Your home page is how you greet people to your site, and just like the front door of a house, your home page can invite people to enter, or suggest that they keep moving on.
Unwelcoming home pages can happen even if you have the very best of intentions in mind. What turns people “on” or “off” a website can often be beyond your control (maybe they just don’t like the colours you chose), but there are several factors you CAN control in order to have the best chance of enticing someone to your doorstep and keeping them there for awhile.
1) Your Home Page Should Clearly Articulate Who You Are and What You Do.
Never assume that people know or understand your business simply because of its name. People search the web for information; so just stating you are “Health Food Specialists” isn’t enough. The more relevant material you can incorporate into your site the better, and that means the home page as well. Often an unassuming (but well-worded) Business or Mission Statement featured prominently on the home page is all that is needed to clarify your objectives. Let them know why they should choose you right off the bat.
2) Be Businesslike.
If your home page looks like TSN’s but you’re trying to sell engine parts, you’re probably on the wrong track. Streamline and gear your home page to your selected target audience and spread your images, graphics and videos around the rest of the site.
3) Create a Call to Action.
A Call to Action is a gentle nudge to direct the user to a secondary step. Common examples include “Get a Free Quote” or “Sign Up Here”. These sorts of initiatives not only promote the user to browse further, they also start them on the road towards becoming an actual customer.
4) Foster a Community.
Your online community is your future (and past) customer base. Your goal should be to keep drawing these people back to your site because you provide good information, solid tips and great promotions. But you also want to know who those people are and get to know them better. Make sure your social media buttons are featured prominently on your home page and use their membership plus results from Calls to Action to maintain a database of prospects. With each visit, download, Facebook “Like” and Twitter “Follow” you develop a new marketing lead.
5) Avoid Crowding and Keep Changing.
Less is generally more when it comes to home pages. Don’t overcrowd, instead lead to different pages. A clean design also assists in mobile optimization, which is an absolute must in today’s world of smart phones and tablets. And if applicable to your business, a great tactic is to constantly update your home page according to changing trends. Several in the mortgage and insurance businesses post lending rates daily – a useful way to keep content current and add value to your site.