Tell-Tale Signs Your Homepage Sucks

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In most cases, your homepage is the first impression a potential customer will have of your company. A great homepage makes your visitors want to dig deeper into your website and take action now. A bad homepage, on the other hand, makes your website visitors click “back” immediately

•    The headline says “Welcome”—I understand you want new visitors to feel welcome while on your website, but this headline is a complete waste of space. Not only does it not add anything to your website, but it actually detracts from your homepage’s effectiveness as it prevents you from writing a powerful, benefit-driven headline. Remember, the headline is the first thing people will see when they come to your homepage. It needs to be interesting enough that it gives them a reason to keep on reading. “Welcome” just doesn’t cut it.
•    It isn’t optimized—By now, you should know the importance of optimizing your homepage (this is an SEO blog after all), so I won’t spend much time on this. But make sure your homepage covers all of the SEO basics (optimized title tags, copy, H1, H2, etc.).
•    You can’t scan through it quickly—Studies show that people tend to scan content online rather than read it word for word. What does this mean for you? It means your homepage copy needs to be laid out in a way that accommodates the scanners. You can accomplish this by using bulleted lists, short paragraphs, and bolded text highlighting the main points of the copy. Anybody who lands on your website should be able to have a basic idea of what your company offers within about 10 seconds.

•    There isn’t any contact info—There’s nothing wrong with having an official Contact Us page, but this doesn’t mean you should hide all of your contact info back there. At the very least, every page of your website should have your phone number or email address above the fold. Let’s face it: people are lazy. You need to make things as easy for them as possible. This means not making them dig around to figure out how to get in touch with you.
•    Your graphics don’t enhance the user experience—Is there anything more pointless than a stock photo on your homepage of some guy in a suit smiling? I’m all for putting images on your website. It helps break up the content, making your page less overwhelming. But you should never include graphics just for the sake of doing so. All images should enhance the user experience. For example, if you sell a diet product, a good image would be a before and after shot of someone who lost weight using your product. Some of your customers will be visual learners, so make sure you make every picture count.
•    The call to action can’t be found—If your homepage doesn’t have a great call to action, you’ll never convert your visitors into customers. Basically, a homepage without a call to action is useless.

What do you do to make sure your homepage is great? Share your favorite tips in the replies.

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