Is your home page designed with features that will improve your Google ranking? Does your home page offer immediate access to the site’s key features? Does your home page effectively communicate the company brand? Or, how about this one: does your home page convert prospects into customers?
These are the issues addressed by contemporary home page design. Through smarter design, your home page can attract the attention of the search engines, communicate your brand and your best assets, and improve your conversion rate.
Search Engine Design Tips
Google perceives the home page as the most important page of your website. Use these tips to better market your home page to the search engines.
1. Focus on the First & Last Paragraph
Google judges the content of your site by the first and last paragraphs on your home page. Make sure these paragraphs are filled with all of the keywords that are relevant to your market.
2. Name, Describe, & Name It Again
No matter what you are selling on your website, it should be named directly, as many times as possible on your home page.
3. Formatting Counts
Earn big points for whatever words are used as headers to your paragraphs. Words that have been emboldened or italicized are also perceived as more valuable.
4. Keep It Real
Don’t forget that Google’s primary objective is to provide valuable search results to it’s customers. By providing honest content about what your business offers, you will naturally earn Google’s attention for applicable search terms.
Spotlight your Key Features
1. Give Them What They Want
Don’t make the mistake of using your home page to tell the story of your business. Directly address the product or services you offer with concise language and clear images.
2. One Destination, Multiple Paths
Your product or service may appeal to different readers for different reasons. Validate their unique motives with multiple portals to the same product.
For example, if you sell paper cups, some customers may come to your site because you sell low-cost cups while another group of customers may be attracted to your commitment to the environment. Mention your budget friendly product in one area of the home page followed by a link to your store. Mention your environmental commitment in another area of the home page, again with a link to the store.
The best part? Now you can check your Google Analytics tracking results and see which links buyers used most and learn more about your customers’ motivations.
3. Beautiful Photography Sells
No matter what you say about your product, if the image of the product is of poor quality, you will sabotage your on-line sales. Invest in professional photography and your images will sell your products.
Communicate your Brand
1. Leave No Detail Behind
Every decision made in the design-style of your home page is a reflection of your company‘s brand. Make sure that the fonts, colors, images, and content are all communicating your company’s core goals and values.
2. Use Solution Based Writing
Instead of wasting home-page real estate talking about your business credentials, focus on solution based content. Your product or service offers a solution to a unique problem. Your home page can tell the reader what that problem is and how you can solve it.