What do home page visitors actually want?

When people create special “landing pages”, they often spend a lot of time fine-tuning the message and maximising the conversion rate. But a lot of people have the wrong impression of what a landing page is. It’s not necessarily a special page where you send people from a specific advertising campaign. It’s nothing more than the page where visitors arrived on your website, and as such, your home page will be your most popular landing page.

So have you thought about what sort of people start their visit to your site on the home page, and what they might want? Do you deliver this?

One way to get ideas is to look at where people go from the home page. You can do this in the “Behaviour Flow” section of Google Analytics. Compare what they’re doing with the prominence of what you’re showing on the page. For example, you might find that despite the “contact us” link being hidden away in the corner, it was the first destination for 50% of visitors. If so, don’t you think that the link really deserves a bit more love?

But what people do is to some extent governed by what you’re offering, so don’t get carried away with that approach. Take a look at the pages on your site which get the most views, and subtract the number of views where that was the landing page. Now you can see which pages people are battling their way through to. Do all the top ones have decent home page links? They ought to.

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