It’s easy to think that a visitor to the site enters through the home page, only to then navigate to the product they’re interested in. As a result, we look at a site as a flow. Sometimes it does work like that, but in most cases, on a site that is properly optimized, the visitor will land right on the product- or category page, when those pages exist. This is not only the most common scenario, it is also preferable.
If you are trying to find a specific cable for an iPhone, you would rather land on the iPhone or the cable category, if it is not possible to get straight to your wanted cable. It would be much worse to land on the home page of an electronics shop, where you will need to search again for the right product. Since most visitors spend so little time on a site – and we’re talking seconds – before moving on, it’s important that the site quickly and clearly says ‘we have exactly what you are looking for’. A product page responds much better to a search query for a specific cable.
If You Have A Bike Shop A Reasonable Distribution Might Look Something Like This:
The visitor searching for ‘bike’ or ‘bikes’ lands on the home page.
The visitor searching for ‘mountain bike’ will land on that category page.
The visitor searching for ‘Scott mountain bikes’ will land on that sub category.
The visitor searching for ‘Scott Spark 900 SL’ will land on the product page.
This not only makes sense for the visitor, Google totally agrees with us here. Is nearly impossible to drive all this traffic to a single landing page. It is much easier maintaining a good position in the search results by having a page about Scott Spark SL 900 on that keyword than on a more general page about bikes.
This has a number of effects. It means that your navigational structure won’t be important to the visitor in most cases. It is better that they get to the right place directly. The navigational structure is of course important, but in many cases, the only reason it is important is to categorize the pages for Google, so that Google can send the visitor to the right place.
This also has the effect that you in reality only have one page at hand to show the visitor what you have to offer and why you are the best alternative. We need to think of all the pages on the site as landing pages. Pages where the visitor lands after having done a specific search. We are about to go more deeply into how you design a landing page in order for it to perform well.
Things To Think About
Take a moment to consider how the visitor who comes directly to a product or a subpage at your site is being greeted. Someone who has made a search for Scott Mountain bikes and landed on the category page. Does the page answer the question being asked, are you showing the bikes that were requested?
Another important question to ask is, what other things are being shown? Keep in mind that the person having made the search isn’t interested in any bike, but specifically Scott’s mountain bikes. Is your huge navigation with all other brands of interest? Would it maybe be a better idea to display Scott accessories, or maybe even something completely different like cycling shorts or helmets that can be used together with the Scott?