Think of your home page like a storefront. If your company had a brick-and-mortar location, what would the storefront look like? What would you like your customers to see immediately when they come in? How would you want your customers to feel as they step inside? That’s how to think about your home page on your website.
How the Disconnect Happens
As one of the most important pages on your website, your home page deserves not just attention but strategy. The strategy with home page content is not to go overboard. Taking the analogy further, imagine this:
You are looking for a part for your motorcycle. You’re walking through the mall and see a window display full of motorcycles and motorcycle gear. Great! But when you walk in, you discover it’s a hair salon, and the owner just happens to really dig motorcycles.
That’s no good.
Or imagine you want to buy a luxurious gift for your best friend for a milestone birthday. You head over to a store where you know they sell extremely expensive, high-end goods, but when you get there, the display windows are cheap looking, the store is dirty, and the fluorescent lights are flickering.
Obviously there’s a disconnect going on in both these situations. It’s a disconnect that happens all the time with businesses when they go online: the home page – their storefront – doesn’t match what they do and who they are.
3 Things Your Customer Wants to Know
Think of it from a customer’s point of view. Here are the things they want to know when they step into your store (i.e., click on your home page):
<em>Am I in the right place?</em> Let visitors know they’re in the right place by making it clear immediately what you do in a short phrase or sentence that’s front and center. If they’re looking for a dog trainer, they don’t care about a pet groomer right now. Don’t be tempted to go clever or fancy; clarity is key here.
<em>Can I find what I’m looking for here?</em> You don’t have to list every one of your services or products you offer, but visitors should be able to scan (not read, but scan) your home page and quickly see if there’s even a possibility that they can find what they’re looking for. Think of how a store in the mall is able to clearly demonstrate what types of things are inside by the things they show in their display windows.
<em>Is this the place I thought it was?</em> If you’re a high end product or service provider, your website should reflect that. Similarly, there’s a disconnect between having a pricey looking website while charging rock bottom prices. Design cues are subtle and are unconsciously picked up by visitors, so it’s important to take those into consideration. Beyond a question of price point, the design also conveys your brand’s personality: serious, fun, cutting-edge, traditional, edgy, etc.
You don’t have a lot of time to answer these questions in the visitor’s mind. Most people stay for a few seconds or even a fraction of a second before deciding whether they want to bounce or not. So you need to answer these three questions quickly and clearly.
Need Help With Your Home Page?
Does your “storefront” match your business? If not, I can help. Contact me at 843-819-7872 or email me and let’s chat!