Your homepage is the first thing your visitors see, but webmasters often neglect it. Some focus on other elements, while others don’t know what makes a homepage work. If you aren’t meeting your traffic and bounce rate goals, memorize these blunders, and avoid them.
Placing Too Many Ads
When visitors land on your site they expect to see some advertisements, but not too many. If it feels like your homepage is trying too hard to get their attention, they will leave. No one likes encountering heavy self-promotion, especially when they are trying to solve a problem.
But how many ads are too many? That depends on your audience and niche. Creating a website that lets you tinker with ad placement means you can experiment until you find a balance that works. Adding a section where your viewers can express their criticism means you will learn more quickly, even if you are only using a professional email address.
When placing advertisements, think about your audience. Study your bounce rate and click-throughs. If your viewers are lingering longer on your content, space out modest ads throughout your homepage. Remember that one ad is often enough, even at the bottom of your page.
If your audience has a short attention span, be careful. Your visitors are looking for an excuse to leave, even if your content is worth lingering on. Also, watch viewer patterns. If they quickly click away from your homepage, consider placing most of your ads where they usually navigate to.
Fooling Your Audience
It is easy to buy an attractive website, but visitors don’t like feeling stupid. Make sure your elements don’t patronize them. Failing websites look nice, but awkward English makes it a struggle to find the valuable information they are sharing.
Clunky navigation is another common problem visitors face. Remember, if they can’t find what they are looking for, they won’t blame themselves. They will blame you.
Some webmasters hide their lack of content by breaking it into chunks. Not only does this mean that they can place more ads on every page, but it also inflates their page numbers; a tactic they think search engines love.
Instead, it only annoys their readers as they navigate content one chunk at a time. Unhappy visitors leave quickly and never return. Search engines uncover this with their algorithms and punish websites that can’t please their average visitor. Instead, make sure your visitors can find and enjoy your content at their own pace. You will thank yourself when you check your search engine rankings.
Some websites create content their viewers want to read but hide it behind a paywall. This can work if you have a loyal fan base, but it can also backfire when your visitors hit the back button. If you decide to use a paywall, make it obvious. Every second they spend trying to find free content is an opportunity to become more annoyed.
Using A Bland Header
Headers sell your site and are the first thing your viewers see. If yours isn’t memorable, they might forget about your site once they find another one with similar content. While headers aren’t usually complex, that doesn’t mean you should use a bland one.
Color contrast will make yours stand out, especially if you also use a unique font. Try to match it with your homepage’s color scheme, but don’t worry if it isn’t an exact fit. Contrasting light and dark is usually enough, and keeping your header’s master file means it is easy to tweak later.
Hiding Your Search Bar
Interested visitors want to search your site once they finish exploring your homepage. A search bar is the first thing they look for, and you should put yours near the top of the page. It also helps if you don’t bury it with nearby elements.
Your homepage should always encourage your viewers to take action. Creating attractive links, and showing why they are helpful, tempts viewers to click them. While you could tell your viewers to sign up for a newsletter directly, being subtle is sometimes the best option.
For example, place your call-to-action button on an image that shows your viewers how it will help them. If you are selling featured items on your online store, showing them a few examples will tempt them to click. It also doesn’t hurt to share your price, especially if it is free.
Countering your homepage’s color scheme also helps, and this is a tactic you will notice once you start looking for it. If your homepage has a blue color scheme, why not create an orange or yellow button? This is a common combination, but you can find more with a quick Internet search for your competitors, or a color wheel.
Don’t let these blunders ruin your visitor experience. Your homepage is valuable; protect it.