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How to Deal with Shoppers Who Never See the Homepage?
jsinger




msg:4258960
 3:48 pm on Jan 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

Saw a statement that 50% of a site's shoppers (or buyers even?) never see the homepage. Do you think that's true? What are your figures? I'm not sure what our stats are on that, but certainly most buyers arrive into other pages, unlike the web's early days.

So what is an online retailer to do? Most of our "badges of credibility" are placed "up front," with only one or two put on our checkout pages (which I think is important placement). None appear on the product pages. Yes, our home page is our prettiest and largest, with the design of the product pages being more of an afterthought... the same way almost everyone else designs a commerce site.

We do have our 800# and address on every page. We have important links and product search on almost every page. But is there something more we could be doing?

 

Rugles




msg:4259066
 6:36 pm on Jan 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

Do you think that's true?



Yes, we are greater than 50% who never touch the homepage. We approach it the way you have, most every page on the site has contact info and the search function. I know that many people come directly to a product page, place the order and then go thru the check out without going anywhere else. Just the nature of the beast when Google's organic search is the biggest referrer.

suzie250




msg:4259067
 6:37 pm on Jan 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'd believe it because as a shopper, if I'm taken to the page for what I'm looking for why would I need to see your home page?

Isn't the purpose of on-page SEO exactly that? For you to get me where I want to be?

What's on the home page that you want me to see?

I don't have an e-commerce store site so I can't give you a true perspective as a webmaster from that angle. What I can tell you is that all pages I make, I try to make them as if that is the only page they will ever see. Somehow, someway, I need to show them everything I think they might need right then and there.

dpd1




msg:4259106
 7:11 pm on Jan 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

Funny... I think this is the first time I remember my core page being number one in hits and also entry. It was always like, 3rd or lower before. But I have repetitive info on each page. And there really isn't anything imperative to see on the core page.

piatkow




msg:4259341
 9:51 am on Jan 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

I haven't done any analysis on this but, of the visitors who arrive on the home page, quite a few seem to find making the choice between links for red, blue or green widgets a bit to much and give up there. A decent proportion do go direct to inner pages.

digitalv




msg:4259455
 2:47 pm on Jan 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

It depends on where your traffic is coming from, but yeah that's typically true. If the bulk of your traffic comes from PPC then they're going to land on whatever page you send them to, probably your home page, but if its coming from organic search or relevant off-site links then they're landing right on the product.

Most shopping carts aren't really flexible on the core design of the product pages unless you're a programmer and really know how to modify the code to make it the way you want, but you can still make it pretty.

jecasc




msg:4259465
 2:58 pm on Jan 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

When a customer comes in through one of our product pages we redirect him to the homepage. After all it has take a lot of effort to create the homepage and the customer should be able to take a look and admire the shiny trust-seals, pictures and buttons we put up there. I even put up a picture of my dog Bozo on our homepage. He is very important to me and hence he should be important for my visitors too.

Just kidding of course... I don't have a dog. If a customer that comes in through the search engines gets to see your homepage you have done something wrong. Of course you need a homepage to redirect returning customers or visitors that come in by typing in your domain name. But normally you should have several dozens of landing pages for example for different brands, and if a customer searches for a product he should of course see the product page and the checkout button. No need to stop by at your homepage at all.

That however means you have to build trust on every page the visitor could possibly land:

- a link to your full contact information on every page
- if you have a trust seal, put it into the header or the footer on every page.
- links to important information on every page, like shipping conditions, payment options and so on.

jsinger




msg:4259517
 4:18 pm on Jan 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

"I even put up a picture of my dog Bozo on our homepage. He is very important to me and hence he should be important for my visitors too."

My jaw almost hit the floor with that comment! Miss those days. Still have a very minor competitor who shows a huge photo of her three gorgeous teenage daughters on the home page. Heck I tried to put one or two of them in their cart for my son's birthday.

Luxoria




msg:4260325
 1:26 am on Jan 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

"I even put up a picture of my dog Bozo on our homepage. He is very important to me and hence he should be important for my visitors too."

"My jaw almost hit the floor with that comment! Miss those days. Still have a very minor competitor who shows a huge photo of her three gorgeous teenage daughters on the home page. Heck I tried to put one or two of them in their cart for my son's birthday. "


Double Lol.

I bury our goofy fun stuff in the about us section. My thinking is if someone is curious to really know more about us they won't mind us showing our goofy side a bit. When it comes to landing/home pages it's all business.

On topic with the OP's subject, on my current site there is nothing on the home page that a visitor will miss out on. My trust seals and important infos are in the universal header and footer. My adwords campaign has 40 landing pages and only one of them is for the homepage. So yeah, if your have something you really must tell your visitors you should do it in the header, footer, or side bar somewhere somehow.

JohnRoy




msg:4260964
 3:40 am on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Most of our "badges of credibility" are placed "up front," with only one or two put on our checkout pages (which I think is important placement). None appear on the product pages.

We do have our 800# and address on every page. We have important links and product search on almost every page. But is there something more we could be doing?

If your site is not branded yet, it might be a good idea to tweak it a little.
Put one or two of your credibility badges on each product page.
Put most if not all of your badges on the checkout page! That's the page you want them to never leave abandoned...

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