What makes a great website home page? Ask 10 people and get 10 different answers.
As I talk with businesses, I often find that what they THINK should be on the home page and WHAT ACTUALLY SHOULD BE are two very different things!
In this episode, I break down 7 keys for a high impact website home page.
Let’s dive in!!
The goal of the home page really is quite simple. It’s to get them to the next page in your website!
Really, keep it simple.
Allow them to see how you can solve their problem and direct them to where they can learn more. Period.
If someone comes to your home page and leaves, you’ve failed. Getting them to a second page means you’ve gotten them interested and they are ready to dig in further. Without this, it means they’ve glanced and moved on, and it’s much harder to get them to come back a second time!
The web is cluttered with information and people are busy. Therefore you have little time and you need to make the most of it. You have that one chance to make a great first impression! The issue is that far to many website home pages are failing and here are 7 keys to overcome this....
Too much copy kills your home page.
Your home page is not the place to outline every service you offer! As I noted, people are busy and they are skimming. Lines of text that you think are glamorous and explain all that you do simply blur together into a mass of letters to the skimming eye! Businesses must really boil it down on the home page and keep it simple.
Too much "We are... We can.... " kills momentum.
People need to know if you've got an answer to their problem. Jay Baer, a noted author and digital media consultant outlines in his book, Youtility, that people are on the web for generally only two reasons. Either to solve a problem or to be entertained. They use social media for entertainment so they are coming to your website to see if you can solve their problem. The solution, therefore, is to answer how you solve the problem they have. It’s not about you, your products or services, but about them.
A great home page outlines the problems your company solves.
Flash animation kills page views.
Animation that requires the browser to have and use the Adobe flash player download to perform animation and a sequential series of images fading in and out is not helpful. Why? Many devices like Apple products including iPhones and iPads do not support flash and therefore visitors on those devices typically get a blank screen or blank area, or worse yet a big red “x”.
Again, too much animation is too many moving parts. Keep it simple.
You’ve got about 3-4 seconds to capture the attention of the visitor and communicate to them that you can help them with what they need.
Too many points of interest kills focus. People just see a forest then and can't pick out a specific tree.
Loads of navigation buttons, competing images, and paragraphs of text all serve to cause viewers to glaze over! Again, people are moving fast on the web and you have precious seconds to capture their attention and communicate to them.
Give them your one best thing, not the top eight categories and also the five sub-categories you offer because they’ll see only one or maybe two of those items before they move on!
Clutter, rainbow arrays of colors and weird fonts kills the first impression.
Have you noticed a theme? Less is more. They have a problem, you need to share how you solve it.
Fancy fonts can be hard to decipher and even worse to discern on mobile devices. As well, dark backgrounds with lots of small white text are great if you are in a dark room and have a magnifying glass but that’s not your everyday web visitor!
What’s the default background in Microsoft Word? White, with a simple font. That’s done for a reason.
No mobile solution kills mobile user experience.
With mobile traffic growing by leaps and bounds, and stats showing that over 50% of local searches are being done by mobile, it's time to ensure you provide a slick mobile experience! First impressions are critical and if you're site bombs for a mobile user, you have bombed.
There simply is no excuse with all the options available for mobile and responsive to have a site that works well for the mobile user.
What is a responsive site? A site that "responds" or adjusts to the device the visitor is on. If the site data from the browser reveals a tablet, the site adjust to optimize the view and experience for a tablet user. If a mobile is detected, it moves to a mobile friendly version.
My site is responsive so go ahead and test it out on your computer, tablet, and mobile to see what I'm talking about!
No incentive to have them sign-up for your email lists means your site is a lead killer.
There should be a clear call-out invite with an incentive. Without an incentive like a coupon, ebook download, or other helpful resource, you are asking for too much.
Give them something to get something, their email address!
This is moving them from visitor to lead! I use Magic Action Box and also Pippity. Optin Monster is another good option for a lead capture box.
It can be on the site or appear at a certain point such as after 6 seconds or if the mouse scrolls down or moves to leave the browser tab. Think this through to ensure your incentive fits and helps you get qualified leads! A/B testing is often helpful to see what works! I could go on with a few more points but I’ll bring it to a close to allow you to reflect on your site in relation to these key points. Take a fresh look at your company and competitor websites soon and see how things rate.
What’s your next doable action step you should take? Do something in the next 24 hours and let me know what you do!
Any questions? Post below!
The Halftime Mike podcast is a show designed to help busy owners and marketers learn doable ways to grow leads and leverage online.
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I’m a Indiana Hoosier native where basketball is the top sport. Every team heads to the locker room at halftime to evaluate the first half and create a updated plan for the second half. That plan includes adjustments based on reviewing what worked and what didn’t. The “halftime” is a key review point where the game stops, the team pulls away to huddle in the locker room away from the fans, and they come out prepared and ready to succeed in the second half. That’s what this podcast is all about, taking the time to pull away for bit to evaluate, learn, and set some strategies for your business to succeed in the second half.
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