We recently released a free eBook, “Website Redesign 101”, but one thing that we didn’t get into too much detail about was your actual homepage. Why is the homepage so important? As the old adage goes, “home is where the heart is”, and your homepage should be the “heart” of your online marketing campaign.
So why are homepages more important than other pages on your website? The homepage alone is what can turn a visitor into a lead or it can cause a high bounce rate. I’ve included a few pointers below that you can follow to check and see if your homepage is up to par:
Pay Attention to your Keywords
If you’ve made your website correctly, then your homepage will have the most inbound links out of any page on your website. Because of this, it’s important that all of your main keywords are present on your homepage and made good use of. By saying this I don’t mean that you should cram keywords into every space possible, but incorporate them into well written, flowing pieces of text. Also, keep a close eye on the anchor text that is directing to your page.
Keep Homepages Short
Have you ever visited a website with a ton of text on it? Probably. What did you do? Close down the page? If you answered “yes” to that, then you are just like the vast majority of website visitors, regardless of the niche. Your homepage’s job isn’t to throw a ton of info at your visitors. The homepage’s job is to tell people three things:
- Who you are
- What you do
- What the visitor should do next (a call to action)
Keep your page short and to the point, and provide links to other pages with further information rather than cramming it all on one page.
Keep it Current
As funny as this sounds, it happens quite often. A lot of companies will update their blog, images on their site, and a number of other elements, but they won’t update their homepage. This couldn’t be more unflattering for any online business. If you have a promotion going on from March 22 to the 25, then take it down on March 26 – don’t leave it up for weeks at a tie. Take care of your homepage and keep it current and up to date.
Make Use of Social Media Icons
Your homepage is a great place for your social media icons. Maybe visitors who find your page won’t have time to go through all of your content now. But if they’re interested, they’ll definitely add you to their Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites through social media icons.
One piece of advice, though: if you’re going to add social media icons to your homepage, make sure that you stay current on your social media accounts. There’s no point in having them if your last Twitter or Facebook post was made two weeks ago.
TIP: For additional exposure, get RSS and add an RSS Feed icon to your homepage!
Make it Easy to Navigate
Nothing will frustrate your visitors more than a page that’s hard to navigate. Having a page that’s easy to move around and find stuff in is super easy to create to, just as long as you keep everything organized. Make sure that your layout is clean and makes sense. Have a navigational menu that makes sense and that will help people find what they want rather than confuse them further.
Grab their Attention in 5 Seconds or Less
Research has shown time and time again that you only have a few seconds to entice any visitor who lands on your homepage. So what should you do to make sure you get visitors to stay? Here are some things you should definitely include:
- Keep your homepage in line with your branding (i.e. use company colors, show off your logo)
- Add different media, like video and photos
- Add interaction pieces, like polls or a running contest
Have fun with your homepage and test out different elements to see what works and what doesn’t.
Your homepage is often the most important page on your site, so this is where you should spend much of your efforts when constructing your website. Remember to keep it regularly maintained, and test different elements of it to see what retains visitors and what may cause a higher bounce rate.
If website design is something you are interested in but are having trouble getting started, contact us today to schedule your free marketing analysis.