"My homepage needs work. How can I make it more dynamic and effective?"
If you have just created your Webs account you may be wondering what to put on your Homepage. If you already have a great Homepage, you may be looking for ways to make it even better.
Many homepages suffer from too much information or not enough. This article will not only offer advice on what to put on your Homepage, it will explain how the overall composition of your page influences the performance of your website and, by extension, your business.
- Prominently promote your service or product
- Keep homepages brief by keeping content "above the fold"
- Use calls-to-action to direct visitors to important pages
- Keep your Homepage regularly updated
Click through the following topics for detailed tips on how to compose your Homepage.
What is a call-to-action?
Your Homepage is how you direct visitors to important parts of your site, so placing appropriate calls-to-action is vital. Don't just rely on your visitors browsing with the main menu; compel them to visit the pages that are most crucial to your site and business.
More examples of calls-to-action:
- "Get Started"
- "Create Your Account"
- "Request a Quote"
In all cases, these calls-to-action link to another page on the same website, where the visitor can perform the action. Which brings us to the next point:
Inter-linking is the simple practice of linking from one page to another within the same website. It may not be enough to just have a navigational menu at the top of your site; as stated above, you want to guide your visitors from within the content of a page. You can inter-link with
Linking in this manner also allows you to send your visitors to pages that may not be included as part of your navigational menu, such as PDFs, forms, specific blog posts or items.
- Above the fold
Keeping everything "above the fold" means that your homepage isn't overloaded with so much content that your visitor is scrolling through lengthy blocks of text. Use your Homepage to summarize the purpose of your site and business along with appropriate calls-to-action.
The idea is to draw your visitors in right away. Keep these practices in mind:
- Avoid lengthy blocks of text
- Use prominent and compelling calls-to-action
- Use quality images
- Keep it Updated
It's a good idea to rearrange and update things every so often. You may have new products, blog content or other updates you want to link to. Repeat visitors may become bored with the same design after several months, so it's a good idea to make visual changes to keep your site fresh. Adding new content to homepages is also good for SEO!
Now that we have gone over the ways to make a Homepage more effective, let's put it into practice by updating an existing Homepage.
The site owner has already made a number of great choices for her site. The chosen theme suits a homemade candy business, the header is dynamic and complete, and she is utilizing the Carousel. But there's also a few poor choices for the Homepage:
- No visible calls-to-action or inter-linking
- Lengthy paragraph text
- Important info falls below the fold
Let's explore a couple of ways to optimize this Homepage.
- Utilizing the Carousel
Since the site owner has decided to use the Carousel feature, let's use that as the centerpiece for the Homepage makeover.
Just beneath the zoom control in the Carousel is a handle that you can drag to re-size it. In this example, we re-sized the Carousel to take up the majority of the site window.
Now it needs some text that we can use as calls-to-action. Having actual text link to internal pages is good for SEO.
Turn Carousel text and titles ON. Add custom text, and link the title to another page in the site.
Each slide in the Carousel will be used as a call-to-action, directing visitors to new updates and products, ultimately encouraging a purchase.
By utilizing the Carousel we quickly accomplished multiple points outlined in the above tips:
- A good sense of the product by using rotating, high-quality images
- Calls-to-action that appear above the fold
Any content below the Carousel can provide additional info and links, or reinforce what it already present in the Carousel. The site owner has decided to take advantage of another dynamic Webs feature - the Combo module.
- Additional Recommendations
Don't forget to utilize these Webs tools in addition to image and text:
Homepage inspiration can also be found in the Theme Gallery.
Click Theme at the top of your account, then Select a New Theme from the Customize Theme window. This will launch the Theme Gallery.
In each thumbnail are examples of how different site owners have composed their Homepages. Some made static images the focal point while others used the Carousel. Others prominently displayed a contact form or a Combo module.
There is no "right way" to build a Homepage, just keep the objective of your site in mind as well as the needs of your customers.