There is much talk about Landing Page Optimization and ensuring that your landing pages are highly optimized for conversions when someone clicks through from a PPC ad or other ad.
But what about the Home Page? How do you optimize it so it is most effective?
Hmmm. Define Effective
Many times businesses want their website home page to do a tremendous amount of work. So to say that their website home page is effective is sometimes difficult to define, because it really depends on what they want their home page to do.
That may sound silly, but really, what exactly do you want your home page to do for you? Do you want it to help brand your company? (Most likely.) But do you also want it to drive leads? Do you want it to announce latest news, get people to Like you on Facebook, display your products or services, have people sign up for a free trial, download a whitepaper, read details about your services, buy your product, or something else all together?
Maybe it’s all of the above.
Give Your Home Page a Break
Many times people try to make their home page work too hard. They try to make it a catch all for everything to do with the website. Or they try to have it make the sale before a visitor even understands who the company is and why they should buy from them.
Decide on Your Objectives
The first thing you need to do with your home page is to decide on the objectives. That may sound obvious but many times it’s overlooked.
You must then prioritize the objectives because they are not all equal.
What’s Really Important - Really
First decide on your main objective. Many times that is to move your visitors into your website for them to learn more about your products or services so they can better understand why they should buy from you. Your home page can’t really accomplish all of that unless you only have one product and no other objectives for the home page or the site.
Ok, So What Else Is Important?
Next you need to decide which of the remaining objectives you have are primary and secondary objectives. These objectives are not as important as your main objective, but they are still objectives that need to be handled in some manner.
For example, is listing your latest news items on your home page a primary objective or secondary objective? It probably depends on how important the news items are to your visitors and whether it causes them to want to buy from you more.
Also, how large should your social media icons be on the page? Is social media a driving force within your business? If so, you may want to make the icons more prominent on the page, or even have feeds on your page showing the latest comments on your social media campaign. But if it’s not that important to your business right now, then the icons should not dominate important real estate on your home page. Maybe place them near the bottom with your footer links.
There are many other aspects to consider when designing and writing for your home page such as where to place your value proposition, how to best use images, how your images and content are laid out together, etc. But that’s for another time.