How Your Business Can Create a Successful Homepage
When it comes to your website homepage, first impressions are critical. Visitors, unfortunately, judge your site almost instantaneously. You have roughly ten seconds, at best, to capture a visitor’s attention. In a short time, your homepage must be well designed, intelligent and usable.
You can spend hours, days, even years perfecting your website, but in a few simple steps, you can have a stellar homepage, if you get these right.
Answer Who, What, and Why
Most businesses have to make the answers to these questions abundantly clear in order maintain a visitor’s attention, a seemingly impossible feat. You want site visitors to feel they’ve come to the right place, and they want to know immediately this is true. They don’t want to think about it or hunt for answers.
Mint.com does this very cleanly, especially because the company name could mean anything from a plant to a candy to coining money. You can see straight away on the homepage:
- Who the company is: a financial tool
- What it does: helps organize your spending
- Why it does it: so you can see where your money goes and feel good about your purchase decisions
Speak to An Emotional Need
There are some jargon words I could use to describe this, such as target audience and value proposition, but instead, I want to explain what they mean for your homepage and why these are important.
People who should buy from you but haven’t yet (prospects) want to know exactly why your business should matter to them. What’s the benefit? Why does anyone care about you? What is the main reason someone will buy from you or use your service? These are hard questions to ask, but very important ones. Success can stem from understanding the psychology behind good website content.
Evernote, like Mint.com, makes it the value evident – Remember everything. Who wouldn’t want to remember everything or to collect and find what matters?
Usability and a Call to Action
Another critical part of your homepage is to have a clear call to action, or next step for your visitor to go. For Mint and Evernote, it’s sign up, but it could easily be buy now, request a free consultation, get started, or see how it works, all depending on what you are offering.
The foremost goal of your homepage is to compel visitors to click through and learn more about your business. The last thing you want to do is overwhelm your visitors with a lot of clutter. There are plenty of other elements of great web design, but the key goal is to lead visitors to an action.
Once you have their attention, don’t waste it. Send them somewhere, guide them down the purchase path. Or if your message is to bring awareness to a cause, lead them to the reasons why support is necessary.
However you decide to layout your navigation or build your website, understand that your homepage is the most important entry point for potential customers. With these tips, you’ve already made the first step toward building a great website.