Why you may need to delete your homepage today

Why you may need to delete your homepage today

Why you may need to delete your homepage today

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WHY THE INTERNET IS OUT OF DATE AND NEEDS A TOTAL OVERHAUL

Yes, you read the title correctly. The world has changed and the internet is refusing to keep up. Currently, the internet is stuck in the 90s.

BACKGROUND

Just 6 months ago I wrote a Medium entitled “1 Simple Reason why your Website Sucks” which went over the current state of the web and why many people should be looking at whether their website is up to date with the current state of the web. I now believe that this article is now out of date, such is the pace of the digital world we live in.

I now want to take 5 minutes to explain why 90% of websites (including my own) are now out of date and why we need a complete overhaul of the internet. In fact, I expect this to happen over the next 5 — 10 years anyway but those who adopt this philosophy now will have a massive advantage over the rest of us.

YOUR HOMEPAGE

In my opinion, the internet is the most amazing invention mankind has ever created. It changes the face of so many industries daily and has brought people together in ways we could never have imagined. Only today I connected with an amazing web agency in Cincinnati via Skype after finding them via an app they made. Even 10 years ago that would either have been a £100 phone call or a £1000 plane fare.

The advancements that are possible due to the flow of information and ease of communication is phenomenal. However, there is one common convention of the internet that has been around since it hit the mainstream in the 1990s. That is, the ‘homepage.’

Every website has a homepage and they haven’t really changed since the 90s. There have been many variations from the rise and fall of Flash to the advent of CSS animations and JQuery. However, an abhorred constant is the ultimate make up of the homepage.

Let me explain…

Every homepage has the following constants in their menu:

Home
About Us
Work/Portfolio
Products/Services
Blog
Contact

Many also have the following additional extras ‘goodies’:

FAQ
Testimonials
Our Team
News
Press
Jobs

The list goes on.

Let me ask you 1 question!

WHAT IS THE ROI OF YOUR ABOUT PAGE?

I’m going to take a guess, pretty low.

In fact I’m going to estimate the Click Through Ratio (CTR) and Bounce Rate (percentage of people who leave) of each of these pages.

Home — CTR 0% | Bounce rate 45%
About Us — CTR 2% | Bounce rate 55%
Work/Portfolio— CTR 15% | Bounce rate 35%
Products/Services— CTR 20% | Bounce rate 45%
Blog— CTR 3% | Bounce rate 55%
Contact— CTR 10% | Bounce rate 89%

Many also have the following additional extras ‘goodies’:

FAQ— CTR 0.3% | Bounce rate 75%
Testimonials— CTR 1% | Bounce rate 35%
Our Team— CTR 0.5% | Bounce rate 45%
News— CTR 0.5% |Bounce rate 55%
Press— CTR 0.5% |Bounce rate 60%
Jobs— CTR 0.2% |Bounce rate 85%

To analyse this… 45% of people bounce straight from your homepage which sucks but people are fickle on the internet. We can look to reduce this and drive people further through the site but this might not be the best course of action.

You have a good 10% of people wanting to contact you which is great and the high bounce rate is acceptable as they have hopefully called you and you have won the business.

However, the other 40% of your users are going through to pages that have on average a 47.5% bounce rate. So actually another 19% of people have bounced at stage 2 of your site.

So to summarise this 64% of your potential customers have left your site before they have seen even two pages.

HOW CAN YOU AFFORD NOT TO BE OPTIMISING EACH PAGE TO CONVERT SUSPECTS INTO REAL PROSPECTS?!

The death of the homepage concept takes these stats along with the philosophy and psychology we use in pay-per-click landing pages to create websites that are geared towards 2014 not 1994!

APPLICATION FIRST DESIGN

This is a a phrase I coined out of the problems faced above.

We are all used to using apps on our smartphones and tablets. We’ve been using applications (programs) on computers for years. Computer games on our consoles are gaming apps. Why oh why then are we obsessed with this idea of a ‘website’ that has to have a set formula and concept that has been around since before Google.

So why not create a web where websites are geared towards their actual functions rather than a contrived idea?

I propose that each page (and or section) of your site should be designed with the full user experience in mind. THIS DOES NOT MEAN CREATE A FLUID DESIGN OF A DESKTOP SITE THAT REQUIRES THE USER TO SCROLLS FOR SEVENTEEN HOURS ON MOBILE!! This means looking at how your users will want to interact with that part of your site and design/code accordingly.

Unfortunately this means platforms such as WordPress and Joomla become much harder to justify and will take more development time to get to where you need to be but applying this concept will raise conversion rates to those usually only seen on PPC landing pages. Why only convert users that you’ve paid for? Convert all of them by giving them a web experience they will remember and enjoy.

SIGN OFF

To close I’d like to point out that the biggest culprit here is myself. If you go to our website at www.bantermedia.com you’ll find all of these sins committed by our company. Fortunately, that is because we have been too busy working with our current clients to redevelop our own website. However, we are currently hiring young talented developers to help us work on our internal digital strategy so if you are looking for a new challenge then DM me on twitter and let’s see what we can do together.

If you are thinking that you need this with your web presence then get in touch again via twitter or the contact page on our site and let’s have a chat or meet up for a coffee. I love talking about digital. That’s why I write Mediums… nobody wants to listen in the office any more ☹

Liam Wright Growth hacker, animal lover, @dota2 junkie, @manutd & @giants fan | Founder - @BanterMediauk | CoFounder - @team6t9 | CoFounder - @socialgrowthlab |