There is no disputing that the homepage of your website is the most important, if it were a retail shop it would be your shop window, if you are an office it is your front door. Getting your message across on your homepage is paramount.
Key Moment: The First Few Seconds
In the first 3 seconds a visitor has made their mind up about your website. Believe it or not the human brain can process an incredible amount of information regarding their mood and likes/dislikes. Your homepage has to be a warm, welcoming and calming page where you can put a visitor at ease, making them feel comfortable about staying on your website. If not they will hit the back button on their browser (the most commonly used function)
At the top of the page you must communicate (at the very least) the following:
- Who You are
- How Customers Can Communicate With You
- Your Benefits
The last item "Benefits" is probably the most important. Try and communicate a benefits driven statement in a concise manner. You are trying to connect a customer with a service in a very short period of time.
Make this as simple as possible to get users away from your homepage and to the destination they are looking for. Try not to make it complicated, this leads to frustration and users clicking away from your website. If you have been promoting something, ensure this is at the top and very easy to find.
Primary pages and services need to be in your top level navigation, less popular content and pages should be demoted to a second level navigation.
We have spoken about this multiple times in the past, "Content Is King", keep the content of your homepage fresh and up to date. Take a look at your website, if it is Easter, why have you still got a christmas banner on there ? If you have offers or content that is not relevent at the moment take some time to update it.
If your website has a search feature make sure that it is prominenent, searching websites is common practice and most people understand what it does, ensure it is clearly visible and delivers good search results.
Try and make these as small as possible (file size). This ensures your website loads fast. You can still have great looking photos and imagary on your website without sacrificing quality.
Keep it Fast
Speed is vital, over time people have gotten increasingly impatient about website loading speed. If a user has to wait for anything more than 3 seconds they will be gone. Your website homepage should be optimised for speed. We wrote a really good article about increasing page speed (Does website speed matter?) and the benefits.
Overall, take some time to review your homepage as soon as you can. If you do not know what you are doing, web design agencies like Pebble offer an evaluation service and can suggest improvements that can be made to ensure you are not losing visitors.
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For more information about improving your websites' performance please telephone us on 01733 902070, email us via our contact form or message us directly on Twitter @pebbleltd