We need to revisit our homepage. The homepage fulfills many functions on our website. It generates traffic. We frequently send people to it. Why have we long ignored such an important page on our site?
I would like to argue that your homepage is the most important page on your website. The one page that should take the majority of your time and resources. If we could improve how the homepage is performing, the entire website will improve. If the most important page improves performance, this is going to trickle down to rest of our website. So let’s look at why your home page is so critical.
#1 – Homepage is the very first impression that they see.
Did you know that 75 percent of people that come to your website and see the homepage as a first impression? They take that first impression and use it to judge, either positive or negative, your business.
The homepage is no longer a marketing piece. Or a brochure or advertisement out on the Web. It has become the front window to your business. Since COVID-19, 70% of B2B sellers and buyers now prefer an online model. And depending on your business, it may be the only window of your business that customers ever see.
#2 – Offline Traffic Goes to Your Homepage.
Every time you give someone your website address or your domain name, you are actually sending people directly to your home page.
I know there are many of you who get most of your business by word-of-mouth. What happens when a customer gives a friend a referral to your business? They say “go look up” that name I gave you. How do they do that? They search for your website. When searchers use your name in the search engine, its most likely the homepage they will see first.
The friend of your customer is already convinced to do business with you. They just need reassurance and want to check out some details. Word-of-mouth businesses see the highest traffic on their homepage. Give them a page that makes them feel confident to contact you.
#3 – Advertising dollars are sending people to your homepage.
If you are spending money on offline advertising like billboards, radio and TV, graphics on the side of your truck or even your business cards, you are trying to catch offline attention. When those ads include your website address, you are sending people to your home page.
You know how much money you are spending on advertising. Does your homepage live up to that much attention? If you are losing visitors off your homepage, isn’t that a waste of ad spending? How much would your budget stretch if your homepage was high performing?
#4 – Homepage is a Valuable Landing Page.
Because of all the traffic it sees, you homepage functions as a very valuable landing page. It can have many functions. The homepage can be used to qualify leads and sort them in the correct product funnel or to build immediate trust with referrals and prospects. Things like testimonials. Posting a list of current client logos along the bottom of the page. Professional association badges, especially things like the Better Business Bureau, are a great thing to have on your homepage and help to build trust.
The main idea is to capture the attention of visitors and keep them on your site. Use your homepage to move visitors deeper into your website to learn more. Let them discover that your business is a perfect fit to partner with their business.
#5 – All Visitors see the Homepage.
There are many people that would argue visitors don’t need to see the homepage. If your are working on search optimization, doing a lot of social media marketing or online advertising, you’re sending people to lots of other pages besides the homepage.
I’ve noticed as I’ve worked with clients on their search optimization that this is not the whole story. Yes, they may land on other pages of the website, but the idea is you want them to move around the site. If you track how a user moves through the website, they come back to the home page at least once during their visit.
There is a well-circulated statistic that says 36% of referrals first click is your logo. The purpose is to re-orient them to the site’s content and to get them to the homepage. Which means even when referrals do find your site via another page, they are still going to the homepage.
#6 – Homepage Sets the Tone and Represents your Brand.
The idea of a branding strategy for your website is to help people learn about about your company.
One of the key things is making sure you differentiate yourself. Especially if you are in an industry where there are only a few key players and you are trying to become one of those key players. Don’t regurgitate the same type of language your competitors use on their sites. What needs to come across is what is unique about you.
The homepage sets the the tone for how different and better your company is compared to others. You’re going to want to make sure that your logo and your tagline are center stage. Your homepage should provide a sense of your company’s values and purpose. Start with your value proposition. Make sure the value proposition appears early in the page. Highlight it with graphics or a larger font so that people can’t miss it when they come to the home page. Don’t make visitors guess at what you do.
Scroll down the homepage. You see that Starbucks brand, that green and white, that logo that everybody knows. See how they’ve incorporated those green and white colors throughout the home page. Even as they select stock photography to add to that homepage, they are keeping to a strict color palette.
This a good example of how to maintain your brand in a homepage. It gives the site a lot of credibility, especially since this is the B2B site. The visuals help give you an image memory of Starbucks.
As you are thinking about your homepage, how can you give your users that sense of your brand and your value and who you are?
Time for a new Homepage Strategy?
Raise your hand if your homepage is still the same page you launched your website with? Not a bad thing, if your homepage is still performing well. Now keep that hand raised if your homepage looks the way it does because your web designer suggested the content? And maybe, to be honest, a lot of the content decisions were made to fill space? Or because stuff looked cool? Not a lot of business strategy went into those decisions.
This is the most important page on your website. It needs to perform, not look pretty. Your next step should be to create a strategy for your homepage. Content that will improve the site and improve business. Start with the content, the design will follow. You can fix your homepage without re-doing your entire website.
Improving the performance of your homepage will improve the performance of your entire website. Because it is the most important page on your website.
To learn more about homepage strategy, watch our webinar recording, “Home Page Structure and Strategy.”