When it comes time to sit down and plan a website, it’s easy to figure out what should go on the about page or the contact page. It’s a little harder to figure out what should or shouldn’t go on the homepage. So what is the point of a home page anyway?
A home page is the first thing your visitors will see if they click on your website. If people search for you business on Google, they will probably be directed to your home page. If they click on your site through a social media platform, the link will probably direct them to your home page.
Because your home page is the first thing people will see, you want to be purposeful about what you include on it. Here are 5 things to keep in mind when deciding on content for your home page.
Grab their attention
The first thing you want to use your home page for is grabbing a visitors attention. You want to hook them with something interesting. That could be an inspiring slogan or an appealing graphic or image.
Google catches people’s attention with new Google Doodle’s each day. It gives people a reason to stop and browse if they open their web browser and land on Google. People might click the doodle to find out what it’s about. Or they might just type what they’re looking for into the search bar. But I’m sure you’ve wondered, at least once in your life, what Google’s doodle was all about. I know I have. And, it probably gave you a reason to stay on Google longer than you might have otherwise.
You need to give your readers a reason to stay. Otherwise, they won’t.
Tell your Story
When a business or person tells their story, people form an affinity for that brand because they can relate to the story. This pattern is especially evident in sports. One of the ways TV producers get you interested in a particular athlete or sports team is through story telling.
Right now, the Tokyo Olympics is the major sporting event being shown on TV around the world. The producers wrap you up in the event by sharing the stories of different athletes. For example, you may have heard about Lydia Jacoby, the swimmer from the small town of Seward, Alaska. Jacoby and her mother have been staying in an Air BnB, 2 hours from their home town, in Anchorage, AK so that Lydia could train in an Olympic sized swimming pool. When Jacoby won the Gold in the 100 meter breast stroke, they showed clips of the watch party in her little hometown going crazy!
If people hadn’t heard Lydia Jacoby’s story, they would surely have forgotten her by the next day. Now, however, she will be remembered not just because she won the Gold, but because people know a bit of her story.
Use your homepage to tell your story or the story of your brand. People will remember you for your story, not for what you offer.
Set yourself apart – the point of a home page
Whatever your business offers, there is probably someone else out there selling the same thing. It’s important to use your homepage to show why you’re better. You want people to know why they should choose your brand over another. One way to do this by sharing client testimonials or feedback from happy customers. If you don’t have reviews yet, another way to do this is by sharing something that makes you different from the competition.
Inspire them to take Action
In addition to catching people’s attention when they land on your site, you probably want to get them to do something rather than just look around. The same would be true if someone entered your brick and mortar store. You would want them to complete an action. You wouldn’t want them to just browse and leave. Because of this, you want to give your visitors some way to engage with your site.
You could encourage them to click through to another page. Or, you could get people to read an interesting blog post or make a purchase. Another action could be subscribing to a newsletter. Think about what your business offers and what action you would want people to take.
If you sell a product, you would probably want them to read more about it, add it to their cart, or click a buy now button. If you offer an online class, you might want to direct people to a blog where they can determine what you know and if they would want to take a class from you.
Give them a reason to come back – the point of a home page
And finally, you want your home page to give visitors a reason to come back. If they don’t find anything useful on your site, they probably won’t come back. It’s well known, that one of the best ways to grow your business is through repeat customers. This also applies to website traffic. If your visitors return, they are more likely to make a purchase or take an action on your site. It means that they found something on your site to be of value.
So, when deciding what should go on your website’s homepage keep these 5 things in mind: grab their attention, tell your story, set yourself apart, inspire action, and give them a reason to return. Don’t create your home page, without considering the goal of your business and website. Then, choose content that engages your visitors and keeps them from walking out the door.