3 Things You Absolutely Need on Your Website Homepage

Putting together a professional-looking homepage that’s easy to navigate and persuades clients and customers to trust you is a lot of work for a business. You need to plan the minor details to optimize the effect that your website has on your customers. But there are a few key details that you need to make sure are on your website homepage.

Site Menu

The site menu gives your readers an easy way to navigate the entire website. If you don’t have one, they’ll have difficulty knowing exactly where to find all of the information that you’re providing. Even great content isn’t any good if your potential customers can’t find it. If visitors can’t find the information that they’re looking for, they’ll spend less time on your website, which hurts your Google rankings and your conversions. Chloe Digital explains, “menu hierarchy has a huge impact on usability and engagement. Keep it clear, easy to use and logical and you will achieve high levels of engagement and increased conversions. Leave it in a mess and your Google Analytics page will end up telling you that most people click off your site within seconds of entering it.” Adding a site menu that’s easy to navigate and is aesthetically appealing keeps readers on your website longer, making it more likely that they’ll find the answers or products that they’re looking for, thereby improving the chances that you’ll get sales and long-term clients and customers.

Reviews and Testimonials

Positive reviews and testimonials are integral components of your overall website marketing plan. Good reviews and testimonials can garner trust. People want to know what others think about the product or service that you’re selling, and they want to know, from other consumers, what they thought were the best features. Reviews and testimonials promote a positive feeling when people see them, and they also make your company more relatable. Podium recommends, “reviews you choose should be 5-star only, identify strong customer service satisfaction, and mention specific employees by name.” Positive testimonials, especially those with employees’ names, give the impression that you know your customers and they know you.

Images

Yes, of course, you should have text that explains to people what your business is about. But you should also have images that enrich the text. Most people are visual, so a well-chosen image can quickly relay to your website viewers what you’re about. Is the image funny, or does it have a more serious tone? A captivating image can also entice viewers to read the homepage, and it can show off your professional image. Website Magazine cautions, “a bad image choice has the potential to ruin your website in more ways than one. It negatively impacts UX and UI, the website conversion ratio and also its credibility.”

Many businesses have websites today, but not all websites have been thought through. Businesses that have well-designed homepages will be a cut above the rest of the competition because they’ll promote trust and make the business look more credible.

For help in improving your website, get in touch with me today!

Measure Once – Cut Twice – Understanding Google Analytics

google analytics

Yes, I know, the title is backwards, right? —Or did you miss that?

The old adage should read, “Measure twice only cut once.” It refers to the practice of preparing and making sure you are you have all your ducks in a row before you fully commit. Sadly, I have forgotten that mantra all too often. I was building a new table a couple years ago, and I was rushing to get to a certain stage by the end of that day and totally shot myself in the foot. I thought I could skip a few steps to verify that my measurements were right, and as a result I cut the piece I needed too short – and to make matters worse, I didn’t have enough wood to re-cut. It was either run to the store and buy a new piece (ie. and waste a bunch of time), or it was delay the finish of the project.

Does that sound familiar to you? Do you fall into that habit all too often? More specifically, does it happen to you when it comes to your marketing?

I find that we often are in a hurry to “get something out” or meet a deadline that we can forget to go through vital steps before we do it. When it’s a flop or doesn’t yield the results we expect, we scratch our heads and wonder why. It can become a never ending cycle—unless you stop it.

The number one reason I see this happening is because we don’t understand the essential ingredients that cannot be skipped before we take that next step.

There are lots of tools out there to help with this, but I want to explore one that is so often misunderstood today – Google Analytics. Everyone seems to know about it and that it has important information contained in it, but it is viewed as “Raiders of the Ark-esque” when it comes to getting the data out of it.

Let me take a few moments to help you unpack it and offer you a resource that can help you to dig deeper and truly see it at work.

#Analytics is about taking your data and outside influences and building insights from all of it. – Fiona Roddis… http://tinyurl.com/lv9xf8r

So let’s launch in…

Understanding Google Analytics

If you boil it down, Google Analytics asks and gives you answers to 3 big questions about what is going on with your website:

  1. Who is visiting my site?
  2. Where did they come from?
  3. What did they find the most interesting when they were there?

That’s it in a nutshell. Those are the big 3 questions that are answered. They also form the cornerstone of any good marketing strategy – who, where, and what.

If we dig a little deeper into each question, we can gain even more insight into what is going on with your website.

When it comes to your Audience it’s important to know the locations of your visitors, as I’ve often seen analytics that reflect tons of visits from overseas to a local business – a definite mismatch there. I also want to know what percentage of my visitors are using a mobile device to access my website, as that determines important design elements. Lastly, I am interested in how long my visitors are staying around and whether they are visiting for the first time or are returning visitors.

Next, I take a dive into the the Acquisition section – where are my visitors coming from? My number one question I want to answer is who referred them. In other words, did they do a search or just type the url in directly. Or did they perhaps click on a link from another website, social media, or even an email I sent out. The final thing I want to know in this section is what terms are people using when doing a search and I am showing up in the results, and even more importantly which ones are they clicking on.

The last section tells us more about the Behavior of our visitors, or put another way, where are our visitors spending their time on my site? The number one question I want to answer is what content do my visitors visit the most when they come to my site? I am interested in what pages, as well as what blog posts, are valuable to my readers. As an added bonus, you can even see how long (on average) people are spending on those posts or pages. One little-known feature of the Behavior section is the fact that you can see what pages people are visiting first (ie. pages that are attracting visitors) as well as the pages that are the exit point for my visitors – in which case, I might want to look at how I might keep them engaged in clicking to another page before they leave. One bonus in this section the the behavior flow map, which gives you a great visual of the most popular paths people take through your site – I like to compare that to the path I designed initially, and see if I need to make tweaks based on that information.

So there you have it – a quick tour of Google Analytics!