Your website’s homepage is one of the most important pages on your website. You can think of it like a train station, it is the one place on your entire site that leads everywhere else. It’s the hub of all traffic. So it is very important that you do everything in your power to optimize your homepage so that it does everything it needs to do.
Today we’re going to look at several things you should have on your homepage, and a few things you should leave off.
Include: A Blurb About You
The first thing you should have on your homepage is something that lets visitors know who you are and what it is you do. You also have the chance to make your homepage sell you as a company, so you want to include things that make you look successful and trustworthy. The homepage is a great place for testimonials, for example, because it shows that other people have purchased your services and have found you to be trustworthy and worthwhile.
Don’t Include: Ads!
This is especially the case if your website is small or your primary means of revenue comes from products and not advertisements. Ads slow things down, and yuck things up. If you do have to put ads on your homepage, make sure they are image based, and that there are no auto playing video ads. Visitors hate those.
Include: A Search Box
Technically, this should be available on every page on your site, but for sure it should be front and center on your homepage. Having a search box there will allow users to search through your site without having to go through pages and pages. Search is so much easier, and it is something that everyone knows how to use.
Don’t Include: Clutter
Sure your homepage is popular, which means you want to put content on it that leads people to click through, but what you don’t want to do is include so much that your homepage looks cluttered. Sometimes less is more.
Include: A Sign Up Form
Somewhere above the fold you should have a place to collect email addresses. This can be a simple newsletter sign up form, or an eBook exchange program, or some other means to collect email addresses. Emails are still one of the top ways to market your site, and without a list of your own, you’re leaving a lot of traffic on the table.
The rest is all about personal taste. Don’t be afraid to A/B test parts of your homepage to see what works. Use Google Analytics’ heat map functionality to see which parts of your homepage get action and which get ignored. Then replace the ones that aren’t used.