What Content Should Be on Your Homepage
There can be a lot of content you could potentially put on your homepage. But to start you have to think simple. Stick to these basic three questions and work from there.
The first question you have to answer right away is the most obvious:
What Does Your Company Do?
A user should be able to figure this one out in under three seconds. If they can’t you aren’t doing it right. If you sell a specific product it needs to be right there on the homepage. Avoid stock photos of smiling people or beautiful scenery, just say or visualy show whatever service you provide or product you sell.
If you provide a variety of products or services find the one that best identifies you and use that.
Italio Kitchen showcases some of their dishes on the homepage with a slideshow. They sell italian food. They show italian food.
How Do You Do It
Undoubtedly you aren’t the only company in your vertical. So after establishing what you do, speak to how you do it. Well, hopefully. You’re either cheap, or fast, or high quality, or green, or something else, but you need to let customers know. This is what the process is like creating the product or how it is to work with you with this service.
This is transparency. Say what you do (question one) and then how you do it. People don’t have the time online for a sales pitch so just put it out there as simply and succinctly as possible.
Which brings us to the final question.
How Are You Different From The Competition?
Why would a customer chose you over the competition? This ties in with the question above nicely. We do one or more things better. Don’t tell, show or demonstrate it.
It’s three fairly simple questions that you should be able to answer at least two of the three in the first couple lines of text or the first image.
We sell donuts, baked daily from organic ingredients.
But remember, people have no reason to, and shouldn’t take what you say at face value, which is why you’ll need to back up and prove everything you say and claim, and that will be what most of the content on your site will be there to do.
A common way to prove your worth is social proof. You can show testimonials from happy customers and clients, list awards you’ve won, certifications you’ve received, praises and other mentions in the news, and so on.
Cannon uses the top area of their site so show their cameras and the next section to demonstrate social proof in the form of videos shot using their products by various famous film makers. You see the quality of the footage shot using the cameras and you see that experts use the cameras.
Call to Action
Finally you’ll need to tell the user exactly what you want them to do. Buy the product now, show where it can be purchased, or to contact you. Don’t make them have to work for it.
Wufoo has two sign up buttons on the left side of the screen for Pro signups or to sign up for free.
So to summarize:
- What You Do
- How You Do It
- Why They Should Choose You
- Proof (of the above 3)
- Call to Action
There is no hard and fast rule it has to be done in this order. The first three are so similar they can be demonstrated together. The proof should be throughout your site. And the call or calls to action should be in multiple locations.
Just remember, it doesn’t pay to try and disguise or spend a lot of time with a sales pitch. Give your users the exact information they want and nothing more. Google Analytics will give you a good idea of what pages users are looking at. Find out what is popular and improve and add to it. Talk to your customers and get feedback. Find out what isn’t clear and make it so.