No place like home – the importance of the home page

Surf the web and you’ll see a lot of different approaches to business website home pages, from the minimalistic variety right up to home page which has got everything but the kitchen sink. So, which approach is more likely to work for your small business website?

Firstly, let’s examine each of the extreme approaches in more detail.

The minimalistic home page is one that’s used more as a conduit to other parts of the website. It’s usually light on for text content and full on for images that provide links to major parts of the website.

On the other hand, the everything but the kitchen sink home page has got most of the information a visitor needs. There is detailed text content on the major parts of the business, including the services or products the business provides, information about the business and contact information.

For me, both of these extreme approaches have issues. In this day of instant gratification, many visitors will simply hit the back key if they don’t find information that interests them immediately, putting the minimalistic-style home page at a disadvantage. This approach is also likely to affect search engine rankings due to its lack of text content. The biggest issues with the everything but the kitchen sink approach are that people can feel overwhelmed with the amount of detail and these types of pages often look clumsy.

For most business websites, particularly small business websites, the home page is the most important page. It’s where the bulk of people will generally enter the website – and leave if they don’t find what they want or feel inundated by the amount of content.

So the best approach should be somewhere in the middle. The idea is to provide enough information for visitors that they want to explore further, create a simple navigation structure so people can easily move around the website and ensure people can easily meet your call to action objectives, whether it be contacting the business or buying online.

What you include on your business home page will depend somewhat on your business, but in general:

  • Provide a brief summary of your business and your services or products
  • Include a snapshot of why customers should choose your business
  • Provide links to all the major pages on your website
  • Include brief contact details

Above all, develop your home page with your potential customer in mind. Build the home page that your ideal customer is looking for and you’re well on the way to having a successful small business website.


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