Most often, people will land on your homepage more than other pages in your website so there are a few key things that you absolutely must have on your homepage to help your visitors find their way around your website quickly and easily and to stop them from leaving too fast.
If you don’t have the right information on your homepage, it can be hard for visitors to work out what you’re all about. If they can’t find a reason to stay, they’ll leave, and that results in a bounce. Read more on bounce rates in a previous article.
You also need to have the right amount of detail – to much or too little can also result in a bounce.
Too much and your visitor not only has a lot to get through but if all the information they need is on the first page they view, they have no reason to click to another page and they leave. Giving you another bounce.
Too little and your visitor can’t find anything that sparks their interest so they leave, unsatisfied, resulting in,… yep,… you guessed it, another bounce.
So, what exactly do you need to have?
This should be a brief line or 2 about what your business is and does. Think of it as your introductory copy or headline. It should be clear the instance someone lands on your website, that it’s what they’re looking for.
This should be about why someone would need your services and it helps to establish client qualification. Are you able to fix a particular problem or issue that others can’t? What singles you out over others.
Don’t feel tempted to put team photos in at this point (an overall group photo is okay). It should be enough to prove your experience, credentials and expertise.
Adding a location on your homepage can be really useful as this also help ‘qualify’ leads. For instance, visitors to your website in Scotland could get annoyed if it takes them several clicks to various pages before they find out that they’re too far away to use your services. OR, if you’re offering services across the UK, or are offering products and services online, make it clear here so people aren’t turned away too early.
This is where the ‘call to action’ (CTA) comes. It’s whatever you really want people to do. It might just be a simple link for more information (takes them to another page), or a button to ‘book now’ or to sign up to your email list. It could simply take the user to an enquiry form. Whatever it is, it needs to be super clear, simple and a natural next step for the visitor to take based on what they’ve already seen on the rest of the page.
So, there you have it. A whistle stop tour of content for a good homepage experience. Things start to get a little more complicated when you understand that more pages than just the homepage can be a visitors destination when they first land on your website. Then, you need to think about elements on those specific pages that will also lead your visitor to other pages on your site. But that’s for another day.