Here’s one of the most important things I’ve learned since I switched careers from journalist to website designer:
Your website homepage shouldn’t really be about your business.
That certainly seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it? It’s also an incomplete thought. Let me put it a better way:
Your website homepage should be about your customer and how they feel.
Think about that for a moment.
When creating a website for your company or organization, it’s tempting to put all the focus on the product or service you’re offering. If you sell widgets, you want to put the widget front and center, right?
Most digital marketing experts will tell you that’s the wrong approach.
This is why: the prospective customers, or leads, who visit your website have a problem they want to solve. Most will not particularly care right away about how awesome your product is or the great people behind it. They have a need, and if they don’t immediately see that need addressed, they will bounce and move on.
There’s a reason the large, prominent image at the top of most homepages is called the hero image – it should make the lead look like a hero. It should ideally depict the buyer in a position of success, having solved their problem with your product or service.
Granted, this isn’t always easy to illustrate. For example, the BizTraffic homepage hero image is an artistic rendition of a photograph showing traffic in Dallas, where our office is located. We chose this image because of its subtlety (BizTraffic) and because, frankly, the concept of designing a successful website is a bit abstract. We also wanted to avoid cliché stock photos of business attire-wearing people crowded around a monitor and smiling.
Plus, the image happens to look great in mobile view.
I digress; hero images are a topic for a future BizBlog post. The important point here is that your homepage will be more likely to grab a lead’s attention if it gives them the opportunity to think of themselves in a winning position, because of your product. Their needs can be fulfilled here, and all they need to do is read on or (ideally) take the Call to Action.
The Bottom Line
When designing your homepage, it is essential to think of your customers from their point of view – who they are, where they come from, their desires, their frustrations, and their goals. Consider what brought them to your site in the first place; most likely, they were looking for a solution to a problem, want, or need. How do they feel before purchasing your product or service? And, crucially, how will they feel after giving you their hard-earned money?
You can learn much more about the keys to building a successful, high-converting homepage, from the folks at DigitalMarketer (subscription required).