Who are you and what do you do?

Mentioning people arriving at pages all over your site, as I did last week, reminds us of the adage that “every page is a landing page”. It’s quite likely that your home page is the one where most people land, but the majority of visitors could still be landing deeper into the site. Now, I hope your home page states quite clearly who you are and what you do: obvious and essential attributes of a successful site. But what about all the other pages? I’m sure they instantly communicate to visitors which company’s site they’ve arrived on, with a logo (and preferably the company name) in the normal place. However, do they also tell the visitor what your company does?

What does your site have across the top of every page? Is it enough to instantly tell a visitor who you are and exactly what you have to offer? Take a look.

I see plenty of sites where there’s no clue given as to the breadth of the company’s offerings. I land on a page about blue widgets, and it’s not obvious that the company does red widgets (which is what I wanted), so rather than looking around, I go back to Google and look somewhere else. However, a simple strapline which says “we make all types of widgets” will make me hit the site’s “product list” link rather than the back button. A terrible substance-free corporate slogan is a waste of time in this respect.

What do you reckon Motorola (below) has to offer us?

Discussion

  1. David Stonier-Gibson

    Motorola, of course, are big enough to be able to make the (arrogant?) assumption that everyone knows what their brand is about …which 15 years ago was valid 🙂

    But you make a very good point. Worse still seeing that kind of silliness on a home page!

    A question, Chris, if I may: Given the banner head should relate to the overall business of the company (with perhaps the specifics of a product page relegated to an ), which would you suggest:

    1. The same banner on every page
    2. A different banner on each page, to maximize key phrase spread
    3. Randomly rotating a selection of generic banners through the pages (with a bit of php)?

    We presently have 1 above. 3 would actually be less work than 2.

    BTW, I would consider as worthy of being hand crafted for every page (although I never completed a little project to do just that!)

    David Stonier-Gibson, SPLat Controls Pty Ltd

  2. Chris Rand Post author

    In this respect, I would treat a web page like an exhibition stand: you get a visitor’s attention once, as they pass by. The priority must surely be to tell your whole story, eloquently, at a glance.

    As for the search engines (which in this case I think are a lower priority than the visitor), much work has been put in over the years for them to ignore the “furniture” of a page, such as the header, footer, menus and sidebars. Probably the main impact of these parts of the page is to channel the search engines’ attentions to certain pages through anchor text. If they have any impact on setting a theme for the page, this would be hindered by rotating the message.

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