Deciding what makes it to your website’s home page can be a particularly daunting task. In the age of parallax themes (the never-ending-scrolls-forever-style themes), there is often a desire to throw everything onto the home page in an effort to overload people with information. The problem with that is when you give people too many options, they’ll often go into analysis paralysis and do nothing instead of something.
If you want to increase your website’s effectiveness and get more results, spend a bit of time strategically looking at your website. To help you do this, here are four questions to ask yourself when deciding what to add to your website’s home page:
1. Who Do I Serve and What Do They Want?
The first thing you need to remember about your website is that even though it’s your website, it’s not really about you.
People need to land on your website and feel as though they’ve found a solution to a problem that they have (or one that they didn’t even know they had prior to that moment). They want an experience that makes them feel understood, seen and validated. Your job, as the website owner, is to create this container for them.
Let’s look at an example to see how speaking to your audience can drive your point across quickly and easily.
This is Tim Ferriss’ website for his book The 4-Hour Workweek. It was designed by the brilliant design agency Digital Telepathy.
Upon looking at the website’s home page, you’ll notice that the opening line says, “If you could 10x your per-hour output… how would your life and business change?” That isn’t a line about Tim. It also isn’t a line about how incredible the book is. It’s an emotionally charged line that you’ll either connect with or not. Those that do will stay on the site and those that don’t will leave.
Look at your own copy and ask yourself: am I creating an opportunity for people to feel emotionally connected to the work? If not, it’s time to hit the editing board.
2. What are My Business Goals and What Action Will Get Me Closer to Achieving Them?
When it comes to your home page, less is more. To determine the best direction to send people, think about your business goals.
Do you want to grow your mailing list?
Do you want more sign-ups for your product demo?
Do you want people to check out your latest writing in an effort to connect with them?
What is it that is important to you, your business and your bottom line? Once you’ve determined that, it’s time to put that piece front and center.
Here’s another great example from Digital Telepathy. This one was designed for New Relic and, as you can see in the screenshot, their goal is obvious and it’s very dialed in.
New Relic appears to want website visitors to sign up for their service. They’ve even put those strong call-to-action buttons in a bright orange color to make them even more eye-catching. A great example of a company knowing their business goals and directing people where they need to go.
So, ask yourself: what do I want people to do? Now, look at your website and see if it’s easy for them to achieve that without much effort.
3. Who Am I and What Do I Want People to Know About Me?
This may seem counter-intuitive to the first question but depending on your website’s purpose, highlighting who you are and what you bring to the table may be important.
For example, Gary Vaynerchuk is someone that people follow because of who he is. Sure, he has many different (and successful!) businesses, but he’s also a thought-leader and his personal website reflects that. The website really is meant to showcase his work, his expertise but also to provide a lot of education and support to entrepreneurs.
On Gary Vee’s home page, you’ll see a bright red section with a title that reads “First Time Here?” Right underneath that title is a video called “A Short Film About How I Do Business” and under that, a few more resources that are helpful to understand more about who Gary is and what his philosophies are.
This is extremely valuable for a website like this. When a site is focused on a person, it’s incredibly useful to give your audience more information about your values, the way in which you do business, the type of relationships you build and more.
You want to approach this like a conversation, however. What information can you give your audience that they’ll also find useful or applicable in their own journey through life and business? How can you create a moment of emotional connection?
4. What Social Proof or Sources Can I Use to Shorten the Know, Like & Trust Timeline?
In the examples above, you’ll notice that social proof, as well as other forms of credibility builders, appear on all three websites. Adding these elements to your home page will help to instantly increase your credibility.
Here are some examples of what you can add to help shorten the know, like and trust timeline and get people to feel confident in taking the next step forward:
Videos where you’ve appeared on major news outlets
Media logos from company’s that have featured you (for example, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Cosmopolitan, etc.)
Whatever it is that you have to boost your credibility, make sure that it has a prominent place on your home page so that you can increase confidence in your potential buyers and get them to take action.
Now that you know the four questions to ask yourself, spend a bit of time answering them on your own. Review your website with a critical eye and see where you can improve your online presence.
If you get stuck, you can always hire someone to do this piece for you. Website audits and website reviews from a third-party can be incredibly useful, particularly when that person is also armed with knowledge around current trends, audience resonance and branding.