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Home pages are losing value quickly. There was a time (in the not too distant past) when home pages were the top priority for website owners and consumers.Today, people arrive at websites in a wide variety of ways, and most of them are not going directly to your site's home page. Landing pages are the top priority for many website owners now.If visitors do land on your home page, they won't stay there very long. The online audience is Internet-savvy and knows where to click to get the information they want (which includes clicking away from your site).Are home pages dead? Absolutely not. Are home pages less important than they used to be. Yes. Do home pages still matter? Absolutely, yes!Bottom-line, home pages aren't the "make or break" page on your website anymore. However, your home page is still the face of your content and your online presence. As such, it needs to be one of the top priorities as you design the site where you'll publish your Authoritative Content.Here are three signs that your home page is losing value:
1. Heat Map Signs
Log into your Google Analytics account and view the heat map for your site's home page. Where are people clicking most frequently? Now compare that information to the heat map for your landing pages? Where are people clicking most frequently? Are they clicking where you want them to? Are both effective in driving the actions that you want visitors to take? Chances are your landing pages are more effective in getting people to click where you want them to, and that's one of the main reasons that home pages are losing value.
2. Entry Page Signs
Again, log into your Google Analytics account, but this time, view the top entry pages for your site. What page do people arrive on most frequently? It's likely that your most popular page is not your home page.
3. Social Search Signs
More traffic is coming to websites via social search than ever, and that number is expected to continue to grow. How many people share a link to a website's home page on Twitter, Facebook, and so on? Not many. Take a look at your Google Analytics account. If most of your traffic is coming from social media sites, then your home page has lost value.
What Authoritative Content Publishers Should Do
If you find these signs happening on your site, react appropriately. These signs don't mean that your home page is awful and needs to be completely redesigned, nor do they mean that your home page is unimportant and can be completely ignored. Instead, you need to invest the necessary time, money, and resources to make your home page as successful as possible without jeopardizing the rest of your site.Image: Luiza Libardi licensed CC BY-SA 2.0