In a technical sense, your homepage is the front page of your website. It is the page that people land on when they type in your URL, or find your business through a search engine.
But your homepage is so much more than that, it is actually your first chance to impress your website visitor. You want to entice them so much by that first page that they click further through your website to the next step. That might be to find out more about your business, read your blog, or visit your store.
When you have the opportunity to direct your traffic, you would send them to a specific landing page. But, people land on your homepage when you haven’t had the chance to direct your traffic so it needs to provide couple of functions – a landing page, an introduction and an invitation to delve deeper.
There are some critical aspects to include on your homepage, and they are…
What Your Business Is About
This might be the first time your visitor has heard of your business, they don’t know what you do, or what you stand for. You need to use your homepage to tell them these things.
Think of it as a first introduction to a stranger. You will only have a couple of seconds to get your message across and entice them to stay. So you need to use your attention grabbing elevator pitch and make them realise they need your business.
Why They Need You
Let your visitors know how you can make their life better by solving a very real problem that they have. Maybe they need a fantastic lunch box that will encourage their kids eat healthier, maybe they need a new website that converts, or maybe they need to grow their income.
Let them know that you are the solution to their problem.
As I have said, people may not know who you are when they first view your homepage. You have an opportunity to introduce your unique selling point – your personality. No one else can do what you do, the way you do it. Show your visitors a bit of who you are and how they can relate to you.
Your homepage is not a place for screeds and screeds of text. You are more likely to scare your visitors away, than entice them to stay if they have to do too much reading.
That’s why it is important to only include key information about your business on your homepage. Don’t waffle, be concise and to the point, but don’t be blunt. Try and strike that balance between saying what you need to, but still giving a sense of your business.
You can have the cleverest copy in the world but no one will read it if it isn’t accompanied by some amazing images. They say a picture tells a thousand words, so make sure yours tell the right story about your business.
The words of happy customers are so much more powerful than anything that you can say about your business yourself. Having a couple of client testimonials that display how your business took them from overwhelm to solution will build instant trust and respect from your homepage visitor.
An Opt-in Or Sign-up Box
People are not always ready to buy your products or services when they land on your website for the first time. Therefore you need to have a place to capture their email address, so you can remain in touch with them.
You can include a freebie download to entice them, invite them to join a challenge or a webinar, ask them to sign up to your newsletter, or give them a discount code in exchange for their email.
By joining your database, you can then send them regular newsletters full of value that will allow you to build trust with them. Then, when they are ready to buy, your business will be the first one that they think of.
A Call To Action
Don’t leave your visitors wondering what to do after they have read your homepage content. Give them a logical next step to complete, whether it is to check out a blog post, follow you on social media, join your mailing list, or look at a featured product.
They are not mind readers, you will need to tell them what to do.
So there you have it, the critical elements of a home page. Does yours have these elements? If not, it might be time to tweak it.
Did you catch the first blog in my series on web copy? If not head over and read How To Write Great Web Copy.