How often should you update a homepage?

For ecommerce retailers with a strong web presence, the question of how often you should update the homepage may come up every now and then. How often you update the homepage depends on a few things. the type of business and on the goals of the company.

How many times per month does the average user visit the website?

To prevent your team from spending too much time, make sure the homepage update schedule aligns with the cadence of the business as a whole. Do weekly updates really make sense if your average user only visits the site once per month?

Regardless of business type, my personal rule of thumb for how often a company should spend its time updating a homepage is this:

Number of homepage refreshes per month = Repeat visitor average monthly visits

For example, if a website gets 20,000 repeat visitors per month, and those repeat visitors visited on average of 2.2 times per month, then plan for two homepage refreshes per month.

Of course, there will always be the occasional unplanned update. That is normal. But if the average user is only visiting once per month, and homepage updates occur every week, you may be spending more time than necessary planning and executing all those updates.

Feeling the need to constantly refresh homepage creative is a common pitfall. Maybe you’re tired of looking at the same thing every day on your own website. But remember, what feels tired to you is probably fresh to most visitors.

Is your homepage converting traffic into sales?

Sometimes, the real question doesn’t revolve around how often you should update homepage creative. Instead, try asking whether it’s effective at converting traffic into sales (or new leads). If your homepage is producing lots of clicks and converting traffic, then great. But if it’s not performing well despite having lots of traffic, consider changing it up until you can identify something that does. Test and learn.

How to Increase Conversions on Homepage Creative

To increase conversions from a piece of creative (homepage slider, large banner area or other primary real estate on a web page), you must first determine the problem. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the messaging clear?
  • What is the primary call to action?
  • Does the destination live up to the visitor’s expectations?
  • Is it the right promotion based on who is viewing it?
  • Are your decisions data-driven?
  • Does your team embrace testing as a culture?

Is the messaging clear?

Capture their attention within the first 3 seconds.

What is the primary call to action?

Using too many calls to action or busy graphics (callouts, bursts, snipes, highlighted text, underlines, etc.) can overwhelm the eye. What do you want them to do the most? Everything else should support this behaviour.

Does the messaging live up to visitors’ expectations?

If your homepage visitors are expecting to see one thing but find something else altogether expected, they might bounce.

Does the promotion suck?

Facing this question can be tough. You’ve worked hard to come up with an idea. If you’re spending more marketing dollars to produce the promotional creative than amount of sales it generates, nix it and move on to the next test. Because that is what each and every marketing program should be viewed as by the organization. Each promotion, sale and event is an opportunity to test and learn more about your target audience.

Where are your visitors clicking? What is causing some to convert and others to bounce? Gather the data and analyze it. What is it telling you, and how can you improve from it next time?

hotspots on a webpage

This is a heatmap, an online marketing tool that shows areas of the page getting the most clicks.

Speaking of data, do you have any?

Many retailers test the effectiveness of banner creative and entire page layouts to see where people are looking and clicking. Heat maps, eye tracking and other usability testing will determine users’ actual behaviour, versus going with a marketer’s gut feeling about what’s working, what’s not working and why.

Above all, test and learn.

Any marketer going into any digital creative project should have on his learning cap first. By understanding how the target audience behaves and what motivates them, you can create more effective homepage marketing.