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The Home Page

This will seem counter intuitive: the purpose of the Home Page is to get people off the Home Page! Yeah, you spent all that time, effort, and money to get people there and now you read this?

This lecture looks at several home pages and finds several constant threads that they all share. Please do not read this overview and skip the video. These common themes include:

  • Multiple links — normally dozens above the fold.
  • Text — A lot of text: Experts recommend not less than five-hundred words and sometimes as much as two-thousand.
  • Movement — Movement is often a Java Script graphic with a link
  • Video — There is a relationship between video and time on site
  • Citations — This is covered in it’s own video.
  • Privacy/Cookie Policy — This is covered in it’s own video.
  • Obvious Navigation — Get visitors further into the site asap.
  • Call to Action — What do you need them to do next?
Failure to include a polished version of each of these may result in reduced sales.

Much of the lecture is devoted to looking at available resources to check the above points. Once your page is complete, the job is not over and you must review the work to be sure the search engines can see and rank the page.

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This idea that a page has a specific mission extends to every page on your website. What is this page’s job? How will this fit into the Sales Funnel? If a page will not help the visitor make a positive purchasing decision, maybe it should go.

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Video Transcript



As promised earlier we're really
starting to get into the nuts and bolts
of how to market your tourism based
business. This lecture is 3.2, it's the
Home Page
You know sometimes web sites ranked very
well and the next website doesn't rank
at all, and the truth is if you don't get
it right on the Homepage you're just not
going to get it right. And so what we
want to do in this video is look at some
successful website and see what are some
of the common elements on their Home
pages. And we certainly want to use those
elements on our website Home page to
help us rank better. So we're going to
look at those pages in just a moment. But
first, I've distilled down for you 7
bullet points and I want to, to go
through these bullet points with you.
Hopefully you'll write this down and look
at your Home page and make sure that you
have these elements on your page. Because
these are the things that these other
websites have that are helping them rank
well. Number one on our list is average
load time. How fast does your page load
compared to other pages on the internet?
Now why is this important? Well after two
seconds people will begin to leave your
page. Only two seconds. And what I
understand is for every two seconds
after that, you can lose up to forty
percent of your visitors. Guys that's
huge. There's a tool to help you use and
and see what you're doing and how fast
your page is loading. It's in Google
Developers' area I recommend you avail
yourself to that tool. Number two on our
list; the number of words on your page.
The graphics that I've been showing you
here are from a site called SiteLiner.com.
Number of words is important because the
more words you have, the more you can
describe the services you offer. Now
obviously, if the different search
engines know exactly what you're
offering, they're far more likely to rank
you for that specific item. And as a
matter of fact, it gives you more
opportunity to get your keywords in
without keyword stuffing and remember
use variations of those keywords. Don't
just repeat the same thing again and
again or you could get penalized. Number
three on our list; number of links on
your page. There are two different types
of lengths you can have internal links,
and external links. Sometimes the
external links seem as though they're
out of your control. Those internal links,
on the other hand, are not and you'll
find a good Home page has links all over
it, going to all kinds of different pages
inside your site. And the search engines
will actually give you credit for those
links as having links in your website. If
you think about it; what I'm saying is a
bigger website often will rank better
than a smaller website, just due to the
number of internal links. Number four; is
your website mobile-friendly? Did you
know the most common item surfing the
web between five and nine at night is
the tablet? So folks are using mobile
devices. The average email is opened first
on a smartphone. If your website is not
mobile friendly, not only will Google
lower you, you will also find the buttons
or so small people who even want to
visit the site cannot so make sure
your Home page and your entire website
is mobile friendly. Also the bottom of
the page, we want a couple of things down
there. One thing we want is a sitemap.
It's called an xml file and you should
have a sitemap on your page, along with a
link right off your homepage. It helps
the search engines to crawl your site.

After all, if they don't know your page
exists, you're not going to rank for it.
Right? You also if you're in the U.S.
want a Privacy Policy. If you're in the
E.U., you want to cook to the policy. And it
doesn't hurt to have both and you can
find those for free on the internet. Just
search free privacy policy. Number 6 on
our list; movement on your page. You see,
video helps you convert more people who
will make a positive purchasing decision
and the reason for that is is covered
under our video lecture. But there's a
relationship between how long somebody's
on your website and how likely they are
to make a positive purchasing decision.
I'll also call count things like Parallax
pictures and so forth as being
movement on the page. It's worth it. Make
sure you've got movement on your Home
page. Number seven is a personal pet
peeve of mine: do you have links to all
your social media sites on your Home
Page? Well I like social media, I really
do but you spent a lot of effort and
often a lot of money getting people off
of Facebook and onto your website. Don't
send them back! They're going to go back,
they're going to see what Aunt Bernetha
is doing and they may not come back to
your page. Don't do it. Google, Facebook,
excuse me, has a developer's area where you can
get a little Like button. Put that on
your page, that way they can Like your
page without leaving and going back to
Facebook. You can do things like a
Twitter Feed or reviews from TripAdvisor.
All of those can be put right on your
website. Nobody has to leave. Please don't
put links all over your site leading to
other people's sites. Now, I want to show
you these seven bullets in action. I'm
going to give you an example, first on
Google, then the same keyword in the same
small town on Bing. Here we go. Our search
in Google is for Gatlinburg Cabin
Rentals. And what we'll do is go down and
click on the number one website for that
search, and that brings us to a website
that has a lot of links across the top
of the page. You'll also notice a good
number of Social Media links. And then
along the left-hand side here, even more
links. So there are literally dozens of
links, followed up with a call to action.
Clearly, they want us to book a cabin and
below that some inventory, so we can
find more opportunities for cabins to
book. Here's one of the things I did want
to show you: Look at all this text.This
text is down at the bottom; specifically
because most of us will not scroll that
far down on the page. The text is not
here for the visitor the text is here
for the search engines.
Well below that we will find our site
map, which is important and even below
that more social media links, but once
again most folks will never find it. Now,
let's go repeat our search this time in
Bing. Same search; we'll go visit the
number one web site that is ranked in
Bing. This site I like a little better
but underneath it's the same idea. Notice
the great big banner those are in fact
links. So the whole top of the page is a
link. Along the side here, even more links
and then of course the all important call
to action. Then we've got inventory. And
once again, we're down to lots and lots
of text. Which is here for the exact same
reason. We don't really want people to
read this because the average person is
only on our site for three-and-a-half to
four minutes. Then at the bottom, there's
more links. The point of this Homepage is
to get people off the home page. And this
site also is very good about their
citations. This is a well-done site. You
know I hope this helps you to see how
some of the things that we talked about
up at the top of the video, are being
utilized by successful tourism companies.
By the way, I think it's so important you
may want to go back and write those
seven bullet points down. Coming up in
our next lecture; at something related,
it's called the Landing page. It's
lecture 3.3 and I want to show you how
the Landing page and the Homepage are
different; even though you think they
often are the same. And why you may need
to utilize Landing pages in your website.
I'll talk to you soon bye bye.

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