In my last post I referred to the Lessons from the New York Times innovation report.
One of the conclusions was that they were focusing too much time and energy on Page One. The NY Times number of Home Page Visitors is in a steady decline, whereas Page Views are fairly constant:
In episode 29 of the excellent Content Matters Podcast Mark Baker also talked about this idea and his book: Every Page is Page One.
Marks focus is Topic-based Writing for Technical Communication and the Web, but I think his message can be translated to almost any context (it does for the NY Times!).
Remember the days that accessing a website used to be typing in the URL or using your bookmarks? (Who still uses bookmarks? As a Chrome user: Chrome knows my bookmarks better than me).
But now, much of the traffic to websites is either through search-engines answering specific queries – so dropping off users deep into your website – or by shared deeplinks to specific pages in your website.
Both will ignore your homepage. And where the page itself will probably look OK (you will have taken care of that one), what impression does this One Page give the visitor – the visitors Page One?
Will the visitor understand you and your story from this page? Will they leave your website it at this page because they don’t understand you? Or will they visit some of your other pages, each one as important as Page One?