There are so many saying and clichés about home: it is where the heart is and so much more. Your homepage may not be where you live, but it is the place where your ecommerce website lives. All other pages are simply extensions of this page—the rooms that are attached to it. It is important that your homepage be as good as it can possibly be, because it is not just your visitors’ first impression; it is the home and heart of your website.
However, it is easy to get caught up in the day to day running of your ecommerce website and functional things such as shopping carts and bounce rates. These are certainly important, but don’t let them distract you from having a great homepage. Here are a few things to ask yourself about your home.
- Does it represent my brand? Every ecommerce website has a brand, whether you have taken the time to develop it or not. You should absolutely put effort into developing a brand that is appealing to your customers, even if this means consulting a logo design professional or other branding expert. The colors, images and organization of your homepage should be carefully developed to be functional and also to represent your ecommerce website brand.
- Is necessary information both present and prioritized? You need to fit a huge amount of information on a homepage: information about your business, your products, your shipping policies and more. These absolutely need to be present, but you also have to avoid too much clutter. Make sure the most important information is present where consumers look first (usually in the upper right side of the page) and give it priority by using color, image and bold fonts.
- Is my homepage a jumping-off point for the rest of the website? Your customers need to be engaged from the moment that homepage opens. However, they also need to be able to quickly find the information and/or products that they seek. Make it easy to get to necessary information in two clicks. This may require thought, but it will decrease bounce rates and also increase your page rank with search engines.
- Do customers feel engaged and interested? Customers need to get lost in their shopping experience and not lose interest before the sale is complete. Your homepage is the first part of this process of engagement. You may need to experiment a little to see what motifs and themes are most appreciated by your customer base. It will be time and energy well-spent.
- Is there a clear call to action? All this talk about branding and customer engagement may make you think that sales should take a backseat in your homepage. However, this is most certainly not the case. You need to include a call to action and create a sense of urgency from the very beginning.
- Is it well-maintained? There are many abandoned storefronts on the internet and it needs to be clear that yours is not one of them. Include something timely to reassure visitors that you are actively running and maintaining the ecommerce website.