Many search engine optimization efforts are focused on pushing the home page of a site. This is a fundamental mistake that can result in the site missing out on a lot of traffic.
In nearly every case, a site should be designed to draw traffic through both the home page and various internal pages. Home pages, obviously, can be tailored to the primary keyword phrases you are seeking, but don't forget the minor pages.
I always find it odd when people ask which keyword phrase they should try to optimize for on their site. They become a bit flummoxed when I tell them to optimize for all of them. The only question is which keywords should appear on which pages.
For example, the site NomadJournals.com sells writing journals for outdoor activities such as fly fishing, traveling, hiking, bird watching and so on. So, which of these subjects should be used as the keyword phrase for the home page? None! Instead, the generic term "writing journals" was chosen. But what about the specific journal subjects?
The individual pages on the site promoting each journal are optimized for the specific product. The fly fishing journal page is optimized for fly fishing keywords, the travel page for travel keywords and so on. The end result of this is the home page is appearing high in "writing journals" search results, while each of the internal journal pages are also appearing high.
This can often lead to an interesting visitor situation. As you review your server stats, you may start noting a majority of your traffic is coming in through internal site pages, not the home page. In the above Nomad Journals scenario, the travel journal page far outdraws the home page, which makes for a nice revenue increase.
The home page of a site is critical in a search engine optimization campaign. Just keep in mind it isn't the only page that can draw free traffic and revenues to your site.