Your website is the cornerstone of your marketing collateral.
No one is going to do business with you until they’ve checked you out online.
Your home page is still the number one landing page on your site which therefore makes it the most important real estate on the site.
When I say home page I actually mean the very first screen – the bit above the fold, the first bit you see when you land on the site.
I’m sure you’ve heard the statistic that you have about 8 seconds when someone lands on your site in which they decide whether they’re in the right place or not.
Basically, they’re looking to see if they can find what they’re looking for. It’s like if you go into a shop. If you can’t find what you came in for, out you go.
If they can’t immediately find the information they want, they’ll hit the back button and you’ve lost them as a potential customer.
That first screen has got to work very hard.
Given that a good website should be generating enquiries for you on auto pilot it amazes me just how many websites I see with what I call a ‘Home Page of Horrors’ that I would confidently predict generate absolutely no enquiries at all.
Why is that?
Well, there are lots of reason but there are 7 mistakes that people make on their home page that I’m going to focus on today.
Classic Home Page Mistakes
- Failing to focus the readers’ attention.
Some home pages have so much going on that you don’t know where to focus.
The business obviously feels that they have to hit you with all their good stuff right up front otherwise they might lose you.
By doing this all they manage to do is confuse you.
Instead, they should decide what one or two messages they want to convey and what action they want the visitor to take and focus on those and those alone.
- Using rotating images.
For several years now web designers have been telling their clients that they need to have a series of images scrolling through, taking up at least 50% of the initial landing screen. This is often accompanied by some meaningless and enigmatic words which may or may not relate to the business.
Visitors haven’t come to look at pretty pictures. They’ve come to find out if you can solve their problems so please don’t waste this vital space.
- No video
Video is the most engaging of media and in the Youtube era has become a vital ingredient of your home page.
Apart from being a great way to communicate your vital messages it also makes you 52 times more likely to be found on Google.
- No headline
All marketing pieces need a headline.
The headline needs to be impactful enough to draw visitors into the body copy in the same way as in a press or online advert.
- Boring layout
While the number 1 requirement of a website is to have the right content, the design and appearance of the home page is also important.
Which are you more likely to engage with – a site with appealing visuals, some bullet points and subheadings and small easily digestible blocks of text or big blocks of text in 8 point text.
I think you know what I mean.
- Being clever instead of clear
Sometimes you see sites with clever and quite witty imagery.
That in itself is fine as long as it’s clear what the message is. The problem is that’s often not the case and you’re left wondering what they’re trying to say.
Marketing is all about clear and simple communication of your message.
- Failing to capture visitors’ details
Working on the basis that over 99% of visitors leave websites without taking any action, you need to try and get their contact details so you can market to them subsequently.
Offer them something for free – an ebook or a video in return for their details so they enter your marketing funnel and you can convert them at a later date.
If your website is currently not producing the level of enquiries that you want and your home page is making any of these mistakes and can sort it out for you.
Just drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 01483 200387.