Is Your Homepage Dead?
Should you think of your nonprofit's homepage as the door to an apartment building, a book, a restaurant, or a first date?
Or is it increasingly irrelevant, given today's patterns of internet usage?
The issue: fewer and fewer visitors enter a website via its homepage (less than 50% and trending down according to some experts). How and where are they entering? What are the implications of this behavior? What should homepages attempt to accomplish these days?
iMedia Connection has assembled an excellent array of expert opinion in this stimulating piece on the “homepage dilemma.”
Originally, homepages represented guesses (hopefully, educated ones) about what your visitors might interested in. And 75% or more of your visitors entered via that front door. Many organizations handled the guesswork (and too many still do) by offering everything including the kitchen sink on that cluttered page. But now, because they have often used search engines, visitors arrive in many nooks and crannies. Your site analysis should tell you precisely where.
Yes, there are still lots of browsers out there, who still come to your homepage as a sort of virtual first date with your organization. So your homepage still must entice.
But bottomline: to keep up with visitor trends, you need to study which pages on your website are serving as the primary entry pages … and then treat each of those pages as if they are creating the first impression of your organization. And use those deeper entry points as clues about what your homepage visitors might really be looking for.
PS: If this topic is important to you from a fundraising or activist recruitment perspective, be sure to read our post Closing the Online Donation, which points to excellent resources on crafting effective landing pages for converting your offers.