The way that people interact with websites has changed as more and more people go directly to the page they want to see. This means that your Home page is no longer used as often as it once was. This is something now to be considered when looking at web design.
A research website found that in 2003, 39% of their traffic went to their Home page. However, the same website saw only 19% of their traffic going to their Home page in 2009. A technology website found in one month in 2008 that 22,000 of the 70,000 page views they received went to their Home page. However, the same website saw only 2,500 views of their Home page out of 120,000 in the same month in 2010.
In 2008 a different technology website had around 10% of their traffic landing on their Home page. This decreased to only 5% by 2010. One of the biggest websites on the internet has stated that around 25% of its visitors in 2005 went to the Home page, but this decreased to 10% in 2010.
The internet is not something that people generally browse without any idea of what they are doing. Few people will ever land on Google and wonder what they are going to be looking for. As people become used to the internet what they do online becomes much more specific and focussed.
In the past, people were happy to land on a Home page and then navigate the rest of the website from there. However, this is no longer the case with more and more people using detailed searches and external links that lead them to the page that they need.
There are a lot of webmasters and marketers who assume that the Home page they have is the billboard for the website. These people often become obsessed with getting this one page correct and spend a lot of time on the design. This is actually one of the reasons why many people no longer use the Home page as the visitor does not see it as useful.
Research has found that people generally do not buy products from adverts that they see on the Home page of a website. This is why many websites look at dual-marketing strategies where they use direct and indirect marketing.
It is important that marketers and webmasters let go of the old idea of controlling what the visitor sees and does. This is something that does not work very well on the internet because the World Wide Web offers the customer the control they want. When people use online searches they are looking at directed activity as they have a destination in mind.
As consumers are looking for a specific destination you need to design a webpage that works with this. People want to find the shortest way possible to the destination in mind. If you have this to offer then the consumers are going to work with you.
Consumers do not want to go to a Home page because this is simply seen as a page full of links to where they actually want to be. While it is possible to make your Home page work for you this is something that many website owners are negating with useless graphics and messages.
When you look at web design you have to consider what your Home page is going to offer your customers. If you are looking at old-fashioned marketing then you are not going to get the results that you want.