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Alternative Home Pages

HotDoodle sites have a unique capability to have Alternative Home Pages. These pages take the place of the home page for a certain visitor. Somebody browsing into an auto repair shop with a search for Toyota might find a home page filled with how wonderful the shop is for Toyotas, and somebody who landed via a search for Fords might find a different page. 

What makes these pages be "alternative home pages" is that they take the place of the home page. For the duration of that visitor's sesson, every time they go to "home" they get their particular alternative home page. The alternative home page will take the place of the standard home page in the menu and will share the same children pages.

Once an alternative home page is chosen for a session, that page is locked throughout the session. If a visitor were to  close their browser and return to the site, they may encounter a different home page option.

 

To have several versions of your Home page may be strategically valuable to a business or organization.  Alternate home pages may be used to deliver different or specialized messages. Also, they can be used to test the effectiveness of one page over another in converting your site guest into doing a specific action on your site. For example, submitting their email or clicking to read more.

Alternate Home page may also qualify you for more search hits. They are a great SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tool because you can have N home pages each filled with different search bait

Note: When working with alternative home pages, it is best to try multiple versions and track the effectiveness of each page with the HotDoodle site log. After the analytics have been studied, only then will you know which page is the best for use.


Where to Put Alternative Home Pages

Any page used as an alternative home page must be a direct or indirect child of the home page and visible to not logged in users, but you typically will not want the page to be seen in a visitors normal menu. The technique most commonly used  is

  • Make a page under Home called [Alternative Home Pages]
  • Edit this page's properties and make it be yes to "Allow Public Access" and no to "Show in Menu".  This makes the page visible to the public, but the public will never see it in the menus and will probably not find it.
  • Create the alternative home pages as sub pages of this page. Leave their permissions as the normal values -- yes to "Allow Public Access" and yes to "Show in Menu".
  • In the advanced fields select "In Default Rotation" or "Becomes home page if ever visited"

Site owners will be able to view the real home page and alternative home pages once in edit mode.


Alternative Pages in the Default Rotation

What message works best for you?  You probably do not know, so it is best to have more than one home page and to see over time which one works best. HotDoodle allows a page to be marked as "In Default Rotation" where it will be randomly used as the home page.  Once it starts getting used for a particular session it stays in use, so if that visitor clicks a link to take them back to the home page they get the alternative home page instead.

When an Alternative Home Page has the "in Default Rotation" flag set, the page will be automaticcally at random instead of the real home page for general guests.

To have several versions of your Home page may be strategically valuable to a business or organization.  They can be used to test the effectiveness of one page over another in converting your site guest into doing a specific action on your site. For example, submitting their email or clicking to read more.

Note: When working with alternative home pages, it is best to try multiple versions and track the effectiveness of each page with the HotDoodle site log. After the analytics have been studied, only then will you know which page is the best for use.


Alternative Pages Not in the Default Rotation

HotDoodle supports the capability of "sticky" pages. These are alternative home pages whose "Becomes Home Page If Ever Visited" property is checked. If such a page is ever landed upon (such as by searches or links you distribute in campaigns), it will become the home page for that session. This is beneficial when a person is conducting a marketing campaign of some sort and a guest finds the promotion in a search or advertised link.

These pages differ from rotating alternate home pages because they are not in the default rotation. Sticky pages must be entered through a specific journey or actively sought out.

Sticky pages may qualify you for more search hits. They are a great SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tool because you can have N home pages each filled with different search bait.

If you do things right and are lucky, you may be able to win normal searches and not need to use pricy campaigns. Suppose for the Hotdoodle.com main site we had a variant of the home page that promoted how suitable we are for chamber of commerce connection clubs. This is a very interesting message to a few people, but because it is not at all interesting to most people we would not want this to be our home page for most visitors. We can make a page that talks all about what we do for chamber of commerce connection clubs and we might be able to get normal searches to land on this page. That's cool, but when these visitors go to the home page they see the generic home page shown to everybody else.  Making the page be a sticky page means that those that landed on the connection club page would see that page whenever they went to the home page.


Force the selection of a particular home page

To force a selection of a particular home page (such as the link in a Google campaign), use cefine the url or link to - ?home=[sectionnumber]

Ex. http://your-site-name?home=wedding_planner

You can do this in links used for specialized campaigns and promotions. It will allow visitors to see specified alternative home pages.

To force a new random draw of a home page, visit ?home=0

To have a link that always goes to the current home page, no matter what alternative it may be, use ?section=Home

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