Does your website home page have a higher bounce rate than you would like? Do you wonder what you can do to keep visitors engaged and browsing your company’s products or services?
The home page of your website needs to be at the introductory level to give visitors the best experience. In this digital age with the overabundance of information just a few keystrokes away, our attention spans are shorter than ever. You only have about five to seven seconds to illustrate to a new website visitor what you do and how you can help them solve a problem.
Creating an effective website home page means having a clear message and organizing your information in a simple way for the people you are trying to attract. Your website visitors should be able to easily navigate to the information they want so that they do not have to work to find it themselves. If you confuse them, you’ll lose them!
Many companies, especially in technical fields, have the “Curse of Knowledge.” Website text and descriptions may talk over our customers’ heads because we know our product or service so well and want to illustrate that knowledge. We recommend simplifying your website home page message and communicating it very clearly. Move the in-depth content to your website’s subpages.
Tips to keep in mind for creating content for a great home page on your website:
1. Have a great tagline on your home page
A tagline is a very efficient way to get your message across, because it is the one place – under the logo or beside the logo – on your website home page and marketing materials where users most expect to find a concise statement of the site’s purpose. It must characterize the whole enterprise, summing up what you do, and what makes you great!
Great taglines should:
- Be memorable.
- Engage the reader.
- Communicate a key benefit.
- Capture the personality of the organization.
- Distinguish your organization from others.
- Reinforce your broader goals.
Don’t confuse a tagline with a motto
- A tagline conveys a value proposition.
- Mottoes are lofty and reassuring, but if I don’t know what the company does, a motto doesn’t tell me. (“we bring good things to life,” “your in good hands,” or “to protect and serve,”)
Examples of Great Taglines:
- Zipcar: Wheels when you want them
- OpenTable Restaurant Reservations – Free | Instant | Confirmed
- Wilderness Travel: Extraordinary cultural, wildlife and hiking adventures since 1978
- Onvia: Intelligence for winning more government business.
2. Offer Simple Website Navigation
- Breakdown your products and/or services into broad categories. Don’t hit your visitors with too much information too soon. In most cases, having seven or fewer menu titles is recommended. Give your website visitors a way to easily navigate to the information they care about. On the home page, less is more. Here are the most common home page menu titles.
- About Us
- Media & Downloads (brochures, videos, photos)
- Contact Us
- Special cases: if you are in a technical industry, additional categories might make sense.
- Industry Expertise – for example, it would be important to let customers in heavily-regulated industries know that you have experience working within their constraints.
- Case Studies
- Industries Served
3. Have great images and a consistent color palette
- These days, great images are easier than ever to make yourself with the excellent free online tools that are currently available. If you don’t have time to make them images yourself, we have given you a few options for purchasing reasonably-priced images.
- Canva – a great all-purpose service. Create inforgraphics, social media images, flyers, business cards and more using templates, icons and photos that are free or low cost.
- Sessions College Color Calculator – need to know what colors complement your current scheme? Use this handy tool!
- Fiverr – on a budget? Hire a designer starting at $5 (plus $1 service fee). Services include graphics & design, video & animation, music & audio and more.
- Shutterstock – Royalty-free (meaning you only pay once) professional images at very reasonable prices.
- iStock – another royalty-free photo source
- Creative Commons – Want free images? Look for content with a CC0 license (public domain), and you don’t even have to attribute the work to the creator. Some sites that have CC0 images are:
4. Don’t talk about yourself too much
- It may seem counterintuitive not to talk about yourself too much on your website’s home page, but there is a more engaging way to present your company than simply telling what you do and how great you do it. Customers are very savvy and can easily be turned-off by blatant self-promotion- this type of content should be on a website subpage rather than using up valuable home page real estate.
- A better approach is to illustrate how your company’s unique products or services can solve a problem the customer is experiencing. Discuss the obvious benefits, but also spend time pointing out the more obscure or hidden benefits. For example, a new washing machine will fix the obvious problem of having no washing machine or a broken one. The hidden benefits may also be attractive to your customers: more features and settings, cleaner clothes, less water usage, less energy consumed, more up-to-date look… you get the idea!
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