What’s Better: A Static Landing Page, or Your Blog?

The other day, Mary posted this question on my Facebook page:

So, Mary, this one’s for you.

I did a bunch of highly unscientific research, namely, I put Mary’s question out to my networks. What I found was, that, overwhelmingly, most people that have blogs on their site have them as their home page, meaning, the blog is the first thing you see when you type in the person’s URL in your browser bar.

That’s how I’ve done it. When I first started blogging a few years ago, I started on a WordPress-hosted blog. I had a separate website for my PR biz, and it was getting all of about 13 hits a day, I think. My blog, however, was getting in the realm of 200 hits a day. So I made the decision to combine the two for the maximum amount of traffic onto a self-hosted WordPress blog.

I asked my friend Kazia the question from an SEO perspective, because she’s real smart like that, and here’s her answer:

The question you have to ask is, what is the goal of my site, and what experience do I want my visitors to have.  Because from an SEO perspective, Sites don’t get ranked, pages do.
So if you want to drive traffic to your blog, then you’re going to optimize the heck out of the blog to encourage new visitors to land there.  If you want traffic to land on your “home’ page then that’s where you focus your efforts.
However, a fluid, dynamic page will always outrank a static page, eventually, so even a “home’ page that may not get updated as often still needs to have new content created on it at the very very least once a month to stay competitive in rankings.
For most of our clients, we have a more ‘official’ and business style home age as the site landing page because it’s what people generally expect when they go to a business web site.

And here’s what my friend Dave, who is Wicked Smaht, said:

For business purposes, I believe it good to have a static homepage and then a blog portion.

The reason for this is if the homepage is a blog you leave everything up to the visitor as to what they’re going to do. With a static page you are able to guide new visitors.

So, here’s what I think:
  • What’s the goal of your website? My goal is that people come to appreciate me as a writer and a blogger and as someone who knows something about marketing and social media, so the most appropriate place for them to land on is my blog. I use my navigation bar, which is prominent and across the top, and my sidebar, to highlight things that I think a reader who is coming to my blog for the first time might be intrested in, for example, signing up for my RSS feed, my newsletter, or connecting with me on Facebook and Twitter or Linkedin.
  • If your business is of a more informal nature, say, for example, you are a coach or consultant, or perhaps an artist, this might be the best option for you. You want to people to get to know the “real” you, and the best way to do that is by being open and transparent with them, by sharing what you are doing via your blog.
  • If you are a larger company, or you’re doing something that feels more “corporate,” then a static landing page with a link in your main navigation bar to your blog is probably a better way to go.
My friend Brian, who is a techo-nerdy whiz kid, has a nice compromise. Check out his website: it’s a static landing page, but you can scroll through and see small snippets five examples of his work.

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Rebecca Coleman

Social Media Marketing Strategist, Blogger, Author, Teacher, Trainer. Passionate foodie, mom to Michael, fueled by Americanos. I love my bike. Soon-to-be cookbook author. Localvore with a wanderlust.

Comments 5

  1. This is a question that should also be put to the consumer or clients. As a pitential customer, nine times out of ten I do not want to start with the blog. A blog assumes there is some sort of familiarity with the business and blog entries often contain too much minutia or highly specific information that does mot help when you’re trying to get the basic facts. Even worse is when you start with a blog page and there is no clear navigation link to the actual “home” page or “about” section.

  2. Thanks for the quick response, Rebecca! All of these are good points. I currently have a static page as my landing page, though I’ve been seriously considering changing that to my blog. My blog gets much more readership (thanks to social media!), and, like your site, I have a fairly prominent navigation bar. I guess the best thing for now would be to switch it and see if I receive more hits and subscribers or not!

    Blessings,
    Mary

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