your website and your brand.

How we can help you get more from your marketing in 2018? Let’s talk
Kayleigh

About the author | Kayleigh Circle

Kayleigh is a web developer at TBH Creative, specializing in front-end development and responsive design. She likes to blog about a variety of web design topics, including design tips, the latest trends in the industry, and how to make your website more successful.

View more posts by Kayleigh

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