We’ve moved well beyond the “welcome to my website” version of home pages. Users expect more. By following home page best practices you make clear what people can find on your website. It should focus on your unique selling point. And, it should guide your visitors to your most important pages.
Make Clear Who You Are, What You Do
Be sure to clearly state who you are and what you do. If you have a local service area, make that clear, too. You need to accomplish all that in a few scannable words.
If visitors land on your site and they can’t tell what you do and where you do it, they move on.
Make sure your home page answers these common questions:
- What is your main product or service?
- What can be found on your products and on your company itself on the website?
- What is the main benefit for the visitor?
Highlight Your Value
There is a lot of information online. What makes you the right service for someone. Make this very clear.
It is not easy to be absolutely clear about what your company brings the customer, but it is essential if you want to convert a website hit to a lead or customer. Make sure your introductory content is about the key benefits you offer.
Don’t be vague or use buzzwords or hyperbole. Do be memorable and stand out. Offer easy to understand content that flows the visitor to where they want to be.
Make sure that your site comes across as trustworthy. Visitors want to know that you aren’t just trying to get them to subscribe to something they don’t want or give up personal information. Make your reputation and value clear. Testimonials, reviews, and client lists all help.
Offer Simple and Clear Navigation
Helping visitors get to the information they need is also essential. Make sure your navigation is easy to find and offers clear choices. Use the words your customer uses, not internal jargon for navigation labels.
Less is more when it comes to navigation. A general rule of thumb is no more than 7 options.
Guide the Visitor
Another purpose of your homepage is to guide your visitor to your best content and the items you know are most important to them. Here are some elements to use to help guide visitors.
- A hero image is a large banner image, prominently placed on a web page, generally in the front and center. It often has a core message or offering and links to more information.
- Sliders are similar but are a series of messages, and often links. These are harder for users, so they aren’t a great choice for all home pages.
- Product and service call outs can offer brief explanations with links to more information.
- Call to action buttons stand out from text with their often colored backgrounds and help users get to information with just a few words and a click.
Help People Connect
Contact information is also very valuable. Many sites offer this in the footer of the page so it is available at every page of the website. Let people call and email, give them the name of the person who they can connect with.
Make sure your home page is focused on the top one or two things visitors need. Help them get to your best information and services quickly and easily.