Let’s face it: in 2016, you NEED to have a website for your business.
Having a website can reach millions more customers than just word of mouth or traditional marketing, and can keep you in league with your competition.
But sometimes, when your website goes live, you realize that although you have a plethora of new users and a good amount of sessions coming to your site, you’re not getting as many form submissions or as many calls as you expected.
So what should you do?
You need to make the most of your website. After all, the homepage is generally the most visited page of your site.
It’s the portal to your website and should provide customers with all of the most important information about your business. Visitors to your site look for answers to questions like, "What does this business do?” and “What can this business do for me?”
Does your website's homepage answer your customers' questions?
By using a variety of a user experience best practices, you can have a homepage that is optimized for conversions that can ultimately get those phones ringing and your business moving.
Here are a few questions to help convert customers on your homepage:
- Is Google Analytics implemented on your website? Without question, having the ability to gain a better understanding of what users are doing on your site is the most important piece to the conversion equation. You want to make sure Google Analytics is implemented on every page of the site - not just the homepage.
- Do you have contact information in the top right? Having this information easily accessible (usually in the top right of a page) including a clickable phone number for mobile users, is imperative for conversions. You want to leave a customer with as few steps as possible to get in touch with you.
- Do you have content above the fold? “Above the fold” is the portion of a webpage that is visible when the page first loads, without scrolling. Consider your above-the-fold content to be your most prime real estate. People might not know what your business does, so you need to blatantly tell them up top. This repeats the idea that you want as few steps to conversion as possible. Having to scroll down the page to find important information isn’t ideal. You want the content on your homepage to tell your customer what your business does and how it can help them in a logical and efficient manner.
- Does the navigation make sense? Does it have fewer than 7 items? You want your navigation tabs (the menu of pages on your site) to be relevant and concise. You don't want to distract or disrupt a user's path to conversion. And, you don't want to cause analysis paralysis, the state of over-analyzing (or overthinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken. This can potentially end up in a loss of sale or conversion. Keep your pages simple, few, and easy to understand where to find what information.
- Is there an entry form users can fill out to learn more? Somewhere on your homepage, you should provide a contact form so customers can easily submit their info and hear back from you with answers to their questions. Whether it's for a brochure with more info or to receive a phone call, adding a contact form on the homepage makes it easier for customers to get in touch with you, leading to a higher conversion rate.
- Are your Calls To Action clear and direct? Having a “Call now!” or “Find out more!” button on the homepage leading to either a contact page or a click-to-call makes it simple for customers to understand exactly what they should do next when visiting your homepage. Always make taking the next step (towards a sale) as clear and simple as possible for your customers!
- Is your site responsive? Given the benefits of a responsive website, it should be! If it is, is the display on tablets and mobile as enticing for interaction as the desktop homepage? The manner in which users are coming to website is shifting more than ever to mobile and tablet devices, so it’s important to make sure your homepage isn’t only optimized for desktop users. Optimize for mobile and tablet as well with clean, easy navigation and an obvious, clickable phone number in full view.
Remember that the goal of your homepage isn’t necessarily just to “look pretty,” but to get people to go a step further and connect with your business. Frequently, business owners want a website that is plastered in images and minimal content, but that just leaves visitors with too many questions and ultimately causes them to leave. Don't let them leave as one-time visitors, but as happy customers!
Using these best practices when designing your website will make it optimized for conversions and ultimately bring in more business!