Creating amazing first impressions is usually a pretty important part of a businesses strategy. Often a successful business wants to start closing the sale as someone first drives on to the lot. The curb appeal is super important. How properties look is part of how businesses are perceived.
The same thing is true of web pages, and the first thing most people see when they enter your digital domain (usually by entering your www address) is your homepage.
Just like you keep your parking lot spotless and your entrance area perfect, you should make your homepage pleasing and functional. In web nerd talk, that is called optimization.
An Awesome Title Tag
So, there are three parts of what I call “On-Page Space” which include:
- Your URL (your web address)
- Your Title Tag
- Your Meta Description
If you were wondering, the on-page factors are that little nugget of goodness about you and your store that gets returned when someone finds you after a Google search.
You can’t do much to change your URL, but for every page on your website, you can choose to either let Google pick its own Title Tag and Meta Description or make your own. In most cases, it is a much better idea to create your own tags and descriptions.
Anyway, the Title Tag is the 50-60 character space you have to describe the identifier for your business. Think of the title tag like the elevator pitch of the snippet (only it is a really quick elevator). Here is one example for Starbucks:
Starbucks – The Best Coffee and Espresso Drinks
When you see that Title Tag, you know exactly what to expect when you click on that link. Which is exactly what Google and your customers want, total transparency. So, the first step to optimizing your homepage is deciding exactly how to boil down your USP into 55 characters or less.
An Amazing Meta-Description
Remember, you have a whole page of search results and you want them to choose your link. So, what you want to do is maximize the chances they will click on your lwebsite by optimizing every element of the search snippet.
So, the meta description is the little area under the URL where you are given 150 – 160 characters to tell the reader more about what they can expect when they reach your site. Here is Starbuck’s homepage meta description:
Starbucks uses the highest quality arabica coffee as the base for its espresso drinks. Learn about our unique coffees and espresso drinks today.
Again, the idea is to provide the reader with information that can inform their decision over which of the Google search returns that they should click on. You want to carefully consider what words you choose and which elements you wish to highlight.
Is Your Homepage Easy To Understand And Use
Once you have gotten a customer to your Homepage, have you considered what each user experiences?
Apple made themselves the biggest company on the face of the earth by constantly worrying about creating what they called “intuitive design.” Steve Jobs wanted people to be able to immediately know how to use his products without ever reading any instructions.
Look through the sites that you find the most intuitive and pleasing to visit. Try to write down what makes the page so pleasurable to your eye and makes you want to spend time there. Web page design is a borrower culture where designers constantly try to improve on the innovations created on other sites.
Are You Optimized For Social Sharing
Every week it seems like there is another new “must have” social networking site. While you might not have a presence on every social media platform, you should still make it easy for your visitors to share your content and your homepage on whichever social media sites they use.
This integration works for your site in many ways. Social media users keep their feeds interesting and relevant to their followers by linking to sites they think people will enjoy. Sometimes a single share by one influencer can cause cascading interest in your site and brand. In addition, every place people can find you on the web is another opportunity for them to end up one of your new customers. Finally, social mentions can be a secondary signal to search engines of the relative importance of your site compared to the other sites in your niche. It is always a good idea to include more social sharing buttons.
By utilizing these tips, you should be able to make your homepage as welcoming a place for potential customers as your storefront or parking lot area.