Everyone knows that the home page of your website is often the first thing that visitors see. However, many businesses forget that “potential customers don’t eat, drink, breathe, and sleep their products.” If a company is not careful, their front page can end up having more of a inner office memo look and focus than a marketing tool. Instead of focusing on the project of the moment, consider your website’s home as an overview of your business; a place to inform people about your products and business as a whole.
What are some topics you should cover on your home page? The most important element you should include is “a clear and concise description of the company.” If people don’t understand what you are offering for sale, chances are they won’t become a customer. A search function and other simple navigation, current news and events pertaining to the business, and the products you offer are additional aspects you probably want to include.
Ultimately, “what you should aim for is a balance between providing the online tools returning customers crave with the information that new customers need to make the decision to go with your company.” This looks differently for each business, so consider how you can best reach out to first-time visitors, while providing easy re-ordering options for repeat users. Your website is a potentially powerful tool for attracting and informing people about your business. For example if you have your products listed on your home page, a simple description and links to more information can help new customers decide which of your offerings is best for their needs. A good example of returning customer tools is the window on the home page of Diapers.com which allows people to quickly choose a product to re-order based on a list of their previous purchases.
Remember that a visitor to your website doesn’t necessarily come with any previous information about your company. This may be the only chance you have to impress them and make a sale. The importance of your website’s home page cannot be underestimated. It should contain a summary of the purpose of your company, the products you offer, lots of links to more information, and simple navigation. “This allows new [and returning] customers to visualize what they will be getting.”
Do you agree or disagree? Perhaps, I missed something? Either way, I would just love to hear what your thoughts are on this topic… just let me know your alive!