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Optimizing Home Page

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The home page is the page which gets the most page views of your online store. It is also the most important landing page. Put differently, almost every visitor will see your home page. Use the tips on this page, make the perfect first impression and increase your sales!

Optimizing the home page

The homepage is often a very important part of your online store. On average, for about 50% of visitors of online stores the home page is the landing page of the online store. If your online store doesn’t make use of affiliate, shopping or comparison websites, this figure is probably even higher.

What does your home page do? It gives the first impression of your online store, and based on that impression visitors decide whether they want to continue looking at your products and whether they would like to make a purchase. This decision is made in a couple of seconds.

The holy trinity of your home page

Ideally, the home page should do three things. First and most obviously, keep the visitors in your online store. Therefore you want to make a good impression. Second, the homepage should inform the visitor about what kind of products you sell and what kind of e-commerce business you are. Thirdly, and this perhaps sounds contradictory, you want the visitors to leave your home page quickly. They should be pulled further into your online store and make a selection from the product categories of your online store.

Inform and Impress your visitors

You can impress your visitors with your unique selling points and/or with the smooth design of your online store. It is very important that the home page allows easy navigation to product pages or – and preferably – category pages.

You can make a selection of a few products to show on your home page. Remember though, that the sale is normally not made on the home page. It is more important that the products you show are representative for the online store, so allow for some diversity.

You could incorporate a few products that you could call best-sellers. They do not necessarily have to be your best-selling products, you could also use such a space to showcase a product that you want to sell for various reasons (it is new in your stock, you would like to get rid of some stock, etc).

Some e-commerce software optionally feature an automatic display of the best-selling products on the home page. I would advise against this, however, as this only sustains the best-selling status of this particular product while it may often be better for you to showcase other products.

Draw visitor deeper into online store

You can draw a visitor deeper into your online store by inviting him to browse the online store’s categories.

You want to draw the visitor deeper into your store by selecting the category that interests them most. So if you sell clothes, your home page will not be able to show everything that is relevant for somebody who is looking for something specific. For example: a blue skirt from a certain brand. Easy navigation to skirts and/or brands will invite this visitor to continue.

I advise you to have a look at how various online stores organise their home page. You will see that they often have a menu at both the top and the left-side of the page, which are often the same. This allows various kinds of visitors and browsing behaviours to navigate your website easily and to be drawn further and deeper into your online store.

This will make sure visitors leave your home page quickly, and start on a search for products which may lead to a sale. As I already wrote above, sales are rarely made on the home page.

Create a home page that informs and impresses, and thus keeps your visitors from navigating away from your online store. Most importantly, your home page should draw your visitors deeper into your store, leading to more potential sales.

Video on your home page

Video on your home page (and in general in your online store) works excellent. This is for two reasons.

Reason 1: Louder than Words

Videos are the best way to convince customers of the quality of your online store and your product. An online store is static, video allows you to add moving images and sound. You can tell more in a 20 second-video than in three pages of text! You can explain more clearly what you mean with abstract terms like “quality”, by showing a number of high quality products in a row.

Reason 2: Google

Because Google measures how long a visitor spend on a website before returning to the search results it is important to keep the visitor in your online store as long as possible. When the visitor stays longest in your online store Google may very well rank you a bit higher in the search results. You can keep the attention of a visitor for a longer time with a video added – this may increase a couple of seconds to even a minute to the visiting time!

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