What is a Home Page?
Your Home Page is usually the first thing people see when they come to your website. It’s also one of the most important pieces of your online presence.
Home Pages can be designed in many ways, using many styles, but there are certain exact things that a well designed home page needs to accomplish.
Your Home Page should be designed to do very specific things:
- Identify the type of customers you service.
- Identify the problems you solve for those customers.
- Indicate why someone would do business with you instead of a competitor.
- Provide an easy path to find out more information to help someone make a decision on whether or not to contact you or buy from you.
If you are a law firm that specializes in a particular field, this should be apparent from the images and text that you see when you land on your website.
If you are a contractor that specializes in residential projects, you wouldn’t want to have any photos of commercial buildings in the background as this could confuse people as to what type of customer you service.
If you are in an industry that is less well known, it should be apparent from your home page what it is that you do and who you service so people who are searching for you know they have come to the right place.
Failure to clearly show people who you service and what you do on your Home Page leads to two major problems.
- You will attract visitors that aren’t your ideal customer and have to waste time telling them you are not a good fit for them and answering their inquiries.
- You will lose potential customers who can’t tell that you actually handle the problem they are trying to solve.
Provide an easy path…
What does this mean? It means that there needs to be a clear “next step” for anyone to take to find out more information.
Let’s see this in an example. If you go to a site and you are looking to repair your roof, you see from the home page that this company does roof repair, great! All set, right?
Wait a minute… they haven’t bought anything, they don’t know if you service their area, they don’t know any pricing data, how to get a quote, whether or not they need to schedule in advance or even what your past work looks like. Where do they go to get that data?
You may think to yourself “they would just call me and ask” or “it’s on my website somewhere” but unfortunately these answers are not enough. You need to have clear indicators that tell a potential customer where to go to find out these answers.
You can do a lot of research and marketing studies on your website and your “paths” to see which ones are working and which aren’t. Which ones result in sales and which ones don’t, but how do you know what data people will need to set up a path in the first place?
One easy way to do it is to recall the countless number of sales conversations I’m sure you’ve had with new clients. What types of questions did they ask you? What data did you need to show them in order to convince them that your company was the one they should do business with? Chances are, those questions and that data is what your online visitors will be searching for once they get through your Home Page.
Make it easy to find that data by putting it in the menu at the top of the site, or linking to it from the body of your Home Page. Then as they go through the other pages, you can apply this same technique and make sure every page they go to has a next step laid out, until they get to the step where they sign up for your service, or they call you for an appointment, or whatever the final goal of your website is.
Have other good pointers in regards to a Home Page? I would love to hear them in the comments below.