For most websites, your home is the first point of contact for your audience. Your aim? To lay the foundation for the relationship, transaction or customer journey that you want your ideal audience to take.
Think of it this way: if your were greeted by a ruffled concierge at your favourite hotel, their haphazard appearance would set the tone for your entire experience.
In this same way, your home page and a concierge need to walk a delicate balancing act: both have to guide, but not overwhelm with multiple choices. Both need to provide information, but not get bogged down in the details – it is your first encounter, after all.
There are, of course, countless way to improve your home page's bounce rate. Not to mention, ensure that customers are clicking through to other parts of your website. If your want to provide the perfect springboard for the rest of your website, here are just 5 easily actioned tips to get you there.
5 easy ways to ensure your home page makes a compelling first impression
Write for the human, not the machine
I’ve written before about the client who insisted on cramming his headline with nonsensical SEO. In a word, NO. It does not convert. It could potentially score you a small increase in traffic if your H1 tag was Buy Rompers Online, but no one will stick around with an unfriendly headline like that.
Because I don’t want to just Buy Rompers Online.
I want to make my legs look longer, and solve the huge fashion dilemma of what top to wear with what bottom.
Here’s how Nasty Gal does it to sell their rompers:
Add value to your headline
One common problem with headlines is communicating your value. People think it’s the features of their products – fast service, leather soles, a collaborative interface – and these are important, yes. But your audience wants to know what you can do for them, not what you do intrinsically.
Here’s how MindValley, an online platform for personal growth development, creates a value proposition for their products:
Keep it simple
I know it can be easy to get carried away with widgets and icons and logos, but you need to fall in love with the beauty of whitespace. Do you really need those social icons? Do you need that sidebar menu? Do you need your email in the header, or just an icon of an envelope? Do you really need multiple calls-to-action? The answer, more often than not, is hell no.
Kill your darlings.
Here's how Alex Franzen keeps it sparse:
Add a CTA
It’s your job to tell people what to do next on your website. If they’ve landed on your homepage, their journey isn’t over. You need to keep them clicking and interacting with you. What’s the top action you want them to take? If you want them to complete a sale, then exploring new season items would be primary. If it’s to sign up for a course, you need their email address first so you can go in for the hard sell. Or maybe it’s to book a complimentary consultation. Just make sure your CTA is prominent.
Here’s how Crazy Egg gets your email address:
Pop-ups are a point of contention, but whatever works for you. Sumo Me has a breakdown of all the best pop-up apps over here. https://sumome.com/stories/email-signup-benchmarks
Add your contact info
You want people to say an easy, confident yes to you, your business, and what you’re selling. If someone has to hunt around for contact info, they’ll likely get bored, and navigate elsewhere. You don’t have to use a gaudy phone number and demand to CALL NOW!!! A simple icon of an envelope is the universal symbol for ‘please, contact me’. Or just use your phone number. Use it. Don’t abuse it.
Here’s how KissMetrics gets you to contact them easily:
Crafting the perfect home page is something that takes time and experimentation. Test out what works best for you. I’ve shown you five different ways to do so – test out one of them, if not all of them.