What’s the difference between reading a novel and a website?
When someone reads a novel they start at page 1, then read page 2, and so on, until they get to the end. It’s a linear process.
But most people start reading a website on the page they arrived at from clicking a link on Google. They can then read the web pages in any order. It’s random access.
So you must consider every page on your website to be a “home page” whose job is to maintain the searcher’s attention and keep them clicking deeper into your site.
This concept was expressed brilliantly by Mitch Joel on his blog
The premise is simple: every page of your Website must now be considered a homepage. The hours spent tinkering on your current homepage needs to shift into ensuring that every page is a brilliant representation for the keywords and external links that drove someone to your site.
Fewer and fewer consumers are coming in via the homepage. They could also care less about what your company does or the other products you sell. They were searching for something specific, and if it’s not there after they’ve clicked on a search result link, they’re you’re roadkill on the information super highway.
These days there’s really no excuse for not having Google Analytics on your site (it’s free) so you can see where your website is leaking customers.