Friday, February 29, 2008

Is the home page going the way of dinosaurs?

Countdown to Search Engine Strategies Conference New York

Is the home page dead? Redundant? Getting too much attention? That's one of the thoughts I had coming out of the Online Marketing Summit in San Diego last week.

Many people seem to spend too much time working on their home page, and maybe just maybe neglecting valuable inside pages. The result? Too many prospects landing several pages away from the right page, and not enough pages optimized with internal links.

That was certainly the spin coming from, which has just overhauled its site.'s consultant Doug Lenos who'd been in charge of Cintas' award-winning site revamp said he worried that the home page was getting "obsolete."

Lenos said the home page should be like a slippery slide, one quick slip or one click to whatever product page. And a key part of the Cintas strategy had been creating permanent product pages that weren't campaign specific, landing pages.

So what's the view of Jill Whalen, search engine guru from

Our questions:

"Is the home page dead? Should marketers be doing more to drive products into specific product related pages and focusing on highly targeted keywords and the long tail? Are they wasting too much time on home pages which land prospects too many clicks away from important conversion pages?"

Jill's response:

"The home page is absolutely not dead!"

"Search engines are still giving home pages a ton of weight since it does tend to be the one most linked to by the outside world. Home pages are the best place to target those general, competitive keyword phrases that provide an overall look at what your business as a whole offers."

"It’s highly unlikely that your specific inner product pages will be able to target those types of phrases very well. That said, you most definitely *also* want to optimize your inner product pages for their specific keyword phrases – not necessarily for longtail phrases, but for somewhat competitive phrases that are highly relevant to what you’re offering. "

Thanks Jill. By the way, in the interest of full transparency, Jill is talking at the big search engine conference up in New York next month (March 17 to 20) and responding to our questions is one of the ways she and the people there are plugging the conference.

Jill is speaking on day one of the conference, March 17. You can find the complete agenda here
There's also a blog tracking the sessions at

Posted by Internet Marketing Report editor Julie Power Friday February 29, 2008 at 8 a.m.


1 comment:

Doug Lenos said...

Remember, I was writing and speaking from a B2B "large ticket" perspective - but the point is valid in B2C in most cases as well.

I can see Jill's point somewhat but we are measuring more and more results, leading us to the conclusion that the home page is supporting to the content for visitors looking for answers...

I gave more detail on my blog at

Make for an interesting debate...