Internet Marketing Journal -

FREE subscription to more than $20 million in marketing research

Enter your email below to receive the latest in marketing research and exclusives offers from MarketingExperiments.

create Lab ID
We value your privacy. View details on how to contact us.

You can also get our latest research delivered to you via our social media feeds below.


Follow us on Twitter Join our Optimization Group Visit the MarketingExperiments Blog
Listen to our MP3 Podcast Listen to our podcast on iTunes Watch videos on our YouTube Channel

Research Topics

Site Optimization

Email Optimization

Search Optimization

Marketing Optimization



"Your emails and website provide the common sense that we often leave at the door to the office."

David Jones
Senior Practice Leader
Kaiser Permanente

"I often change small things across many pages as MarketingExperiments gets me thinking about how to increase the straighforwardness of my pages for the visitor."

Amanda Schaner
Marketing Coordinator
Home Science Tools

"The live web clinics are very humbling. I think we're doing a pretty good job. But every time I attend, I realize we could do things much better for our clients. I consider MarketingExperiments my encyclopedia, and parrot the principles I learn every chance I get."

Troy O'Bryan
Co-Founder and Chief Response Officer
Response Capture, Inc

Home arrow Site Optimization arrow Homepage Design
Homepage Design
Thursday, 30 September 2010

Read Read    Watch Watch    Listen Listen

Topic: Homepage Design: The five most common pitfalls and how to overcome them

In a previous Web clinic, Flint McGlaughlin, the Director of MECLABS Group, taught five steps to help you optimize your company’s homepage. We intentionally left one key aspect of optimizing homepages out of that clinic because we felt it deserved special attention. So, for the September 30 clinic we focused exclusively on Step 4: Design the homepage to weigh objectives strategically according to priority.

However, the objective of this clinic was not to provide one-size-fits-all design tricks and tips. Instead, the objective is to describe the MarketingExperiments way of thinking about homepage design, rooted in our optimization methodology. By applying the principles in this clinic, you will be able to optimize your homepages according to the specific objectives you had identified and visitor profiles that your homepage receives.

Flint taught the five most common pitfalls of homepage design and how to overcome them. Those pitfalls are:

  • Trying to achieve too many objectives – It is critical that you use visual elements to focus the visitor on a small number of initial objectives, so that the visitor is not confused about what they can do on your site.
  • Failing to start a conversation – If the homepage is where you start a relationship with your visitor, that’s where you need to start the conversation, the most natural way to introduce yourself and get the visitor interested in what you have to offer, within the first few seconds
  • Over-reliance on multimedia to communicate value – Anything you can say through video or audio, you can say quicker and more efficiently with text; do use multimedia, but don’t rely on it to communicate, especially in those precious first seconds of your interaction with the visitor. Your visitors are probably not patient enough to wait for even a one-minute video to explain why they should stay on your site.
  • Making the homepage a landing page – If you have more than one offer (even if it’s one product, but one with options), your homepage cannot look like a “sell” landing page; its job is to direct the visitor to the right product as quickly and efficiently as possible…and then let the subsequent page(s) do the selling.
  • Assuming best practices will work for you – best practices, even if they work in most cases, don’t work in every case. You must test your pages, including homepages, to determine whether any change or intended “optimization” actually had a positive effect. Industries, products, and traffic channels are different in each situation, and the results may surprise you.

In addition to teaching these pitfalls, Flint McGlaughlin and the MECLABS Conversion Group team conducted live optimization of audience-submitted homepages – real-world examples to help our audience understand how to apply these lessons to their own homepages.

View the clinic replay, or listen to the audio recording (mp3), to learn how to optimize the design of your homepage.

Download the MarketingExperiments Quarterly Research Journal:

Q4 2010

View a replay of this presentation:

Webinar Video 2010-08-11
Presentation will open in new window

Listen to an audio replay of the presentation:

iTuns Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes

Audio Subscribe to our mp3 podcast

Watch the next Web Clinic in real-time

Enter your email below for invites to our Web Clinics featuring:

  • First access* invites to Web clinics
  • Latest discoveries in online testing and optimization research
  • Interactive Q&A with the MECLABS research team
  • Live analysis of audience-submitted landing pages and wireframes

You will also receive updates on the latest in marketing research and exclusives offers from MarketingExperiments.

Subscribe for FREE

* Seating is limited to 1,000 attendees and fills quickly

We value your privacy. View details on how to contact us.

About This Brief


Producer — Austin McCraw

Writer(s) — Austin McCraw
Boris Grinkot
Daniel Burstein
Flint McGlaughlin

Contributor(s) —Adam Lapp
       Nathan Thompson

Presenters — Adam Lapp
Flint McGlaughlin
Nathan Thompson

::Top Of Page::