Making a bad first impression with your website can make all the difference: Since your competition is just a click away, it’s important that your website instantly showcases your business in a way that suits your expertise and professionalism.
With this in mind, your homepage is the most important part of your website as it gives the first impression of your company. This is usually the most visited page in your online business – and the easiest to remember. There you share your mission, your values and goals – and should clearly communicate to your audience how your product / service responds to their needs.
To make sure you leave a lasting impression, we’ve rounded up 9 steps to help you optimize your homepage.
1. Set goals
What is your website about? How can you educate your audience? The aim is to invite users beyond the homepage to deal with your entire website. Either way, set realistic goals for yourself. Integrate calls to action to initiate the next steps and relieve the user of the decision.
2. Create content
The content of your homepage is your business value proposition.
Focus on one long-tail primary keyword. What words / phrases are your audience looking for to find your product or service? Use headings and bullets to make it easy to scan your content.
- Use spaces so as not to overwhelm the visitor with content.
- Use internal links to guide you through the website.
- Add relevant, small pictures.
- Overlay large images with call-to-action text.
- Overall, you lead the visitor.
3. Optimize homepage for search engines
Make your page unique by using a main keyword that describes your business. Aside from that:
- Meta description: a CTA (call-to-action) of up to 150 characters.
- Don’t forget headings! H1, H2, H3 (only one primary heading (H1)).
- Content: Should be structured with boldface and bullets.
- Images: file name and alternative text (alternative text describes the image for search engines and is used for screen readers for the visually impaired).
- Anchor text links: This is the actual text that will be hyperlinked. Instead of using phrases like “click here”, use a keyword.
EXTRA: Link building for SEO: How to develop a successful strategy
4. Create an eye-catching header
The simpler your header, the better.
- Use your logo in the header.
- Include your phone number.
- Add links to the top right for quick navigation.
5. Create the menu / navigation
Use consistent, clear script for easy reading. No more than eight headings should be displayed. Five or six headlines would be ideal. Make it simple and clear.
6. Add calls-to-action (CTA)
The rule is that you only have 3 to 5 seconds to retain visitors.
Each CTA should target a different type of visitor. Not everything has to be targeted at landing pages; for example, some may link to blog posts. Integrate A / B testing by testing two different CTAs against each other to see which one gets more clicks. Take a look at your analytics to find out which CTAs are most effective.
7. Social Media Plugins
Allow your users to comment on, like, or share posts. Good content is a prerequisite for many positive actions!
8. Create a footer
The footer should be embedded consistently across the website.
Include contact information and important links. Users often use the footer as an active sitemap. Don’t forget the company name and the copyright!
9. Test your homepage continuously
- Are you achieving your goals?
- Have the goals changed?
- What can be added or adjusted?