Your website home page is the most important page on your website. While your incoming traffic will many times arrive through other pages, website visitors will undoubtedly review your home page at some point in their visit.
A website home page should provide a quick overview of who you are, what you do, and what you offer. It is also used to give website visitors clear direction on where they should go and what they should do during their visit. It should quickly tell them what is important about your company, brand, service or product offering.
Does all that sound a bit overwhelming? Well that’s because you’ve not talked to Dora the Explorer.
Dora is the Master of Communication and Navigation
If you have no idea who the heck Dora is, let me give you a quick overview. Dora is children’s cartoon that provides an adventure in every TV episode. In each episode Dora clearly provides directions to toddlers and uses her trusty map to get these little guys to their final destination.
Dora uses her map to take the children on her thirty-minute quest and they make three stops along the way. She visually repeats these three stops a number of times to ensure the viewers understand the final destination and that they know the correct route.
I like to use Dora as an example when talking to web design clients, because she communicates and captivates small children with limited attention spans. She has to keep information explicit and brief. She has to make sure she doesn’t lose her visitors along the way.
Over the years I’ve found this simple analogy is a great tool for speaking with companies contemplating a website redesign or launching a new website.
Why Dora Would be Great for Wireframe Creation and Web Design
Now that you know who Dora is and what she’s about, let’s come back to designing a website’s home page. Consider the comments I made above – the home page needs to clearly define the who, what, and why of you while providing clear direction to important content or actionable pages.
Many times I have web design clients who want to fill their home page with oodles and oodles of text. Or worse, they want to include fifty hyperlinks with destinations on and off their website. I fight this approach because it is just the opposite of what you want to do and what will actually work.
Today’s internet user is multitasking and they have limited attention spans. Much like Dora’s audience on the show. People don’t read a home page. Instead they use it to navigate to the most important areas of a website.
Filling the home page up with boring text will quickly lose the visitor and this means you’ve lost the opportunity to connect with them.
Dora would wipe away almost all your text and provide three basic points of reference for your visitors while concurrently leading them to the ultimate destination of connecting with your via a phone call, contact form, download, or purchase.
She would make sure they understand what is in front of them, she would inform them, while not losing them along the way. She would remember they have short attention spans. She would focus on succinct, clear language all while keep a keen eye on the ultimate goal of conversions.
As a Webmaster, Dora Would Have a Near Zero Bounce Rate
A “bounce rate” is the percentage of visits (aka people) that visit only one page on a website before exiting. You want to keep this number as low as possible. Unfortunately many websites have 60%, 70%, or even worse bounce rates. Why? Because they haven’t clearly articulated what the visitor needs to know.
If Dora managed your website she would have a very low bounce rate because she would keep navigation and the user experience simple. She would provide three or four key areas for people to visit and she would make sure they fully understood the location of their final destination. She would manage all this before they jumped to another website or in her case, the toddler switched to another cartoon or toy.
Does Your Website Home Page Provide a Clear Map?
As I go through this dialogue with clients I wait until I know they get it. Once they do, I ask them to look at their existing home page and/or plan for a new and improved home page. I ask them if it is succinct and if it is map worthy.
In 95% of the cases, the client realizes they have way too much content planned and that they need to take a step back to figure out what’s really important. Once we all know what’s important, we can design your home page around it.
Take a moment and look at your existing home page or your concept for your new improved website. Would Dora approve of your map and plan? Could it navigate a toddler or multitasking adult to the key areas of your website and convert them as needed?
We Can Help Create the Perfect Home Page
If your website home page isn’t up to Dora standards we can help. We’ll take the time to learn about the who, what, and why of your company and we’ll make sure we design a home page that articulates this to your visitors.
What are you waiting for? Let’s us know how we can help you and your website.