If you're in the process of a website redesign, or creating an entirely new website, you're most likely trying to decide what to put on the home page and how to organize the site's content. It can be a struggle. But there are some key questions you can ask yourself and your colleagues (and even your boss) as you plan for what to include, especially on the precious, limited space on the home page.
There are a few approaches to designing a home page that we’ve seen over the years – some are good and some are just plain confusing. Most of the bad home page are bad because they weren't thinking about this one, really important concept:
YOUR WEBSITE IS NOT FOR YOU.
If you ask around the office, you’re going to get a list of home page must-haves that serves each department’s wishes. If you really try to accommodate the company’s “needs” you’re likely to end up with a jumbled mess that doesn’t make it clear to the visitor what they should do.
REMEMBER: Your website is all about the customer's experience. Not what your company wants -- to sell more products/services.
4 Things to CONSIder to increase website lead generation
Spend some time before you do any design or coding to find the information you'll need to make the best decisions. (When you're ready for the actual design read our website design blogs.)
1) Understand Organizational Goals
A better approach to determining what to put on your website's home page is to get to the root of the most basic foundation of why your company exists. What are you trying to accomplish? What are your organization's specific strategic goals for the next year, or the next five years? These goals are typically well-established and quantifiable (ie: new customers or revenue growth) and that makes them easier to work towards. If they’re not set, try to get these answers before you go further.
2) Know Who You Are Targeting
Define quite specifically the type of people you're targeting. If your website is primarly for men ages 18 - 30 your site should look like you intended it for them. What catches the eye of this age group and gender compared to women of the same age or men who are 50+?
Remember... this website isn't for you. It's for your target audience. If you're a 50 year old executive it may not appeal to you, but that's OK. Get something up and out there and then you can start to test it out and let the results speak for themselves. You can always make changes later.
3) Determine What You Can Do to Create a Trusting Relationship
Your home page can be the coolest thing your target audience has ever seen, but do you have what you need to keep them on the site so you can convert them into a lead? Here's where some creativity can really help. Some things that can help you attract visitors and keep them coming back include:
- How-to videos that solve problems your target audience experiences. Of course relate this to how your product can help, but don't push it too hard. Educate. The sales will come easy once they understand how to solve their problems.
- A blog dedicated to addressing common questions and new ideas that would interest your target audience. This should be less about selling and more about educating.
- A short quiz or calculator that will help visitors see the potential solution to their problem.
Also, be sure that you don't decide what you "think" will be great and then walk away from it for years. Monitor it all the time! Make sure you really know if it's working. And if it's not, try something else.
4) Create a Call-to-Action
It should be plain and clear what you want someone to do next. This might include one of the following:
- Sign up for your free trial
- Download your free eBook
- Get added to your blog email list
- Fill out a form to be contacted by your sales team
Try not to include more than 1 or 2 Calls to Action on any page. Focus on what's most important and feature that. Make it easy for someone to take the next step.
Once you have completed this planning phase it may be time to start thinking about what to create. Start with the essentials and build from there. Don't agonize for months and months. Get something created, put it out there and then start to see what's working and what's not.