local_business_preview@2xThe homepage is a special page. It’s where most people land when they’re specifically looking for you or your business. It’s different from any other landing page for that reason. Unlike a carefully crafted landing page designed to pull people in using specific search terms, the homepage is found by people already interested in seeking you out.

Essentially, this means your homepage is a sales page for people most likely to want to be your customers. You need to get it right!

The Basics

You need to make a great first impression and you need to do it fast. If people don’t feel they’re in the right place in just a couple of seconds, studies show they’re going to leave quickly, much before you have a chance to convince them to do otherwise.

If you sell doohickies, doohickies better be the first thing people see when they land on the homepage. If they arrived thanks some other marketing material, the branding better be immediately identifiable.

The homepage is also the hub of your website. If someone lands on your website’s homepage, chances are they are looking to be redirected immediately and without confusion to somewhere else on the website with the specific information they’re looking for. Make your menus clear and simple. If you have to take a moment to look for them, you’re doing it wrong. If you have to click more that twice to find a page, you’ve just lost a customer.

Menus should be so easy to find it’s like second nature. Finding what you want in them shouldn’t take more than 2 clicks of the mouse.

If many of the visitors to a website’s homepage are people who’ve arrived there after searching for your business directly, what do you think they’ll be looking for next? Studies show, it’s contact info. And as studies show, most websites hide this information behind menu clicks. If your business relies on getting customer to call or email you, get that information out on the homepage for all to see.

If you want clients to contact you, consider giving them the means to actually do so! Add your contact info in the site header or somewhere on the homepage.

Selling – what do they get, how do you give it to them?

So they’re almost certain they’re in the right place, but you don’t quite have them on the hook. They’re now looking for value.

Don’t tell them what you do, that should already be clear, that’s why they scrolled down. Instead, tell them what they’ll receive, what’s in it for them, what problem will be solved. Do it with a headline statement.

Doohickies will save you over 50% on your electricity bill

Only now, once you’ve appealed to their needs, do you explain why it is you and only you that can help them with this.

Using the 20/80 rule, the first 20% of the homepage confirms to a potential client that they’re in the right place, the other 80% is used to convert them from an interested party to a paying customer.

The rest of the page should answer the client’s questions; why choose you over your competitors? How can you solve their problem? How will their business change once their problem is solved?

Testimonials, Guarantees, Portfolios, all in concert with prominent calls to action, all topics for individual articles. 🙂

Stuart S.

Stuart is Technical Director and Managing Director at Waqa Studios.