Why Your Website Homepage is so Important.
Website homepages are arguably the most important page of your entire site. Why? Allow me to explain. Your homepage is the first visual that a potential buyer or client will come into contact with when clicking on your site. First impressions are everything. Without a great and catching homepage, your viewer will be less inclined to continue on through your site.
Wouldn’t my service or product page be the most important?
This is a common thought and while it is up there in the hierarchy of importance, I stand with my original claim. Getting your viewer or client to your service/product page is what I consider to be the end goal. Here’s how I view the steps of a users journey on your site:
Get the viewer to actually click on your site.
So how does this happen? In designing websites, you or your designer has the ability to write descriptions for each page of your site. When your website pops up in google’s search results, this description will fall underneath your link for viewers to read. These descriptions provide viewers with information which helps them make a decision on what link to click on.
Create a good first impression.
Enter: your homepage design. The first thing that the viewer will see upon clicking onto your website. By having a catching homepage, the user is enticed to continue on throughout your website. Scientists say that first impressions are formed in just one TENTH of a second. Quick, isn't it?
Get the viewer to complete your end goal.
Whether your end goal is having the user purchase an item, book an event, subscribe to a newsletter, or simply find out information about your business, this is the last step in the user's journey. Get the viewer through your home page and you’re more likely to get them through the end goal.
Okay well, how do I ensure my homepage makes a good first impression?
In order to have a great homepage to reflect your business, there’s some of the things it should contain:
1. A short but sweet explanation of what your business is.
This ensures that the user clearly is aware of what this site is all about. Informed customers are the best customers.
2. A clear call to action of what your user should do
What’s your end goal? Is it to have the user buy your product? Book your service? Subscribe to your social media channels? Regardless of what it is, make it crystal clear so your user knows what to do. This usually happens through a button (or two!) which can link your user to the exact page to complete this action.
Humans are visual beings. Consider how much images play a part in conveying messages. How many billboards or ads can you think of that have NO visual features? Photos help reinforce the information your viewer needs to know. Plus, it simply makes it look pretty ;)
4. Direction on where to get more information
This is typically located in a few places on your homepage. Most easily found in the header, your page menu takes care of the preliminary direction. To highlight certain pages, add a section on your homepage with a short blurb about this section with a button directing the user to the full page to learn more.
Now, this certainly isn’t all that goes into a website homepage, but it’s definitely a start. With these aspects, your user lands on a page where they learn about your business and are clearly directed to your desired end goal.
So, are you convinced that the homepage is the most important page?