5 Major Mistakes Businesses Keep Making with their Website’s Homepage Design

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But here is the question: How do you define the phrase “Great Website?”

As I’ve been speaking and consulting about this topic over the last couple of years, this has become my favorite question to ask clients and audiences.

And 9 times out of 10, no matter the industry the person is in, the answer sounds something like this:

“I want to find what I’m looking for…and I want to find it quickly.”

Think about that for a second.

Read the rest here from one of my NEW favorite socila media marketing fellas The Sales Lion

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A lot of sense in here, I've long since had a nagging feeling that there was something not quite right with my homepage. I think I was guilty of trying to tell them everything to hook them in, rather than telling them what they wanted to know so they'd go to page 2 (now I'm not happy with page 2 either, but I'll get to that).

I've just taken a pair of secateurs to my home page, it looks much better for it, but I still think it's a bit wordy.

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But instead of commenting on that one item, what about the other things that he said? What about discussing the validity of the good comments?

How about packing the homepage and not allowing it to be the welcoming inviting storefront? If it were a physical storefront it would look like THIS!

Would you want to go in? I see this overseas moreso than here in the USA for B&B's, where they have rates, location, amenities, anything and everything on the home page. I believe they feel that they have to share it all right now, as noone will go to page 2...I know I wouldn't.

 

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Oh I agree, I hate seeing a site that is full of every directory widget/award for the past 5 years. Who cares? And the first page should not be the entire web site. As you say, it should only say enough to draw you into the rest of the site and stay a while and have a look around  Smiling

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EmptyNest wrote:

Oh I agree, I hate seeing a site that is full of every directory widget/award for the past 5 years. Who cares? And the first page should not be the entire web site. As you say, it should only say enough to draw you into the rest of the site and stay a while and have a look around  Smiling

I had our homepage up and DH came home and I said "What is the purpose of this page?The homepage?" and he said "To draw you into the rest of the site to make the sale, the conversion"

Dang he's good! I said you are right! He said, What else would it be for?

 

Arks's picture
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Joey Bloggs wrote:

I had our homepage up and DH came home and I said "What is the purpose of this page?The homepage?" and he said "To draw you into the rest of the site to make the sale, the conversion"

Remember about 8 years ago when, for a while, most homepages were just one screen tall, or less. No scrolling needed. That was the whole point then: give an introduction and hope they go to other pages for more info.

I think things have moved away from that because we're afraid they won't ever go beyond the home page, so we put stuff there to try and get them to notice. Bullet points are good, I think.

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Arks wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

I had our homepage up and DH came home and I said "What is the purpose of this page?The homepage?" and he said "To draw you into the rest of the site to make the sale, the conversion"

Remember about 8 years ago when, for a while, most homepages were just one screen tall, or less. No scrolling needed. That was the whole point then: give an introduction and hope they go to other pages for more info.

I think things have moved away from that because we're afraid they won't ever go beyond the home page, so we put stuff there to try and get them to notice. Bullet points are good, I think.

google love lists!

If anyone has an example of a great B&B homepage that follows any of these ideas, can you please post a link here. I tried to edit mine and ended up with MORE WORDS, NOT LESS. 

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I was going to say...you needed to edit yours down a bit Smiling  It was alot of words.devil

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EmptyNest wrote:

I was going to say...you needed to edit yours down a bit Smiling  It was alot of words.devil

You saw the edit right?

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no.but just looked. that gets itSmiling

 

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EmptyNest wrote:

no.but just looked. that gets itSmiling

 

I did a small change to the blog background. i am not liking it too plain. I will fool around with it for a while.

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EmptyNest wrote:

I was going to say...you needed to edit yours down a bit Smiling  It was alot of words.devil

You saw the edit right? That is what you mean.

OnTheShore's picture
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Well, Point 2: Headlines should never be about YOUR STUFF. makes reference to an earlier post, and I found the back-and-forth with commentators there especially illuminating.

As in:

Harborfields is your family-friendly, pet-friendly, and boater-friendly vacation destination....

versus

Families with - or without - kids (of all ages) come to Harborfields to get away from it all, relax, enjoy the view, and explore the mid-coast of Maine with their pets and on their boats.

What do you think?

He is really pushing framing things from the customer's point of view. What about letting your customers (guests) tell your story for you -- quoting from reviews? That's one of our "sliders," slides of text with snippets from reviews and guest comments.

I agree about not packing the home page full of stuff (point 5), and I agree in principle about his point "less is more" (point 4).  but I still think people will read a compelling story (if it really is compelling), so not everything has to be broken down into bullet points (or whatever).

Point 3, company news -- for a business such as ours that is more personal, I think our guests are interested in our "company news" -- but I agree that the home page might not be the place for it.

 

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Well if sliders are out a gazillion B & B sites are in trouble.  I don't agree. As long as the sliders take minimal time I think they are fine. But that's just my personal opinion. I am not going to stop using them. devil

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That is as far as I made it reading.  I'm perplexed by this. Do you think he meant ALL sliders, or just textual based?  I don't think my slideshow takes anything away from the viewer, nor do I think it keeps them from progressing, or wanting to see more.  I find that statement just odd.  I'll go on to read the rest of the article, but that being the #1 mistake?  Nahhhhhh.....

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Sliders are out? I'd need more than just that one opinion to ditch the sliders. Personally, when I visit a website with sliders, I look at them all, unless they aren't relevant to the website and why I'm there. Generally they are.

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Arks wrote:
Sliders are out?

I have sliders, but they are text rather than images, and they are not automated, but have obvious buttons to advance left or right. (Haven't looked to hard but would like to find a script that randomizes which slide is presented first, so repeat visitors might not see the same thing.)

I got the sense that it was the automation of the slider that particularly irked the blogger.

I appreciate the need for images, but they could be presented in a series down the page rather than a slider, thus perhaps driving viewers to scroll?

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Arks wrote:

Sliders are out? I'd need more than just that one opinion to ditch the sliders. Personally, when I visit a website with sliders, I look at them all, unless they aren't relevant to the website and why I'm there. Generally they are.


As always, read these things with our B&B marketing in mind, vs gen populace. We need more photos, bigger photos, and all of that, compared to an avg selling site. 

Our customers look at the photos, so the sliders may be more valuable for us, vs a car sales site with variety makes and models.

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I am thinking about this, and how:

 

2. Headlines should never be about YOUR STUFF.

I love this subject, likely because, from what I’ve studied, only about 5% of businesses do it right.

Here is the core principle to understand: People don’t care about you, nor their business. Their only care is the problem they’re trying to solve.

This is why a great homepage headline is about the problems your company solves, not about the product you offer or the service you provide.

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