There’s No Place Like Home

By Brian Lewis,

Director of Optimization, SiteTuners


Many times the name we call something greatly affects our attitudes about that something.

Take the term “home page”, for instance. In the context of the web, we all know that our home page is where most of our visitors will first meet us, experience our brand messaging, learn about our products and services, and hopefully determine if we offer solutions to their problems.

As such, many marketers treat their home pages as an electronic kitchen sink, throwing every message, offer, special, countless products and then further distracting us with endless rotating banners under the misconception that “we need to show everything … after all, it’s our home page”.

One of the reasons marketers have gotten derailed trying to construct effective home pages is because this page is referred to as “the home page”.

Think about it … “Home” commonly refers to a place you are content to stay; a place where one lives. In baseball, it’s a place a runner wants to reach to end his journey around the bases and score a run.

On the web, though, we want to get our visitors off the home page and into our site as expeditiously as possible. An effective home page:

  1. Quickly communicates  what it is we do;
  2. Allows the visitor to quickly decide if the company can meet their needs, and;
  3. Guides the visitor to the page in the site that’s of interest to them

I like to think of the home page as more like an airport terminal. Remember your last visit to an airport? The problem you were trying to solve was to get to your destination as quickly and easily as possible. You were looking for information to get you to the right gate, and the shortest path to that gate, so you could board your plane. You didn’t care about flights to other destinations and certainly did not want to spend any more time than necessary there.

Remember that your home page should provide clear navigational information and direct the visitor to their desired destination. The challenge is to meet the various needs of all the many types of visitors who’ll arrive on your home page while not creating an electronic kitchen sink.

One of the best ways to accomplish this is through the development of Use Case scenarios. To learn all about Use Cases, why they’re productive and how to craft effective Use Cases, stop by my session, “Persona-Driven Conversions – Walk A Mile In Your Visitors’ Shoes” at the Conversion Conference in San Francisco, CA, March 5, 2012 11:15 am.

The name of a man is a numbing blow from which he never recovers.  ~Marshall McLuhan


About the Author

picture of Brian LewisNoted author and speaker, Brian Lewis brings over 20 years of both hands-on and strategic online marketing experience spanning a diverse range of industries. In addition to co-hosting the Internet radio show “Best Search Strategies” on WebMasterRadio, Brian has led panels at Search Engine Strategies Conferences, Search Marketing Expo, SMX Advanced, PPC Summit, Conversion Conference, Affiliate Conference, AdWords Advantage, Online Marketing Summit, and Online Marketing Institute. Brian’s articles have been referenced in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Target Marketing, eMarketer, Search Engine Watch, Website Magazine, SEM Journal, and DM News. He continues to be in demand for speaking engagements on PPC, SEO and conversion optimization around the world.

He earned his B.A. in Economics from the University of California, San Diego and his M.B.A. from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, graduating both schools with honors.

See Brian Live!

Brian will be presenting a session on “Persona-Driven Conversions – Walk A Mile In Your Visitors’ Shoes” at Conversion Conference West 2012 in San Francisco, California. See the full agenda and read more about this session.

Want to save on your Conversion Conference Registration? Follow Brian on Twitter  to say hello and request for a discount code!





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *