It’s a common misconception that the only way to enter a website is through the homepage. I’m afraid that’s not true any more.
It’s a strange thing to get your head around. Websites aren’t like houses, where visitors can only come in through the front door; it’s via any opening that is available (windows, chimneys, ventilation shafts…) and this process is accomplished through links.
I have said before that links are like portals to your website. The more links you have, the more visitors (and search engine spiders) you will get visiting (or crawling through) your site. This is a good thing, especially if you want to increase your visitor rate, but you must be careful to encourage the right kind of visitor.
Another method of web-attraction is through keywords. If you are able to use the correct keyword that matches what people are asking in the search engines (and there are websites that will tell you which keywords are ‘hot’ or not), you have a much better chance of attracting the right kind of visitor. This is how visitors enter your website through any other aperture that isn’t your homepage.
If the keyword on a specific web-page matches a search engine request, the visitor will be sent to that page. They will not be sent via the homepage, as that doesn’t have those keywords on it. This direct response is much more satisfactory for the searcher.
This means the web-page must perform like a mini-homepage for its particular subject. It must be carefully optimised (written with the relevant keywords) without assuming the visitor has approached it through the ‘normal’ route (via the homepage). There is nothing more frustrating that landing on a web-page that isn’t relevant to your search, or designed to enable the visitor to understand its purpose.