What good are your website’s inner pages? We find that many of our clients don’t appreciate their website’s inner pages as much as they might. The homepage gets all the love and the inner pages — service pages, blog posts, product pages, and so forth — get forgotten.
Here are some reasons we think they may be loving their inner pages less than they should — and maybe you’ll recognize yourself here.
The homepage gets the most visits.
Almost every website we’ve worked with has the homepage at the top of the list of the most popular pages. That doesn’t mean that most visitors go to the homepage, though. For most of the websites we manage, the homepage receives 20-30% of the total visits.
It’s #1 on the list because there are tens or hundreds or thousands of other pages receiving visits, and none of these individual pages gets a larger number of visits. The homepage may see 22% of the visits. Tools like a store finder might get another 10%. 20 different blog posts each see 2-5% of the traffic and the rest of the visits go to the Contact page. See how being the most popular individual page doesn’t mean that most of your visitors hit that page?
You assume visitors read your website like a magazine.
When you visit your own professional website, you may naturally begin at the homepage, using a bookmark or just typing in the URL. Once arrived at this page, you look it over, as though you were sitting down to enjoy a magazine. You browse through it or navigate to a page you’ve been thinking about visiting.
This is not how the average visitor experiences your website. If most of your traffic comes from organic search (and it should), many of your visitors come to the site by searching for the answer to a question. Will their Achilles tendon injury require a cast? Are local gyms offering special New Year’s deals? Does a nearby urgent care clinic accept their insurance?
There may be thousands of questions like these that you can answer, but the answers are not all on your home page. Visitors who ask these questions will be offered your inner pages. That’s good news, because you’ll be able to answer their questions quickly, without their having to click their way through your website. Almost every page is a landing page for your website.
You don’t check your analytics.
Not that you don’t check your analytics at all, though many clients don’t, but you don’t check on those inner pages. More than once we’ve heard, “We should replace this old stale post” or even, “Should we delete these old posts?” only to see that they’re receiving hundreds or even thousands of visits each month.
If you have posts that get little or no traffic — and you probably do — you should think seriously about updating them. But you shouldn’t assume that your inner pages don’t get much action just because you’re not visiting them yourself.