It’s so tempting to want to add everything and the kitchen sink to your home page. You have news to publicize, events to promote, new product launches to announce, social media followers to gain, a blog to call attention to, a form to fill out, animations to demonstrate, and cool videos to display. Every time something important happens, you want to add it to the home page, right?
In this never-ending fight for home page real estate it’s easy to forget that the home page has one and only purpose.
Home Page Clutter
Have you ever visited a restaurant for the first time and looked at their very extensive menu? There are so many choices that your eyes start to glaze over. This is what a cluttered home page does to a person who visits your website. It’s so overwhelming that they don’t know where to click.
But don’t take our word for it. Eye-tracking models help predict if the page’s elements evoke visitor engagement within the first 2-3 seconds of loading the page. These models reveal that cluttered home pages confuse visitors—without a single focus, visitors don’t know what to do first.
Clarity Is Your Friend
Every visitor to your website has some level of anxiety, so you want to lower anxiety to the point that visitors are willing to take action. Clarity helps lower anxiety and leads to conversions. You want your home page to be uncluttered and feature at least one prominent area on the page with a call to action telling visitors what to do.
The One Purpose of Your Home Page
So, what is your home page’s one and only purpose? It is to get website visitors to click off of it as quickly as possible with little thought or effort. The reason is you want them to self-qualify by clicking on what they are interested in and thus start moving through your website’s funnel.
Most businesses and organizations have more than one product or service and more than one type of customer, and therefore, more than one type of website visitor. You want to funnel your website visitors into the appropriate section of the website as quickly as possible.
It’s fine to have news, blog headlines and announcement areas on the home page, but let’s ensure that they don’t take up space above the fold and aren’t the main call to action.
Think of this in terms of selling actions (clicks, calls, chats, downloads) versus selling products or solutions. Your home page will be more effective if it reduces your visitors’ anxiety, leads them to a clear action without much effort, and gets them clicking into other areas of your website as soon as possible.