As a property owner, you might consider your homepage to be the most important page on your website, but you would be wrong. With thoughts like, “the homepage creates the first impression” or “the homepage gets the most views, so it’s the most important page on my website” are all thoughts that need to be debunked.
While the homepage on your site might be the most viewed, don’t automatically assume it is the most important. Visitors don’t come to your homepage to book their stay. They do however use your homepage to navigate to a page to learn more about activities in the area, review room types and eventually to a page where they can book their stay.
In fact, it was recently stated by Google’s John Mueller that more weight is given to pages in search results based on how many clicks it takes to get to them from a site’s homepage versus the URL structure. In the end what really matters is the number of clicks it takes to get to a page from the homepage.
The entrance to your website could include any page on your site. People might be coming through social media, search engines (most likely the largest entrance point), newsletters, or referring links. With many different ways of entering a website, the homepage has become less and less the main attention grabber.
Even though the homepage is less important, it still serves an important purpose. Your homepage helps visitors get to the next page, assisting in their path to purchase. To help further assist in future conversions follow these steps in optimizing your homepage:
- Set goals and metrics -Before executing any changes to your homepage be sure to first identify your goals and key metrics associated with the homepage. This will help guide the rest of your efforts.
- Identify a clear value proposition- This may seem obvious, but you want to be sure you are clearly stating what your value proposition is.
- Links to social media – Make it easy for your visitors to follow and communicate with your business via social media.
- Supreme navigation – identify your user’s preferences. Where do they spend the most time? How much time is spent on each page? Once this is identified you will then know how to optimize your homepage with navigation directly to these highly trafficked pages.
- Contact info – Visitors want to find your contact information easily. Providing easy access to direct communication makes the visitor trust your business more. This is just one more way of providing excellent customer service.
- Blog highlights – Encourage people to view and subscribe to your blog by adding your blog content to the homepage. This is an additional touch point you can offer for your visitors to stay in contact.
- Guest testimonials – Visitors love to hear what others are saying about your business. Highlight guest testimonials to show others how people feel about your business.
- Excellent imagery – It’s no secret that attractive imagery draws people in more than any other type of content, besides video. Use high- quality originally imagery to bring your property to life and connect with your visitors. A video isn’t a must but could also be highly beneficial coupled with high-quality imagery.
- Overview of your services – The homepage is a perfectly acceptable place to provide an overview of your services. Reiterate to your visitors what your business provides.
- Awards, certifications or associations – It’s ok to give yourself a pat on the back. Showcase your awards or associations so your visitors can have a better understanding of your level of service.
- Clear call-to-action- Provide one to two very clear call-to-actions that you want your visitors to take. Most likely for property owners that will be to book a room.
- Keep it simple – An overcrowded homepage does not provide a good user experience. Keep your message simple and avoid cluttering your homepage with excessive text, images, or videos.
As the launch pad to the rest of your website, your homepage is the catalyst to additional steps visitors want to take on your website. Your homepage is a great place to land but not a place you want your visitors to spend too much with. See here for our infographic on 10 critical elements your homepage must have.
Be sure to check out our RezStream resource guides for other ways to optimize your website and overall business.