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Rethinking the company homepage

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If you’re a small business, the first thing you do to set up your marketing and branding is register a domain, and then you create a homepage. But what if this model is outdated?

John Brandon, contributing editor, Inc., spoke with NowThis, which creates videos for brands and feeds them to social media en masse, at a conference recently to discuss if the homepage is dead.

“The reason NowThis doesn’t emphasize its homepage is that it doesn’t really need people to go to NowThis.com. The goal is to watch the videos,” Brandon says. The company’s page is a collection of social media campaigns and videos for Face­­book and Snapchat. “If a million people watch the videos on Facebook, that’s a win. That drives NowThis’s business. If a million people visit its homepage, that’s not newsworthy,” he adds.

“A homepage is ‘home’ base for email though, right? Not anymore. If you start a new company, you can register the domain and use an email address, and then just put your logo there and a smiley face and hardly anyone will notice,” Brandon notes.

If your goal is to sell something, do you need people to go to your home­­page? Do you need a home­­page? Ama­­zon may be the only place you need people to go. If you are a legal or insurance firm, the goal is to attract new clients. Increasingly, that’s something you do using Facebook.

But does a homepage give your company credibility? Not necessarily. You probably look more for a social media presence. Even Amazon doesn’t need a homepage anymore. People buy by searching for a product and then go directly to Amazon. No need to go to a home­­page.

“There is a new Web, and it’s the Web of social media and links, not the Web of domains and dot.coms. At some point, we either accept this new reality and figure out how to make it work with online searches, ads, marketing and video feeds or just sit and listen to crickets chirping when no one types in the domain anymore,” Brandon adds.

— Adapted from Say Goodbye to Your Company Homepage," John Brandon, Inc.com.

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