Imagine you are strolling through the mall and stop to look at your favorite department store’s window. Instead of seeing the usually up and coming trends displayed or a sign that marks an annual sale, you see a barrage of everything that the store sells, from furniture to mens, childrens, and womens clothes, to shoes and accessories. Every bit of space in the window is cluttered with some product or another in an effort to ensure that every passerby knows everything that is offered in that store.
Your homepage acts as the shop window for your website. It gets people in the door. If you cannot find the pair of slacks you want in the display window, you do not assume it is not there. You shouldn’t assume your customers will leave your site if they can’t find what they want immediately.Here are some tips for choosing what to put on your homepage:
1.) Include a one to two sentence pitch of what you are all about. Customers have limited attention spans. They don’t have time to scan all of your products, but they will stick around if they know what your angle is.
2.) Include a homepage graphic with either key or new products, or even a link to a sales page. You don’t have time to waste the expensive real estate on your home page. Rather than including a large seasonal graphic or a picture unrelated to your products, make sure your graphic appeals to its audience and lets them know what you have to offer.
3.) Do not ask your customers to do to much too early. Are you asking customers to watch a video as well as click to view all of your inventory and make a call to a salesperson? You would not ask someone to do this in real life, and you shouldn’t do this with your website. Prioritize the top two things you want customers to focus on when first entering your site and stick with those.
4.) Take design cues from the best. Internet Retailer picked their Hot 100 Retail Websites based on progressive design and ease of use. Pick out your favorites and infuse some of their cues with your own style and story.
So sort through the clutter of your homepage and use it to entice people to enter your site. The value of your products and services should do the rest.