As a general rule, your Home page is the first thing that most people will see of your website.
But (and this is a really big ‘but’) I want you to think of it like the front door of your house. You don’t want to leave people standing there!
The idea is to invite your visitors in so they can explore your website and find out more. So, use it to encourage them to click buttons and go somewhere else – either to learn more about you, to look at your products or to read your blogs.
Make your home page easy
If you were standing in front of a door where you couldn’t find the doorbell, or the lock or the handle, would you bother to try and get in?
Probably not – so don’t make your home page hard to navigate. Some of that relates to the technical things I said I wouldn’t be covering (mobile friendly sites, for example) but most of it comes down to arranging your content in such a way as to make it possible for someone to find what they are looking for as quickly as possible.
So, right at the very top of your home page, have a single, compelling sentence which describes who your website is for – in 20 words or less. That way, your ideal customer will know to stick around and you won’t waste anyone else’s time.
‘How we can help,’ not ‘Here’s what we do’
Your home page is not the place for lots of technical details or long explanations. In fact, keeping it short is really worthwhile – with an inviting message that takes people to another page (think of it as inviting them over the threshold).
It is also not where you put much about what you do as a business. Your visitors aren’t nearly as interested in the fact that you provide ‘stuff’ or make ‘widgets’ or have a team of 50 people. They want to know how you can help them.
Focus, instead, on the outcome to give to your visitor. Talk to them and what is on their mind. In fact, if you structure your home page like a really good 60-second networking pitch you won’t go far wrong. Better still make a video of your 60-second pitch and add it to the home page. You want them to read your home page and think to themselves, “Oh yes, this is a good match for me. I want to take the next step.”
Ask ‘Where next?’
Finally, as you create your home page keep one question in your mind: “What do I want a visitor to my home page to do?” This is really important to have in your mind, because that is what you put on every button on your home page.
- If you want them to buy something, the button reads “Browse my online shop.”
- If you want them to give you a call, the button reads “Arrange a call with us today.”
- If you want them to consume more of your content, the button reads “Take a look at my blog.”
See what I mean? The button (used liberally down the page) is the key to your front door. You are making it really clear what your visitor has to do in order to come in and be made to feel at home. And that’s what you want!
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