What happened to the homepage?

With all the attention spent on conversions, micro sites, landing pages and retargeting, have we neglected our home pages?

Think about it.

Have you really looked at the analytics behind the user interaction with your homepage? Do you have more than 10 links? If so, what if one of those links receives only 2% of the click through traffic? Is it still worth including it on the page?

These questions and more might (and should) be on your radar. In fact, do we even need these relics of the web one-point-oh? How do we understand what should go into designing and possibly reinventing these cornerstones of our websites? And, is it possible to use customer data, market research, web analytics and thoughtful design to turn a clunky, overlooked page into a useful tool for our customers that adds value to our marketing strategy?

I believe that we haven’t paid enough attention to designing intelligent home pages. But, I also believe the keys to deciphering the ingredients that are needed to make great pages (great depends on what matters most to your organization) are well within your reach.

This April, I’ll be presenting on what I feel is a methodology for creating a great home page experience at Innovation Enterprise’s Social Media and Web Analytics Innovation Summit. After the summit, I’ll share my findings and postulations on my site here. Stay tuned!

Update to Google’s Site Indexing Functionality

Rob Young at Search Engine Watch reports on a new feature that Google released that speeds up your ability to have Google index your site. This is especially important in two key scenarios:

  1. If you have time sensitive content you needed indexed.
  2. If you need to clear the cached version of your site.
Google's Site Indexing Submission Tool

Screen Grab from Google's Webmaster Central Blog Showing the new Indexing Feature

Read Rob’s article here:
Check out the Google blog entry discussing the new feature here:

http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2011/08/submit-urls-to-google-with-fetch-as.html

This tool is part of Google Webmaster Tools (GWT). If you are not using the free GWT (including the landing page optimization features), you’re missing out on several opportunities to improve your sites performance.

More on Rich Snippets (and their Future!)

Janet Driscoll Miller posted about some upcoming changes to rich snippets on the Internet, mainly that the big three (Yahoo+MSN+Google) are teaming up to develop (and expand) a standardized schema for rich snippets in the hopes of better mapping out the semantic web. If you don’t know what a rich snippet is, and you manage a web site, then you need to read Janet’s article:

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=151889

Time for a Website Redesign?

Andrew Follett makes a good point in his recent article regarding website redesign:

I’m sick of looking at the same website every day!

Using the same website day after day can get tiresome, but keep in mind that many, if not most, of your visitors don’t see your site every day. So although it may seem to you that it’s time for a change, your visitors are likely just starting to get used to your website.

You can read the full article here:

http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2011/4348/how-to-plan-a-successful-website-redesign?adref=nlt020111