The Biggest Mistake to Make on a Website Homepage

The Biggest Mistake to Make on a Website Homepage

4 min read

The homepage is the hardest part of bringing a website together. There’s a lot to do before you even get to the point where you are ready to start. 

The biggest piece of advice I can give you to help your clients is to say that less really is more.

This can be a bit tricky to get over to clients initially, as sometimes there’s a huge fear that if they don’t have everything they do on their homepage, no-one will buy from them.

The truth is that having too much information and no clear signposting will put off visitors because they simply will not spend the time wading through information.

What is the Biggest Mistake to Make on a Website Homepage?

The biggest mistake to make on a website homepage is to make it a place of ‘information overwhelm’. Too much information leads to indecision and inaction and a user will leave and simply go searching elsewhere.

As web agency owners, we must try and educate our clients that the right homepage will get their visitors to take action of some kind. People generally won’t buy on a ‘first viewing’, so the job of a homepage is to get a user to take an action of some kind. Remember, it’s those small steps and actions which lead to bigger steps and will move prospects ever closer to potentially becoming a client.


Example Actions to Make on the Homepage:

Here are some typical example actions you want a website homepage to do:

  • Click on the main CTA on the homepage
  • A click-through to another page for more information about something
  • The download of a lead magnet 
  • Getting in touch through the contact page
  • Reading a blog article
  • Any action which takes the web visitor a step closer to getting to know the business better and onto page 2 of the website


How to Decide the Best Call to Action on the Homepage

Ask the question, 

“What is the no.1 thing you want people to do on the homepage of the website?” 

For me, it’s signing up to my lead magnet because initially, that is the best way I can help people by giving them the information they are looking for with only the commitment of giving me their email address. 

Your client’s no.1 action may be something completely different but in most cases, the commitment you ask from a prospect initially will be something non-commital. Gaining an email address is a great example of a non-commital exchange because they can easily unsubscribe at a later date. 

The underlying principle for a website homepage is to keep the choice of options limited. Make the decision process easy for the visitor. Either they want to take the choice or the don’t.

So avoid having too many calls to action, use them sparingly and efficiently. 


Imagine a Website in a Restaurant Scenario

Think of it this way.

A real treat I love is eating out, don’t you? (COVID permitting of course).

Imagine the scene, sitting in your favourite restaurant and seeing what other people are eating and ready to pick something for yourself.

The waiter comes over with a menu and it has a choice of everything going. At first, you might feel excited with the anticipation of choosing something delicious to eat for yourself.

But then, there’s so much to choose from.

You don’t know what to have.

It makes you feel indecisive.

You keep looking around to see what other people are having, in the hope it might help you choose something.

You’re still undecided but the waiter comes over and you feel under pressure to make a decision so you choose something, just so you don’t hold everyone else up.

The meal comes and still nice but it’s not really what you wanted.

You feel disappointed.

If only, you’d had less choice and made a better decision.

Have you felt like that too?

Don’t let your client’s homepage be the cause of overwhelm and indecision. You are there to be their guide and help them to help their prospects make good buying decisions.


Let’s Wrap It Up

To avoid making a homepage overwhelm, bear the following points in mind:

1. Keep the information simple

2. Avoid too much choice and too many options

3. Remember less really is more

4. Keep CTA choices limited or singular – what’s the no.1 action you want a web visitor to take?

5. Help web visitors take action on the homepage

If you need more help with your client’s homepage struggles, then you can download The Homepage Template Checklist here.

Want a deeper dive and pull back the layers you need to explore with clients as part of the website discovery process? Then check out The WIF® here.

Until next time


Imogen Allen

Imogen Allen

I'm a Website Strategist and the creator of The WIF®, on a quest to help stop projects waiting on content for all web agencies once and for all. Passionate about helping others find their website identity and championing websites which speaks to humans in a language they understand.

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