7 easy ways to get your home page wrong

Sharon and I speak regularly on how to get sales results from a business website and this visual always seems to get people thinking. So we thought we’d share it here, with a bit more detail.

What’s wrong with this website?

  1. Menu is all me, me, me. This self orientated list is off putting for people searching for answers to their problems. Read it closely – OUR services, OUR products, about US. There’s nothing here that shows you care about your clients and their challenges.
  2. Really boring stock photography image. Say no to jigsaw pieces, hand shakes, random smiley women answering phones if you want your business to look authentic. Invest in decent original photography or illustration that reflects your brand.
  3. Self orientated and jargon filled copy. It’s all about how great the company is, and says nothing about the kind of people they help, in language they understand.
  4. Generalist. It’s neat to be niche – promising to do anything for anyone won’t win you much business.
  5. Nothing useful to takeaway. A brochure is only handy if your visitor is just about to buy, but what if they’re ‘just looking’? There’s nothing here to engage or interest anyone earlier in the buying cycle.
  6. Outdated news. Not only is it out of date, but again it’s very inward looking. All about the company, nothing about the customer. And there’s no offer to stay in touch now they’ve found you – no newsletter, no Twitter. They’re gone.

I am sure you’ll have seen many websites like this from businesses big and small. Little more than an online brochure, a site like this can work as a credibility-building tool but doesn’t do much to engage or build trust in what you do. Businesses with a website like this are missing a trick.

This is how a website like the one above feels to a potential client:
This quick animation by the ever creative Sharon Tanton demonstrates how a traditional law firm website fails to hit the right notes with a potential client.

Turn your website around

Remember: your website is not a sales proposal. Not all visitors will be ready to buy straight away. If you want to engage and generate leads from your website – a regular stream of warm, inbound leads – you need to do more than present basic information on your company. Answer their questions, make the content valuable to your audience and you can turn your website into a fully fledged member of your sales team.

Have you got your web content right?

Other content on this subject:

Have a look at our Valuable Content Award winners to see examples of websites that get it just right.

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1 Comment

  1. Greg Strandberg

    I’ve got two sites and I experiment with the home page layout. I’ve gone from having lots of things to few and back again. I know it’s important to get it; the analytics report indicates the home page gets hit the most.



  1. 8 Critical Ingredients to a Website’s Homepage Design - [...] indexable content and internal links — inspiring users to explore your site deeper. However, avoid copy that is self-oriented…

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