Best Practice for your Homepage.
For certain websites, a large image can tell the viewer what you do. These sites tend to be in the creative industries, fashion and restaurants. If the company brand is so well known, then large emotive images can work very well. In this great blog by Nick Sladek, the discussion revolves around how a homepage needs to give its message immediately before the potential customer disappears.
Does the conversation with your web company go; “We’ve used this striking image on the home page – it looks awe-inspiring…”
And indeed, it does look impressive. But it says nothing about what you do and, crucially, where you add value.
So why does it matter so much, you might ask? Well, it’s worth remembering the reason for your website. The first-time visitor has either stumbled across your business or has searched for you. You need to develop a connection and reassure your potential customer quickly. How long have you got? About 2 seconds or less! If you’re over 35, spend a minute watching a 20 something browsing the web!
Have a look at these metrics for home page abandonment.
2376 visits and 1636 didn’t even make it past the home page!
1733 jumped off in less than 10 seconds!
So much for the web designer’s striking image! So what’s to be done?
It’s crucial to understand how people arrive at your website.
What do I mean by that?
When you search for a service or indeed a specific company, you’ll most likely end up on that company’s home page. It’s, therefore, crucial to think of your home page as if it were a poster site that needs to work quickly. Five seconds is way too long! Do you remember AIDA? Attention, Interest, Desire, Action! That time-honoured marketing acronym is more relevant today than it ever was.
Home pages need to work hard. And a home page is not an open invitation for the web designer to spend a few hours ‘checking out some cool images’!
Don’t make the visitor scroll down before letting them know what your company does and why they should look further. Trust me, and it’s never because you’re passionate about what you do! If I had a pound for every time I’d seen the ‘passion’ thing, I’d be a rich man!
Often the page you end up on is NOT the home page but a landing page that you’ve been directed to because you clicked a link from many sources: an email, an ad on LinkedIn or another social media platform.
That’s how it should work – the shorter the journey you’re asking the visitor to take, the more likely they’ll get to the place you want them to. Remember the abandonment stats above!
Getting a visitor to your website is just the beginning of a difficult journey. And still a long way off you sending them an invoice! If you’d like to know more, talk to me.