When setting up your website your homepage is usually the the most viewed page on your site. This is a good place to start when providing information and where you make your first impressions on your potential customer.
Tips to a Winning Home Page
Your website is where you need to pay attention to ‘conversion’ which means you want your visitors to take some sort of action that will benefit your business.
Make certain it is clear what you do at your business and be clear about your service or product. What are you selling?
Use simple language for your descriptors and use highly responsive words like “SALE” or “FREE” if applicable.
If you sell clothing – don’t show a car. It will confuse your message.
Maybe you’ve been in the neighbourhood for 20 years but believe it or not, not everyone is familiar with you. Use images that will catch the attention of your visitor and are congruent with your business, and any actions you want them to take.
Be clear on the direction you want them to take from the home page. If you are a clothing shop perhaps buttons that state “Click here for Women’s Fashion” and another “Click here for Men’s Fashion” Big, bright, bold, and brazen. No question to their purpose.
Be certain too, that when a person does take action, they end up where you promised they would.
Be Mobile Friendly
Mobile devices are being used for local search today at the rate of more than 4 : 1. If you don’t have a responsive website or landing page you are likely losing to your competition if they do. On top of that the SE’s probably won’t show your site in the results.
The small screen of the iPhone, Android and other mobile devices don’t make it easy for a regular website to be seen. This frustration usually is a big turn off to your visitors.
Above the Fold
This is an old phrase from the newspaper world. Meaning that the top part of the paper had the greatest value. This was where the most important headline and image was put.
In internet speak, it means – whatever shows up on the screen without scrolling down. Make certain the most important pieces of information, and most compelling calls to action appear “above the fold”
People will decide to stay on your website, or click away within seconds. Give them a reason to stay.
Home Page Call to Action
Don’t be shy. Big letters, colourful buttons, arrows, ribbons, clear graphics. What do you want them to do?
Buy now, call us, Sign up.
Your home page doesn’t need to be witty or pithy. You don’t need to come off as a rocket scientist – if you aren’t one. Don’t worry about trying to compete with huge conglomerates either. For starters – many of them don’t have it right either.
What’s so Good about YOU?
Answer the question “why should people buy from you and not your competitor?”.
Best guarantee in town? Offer senior and student discounts? Full service after purchase maintenance?
What makes you different? Tell your visitors.
Interrupt and Disrupt
Having everything neat and polite on your home page might be pretty and symmetrical, but it’s boring too. Get their attention immediately so they follow your direction.
Have a spot where you can begin your testimonials.
Mary Jones says “I shop here every week and these guys are the best in town, I wouldn’t think of going any place else for this service.”
Make sure your home page has a place where people can connect with your social circles. Encourage visitors to join your groups on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter etc. By connecting through your other networks you increase the methods by which you can communicate with your customer and stay in front of them.
For the search engines to know what your home page is about it is important to ensure you use the correct tags. Your main title is h1 second h2 and so on. The way you link and the anchor text you use will also tell the search engines what your page is about so you will be listed in Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc under the correct keywords. This is all part of whats called SEO of your website.
This is just a short list of some of the things to consider when designing a home page for your business website. Much of the design will depend heavily on the industry specifics and your individual business needs.