Why a lot of traffic to your homepage isn't always a good thing

Does your homepage get the most of your website traffic? Great. But did you know that it's not necessarily a good thing? When people search for something online, find what they're looking for, and click on it, they create what I would call "healthy website traffic". If they end up on your website, it means they have consciously clicked on something they were interested in. Something led them to you. These visitors were properly targeted, which arguably means that they should never never land on a vanilla everything-for-everyone homepage. 

So, take a look at your website traffic. Study how it's distributed. See how many people enter your website via your homepage versus specific landing pages. This is an educational exercise. You must develop content that is specific to a certain topic, certain audience, certain problem solution, or certain opportunity. Every one of these is a piece of content. Every one of these should have its own landing page. People who are looking for those topics and who end up finding you via Google or some other search, when they click on your website URL, it should take them immediately to the content that's relevant. About 90% of all your traffic should end up on the landing pages that specific to what people are looking for.

If you have tons of traffic streaming to your homepage, it means one of two things.

1. People already know about you.

A lot of people might be typing in your exact website URL. They'll type www.yourcompany.com and end up on your homepage. They have either heard about your somewhere or someone told them about you, and they want to navigate to your website to see you're all about. How do you present yourself online. Can they trust you. What do you offer. They are usually looking for generic information about you. Or maybe they have seen something about you online and didn't click on the URL, but remembered later and typed it in. That is, of course, if your company name is easy to remember and spell. Here is a blog post I wrote on naming companies, if you want to refresh your memory. But back to the topic. Since these people already know about you, a homepage is a great way to expose them to more information you think they might care about. 

2. People who didn't click the search link.

The second type of people is people who type in your URL because they forgot to click on it. They have been searching for something, saw you, and for some reason didn't click on the link. But they remembered your name. They were looking for something very specific. Either your address, or a name of someone who works at your company, or a specific detail about your product. This traffic would be better off going directly to specific landing page on your site. If these people land on your generic vanilla all-for-one homepage, chances are, you will lose them.

Look at your web traffic and see how many people go to specific pages that are aligned with what they're looking for. If, for example, half of it goes to your homepage, ask yourself, "Hey, do I have enough content that is aligned with personas who need my product? Do I have enough content that is findable, SEO optimized, content that has its own landing pages?" You have to serve relevant content to people as soon as possible. That's the rule that rules everything. Relevance. You want relevant customers that are relevant for you, relevant to what you have to offer, and you must give them relevant information without delay. Because any delay online might mean a lost customer.

Your to-do list:

  • Install Google analytics or some other way to monitor your traffic, if you haven't already.
  • Study it. Where does the majority of your traffic go? What is your bounce rate? Do people find what they're looking for?
  • SEO optimize every single page of your website.