Consumers do their research before going into a store or calling for a plumber. They browse the internet for the perfect fit. This is called the omnichannel, where consumers use multiple sources of information to inform their buying decisions. They’re called omnishoppers. Are you ready for them? Because your homepage is your store front. More importantly, it’s your first impression.
It takes 7 seconds to form a first impression when meeting someone in person. Your homepage has this same effect, but you have a little more time because they are actively seeking you out and want to know more. That’s why your content needs to convince them to do more than read further. It has to make them do something—click a link or pick up the phone—something to make them commit.
People are scanners. They scan the text, looking for keywords that fit their needs. They will read your page after they are convinced that it’s right for them. Otherwise, a quick swipe left and they’re on to the next one.
How Much Content?
There are two conflicting opinions on homepage content. On one side, there are the minimalists. The other side, we have the maximalist.
For the minimalist, the intent of their homepage is to force the user to take a very specific action. The homepage becomes a landing page with a handful of words, a few graphics, and links.
The maximalist believes that the homepage is more than a landing page. It’s where all of the information should be. Why? Search engine optimization (SEO).
As you can see, both of these have their merits. They also have their drawbacks. So, when working with a web developer, you’ll need to ask yourself some questions:
- What is the purpose of the homepage?
- What are the decisions visitors need to make?
- What will compel them to read further?
- What differentiates me from my competition?
Your answers to these questions will give you as much information as possible to form the foundation of your homepage.
The Elements of a Homepage
Whichever you choose, your content works with all of the elements on your homepage. There are typical visual cues, such as a logo or “Click Here” buttons and links. These are the action items that your content needs to support. The role of your homepage content is to guide potential clients through the sales funnel, so never forget to have a call to action.
For me, I prefer a hybridization of the two types. This eliminates many of the drawbacks they both have. Whichever you choose, make sure it focuses compelling content that gets a response.