Every business is unique. When it comes to crafting a powerful homepage you need a solution works with your unique business objectives. There is a lot of marketing advice out there. Much of it is really good too. This makes it incredibly hard to know what advice will work for your business and what advice will not.
So, what advice will help you make a great homepage and what advice will not base on your unique objectives?
To uncover what advice will work and what advice will not all you need to know are four primary principles in digital marketing.
- Be clear with your messaging so someone can understand you quickly.
- Create fewer questions from customers and ask them at the right time.
- Put the customer first.
- Save your customers time.
First, every home page needs to be clear. If a customer is confused about the products you offer they will not buy from you. A clear message needs to come alongside a quality product, service, or idea. People buy products they understand the most.
To find out if someone can understand your products show them your home page for 3 seconds. If they do not understand what you are selling within 3-5 seconds it is not clear enough.
You might be surprised but Facebook does a great job at being clear. There is a lot they do and it might be tempting to talk about all of their features. Instead they focus on being clear and highlight what is most important.
Clarity is powerful but it is not the only factor. There is no silver bullet when it comes to making a great home page.
Fewest Questions, Impeccable Timing
When you cause someone to think you are losing ground. For a custom car products site, you might be tempted to ask for their vehicles make model and year right away. If you are a delivery service or sell insurance you might want a zip code. If you are a personal injury lawyer you might want to know the cause.
For example, Michelin Tires asks right away for your vehicle make, model, and year. It is not to say they are doing anything wrong. However, they are asking a lot of questions right when you get on the site.
Your home page must create the fewest questions possible. An unwanted question is a barrier to a sell. The goal is not to eliminate questions entirely. The goal is to remove the questions that are not needed. For Michelin Tires it might be that asking for your vehicle information is a question that must ask.
Timing is also important. Some questions must be asked. When they are asked is what is important. The goal is not to ask all the questions at the end. It is to ask them at the perfect time.
For example, a delivery service needs a zip code to account for pricing in many cases. However, that question needs to come the right time. To ask fewer questions and get the timing right requires critical thinking and creativity. There are no cookie-cutter solutions here only the principle.
One of the things we like to say at Robojuice is this, “We want to create fewer question marks (?) over a customer’s head and more excitement marks (!).” If we can convert questions to excitement then we are talking.
To find out if your questions are right, have someone use your site and watch their facial expressions. You want smiles not confused or overly focused looks.
Focus on the Customer
This is perhaps the biggest rule in the design world and it is true in the marketing world as well. The user or customer comes before the business. This is not to say the business is not important. It is to say that the customer comes first.
To put the focus on the customer. Focus on the problems they are trying to solve. Come along side then in their time of need and guide them through solving their problem. Frame your marketing round them not your business.
It is can be say to say on your home page, “At our business. We see your problems. We solve those problems.” Do not do this. Focus on the customer. Say, “You have a problem. You want a solutions. Our business has the answer for you.”.
MoonClerk does a great job at focusing on the customer with their words but also demonstrate who their are through the images they use.
It is not about taking yourself out of the equation it is about making the customer the hero of the story. It is about helping the customer accomplish their goals first.
Saving time is another principle. Saving time is not just about a site loading fast it is also about customers understand what is going on quickly. The words and design you use are the greatest factors in the time arena.
Your home page needs to be clear and concise with its words and design.
A home page that sales needs to be designed in a way that gives direction not options. Providing direction points a customer to a solution. Options causes a customer to slow down and question what it is they want.
Remember, you want to ask questions at the right time and it is probably when their first arrive on the home page.
Also, using the right words in just as important as creating the right design. Lengthy copy is not helpful if you are trying to save time.
Apple has been one of my favorite sites when it comes to being clear and concise. With their powerful brand string product photography and right words they can cut directly what matters most and convert the question they create into excitement. Plus, the message is about the customer.