Last Updated: May 12, 2021
Typically, the home page of a website serves as the most significant landing page for both new and returning visitors. Essentially, this single page creates an overall impression of your company in a matter of seconds. If your home page does not both impress and spark the interest of the user, they will typically leave your website rather than checking out any subpages.
So, if your home page is so important, what exactly should it do?
Text-based content alone can be dull, boring, and potentially overwhelming. At the same time, audio can be obtrusive, especially if your clients are in the corporate world. Instead, engaging visual elements are an excellent way to create interest in your company with a level of creativity.
Some examples of visual elements that can be used:
The following is an example of an animated slideshow on one of our client websites.
After you have successfully captured the visitor's attention, the home page should inform in a quick and concise manner what your company offers. This should typically be done in 2-3 short paragraphs. In some cases, the visual attention element can begin this process by briefly introducing keywords describing your product or service offering.
Note that we are not prescribing that your home page only have 2-3 paragraphs of text total. On the contrary, search engines typically require far more text content to understand what your company offers and who your target market is. That said, it’s critical to make your website’s content easy to skim and the content near the top of the page should concisely educate the customer on your offerings.
It can be beneficial to establish your credibility by briefly mentioning accolades, client reviews, years of experience, or media coverage. Note that you do not want to mention every single element, but rather put your strongest foot forward and save the rest for the other pages of the website.
For a few examples of effective home pages, check out the following:
The final element is to provide guidance on where the user should visit next. The site must have a clear, easy and understandable navigation (website menu) to use. However, when a first-time visitor comes to your website, it is often smart to highlight particular elements for them to check out. Consider highlighting the company's complete service offering, feature products to purchase online (if e-commerce), portfolio, latest blog posts, free estimate form, or customer reviews. Whichever calls-to-action you choose, must have a clear link or button so that the user can both see and take action on your guidance. For example, on NextGen Wealth’s website, they direct newcomers to start with the retirement readiness quiz. Directing the user is a critical element to ultimately convert the visitor into a customer.
If you have all three elements incorporated from above, that is a great start, but you are not done yet! Once you have your home page’s content and calls-to-action structured well, you should next address performance.
Since most companies give their home page the most attention as it relates to design and functionality, it is very easy for the home page to load slower than interior pages. For example, beautiful eye-catching slideshows tend to load more resources due to large image file sizes. However, research studies conducted by Google show that the speed of your website has a direct impact on purchases and revenue. As a result, it is critically important that your home page is optimized for speed! You can consider addressing the speed of your website in the following three ways:
Once your home page’s content and speed are optimized for visitors, you should turn your attention to Search Engine Optimization (SEO). After all, what good is a great home page if it cannot be found on search engines by potential customers?
If you are looking for professional SEO help, certainly reach out to us. On the other hand, if you are a do-it-yourselfer and simply need a bit of extra help getting started with DIY Search Engine Optimization, we would encourage you to check out great SEO audit and reporting tools by BrightLocal and SEMrush’s suite of PPC and SEO tools. Either of the above tools can help you evaluate your business’ search engine rankings and give you an idea of what you should start improving for the sake of SEO.
Even if you think you have an awesome home page, we encourage you to give it another look. We believe that the three main purposes described in this post should be the core of every successful home page. Do not forget that once you have your home page’s content and calls-to-action carefully crafted, you should also focus on the home page’s speed, user experience, and discoverability in search engines.
As always, if you are looking for a professional website designer to help you revamp your website, do not hesitate to contact our team of web developers.
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