The age old question is this: How much is too much?
However, in the world of website development, there can be “too
much” on your home page. (This blog covers a typical multi-page website not a parallax website which will be covered in another blog.) Too much text, too many images (photos and/or graphics) and too much other content can make for an overloaded, crowded and busy home page which may turn visitors (potential customers) away.
In fact, the home page can have so much content on it, visitors may miss the more important pages on your website and not convert (purchase) the products you are selling. A seemingly endless home page can be a detriment to your company’s bottom line for having a website so it is important to design and populate a well-written quality content for the all-important home page.
Home pages remain one of the three most visited pages on small business websites. (Services page and Contact page being the other popular pages.)
When designing your home page, keep these factors in mind:
- Brevity: Most visitors to your website look at your home page as they do a cover of a magazine. It should introduce the visitor to your company or products. So, it should not have all the facts about your products on it.
- Attention span: Most website visitors spend scant seconds (eleven seconds or less in some research) on each page until they find what they want or have some interest. They will not spend a lot of time reading your text if it is too voluminous or heavy in text and photos.
- Quick information: Some website visitors may have looked your website up just to get your contact information so they can contact you. That information should be readily available and easy to find. (I cover this in the next section.)
Now that you know what most small business website visitors’ expectations, here is a list of the content you should include on your home page (and some content you should avoid.):
- Company services: A short list of what your company does, in bullet or list form, so that visitors know exactly what you do. How many times have you visited a website and wondered, “What do you do anyway?” Avoid going into too much detail. Add a hyperlink to the services page in the text or make it easily navigable so that they can then double-click and find more details on the services page.
- Location: Knowing where you are located is crucial, especially for restaurants, physicians, medical services and service industries. Visitors need to know if you are nearby so they can find you or call you to have you make house or office calls. (This is not that crucial for ecommerce or mail order websites.)
- Contact Information: As we mentioned, many visitors may already know what you sell. They only want to find your phone number or other contact information so they can order your product or find out other information. It should be easily found in the header (banner) of your website and at the footer (bottom) of your website. Whether on a laptop, phone or tablet, the phone number and address should be prominent.
- Accurate Menu with drop-down pages (if needed): Easy navigation is a MUST for any website, no matter what the industry. Visitors must be able to click on any page and find what they need easily and quickly. So your menu must be accurate and have pages in their priority of what the website visitor needs to see. So, make sure it has after the home page, your services, products, testimonials, and blog and contact page. Of course, your products may vary but make it easy to find everything. (Google penalizes websites that have poor navigation so it is a necessary for search engine optimization.)
- Call-to-Action: Now that they are ready to buy or contact you, make it easy for them to do it. Have a “call-to-action” box on your home page so visitors can purchase right away. Usually located on the right sidebar, the box is simple with name, email address, phone number and comments. Or you may have a product order box there instead. Anyway, make it easy for them to buy and they will return.
Remember, your website should always be a positive shopping experience. Visitors should find exactly what you want them to find and, hopefully, purchase from you. Make it an experience they will recall fondly and return again and again.
If you’d like to learn more about websites or need one for your small business, please contact us at www.loebigink.com. We design websites, write copy, do search engine optimization, content management and social media marketing. You can also reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are located in Bethesda, Maryland but serve the entire USA.