Have you ever put much thought into what your “homepage” is supposed to do? Each industry is a little different and every business has a different idea on how they should portray their products or services, but very few business owners know the answer to that question. It is a simple answer. Your homepage is supposed to do a variety of things, but most importantly it should answer some of the burning questions your potential customers may have.
Every single person and robot that visits your homepage will ask a very simple question. They will ask, “What is this?” Your homepage should easily convey the answer to this question by making it very clear what the website offers them. Think of the homepage as a summary of sorts. It should clearly explain what the company or brand is all about and offer up options for the viewers to explore a little further. It has to be a fine balance of give and take. It should give them just enough information to answer the “What is this?” question while pushing them to explore a little deeper.
The next most important question that is waiting for an answer is, “Who is this for?” Most people don’t really look at a website and ask themselves this question, but if the content does not state a clear purpose it will cause confusion. Here is a solid example.
Dan has an e-commerce website that sells high dollar camera accessories, specifically lenses. Now, would it make sense for his homepage to showcase anything other than the best lenses with some pricing information? No it would not. Make sure your homepage makes it very clear who it is for.
By now you should be starting to see the bigger picture. Your homepage should be designed to answer all of these very important questions. The big “HOW” question generally refers to how much does this product or service cost? You can answer that question pretty easily. There are some instances where costs are hidden in hopes of getting a viewer to dig a little deeper through some information, but this can have limitations.
There is another burning “HOW” question that may need to be addressed and that question is “How does it work?” This is particularly helpful in a service type environment.
One all too common final question that every person will have is this. “Why should I buy from you?” This ultimately relates to, “Why should I trust you?” These questions can be answered in various ways. By presenting some sort of social proof such as a few good testimonials, potential customers can see what your current customers think of your products and services. It can also be answered by providing some short content that highlights your expertise. Also, your website’s layout, colors, fonts and images reflect your brand’s sense of professionalism (or lack thereof) in the minds of customers. If your site looks outdated, or inconsistent with with other companies in the same industry, customers will pick up on that.
If your homepage can easily and accurately answer these five burning questions, then congratulations! You have partially cracked the code for successful homepage design!