Yesterday I talked about what happens if your home page appears in Google’s results for a product search, rather than your actual product page appearing. In summary, if that happens a lot, you need to ensure there’s an immediately obvious link to the product on the home page.
The next question should be: “What searches are sending people to my home page?”
You can get a good idea of this with Google Analytics, but it requires firstly that you’re running Google Search Console, and secondly that you’ve linked it to Google Analytics. If you’re not in this fortunate situation, you haven’t been paying attention here over the years, but never mind: set these up now and come back in a month or so to see the results.
If or when you’ve got that running, you’ll see a “Search Console” section under “Acquisition” in Google Analytics. Please note that you need to be looking at the “All Users” (default) segment. Click on “Landing Pages” and you’ll get a great report, straight from Search Console, showing you the pages where Google has been sending people over the past 90 days.
Now things get really interesting. Click on any of the pages listed, and you get a report on the searches which caused Google to send people to that page. If you click on the home page (probably labelled just “/”), you can now see what searches ended up with people being sent there.
A whole bunch of long-tail searches will be rolled up as “other”. The main result apart from this will probably be your company name. But with any luck, there’ll be some interesting product searches there too. Now you have to ask yourself: if people are sent to my home page, having made the searches listed, are they given an immediate link where I want them to go? Remember, links hidden in menus aren’t good enough – many visitors just won’t hang around to explore. They need to see the link, at a glance, and you need to make it available for them.