Sometimes, the Best Website Homepage Isn’t Just One Page


Teams can get fixated on the website home page, but a better user experience is possible.

Why are we still fixated on the website home page?

In every website project, stakeholders place enormous emphasis on what the homepage will look like.

That’s appropriate—at a certain level. Your website is the face of your organization. The assumption is that the homepage is where visitors get their first—maybe only—impression of your brand, your offerings, and the value they’ll get from you.

Because stakeholders across the organization attach so much importance to that presumed entry point, the homepage can be a hotly contested property. Everyone wants to be represented, so they jockey for position and prominence, assuming that a strong homepage position translates into improved outcomes for their particular objectives.

However, in complex B2B organizations—and particularly in member-based associations—you’re speaking to multiple, often wildly diverse, audiences. And when your homepage tries to connect with all of them, you’re likely to fail to connect to any of them.

How do you present a homepage that communicates value—without mixing your messages?

The answer may be simpler than you think: Stop thinking of the homepage as the single point of entry into your site.

Has your organization outgrown and overbuilt your existing website structure? Learn more about how Refactored works with complex member-based organizations to tell a better story, build a better site, and generate greater demand.

This Isn’t the Homepage You’re Looking For

According to a survey from research firm Ascend2, the top 3 most important things your website can provide are:

  • Answers to questions

  • Easy navigation

  • Expert advice or insights

We agree. In our experience, people are searching for solutions—and they are doing most of their research online. If they don’t find answers quickly, they’ll head for a different site.

But that’s where a lot of complex organizations run into trouble.

Often, member-based organizations and associations fall into the trap of creating a website structure that mirrors their organizational structure. The website ends up being hierarchical, forcing visitors to drill down…and down…through layers of bulky content before they finally reach the information that matters to them.

Although this approach can make internal stakeholders feel represented, it often frustrates customers, prospects, and the public as they attempt to understand the value of your brand, transact business with you, or seek the specific resources they need.

How to improve website user experience? Create multiple homepage experiences.

While a home page is an important high-level page to guide people into your website, it cannot be all things to all audiences. And in fact, analytics data often demonstrates that a site may have multiple powerful secondary pages where searchers enter the site—based on their search terms and your site links. For those visitors, these secondary pages are, in effect, your site homepages. And it’s there they will get their first experience of your brand, messages, and navigation.

What do we do when we create more than one homepage?

How do you know which pages will be your secondary homepages?

You don’t—until you take a step back and do some analysis.

At Refactored, we understand that no two organizations are exactly the same. The clients we serve all have complex organizational structures, and they all provide myriad benefits and value to a diverse audience.

But the ways people find them, navigate their sites, and interact with them varies. A lot.

For example, for Investments & Wealth Institute, the premier certifying organization for financial advisors, searchers come looking for specific information on certifications and education opportunities. Their organic search results invite visitors into multiple entry points on their site.

Organic search results show the website homepage is just one of many site entry points.

However, for the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), those entry points are determined by audience segments. Because NSBE serves people across their entire learning and professional careers—and offers different benefits at different life stages—their site enables people to quickly find the navigation path that’s right for them. Each of those site sections starts with a “homepage experience” that provides messaging, resources, and relevant information for a particular audience.

Secondary website homepage experiences can aid navigation for different audiences.

Read our case study to learn how we helped identify NSBE’s audience needs.

For your site, “other” website entry pages may be:

  • About us content

  • Member/customer login or support pages

  • Product or service pages

  • Industry topics and thought leadership

  • News stories

  • Resources such as research reports and white papers

  • Events, webinars, or online courses

Building strength and gravity for these alternative homepages should be a focus of your website planning process as we help you serve the complex content needs of your different audiences.

Design your website user experience around search intent

Fortunately, Refactored has a set of best practices to help you discover how visitors navigate your information. From there, we can recommend and implement a website structure that fits your users’ needs—and supports your organizational objectives.

  • We start with an SEO audit and thorough keyword research that helps us understand what search queries people are using to click into your site. A landing page report from GA4 can also reveal the first page a visitor lands on when they enter the website.

  • If a new site structure is needed, we dive deeper into analysis of those top entry pages by conducting discovery interviews with internal stakeholders and site users.

  • Once the new site structure is created, we perform additional keyword research to ensure the page title, meta data and link descriptions are appropriately optimized.

The combination of all these attributes enables us to provide detailed recommendations for additional content and page optimization.

With that level of insight, you can be confident that search engines will showcase the appropriate site links in search results, and that when users click into your site, your key pages will provide the information that specific users need.

Your homepage is part of your overall website strategy

Your primary website homepage is important. It’s important to search engines. It’s important for providing brand visibility. It’s an important unifier for your organization as a whole.

But it’s only one page—and you have many other opportunities for attracting and engaging visitors.

A balanced website solution uses data-driven best practices to elevate critical entry points, present an easy-to-use interface, and offer clear wayfinding devices to guide audiences to the rich and relevant content they are seeking. On your secondary pages, your internal stakeholders can position the content they know “their” audience needs in a way that is useful and supports their goals.

When you build your site around not one, but multiple entry pages, you provide a way for every visitor to home.

Is your website committee stuck on the homepage?

Let us help you break the deadlock. Contact us to talk about your needs and get started with an SEO analysis.