Jump to content

Cre8asiteforums Internet Marketing
and Conversion Web Design


Photo

What Happened To Homepage Content With Today's Web Designs?


  • Please log in to reply
18 replies to this topic

#1 cre8pc

cre8pc

    Dream Catcher Forums Founder

  • Admin - Top Level
  • 14673 posts

Posted 22 February 2017 - 12:21 PM

Have you notice the trend towards little or no introductory content on a homepage?  

 

I've been watching this practice, now a trend, for a few years and dislike it from a usability perspective, as well as conversions and then organic SEO.

 

The lead is a mammoth image or slider in the area of prime real estate, which has never been logical since it fails WCAG2.0 guidelines, has no organic SEO value and more than likely has no call to action in or near it. An image doesn't answer the question, "Do you have what I most desire" in 5 seconds and is invisible for screen readers and text to voice apps.  And with mobile, it is either shrunk to tiny and hard to see or the slider is removed or there is an image chosen as the placeholder.

 

Gone are the days when we put text on landing pages, like the homepage, that has the most important information at the top of the page.  The hierarchy of the layout is removed, so that the most important tasks, info, CTA's are anywhere, including the footer.

 

For organic SEO, how does missing text even work?


Edited by cre8pc, 22 February 2017 - 12:23 PM.


#2 jonbey

jonbey

    Eyes Like Hawk Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4748 posts

Posted 24 February 2017 - 02:19 PM

A home page should not be treated as a SEO landing page with calls to action. Let it fail UX.

 

The home page is the shop front - it has to look great, so it pleases the few who take time to look at it. You don't get tills and latest bargain shelves in the shop window, do you?

 

And, let the web designers have some fun!!!

 

For SEO - you can't beat a little scrolling widget that takes up the space of a small banner and contains 500 words of optimised copy. :)



#3 EGOL

EGOL

    Professor

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 6320 posts

Posted 24 February 2017 - 02:35 PM

A lot of people toss a few --  meaning a really small number  --  of photos on the homepage, say little about them, and assume that they are soDamnWonderful that the visitor will work hard to discover the other 100,000 items (or articles) on the website. 

 

All they gotta do is to place a big raft of items out there on the homepage --  meaning a Really Vulgar number  --   and see what happens.   My bet, based upon experience, is that vulgar will win big time.   Serendipity works just as well on an article site as it does in a library and even on a retail site.

 

Go to any of the big news sites and you will see that their homepage is huge, vulgar, sometimes endless.   If they don't do that the average visitor has no idea of the stuff that is hidden in their website.   The shotgun approach is smart because it acknowledges that a lot of different kinds of people will arrive on your site for a lot of different reasons and these types of people and their various reasons will vary tremendously over time - even within the brain of a single visitor.   

 

I have no idea at all what brings any visitors to my website, but I know that 20 options produces better than 10, and 100 better than 50, and 150 better than 100, and when you have 150 up there there will be people clicking the items in the very bottom row and ads below that row will even get descent action.

 

If you have been one of those people who have been showing six items on your homepage... you need to go Screaming Vulgar for a week and compare.  Bet you stay vulgar.   And, rotate your vulgar - it works even better that way.


Edited by EGOL, 24 February 2017 - 02:53 PM.


#4 bobbb

bobbb

    Sonic Boom Member

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 3313 posts

Posted 24 February 2017 - 03:39 PM

Don't people arrive at your site via search terms (long or not)? or do most come in through the front door?

Agreed on the vulgar front door. If there is nothing on the shelves then it is hard to sell something.



#5 EGOL

EGOL

    Professor

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 6320 posts

Posted 24 February 2017 - 04:30 PM

Don't people arrive at your site via search terms (long or not)? or do most come in through the front door?

Agreed on the vulgar front door. If there is nothing on the shelves then it is hard to sell something.

 

For big news sites like CNN or The New York Times or The Washington Post, most people enter through the front door and start sniffing for something to read. 

 

The most active article sites who are publishing new articles daily get a lot of traffic through the front door but a lot are also entering through searches for article keywords, shares/links from other websites, and email subscriptions. 

 

My sites, both retail and content, have 90% to 97% of their visitors entering through article content pages. 

 

Those who enter through the front door are of a few types.   A) those who are already familiar with the site, B) those who have searched for a root keyword or a keyword phrase that includes the name of a broad industry category;  C) those who have been referred to the front door; and, D) those who just stumble in out of curiosity.

 

Most visitors never see the homepage.  They find what they want on an article page, consume it and either leave, or consume and look at related articles.  Yesterday, on the site where I spend most of my time, 3% of the people entered through the homepage and just 5% of the visitors viewed the homepage.  Those who saw the homepage viewed 3x more pages and stayed 2x longer than those who didn't.  That is with over 1/2 of the links on the homepage going to other websites.   Perhaps I should change that, but that's what brings a lot of people to the site.



#6 earlpearl

earlpearl

    Hall of Fame

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 2410 posts

Posted 24 February 2017 - 04:58 PM

I'm working at maintaining critical content while maintaining a snappy enough look. 13 years of content, lead generation, high rankings which means more sales and leads, has convinced me. 13 yrs of high rankings and consumer involvement. Enough evidence. Don't need more stinkin data

#7 bobbb

bobbb

    Sonic Boom Member

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 3313 posts

Posted 24 February 2017 - 07:19 PM

 

Most visitors never see the homepage.  They find what they want on an article page, consume it and either leave, or consume and look at related articles.  Yesterday, on the site where I spend most of my time, 3% of the people entered through the homepage and just 5% of the visitors viewed the homepage.  Those who saw the homepage viewed 3x more pages and stayed 2x longer than those who didn't. 

Hmmm... I see sort of the same with "consume it and either leave". Will look at the homepage thing and being more vulgar.



#8 iamlost

iamlost

    The Wind Master

  • Site Administrators
  • 5379 posts

Posted 27 February 2017 - 02:05 PM

What Happened To Homepage Content With Today's Web Designs?
'Branding' and 'designers'.

Once again, every site in every niche is different.
BUT
* as mentioned by others the 'home' page remains the default (aka too lazy/misguided to link directly to topic/quoted page) link destination.
* as root where visitors default who remember the domain but not the exact URL they want.
SO
the homepage has to pick up all the undirected and misdirected traffic, make it feel comfortable, and individually appropriately move it on into the site.

Some eCom sites (waves to EGOL) like to stuff transform the home page into a magical old time-y general store, sort of an illustrated cross between an index and table of contents; which depending more on quantity of goods available than anything else.

At the other extreme is the home page as stark business card. And everything in between.

Each can be appropriate. Each can be inappropriate. It depends. Unfortunately few sites/businesses can clearly articulate their business model, actual/desired/prospective audiences, etc. and so tend to simple mimic whatever their competitors or latest webdev/SEO consultant might recommend. So they chase fads.

Critical note: unless one can show a documented business reason (how it increases revenue) for a choice it is a fad:
* image carousel
* business card aka watermark home page
* hamburger
* parallax scrolling
* cornucopia of javascript especially frameworks
* et al
* ad nauseum
Note: none of the above is bad per se but is most often wrong in implementation. Or is implemented without thought/reason beyond 'cute' or 'cool'.
Note: if any two or more competitors are doing something (design), as a rule of thumb, you should not.

I blame much of the last several years worth of site design fad on javascript frameworks. You see someone has made a carousel and think you can do that better and ... we now have at least several hundred variations available for more or less plug and play. It's a matter of we can rather than we should.



#9 bobbb

bobbb

    Sonic Boom Member

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 3313 posts

Posted 27 February 2017 - 02:55 PM

the homepage has to pick up all the undirected and misdirected traffic, make it feel comfortable, and individually appropriately move it on into the site

So this means a friendly 404 page instead of the "four O'fore" not found message? As in a search form or internal search and result page?

 

Hmmm...  seems I misread the criteria for that statement as mentioned in the BUT part of the post. Was thinking bad or mistyped URLs.


Edited by bobbb, 28 February 2017 - 11:14 AM.


#10 fisicx

fisicx

    Sonic Boom Member

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1976 posts

Posted 28 February 2017 - 05:18 AM

If you are selling widgets you want to land on the blue widget page (because they want a blue widget). You don't really want them to land on the homepage and have to search/click a link. In fact there should be no reason for anyone to ever see your homepage as they will be landing on the right page for the widget the6 want.

 

But I agree, the big hero image with the call to action in the middle is no better than the old 'click here to enter the site' splash pages.



#11 jonbey

jonbey

    Eyes Like Hawk Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4748 posts

Posted 28 February 2017 - 03:07 PM

:saywhat: Blue widgets .....

 

In one of the first SEO discussions I read, there was mention of blue widgets. I remember, because at the time I was totally confused, and thought these were real things people were talking about. I was literally about a month into "oh, what's a website? I'll build one. What do you mean "search engine?" I'll take a look. SEO? OK, I'll Google it". 



#12 bobbb

bobbb

    Sonic Boom Member

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 3313 posts

Posted 28 February 2017 - 11:11 PM

 In fact there should be no reason for anyone to ever see your homepage as they will be landing on the right page for the widget they want.

I don't know about that. The front door is important. You are presuming everyone searches for everything they may want to buy and buy from the landing page. As a matter fact I usually enter the front door for most things I want to buy then search from there.  I know where I shop and their websites. Yes, I will "Bing" or "Duck" for it if I have no idea where it is sold. See I didn't say google it.

 

there was mention of blue widgets

That is usually on the shelf next to the elbow grease or the record marks. Oops just dated myself.


Edited by bobbb, 28 February 2017 - 11:18 PM.


#13 cre8pc

cre8pc

    Dream Catcher Forums Founder

  • Admin - Top Level
  • 14673 posts

Posted 14 March 2017 - 09:31 AM

Interesting.

 

So bells and whistles are in and organic SEO is out?

 

For mobile design, the guidelines are "minimize". This has led to the removal of text.  In some instances this is good because it removes the over-optimization and repetitive nonsense that went on for years.  

 

But the fact remains that for persuasive conversions design, the homepage (or any landing page) has 5 seconds to communicate to the first time visitor that the site has what they need.  

 

I'm auditing a lot of websites that allowed designers to "have fun" and they pay a high price for that in terms of page abandonment and reduced revenue. Text isn't just for SEO. It's for humans. It's for communication.

 

Accessibility is another area that is ignored.  The removal of content and installation of sliders, animation, jumbo tron images and removal of text has triggered a spike in lawsuits by disabled users starting in 2015. The latest is Omaha Steaks but the list of websites in the retail space alone that have faced lawsuits is surprising. 


Edited by cre8pc, 14 March 2017 - 09:37 AM.


#14 fisicx

fisicx

    Sonic Boom Member

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1976 posts

Posted 16 March 2017 - 02:29 AM

I don't know about that. The front door is important. You are presuming everyone searches for everything they may want to buy and buy from the landing page. As a matter fact I usually enter the front door for most things I want to buy then search from there.  I know where I shop and their websites. Yes, I will "Bing" or "Duck" for it if I have no idea where it is sold. See I didn't say google it.

I agree, which is it is why you still need a homepage that leads you to the blue widget. As you say, it is the doorway and should be focused on the getting the visitor to the product or service they want. I have a question for you. How did you get to the site in the first place? I'm assuming it was via some sort of marketing and you went to the site to find out more. How long did you hang about on the homepage or did you go straight the navigation or the search? Did you even scroll down the homepage? If the homepage just had a search box and a nav bar would that have sufficed?

 

Note: I'm not suggesting a minimalist homepage is good (or one filled with bling), it's more about knowing your potential customer and meeting their needs.



#15 bobbb

bobbb

    Sonic Boom Member

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 3313 posts

Posted 16 March 2017 - 09:10 AM

How did you get to the site in the first place? I'm assuming it was via some sort of marketing and you went to the site to find out more. How long did you hang about on the homepage or did you go straight the navigation or the search? Did you even scroll down the homepage? If the homepage just had a search box and a nav bar would that have sufficed?

Good questions. It would be name brands like Staples, Canadian Tire, Walmart, TigerDirect, or Best Buy so I know the web address and enter it directly. I do not hang out on the homepage. I may scroll and yes if the homepage just had a search box and a nav bar it would suffice. I prefer searching their site than doing a global search on an SE. So as others would say here " ya better have a good search engine on your site"

 

Hmmm so is that what is called a loyal customer? :)
 

 

I'm assuming it was via some sort of marketing and you went to the site to find out more

Yes but that occurred long ago now that I know the brand it's name I remember.


Edited by bobbb, 16 March 2017 - 09:13 AM.


#16 fisicx

fisicx

    Sonic Boom Member

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1976 posts

Posted 17 March 2017 - 03:24 AM

I do the same with Amazon or eBay and other familiar brands where I know what to do when I land.

 

But if I'm searching for a specific item and want to compare prices and delivery then I'm more likely to use a search engine and from there go to the product page. I will probably never see the homepage of the site.

 

Loyal customers are a dying breed. The ease of online shopping means I can looks for deals and bargains across a range of suppliers. My wife buys jsut about everything from eBay and Amazon and rarely uses the same seller twice. She just looks for the right product at the right price.



#17 bobbb

bobbb

    Sonic Boom Member

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 3313 posts

Posted 17 March 2017 - 11:03 AM

Ditto for stuff I am sure sure about or have no idea who sells it.

 

The ease of online shopping means I can looks for deals and bargains across a range of suppliers

At the cost of opening an account with each and giving a credit card number which I am unwilling to do. An exception is if they have Paypal.

 

My wife buys just about everything from eBay and Amazon

I consider this buying from the same stores. = Loyal customers.



#18 iamlost

iamlost

    The Wind Master

  • Site Administrators
  • 5379 posts

Posted 17 March 2017 - 03:37 PM

So many sites rely on Google search and optimising for always new visitors tends to deoptimise for return visitors so...

Sites that do develop to build return visitors aka loyal customers are building on bookmarks, feeds et al with apps. It's really a matter of a site having enough breadth and/or depth and/or recurring info of sufficient quality/value that a visitor wants to return. And return.

#19 bobbb

bobbb

    Sonic Boom Member

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 3313 posts

Posted 17 March 2017 - 07:08 PM

So what are you saying? I'm doing it right or they are? :)





RSS Feed

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users