Your home page is often the first impression someone has of your business. Visitors need to be able to quickly figure out (in just a few seconds) if they are in the right place and if your site has what they have been looking for.
Follow these tips for a more effective home page:
1. Identify your target market.
The quickest path to growth in your business is to figure out who you are targeting. As small business owners it can be tempting to say that we are targeting EVERYONE, but trying to get your product or service in front of EVERYONE is going to be very expensive.
Also, the phrase "Jack of all trades, master of none" comes to mind. When a user comes to your site, you want them to feel like they are exactly where they need to be and that you are offering a service tailored to them. In order to achieve this, you need to figure out who you are specifically targeting, figure out exactly what they want and present that and only that to them. Niching your services will increase your reach in the long run because once you know who you’re selling to, you’ll better know how to organize your site specifically for them and where to find them.
2. Determine what your target market is looking for and give it to them. Avoid choice paralysis.
Studies have shown that when a person is presented with too many options, they begin to feel overwhelmed and delay making any decision at all.
Some examples could be:
- a navigation menu with 20+ items in it
- a side bar stuffed with irrelevant options or too many flashy buttons/calls to action
- a clothing store with too many categories, sub-categories and sub-categories of sub-categories
Think in 3's as this is a number proven to make people feel most comfortable.
More than 3 and they start to get anxiety over the options, any less and they don't feel as there are enough options.
With that in mind, create a nice balance between what you want the customer to do and what you know they are looking for. Make those 3 options stand out among the rest.
For example, for a web design company those focal points could be: View our Services, Check out our Portfolio and Get a quote.
A clothing store could be: Shop our Products, Take advantage of a sale or become a member in order to create a wishlist for easier shopping.
3. Make scanning easy.
The best way to achieve this is through hierarchy. People don't want to have to read every detail to figure you out.
Use headlines and imagery to guide the user. Keep any text on the home page short and sweet. Your home page isn't the place to tell a long drawn out story for how you got started or why you're better than the next guy.
Treat your home page like the first step. Create clear paths through the site to your conversion pages and tell users exactly what to do next with crystal clear calls to action.