Seven Must-Haves for the Homepage of Any Small Business Website

Sep 18, 2012 by

There are so many ways a small business can establish a presence online, but a website is perhaps the most important. Your website (with your own domain) belongs to your business, and you never have to worry about Facebook or Twitter changing anything. When people want to find out more about your business, they’ll likely search for your website before anything else. The homepage of your website is the first impression of your site (and your business) that your visitors will get. In order to make sure your homepage is effective for driving business, here are seven things it must contain.

Contact Information

Don’t make visitors to your website have to click anywhere else to find your contact information. Prominently display your business’s phone number, address, email address, and store hours (if applicable) on the homepage of your website. Making this information too hard to find will frustrate visitors – they do not want to work to give you their business.

A Clear Description

If someone is visiting your website for the first time with absolutely no prior knowledge of your business or industry, will they be able to find out what you do on your homepage? The homepage of your website should include something – even if it is just a sentence – that succinctly and clearly describes what your business does. In addition, you should have a clear, slightly more detailed description of your business on an “About” page. Make sure the “About” page is clearly linked to on your homepage.

A Call to Action

Once visitors get to your website, what do you want them to do? You must include some type of call to action on your homepage that will guide or encourage them to do something more. Don’t just assume they’ll start exploring your website on their own. Suggest that they sign up for your newsletter, call your for a quote on services, or check out your new product – anything that will get them further involved.

Easy Navigation

The usability of your website – how easy it is for users to navigate and use – is extremely important. In order to have good usability, the homepage of your website should contain clear links to the other main pages of your website. It should be easy for users to figure out exactly what link to click on to find whatever specific information it is they’re seeking. Important links to include on your homepage are pages like, “About Us,” “Press,” “FAQ,” “Locations,” “Site Map,” and “Contact Us.”

Appealing Design

The esthetics of your website are also very important. If you’re no good with website design or graphics, it’s a good idea to hire a professional so that your website doesn’t look amateurish. The design of your website should be easy-on-the-eyes (relatively simple), with complementary colors and readable text. Make sure your business logo is prominently displayed.

Social Media Integration

You should use your website to cross-promote your social media profiles, and you can do this in a variety of ways. You might simply include small but noticeable buttons that help people to follow you on Twitter, “Like” your Facebook page, or give your page a “+1.” You can add a widget with a scrolling display of your recent updates, or any other content that promotes your social media presence.

Good SEO

Your homepage must be search-engine optimized in a few important ways. Use your keywords in the title of your page and in its descriptive Meta tags. Try to include your keyword on your homepage more than once, but do not stuff it with keywords or include more than would naturally appear.  Links to the main sections of your site (mentioned above) also contribute to good SEO.

Mey Lau is an SEO and branding guru who often writes articles with the intent of helping other business professionals construct a clean and effective marketing strategy for their brand.

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