Your homepage is the first thing people see when they enter your website; it’s the shop front, the packaging, the first impression (and that’s something people definitely don’t forget). So how do you optimise it for success and make sure it’s helping you reach your brand goals?
Firstly, what can an optimised homepage achieve?
According to Ruth Douglas, Director of Imp Ideas, a new homepage layout can help you double your sales. There are a few ways it can do this:
Doubling the number of people visiting your site
Doubling the number of people buying from your existing audience
Increasing the amount people spend
Whatever your business’ goals, your homepage ultimately has 2 main jobs: to welcome your customers by telling them they’re in the right place, and to get them to the pages that both they and you care about the most as quickly as possible. When you’re optimising your homepage using the tips below, keep these key points in mind.
Tips for optimising your homepage
1. Be clear on your Unique Selling Point (USP)
A website homepage should tell visitors and potential customers who you are, what you do, and what makes you special. Your USP should be clear and specific so that visitors are drawn in and are able to make a quick decision about whether you are the right business for them. This can be done primarily through the copy: for instance, a tagline that is clever, punchy and gets right to the point in a creative way. You might think about your potential customers’ pain points or what you offer that your competitors don’t and incorporate this into your key messaging.
2. Make sure the navigation is clear and easy to use
Your homepage should offer a clear navigation that guides visitors to the key areas of your website that they’ll want to visit. Your homepage is also an ideal opportunity to drive visitors to the pages you want them to go to, for example an retail business would want to drive people to a ‘Shop’ page where they can browse their products, or an agency may want to drive potential clients to an ‘Enquiries’ or ‘Contact’ page. If your homepage is messy, unclear or time-consuming to use, visitors will likely bounce straight off it and you’ll be using potential customers at the very first stage of the journey – not good.
3. Show you’re trustworthy
Showing the trustworthiness of your website will be different depending on your business and the purpose your site is serving, but its importance is universal. Customers won’t buy from brands they don’t trust, just as clients won’t work with agencies they don’t trust. Firstly, make sure your homepage looks trustworthy in the design sense; keep it clean and tidy, minimise ads and show images of your product or services that look appealing and professional.
Next, show social proof (like testimonials, reviews and recommendations) and if you can verify them by linking to the original review or add another level of trust by featuring testimonials from industry leaders or recognisable faces, for example, even better. You can also include the logos of places your brand has been featured or reputable companies or organisations you are associated with. For example, if your product has been featured in well-known magazines, newspapers or other publications, include the recognisable logos of these publications. If you’re an agency that’s worked with industry-leading brands, showcase these to potential customers from the outset.
For a quick checklist of things to think about when optimising your homepage, download Digital Women’s free Digital Skills Guide here. This 33-page resource contains heaps of insights into the most important digital skills of the future and tips from leading experts at Facebook, ITV, BBC, giffgaff, Agorapulse and more.