In the early days of online marketing, it was not uncommon for the home page to be the only page of a website. Today, most business websites are much more complex, with layers of information. As developers work on adding new pages and deeper levels to a website, it is all too common for the home page to be left as is - just there - without a clearly defined purpose.
Your home page should be your welcome center - guiding visitors and directing them to what they need.
There are many ways to make your home page feel like a welcome center that inspires confidence in your visitors. Done right, your home page will not only guide your visitors in finding what they want, it will also encourage visitors to go where you want them to go. These areas might include the contact page, quote request form, shopping cart or subscriber sign up page.
The following are seven ideas you can use to make your home page more productive:
- IDENTIFY YOURSELF
Your home page should efficiently communicate the purpose of your website. Using vague messaging and teaser-type lines may seem clever, but it is unlikely that the visitor wants to put much time or effort into figuring out who you are and what you are trying to do.
- CLEAR MENU
While it is pretty obvious that your home page needs a menu to reach sub-level pages, your menu titles may not be as clear as you think they are. You may have an "Information" tab that leads to downloadable PDF data sheets for your products. Label that tab "Downloads" of "Data Sheets." Be specific with tab labels so visitors know what they are getting.
- ENGAGING IMAGES
A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Compelling pictures help to convey your marketing message. Images of your products, services, customers, and the environments in which your products are used can be very compelling and communicative. Slider images can be used to spotlight important sub-navigational pages you want to feature.
- LANDING PAGES
Do you offer a wide range of products or services? Don't try to list or link to them all on the home page. Organize offerings with category landing pages. Depending on the number of products you offer, deeper menu navigation can be provided on those pages. Home page real estate can be used to promote specific products with a "featured item" or "product of the month."
In the days of old, sales people were reminded to "ask for the sale." The idea was to never wait for the buyer to take action, always lead the buyer to it. The same is true for your website. Even though a link to your shopping page is right there in your main menu, don't trust your visitors will find it. Entice them with a Call-to-Action. Create an attractive, eye-catching "Shop Now" button.
- CONTACT OPTION
Reinforce the concept that you can provide exactly what the buyer needs. Provide a clear link to your contact page. Not only is this a great feature for returning visitors, it demonstrates that you are available to your customers to meet their needs.
Today, most people have one or more mobile devices in addition to, or in place of, a desktop system. That means that visitors are seeing your website on a wide variety of screen-types. Make sure your buyers see your site as you want them to see it - not with type that is too small to read, missing information, or a jumbled layout that doesn't make sense. Responsive design makes it simple to have a consistent look for your site on any device.
Need assistance with your home page? Contact the Upright Team!