Create Active and Dynamic Homepages
Use Selling Points to Catch the Eye
Understand Visitor Behaviour
Homepage vs. Landing Page
The homepage has become much maligned of late. Landing pages have become the page of choice for most marketers. This is understandable as they can be configured to have low link ratios, context written copy, and have the sole purpose of getting a much loved conversion. As such, paid ads and social media now hit the landing page rather than the homepage.
So what goes on the homepage now? In this post I give you a few ideas.
Typical Web Visitor Behaviour
If we assume that visitors are looking for information fast, your site has to hold their attention long enough for them to find it.
We can also assume that most visitors will skim read your site unless they see something that catches their eye. As such, we need a homepage which is going to do exactly that- Catch their eye.
Creating a buzz with your Homepage
Although the ads and the social media send context driven traffic to a landing page, the homepage will still be seen at some point. They could arrive via in-print ads or have found you site via a search engine expedition. The chances are if you have listed your site on any kind of directory, the link directs visitors to your homepage.
As such the homepage needs to hold attention.
Think of your Homepage like the Front Page of a Newspaper or Magazine
If we look at the front page of a newspaper or magazine, the page gives teasers as to what is inside. In the case of newspapers they show snippets of what the supplements are offering too. They use the front page to entice you to buy and read the content. They are trying to create a buzz about that issue of their publication.
This is a good idea to adopt for the homepage of your website, regardless of what your website represents.
What should I put on my Homepage to Create a Buzz?
Consider the following, not all will be relevant. Keep in mind that you’re trying to entice a visitor to begin a journey through your website.
- Your services, products, causes – the main selling points of your business, charity, community, etc
- A snippet of your blog page
- Your Twitter feed
- Feeds from relevant news sites- say for example you sell coach tickets online you might want to relay travel information from the AA to your visitor.
- Sliders have been slated for their click through rates. I do feel however their real value is that they keep people’s eyes on your site, and you can push your USPs via sliders. You may want to incorporate one.
- Special offers
- Live chat if your site merits it
- Contact forms and other call to actions
- Anything you feel your visitors will look for or helps you sell what you’re about. Awards, reviews- anything that reinforces your sales message and credibility.
Things not to put on your Homepage:
- “Welcome”, or ”Hello and welcome to my website”. This has probably resulted in bounce rates higher than Canary Wharf. Instead hit your audience with a selling point:
“Improve your cycling performance – Our cycling coaches can get you on the right road”, or “As you read these words a child dies somewhere in the world-donate to stop this happening”, or “Drive without glasses- Laser eye surgery from £X amount”.
The point is that these are selling points and statements. They will catch the eye.
- Benefits and not features. Benefits sell features don’t. Benefits however, are just the foundation; you may need to get creative to keep the copy vibrant, alive, and effective.
The impression you are trying to create with your homepage is that your site is vibrant, active, and alive. Your visitors should feel that not only is your site worth visiting now but worth revisiting in the future. In turn this will make your organisation appear vibrant, active, and alive, and one to be revisited in the future. If you can pull it off you will have more conversions.
If you have questions about the above get in touch or leave a comment.