Your home page is probably the most important page on your website. It’s usually the most visited, because it’s the one that’s on your business cards, shop front and everything else you use to promote your business. If it isn’t you need to get them reprinted!

Your home page is probably the most important page on your website. It’s usually the most visited, because it’s the one that’s on your business cards, shop front and everything else you use to promote your business. If it isn’t you need to get them reprinted!

It usually acts as a portal into the rest of your website, so you’ve got the get it right. You’ve got to give people a reason to stay on your website and click through to your other pages. Visitors who ‘pop in’ for a 5 second quickie are no use.

You must reduce your home page bounce rate. Your bounce rate is measured by the number of people who visit just one page on your website against the number of people visit and spend time looking around.

Reducing Your Home Page Bounce Rate

  1. Keep it Simple: You need a delicate balance of being informative but without giving too much choice. Most people can handle half a dozen choices and are happy with that. Too many more and they’ll just feel swamped and confused. Put the most common choices near to the top of the choice list (use your web stats to help here) and you’ll encourage people to follow the links into the rest of your website.
  2. Make it Quick: Your home page has to be quick to load or people will get easily bored and will go somewhere else. Keeping your home page slick and optimised will help people see the main information swiftly. A well constructed home page will get the main information delivered in no time and the rest quickly after.
  3. Answer the right questions: When someone visits your site, they’re unlikely to be thinking “I wonder what year they were founded in?” They’re asking themselves “Can they help with my tax return?”, for example. You need to consider which of these questions you want to answer. I’m sure that you can guess which one you should be answering (the last one in case you really can’t get it).
  4. Prioritise your content: You need to put your most important content “above the fold” – the part of the website that appears first without any scrolling. This presents it straight away to your visitors. If you have an online store, show your featured products near the top of the page. Always put your main points and call-to-action nice and high at the top of the home page.
  5. What do you do? Never assume that it’s obvious what you do, it rarely is. You need to make it abundantly clear what your website is about so that a first time visitor knows in an instant what you do. Add a slogan, catchphrase, or banner that states this clearly.
  6. Don’t be forceful: Don’t inflict audio and video on anyone. Give them a choice and don’t automatically play anything. By all means have audio and video, but give your visitors a choice of playing it on their terms.

Combine all of the above points on your home page and you’ll be well on your way to keeping your audience engaged and wandering through the rest of your site.