5 things you need on your home page and 5 things you don’t need

What should be on your home page?You need:

  1. Company name and address – in text. Google pretty much insists on having a company name and address appearing in a prominent position on your website. Amongst other things they use it to determine whether you should be part of their Google Place program.
  2. Company phone number – in text. More and more people are searching for you with their smartphones – a phone number in text can be clicked and they can call you immediately.
  3. A succinct description of what you do. Someone viewing your site needs to be able to tell whether or not they are in the right place within seconds of landing there. You need to get the message across quickly and precisely.
  4. A Unique Selling Proposition. They’ve decided that you provide what they are looking for – now why should they spend their money with you? Be creative, but be careful – don’t say that you are the biggest widget maker in the world, unless you can prove it!
  5. A Call to Action. You’ve captured your prospect’s attention now what do you want them to do? Whether it’s “Call Now!” or “Sign up for our newsletter here!” give them some direction as to what you want them to do next.

You don’t need:

  1. An intro video or animation. These have no function other than to stop somebody from getting to the reason why they should do business with you. If they have a “skip intro” button – why bother having the intro?
  2. Lots of images, especially with no “Alt tag” info. Remember Google can NOT read images – unless you have extensive “Alt tag” information Google has no idea what the images are trying to portray. And if they do have extensive “Alt tag” info why not make it text anyway?
  3. Scrolling / flashing / moving text. This is sooo 1990”s – apart from being annoying its also being seriously depreciated by Google.
  4. Auto-start video telling people how wonderful you are. a) nobody really cares how wonderful you are and b) Google can’t read Flash files anyway!
  5. A list of the 10,000 items you sell (or services you provide). a) nobody is going to scroll through the whole list to find what they are looking for and b) Google doesn’t “do” lists – they specifically look for appropriate text that makes grammatical sense.

For some more insightful tips check out this page by Rae Hoffman-Dolan (@sugarrae) http://www.sugarrae.com/seo-sphere/seo-checklist-for-local-small-business-websites/ , which also goes on to talk more about SEO for small business websites.

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