Recently we were asked what the most important web page is on a website. Personally, we couldn't agree. Why? Well it depends what you are looking for...
There is no doubt in any marketer's mind that every page on a website has its own value. Although not always the case, some companies put in excess pages, it works as a general rule that each page has a purpose. Whether it is one of the more forward facing pages on a website or one of the lesser known or visited pages, each has a meaning or a task it is trying to achieve.
In a multichannel agency we have various experts who differ however on which pages are most important. This is because the task of deciding upon which pages to promote differs depending on the field of their expertise. For this article I have collated the opinion, as well as adding my own, to provide a rounded view. What pages are the most important? What pages are the most important for mainstream and challenger brands alike?
The User Experience
It is a bit of a misnomer to try and pick the best page of a website or the most important page. Arguably it is whatever page the user lands on. Whatever page the visitor visits first is the most important as it needs to respond to what they expect from the website. This means that all pages need to be usable, all need to have a consistent feel, and all need to move towards the same goal.
Statistically speaking this means the most important page is the Home Page. It is the page that is linked to most often out of all the pages on a website. It is because of this that the homepage is the most common landing page on a website. It is the first page most people see.
Due to the homepage giving the first impression of the digital presence of the company it is so, so important that it portrays a fair impression of the company or organisation involved. It needs to be accurate, informative, and it needs to excite minds about the company's proposition.
After the homepage, all of the other user-visible pages vary in importance depending on their content. On an ecommerce site specialising in technology laptops are a highly important page. Laptop bags, on the other hand, may not be. iPods may be important, iPod cases not so much.
This does not mean that laptops and laptop cases should have differing page qualities, but it does mean the laptop page is more important to the company due to having higher profit margins.
As a UX designer I have seen all kinds of problems arise in terms of the most basic of website pages. Contact Us pages are all too often ignored or neglected. Realistically, the opposite should be true. Contact Us pages should be incredibly easy to navigate, and this is where we enter the world of Search, Analytics, and Conversion Optimisation.
Of course, it is not just the customer or user that needs to be thought about when a website is created, but also the SEO. As far as Search is concerned, the homepage is still important, but the importance is shared amongst the Information Architecture.
This is where things can get a bit confusing. Rather than one page sharing importance it is dispersed amongst the other pages on the site. First, importance will be shared with the homepage. Then it will move on to the top menu bar. Finally, it will distribute to an infinite recession of the pages beneath.
As well as this there are certain pages that will gain emphasis over others. A sitemap, for instance, can be integrated and is a highly important page.
Search relevancy also comes down to the importance of different pages on the site. Where a page is incredibly important the SEO must be strong. The reason for this is to make it findable. What this means is that Search does, to some extent, work for the site; however, the site also needs to work for SEO in return.
When looking at the pages on a site and deciding which pages are most important there are several things to take into account. These range depending on the goals of the website itself but need to take both UX and Search into account.