We all know that the homepage is the most crucial page on your website – from casting a first impression to persuading visitors to take the next step, it plays so many roles that it can be difficult to know which elements or aspects to emphasize, and which to cut out. With so many visitors finding your website through search engines, you need to deliver a homepage experience that meets their goal – finding practical information fast. That said, you also need to provide enough background and information to cover a wide range of queries. There are lots of ways to go about this, as long as you avoid some common errors that will kill your conversion rate.
- Don’t be cluttered and unfocused. There are two sides to this coin – it’s been proven through testing that shorter, more concise copy raises usability, but if you don’t cover enough bases you might risk losing visitors who are looking for a specific morsel of info. Keep all the essential points above the fold (where the screen cuts off) and provide visible links to follow for more information.
- Don’t call for too much action. Rather than having a bunch of different possible options to take, focus on having just one strong call to action that is visible within 3 seconds or less. Too many options can cause a kind of paralysis in the visitor – it’s best to provide as much guidance as possible. Consider using minimal parameters and emphasizing the no-risk, no-obligation nature of the call to action.
- Don’t have boring company news on your homepage. It’s usually just a waste of space – the visitors aren’t that interested, and it draws the focus away from more essential elements such as persuasive copy and the call to action.
- Don’t be dowdy. Visitors place a huge amount of importance on the design and appearance of a website. High-quality images, design that follows current trends, smooth and functional navigation and a responsive template all signal that your website is smart, savvy and up-to-date. This builds trust in the visitor, convincing them to keep reading.
- Don’t autoplay. Autoplay might seem like a great idea, but usually it isn’t. It’s invasive, and many people will instantly close the window when they hear something playing automatically.
If your website homepage contains any of these potential conversion killers, review if they are really the best option for your site.