Yesterday we talked about the four key questions your homepage should answer:
- Who are you?
- What do you do?
- Why should I care?
- What should I do?
Addressing those important questions will help your users orient themselves, figure out whether they're in the right place and continue down your sales funnel (whether that funnel leads to a business relocation, a real estate purchase or a software license). But there's another thing to think about when you're writing your homepage: what are your goals?
Writing for your user is important--incredibly important. But writing for your goals is also incredibly important. In order to stay in business, you need to sell real estate or attract companies or bulk up your workforce. And you can't afford to lose sight of those goals.
So, while you're orienting users to who you are and what you do, you should also be guiding them to what you need them to do next.
Let me give you a good example: The Austin Chamber of Commerce. Click on the link and take a look at their homepage.
Based on their homepage, I assume that Austin is trying to reach three key audiences:
- Relocating businesses
- Local businesses
For each audience, Austin would like to offer a different Call to Action (or next step). For relocating businesses, the next step is to learn more about doing business in Austin--this user will either click on the large DO BUSINESS or one of the supporting links below it. For workforce, the next step is to click into the large LIVE & WORK link or one of the supporting links below it. And for local business, the next step is to learn more about and join the chamber.
So, what does this mean for your community or organization?
While you are thinking about your users' needs and what they want to read about on the homepage, also think about how they need to be directed. What do you want them to do next? Then, make these Calls to Action (next steps) very visible and accessible to your users on the homepage. Not only will you be supporting your goals, but you'll also make it easier for users to navigate to what they need (because, presumably, they're on your website because they want to interact with you--join the chamber, move to your city, buy your real estate, etc.). And that kind of goal-driven homepage will also make your users happier.