A Cheat Sheet for Better Home Pages
The Home page is the most important part of a website because it is (usually) the very first impression that new visitors will have of your brand. That is why the best approach to designing and writing the content for this page should be based on one question:
What is the impact you want to make?
Design is what grabs the attention of a visitor. Then it is the words that “seal the deal”. However, design is so much more than your logo, header, and any additional graphics or images used. That is only part of the equation. Everything from the color palette to where everything is placed creates an environment that a visitor will either like, dislike, or feel neutral to. The only impression you want to make is one that immediately wins your visitor over. So focus on the colors that ignite the desired emotion. Focus on a user friendly layout that gives he right information, in the right order.
What information does your audience need to know.
The last thing you want to do is lose a potential customer because they had to search too hard for an answer. You don’t need to completely change your entire website to a one page layout to give the most important information on one page… The home page.
Typically, your audience wants to know:
- What you do.
- How you are different.
- Why they should choose you.
- How to become a customer.
Of course the information varies from one business to the next. Just pay attention to the pages that get the most views on your website and then find a way to condense that information and put it all on one page…. The home page.
What about your bounce rate?
You might be concerned that giving away too much in one place will result in a higher bounce rate, but that is not necessarily the case. The biggest reason somebody will “bounce” (leave your site within the first 30 seconds) is if they were turned off by something.. The other, rarer reason why people bounce is because they found what they were looking for and didn’t need to stick around for anything else. It happens, but it is unlikely and probably not relevant. So if you are losing visitors immediately, you are not doing a good job of catching and keeping their attention or interest.
Everything– from your blog roll to upcoming events, from a contact form to your social accounts, from a list of your products or services to a short overview of who you work for—can be found on an effective home page.
With all the bells and whistles available as widgets and web tools, the sky is the limit. Chat doesn’t mean you should get creative and fill your website with all the information possible… But it does mean there’s no excuse for making visitors rely on a menu bar to look on other pages for the information they want.