Do you ever walk into a business and are not sure what to do when you arrive? Probably not too often, if ever. This is because if you did, the owner(s) would see you walk out and do whatever it takes make sure that their business entrance doesn’t lead to this again. Yet, this often happens to website visitors when they visit business websites. Here are a couple of essential elements for your homepage that are key to making your website a positive experience for your visitors the moment the arrive.
It Makes Sense
Consider your homepage your online entrance to your business. When you walk into a business that has put thought into how it relates to its visitors, you have an immediate sense of what you are supposed to do while you are there as well as what kind of business you are dealing with. Depending on the type of the business, the entrance may be completely different.
A Bed, Bath, and Beyond store introduces you with nice, nifty stuff that you are supposed to check out and potentially buy. It immediately greets you and soon you are exploring the whole iceberg of nice, nifty stuff that you are supposed to check out and potentially buy.
A new car dealership entrance is going to be quite different. Instead of loads of stuff to look at, when you enter the sales floor, there is often plenty of elbow room so that your attention is drawn to a few select products for you to drool over.
The way the entrance is arranged should make sense according to what the business is and what you are supposed to do there. If Bed, Bath, and Beyond took the car dealership approach for their entrance layout, they are likely going to disappoint their customers. A good website homepage is going to be constructed with the same factors in mind. Put concisely:
• It needs to obviously relate to your target audience
• It needs to clearly state who you are and what your visitors are supposed to do there.
If these factors are not easily identified, your visitor may very quickly turn around and walk out.
It’s More than a Brochure
It’s probably safe to assume that if you have a website, you are hoping that people will visit it as an initial step towards a business transaction. If that’s the case, don’t leave your visitors to fend for themselves when it comes to taking the next step. Too many home pages are stuffed with lots of “important” information that visitors unfortunately have no idea what to do with.
Instead, it should be very obvious from your homepage what it is your visitors should do next and how they should do it. Give your visitors calls-to-action (CTA’s). These don’t have to be obnoxious pop-ups or flashy signs. Instead, they should be clean, focused invitations that don’t compete with clutter around them.
If your homepage wears your visitors out when they arrive by providing too much information or frustrates them with no clear “next step,” they are likely to find a business that is simpler to deal with.
What do you love/hate about certain homepages? What are your favorite homepages? We’d love to hear your thoughts!