The homepage is one of the most important pages of your website, so it’s pretty important to make sure that you get it right. Why is it so important? For starters, it will more than likely be the first page that your users interact with. It sets the tone of how your users not only look at your company or your brand, but also how they engage with you and your content. There are many good things that you can do on your homepage, but we’re going to look at just a few common mistakes that we see on a regular basis and what you can do to avoid them.
Who Are You, Anyway?
The first mistake we see with so many sites is a lack of rich, descriptive content about your business or organization. After a user looks at your homepage, they should immediately know who you are, where you are, and what you do. Which of these is the most important? Probably what you do. Don’t be afraid to flat-out say what you do and maybe even why you do it.
Part of having a good user experience is not making the user have to dig deep into your site to find out what you do, because if they can’t find it easily, they probably won’t spend the time to go find it. When describing what you do, take a few paragraphs to explain in detail so there isn’t much need to dig deeper. Not many people say, “I wish I had less information about this company.” Once you get this right, it will set the right tone for the other pages your user will see.
Above the Fold
There’s a name for one of the most important parts of any webpage that can have a huge impact. It’s called “above the fold content.” This describes anything that is visible after loading a page that you don’t have to scroll down to see. What do some websites do with this valuable real estate? Fill it with a useless slider that you won’t take the time to watch all the way through, or use it for some other pointless information.
Why not use this space as an opportunity to tell your visitors the useful information that they are looking for, or maybe even let them engage with you right off the bat? If you have content that you want your users to either download or share, put a strong call-to-action in this space to maximize the possibility that they will take that action, and continue to place these calls-to-action throughout your site.
Optimize, Optimize, Optimize
Lastly, your homepage needs a well-written title and description. The most important way that users will see both of these is on Google or any other search engine that will serve your website for a certain search term. You want to be shown for search terms that accurately describe your business, and you want to be shown in the geographic area where you are, so put both of these in your title. This will help ensure that you are found. The description should be well-written so that when a user finds you, they will also want to find out more about you and visit your site.
So there you have it — three common mistakes to avoid when creating your homepage. This is not the only page that requires a lot of attention, but it is definitely one that you do not want to rush. Make the best first impression you can. Establish your brand and your message in your user’s heads. Give your users a way to engage with you. Keep these tips in mind, and you are sure to have a great starting point on which to build your website.
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