Welcome to another edition of the “5 Reasons” blog series. This will be a weekly blog series, with a fresh post every Monday (I know its Wednesday, here’s why). Last week’s topic was “Five Reasons Email Isn’t Going Anywhere”.

This Week’s Topic = Five Reasons Your Homepage Isn’t Doing its Job

Too many people miss the purpose of your website’s homepage. In my opinion, it has but one job – get people off the homepage and onto the next page in their journey. It should establish who you are, reassure them that they’ve come to the right place, and then get them moving.

If your homepage has a high bounce rate and isn’t getting people into the rest of the site, you’ve got a problem. Here are five potential causes:

  1. Too much information. The number one mistake people make is crowding their homepage with too much stuff. The general fear is “if it’s not on the homepage no one will find it”. But a well designed website makes finding what you’re looking for easy. The cliché, less is more, has never been more true than when you’re talking about homepage design.
  • Too many options. To get people off the homepage and into the rest of the site, you need to give them a clear path. This is where organization and navigation come into play. A simple top navigation should have 4 or 5 folders, or pages, with other options as you dig deeper. If you try to give every page on your site equal billing, you’re more likely to confuse your visitors than anything else.
  • No clear branding. Your homepage should never be cryptic. When I land on it, I should know exactly where I am. Include a clearly identifiable logo and company name to reinforce who you are and let me know I’ve come to the right place.
  • No call to action. Just like an ad should have a clear call to action, your site should point out to visitors where to go next. There is likely a path that you want people to travel down. So don’t leave it up to them, show them the way.
  • No contact information. It’s very easy to hit the back button if I can’t find what I’m looking for on your homepage. But having clear contact details, like a phone number, email address, or live chat option, makes it more likely that instead of giving up and reach out to someone for help.

As always, if you have your own tips, please include them in the comments below.