6 Questions and 12 Tips to Improve Your Homepage

 

What first impression are you making with your homepage?  I like to compare your homepage to the windows of an auto dealer’s showroom.  Typically, a dealer’s showroom would feature large windows with large posters advertising whatever deals they’re featuring.  Your homepage is your large window – what will you feature that will interest visitors to stay around a while?  Here are some questions to help you offer the best window into your business on your homepage.

6 Questions to Ask About Your Homepage

  1. Does your homepage clearly show visitors who you are and what your business is about?  If you’re confusing on this, visitors are likely to go elsewhere.
  2. Is your homepage designed to engage your target audience?  If not, your website will not have the opportunity to do its work for your business.
  3. Are you offering value on your homepage?  This is the number one reason many homepages are set up as blogs.
  4. Do you have calls to action on your homepage to build your email list and introduce your products?  If your homepage designed to promote your business, then it should reflect that by giving prospects the opportunity to see what you’ve got to sell.  Your email list can engage those who will sign up and you can feature your products to engage those who are ready to buy immediately.  Get your visitors to stay around longer by giving them opportunities to go deeper with your website.
  5. How often have you changed your design?  Familiar can become boring.  You may have noticed that I changed the look of this website this year.
  6. Is your website optimized for mobile?  More people are accessing the website from mobile devices than from desktop or laptop computers.  Your homepage and website need to be mobile friendly.

12 Tips To Improve Your Homepage

  1. Make your main message your main message.  What is it that you want your homepage to say to visitors?  Answer: who you are, what your business is about, and how you or yourbusiness can help them.  You can get this message across in your header or a tagline, or a tagline in your header.  You can deepen this message on an About Me page.  Make sure that your main message is crystal clear and aimed at your target audience.
  2. Present a call to action above the fold.  When a visitor comes to your site, make sure that they see a call to action without scrolling down.  This will increase sign-ups to your email list if you have a desireable lead magnet.
  3. Do you have a search function on your homepage?  You should and it’s easy to install if your website is a WordPress site.  Just go to the Widgets areas under Appearance and add Search.  It takes mere seconds to do so.
  4. Use contrasting colors.  Contrasting colors jump off the screen and attract eyeballs.  This is especially important with your call to action buttons.
  5. Use color to create emotion.  Color psychology is a field in itself and here’s a graphic that gives a good introduction to it:
  6. Use directional cues.  You can do this with arrows, or with an picture of a person looking in the direction of where you want your visitors to look.  Here’s a great example:
    Both persons in the picture are looking in the same direction.  Their gaze directs our gaze.  This is a powerful tool that you can use not only on your homepage, but also on your landing pages.
  7. Make it easy to navigate your website.  Keep it simple – too many navigational buttons are confusing.  List your most important pages first and have no more than seven buttons.
  8. Avoid clutter.  Clutter confuses and confusion is the enemy of a good user experience.  Focus your homepage on just a few things; otherwise, you are likely to lose visitors quickly.  A clean layout is an attractive layout, so don’t be afraid of white space.
  9. Use images and make those images high-quality and high-resolution.  Anything cheesy, cheap, or of poor quality will lower the reputation of your website.
  10. Optimize load time.  People get discouraged and go elsewhere if your website loads too slowly.  This will also improve your SEO.
  11.   Use best practices for your copy.  Keep your sentences and paragraphs short for easier reading.  Two to three sentences per paragraph is a good rule.  Write in a conversational style that is easy to read.  Jettison all jargon.  Make your copy more readable with sub-headings, bullet points, and numbered points.  Put your personality into what you write.  People want to connect with other people, and your personality is what will attract (and repel) readers.  Don’t worry about the repel part – be yourself and build your tribe of people who like and trust you.
  12. Add new content frequently.  This is a great way to keep your audience coming back and this will improve your SEO.

What would you add to the 6 questions and 12 tips above?  I welcome your comments and questions and your likes and shares.

 

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