Recently I read an article about the rise and success of link rich home pages over the past several years. After reading through it and processing the information, I thought it would be a good idea to highlight some of the ideas that were brought forth from that article. It's especially useful for business owners since we rely heavily on our websites ranking and position in order to generate consistent traffic.
"Nobody starts their design with the objective, "We need our home page to be as complex as we can possibly make it." On the contrary, everybody wants to build simple designs. Yet, somewhere along the line, simplicity translated into "Provide as few links on the home page as possible."" - Jared Spool, User Interface Engineering
This quote sums things up well. It also targets exactly what we need to do to make a site successful for the end users. This is one of those cases where we need to ensure that our focus is on what is best for the site users. It's a complex negotiation between what you envision as the optimal website while at the same time ensuring that the end user has a website that will work well for them too.
Is your own home page link rich? Are you providing your site users with relevant, beneficial links that will potentially take them deeper into your site and further showcase your company's products and services? These are important questions to mull over when thinking about the function, style, and format of your website's home page.
News websites have long understood the need to provide multiple links on their home pages. The majority of news sites are loaded with links designed to deliver in-depth information to users. CNN, Fox, the Drudge Report, and many major newspaper sites have hundreds of links displayed on their home page. How many is too many? Take a look at the sites listed below and check out their standings.
Website / Google Page Rank / Alexa Ranking
Yahoo.com / 9 / 3
CNN.com /10 / 16
NYTimes.com / 9 / 28
LATimes.com / 8 / 74
FoxNews.com / 8 / 40
BBC.co.uk / 9 / 42
Bls.gov* / 7 / 1491
Craigslist.org / 7 / 9
*The Bureau of Labor and Statistics website isn't a news site. However, it is a good example of a home page that is comprised almost entirely of links. While this site is very narrow in its appeal, it is heavily used as you can see from its rankings. The same holds true for Craigslist - its homepage is comprised completely of links.
Judging from the rankings shown above for these link rich sites, it's a good choice to include many links on your homepage. However, my advice would be to take a look at the manner in which links are displayed on these sites. With the exception of the BLS site and Craigslist, most of these sites display links in a tasteful, organized manner. So essentially what I'm saying is that you can still maintain the simplistic design approach while at the same time creating a 'link rich environment' which will perform well for the end users of the website.
This is also good reference material for you to use when discussing site creation with your web designer. Please feel free to use the information in this article to point out the need to create a great looking, link rich home page on your website. Hopefully this information will help them understand just how important it is for them to allow you to create a home page that will grab a user's attention and provide them with a wealth of information at the same time in an easy to use, easy to navigate format that is beneficial for your company.Color Card Administrator is the parent company of PrintBusinessCards.com and several other innovative Real Estate Business Cards website, we're eager to share with you what it is we do. Give us a call today at 858-522-9335 or email at Author@CardAdmin.com for Print Business Cards. We look forward to discussing your comments, suggestions, or hearing any ideas for future article topics you may be interested in regarding online business cards design or business card management.