By Tony Adragna
In your home, chances are there are several points people could enter your house from. These entry points include front doors, back doors, garage doors, windows, and so on. However, your guests probably enter your home from one point more times than all of the others combined. That’s how the homepage of your website works, as well. There are several entry points and pages on your website, but more times than not, users find your homepage first. That’s why on a typical website, the homepage has the most traffic and links pointing to it. Why is that? Usually, that’s because your homepage is the oldest URL on your website, your homepage typically has the most direct visits, and homepages are the most advertised URL for online and offline marketing channels. But what is the purpose of a homepage?
The Purpose of Optimizing Your Homepage
Overall, the purpose of your website is to market your products or services and turn website visitors into leads and, eventually, customers. Your homepage is no different. It should be easy to navigate, easy to understand, and offers your personas information on what they are searching for. In essence, your homepage should answer the question, “Can I help you find what you’re looking for?” You want to help the visitor get from your homepage to page two, because then, they’ve expressed what they are interested in knowing more about.
Before Your Start Designing, Remember...
Clearly define goals and strategies for what you want your homepage to accomplish for your company first. These goals could include defining what your website is about and what you want the action step to be for users that visit your homepage. Be sure to associate numbers with your goals. For example, you may want to have a 45 percent click-through rate on your top-of-the-funnel call to action with a 25 percent conversion rate on the associated landing page. Without clearly defined strategies and goals, your homepage can become a jumbled mess that users bounce from quickly.
As you build your website, remember that most conversions start with the homepage. First impressions are typically made within 0-8 seconds—that’s how long you have to catch a visitor’s eye with a captivating headline and call to action. If you aren’t able to grab users’ attention within that time frame, chances are they’ll leave.
You should also recognize that most users who initially visit your website are not ready to buy, which correlates with our previous point of strategy: Have a plan to move users down the funnel, starting with your homepage.
And now, the infographic we promised: