The homepage is often the most important page for a business’s website.
When people are referred to your business, they often directly type in the URL to the homepage.
Or they may type your name into Google and click to your homepage that way. Or maybe they discover you via social media and click through to your homepage that way.
Or perhaps they see one of your ads and click on your homepage link. Or maybe they search for a general term that your company ranks well for and they click through to your homepage that way.
Or maybe they find one of your blog posts and after reading they click over to your homepage to see what you’re all about.
The bottom line: your homepage is important.
But if you visit enough homepages, you’ll often find that many are confusing. It can often be difficult to figure out what a business does. What service they provide. What products they sell. Where they are located. How long they have been in business. What the price is for their service or product. And more.
The concept of a homepage is simple, tell people what you do, who you are and why they should consider doing business with you. But it’s not always easy to create an effective homepage. It’s not always easy to write about yourself in a way that makes sense to someone that has never heard about you.
Often, a homepage needs many iterations. It’s good to never think of the page as “done”.
Let’s say you want to update the content on your homepage. Here are a few tips to help make the improvements.
1. The First Heading First Impression
Through most entrances to your website, a visitor is expecting to see who you are and what you do or can offer to do for them. It’s like walking into a store, you see the logo sign above the door and when you walk in you expect to see the product or service you’ve heard about.
Walk into Walmart, you see their sign above the door and as soon as you’re in you see a collection of household products. If you walk into a grocery store, you see the logo above and food as you walk in.
A website is very similar.
You want your name and logo somewhere common. Usually at the top left. Then you want to show your product or service. Either with an image, video or most commonly, a short description.
Someone going to Dell would expect to see computer options. That’s exactly what you see: their logo at the top left and the first two options are to their laptop and desktop collections.
Don’t complicate your heading. Avoid confusing taglines. Just state what you do. Or show it. That’s what customers are their for.
2. The Pricing Question
Pricing is one of the first things customers are interested in. It’s different for most businesses, but I recommend putting pricing on the homepage if possible. Customers want to know. Why waste their time and yours? Just show it to them. If it becomes an issue you can always change it back, but most people that do it will find benefits. Customers that make it past this point are well qualified to buy. And they are unlikely to want refunds based on pricing.
See if there is a way to show some kind of price on your homepage. I understand the hesitation, but the benefits are great.
3. Who Are You
I like to show a little about the company on the homepage. But not too much.
The About page on a website is important. For many small businesses it’s a very important page. Sometimes the one of the most visited on the entire site. People want to see where you are, what your history is and who the people are behind the brand. This all belongs on your About page.
On your homepage, I like to include an overview of who you are and then include a link to the About page where more information is located. It doesn’t have to be high on the homepage, but it can be. It doesn’t have to be a big call to action, but you want a noticeable link.
4. Product & Services
Many small businesses have one product. Or one main product. The homepage is a great place to discuss that product. It can act like your product page. People are there to mostly learn about what you’re selling and how it can benefit them. It’s not really necessary to have them visit your homepage and then click to another page to learn more about the product.
If you have multiple products, it’s good to give a little overview on the homepage and then have links to more detailed pages for each. That’s what Dell is doing. Apple does the same thing. So do many businesses.
Most small businesses, though, can probably show their top product and provide more info and then offer lesser info on secondary products.
Go through your sales process. The one you use when selling in person or on the phone or via email. Think about the process and how you describe your product. The same flow and information should be on your website with much of it on your homepage, in the correct order.
Your website is your online salesperson. The homepage is one of the first steps in the process and works to sell the person on your main product.
5. Social Proof
For small businesses, it’s good to show some social proof. Most people don’t need testimonials to go into a Walmart and buy something. They have built a reputation for decades. But small businesses often need to provide a little social proof. Most people want to see that others have tried you out. It gives them a little more ease if they decide to try you out.
Testimonials are good. You can link to more extensive case studies. Mentions in respected publications are good. Links to online reviews are good. Badges that you’ve won industry awards are good to include. Anything that shows that other people have done business with you is a good thing for a homepage.
6. The Main Call To Action
I like to have one main call to action on a page like the homepage. Most businesses have one top priority. It’s why Dell puts laptops first. It’s why Apple puts their latest iPhone first. Those are the main calls to action.
The more things start looking the same, as far as importance, the more people start to question what they should be choosing. They want you to tell them what is important. They can make the ultimate decision on their own, but they really do want some guidance.
7. Secondary Links
Secondary links are good. Most businesses have a top or main navigation. Links to the main pages on their site. They also have similar secondary links in the footer. Other sources of information that some people are looking for. This way they can find them relatively easy if they want to.
The bottom line is that you want to identify your priority of items for your homepage. Make sure there is a main call to action. Then keep everything else secondary.
Your homepage is important. There are simple concepts for creating good homepage content. And feel at ease knowing that you will have to change and tweak it over time. The content changes as you learn more about yourself and your customers. It also changes as your products and services change. Make time each year, at least, to assess the content on your homepage. Make adjustments. It’ll improve over time and so will your conversion.