The homepage of your website is likely to be one of the most viewed pages of content. Therefore, your homepage will have a significant impact on several important web analytics metrics including, avg. time on site, number of pages visited, bounce rate, and exit rate. So what should you put on your homepage? It is, after all, just one page.
While this post will focus on the nature of the content you use on your homepage, I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't say a few things about important HTML tags. Among these, your homepage's title is probably the most important. It is the strongest on-page signal to search engines. It tells them what your site is about.
In addition to being one of your most viewed pages, it is also likely to be a huge link magnet. As you get quoted, cited, and linked to from around the web, many publishers will choose to link to your homepage. Therefore, you want to include some of your more competitive head terms in your homepage title.
However, don't go crazy. Most web strategists will tell you to limit the total number of characters in your title tags to 70 or less. And I would suggest that, if you're able, you should go as short as you possibly can. Usually, I recommend targeting only 1 or 2 keyword phrases per pages.
Branding, as a general concept, should be included globally on your site. One widely accepted convention is to use your firm's logo or name in the upper left hand corner of each of your web pages which also links back to your homepage. But homepage branding means something more. Many people will land on your homepage from search results. Others will click links from something they read elsewhere. And others, that land on other sections of your website, are likely to eventually click to your homepage. Therefore, your homepage really becomes a primary showcase of your website.
Since it's such an important page, it's critical to establish your professional reputation as thoroughly and economically as is practically possible. Here are some items to consider including on your homepage:
- Real Images - These might include pictures of you, others at your firm, relevant images to cases on which you have worked, and even clients. The key here is authenticity. Avoid reverting to the Flag, gavel, law books doom spiral.
- Videos - While text is likely to remain the solid foundation of the web, video is really the future. With changes like HTML5 in the works, there is no doubt in my mind that video will become much more prominently featured throughout both the web and search engines.
- Testimonials - Client & professional testimonial can be very good builders of trust. You should consider using both text and video testimonials. However, you need to be careful about how you use testimonials of any kind. Check with your state bar.
- Downloads - If your firm publishes books, pamphlets, guides, etc. (and if you don't you should consider it) these should be placed prominently on your homepage.
- Calls To Action - More generally, you should provide several calls to action on your homepage. These may include: your phone number, your email address, an email form, a free consultation form, a guide download, and a subscribe option. Think about what options you are giving your visitors to interact with your homepage.
- Text Content - Despite all the fancy bells and whistles you can add to your homepage, the truth is, it will usually be good old-fashioned text content that will influence a visitor to take some kind action, convert into a new client inquiry, and eventually become a new client. Be very critical of your homepage content. Think about how you answer your visitors' questions, solve their problems, or entertain them. If you can't provide one of these purposes, it's likely they'll bounce.