If you’re looking to improve the most important page on your website – the home page, or front page as it’s sometimes called – then this article is for you. Nothing can prompt a severe bounce in traffic leading away from your website than a home page that’s displaying any of the following:
- Hard-to-understand language
- Ugly color design
- Hard-to-use menus
- Dead links
- Lack of interest in the user experience
It doesn’t matter what kind of business you own – maybe you’re a part of Vancouver Island’s tourism industry, or you’re looking to expand your customer outreach to other countries – if the home page doesn’t convince your customers to follow through with clicks and sales, you may be doing something wrong.
To help you out, we’ve come up with a list of the most important features to display on your website’s home page.
1: Visible Contact Information
Nothing says “Don’t bother trying to find me” quite like a home page where contact information is not only invisible, but also impossible to find immediately. Placing it in the site footer will work wonders for follow-through phone calls and e-mails.
If you have a newsletter for your customers to subscribe to, there should be either a pop-up feature or even an option in the sidebar to fill out a form. Having a professional webmaster on board will help tremendously if the newsletter part is not prominent on the home page.
2: Easy-to-use Menus
A search bar is not the only thing you can use to improve navigation. Having easy to understand menus is another biggie to feature on your home page. Do away with complicated language and just use terms you know your customers are looking for. This should be something you feature at the top of the page, not the bottom.
3: An Up-to-date Blog
Google will love you for keeping it updated, and we’ll all love you for your contributions – so long as the information is accurate and useful! If you want to get the most out of your website’s content, be sure to make this an accessible feature on the home page.
Given how visual we all are, having pictures will help variate the text and make your home page all the more beautiful. The more professionally shot the visuals are, the better. If you have videos as well that are of sound quality, those would be good to feature as well. Not everyone has the special touch for using cameras or possess a good eye for design though, so when in doubt, hire a professional!
5: Visible, Vital Information
We’re basically talking about featuring the following on your home page, which can vary from website to website as it depends on the type of business you’re promoting:
- Credit cards/types of payment accepted (if it’s ecommerce)
- Social media accounts
- Menus (if it’s for a restaurant)
- Checkout options (should be easy to use)
- A click-to-call phone number for immediate access – this should definitely apply to your mobile website too if you have or need one!
- Calls to Action
What do you want users to do if they reach your website and are finished reading a page? This should be the all-important question when creating and adding any calls to action on the home page. They’re typically formatted to show up at the bottom of the home page as a “next step” for your customer base. Identify what you want them to do most of all and form your CTA around it.
What NOT to Include on Your Home Page
For the record, here’s what we think you should definitely not include on your home page:
- Flashy and pointless animations, GIFs, mouse cursors etc. – not only do these features make your website look outdated, but also they can cause severe loading times and annoy your customers. Plus, you can’t optimize them on a mobile website even if you tried.
- “Bells and whistles” – by this we mean every single plugin and widget being crammed onto your home page. Don’t do this.
- Feature dead links – ditto for any web page on your website, but having these on your home page can be especially harmful to website ranking and traffic.
- A giant list of your services – by that we mean listing everything that could potentially fit onto an entirely separate web page onto the home page.
We know this is a lot to process all at once; updating a home page however may be just the ticket to boosting your website traffic and sales. If you’re still unsure as to how to make improvements, or need someone with an eye for design, then give us a call at V3 Media. Let our professionals do the hard work for you of building, designing, and improving a home page that will encourage visitors to return time and again.