Your Web site should be working for you every second of the day, capturing leads, selling a product, or marketing your brand. Your website should be helping consumers answer questions, establish new markets, and give answers to some of their burning questions about your goods or services. And all of this can be handled on your Web site’s home page.
Industry Army Marketing has come up with a few best practices to consider for the home page. Which will give potential clients with a better overall experience and while boosting your credibility as a go-to resource in your market or create you as the industry leader for the products you deliver.
1. Keep your Customer front and centre
Make no mistake, consumers come to your Web site to search for information and great deals. Consumers want to search for deals from far and wide and want the impression that your site is reputable, is informative, and reliable. Give them a brand they can trust from the moment they see a professional website. A professional website give the customer the feeling that you care about the user experience and how you conduct business. Keep your customers attention is the obvious objective and we will explain this in more detail.
2. Calls to action and contact forms
The purpose of any Website is to get more business or create data for future lead generation. Use calls to action to ask the consumer to take action on a specific item. Asking a Web visitor to “click here to view” some information will typically garner more clicks then just embedding the link in your text. Be sure to have contact forms on well designed squeeze pages to entice visitors further. Ask them to make an appointment, get more information, sign up for updates, or news on your industry. These forms cannot be ignored this is how a Web site viewer becomes a lead.
3. Clear and Simple layout
Always focus on the visitor experience when thinking about your home page design and layout. Be clear with your purpose and don’t overwhelm them with content or too many decisions. Remember that white space is okay. Avoid heavy code and flash, as this will affect your page’s load times. Do not have something automatically play when visitors land on your home page, such as music, a video, or a voice recording you’re likely to have them quickly bouncing from your site.
4. Fresh and useful content
Content is King, and this knowledge is not so secret weapon for SEO. Even though most businesses and Web developers know how important content is, most companies are still not providing fresh and useful information on their Websites. What is useful content? Try to keep a local flair to a large part of what you post when your business targets local customers Talk about local markets or events around town, spotlight a business, try a “man on the street” interview, or just showcase a product with a theme of being the knowledge leader in your local area. Non-localized content can be anything from news to DIY projects and from FAQs to insider information. A mix of text, photos, and videos is ideal. Need ideas or fresh content that you don’t have time to research or write, try an SEO content writer.
5. Add links to your content
Use links on your home page to provide the visitor with a deeper dive into your site. For your Website to have value, set up your home page as the portal that allows users to easily navigate through to the internal pages of your site. Having proper anchor text is also great for Google Search. This can be accomplished in two ways – have clear menus with obvious navigation and add in links to your existing home page content.
6. Use video
These days, most users prefer to watch our Internet experience rather than read it. Get in front of this at this shift and use it as an opportunity. I know that many of you have already ventured into video by creating a you Tube Channel to bring your community together, but think about creating a business profile on video. Embedded video or video that will play on the page is a big win right now. As video continues to rise in popularity, adding an embedded video or playlist is a great way to increase both traffic and the time visitors spend on a page as well as to build rapport with visitors. If you have the right search engine optimization behind your videos, you can increase traffic to your site as well.
7. Social media is a part of your Web marketing strategy
Do more than just linking to your Facebook business page and LinkedIn profile. In fact, you might be better off downplaying those profiles so you don’t lose visitors to the social media sucker a similar solution should be on all of your content pages, if possible, and woven throughout your site in a meaningful way. “Share this” is simple to set up and allows users to share your content on their network of choice. Use social media to drive traffic to your Web site – share your own content when you have a new post or page or if you just want to draw attention to a page on your site.
8. A word on SEO (or several words)…
Stop over thinking search engine optimization. Try to focus on your content above all else, and make a great experience for the consumer. I know that you have been taught that keywords and on-page SEO are important to a good search ranking – and they are, to a point. But don’t be keyword silly and pack your home page with the little gems. On-page SEO will only take you so far. If your site stinks, you might get the traffic from the on-page SEO, but you will lose the lead. For those who are link crammers the same goes for you! If the experience stinks, you won’t get the business anyway.
So let’s review our best practices for your Web site home page:
1. A great Business Identify from the second your page appears
2. Use calls to action and get them to a squeeze page to build contact info
3. Be sure your design is clear and easy to navigate
4. Create or repurpose valuable content and resources
5. Use links and anchor text to drive them deeper in your website
6. Try video to engage users
7. Use social media to share valuable information and drive traffic
8. Don’t over work search engine optimization
Remember, experience matters! Try to create a fantastic experience for your Website visitor. There are lots of tricks to drive people to your site, but it’s another thing altogether to convert them to users of your products or services. And of course use Search Engine Optimizing to your home page and get your Website working for you today!